Commercial Spaceflight Federation Applauds President Trump s Signing of a Space Regulatory Reform Directive

Commercial spaceflight federation

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Applauds President Trump’s Signing of a Space Regulatory Reform Directive

Press Release From: Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Posted: Thursday, May 24, 2018

Today, President Trump signed Space Policy Directive 2 (SPD-2) to reorganize and reform the way the federal government regulates U.S. commercial space companies.В In summary, the directive mandates a major revision of the Department of Transportation’s regulatory regime for space launch and reentry, and calls for revision of the law underpinning commercial remote sensing, as well as elevation of the Office of Space Commerce to report directly to the Secretary of Commerce.В
“This is a tremendous accomplishment by this Administration on behalf of America’s commercial space industry,” said Dr. Alan Stern, board chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “We’ve been innovating here at home and competing around the world under the burden of regulations written decades ago, in some cases rooted in the Cold War.В Now we can foresee a more streamlined legal and administrative regime that will allow us to continue to help transform how Americans access and use space.”
The initiative codified in SPD-2 began formally in October 2017 with testimony from three senior executives from CSF member companies at the first National Space Council meeting at the Udvar-Hazy Museum, and was reviewed in draft form at February’s second meeting on Florida’s Space Coast.В Industry had been calling for reform of decades-old laws and rules for many years.В Much more work remains, including some actions by Congress, but now the President has signed off on a reform roadmap.
“When people watch an American spaceship soaring towards the heavens, or look at a satellite map on their cell phone, they don’t realize that a lot of paperwork and careful oversight from the federal government empowered a U.S. company to launch a rocket or collect and sell overhead imagery,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.В “Today’s signing will help make it easier for American entrepreneurs to get permission to invent new breakthroughs in space.В You might say the space frontier became a little more “open” to the American people today.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is the leading voice for the commercial spaceflight industry. Founded in 2006, CSF and its 80+ members are laying the foundation for a sustainable space economy and democratizing access to space for scientists, students, civilians, and businesses. CSF members are responsible for the creation of thousands of high-tech jobs driven by billions of dollars in investment. Through the promotion of technology innovation, CSF is guiding the expansion of Earth’s economic sphere, bolstering U.S. leadership in aerospace, and inspiring America’s next generation of engineers and explorers.

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PIZZA AND POLITICS: Commercial Spaceflight with Eric Stallmer President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, The Institute of Politics at Harvard University

The Institute of Politics at Harvard University

Join the HPU for pizza with Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, for a conversation about private journeys into space!

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation aims to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight and space safety. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.

Before joining CSF, Stallmer was Vice President of Government Relations at Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) in Washington, DC, where he oversaw, developed and implemented the company’s global legislative and regulatory strategy in a variety of areas including aerospace, defense, and civil industries. He is also the former President of the Space Transportation Association (STA), and has worked with Congress, NASA, and the Departments of Defense, Commerce, and Transportation.

Pizza will be served.

Please note: all Pizza and Politics events are strictly off the record.

Harvard Hall 202 America/New_York public

Join the HPU for pizza with Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, for a conversation about private journeys into space!

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation aims to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight and space safety. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.

Before joining CSF, Stallmer was Vice President of Government Relations at Analytical Graphics Inc. (AGI) in Washington, DC, where he oversaw, developed and implemented the company’s global legislative and regulatory strategy in a variety of areas including aerospace, defense, and civil industries. He is also the former President of the Space Transportation Association (STA), and has worked with Congress, NASA, and the Departments of Defense, Commerce, and Transportation.

Pizza will be served.

Please note: all Pizza and Politics events are strictly off the record.

Opinion, The FAA – s challenge to accommodate the commercial spaceflight boom

Commercial spaceflight federation

Virgin Galactic aircraft VSS Unity reaches space for the first time during its fourth powered flight on Dec. 2018 from Mojave Air and Space Port, Calif. | Matt Hartman/AP Photo


Updated: 11/08/2019 12:36 PM EST

America is enjoying the economic and social benefits of dramatic advances in two critical industries: air and space transportation.

Commercial passenger aviation continues to achieve improvements in safety and affordability, giving people more mobility than ever. We’re also seeing the emergence of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and, soon, urban air mobility or air taxis.

Commercial space transportation is also demonstrating the long-awaited potential of higher flight rates, lower operating costs, and diversity in capability—all of which are helping to expand the spaceflight industry.

But increased airspace activities means that the FAA’s ability to manage diverse users in a finite amount of airspace must dramatically change.

The FAA currently segregates large amounts of airspace, sometimes for long periods of time, for commercial space launch-and-recovery operations to ensure the safety of the flying public and personnel on the ground. Segregating too much airspace for too long could potentially lead to major aviation schedule disruptions and inefficient use of airspace.

The Air Line Pilots Association and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation are working together to improve the commercial aviation and space communities’ understanding of each other’s technologies, operations, and constraints; to explore potential solutions to conflicting demands for airspace; and we are advocating for optimized use of airspace around launch and reentry activities.

We, along with other aviation organizations like Airlines for America, National Business Aviation Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and other commercial space companies and airlines, have provided the FAA a strong consensus set of recommendations through the FAA-appointed Airspace Access Priorities Aviation Rulemaking Committee to begin the optimization of airspace use.

The FAA must invest now in developing new air traffic management tools for managing the airspace around space transportation activities. And safety is absolutely necessary but does not have to come at the cost of efficiency.

The status quo cannot continue and the private sector must help the FAA innovate to minimize any negative impacts of the growing commercial aviation and space industries. Ultimately, that will require some degree of integration of spaceflight into the national airspace system, while recognizing that spaceflight is different from aviation.

DePete is president of the Air Line Pilots Association. Stallmer is president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

As commercial spaceflight takes off, the aviation industry gets protective of airspace – The Verge

As commercial spaceflight takes off, the aviation industry gets protective of airspace

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For decades, airplanes and rockets have shared the skies in peace — but recently, satellite launches have started to irk the aviation industry. Whenever a rocket soars to space, it must pass through the airspace that thousands of pilots fly through every day, sometimes causing planes to reroute to avoid a spacecraft zooming into the sky. Now, the aviation industry wants to make some changes, ones that commercial space advocates say could fundamentally change the launch industry.

The cadence of orbital launches has grown in recent years, which means the airspace is being closed more frequently for spaceflight, causing more pilots to divert from their pre-approved routes and take less efficient paths to their destinations. And with the advent of reusable rockets, pilots now have to make way for spaceflight reentries, too — when a rocket comes back from space after launch and lands on the ground. Experts from both industries are trying to figure out how to coexist without too much disruption. But they’re at odds on how to move forward.

This topic was the subject of a Senate hearing last week. Representatives for the commercial space industry argued that the Federal Aviation Administration needs technology upgrades, which will allow air traffic controllers to incorporate real-time data from rocket launches into flight patterns and will only shut down the airspace for brief periods of time for each flight.

“The FAA uses decades-old analysis and air traffic control tools to segregate the airspace around a launch or reentry,” Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, which represents dozens of commercial spaceflight companies, said at the hearing. “Simply stated: we close too much airspace for too long without providing real-time information about the launch and reentry to the air traffic controllers.”

Air traffic controllers in Miami, Florida Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Getting new technology in the hands of the FAA is something that the aviation industry agrees with, too. But aviation lobbyists also want to take things a step further. Right now, commercial space is regulated under Title 51 in the United States Code, which doesn’t require the same regulatory and safety standards as aviation. But the aviation industry wants commercial space to be subjected to the same safety regulations as the airlines —under Title 49 — giving the FAA full authority over rocket licensing and safety as if they were airplanes.

“For the time that commercial space occupies the National Airspace System, we want them to be subject to the full authority of the Federal Aviation Administration to regulate them for safety and efficiency,” Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president for legislative and regulatory policy at Airlines for America, tells The Verge.

Commercial space advocates say that would be extremely limiting to an industry that has not been around as long as commercial aviation. And the rules and regulations that guide airplanes could conflict with how rockets are developed. “We’re not aviation. We’re commercial space transportation,” Jim Muncy, founder of PoliSpace, a space policy consulting agency, tells The Verge. “If you put us under aviation law, you’re basically saying we have to meet potentially conflicting sets of regulations and conflicting sets of goals.”

Heavy handed

The moment that seemingly sparked this battle for the skies was the inaugural launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, which caused planes near Florida to reroute for a big chunk of time in February of 2018. The flight, the very first test launch of the vehicle, had a federally approved launch window that lasted for two and a half hours, from 1:30PM ET to 4:00PM ET. The rocket could have taken off at any time within that stretch. The Falcon Heavy didn’t need the entire time to launch, though, as it takes just about 10 minutes or so to get to space. But SpaceX wound up using most of that time, as strong winds in the upper atmosphere kept delaying the takeoff to later in the window. So instead of launching right at 1:30PM ET, the rocket launched at 3:45PM ET.

Meanwhile, the FAA did not have the ability to reopen the airspace during the delays. So the air around the launch site remained restricted, while the Falcon Heavy sat on the ground. As a result, flights around the Orlando area suffered disruption. Up to 563 flights experienced delays that day, and planes had to fly an extra 34,841 nautical miles in total, according to the FAA. “Think of all those extra emissions,” says Pinkerton.

Elon Musk’s Roadster, which launched to space on the Falcon Heavy’s first flight. Image: SpaceX

It also didn’t help that the Falcon Heavy’s payload was SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s car. “If you actually look at the data for the week, weather impacts and impacts from the air traffic control system itself having problems made the total amount of delays worse every other day that week,” says Muncy. “But because it was Elon Musk launching his Roadster to Mars, which might have attracted some media attention, a whole lot of airlines said ‘What the eff?’ Why are we delaying our planes for this?’”

The Falcon Heavy flight was an anomaly in the launch world, though. Its airspace restrictions are larger since it’s a bigger rocket than most, and the launch window was longer too since the flight wasn’t tied to any specific orbit or mission. “That was a test launch,” argues Muncy. “They had a longer window for the launch than most of SpaceX’s launches.” Plus, most companies try to launch at the very beginning of a launch window if possible, unless there are weather concerns or technical problems.

And although launches are increasing in frequency, commercial spaceflight numbers still pale in comparison to the average amount of airline flights per day. It took more than a year for the Falcon Heavy to fly again. In 2018, a record total of 31 rockets launched to orbit from the United States, while 14 vehicles made reentries back to Earth. A handful more flew to suborbital space and back. That’s a small number next to the 15.5 million aviation flights that occurred in the US in 2018.

Times are changing

Launches are increasing, though, and as launch costs come down, the barrier to spaceflight will become lower than it has been in decades. “We’re anticipating rapid growth in commercial space,” says Pinkerton. “And that’s great. But with that, we can’t continue to have these types of impacts.”

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation agrees that changes do need to be made. Right now, the Air Force’s Joint Space Operations Group gets updates on launch times over the phone or by email and then sends that information, on paper, to the FAA, according to the agency. This can result in what happened during the first Falcon Heavy flight: planes have to divert over airspace that doesn’t need to be cleared. That’s why the FAA is working on a new technology called the Space Data Integrator, or SDI. It’s a software system that will gather data about launches and reentries, based on radar and sensor measurements. That information will then be sent to computers, which can calculate the amount of airspace area that needs to be closed to make sure airplanes are safe.

“When deployed, SDI will enable the FAA to safely reduce the amount of airspace that must be closed to other users and more quickly release airspace that is no longer a risk as a mission progresses,” Wayne Monteith, the FAA’s associate administrator for commercial space transportation, said during last week’s hearing.

Developing SDI into an effective tool that air traffic control operators know how to use is just one of numerous recommendations that CSF is proposing to help the aviation industry and commercial space industry work together peacefully. But it’s not just more frequent flights that has the aviation industry spooked. Another point of contention is that more commercial spaceports have been getting licenses to launch space-bound vehicles throughout the US. One such spaceport that’s scared the aviation crowd is a Colorado-based airport and spaceport five miles outside of the Denver International Airport. “Think about all of the traffic that goes over that part of the country, and it is significant,” says Pinkerton.

The irony of this spaceport, dubbed the Colorado Air and Space Port, is that no space vehicle can currently launch from the site. The facility only has a horizontal launch license, so your typical Falcon 9 rocket or Atlas V rocket, which takes off vertically, can’t fly out of the area. The only types of vehicles that could launch from this facility are those that take off like a plane, fly to suborbital space, and then land back on Earth like a traditional plane. Such vehicle concepts have been proposed for cutting down travel time to locations on the other side of the globe. But this type of spacecraft doesn’t exist yet, and it seems that no such vehicle is currently in development.

Still, the fact that the facility received a commercial spaceport license at all in 2018 did not sit well with the industry. “We do like to think ahead,” says Pinkerton, who says there are concerns of what could be developed for the spaceport someday. That’s why aviation groups like Airlines for America (A4A) and the Air Line Pilots Association are advocating for policy changes in addition to new FAA tools. “We don’t think it makes sense to license a spaceport without really understanding the potential for the operations that are coming out of there,” says Pinkerton.

The wild frontier

Things may come to a head in a few weeks as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and members of the Senate Commerce Committee try to pass a new bill called the Space Frontier Act, which aims to reform how commercial space launches are licensed.

The legislation is a resurrected version of a bill from last year, also called the Space Frontier Act, which passed in the Senate but failed in the House. The original bill’s failure can be blamed, in part, on a memo by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The memo argued that the legislation would endanger the national airspace by helping to increase the frequency of launches. DeFazio also made his animosity toward commercial human spaceflight known in later interviews. “I’m not going to inconvenience hundreds of thousands of people so some rich person who can pay $250,000 to be weightless for six minutes can have a fun day,” DeFazio told Politico. “They can go at 3 o’clock in the morning from a remote area.”

Now commercial space advocates are trying again with this second version of the Space Frontier Act. But A4A would like the bill to go further in ways that the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and others do not want, perhaps calling for new wording that would allow the FAA to regulate rocket launches similar to how the agency regulates airplanes. Right now, the FAA can only consider how a rocket launch would affect the safety of people and property when issuing a license. But the aviation industry wants the FAA to consider things like airspace efficiency and airspace safety. “Our real question for them is: can you give us an example of what that would mean?” says Muncy.

The commercial space industry has benefited from light regulation for decades now, but soon certain companies will start flying human tourists to suborbital space, whether it’s on Blue Origin’s New Shepard or Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity. The aviation industry thinks it’s only fair that the same safety standards should apply. “Those people and the crew that are on commercial space rockets are not subject to the same safety and efficiency standards that commercial aviation is,” says Pinkerton. “And we’re very proud of our safety records.”

But that is a non-starter for the rocket supporters. “We won’t accept that because we’re not commercial aviation,” says Muncy. “We are briefly users of the airspace for about a minute on the way up and about a minute and a half on the way down.” Whether those few moments are long enough to make a difference will be up to Congress.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation set new course in Seattle – GeekWire

We’re go for liftoff: Commercial Spaceflight Federation sets a new course in Seattle

by Alan Boyle on September 9, 2016 at 12:37 pm September 9, 2016 at 12:38 pm

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation set the stage for new leadership as well as new initiatives during its meeting in Seattle this week, says the industry group’s president.

CSF President Eric Stallmer told GeekWire that the meeting signaled the Emerald City’s rising status amid a rising wave of entrepreneurship focused on the space frontier.

“Seattle has really become a hub city for commercial space activity,” he said, “so it’s really a no-brainer for us to come here. … I foresee more companies developing and coming up to Seattle.”

Those companies will follow in the footsteps of ventures such as Blue Origin (founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos), Vulcan Aerospace (funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen), Planetary Resources (which counts Google execs and Virgin billionaire Richard Branson among its founding investors) and Spaceflight Industries (backed by Allen’s Vulcan Capital and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s Mithril Capital, among others).

Stallmer said Seattle’s investment base, plus the talent base fostered by such companies as Boeing, Microsoft and Amazon, added to the region’s natural appeal.

The Washington, D.C.-based Commercial Spaceflight Federation was founded a decade ago, in the wake of the privately funded flights of the SpaceShipOne rocket plane, to nurture up-and-comers in the commercial space industry. Its more than 70 members include Seattle space ventures as well as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Bigelow Aerospace, Moon Express and Sierra Nevada Corp.

During this week’s meeting, planetary scientist Alan Stern was chosen to take the helm as chairman, Stallmer said. Stern is a researcher at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo., as well as principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

Stern’s ties to the commercial space industry include roles as chief scientist for World View Enterprises, co-founder and CEO of Uwingu and co-founder of the CSF’s Suborbital Applications Researchers Group. Over the years, he has been a consultant to Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, Moon Express and other space ventures – and served as NASA’s associate administrator for science in 2007-2008.

Stern will take over the chairmanship from Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida.

Stallmer mentioned two initiatives that came to the fore during the Seattle meeting: One is a plan to pay tribute to Patti Grace Smith, who blazed a trail for private-sector spaceflight as the Federal Aviation Administration’s associate administrator for commercial space transportation between 1997 and 2008.

Smith passed away in June at the age of 68 after battling pancreatic cancer.

“She was just a great champion for us,” Stallmer said. The CSF plans to establish a scholarship program in her name, to fund education and travel for students interested in the commercial space industry, he said.

Another initiative involves coordination between commercial air traffic and the rising number of commercial space launches. As more spaceports ramp up for business, some air carriers have expressed concern about the potential for route changes and flight delays.

“It’s not going to let up,” Stallmer said of the rise in launches. “There are only going to be more. … We want to get ahead of this.”

Stallmer said the CSF plans to increase its contacts with airlines and aviation officials to address the challenge.

Love space and science? Sign up for our GeekWire Space & Science email newsletter for top headlines from Alan Boyle, GeekWire’s aerospace and science editor.

AAE s Collicott wins STEM award from Commercial Spaceflight Federation – News – College of Engineering – Purdue University

AAE’s Collicott wins STEM award from Commercial Spaceflight Federation – News – College of Engineering – Purdue University

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AAE’s Collicott wins STEM award from Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Michelle Lucas and Chet Kumar came to Steven Collicott with an idea in Fall 1996.

The students had learned NASA was starting a new program, Reduced Gravity Student Flight Opportunities, offering a chance for college students to design experiments for microgravity and fly in the plane with them. They wanted Collicott to be their advisor on the project.

Collicott wasn’t a hard sell: As a professor at Purdue, his research was in the low-gravity area, and he knew connecting with NASA would be a great networking opportunity. But it was only a side project, not a course, so that meant Collicott’s involvement, as well as all the work done by the four-member student team, was extra circular.

Then, Collicott figured it’d be a one-time thing.

But after the experiment was designed — it was “The Study of Fluid Sloshing in a Low-g Environment” — and after the students floated in low gravity aboard NASA’s KC-135A aircraft and completed their experiment, they all knew it wouldn’t be the last time.

“I saw that year that it was tremendous hands-on, team-based, real-world, no-answers-in-the-back-of-the-book, have-to-deliver type of engineering education. It was worth doing,” Collicott says. “The next year, NASA ran it again. So we had another team, and we just kept going at it.”

After a few years, the students got course credit. After a few more, Collicott figured it was time to propose a class. It was before the 2002-03 academic year when he walked into a faculty meeting, anticipating objections and prepared to counter any argument, to make the pitch.

“Everybody said ‘yes,’ and I didn’t know what to do,” says Collicott, laughing.

AAE418, Zero-Gravity Flight Experiment, was born.

It’s continued to grow, challenging students toward innovation by formulating ideas and building and testing them, and offering new opportunities at seemingly every turn. The course is offered every semester now, fall, spring, and summer.

This fall was Year No. 23 for Collicott. But he hasn’t forgotten the beginning.

Learning forward in the chair in his office in Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering, Collicott points to a framed photo on one wall. It’s him and those four students from 1996 — Lucas (AAE), Kumar (ME), Scott Schoenherr (AAE), and Jason Toschlog (physics) — posing with their experiment on the plane before the flights. He has kept in contact with all of them. But that’s not surprising for a professor known for infectious enthusiasm for his work, a passion for teaching, and desire to challenge students.

Recently, Collicott was recognized for all of that — his approach, his dedication, his expertise, his willingness to help students plot their course and achieve their dreams. He was chosen as the Patti Grace Smith STEM Award Winner by the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) in its inaugural Commercial Space Leadership Awards for his “leadership as an educator committed to scientific excellence and the expansion of knowledge for the next generation of commercial space pioneers,” a press release said.

“Through his dedication in expanding the flight opportunities program, he has continued to provide his students with amazing opportunities to become involved in the burgeoning commercial space industry,” says Alexandra Johnson, space policy analyst for CSF. “We are honored to present him with this award and are looking forward to continuing to see how he has inspired his students through his engagement with the microgravity community.”

Collicott is the chair of CSF’s Suborbital Applications Research Group, which has made significant headway in expanding funding for integral programs, the release said, and he has advocated for the importance of suborbital research.

He will receive the award at the Federal Aviation Administration’s Commercial Space Transportation Conference luncheon Feb. 13 in Washington, D.C. Also being honored: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine (Commercial Space Policy Award); SpaceX (Commercial Space Pioneer Award); the late Paul Allen (Commercial Space Business & Finance Award); and CNN reporter Rachel Crane (Excellence in Commercial Space Journalism Award). They also will be inducted into the new CSF Commercial Space Hall of Fame.

“It’s pretty cool that it’s coming from industry, people who hire our graduates,” Collicott says of the honor. “I’ve long said we have a lot of exciting opportunities in aero-astro at Purdue, and (AAE418) would be one of them.”

The course may have started because of NASA’s program — affectionately dubbed the “vomit comet” because of its tendency to produce such results in the humans on board the flights, which climb and descend to produce periods of weightlessness — but that’s not why it has continued.

The course has developed into a broader scope that gives students opportunities to make connections with the aerospace industry and the budding commercial suborbital industry.

In 2009, a group from the class had its first student payload on a suborbital rocket, and “we’ve just been doing a bunch ever since,” Collicott says. That includes one in the works: A team built and delivered a payload to verify a pressurized payload chamber stays pressurized during flight tests for EXOS Aerospace. Three others are being built for future launches of Blue Origin’s New Shepard.

For the past five years, teams from the class also have been selected by NASA for its Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Team (NExT). The 2019 group will test a tool they designed and built at Purdue later this spring in Houston.

The class also has spawned work that trickled into grade schools and high schools. In 2015, Collicott used his 418 class as a vehicle to help second graders at Cumberland Elementary School answer one question: Would a firefly light up in space? A group of students from AAE418 started working with the second graders to create an experiment mixing the relevant chemicals during the weightlessness of a spaceflight and observe the results. In 2017, “ZGGE,” the Zero-Gravity Glow Experiment, was a payload on a Blue Origin flight.

After officials from Blue Origin complimented the box used for that experiment, Collicott looked into possible production of more opportunities for K-12 students. The answer was producing the “Purdue School Launchbox,” an 8-inch-by-4-inch aluminum box that can work within the 1-pound payload limit for suborbital rockets.

“The class really has been a holding company for whatever different ideas in this topic that have come along that we’ve been able to involve students,” Collicott says. “It certainly started out as one specific thing, a very good thing, but it’s a basket for other opportunities.”

The wide variety of experiences is shared broadly, too.

The lure of zero gravity caught Alycia McEachen’s attention while she was in high school, thanks to Collicott and his class.

As he’s done for 23 years, Collicott had dispersed a group of students from AAE418 to a local school — in this case Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Ind. — as outreach for the class and AAE. McEachen heard the group speak as part of a “Project Lead The Way” course called “Aerospace Engineering Technology.” Over the course, McEachen developed a curiosity and interest in planes and rockets that turned into a passion. She points to two specific days in the course that led to her decision to pursue not only aerospace engineering but Purdue AAE: The information shared from that AAE418 team was one of them.

“The idea of being able to work on a project that would be tested in such an environment was immediately fascinating,” she says. “Furthermore, the possibility of being able to experience zero gravity in the process was something I thought I would only ever see in movies.”

McEachen, now a senior in AAE, currently is taking her second semester of AAE418. She’s already worked on a project that launched in the fall, and she’s working on a conformal fuel tank project now.

“I really enjoy the class,” she says. “It is nice to be working on something real that has value rather than hypothetical situations that end when I complete an assignment. It reminds me that my coursework has a purpose.”

That’s been a lesson learned by each of Collicott’s students who were involved in Zero-Gravity Flight Experiments, whether as an official course or during the “extra circular” period.

And they’ve seen the project-based approach pay off after college, too.

Bob Manning, a fluid analyst at Keystone Engineering Company, was team leader for the course’s NASA Flight Opportunities group in 2001, when he was only a freshman at Purdue. He eventually realized how rare and special AAE418 was.

Manning (BSAAE ’04, MSAAE ’06, PHDAAE ’17) says he didn’t know anything about fluid dynamics before the class but credits it for giving him an appreciation of the field “that I probably would have never gotten exposed to and very much enjoyed.”

The class easily fostered hands-on learning by asking students to solve open-ended engineering problems, Manning says. Students studied the theory, built hardware, wrote technical reports, and gave presentations to technical groups and the public, among other things.

Now in his position at Keystone Engineering, Manning says the fluid mechanics that AAE418 experiments test provide a basis to design fluid management devices for spacecraft.

“It was interesting because you did real research,” Manning says. “You’re always taught theory that was developed 20, 50, 100 years ago and not what’s being developed today. That’s unique for undergraduates.”

When Collicott receives the award in D.C., his thoughts likely will drift to Manning, McEachen, Kumar and Lucas, and all the other students whose lives he’s touched — and who have made an impact on his. Really, it’s the students who have been the motivation for the expansion of the course, for one, and also for his willingness to continue to make connections within the aerospace community.

“People ask, ‘How much time do you spend teaching and researching?’ I don’t know how to separate them,” Collicott says. “Lot of the things in the lab become homework problems and lecture topics. There are times I’ve been standing lecturing in a traditional class and at the board teaching the first semester most basic aerodynamics and suddenly realize I just figured out something for research. The way our students seem to get so many internships these days, the blurring between class and industry is increasing, which is good for them. They’re getting a lot of opportunities.”

Commercial Spaceflight Federation – Page 2 – Parabolic Arc

Tag: Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Praise for NASA’s Commercial Cargo Contract Awards

Commercial Spaceflight Federation

NASA announced three cargo contract awards to ensure robust and affordable transportation of critical supplies, scientific experiments and commercial payloads to and from the International Space Station (ISS) through at least 2024. NASA selected Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and SpaceX to continue and expand upon its successful public-private partnerships with American companies to obtain reliable cargo resupply services for the ISS.

FAA AST Responds to NTSB Recommendations in SpaceShipTwo Accident Report

The Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST) has submitted formal responses to the eight recommendations the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made in its report on the loss of SpaceShipTwo in October 2014.

All the responses are dated Oct. 30, 2015 — one day short of the one year anniversary of the crash. The responses are all identified as being from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Praises Passage of Space Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) – Last night the Senate passed the bi-partisan U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA, or H.R. 2262 as amended), which represents one of the most significant modernizations of commercial space policy and regulatory legislation since the original Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA) was enacted in 1984. CSF applauds Senators John Thune (R-SD), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Gary Peters (D-MI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) for their leadership and vision in authoring and co-sponsoring this much-needed and comprehensive legislation.

CSLA was last updated in 2004, creating a regulatory framework for commercial human spaceflight that resulted in a wave of investment, innovation, jobs and economic growth for the U.S. This new legislation sets the stage for the continued growth and expansion of the space transportation industry, while enabling rapid advances in safety for spaceflight participants. It also promotes investments in new commercial space applications, promising future spaceflight capabilities that will benefit all Americans.

“The members of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation commend Senators Thune, Nelson, Cruz, Peters, as well as all their cosponsors, for their leadership and perseverance in passing this critical piece of bipartisan legislation to ensure that America remains the leader in space,” CSF President Eric Stallmer said. “CSF looks forward to quick action on this bill in the House of Representatives when it returns next week.”

Battle Brewing Over Extending Commercial Spaceflight Learning Period

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A battle is brewing over whether to extend the learning period for the commercial spaceflight industry, with Congress needing to make a decision before October on when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be allowed to regulate an industry still struggling to get off the ground.

On one side are FAA officials, who believe they can begin to craft basic safety regulations based on more than 50 years of human spaceflight experience. Industry figures dispute this, saying they still don’t have enough experience with their varied vehicles to begin the process.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Gets New President

Space News reports that Eric Stallmer will replace outgoing Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Michael Lopez-Alegria in September.

Stallmer has served as vice president government affairs at Analytical Graphics since 2001. Previous to that position, Stallmer had served as president of the Space Transportation Association.

UPDATE: Here’s the Federation’s press release:

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that Eric Stallmer has been named as its next President. Stallmer will join CSF staff in September and will assume the position of President following the departure of Michael Lopez-Alegria.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Adds 3 Members

Washington, D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce the addition of three new organizations to its membership. BRPH, The Robert A. & Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust, and Swiss Space Systems’ S3 USA Holdings have each joined as Associate Members.

“The addition of these three members is a testament to the diversity, continued growth and development of the commercial spaceflight sector,” stated CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “Each new member represents a unique area within our industry; I look forward to having their expertise as a part of our membership.”

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Opposes Putting Commercial Space Vehicles on USML

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation submitted the following comments to the State Department regarding the interim Category XV rule of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

Via E-Mail ([email protected])

Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy
U.S. Department of State
PM/DDTC, SA-1, 12th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-0112

ATTN: Regulatory Change, USML Category XV
RIN: 1400–AD33

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is an industry association comprised of leading businesses and organizations working to make commercial spaceflight a reality. Our mission is to promote the development of commercial spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The CSF commends the Administration for its efforts on export control reform, especially in relation to Category XV, which will reinforce the competiveness of the U.S. satellite industry in the global market. The modernization of Category XV will help bolster the growth of the domestic commercial space sector while enhancing national security by allowing the government to focus its scarce resources on sensitive military technologies.

While we applaud the progress that has been made, there is still more work to be done. As commercial space companies continue to test and develop their vehicles, it is vital to have an export control regime that will not illegitimately inhibit the potential of this growing industry. Steps should be taken to further investigate how to modernize the USML to appropriately move these vehicles to the Commerce Control List (CCL). Again, the CSF commends the State Department on its export control reform efforts to date as well as its outreach to industry, and we hope to continue to work together to determine the appropriate controls for commercial spacecraft.

Although the State Department did not request comment on this matter in its May 13, 2014 rule, the CSF will submit further detailed comments to the State Department along with our submission to the Department of Commerce in response to their request for comments on the continued application of USML controls to commercial space launch vehicles and human spaceflight.

Michael Lopez-Alegria

BLAST OFF Event Set for Explorers Club in New York

BLAST OFF: The Future of Spaceflight
Thursday, May 1st at 7 p.m.
The Explorers Club
New York City

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the Explorers Club will be celebrating a night of commercial spaceflight, showcasing the technology and advancement made by companies in this exciting sector. The event will be attended by representatives from CSF’s membership including Blue Origin, Penn State’s Lunar Lion team, Masten Space Systems, Mojave, NASTAR, Orbital Outfitters, Planetary Resources, Sierra Nevada Space Systems, Space Adventures, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, World View Inc., and XCOR Aerospace. The event will provide a great opportunity to network with company representatives and learn more about the exciting progress the companies are making towards commercial space exploration.

Hosted at the historic headquarters of the Explorers Club, there will be ongoing presentations and photo opportunities throughout the evening, with a pre-event VIP reception hosted by veteran astronauts.

For more information, click here.

BLAST OFF: The Future of Spaceflight will be held on Thursday, May 1st beginning at 7:00pm ET.

The Explorers Club, 46 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit or contact Sirisha Bandla at [email protected] or at 202.347.1418.

About the Explorers Club

The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. Since its inception in 1904, the Club has served as a meeting point and unifying force for explorers and scientists worldwide. Based out of New York City, the Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club’s members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon. For more information please visit

CSF Adds Six New Members

Washington D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce the addition of six new member organizations. Bigelow Aerospace and Orbital Outfitters have joined as new Executive Members and Moon Express has moved up from Associate to Executive Membership. ASRC Federal, Spaceport Sweden, and World View Enterprises have joined as Associate Members.

“The CSF membership is representative of all facets of space exploration,” said CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “This diversity is indicative of a growing, thriving sector, with each company contributing to the overarching success of the commercial space exploration industry.”

CSF Praises Resurgence in U.S. Commercial Launch Industry

Washington D.C. (CSF PR) -– The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates SpaceX for the successful launch of their Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and for the deployment of the SES-8 telecommunications satellite in its intended geostationary orbit. This was the seventh consecutive launch of the Falcon 9 family, the second launch of the upgraded Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket, and SpaceX’s first communications satellite payload. SpaceX currently has over 40 missions on manifest representing many of the world’s largest commercial satellite companies, and intends to launch its next commercial satellite, Thaicom 6, later this month. Another U.S. launch provider – United Launch Alliance – has recently been engaged to launch Mexico’s Morelos-3 satellite. These missions herald the return of the commercial launch market to the United States.

“The U.S. launch industry has been increasingly winning launch contracts from American as well as international satellite companies in the last three years,” said CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “The renewed U.S. competitiveness in this multi-billion dollar market will continue to create high-tech jobs at home and will drive down the cost of access to space for technology and research applications all over the world.”

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ISPCS: Alan Ladwig Talk

Keynote Address
Alan Ladwig
Chief, To Orbit Productions

Back from lunch at #ISPCS with @SpaceArtAl talking about risks and rewards of commercial spaceflight industry. (Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust)

Alan Ladwig says he’s consulting with a new, as yet unannounced group that plans to do comm’l spaceflight participant training. (Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust)

#ISPCS – Alan Ladwig – is he holding back? No, Alan has been set free to tell us what he really thinks! (Wayne Hale ‏@waynehale )

CSF President to Appear on Reddit’s Ask Me Anything

Washington D.C. (CSF PR) — On October 7th starting at 2pm ET, in the spirit of World Space Week, CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria will answer questions in the popular interview series “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit, a site with 50 million visitors a month. AMA subjects have run the gamut from celebrities such as Woody Harrelson and Seth MacFarlane to political leaders such as President Obama. Community members are encouraged to submit any questions for Michael Lopez-Alegria regarding his career as an astronaut, his extensive time on the International Space Station, and his goals for the future of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Michael will begin answering questions live at 2pm ET at

Praise for Success of Cygnus Mission

Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation applauds the hard work of the teams at NASA, Orbital Sciences Corporation, Aerojet Rocketdyne and all of the many contractors involved on the success of their second COTS demonstration mission. On September 18, an Aerojet Rocketdyne dual AJ26 engine system successfully boosted Orbital’s Antares rocket carrying the Cygnus spacecraft. Today, Cygnus successfully berthed with the International Space Station and delivered approximately 1,300 lb. of cargo.

Planetary Resources Joins CSF Executive Membership

Washington D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is proud to announce that Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, has joined CSF’s Executive Membership. The company had been an Associate Member since January 2012. Planetary Resources’ President and Chief Engineer Chris Lewicki will be the newest addition to CSF’s Board of Directors.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Taking All-Astronaut Panel to Twitter

Washington D.C. (CSF PR) — Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Michael Lopez-Alegria will be moderating an all-astronaut panel on Wednesday, September 4th at 5PM CDT as part of a three-day long meeting of commercial space industry leaders in the Houston area. The Director of Aviation for the City of Houston, Mario Diaz, will be opening the panel with remarks on the progress of establishing Ellington Airport as a spaceport. The panel will take place at Space Center Houston and will be webcast live from The event is open to public in Houston and tweeted questions will be taken from space enthusiasts around the world.

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Space Tech Expo USA: The Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Commercial spaceflight federation

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is an industry association that represents more than 70 member companies. CSF serves as a leading voice for the commercial space sector by advocating for its members on the Hill and to the general public. In November 2015, CSF achieved a major victory with the passage of the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, which, among other provisions, extends the indemnification regime, increases the industry learning period, and provides a legal basis for extraterrestrial resource extraction. CSF worked closely with Congress and with member companies to promote industry interests and bring about the passage of the comprehensive, bipartisan bill.

Recently, Eric Stallmer, President of CSF, testified at the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. The focus of the hearing was The Commercial Space Launch Industry: Small-Satellite Opportunities and Challenges. Millions of dollars have been invested in the commercial space industry and it is important to ensure that government policies do not interfere with this burgeoning sector. CSF and its members are laying the foundation for a sustainable space economy and democratizing access to space for scientists, students, civilians and businesses.

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation has six committees – made up of member company representatives and CSF staff – that are working to address the most pressing issues facing the industry today and in the future. The current committees are Export Control Reform, Space Commerce, Funding, Spaceports, Regulatory and Standards. The committees are currently working on a variety of problems, including spaceport FAA reauthorization; ITAR regulations of different countries; industry consensus standards; and pushing to increase budgets of the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), commercial crew, commercial cargo and flight opportunities programs.

2016 has been exciting year for CSF members and the industry at large. Bigelow’s BEAM module was attached to the ISS in April and will test the concept of expandable environments in space. NanoRacks continues to deploy small satellites from the ISS using its CubeSat Deployer with great success. Blue Origin has launched and landed the same capsule three times, and SpaceX successfully landed its first stage on a barge at sea. Reusability technology is vital to the future of spaceflight, and CSF is proud that its members are leading the way in this area. These are just a few of the accomplishments that CSF members have achieved this year, and the organization looks forward to future successes.

CSF also works to bridge the gap between industry and academia with its Research and Education Affiliates (REM) program. Participants in the REM program have the opportunity to take part in webinars that focus on different aspects of the industry as well as network with fellow REM members and industry experts.

In February, CSF had its inaugural Executive Leadership Forum with Congressman Jim Bridenstine at the Army and Navy Club in Washington, DC. CSF plans to have these forums 8-10 times a year to give its members the chance to interact with legislators and other industry stakeholders. Rep. Bridenstine has recently introduced his American Space Renaissance Act. This bill present reforms for military, civil and commercial space, with suggestions ranging from a five-year term for the NASA Administrator to transferring space situational awareness responsibilities from the DoD to the FAA. CSF will continue to work with Rep. Bridenstine and other members of Congress to make parts of this bill a reality.

CSF has recently added several new members including DigitalGlobe, NanoRacks and AECOM. DigitalGlobe is a leading global provider of high-resolution Earth-imagery products and services sourced from its own advanced satellite constellation and third-party providers. NanoRacks forged the commercial pathway to the International Space Station by being the first company to market its own hardware and services on board the station. AECOM is built to deliver a better world: it designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations worldwide. CSF is proud to have these companies as the newest associate members.

CSF staff have attended Space Tech Expo on several occasions and are happy to be attending again this year. On May 24, CSF President Eric Stallmer will speak on a panel titled Launch Market – Reusability, Technologies and Near-Term Strategies.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation are supporting Space Tech Expo 2016.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation – Parabolic Arc

Tag: Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Next-gen Suborbital Space Research and Education Conference to be held March 2-4

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to keynote conference

SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 27, 2020 (NSRC PR) — Since its debut in 2010, the Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) has rapidly become the largest gathering of suborbital researchers and educators in the world, providing an invaluable forum for information, discussion, coordination and networking in this community.

NSRC-2020, to be held at the Omni Interlocken hotel in Broomfield, Colorado, March 2-4, will bring together vehicle providers, spaceport operators, government officials, industry leaders and hundreds of researchers and educators to engage in a variety of presentations, panels, workshops and networking opportunities. The NSRC conference series is jointly led by Southwest Research Institute and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

Mixed Reaction to House’s NASA Authorization Bill

There have been sharply differing reaction from industry and advocacy groups to the House draft of a NASA authorization act that largely rejects the Trump Administration’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2024 and establish a permanent presence there. Instead, a moon landing would be used as an interim step to sending astronauts to Mars. Commercial participation in these missions would be limited.

Below are statements by the Aerospace Industries Association, Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and National Space Society.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has also weighed in here.

The Federation Announces Commercial Space Leadership Awards

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is excited to announce the winners of the 2020 Commercial Space Leadership Awards in recognition of leading innovators, investors, educators, journalists, and policymakers for their significant contributions to the success of the commercial space industry. The United States is undergoing a renaissance in space, and the commercial industry plays a pivotal role in this major transformation.

SWRI, CSF Announce Suborbital Space Researchers, Educators Conference

BROOMFIELD, Colo., October 31, 2019 (NSRC PR) — As a new generation of space vehicles prepares the groundwork for space research and education, the 2020 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) will bring together hundreds of suborbital researchers, educators, flight providers, spaceports and government officials in Broomfield, Colorado, March 2-4, 2020.

NASA to Discuss Planetary Protection Review’s Findings and Recommendations

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will host a media teleconference at 3:30 p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 18, to discuss recommendations presented by the Planetary Protection Independent Review Board (PPIRB), established in June 2019 by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate.

Audio of the teleconference will be streamed live on NASA’s website.

NewSpace vs. Big Rocket: FAA’s Overhaul of Launch Regs Splits Industry

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

According to who you talk to, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) proposed streamlining of launch and re-entry regulations is either a prudent step forward that provides much-needed flexibility while protecting public safety or a a confusing mess that’s a massive step backward.

Taber MacCallum is New CSF Chairman

DENVER (CSF PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) announced today that Taber MacCallum, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of World View Enterprises, will serve as the new Chairman of the Board of CSF.

George Whitesides, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company, and Karina Drees, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Mojave Air and Space Port, will continue in their current roles as Vice Chairman and Treasurer, respectively.

A Closer Look at National Space Council User’s Advisory Group Nominees

So, I finally had a chance to go through folks that Vice President Mike Pence nominated to serve on the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group.

Below is my attempt to break down the 29 nominees by category. It’s far from perfect because several of them could easily be listed under multiple categories. But, here’s my best shot at it.

NASA, Air Force & Others Weigh in on SpaceX Falcon 9 Accident

Falcon 9 explodes on the launch pad. (Credit:

“We remain confident in our commercial partners and firmly stand behind the successful 21st century launch complex that NASA, other federal agencies, and U.S. commercial companies are building on Florida’s Space Coast. Today’s incident — while it was not a NASA launch — is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but our partners learn from each success and setback.

CSF Welcomes AECOM

WASHINGTON, DC – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation continues to grow its membership, announcing today the addition of a new associate member, AECOM.

AECOM is built to deliver a better world; they are the world’s #1-ranked engineering design firm by revenue, according to Engineering News-Record magazine. They design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations worldwide. As a fully integrated firm, they connect knowledge and experience across their global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings, ports, roads, airports, spaceports and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, their work is transformative, differentiated and vital. AECOM has offices throughout the United States and their clients include NASA, USAF, DoD, FAA, SpaceX, Space Florida, New Mexico Spaceport Authority, and thousands of others.

“CSF welcomes the addition of AECOM to its membership. Infrastructure is extremely important to the future success of spaceports and adding AECOM’s expert voice to the conversation will be a great asset,” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF.

CSF is excited to bring on such a prominent engineering services firm that has been integral in the development of spaceflight complexes such as Kennedy Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and SpaceX’s various facilities.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.

The Federation Adds New Members

WASHINGTON, DC (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation continues to grow its membership, announcing today the addition of new associate members — DigitalGlobe and NanoRacks.

DigitalGlobe is a leading global provider of high-resolution Earth-imagery products and services sourced from its own advanced satellite constellation and third-party providers.

Coalition Issues Plan for Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space

WASHINGTON (AIAA PR) — A coalition of space organizations today released a joint white paper, “Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space,” at a National Press Club Newsmaker news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

CSF on Bridenstine’s Commercial Space Efforts: We Like Them!

WASHINGTON, DC (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation today hosted its first Executive Leadership Forum, an open dialogue for policymakers, industry leaders and other key stakeholders to discuss key issues and opportunities in the commercial spaceflight industry.

Today’s keynote speaker, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), told the group that, “The commercial space industry holds enormous potential both as a tool of economic growth and reliable provider of services to government. The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act is a tremendous milestone that will enable this industry to innovate and expand access to space. We must not let the momentum established by this law dissipate; Congress, together with stakeholders, need to continue proactively addressing issues that could serve as further impediments to commercial space.”

NASA Budget Reactions

Some reactions to NASA’s $19 billion FY 2017 budget request from the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Washington D.C. – Today the Obama administration submitted its FY2017 budget request to Congress. The request includes proposed funding and guidance for all NASA programs and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST).

“I commend the Administration for a budget that provides robust funding for NASA and FAA AST,” said CSF president Eric Stallmer. “We applaud the proposals that would enable and utilize private space capabilities to help build a sustainable American expansion into the Solar System from the edge of space through low-Earth orbit to the Moon and beyond. It builds on the strong foundation established by the FY16 Omnibus and Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act. We look forward to working with the Congress to fully fund a number of the proposals in this request, while also championing efforts to shore up areas that need additional input and support.”

Within the NASA portfolio, the request continues the bipartisan commitment to the United States achieving safe, reliable, and independent human access to the International Space Station (ISS) from American soil by 2017. The request provides funding for NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo programs to ensure that the nation has multiple U.S.-based transportation capabilities to and from the ISS, ending NASA’s dependence on Russia, and expanding ISS scientific research and technology development activities through 2024. The request includes funds for the development of a deep space habitat, which should utilize a public-private partnership to ensure NASA meets the Congressionally mandated 2018 deadline for development of a prototype habitation module. Finally, the request includes $15 million for the Flight Opportunities program to enable affordable testing of new technologies necessary for future exploration plans, and provides critical training opportunities needed to sustain a skilled workforce.

The budget request includes $19.8 million, an increase of $2 million over FY16, for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, to ensure that it has the resources necessary to process and approve commercial space launch and reentry licenses, experimental permits, and spaceport licenses in a timely manner, which will help reduce the possibility of delayed launches, slowed innovation, and a diminution in the United States competitive edge. In addition, the request includes $3 million for Commercial Space Transportation Safety to better integrate commercial launch and reentry “traffic” with the National Airspace System.

Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration notes the release of the Administration’s FY 2017 NASA budget request. The Coalition had hoped the request would reflect the priorities laid out for NASA in the FY16 Omnibus, for which there was broad support. Unfortunately this was not the case. The Coalition is disappointed with the proposed reduction in funding below the FY16 Omnibus for NASA’s exploration programs.

Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, the executive director of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, issued the following statement:

“While we appreciate the funding proposed for the International Space Station and its transportation systems, space science programs including the James Webb Space Telescope, and proposed deep space habitat, we are deeply concerned about the Administration’s proposed cut to NASA’s human exploration development programs. This proposed budget falls well short of the investment needed to support NASA’s exploration missions, and would have detrimental impacts on cornerstone, game-changing programs such as the super-heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), and the Orion spacecraft – the first spacecraft designed to reach multiple destinations in the human exploration of deep space.

The greatest challenge to these programs is not technical, but budget stability, plain and simple. At this critical stage, it is important to ensure that the significant progress already made on the development of the SLS and Orion spacecraft continues, so as to meet important milestones including the first integrated launch in 2018 and crewed missions beginning in 2021. Fully developing these systems will enable the United States to realize its aspirations for human exploration, planetary missions, international collaboration, and scientific discovery.

Year after year, Congress, with bipartisan leadership in the House and Senate, has led the way in ensuring these important exploration capabilities remain on track, including in the recently-enacted FY 2016 Omnibus. Once again, we look to bipartisan efforts in the Congress to ensure that these programs receive the funding necessary to continue progress, enabling the nation’s return to deep space and ensuring America’s role as the global leader in human space exploration.”

Stu Witt Retires From Mojave Spaceport in Style

Stu Witt (center) stands with Congressman Kevin McCarthy, X Prize Chairman Peter Diamandis, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides and others in front of a replica of SpaceShipOne. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

They came to Mojave from near and far — from the dusty desert communities of Lancaster, Boron and Ridgecrest to the snow swept tundra of Sweden — to send Stu Witt off in style. One of the most powerful men in Washington, D.C. played hooky from Congress to wish his friend a happy retirement.

Hundreds of people gathered on Jan. 8 to mark the end of Witt’s nearly 14-year term as CEO and general manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port. The event featured a reception and a long parade of friends and colleagues singing his praises.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Internships

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is seeking candidates for internships who can start immediately in our Washington, D.C. office. You will work with the Federation team to analyze developments for Congressional staff and NASA personnel, attend closed-doors meetings with industry executives, research policy positions and discuss competing alternatives, interact with our 30+ member companies, and learn how an entrepreneurial nonprofit operates. The successful candidate will be energetic, able to thrive in a fast-paced environment, personable, and passionate about space exploration.

While the schedule is flexible, all candidates must be able to commit at least 15 hours/week. Eligible candidates include undergraduates, graduate students, and recent graduates. Excellent research, writing, and organizational skills are a must. To apply, please send a short cover letter and resume in an email to Associate Director Matthew Isakowitz at [email protected] with the subject heading “DC internship.”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Located two blocks from the White House, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation ( is an industry group with over 30 company members ranging from SpaceX and Virgin Galactic to United Launch Alliance and Bigelow Aerospace. The organization is led by a CEO-level Board of Directors, and promotes the development of commercial spaceflight through policy and advocacy work with Congress, the White House, and NASA, as well as regulatory and technical work with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA-AST) and outreach to national and international media.

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