March Storm 2020 Congressional Visits

Due to the evolving situation with COVID-19, along with recommendations from the CDC and the city of Washington DC, the Alliance for Space Development has decided to postpone this year’s March Storm event (which had been scheduled for March 15-19 in Washington DC). We are assessing our options for advocacy events this year as we continue monitoring the development. 

Please direct any questions or comments to Executive Coordinator Ian Burrell at ian.burrell@allianceforspacedevelopment.org.

 

Background information

March Storm is the premiere citizen-run space advocacy event of the year. From March 15th – 19th, join fellow space enthusiasts from around the country to advocate for the 2020 Citizens’ Space Agenda. Developed by the Alliance for Space Development, our policy points were developed by our member organizations including the National Space Society, Space Frontier Foundation, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, and many others. This year, the Alliance will advocate for three policy points:

  1. Support planetary defense by funding NASA’s NEOSM mission.
  2. Start developing and demonstrating Space Solar Power (SSP).
  3. Support development of low-Earth-orbit (LEO) with full funding for the Commercial LEO Program.

The first of these points are a continuation of our previous efforts, which have made great strides in the past year. With NASA’s new focus on planetary defense from the public’s interest, the previously advocated NEOCAM mission has been moved to a new mission called NEOSM. This could likely be the year we see full funding of this mission and a success on our part. Similar to last year, we will also continue our campaign to make space development and settlement part of these agencies’ missions.

This year we are beginning a new campaign on Space Solar Power (SSP). SSP refers to the collection of the sun’s energy in the space environment, then beaming that energy for collection on the Earth’s surface. After a discussion with representatives from ASD member organizations, we believe our country’s capabilities with space access, solar power, and energy transfer have reached a level where we can begin looking at an SSP program. With increasingly cheaper access to orbit and a growing need for energy across the globe, this program could pave the way to U.S. dominance in LEO. Several agencies, companies, and international competitors have begun their own research into SSP programs.

Continuing our efforts from previous years, we are again turning attention towards the development of Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Humans have inhabited LEO for 20 years since the creation of the International Space Station. The station does not have an infinite lifetime, and will be decommissioned sometime in the coming years. An alternative needs to be developed to continue NASA research, provide a global testbed, and develop commercial products in LEO. With several US companies developing LEO stations, we are asking for full funding for Commercial LEO Development.  

Please review a copy of the ASD 2020 Objectives, the same points we will be advocating for in March.

(More information about past legislative blitzes.)

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