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International Space Development Conference
May 25-29, 2000



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Call for Papers

General Call for Papers - Tucson 2000 ISDC

Special Session - National Space Society Challenge - Call for Papers

General Call for Papers

Papers are solicited for Tucson 2000 ISDC, the 19th Annual Conference of the National Space Society, to be held over Memorial Day weekend 2000. The audience will be 500-800 astronauts, activists, scientists & engineers, and intended space settlers, with programming divided into just two parallel tracks to intensify the attention paid to each topic.

The Technical track addresses the physical barriers, environments, and opportunities of the space frontier with these sessions:

Propulsion: status and future R&D on combined cycle or other airbreathing engines, configuration and operation of the spaceplane, prospects for reducing operating costs of conventional rocket-propelled vehicles, realistic projections of the price of a ticket to orbit and the associated means of propulsion, innovative ways to lift people to orbit, technologies for in-space propulsion, innovative orbits and transfers, momentum exchangers, demonstrations.

Materials and Processes: indigenous materials at possible settlement sites, robust, low-tech means of separation and utilitization of raw materials in the available environment, low-cost collections and concentration of energy, economics and technology of prospecting for and transporting materials, expecting the unexpected in space operations, demonstrations.

Explorations: results of current explorations, future explorations and their possible impact on opening the frontier, technical overviews of specific settlement proposals.

Permanent Habitat: summaries of system requirements and needs of humans, overall designs or designs of specific cycles or components, material losses and replenishment from the local environment or by import, reducing the workload needed to sustain the biosphere, medical technologies to allow people to thrive in space, low-cost spacesuit design, earth-based prototypes, demonstrations.

The Social/Political track covers present-day activism to surmount the non-technical barriers to space and examines possibilities for relations between people and groups in space with the following sessions:

Success stories: legislation and budgets -- past and upcoming, public awareness, education, winning the debate over whether people should be "allowed" to settle off-planet, overviews of other meetings & websites & the space community.

Economic and legal structure: property rights within the framework of treaties, the economics of trade in the space economy, prospects for exports to Earth, government within and between groups, "meanwhile back on Earth ..." -- likely progressions in Terran economies, investment and risk, international cooperation.

Social structure: "who are your compatriots?" -- the sorts of people likely to settle space, living life on the edge -- being productive and happy under the shadow of sudden death, the simplest rules and structures to allow people to get along in close quarters, Nasty Realities: cabin fever, piracy, failure, success.

Bold new proposals: open-ended session for those who have interesting ideas that either spring from radically different world views or tap an important subject that the conference organizers have not classified.

We recognize that some of the topics listed above might not be subjects of current research, in which case we intend this call for papers to spur activity in important, but neglected areas. The format of presentations is to be informal, with the intention of imparting knowledge and results and sparking interest in an educated but largely non-specialist audience.

Please send abstracts or summaries of proposed talks by snail or email to:

Tom Jaquish
Programming Chair

[Postal and email addresses removed from archival version]

Note: the conference will also have several ongoing poster presentations, including a settlement design, future timeline, constitution write-off, and personal remembrances, open to all registrants.

What are you doing for the next century? Join us!

Note: Papers for the Special Session should be submitted to Jeffrey Liss (see below), all others to Tom Jaquish (see above).

Special Session Call for Papers


Is an economically self-sufficient space settlement feasible on the Moon or Mars or other bodies in the solar system?

The National Space Society is challenging the aerospace, economic and university communities, and especially those who would reduce the role of Government, to answer that question. NSS recognizes that the directions and timetable of human space settlement may very well depend on whether such settlement can be commercially profitable, or at least economically self-sufficient. To date, space activists have assumed that sooner or later such favorable economics would exist, but no one has set forth any scenario that would rigorously confirm such an assumption.

Accordingly, NSS is challenging the aerospace, economic and university communities to test the proposition of economic viability by making it the featured subject of a Special Call for Papers for its International Space Development Conference, to be held in Tucson over Memorial Day weekend, May 26-29, 2000.

"If a space settlement on another world is going to pay for itself," said Jeffrey Liss, an NSS Vice President, "sooner or later it is going to have to generate products that people can use and will pay for. Even people who might purchase on speculation will ultimately need to find such end users. To date, no such products appear to have been identified that would support such a space settlement without continuing subsidies."

"There is no question that private enterprise will play a major role in the development of the high frontier," said Lawrence D. Roberts, Chair of NSS's Policy Committee. "The papers presented will help to clarify the issues vital to such development, help formulate international and domestic space policy and enhance the prospects for commercial success."

The National Space Society, founded in 1974, is an independent non-profit space advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. Its 20,000 members worldwide actively promote a spacefaring civilization. Information on NSS and space exploration is available at http://www.nss.org.


National Space Society invites abstracts for Papers at its 19th Annual INTERNATIONAL SPACE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE on the subject of: "An Economically Self-Sufficient Settlement on Another Body in the Solar System (e.g., the Moon, Mars, Asteroid or Comet)."

The Paper should describe a space settlement that is either: (A) a "closed" system that, after start-up, is physically self-sufficient and thus able to function indefinitely without imports which would have to be paid for; or (B) an "open" system that will require the import of resources and the means to generate income to pay for them.

Ideally the space settlement should generate enough revenue to pay off all start-up costs (including, e.g., launch vehicles, transportation costs, settlement materials), but a Paper will be acceptable if it describes a settlement that is marginally profitable on an annual basis after writing off all start-up costs.

Papers should include technical, regulatory, economic and commercial assumptions, the anticipated stages of development, with timetables, and reasonably detailed projected income and expense statements validating the self-sufficiency in the relevant time periods.

The abstracts must be in English, must not exceed two 8-1/2 x 11 inch pages (with 1 additional page of graphics if necessary), must summarize a Paper suitable for presentation at the Conference, May 26-29, 2000, in Tucson, AZ, and should estimate the length of the Paper. Those submitting accepted abstracts will be invited to send the complete Papers for selection and presentation. A Proceedings CD is anticipated. Three copies of each abstract must be submitted. Abstracts for such Papers are being accepted on a rolling basis through April 15, 2000. Mail to:

Abstracts, NSS 2000 ISDC
c/o Jeffrey Liss

[Postal and email addresses removed from archival version]

Early notification of intention to submit an abstract would be appreciated. E-mail inquiries should be sent to JGLJGL@######.com.

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