NSS Legislative and Grassroots Action Center


2021 Virtual March Storm Event

Once again, NSS with the Alliance for Space Development is taking our critical advocacy to the virtual domain! Due to the continuing situation with COVID-19, along with recommendations from the CDC and the city of Washington DC, the Alliance for Space Development has decided to keep this year’s March Storm event in the same virtual format we used for our successful 2020 Virtual Advocacy Event.

The 2021 Virtual March Storm Sign-Up link.

Instead of the week-long blitz in previous March Storms, this year’s event will begin in Mid-March and extend to the first weeks of April. The Alliance for Space Development expects to schedule at least five or so meetings per week in that period starting on the week of March 15th. Over the next few weeks, the ASD will be scheduling these meetings and splitting volunteers into their teams.

Virtual training will be provided for all signups. Our training will include specifics on who we are, what we are advocating for, and how to participate in these virtual meetings. We make sure that everyone can contribute to our advocacy efforts regardless of prior experience. Don’t be afraid to sign up if it’s your first time advocating!

Please direct any questions or comments to Executive Coordinator Ian Burrell at [email protected].

 

Background information

The 2021 Virtual March Storm Event will be the premier advocacy event for pro-space enthusiasts and industry workers. Throughout the months of March and April, join fellow space enthusiasts from around the country to advocate for the 2021 Citizens’ Space Agenda. Developed by the Alliance for Space Development, our policy points were developed by our member organizations including the National Space Society, Space Frontier Foundation, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, and many others. This year, the Alliance will advocate for four policy points:

  1. Support planetary defense by fully funding NEOSM.
  2. Support commercial development of Low Earth Orbit by fully funding the LEO Commercialization Program.
  3. Support commercial development of the Lunar surface.
  4. Start developing and demonstrating Space Solar Power.

The first of these points is a continuation of our previous efforts, which have made great strides in the past two year. With NASA’s new focus on planetary defense from the public’s interest, the previously advocated NEOCAM mission has been moved to a new mission called NEOSM. This could likely be the year we see full funding of this mission and a success on our part. 

Continuing our efforts from previous years, we are again turning attention towards the development of Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Humans have inhabited LEO for 20 years since the creation of the International Space Station. The station does not have an infinite lifetime, and will be decommissioned sometime in the coming years. An alternative needs to be developed to continue NASA research, provide a global testbed, and develop commercial products in LEO. With several US companies developing LEO stations, we are asking for full funding for Commercial LEO Development. 

As the Trump administration and Bridenstine’s NASA comes to a close, we are unsure of the future of the Artemis program. The commercial efforts of the CLPS program and the newer Human Lander Systems program aim to make the lunar surface a place of human exploration and development for the coming decades. While NASA programs change every administration, commercially-focused developments and vehicles will allow  sustained access to the Moon. 

We are also continuing our efforts to promote Space Solar Power (SSP). SSP refers to the collection of the sun’s energy in the space environment, then beaming that energy for collection on the Earth’s surface. After a discussion with representatives from ASD member organizations, we believe our country’s capabilities with space access, solar power, and energy transfer have reached a level where we can begin looking at an SSP program. With increasingly cheaper access to orbit and a growing need for energy across the globe, this program could pave the way to U.S. dominance in LEO. Several agencies, companies, and international competitors have begun their own research into SSP programs. 

The final version of the 2021 Citizens’ Space Agenda is still being developed by the ASD and its member organizations. Stay tuned for updates!

 

 

 


Space Policy topics from the NSS Blog:

Space: The Final Frontier for Garbage?

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A New Gateway to Space

A New Gateway to Space

By Laura Brady, NSS Legal Fellow Krafft Ehricke once said, "If God wanted [hu]man[s] to become a spacefaring species, He would have given [hu]man[s] a Moon." The former NASA aeronautics engineer and innovator believed the Moon to be the jumping-off point for further...

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To Space—to Save the Earth

To Space—to Save the Earth

By Fisher Smith, NSS Legal Fellow Why should we spend the money, effort and time focusing on outer space exploration and development? After all, it’s a very expensive process to get resources, people and infrastructure into space. Wouldn’t that money be better spent...

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