Lobbying

March Storm agenda: COTS, NEOs, and SSP

The grassroots space lobbying group ProSpace has released its agenda for March Storm 2008, which starts with training this weekend. The agenda focuses on three keys areas: Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS), detection of near Earth objects (NEOs), and space solar power (SSP). Its biggest requests are in COTS: ProSpace is asking for two more funded COTS awards, and that “any additional funds” go to COTS rather than Ares 1 and Orion. ProSpace is also asking for “sufficient funds” in 2009 and beyond for resupply services to “maximize the use of ISS”.

For NEOs, ProSpace is asking for support for proposed legislation, the “NEO Detection, Impact Response and Collision Mitigation Planning Act” (not to be confused with the “NEO Preparedness Act”, HR 4917, that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher introduced in December) that would direct the National Science and Technology Council to study NEO search and impact mitigation efforts. On the SSP front, ProSpace is asking members of Congress to sign a letter for John Young, Undersecretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, asking him to follow up on the NSSO’s SSP study last year by developing a road map for future SSP work.

2 comments to March Storm agenda: COTS, NEOs, and SSP

  • It’s good that someone is focusing on the one solution that could really close the gap (and close it in a useful way). I remember reading a comment in one of the recent Griffin speeches that it is “simply unseemly, for the United States…to be reduced to purchasing services like this”. I think the only unseemly thing is that in spite of all the work over the past 50 years, that the only entity selling tickets to space is a former communist space program. There’s nothing unseemly about NASA having to buy tickets for transportation, it’s just unseemly that they haven’t really done very much over their existence to make sure that there are robust and affordable US providers that they could be buying those services from.

    ~Jon

  • Al Fansome

    Jonathan,

    It is unseemly that NASA is sending more money to Putin’s Russia than it is sending to U.S. entrepreneurs via COTS.

    I do want to note the Space Review article by Alex Kirk with regards to the SEA Blitz last month, for which Jeff started a thread here:

    http://www.spacepolitics.com/2008/03/04/blitzing-specifics/#comments

    KIRK: The lesson to be learned from this is simple: whenever possible, space advocates should make their pitches in support of NASA or other space exploration activity very targeted and explicit. A letter or a call to an office that simply states general support for space is certainly preferable to no contact at all, but if an individual or a group can call for funding for a specific aspect of space exploration, or come out in support of or opposition to a specific bill, their impact will be magnified substantially.

    It sounds like Mr. Kirk is saying that the Blitz (and the SEA) could learn something from ProSpace. The March Storm agenda is “very targeted and specific.”

    FWIW,

    - Al

    “Politics is not rocket science, which is why rocket scientists do not understand politics.”

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