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Joss Whedon

Space Adventures, Courtney Stadd, Joss Whedon to Receive Awards

Saturday 10 June 2006, by Webmaster

Foundation Recognizes Creator of Serenity Movie, Space Travel Firm and Former White House Staffer for Contributions to NewSpace Movement

Los Angeles, CA, June 8, 2006 - The Space Frontier Foundation announced it will be giving awards to several notable projects and individuals at its NewSpace 2006 conference this July in Las Vegas. The prestigious awards, which will be presented at a black tie gala on Friday July 21st include:

Vision to Reality - Space Adventures

Space Adventures is the only company in the world currently operating commercial orbital human spaceflight. Their mission statement includes the following: "Our goal is to open the space frontier to everyone, and promote private space exploration, in a series of successful, privately funded spaceflight missions." We couldn’t agree more. This award is only presented to firms that have successfully "pulled it off" when it comes to a pro-frontier project or business. Previous winners include SpaceHab, the Air Force’s Clementine mission to the Moon, NASA’s Deep Impact asteroid mission, Sea Launch and MirCorp.

"Space Adventures has literally gone where no travel agency has gone before," said Foundation Chairman Bob Werb. "They have put several paying customers in orbit, helping shatter the idea that space is a place where only government employees can go. If they keep it up, they may well get their customers back to the Moon before anyone else as well. We love that kind of thinking."

Vision of the Future - Serenity/Firefly

The Foundation is pleased to honor Joss Whedon for his work as writer and director of the film, Serenity (2005), based on his television series, Firefly. Whedon is the writer, director, executive producer and creator of several television series, most famously Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly. He was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay of Toy Story. The Foundation award, which has also been presented to the Producers of Star Trek - Deep Space Nine and Babylon 5, is given to a fictional program or movie which portrays a human future in space that has elements which are inspiring, possible, and at least attempts to work within the realm of physics.

"Serenity and Firefly are the first new hard science fiction film and TV show in years to acknowledge an economic system, and even give a nod to the reality of space, said Foundation Founder Rick Tumlinson. "From its portrayal of a civilization based on terraforming and free trade, to its multi-cultural aspects, it shows a possible future within which its characters go about the usual drama, comedy and skullduggery of any civilization anytime. Add to it the fact the space scenes take place in silence (the scientifically correct way things happen in space) and you have a winner in our books. We want the show back on the air!"

Pioneer of NewSpace - Courtney Stadd

Courtney Stadd, a longtime friend of the Foundation, is more recently known for heading the NASA Transition Team for President Bush. He was then appointed Chief of Staff and White House Liaison at NASA Headquarters. In July 2003, he left government service to return to the private sector as a management consultant for aerospace and high-tech related firms. He is a contributing author to the Foundation’s book, Return To The Moon. Courtney is being given the award not only for his long track record of promoting the concept of commercial space, but for his early work in the 1980s and 1990s creating entrepreneurial firms and working on commercial space projects, such as the first ever commercial launch range in Alaska, and the "StarStruck" launch system.

"Courtney was out there, hands on and in the trenches, when some of today’s NewSpace entrepreneurs were in high school," remarked Tumlinson. "He has put his own sweat into forming some of the earliest NewSpace companies and projects, and done a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes working for different Presidents to push a pro-Frontier agenda - including the current plans to return to the Moon and explore Mars."

Space Journalism - Alan Boyle (MSNBC)

Alan Boyle is truly a friend of the NewSpace industry, and his winning news style has earned him awards from the AAAS, the National Association of Science Writers and the CMU Cybersecurity Journalism Awards Program. He is the blogger behind "Cosmic Log" and appears on the MSNBC cable channel. For the past ten years, he’s been Science Editor extraordinaire for MSNBC.com. The award, which includes a $1000.00 check donated by Foundation Advocate and SpaceShot Inc. CEO Sam Dinkin, is for his ongoing focus on and understanding of the pro-Frontier movement and the NewSpace industry.

"This is the first Space Journalism award we are giving out at the Foundation, and Alan is a perfect choice," stated Foundation Executive Director Jeff Krukin. "Alan is fair, honest and direct in his reporting, offering no one favors, and yet reporting on NewSpace with an insider’s eye. He is one of the first of a new generation of space reporters who don’t see government space efforts as the only real game in town. We need more like him, and perhaps this new award will stimulate some journalism students out there to look into this exciting field."

The Foundation’s conference, NewSpace 2006, begins with a reception July 19th at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. It features three days of meetings, workshops and events aimed at the new generation of space firms whose goal is to open space to the people. From space tourism, to how and why we should return to the Moon to stay, the event is THE gathering place of NewSpace leaders.

The NewSpace Gala is Friday night, July 21st, and tickets can be purchased alone or as part of the overall conference. For information on tickets, room reservations, etc., visit the NewSpace 2006 page.