NSS Mission & History
The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, nonpartisan, educational, grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. For more details on what NSS stands for, visit our Statement of Philosophy web page or download a PDF version.
- NSS Vision: “People living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity.”
- NSS Mission: “To promote social, economic, technological, and political change in order to expand civilization beyond Earth, to settle space and to use the resulting resources to build a hopeful and prosperous future for humanity.”
- NSS Rationale – Why Our Mission is Important: Survival, Growth, Prosperity, and Curiosity
- NSS Principles – What Does NSS Stand For?
- NSS Beliefs – What Does NSS Support?
To better understand in a concrete fashion what NSS is all about, reading the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement may be helpful:
For U.S. tax purposes, NSS is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) educational, non-profit corporation. All donations to NSS are fully tax deductible (as allowed by your local laws). NSS’ grassroots political activities are governed by the 501(h) election, which permits a limited amount of activity aimed at influencing U.S. legislation.
NSS was originally founded as the National Space Institute in 1974 (based on the leadership of Wernher von Braun) and the L5 Society in 1975 (based on the ideas of Princeton physicist Gerard K. O’Neill). The two organizations merged to form NSS in 1987 (see merger proclamation).
Widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on space, NSS has chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space, and organizes the annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC)®.
The following articles from Ad Astra Magazine may be helpful in understanding NSS and how NSS fits in the context of the “Space Movement”:
- The Space Movement (Fall 2008)
- Space Settlement and the Environment (Winter 2009)
- How the Space Movement Began (Winter 2010)
- Super Deep Ecology: The Greening of Space (Summer 2010)
- The Ultimate Goal of NSS (Fall 2010)
- The Merger: The Creation of the National Space Society (Winter 2012)
- We Are Winning 2 (Fall 2015)
- Victory: The Vision of NSS May Soon Become an Official Objective of NASA (Summer 2016)