Image: Science fiction author David Brin speaking at the April 2022 meeting of the Chicago Society for Space Studies

For Chicago Society for Space Studies (CSSS), the year 2022 featured a number of successes. One of these successes was being the recipient of the National Space Society’s Chapter Excellence Award. Central to receiving this award was the educational outreach activities of the Chicago Society for Space Studies Speakers Bureau. As a part of the award, CSSS received a $200 cash award. For more about this award, see National Space Society 2022 Chapter Excellence Award

2022’s most noteworthy success was being a co-sponsor and participant in the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) Spacevision Conference which was held at the University of Chicago. The sponsorship was originally announced in the article Chicago Society for Space Studies Sponsors SEDS Spacevision Conference. In addition to being a sponsor, CSSS President Jim Plaxco served as a panelist on the Living There: Habitats and Society panel; as one of the judges for the SEDS Research Symposium competition; and as one of the two presenters for the closing banquet Research Symposium Awards presentation. In addition, Frances Dellutri was a panelist for the Life After SEDS program and staffed an information table for the National Space Society.

NASA Astronaut John Grunsfeld talking about the Hubble Space Telescope at Spacevision

NASA Astronaut John Grunsfeld talking about the Hubble Space Telescope at Spacevision

CSSS President Jim Plaxco was also invited to participate in the Northern Illinois University Law Review’s Symposium on Sustainable Development in Space Law both as a panelist and as a speaker delivering the presentation The Economics of Space Settlement.

In terms of political activity, CSSS participated in the Alliance for Space Development’s (ASD) March Storm Public Policy Briefings. ASD March Storm meetings in which CSSS participated were meetings with the staff of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Representative Don Beyer (D-VA), Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA 8th), and Representative Bill Posey (D-FL 8th). Locally, CSSS President Jim Plaxco met with GOP congressional primary candidate Peter Koptafis and subsequently with GOP IL 8th congressional candidate Chris Dargis to address ASD space policy issues.

Members of our Speakers Bureau spoke at the following conventions, conferences, and symposiums during 2022:

  • International Space Development Conference(ISDC)
  • Capricon Science Fiction Convention
  • Chicon – 80th World Science Fiction Convention
  • International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) Annual Conference
  • Mars Society Convention
  • Northern Illinois University Law Review Symposium on Sustainable Development in Space Law
  • Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) SpaceVision Conference

During 2022, CSSS Speakers gave presentations on a variety of subjects. The presentations included:

  • 2022 Space Year in Review
  • A Conceptual Design for a 20 Tonne Space Elevator Climber
  • A History of Lunar Maps
  • Extreme Exoplanets
  • Fantastic Space Discoveries and Where to Find Them
  • Haiku of Outer Space
  • How Not to Design a Martian Economy
  • Imaging Exoplanets By Looking Past the Sun
  • James Webb Space Telescope First Science Images
  • Life After SEDS
  • Living There: Habitats and Society
  • Looking at the Universe – SDSS, Planck, and the James Webb Telescope
  • Lost, Or At Least Confused, In Space
  • On Being a Technological Optimist
  • Sustainable Development in Space Law
  • Planet Earth as Art: The View from Space
  • Spacecraft Propulsion
  • The Economics of Space Settlement
  • The Sloan Digital Sky Survey
  • The Variety of Cosmic Maps
  • Using Antimatter to Reach the Stars

In addition to presentations given at conferences and symposiums, venues for CSSS Speakers and officers during 2022 included:

  • Cernan Earth and Space Center
  • Elmhurst College
  • Exun Clan Technology Club, Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram, India
  • Fox Valley ASME chapter
  • Glenview Public Library
  • Harper College
  • Lake County Astronomical Society
  • Naperville North High School Physics Club
  • National Space Society Space Forum
  • National Space Society Space Ambassadors meeting
  • Northwest Suburban Astronomers
  • Popular Astronomy Club
  • Skokie Valley Astronomers
  • Waubonsee Community College Life Long Learning Institute

With respect to the Internet, during 2022 our website – – received 20,415 visitors while our Facebook page had a Reach of 3,788 with 2472 Likes and 2492 Followers. (If you haven’t yet Liked or Followed our Facebook page, please do so now.)

Other activities and events for 2022 included:

  • Providing a judge for the NASA Zooniverse Astrophoto Challenge
  • Having science fiction author David Brin appear in person as a speaker at our CSSS meeting in April.
  • Meeting with the Director of Cernan Earth and Space Center for planning possible future joint events
  • Making an appearance on the BLUE-SKY Learning Podcast

In summary, CSSS participated in 8 advocacy events, hosted 3 meetings, served as judges in 3 competitions, produced 3 issues of Spacewatch, was a cosponsor of 1 conference, participated in 1 interview, delivered 31 lectures or talks, and participated in 11 conference/convention panels. Including our website traffic and Facebook reach, CSSS had an estimated audience of at least 33,000 people during 2022. The actual number is probably higher given that a number of our presentations have been posted on Youtube by the various presentation host organizations.

The Chicago Society for Space Studies Speakers Bureau members and officers whose work made the successes of 2022 possible are: