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.

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