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In recognition of SpaceX's groundbreaking year in 2010, with the successful launch of two Falcon 9 rockets, and the safe return of its Dragon capsule, the National Space Society (NSS) is today announcing that Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will be the recipient of the NSS's 2011 Pioneer Award for Business Entrepreneur. This award will be presented at the NSS's annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC), which will be held from May 18-May 22, 2011 in Huntsville, Alabama. Adam Harris, SpaceX's Vice President for Government Affairs, will accept the award on behalf of SpaceX.
NSS Executive Director, Gary Barnhard states, "There are certain milestones and breakthroughs that accompany any successful venture, including those in the space industry. SpaceX has clearly demonstrated the engineering skill and tenacity to be a serious contender in the evolving commercial cargo and crew launch vehicle market."
SpaceX recently announced its proposal to build a new Falcon Heavy lift launch vehicle, with a projected launch date sometime in late 2013 or in 2014. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk stated that SpaceX is working towards cost reduction in manufacturing while making the rockets lighter and stronger with improved engine thrust and reliability. Even larger vehicles, with greater lifting capabilities are envisioned by SpaceX and others to meet the requirements of NASA's Heavy Lift program. Says Rick Zucker, NSS Executive Vice President, "Expanding our launch capabilities to include heavy lift options, such as the one which has now been proposed by SpaceX, could make a significant contribution to space exploration beyond Low Earth Orbit."
Mark Hopkins, Chair of the NSS Executive Committee, notes that, "The high cost of launch has always hampered the exploration and development of space. With its Falcon Heavy vehicle, SpaceX seeks to achieve a major reduction in launch costs. Such a reduction could enable entirely new categories of space industry, such as commercial space stations and privately funded activities on the Moon in cooperation with a government funded lunar program."
Information about the Falcon Heavy is at http://www.spacex.com/falcon_heavy.php
Information on the ISDC is at: www.isdc2011.org
About National Space Society
The National Space Society is an independent, international, educational, grassroots, non-profit and non-partisan organization devoted to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. It supports the exploration and development of space for the benefit of humanity. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen's voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and more than 50 chapters worldwide. The Society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space.
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Gary Pearce Barnhard
National Space Society
(202) 429-1600 NSS HQ
(301) 229-8012 Alternate
(301) 509-0848 Cell
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