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Washington, D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) congratulates Moon Express, Inc., on its U.S. government authorization for a planned robotic mission to the Moon in 2017. This is the first time that a private enterprise has been licensed by the U.S. Government to venture to the lunar surface.

Moon Express first filed the application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on April 8, 2016. The company then consulted extensively with the FAA, White House, State Department, NASA and other federal agencies before being granted the landmark license. The formal approval sets a precedent for the private sector to engage in peaceful space exploration in accordance with U.S. national obligations of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty.

Empowered by this government authorization, Moon Express will now be able to continue to make progress towards its ambitious goal of unlocking the resources of the Moon. As Moon Express CEO Bob Richards notes, “We are now free to set sail as explorers to Earth’s eighth continent, the Moon, seeking new knowledge and resources to expand Earth’s economic sphere for the benefit of all humanity.”

CSF President Eric Stallmer agrees. “We applaud the government for its decision on this critical  mission that will make possible humanity’s development of space resources. I am thrilled for CSF member, Moon Express, and anxiously await for this unprecedented milestone in space exploration.”
Moon Express is a privately funded space company co-founded in 2010 by space visionary Dr. Bob Richards, billionaire entrepreneur Naveen Jain, and technology guru Dr. Barney Pell. The organization aims to explore and develop lunar resources for the benefit of humanity. It partnered with NASA in 2014 under the Lunar CATALYST program. In October 2015, Moon Express announced a launch contract with Rocket Lab USA for 3 launches to the Moon beginning in 2017. In 2016, Moon Express announced an agreement with the US Air Force to utilize Cape Canaveral Launch Complexes 17 and 18 for the development of its spacecraft.

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is excited to announce the addition of three new associate members: Calspan Corporation, Firefly Space Systems, and TIP Technologies.

“The commercial spaceflight industry is developing and innovating at an ever-increasing pace,” said CSF president Eric Stallmer. “With the recent expansion of membership we have brought on board three different companies focusing on areas ranging from systems testing, small satellite launches, to quality assurance software. This diversity is a testament to the vast reach and influence of the rapidly growing commercial space sector.”

For more than 70 years, Calspan has been supporting initiatives that drive domestic and global innovation. They are a world-class independent engineering services and testing company that provides its customers with knowledgeable staff, unrivaled processes, unsurpassed quality, proven facilities and reliable equipment. Its high ethical standards and values-driven culture are two reasons why Calspan is consistently requested to support industry-leading innovators across the globe. The company provided aerodynamic analysis of space access vehicles with its transonic wind tunnel for several NASA vehicles including the Space Shuttle. Calspan’s space vehicle expertise includes Stage Separation & Proximity Assessment Testing, Jet Effects Assessment, and Performance, Stability, and Control.

Firefly Space Systems is a rapidly growing Newspace company that is helping to change the face of the global launch market. Founded in 2014, Firefly’s team of over 140 engineers will help to  revolutionize the launch market by providing a dedicated and low cost launch option for small satellite payloads, a package which does not exist on the market today despite the rapid growth of the small satellite segment. To date Firefly has won its first launch contract from NASA, has begun to build and test hardware, and is on track for its first orbital flight in Q1 of 2018. Firefly is headquartered in Cedar Park, Texas, a 30-45 minute drive from downtown Austin, Texas.

TIP Technologies was a pioneer and continues to be the recognized leader in quality assurance software. Since 1989 the company has been developing and marketing TIPQA™, an integrated suite of enterprise quality assurance applications. TIP Technologies focuses on serving the needs of companies in regulated discrete manufacturing industries. TIPQA™ is a flexible, yet complete solution for manufacturers who view quality as a competitive advantage. Use of the TIPQA™ solution has resulted in proven, documented success by countless companies that demand delivery of highly regulated, quality products. The TIPQA™ solution allows customers to quickly adapt to changing markets and quality requirements with ease. TIP Technologies utilizes a proven implementation methodology to help ensure timely success at a fair price. The company is committed to the development and support of feature-rich and easy-to-use quality assurance software and the effective delivery of implementation and support services.

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the FY 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill from Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) to increase the funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST) by $1 million. Building on efforts led by Representative Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Rep. Kilmer’s amendment improved on the good foundation established in the THUD Subcommittee’s draft bill, bringing FAA AST’s appropriations up to the full budget request. Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees’ FY 2017 THUD appropriations bills fully fund FAA AST at $19.8 million.

“The Commercial Spaceflight Federation applauds Congressman Kilmer, Congressman Bridenstine, and the members of the House Appropriations Committee for securing full funding for the Office of Commercial Space Transportation in their appropriations bill,” said CSF President Eric Stallmer. “Congressman Kilmer and Congressman Bridenstine are some of the most effective champions of pro-growth policies for the commercial space industry and we thank them for their continued leadership.”

The FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation plays a critical role in protecting public safety while also encouraging, facilitating, and promoting the U.S. commercial space transportation industry. Providing timely reviews and approvals of licenses and permits for the commercial space industry ensures public safety is protected while technological advances occur that benefit our economy and further our civil and national security space interests.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is the leading voice for the commercial spaceflight industry. Founded in 2006, CSF and its 70+ 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.

The Army Navy Club
901 17th Street NW
Washington D.C., 20006

One block from Farragut North Metro (Red Line) and one block from Farragut West Metro (Blue, Orange, and Silver Lines).

Map & Directions

Breakfast: Wednesday, June 15 at 8:00 AM

Coffee will be Served at 7:30

Deborah Lee James

Secretary of the Air Force

Bio Portrait

Deborah Lee James is the Secretary of the Air Force, Washington, D.C. She is the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force and is responsible for the affairs of the Department of the Air Force, including the organizing, training, equipping and providing for the welfare of its nearly 660,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve and civilian Airmen and their families. She also oversees the Air Force’s annual budget of more than $139 billion.

Ms. James has 30 years of senior homeland and national security experience in the federal government and the private sector. Prior to her current position, Ms. James held a variety of positions with SAIC to include Senior Vice President and Director of Homeland Security.

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If you have any questions or would like additional information about the forum, please contact Jane Kinney at jane@commercialspaceflight.org or (469) 879-9503.

Washington, DC – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation hosted its second in a series of Executive Leadership Forums, an open dialogue for policymakers, industry leaders and stakeholders to discuss key issues and opportunities in the commercial spaceflight industry.

Friday’s keynote speaker, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA) said that, “The commercial space industry is fueling growth today. It’s at the forefront of some of the most exciting new technologies that can create quality jobs and ignite a new passion in our kids for math and science.

Rep. Kilmer serves on the House Appropriations Committee and the Interior and Environment Subcommittee and Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee.

As a leading advocate in the House of Representatives, Rep. Kilmer supports policies that enhance continued space innovation and job creation. He was a coauthor of the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, signed into law by President Obama in November 2015, that promotes American space commerce and creates new opportunities for job creation and growth in the U.S. space economy.

CSF President Eric Stallmer expressed “deep gratitude for Representative Kilmer’s continued support on commercial space issues and for his leadership in securing funding to enhance innovation. We are grateful for the Congressman’s leadership on policies that will expand growth in the industry and preserve our nation’s competitive edge in space.

In the 21st century Space Race, I want to make sure that our nation stays ahead of the competition. That’s why I’ll continue to push for policies that support the growth of new commercial space ventures and ensure that breakthroughs happen on our shores, not someplace else,said Rep. Kilmer.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is the leading voice for the commercial spaceflight industry. Founded in 2006, CSF and its 70+ 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. 

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.

Washington, DC- The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) and its Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG) congratulates Blue Origin and all of their payload partners on the successful suborbital research flight it carried out on April 2nd. On this flight, Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle carried a number of university and private research institute scientific payloads, further solidifying a commercial market which provides researchers, technologists, and educators more frequent and affordable access to microgravity for research topics that can advance spaceflight and life on Earth.

Experiments on this first science mission explored the physics of particulate collisions and settling in weightlessness such as in the rings of Saturn and surfaces of asteroids. SARG members Dr. Dan Durda of the Southwest Research Institute and Professor Josh Colwell of the University of Central Florida led the experiment teams that produced payloads for this flight.

Dr. Steven Collicott, the Chair of SARG and a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University, states, “These two pathfinder experiments flown by Blue Origin during their flight test program clearly show that a very large change in how we think about suborbital spaceflight for research and education is appropriate.”  He adds, “Multiple CSF member companies are pursuing human-tended and automated suborbital research flights, and the next year or two are expected to be exciting times for us all as this new era begins.”

Since 2009, SARG members have advocated for wise regulatory choices, as well as broad scientific awareness of the emerging opportunities that the commercial spaceflight industry enables. In recent years, reusable vehicles from the private sector have served as reliable flight providers for a diverse range of fields, including atmospheric sciences, cellular biology, solar astronomy, physical sciences, human physiology, planetary science, and even K-12 education.

SARG and CSF leaders look forward to the establishment of frequent flight programs necessary to support regular, commercial suborbital science mission operations. Interested researchers and educators are invited to attend the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, June 2-4 in Broomfield, Colorado where these many new opportunities will be discussed.

Image courtesy of Blue Origin.

Washington, DC – 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. NanoRacks forged the commercial pathway to the International Space Station by being the first company to market its own hardware and services onboard the station. NanoRacks has grown to become an operating system for space utilization by providing the tools, the hardware, and the services to allow other companies, organizations, and governments to realize their own space plans on suborbital vehicles, inside the ISS, and beyond.

“The commercial spaceflight industry continues to thrive, as evidenced by CSF’s expanding membership. We are pleased to welcome DigitalGlobe and NanoRacks to CSF, two innovative companies that continue to break new ground in the economic development of low-Earth orbit (LEO),” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF.

In addition, two associate members will serve on the CSF Board of Directors for the upcoming year. Karin Nilsdotter will represent Spaceport Sweden, CSF’s first international board member, “which reflects the continued growth of the commercial space sector globally,” according to Stallmer. Spaceport Sweden, Europe’s gateway to space, initiated in 2007 with the mission to offer space adventures, supply launch infrastructure, R&D facilities and high-tech expertise to emerging commercial space operators.

Michael Paul, Penn State Lunar Lion Team – currently an associate member — will also serve on the CSF Board for the year. Penn State is developing the next generation workforce for the space industry through their development of Lunar Lion Moon landing system.

Since its inception in 2006, CSF’s membership has increased to more than 70 space sector innovators that are driving U.S. leadership in aerospace and space exploration. “We are inspired by our members’ commitment to democratizing space and grateful for their continued leadership and participation,” Stallmer said.

Washington, DC – 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.”

Rep. Bridenstine is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces Subcommittee. Bridenstine is a recognized leader on commercial space issues and is a member of the Space Power Caucus and the Missile Defense Caucus.

CSF President Eric Stallmer reflected on the tremendous progress in the commercial space industry over the past decade and predicted continued expansion, particularly this year. “The technological advancements and continued innovation the last year alone have significantly raised the bar and created incredible excitement for our entire industry. We are looking forward to more successes ahead,” said Stallmer.

“The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, along with its member companies, have been critical to the policy successes we’ve had over the past year. I am particularly grateful for their work educating Members of Congress, such as myself, on the importance of the commercial space industry,” Bridenstine said.

“We are grateful for Representative Bridenstine’s leadership on space-related issues. We look forward to continuing to work with him and other congressional champions on policies that will further enable the industry’s progress and enhance U.S. competitiveness in space,” Stallmer concluded.

CSF and its members thank AGI for its sponsorship of today’s Executive Leadership Forum. Visit the CSF website for additional information about upcoming Forums and events.

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, visit the CSF website or

contact Jane Kinney at jane@commercialspaceflight.org or at 469.879.9503.

World View, the commercial balloon spaceflight company, has named retired NASA astronaut Ron Garan as Chief Pilot for current robotic flight operations and upcoming human spaceflights. A graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a CSF Research and Education Affiliate, Garan will be responsible for the safety of all flight operations.

“It’s exciting to watch our industry grow, and the creation of high tech jobs further solidifies our nation’s pre-eminence in space,” said CSF President Eric Stallmer. “Under the guidance of such an experienced and acclaimed pilot as Ron Garan, World View is one step closer to bringing voyagers to the edge of space.”

World View flies balloons to near space carrying payloads that encompass a variety of purposes, including but not limited to climate modeling, First Response support, and astronomy research.

Garan will also be involved with World View’s future plans to fly passengers to the edge of space, where voyagers will experience the paradigm-shifting view of the curvature of Earth, something that only astronauts have had the privilege of seeing in person. “Ever since my first journey to space, I’ve felt a call to action to help spread a unique perspective of our home, this place we call Earth,” Garan said.

Garan’s extensive career includes time as an F-16 instructor pilot at the United States Air Force Fighter Weapons School and years serving as an experimental test pilot. Garan was selected to the astronaut corps as a pilot in July 2000. During his NASA career, Garan flew on both the U.S. Space Shuttle under the leadership of World View Director of Flight Operations, Mark Kelly, and with the Russians aboard the Soyuz spacecraft.

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 www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Jane Kinney at jane@commercialspaceflight.org or at (469) 879-9503.