Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, CSF, is pleased to welcome three new innovative companies as Associate members : Astranis, Tesseract, and Rocket Lab.
“The continually expanding membership and commitment to CSF’s goals is evidence of the unprecedented level of growth in the commercial space industry ,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “We are excited to have these three new organizations join our membership, and we’re looking forward to celebrating their unique and important contributions to our industry.”
Astranis is a satellite company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The company’s CEO, John Gedmark, is a former CSF Executive Director. Astranis plans on selling its low-cost geostationary satellites to telecommunication companies, helping them connect remote parts of the world. Read more about Astranis here.
Tesseract is a provider of cost effective propulsion components and systems for in-space applications spanning commercial Earth-orbiting satellites, robotic exploration missions, and human spaceflight. Tesseract designs and builds spacecraft propulsion hardware. The company supplies off the shelf thrusters, which may be purchased individually, integrated into multi-thruster modules, or incorporated into a complete turn-key propulsion system as required. Read more about Tesseract here.
Rocket Lab develops lightweight, cost-effective commercial rocket launch services. Rocket Lab’s mission is to provide critical innovation to commercial space by providing frequent launch opportunities to low Earth orbit. Since its creation in 2006 by Peter Beck, Rocket Lab has delivered a range of complete rocket systems and technologies for fast and affordable payload deployment. Read more about Rocket Lab here.
Washington D.C. – 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. 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.
“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. 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. Industry had been calling for reform of decades-old laws and rules for many years. 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. “Today’s signing will help make it easier for American entrepreneurs to get permission to invent new breakthroughs in space. You might say the space frontier became a little more “open” to the American people today.
Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is excited to announce two new members have joined at the Associate Level: Deep Space Industries and Parabilis Space Technologies.
“Our newest members represent the diversity of the rapidly growing U.S. commercial space industry,” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “CSF’s growing membership is a testament to the benefits of combining American ingenuity and private sector capital to enable new innovations and expand the United States’ leadership in space. We are excited to add these two new and unique voices to our team.”
Deep Space Industries is a space transportation company developing and building technology that dramatically lowers the cost of access to deep space, according to CEO, Bill Miller. Deep Space Industries is developing a unique, low-cost spacecraft capable of conducting deep space science, exploration and commercial missions from GEO to anywhere in the inner solar system, at a fraction of today’s cost. A key component of the strategy is the development of high performance, launch safe rocket engines, which are already being sold to satellite manufacturers around the world.
Parabilis designs, develops, tests, and flies small spacecraft solutions and affordable propulsion systems (including thrusters and small launch vehicle stages). Parabilis has offices in San Marcos, CA and a propulsion test facility in Lakeside, CA.
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.
Yesterday Blue Origin successfully launched and landed its New Shepard launch vehicle and Crew Capsule on Mission 8, which moves Blue Origin another step closer to flying humans to space for commercial purposes. In addition, Mission 8 included a second round of commercial payloads sent into space suborbitally aboard New Shepard for in-space science and technology demonstrations, including payloads for NASA, various commercial firms, and international customers.
“On behalf of the entire Commercial Spaceflight Federation, I want to congratulate Blue Origin for this latest successful suborbital test mission of New Shepard,” said Dr. Alan Stern, board chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “The era of commercial suborbital human spaceflight grows nearer and nearer with each successful flight milestone like this.”
Washington D.C. – Tonight the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bi-partisan American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017 (H.R. 2809 as amended), one of the most visionary pieces of space policy legislation since President Reagan signed the original Commercial Space Launch Act in 1984.
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation applauds House Science, Space & Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson, Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin, Ranking Member Ami Bera, Congressmen Kilmer and Perlmutter, and also the bill’s co-author and original co-sponsor, former Oklahoma Congressman and newly-sworn-in NASA Administrator James Bridenstine, for their hard work in getting this bill to the House floor. We also appreciate the continuing leadership that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi have shown in their support for America’s commercial space industry. Finally, we appreciate the efforts of Chairman Mac Thornberry of the House Armed Services and Chairman Bud Shuster of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees in helping this bill come to a vote today.
H.R. 2809 makes three vital changes to the legal underpinnings of U.S. commercial space activity. First, it elevates the Office of Space Commerce from NOAA to the Office of the Secretary, makes its Director an Assistant Secretary, and authorizes its funding. Second, it completely rewrites the law that guides the Commerce Department in regulating the rapidly-growing U.S. commercial remote sensing industry to advance both U.S. economic leadership and important national security and foreign policy interests, and gives that job to this Office. Last but most importantly, it tasks the Office with creating a presumed-approval regime for non-traditional space activities, with only the necessary powers to ensure these activities’ compliance with international obligations of the United States under United Nations space treaties.
“By passing HR 2809, the House of Representatives helped open the space frontier to American free enterprise,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “We look forward to seeing the Senate’s companion legislation, and to supporting both Chambers reach agreement on these important issues during this Congress.”
Washington, DC – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) congratulates Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) on his confirmation as Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
“We applaud the Senate’s confirmation of Jim Bridenstine to lead NASA. NASA needs dedicated and inspired leadership, and Representative Bridenstine is an outstanding choice to provide precisely that,” said Dr. Alan Stern, board chair of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “Congratulations to Representative Bridenstine on this appointment to lead NASA: We look forward to working with you to advance America’s civil and commercial spaceflight enterprises. We also thank Acting Administrator Lightfoot for his leadership since January of 2017.“
“Since he was elected to Congress, Representative Bridenstine has been a constant champion and advocate for the space industry, being keenly aware of the benefits it provides the nation.” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF. “His knowledge and passion for space, science, and technology will serve him well in the position of Administrator.”
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity successfully completed its first supersonic, rocket-powered test flight at Mojave Air and Space Port. VSS Unity is the first vehicle to be built from start to finish by The Spaceship Company. The successful test flight marks a significant milestone for both Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company, as VSS Unity transitions into the final stages of its flight test program.
“VSS Unity’s rocket-powered test flight is a major accomplishment for Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company,” said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates Virgin Galactic as VSS Unity joins a growing number of commercial space vehicles that will provide cost-effective and frequent access to suborbital space for humans and research payloads.”
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) congratulates Bigelow Aerospace on the announcement of Bigelow Space Operations (BSO), a new commercial space company which will manage and operate the standalone space stations developed by Bigelow Aerospace. BSO has also announced a partner agreement with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to fly payloads to the International Space Station.
“This exciting new endeavor is exemplary of the commercial space industry’s promotion of economic growth and job creation.”said Eric Stallmer, President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. “With the creation of BSO, and their partnership with fellow CSF member CASIS, we look forward to the many new mission opportunities that will be created for academic, commercial, government, and private customers.”
The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is encouraged by the expansion of commercial partnerships in the FY19 budget request, which establishes a strong role for the innovative approaches necessary to advance America’s economic and exploration leadership in space. Although there are many positive aspects in this budget that we like, we have serious questions and reservations about the proposals to reorganize Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) under the Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) and to end government funding for the International Space Station (ISS) in 2025. We look forward to continued work with the Administration and Congress to answer those questions, and on passing a budget that fully leverages the commercial capabilities to continue America’s leadership in space.
The commercial space industry is achieving innovative breakthroughs daily, which are challenging conventional wisdom and long-held beliefs. To ensure the Administration’s human and scientific exploration goals are achieved at lower costs, accelerated timelines, and with the best value for the taxpayer, every appropriate facet of the NASA budget should be open to commercial competition, including the Lunar Exploration Campaign.