John Spencer Biography

john spencer biograhpy portrait

John Spencer is a former member of the Board of Directors of the National Space Society.

John Spencer is a space architect/designer, founder and president of the Space Tourism Society (STS), and author with Karen L. Rugg of the first book on space tourism published in the U.S. titled Space Tourism: Do You Want to Go? (Apogee Books, 2004), in which he pioneers the application of yachting and cruise ship industry models to space tourism. He has been quoted in more than 100 TV shows, documentaries, radio shows, and articles in magazines and newspapers on Space Tourism. He has professional and masters degrees in architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture.

John is a pioneer in what he calls “The Design Frontier.” He is considered a leading expert in creation and design of real space facilities and space ship interiors for NASA and private space enterprise, as well as space and future-themed simulation attractions, resorts, camps and media for the general public. He is the founder and chief designer of the Space Experience Design Studio (SED). Over $310 million has been invested into building his original space/future themed concepts to date.

John was awarded the Space Act Award and the Certificate of Recognition from NASA for innovative architectural design on the International Space Station. He created the first interior designs on the SpaceHab Module which has flown into orbit over a dozen times. He also has designed projects for the National Science Foundation (NSF) built in Antarctica, and designed the interiors for the Aquarius Underwater Laboratory built for NOAA.

John’s recent design projects have included the “Earthrise Center” in New Mexico for the Earthrise Institute, the “Mars Colony” simulation facility/sets for the National Geographic Society Television and Film Group, the new NASA Ames Research Center Visitor Center, and the corporate headquarters and spaceship manufacturing facility for XCOR Aerospace Corporation at the Mojave Air & Space Port. He is currently designing the $1.6 billion “Mars World” immersive attraction and resort/spa for a Las Vegas site (not yet funded) the “Space World” space pavilion interiors for the National Science Museum in Korea, opening in 2013/4.

John has been involved with pioneering the space frontier since the late 1970’s and with NSS since it was merged with the L5 Society. He has chaired or co-chaired or co-produced NSS events including the successful STS/NSS “ORBIT Awards” dinner with George Whitesides at the 2006 ISDC in Los Angeles, and a major fund raiser for NSS in 1989 at Paramount Studios on the sets of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

John is past Honorary Chairperson of the California Space Authority’s Space Enterprise Advisory Council (SEAC) for the 2007-2010 California Space Enterprise Strategic Plan and was a participant in the 2010-2012 Plan. In 2009 he was presented with a special recognition award from the California Space Authority (CSA) for a decade of advisory service. In 2000, he was awarded the Space Humanitarian Award by the United Societies in Space and Apollo 11 astronaut Dr. Buzz Aldrin.