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About the Coalition

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Mission & Vision

The mission of the Coalition for Space Exploration is to ensure the United States remains the leader in space, science and technology by reinforcing the value and benefits of space exploration with the public and our nation’s leaders, and building lasting support for a long-term, sustainable, strategic direction for space exploration.

The Coalition welcomes new members and partners as we work to increase support for space exploration. Membership in the Coalition is open to companies and organizations that support the exploration of space – human and robotic – and are willing to commit funding or resources toward advocacy outreach.

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Members and Partners

The Coalition for Space Exploration is comprised of aerospace industry companies that are collaborating to advance the cause of space exploration. Listed below are the current participating members, contributors and partners:

2014 Chairman
Arthur (Bill) Beckman
Director, NASA Programs, The Boeing Company Washington, D.C. Operations
2014 Deputy Chair
Lon Rains
Director, Strategic Communications Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems



Partner Associations


Board of Advisors

The Coalition for Space Exploration relies on its diverse Board of Advisors to assist in its advocacy efforts. The Board of Advisors is comprised of former astronauts and space experts, educators and young professionals who provide valuable insight as well as outreach to various audiences. Current members include:

Penelope J. Boston, Ph.D.

Penelope J. Boston is a speleologist. She is associate director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute in Carlsbad, New Mexico, and founder and director of the Cave and Karst Studies Program at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. Among her research interests are geomicrobiology of caves and mines, extraterrestrial speleogenesis, and space exploration and astrobiology generally.

Leroy Chiao, Ph.D.

Astronaut Leroy Chiao, Ph.D. holds appointments in Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University, works in business and consulting, and is an active speaker. He has worked extensively in both government and commercial space programs, and is a part of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute and the Center for Space Medicine. He has extensive experience as a NASA astronaut and prior to that, as a research engineer. He is involved in entrepreneurial business ventures and works in the U.S., China, Japan and Russia. He is a fellow of the Explorers Club, and a member of the Committee of 100. Dr. Chiao also serves in various capacities to further space education.

Eileen Collins

Eileen M. Collins is a former astronaut and a retired U.S. Air Force colonel. She retired from the Air Force in Jan 2005 and from NASA in May 2006 after a 28-year distinguished career.  A former military instructor and test pilot, Collins was the first female pilot and first female commander of a space shuttle. She has logged more than 6,751 hours in 30 different types of aircraft and more than 872 hours in space as a veteran of four space flights.  Collins currently serves on several boards and advisory panels, is a professional speaker and an aerospace consultant.

Bob Crippen

A former astronaut who served as pilot of first space shuttle mission (STS-1), Bob was also the commander of three other space shuttle missions (STS-7, STS-41C, STS-41G). He was former director of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and former President of Thiokol Propulsion.

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Fred Gregory

Spending 31 years at NASA, Fred served as a research test pilot, astronaut and deputy administrator. He currently serves as the Managing Director, Aerospace and Defense Strategies at Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. He leads the Aerospace and Defense strategy practice offering business development strategy and consulting services to aerospace, defense and information technology companies.

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Gerry Griffin

Former NASA flight director for Apollo program, Gerry was also the director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston and former deputy director of both the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the Dryden Flight Research Center in California. He served as associate administrator for external relations and assistant administrator for legislative affairs at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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Wayne Hale

Wayne Hale is retired from NASA after 32 years. In his career he was the Space Shuttle Program Manager or Deputy for 5 years, a Space Shuttle Flight Director for 40 missions, and is currently a consultant for SAS and full-time grandpa.

Bernard A. Harris, Jr. M.D.

Former astronaut and first African American to conduct a spacewalk, Bernard has served as mission specialist (STS-55) and payload commander (STS-63). He is a former vice president/chief scientist of SPACEHAB, Inc. and vice president of business development for Space Media, Inc. He is currently president/CEO of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital accelerator for Medical Informatics and Technology, and founder of the Harris Foundation.

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Steve Hawley

A former astronaut, Steve has logged 770 hours in space during five spaceflights. He served as a mission specialist on STS-41D in 1984, STS-61C in 1986, STS-31 in 1990, STS-82 in 1997 and STS-93 in 1999. Hawley is currently a professor and associate chair of physics and astronomy at his alma mater, the University of Kansas.

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Henry R. Hertzfeld

Dr. Henry R. Hertzfeld is a research professor of space policy and international affairs at the Space Policy Institute, Center for International Science and Technology Policy, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University. He is also an adjunct professor of law. He is an expert in the economic, legal and policy issues of space and advanced technological development. Dr. Hertzfeld has served as a senior economist and policy analyst at both NASA and the National Science Foundation, and is a consultant to both U.S. and international agencies and organizations. He is author of many articles on the economic and legal issues concerning space and technology. Dr. Hertzfeld is a member of the Bar in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. He can be contacted at: or

Dr. Tom Jones

A veteran NASA astronaut, Tom is also a scientist, speaker, author and consultant. He holds a doctorate in planetary sciences, and, in more than eleven years with NASA, flew on four space shuttle missions. On his last flight, he led three spacewalks to install the centerpiece of the International Space Station, the American Destiny laboratory. Tom is a member of the NASA Advisory Council, serves on the board of the Association of Space Explorers, and is a regular on-air contributor for Fox News Channel’s spaceflight coverage.

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Nick Lampson

A former democratic Congressman, Nick represented the 22nd Congressional District of Texas for 2007-2009. During this time he was an avid supporter and representative of NASA and the Johnson Space Center. In 2007 he was able to secure more than $300 million in additional funding for NASA. He is a fierce proponent of human space exploration and civilian science. He also served as the ranking member on the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee and fought for the resources NASA needs to fulfill this country’s leadership role in space exploration and technology development.

Damaris Sarria Toepel

Is currently with the MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, MA. She is an Associate Staff member of the Engineering Analysis and Testing group supporting analysis, testing, and integration for various defense space programs. She holds a Master and Bachelor of Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Texas A&M University, respectively. Her dream is to one day be an astronaut, which is detailed in her blog, How I Am Becoming an Astronaut.

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Paul Spudis, Ph.D.

A senior staff scientist, Paul works at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. He was formerly with the Branch of Astrogeology, U. S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona and the Lunar and Planetary Institute. He is a geologist who received his education at Arizona State University and at Brown University. He is a planetary scientist specializing in research on the processes of impact and volcanism on the planets. Paul is the recipient of the 2006 Von Karman Lectureship in Astronautics, awarded by the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is the author or co-author of over 100 scientific papers and four books.

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Honorary Board Members

Jake Garn

The first member of Congress to fly in space (former U.S. Senator from Utah) is also the chairman of Global Space. Jake retired in 1993, from the United States Senate after three terms. He currently serves as Managing Director, Summit Ventures LLC, Salt Lake City and Washington, DC. He serves on the Boards of Morgan Stanley Funds (New York City), the National Air & Space Museum (Washington, DC), and United Space Alliance (Houston). He is also involved with numerous local private/public sector endeavors that include the Utah Regional Advisory Board of PacifiCorp, Franklin Covey, NuSkin Enterprises, Inc., and Intermountain Health Care.

Joe Kerwin

Selected as a scientist-astronaut by NASA in June 1965, Joe was one of the capsule communicators on Apollo 13, as well as a science pilot for Skylab 2. Following Skylab 2, he was in charge of the on-orbit branch of the astronaut office. He also served as the director of the Space and Life Sciences Lab at Johnson Space Center. After retiring from the Navy in 1987 he pursued careers with Lockheed Martin and subsequently worked for Wyle Labs retiring in 2004. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute.

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Gene Kranz

Former flight director for NASA through the Apollo program (including Apollo 11 and 13) as well as the Gemini and Skylab programs, Gene was the leader of the “Tiger Team” of NASA flight directors who guided the crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft safely back to Earth. He is also a former director of Mission Operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

James “Jim” Lovell Jr.

Former NASA astronaut and a former captain in the United States Navy, Jim is most famous as the commander of the Apollo 13 mission. He was also the command module pilot and navigator of Apollo 8, the first Apollo mission to enter lunar orbit. He is a recipient of the Congressional Space Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Today, Jim actively supports and encourages space missions and exploration. He is a retired board member of several companies and philanthropic institutions, including the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, and Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International Board.