The NewSpace industry’s evolving economy is redefining the way we explore the universe and our purpose in it. As the need for more technologies and other space exploration innovations multiplies, several organizations have cropped up in the past decade to help support the various aspects of the growing industry.
Among them, the clear leaders has been the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) which has acted as an essential voice in the sector’s development. Established in 2006, the organization currently has over 80 significant NewSpace company members, including companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. Its mission is to create a foundation for a more sustainable space economy, while democratizing access for space scientists, students, businesses and civilians.
The federation’s members have already spearheaded advancements in the industry, likely creating thousands of tech jobs through billions in investments. Promoting technological innovation, the group helps to expand Earth’s own economic progress, reinforcing the United States’ leadership in aerospace and inspiring America’s next generation of engineers and explorers.
The stated purpose of the CSF is to promote and develop commercial human spaceflight so that we may pursue the highest levels of safety and share the best practices and expert knowledge throughout the industry.
In total, there are seven committees that help support the efforts of the organization. They include: export control, government funding, regulatory, industry standards, space commerce, spaceports and smallsats.
The regulatory committee, for instance, focuses on how to collaborate, research and prepare information and present it to a governmental agency. Members work with experts and representatives from different government agencies like the Departments of State and Commerce to promote the modernization of Export Control policy and procedures related to the space sector, advancing innovations and technology that will help us better reach and explore the cosmos. As the committees oversee policy initiatives that aid the economic development of space exploration, part of their goal is to support American businesses that are competitive leaders in the international market. The committee then works to pass legislation that will improve space research and industry, while also encouraging lawmakers to leave the exploration methods to the engineers and scientists at NASA.
Another essential committee, the Space Commerce Committee, acts as a liaison for legislative agencies. When challenges affect space commerce, like a legal framework for mining resources from asteroids, the members create a report which agencies can use to prepare and make a case for the appropriate legislation.
CSF’s most recent report highlights the benefits of their efforts. They significantly used their voice to engage major players in the industry including Space Systems Loral and Space Camp and they have collaborated with the House and Senate to progress legislation promoted by all stakeholders as necessary and important for both government and commercial space programs and initiatives. In 2016-2017, CSF’s influence led them to testify before the House of Representative sub-committee on Science, Space and Technology about the longevity of the International Space Station and how our industry has a profound and positive impact on it.
Commercial Spaceflight Awards
While the United States undergoes a revolution in space exploration, honoring the commercial sector is an influential way to enhance support for the sector’s evolution.
Each year the organization makes the effort to honor achievements within the industry. This past year, awards were once again given for STEM, Excellence in Commercial Space Journalism, Commercial Space Pioneer, Commercial Space Policy, Commercial Space Integration and Commercial Space Business & Finance.
Taber MacCallum, the CSF Chairman, says that these awards highlight contributions and accomplishments that create successful commercial space enterprises. As organizations like CSF continue to support scientific research and progresses, we will expand our exploration of space and the innovations humans are truly capable of.