TO THE STARS!
If you’ve got a yen for space travel, but you’ve been too busy to sign up for astronaut training, here are some space programs you can join now. There are many organizations that you can join—no experience necessary—and let your enthusiasm make a difference in the growing movement to open the space frontier. The following is a quick guide to a few of them… and may the Force be with you!
National Space Society
With over 20,000 members worldwide, the National Space Society’s vision is for people living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth. NSS members promote change in social, technical, economic, and political conditions to advance the day when people will live and work in space. With over 75 chapters, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved on the local level. NSS hosts the annual International Space Development Conference, now in its 18th year. The next one is in Tucson, Arizona, over Memorial Day weekend. They also organize cool activities like trips to space shuttle launches and eclipse cruises and publish a bi-monthly magazine called Ad Astra. Regular annual membership is $35 and $20 for students.
The Planetary Society is your connection to the exploration of the solar system and the search for life in the Universe. Co-founded in 1980 by Carl Sagan, the Planetary Society is the largest space interest group on the planet, with more than 100,000 members in over 140 countries. Kind of like the “National Geographic” of outer space. Although The Society doesn’t have chapters like NSS, they do have a Volunteer Network. Some of their current projects include developing technology for Mars exploration, such as rovers. And they are they’re sponsoring a competition with JPL for the first student-designed Mars experiment, slated for a mission to be launched in 2001. Memberships start at $15 for students and $25 general.
ProSpace — The Citizen’s Space Lobby
ProSpace is a nonprofit citizens advocacy group (501-c4) with the mission “to open the space frontier for ALL people as rapidly as possible.” ProSpace believes that only by taking direct and personal responsibility, as citizens of this great country, will our personal visions come to life. Get involved now to create the opportunity to live, work and play in space. For the past six years, ProSpace has led “March Storm,” bringing to Washington private citizens like you and me to speak directly to the leaders of our nation. March Storm has directly influenced space legislation and policy in Congress, and as a March Storm “veteran” myself, I can say it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. You can get on the ProSpace-Alert Mailing list (email) for free, but you’ll have to pay your own way to Washington.
The Mars Society
Founded in 1998, the goal of the Mars Society is to further the exploration and settlement of the Red Planet. There are local chapters throughout the world, as well as special project “task forces” to leverage members on an international basis. Some of the groups include Mars Civilization & Culture Group and the Mars Arctic Research Station Task Force.
The Mars Society
P.O. Box 273
Indian Hills, CO 80454
Space Frontier Society
Welcome to the Revolution! The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. Their goals include protecting the Earth’s fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space. Their purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System. The Foundation sponsors several events, such as the annual Space Frontier Conference, the Lunar Development Conference, and regional Space Enterprise Symposiums. Projects include Cheap Access to Space (CATS), Keep Mir Alive, The Watch (asteroid research & tracking), and Space Solar Power, as well as their quarterly publication, SpaceFront. Sign up now for a special membership price of $25 (regular $60).
The Space Frontier Foundation
8391 Beverly Blvd. #493
Los Angeles, CA 90048