Home >> January 2012 Edition >> Insight: Spatial Repurposement + Honor
Insight: Spatial Repurposement + Honor
by Janet Stevens, V.P. Marketing + Communications, Space Foundation

Space folks don’t always feel the love these days… U.S. human spaceflight capability has lapsed… the NASA budget languishes at a measly 0.45 percent of the federal budget… citizens, distressed with the economy, muse about why we spend anything on space… People who are in the space business know very well that the space industry deserves a lot of respect — and love ­­— for many things… the joy of pure discovery… the ability to publicly signal scientific and technological prowess… the boost that high-tech jobs and high-tech manufacturing give to our economy… the inspiration for some darn good movies and TV shows… and, most of all, the way space research makes our lives better, easier, safer and more comfortable.

StevensFig1 A huge volume of vastly diverse research has gone into building rockets, sending people into space (and safely bringing them back), deploying satellites, examining the distant cosmos and planning long-duration missions. Plus, a wide range of scientific experimentation has been conducted in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. What we learn in these scientific pursuits eventually gets translated into products and services we use every day here on Earth.

The range of products is broad: The GPS system that helps us find our way, conduct transactions, move products and protect our national security; pressure-relieving surfaces that originally cushioned Apollo astronauts and now make comfy mattresses; sunglasses that block dangerous UV radiation; water purification systems; ultra-lightweight heatsheet blankets and radiant barrier insulation; temperature-regulating clothing; bio-friendly oil spill remediation systems; chiropractic diagnostic and treatment equipment; medical equipment; life-saving food supplements; energy-saving vehicle designs; cordless tools; and on and on and on.

When we’re in the business, we know about these things. We celebrate them. We tend to believe that everyone grasps — the way we do — how much space research benefits society. But, they don’t! And, if we know what’s good for us, part of our job is to help them understand so that they, as citizens and voters and students, will support our business in their communities, at the ballot box, in the stock market and in their education and career choices.

NewSat_ad_SM0112 That’s why the Space Foundation sponsors two important Space Awareness programs: Space Certification™ and the Space Technology Hall of Fame®. Both recognize significant space innovations that have been translated into valuable technologies to improve our lives on Earth. Both educate about the value of space exploration and utilization. And both, through their very existence, advocate for space.

Space Certification is a marketing program. Products and services that display the Space Certification™ seal are guaranteed to have stemmed from, or been dramatically improved, by technologies originally developed for space exploration, or to have significant impact in teaching people about the value of space utilization.

The program serves three purposes:

– Providing a unique marketing edge from a space connection
– Demonstrating to the public how space technologies improve life on Earth
– Making space knowledge more interesting and accessible to everyone

Space Certification has three classifications:

– Certified Technology Products — Products or services that directly result from space technology or space program development or advances in space technology

– Certified Educational Products — Products used in educational environments to stimulate interest in, and knowledge about, space

– Certified Imagination Products — Entertainment products, games or toys that increase interest in, and excitement for, space and inspire new generations to take an active interest in space

Space Certification products and services have been scrutinized by the Space Foundation, which works closely with NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA) and other organizations engaged in space research and development to identify and validate that they are eligible for and deserving of recognition.

We work with our partners to help them use Space Certification to market their products — and, in so doing, they help spread the word that space produces tangible benefits for all of us.

StevensFig2 The Space Technology Hall of Fame® is a prestigious and scholarly recognition program that honors those who transform space technology to improve the quality of life here on Earth. Induction into the Space Technology Hall of Fame® is considered — and, rightly so — a high honor for the space innovators. Plus, it also serves to increase public awareness and encourage further innovation. Since 1988, we have proudly inducted more than 65 technologies and honored hundreds of organizations and individuals in the Space Technology Hall of Fame®.

The Space Foundation manages these programs for two reasons: to support our mission to advance space-related endeavors to inspire, enable and propel humanity; and to support the space industry and our space industry partners. In other words, we do this for our industry and for our belief that space exploration is a worthy endeavor.

StevensFig3 In return, we ask our industry to help us make these programs better and stronger. There are many things that can be done: Facilitate introductions with businesses that manufacture or sell space-derived products; nominate extraordinary innovations for the Space Technology Hall of Fame; educate customers, employees and the media about space technologies, using the two Space Foundation programs as “teaching tools;” and buy Certified Space Products whenever you can. We all want the same thing: A robust, productive and relevant space industry. Let’s all work together to make that happen.

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media@spacefoundation.org StevensHead

About the author
Janet Stevens, APR, is responsible for the Space Foundation’s marketing and public relations programs, including public relations and marketing strategy, media relations, brand identity, advertising and promotion, graphic design, web communications, social media, community relations, and public outreach. Janet has spent more than 30 years in public relations, advertising, and quality management positions at GTE, Fidelity Investments, and Verizon. Ms. Stevens, who has a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida, is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America.