Commercial Spaceflight Federation
CSF Logo Redesign 2016 with alpha.png
CSF Logo Redesign 2016
TypeNon-profit Trade Association
Purpose"To promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry."[1]
  • Washington D.C.
Area served
United States
Key people
Karina Drees (President)
Karina Drees, President
Karina Drees, President

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is a private spaceflight industry group, incorporated as an industry association for the purposes of establishing ever higher levels of safety for the commercial human spaceflight industry, sharing best practices and expertise, and promoting the growth of the industry worldwide.[2][3][4] Issues that the Commercial Spaceflight Federation work on include, but are not limited to, airspace issues, FAA regulations and permits, industry safety standards, public outreach, and public advocacy for the commercial space sector.[5][6]


In 2005, Peter Diamandis and John Gedmark from the X Prize Foundation convened a group of leaders in the emerging personal spaceflight industry, held at SpaceX's headquarters in El Segundo, California. Attendees at the meeting included SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Virgin Galactic's Alex Tai, aviation pioneer Burt Rutan, businessman Robert Bigelow, and entrepreneur John Carmack.[7] The goal of what was then called the Personal Spaceflight Federation was to "design and uphold the standards and processes necessary to ensure public safety and promote growth of the personal spaceflight industry."[8]

On August 22, 2006, the PSF laid out their priorities as:[9]

  • Member Coordination
  • Government Interface
    • Both with Congress and other federal agencies in order "to develop a legal and regulatory environment supportive of the growth of the human spaceflight industry."
  • Safety in spaceport operations, crew and passenger training, and vehicle manufacture, operations, and maintenance
    • Safety was highlighted as the most important concern for the PSF because safety was the common link between all the member companies
  • Insurance
  • Public Relations

On June 15, 2008, the Personal Spaceflight Federation announced a new website and a new name—the Commercial Spaceflight Federation—to emphasize "the diverse business activities of the commercial human spaceflight industry."[10] The areas the CSF now represented include:

On August 10, 2009, the CSF announced the creation of the Suborbital Applications Research Group (SARG).[11] On February 18, 2010, the CSF announced a new research and education affiliates program.[12]

United Launch Alliance joined in 2010,[13] followed by Boeing's membership in 2013,[14] but both left by 2014.[15] The X Prize Foundation left by around 2016.[16]

Lobbying efforts


The Commercial Spaceflight Federation has seven committees composed of their members and staff that are working to address the most pressing issues facing the industry. Participation in these committees is open to Executive and Associate members.[24]

Export Control

Within CSF's Export Control Committee, members work with industry experts from a variety of government agencies (including The Departments of State and Commerce) to promote modernization of Export Control policy and procedures in regards to the commercial space industry. The committee aims to assist American companies to remain competitive leaders in the global market and to advance innovation and technology overall. The committee also serves as a point of reference for adherence to current legislation and policy.

Government Funding

The Government Funding Committee works to secure funding for the major governmental space agencies, NASA and FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). They monitor the budget requests of these agencies and work with legislative and executive contacts to ensure lack of funding does not impede advancement of the commercial space sector.


CSF's Regulatory Committee collaborates to prepare information for and present a united position to legislative, executive and regulatory agencies. The committee works to get legislation passed that will benefit the space industry.

Industry Standards

With the help of experienced aerospace professionals and standards development organizations, the members of the Industry Standards Committee work together to research and design industry consensus safety standards. These standards ensure the safety of spaceflight participants, provide the FAA with means of compliance, and can be used in the future to assist in creating regulations.

Space Commerce

The Space Commerce Committee serves as the industry point of contact for legislative agencies. When issues arise that affect space commerce, such as the legal framework for resources mined from asteroids, the members author reports that agencies can use to prepare appropriate legislation.


The Commercial Spaceflight Federation's Spaceports Committee focuses on a wide variety of issues facing the spaceport community including environmental, infrastructure, and regulatory topics.

Small Sats

The Small Sats Committee identifies and proposes consensus solutions to address potential issues that could hamper the commercial space industry's growth. The committee focuses on multiple topics including regulations, licensing, permitting, sector outreach and promotion, and more.


CSF members are responsible for the creation of thousands of high-tech jobs.[citation needed] Members are over 80 industry organizations involved in commercial spaceflight and private spaceflight, often referred to as new space.

There are four tiers of CSF membership, with each having different requirements and perks. The highest tier is Executive Membership, which is generally reserved for commercial spaceflight developers, operators, and spaceports.[25] Below Executive members are Associate Members, which is composed of suppliers supporting commercial spaceflight, with recent members including suppliers of mission support services and suppliers of training, medical and life-support products and services. The third tier of membership is called Research and Education Affiliates (REM for short), and this tier is occupied by Universities, educational and student nonprofits, and other research and education institutions. The fourth tier of CSF membership is the Patrons Program. This tier is distinct from the rest in the sense that it is composed of individuals rather than corporate entities.

Executive Members

Executive Membership is the highest level of membership offered at the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. At this level, members have an exclusive seat on the CSF Board of Directors.

Current List of Executive Members

(Updated January 12, 2021):[26]

Associate Members

The second highest tier, Associate members are invited to participate on the seven CSF committees: Export Control, Government Funding, Regulatory, Space Commerce, Spaceports, Standards, and Small Satellites.

Current List of Associate Members

(Updated January 12, 2021):[26]

Research and Education Affiliates

The Research and Education Affiliates is primarily for "Researchers, engineers, and educators."[12]

Current list of research and education affiliates

(Updated January 12, 2021):[26]

Patrons Program

The Patron Program is unique in that it allows for individual membership, unlike other membership categories, which are reserved for corporations, and organizations.[27]

Suborbital Applications Researchers Group

The Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG) was created on August 10, 2009 to "increase awareness of commercial suborbital vehicles in the science and R&D communities, to work with policymakers to ensure that payloads can have easy access to these vehicles, and to further develop ideas for the uses of these vehicles for science, engineering, and education missions."[11]

Members of SARG (Updated August 7, 2019)[28]
Member Affiliation
Michael Banish University of Alabama in Huntsville
Sean Casey Silicon Valley Space Center
Steven Collicott Purdue University
Marsh Cuttino Orbital Medicine
Adrienne Dove University of Central Florida
Steve Heck The Arete STEM Project and Foundation
Anna-Lisa Paul University of Florida
Bobby Russell Questforstars
Tommy Sanford Commercial Spceflight Federation
Mark Shelhamer Johns Hopkins University
H. Todd Smith JHU Applied Physics Laboratory
Constantine Tsang Southwest Research Institute
Charlie Walker Independent Consultant & Speaker

See also


  1. ^ "About Us - Commercial Spaceflight Federation". Commercial Spaceflight Federation. CSF. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  2. ^ David, Leonard (2005-02-09). "Personal Spaceflight Leaders Eye New Federation". Retrieved 2009-02-25.
  3. ^ Boyle, Alan (2005-02-08). "Space racers unite in federation". NBC News. Retrieved 2009-02-25.
  4. ^ "Commercial Spaceflight Federation Unveils New Name and New Website" (PDF) (Press release). Commercial Spaceflight Federation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-21. Retrieved 2009-06-27.
  5. ^ Messier, Doug (April 29, 2010). "Cecil Field Joins Commercial Spaceflight Federation". Parabolic Arc. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  6. ^ "Airspace usage a priority for new commercial industry group chairman -". 2018-09-04. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  7. ^ Davenport, Christian (2 August 2018). The space barons : Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the quest to colonize the cosmos (Large print ed.). New York. ISBN 978-1-4328-5378-5. OCLC 1031407885.
  8. ^ "Space Entrepreneurs Resolve To Create Industry Group to Promote Safety Standards and Growth of the Personal Spaceflight Industry" (PDF) (Press release). Personal Spaceflight Federation. February 8, 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  9. ^ "Personal Spaceflight Federation Announces Future Plans" (PDF) (Press release). Personal Spaceflight Federation. August 22, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  10. ^ "Newly Renamed Commercial Spaceflight Federation Launches New Website" (PDF) (Press release). Commercial Spaceflight Federation. June 15, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 21, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Commercial Spaceflight Federation Creates Scientific Advisory Panel Focused on Suborbital Research Applications" (PDF) (Press release). Commercial Spaceflight Federation. August 10, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  12. ^ a b "Commercial Spaceflight Federation Announces New Research and Education Affiliates Program, Initial Participating Universities" (PDF) (Press release). Commercial Spaceflight Federation. February 18, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 24, 2011. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  13. ^ "United Launch Alliance Joins the Commercial Spaceflight Federation". The Commercial Spaceflight Federation. 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2020-05-07.
  14. ^ "Commercial Spaceflight Federation Announces New Members". The Commercial Spaceflight Federation. 2013-01-08. Retrieved 2020-08-31.
  15. ^ Membership list:
  16. ^ "Membership - Commercial Spaceflight Federation". Archived from the original on 2016-03-06. Retrieved 2020-08-31.:X Prize Foundation not present.
  17. ^ Foust, Jeff (November 3, 2015). "Senate Holds Up Final Passage of Commercial Space Bill". Space News. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  18. ^ "Sen. Cruz Calls Subcommittee Hearing on Space Exploration". U.S. Senate Committee On Commerce, Science, & Transportation. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  19. ^ "The Commercial Space Launch Industry: Small Satellite Opportunities and Challenges | House Committee on Science, Space and Technology". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  20. ^ "The ISS after 2024: Options and Impacts | House Committee on Science, Space and Technology". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  21. ^ Davenport, Christopher (February 16, 2018). "As Elon Musk antagonized rival, the space industry battled over who will host a cocktail reception for the vice president". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  23. ^ "House Hearing On NASA's ISS Plans - NASA Watch". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  24. ^ "Committees - Commercial Spaceflight Federation". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  25. ^ "Members - Commercial Spaceflight Federation". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  26. ^ a b c "Members - Commercial Spaceflight Federation". Archived from the original on 2016-11-08. Retrieved 2021-01-12.
  27. ^ "CSF Launches Patron Program To Represent Growing Commercial Space Ecosystem - Commercial Spaceflight Federation". Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  28. ^ "Suborbital Researchers Group (SARG) - Commercial Spaceflight Federation". CSF. Retrieved August 7, 2019.