Image: Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos speaks with Buzz Aldrin, Moonwalker and an NSS Governor, at the NSS annual International Space Development Conference. Credit: Keith Zacharski.

Funds Will Be Dedicated to NSS STEM Outreach and Education

The National Space Society is pleased to announce a $1 million grant from Blue Origin’s Club for the Future. This generous donation will allow us to greatly expand our STEM and space career outreach and education efforts.

“Our recent auction for the first seat on New Shepard resulted in a donation of $28 million to our nonprofit foundation, Club for the Future,” said Bob Smith, Blue Origin CEO. “This donation is enabling Club for the Future to rapidly expand its reach by partnering with 19 organizations to develop and inspire the next generation of space professionals. Our generation will build the road to space and these efforts will ensure the next generation is ready to go even further.”

NSS is the longest-serving organization supporting human spaceflight and the migration of our species into space. This is very much in keeping with Jeff Bezos’s vision of preserving the Earth by utilizing the vast resources of space, and NSS is thrilled to be working with Mr. Bezos and Blue Origin.

“NSS has developed and partnered in programs that steer students toward STEM curricula and careers for decades by getting them involved in designing places where people can live in space,” said Anita Gale, NSS CEO. “This is our way of preserving the vision of Gerard O’Neill, from whom the larger vision of the settlement of space originated. This incredibly generous grant from Blue Origin will allow us to expand our educational and career development programs to countless young people and to introduce them to the ideas of both Mr. Bezos and Dr. O’Neill.” During her long and impressive career, Gale worked on many key NASA programs, including the space shuttle.

Michelle Hanlon, President of NSS and Co-Director of the Center for Air and Space Law at the University of Mississippi, said, “All NSS members recognize that space is for everyone, but few of us have the ability to create this future in such a profound way. Mr. Bezos’s generous gift extends to all humanity in spirit, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring a new generation into space-related endeavors.” She continued, “Blue Origin brings the term ‘visionary’ to a whole new level—this is an investment in the future of our species.”

NSS is a membership-based nonprofit organization founded to promote the human exploration and settlement of space. NSS’s key goal is to utilize the vast resources of space, such as space solar power, for the betterment of all life on Earth and, ultimately, beyond. NSS has sponsored youth-oriented space technology design competitions globally and works to educate and inspire the public about the benefits of a robust human presence in space.

“This is a watershed moment for NSS,” said Rod Pyle, Editor-in-Chief of the organization’s premier publication “Ad Astra.” “There is a reason our magazine has a section entitled ‘NextGen’—we know that the future of humanity rests in the hands of upcoming generations, and this gift from Blue Origin will enhance our outreach to youth seeking relevant and rewarding careers in the new space age. It could not come at a better time—we are all inspired by the upcoming first crewed flight of Blue Origin’s New Shepard spacecraft. Thanks to Mr. Bezos and his large, driven team!”

Founded by Blue Origin in 2019, Club for the Future is a nonprofit foundation whose mission is to inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM and to help invent the future of life in space. The Club and its collaborators are doing this through Postcards to Space, space-focused curriculum, and access to space on Blue Origin’s rockets. For more information visit ClubforFuture.org.

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