ProSpace, The Citizens’ Space Lobby, has always been a proponent of
opening the Space Frontier to all. And it is a basic tenet of our
philosophy that the best way to reach that goal is for the private sector
to become more involved in space activities.

This week a giant step forward has been taken in this regard. In a
precedent-setting event, a private company has leased the Mir Space
Station from the Russians. The new company, MirCorp, intends to use Mir
for a variety of commercial ventures, including space tourism,
manufacturing and promotional activities.

Soon we will see the first private citizens travel into space. While the
costs at first will be prohibitively high for the average person (they are
currently estimated to be $20 million or more per “astrotourist”), this
new venture will once and for all demonstrate to the world that there is a
real market for commercial space endeavors beyond communication
satellites. Once that market is opened, competition will follow and in
the (hopefully) not-too-distant future we will see commercial space travel
available to those of more modest means.

ProSpace congratulates MirCorp and especially Washington entrepreneur Walt
Anderson, whose vision and enthusiasm are the driving force behind this

Quite simply, the Russians, with the help of the American entrepreneurial
spirit, have opened the door to the next space era. We now call on the
U.S. government to take note of this historic undertaking and to do
everything it can to foster the development of similar efforts here in the
United States.

The best way to do that in the short term is to reduce the cost of space
transportation. The U.S. government can do that by providing incentives to
the space transportation industry. These incentives would cost far less
than the current NASA budget and would insure the rapid development of a
commercial space sector. Lowering the cost to orbit would not only permit
private citizens an opportunity to experience the space frontier, but also
significantly lower the cost of government exploration efforts.

In a free society the success of any endeavor should be measured in some
part by the number of citizens that participate. Space should be no
different. It is time we let our leaders know that true success in space
can only be achieved by opening the opportunities that exist there to us
all. And it is time for them to demonstrate true leadership by providing
an environment where that can be allowed to happen.

This is the central issue that will be discussed by ProSpace members with
government leaders during this year’s March Storm, which will take place
during the week of March 12-17, 2000. For more information on how you can
join us and make a real difference in the future of space policy in the
United States, visit ProSpace OnLine at or email us at


Ransom Wuller, President

Marc Schlather, Vice President

ProSpace America, Inc.