Starting in 2016, Space Settlement Design Competitions®️ (SSDC) have had a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Space Society (NSS), the premier global space advocacy organization promoting the concept and technologies of human settlement in space. NSS is the result of a merger in 1987 of the National Space Institute (founded by Wernher von Braun) and the L5 Society (founded by Gerard O’Neill). NSS is incorporated in the District of Columbia as a 501(c)(3) organization per the U.S. IRS tax code.
As a Project of NSS, SSDCs have authority to operate as a non-profit tax-exempt entity in all U.S. states and territories. The two organizations conduct mutual fund-raising projects, and NSS headquarters conducts business-to-business Invoice transactions on behalf of SSDCs. NSS provides visibility for SSDCs at its conferences and events, including the International Space Development Conference (ISDC) and Space Settlement Summit. SSDC events have been featured in the award-winning NSS magazine, Ad Astra.
The two organizations are working on strengthening this mutually beneficial partnership, including more presentations by SSDC student participants at NSS events, and NSS is considering sponsorship of new events for students based on SSDC concepts and Intellectual Property. Indeed, NSS is actively looking at making SSDC activities available to college students—the experience is different for college students than high school students; a college aerospace engineering student in an SSDC event said “until now, I had no idea this Human Engineering stuff is so important”.
Anyone interested in keeping informed on current commercial activities in space is encouraged to join NSS. The NSS website offers the best on-line resource of books and papers related to human settlement in space, including the peer-reviewed Space Settlement Journal. Join NSS and learn the benefits that NSS membership offers by going to nss.org or space.nss.org .