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Citizens for Space Exploration

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Washington, D.C., Trip
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About Us
The mission of Citizens for Space Exploration is to promote awareness of the benefits of America's Human Space Exploration Program and support for NASA.

Citizens is a multi-state organization comprised of U.S. taxpayers who support America's investment in human space exploration. We are private citizens, small business owners, students, teachers, space and non-space business representatives, and county and municipal officials.
Citizens (formerly known as National Keep It Sold) was formed in 1992 through the efforts of the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (TX), the Cocoa Beach Area Chamber of Commerce (FL), the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce (AL), and the Partners for Stennis (MS and LA). In 2005, Citizens formed an alliance partnership with the Coalition for Space Exploration, and in 2014, a partnership with the Colorado Citizens for Space Exploration began, as well.


Representatives from Citizens for Space Exploration travel to Washington, D.C., annually to meet with members and staff to discuss the benefits of human space exploration. These benefits include:

  • Improving the overall quality of life for our citizens and the world in areas such as medical research and healthcare.
  • Advancing America's scientific, technological, security and economic interests.
  • Inspiring a new generation of explorers to pursue technical careers based on science, math, computers and engineering.
  • Promoting U.S. leadership and competitiveness while providing opportunities for international cooperation.
The 2016 CSE congressional visits from May 24 - 26 were a success and helped to advance support for human space exploration and demonstrate a large, grassroots constituency for space exploration. The 25th annual trip included 89 travelers, representing 23 states, who conducted a record 407 congressional office visits (up from the 376 in 2015). The diverse group of travelers included elected officials, 38 university students majoring in engineering or related technical fields of study, industry representatives and community leaders. The Congressional Reception was well attended by over 50 staffers, and included remarks from four members of Congress.

Jimmy Spence (far left), marketing manager for the Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, is shown with the students who participated in the 25th annual trip to Washington, D.C., by the Citizens for Space Exploration. The students are majoring in engineering or related technical fields and have a vested interest in the future of human space exploration. Spence spent months on the massive organizational efforts required for the annual trip. 

One of the CSE teams visits with Rep. Mike Coffman from Colorado to garner support for human space exploration.

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership is home to the CSE-Texas delegation. BAHEP President Bob Mitchell stressed the importance of the 407 congressional visits that were scheduled in advance of the trip. He stated, "We don’t just drop off a folder of information. Each team sits down and talks with either the senator or representative or members of his or her staff. We educate, discuss our concerns and then answer any questions that they have. This one-on-one approach has proven to be very effective over the past 25 years.”  
Based on their congressional meetings, the teams provided valuable feedback which included: 
  • Strong bipartisan support for NASA. There was more understanding of NASA’s space exploration programs than in previous years and support for Mars as the ultimate destination.
  • There was strong interest in lunar related missions as the next step to Mars.
  • There was strong support for NASA to stay the course on the human space programs, especially into the new administration.
  • There is increase awareness overall of the elements of NASA’s exploration programs.
  • Less evidence of tension between the commercial and government elements of human space exploration and growing recognition of mutual benefits derived from those programs.
  • Recognition of the benefits resulting from the space program including areas of STEM education, work force development and general contributions to local economies across the country (including small businesses).
  • Response to our platform of ISS, Orion, SLS, and Commercial Crew/Cargo was very positive.
  • The budget is always a challenge.
  • NASA and industry will have to continuously make the case for the value of spaceflight.
  • Many staffers asked to be contacted when a specific vote or action was needed.
The Citizens for Space Exploration hosted a Congressional Reception for members of Congress and their staff on Wednesday, May 25th. Four members attended, and approximately 50 staff from both congressional offices and committees attended. Congressional attendees were: Mo Brooks (R-AL-5), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), Robert Aderholt (R-AL-4) and Mike Coffman (R-CO-6).

Several travelers were instrumental to the success of this year’s trip to Washington. They included Jimmy Spence, BAHEP aerospace marketing manager, and C.A. Shields, BAHEP specialty chemical marketing manager, trip coordinators; Brian Freedman, manager, State and Local Government Operations, The Boeing Company in Houston, and trip chairman; Joe Mayer from Florida, director of Government Relations with Lockheed Martin and chairman of CSE National; and Kelly Page, Texas team coordinator.

Trip Reports and Photos
2014 May Trip Summary (PDF)
2014 May Trip Photos (PDF)

2013 February Trip Report (Word Document)
2013 February Trip Recap (PowerPoint Presentation)
2013 February Trip Point Paper (PDF)
2013 May Trip Report (Word Document)
2013 May Trip Recap (PowerPoint Presentation)
2013 May Trip Point Paper (PDF)
2013 Trip Photos

2012 Trip Point Paper (Word Document)
2012 Trip Recap (PowerPoint Presentation)
2012 Trip Photos

Contact Us
Citizens for Space Exploration
P.O. Box 58724
Houston, TX 77258-8724

Telephone: 832.536.3255

Helpful Links

Members of Citizens for Space Exploration

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce
Huntsville Madison Chamber of Commerce
Partners for Stennis
Citizens for Space Exploration: Colorado

For the Latest in Space News
Coalition for Space Exploration

Other Resources
NASA Spending by State

Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership
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Member Cities and Organizations

Clear Lake Shores Houston Nassau Bay Webster
Dickinson Kemah Pasadena Galveston County
El Lago La Porte Seabrook Harris County
Friendswood League City Taylor Lake Village Port Houston
Houston Airport System Morgan's Point

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