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The International Space Agency (ISA): Space exploration history in the making

The first historic flight by a private spacecraft into outer space, "Space Ship One" by Aviation Pioneer Mr. Burt Rutan & Scaled Composites, produced a great deal of global interest among government, professional, scientific, academic, and public sectors of space exploration.

The well-known space scientists and author, doctor of science, Alexander Bolonkin recently interviewed Mr. Rick Dobson, the Founder and present Director (Chairman & CEO) of International Space Agency (ISA) Organization, which was founded in 1986, incorporated in 1990. It is presently seeking International Treaty & Charter Status, and presently has its Head Quarters located in the United States.  A most Nobel and Historic undertaking and effort of our time.

The following is the interview of Dr. Bolonkin with the ISA Founder and Director, Mr. Rick R. Dobson, Jr.
 
Dr. Bolonkin:  Mr. Dobson, can your please briefly tell me about the ISA and how it came to be?

ISA Director Dobson:  Firstly, Thank Dr. Bolonkin for taking the time to interview me on this most important and historic effort.  The International Space Agency (ISA) had its genesis in 1982 when as a senior in high school I wrote a paper on mankinds journey to Mars and the creation of an International Space Agency.  I continued to work on this concept and idea as a personal project until 1986, when while I was serving in United States Naval Aviation in Virginia, I drafted the first formal ISA Concept & Charter and began in earnest to move the ISA vision forward into reality.  In 1988 work started on forming the International Space Agency Corporation.

In October of 1989 at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. with the support and help of Dr. Norman Scott, Cornell Vice President for Research & Advanced Studies, and the approval and understanding of Frank Rhodes the President of Cornell University, and with much help & support of numerous Cornell Professors and Students, the ISA Concept & Vision was started in a formal Incorporation Process on September 15th 1989 and was formally approved as a 501c.3 Non-Profit Corporation in New York State on June 5th 1990. 

Immediately work began on the first historic International Space Agency meeting in Washington, D.C., which did take place on May 22nd of 1992 at the Carnegie Endowment For International Peace in Washington, D.C..  Many National Diplomats, National Space Agency Representatives, and Scientific & Aerospace Representatives attended this first historic International Space Agency meeting.  Since that first historic ISA meeting in Washington, D.C. in 1992, the ISA has conducted 5 formal, and over 200 private informal, International Diplomatic meetings in Washington, D.C., and the ISA has had a presence at both the 1992 and 2002 World Space Congresses.

The International Space Agency has faced much resistance, interference, and misunderstanding over the years due mainly to the fact that people did not understanding what the ISA was or why it was needed, but also powerful space organizations both Government & Private felt threatened by the Growing ISA Organization & Efforts, as they wrongly perceived ISA as trying to eliminate them.  Indeed, to the contrary the ISA is, and has been from its founding, about increasing support and understanding for Human space efforts, activities, and organizations globally.  In the last two years support and understanding for the International Space Agency has begun to increase dramatically. 

Mostly I believe, because National Space Agencies have run themselves into major funding problems and are now seeing ISA as a way to combine limited resources in order to accomplish great things in the next 10 years; like sending an international manned mission to Mars.  Interest in the media and public is rising as well, and most notably after the first historic flight of a private space plane into orbit, Space Ship One by Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites. I predict that the USA, Russia, Europe, China, Japan, India, Brazil and other Nations will very soon, in the next year or two, formally join the International Space Agency.  Once this occurs, there will be a mad dash by commercial and private organizations to get involved and stake their claim in a growing ISA Organization and a global space exploration program and economy which will create millions of new jobs and billions in a new and growing space economy.  Not to mention the opening of a whole new human frontier, and the colonization and development of a whole new world, Mars.  Very exciting times for the International Space Agency, and indeed, humanity.
If people want to see the present ISA website, it is:  http://www.isa-hq.com
 
Dr. Bolonkin:  What is the purpose of ISA?

ISA Director Dobson:  In a nut shell, and in simple terms.  The purpose of the International Space Agency is to be a Diplomatic, Enabling, Coordinating, Quality & Standards Control, Infrastructure & Capability Building, and Training Organization.  The International Space Agency will bring together Global Funding, Resources, Expertise, Knowledge, and Personnel from a wide range of Government, Commercial, Industrial, Scientific, Academic, NGO’s & Societies, and Private Organizations, Enterprises, and Ventures.  Mainly for large international space programs & projects like an International Space Plane, Advanced Ground Based Launch Systems, Space Stations, Complex Interplanetary Space Craft, Planetary & Moon Exploration, Bases, and Colonization.  The International Space Agency would not be involved in small probes, satellites, or commercial projects or ventures.

Dr. Bolonkin:  What Countries and scientists took part in your organization?

ISA Director Dobson:   There have been many Countries, just a few of which are, USA, Russia, European Space Agency, China, Japan, India, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and many others over the years.  However, to date there has not yet been any official support for the ISA by any National Government.  As I said earlier, this will likely happen in the next year or two if all goes as well, and as hoped.  Even major aerospace organizations like Boeing, Fiat, General Electric, Hewlett Packard, and others have taken an active interest and involvement with the ISA Organization.  At present a number of scientists have joined the Growing I.S.A. Global Team, and I am sure others will do like wise in the coming days.
 
Dr. Bolonkin:   How can average citizens & people globally take part in and support the ISA Organization & effort?

ISA Director Dobson:   I guess this will be taken by many as a shameless plug, but never the less, the best way to help the ISA at present is to send a donation, grant, or contribution of things like new computers, office equipment, and to contributed professional services & time.  Please make any checks payable to: International Space Agency  (*please send to ISA the address by certified or registered mail for security.)  The International Space Agency is now also forming International Space Agency Societies “National” Globally, which will be overseen by the International Space Agency Foundation “International”.  If a private citizen anywhere in the world wants to start an ISA Society in their Country, please contact the ISA ( *ISA Contact information is provided at end of this interview.)

Dr. Bolonkin:   How can people globally take part in the work & efforts of the ISA?

ISA Director Dobson:  They can write to their Government Officials asking them to support and join the International Space Agency.  They can write to their Local and National Media asking them to give coverage about the historic ISA Organization and its efforts globally.  They can Donate or Contribute to ISA.  They can Join or Form an ISA Society in their Country.  They can ask their Company or Organization to support ISA, or make a Grant to ISA.  They can submit their credentials and formal request to become a Board Member, Officer, Staff, Personnel, or Volunteer of the ISA.  They can volunteer to translate the ISA Web Site & Documents into their native language, and establish a native language specific ISA Mirror Web Site in their Country.  They can encourage colleagues and professional counterparts globally to support the ISA Organization and Efforts.  They can submit ideas and projects for ISA to endeavor to undertake.  They can submit papers or articles to be posted on the ISA News & Information Boards.  They can link to the ISA Web Site from their Web Site.  And most of all, they can Tell Others About the Historic ISA Organization & Efforts.

Dr. Bolonkin:   Director Dobson, what are the main things you hope to see the International Space Agency accomplish in the next 10 years?

ISA Director Dobson:  That is an easy question for me.
1) Establish International Treaty & Charter Status with in the next two years, 2005 or 2006.
    ESA Diplomatic Letter:  http://www.international-space-agency.net/esa_letter_02_16_2004.html
2) Undertake International Space Plane Program & Advanced Ground Based Space Launch System
    ISP Diplomatic Letter:  http://www.international-space-agency.net/igbsls.html
3) Present International Space Station Program, Transferred to ISA Oversight & Management
    *With this, Increased Support for ISS, and an International Orbital Infrastructure Program
4) United Nations, Office of Outer Space Affairs, Transferred to ISA Control & Management
    *United Nations would focus on world affairs, and the ISA would focus on Space Affairs
    *ISA will be independent, not be under any direct U.N. control, but will work closely with U.N.
5) Mars / Luna – A Focused International Space Exploration & Colonization Program & Directive
• Routine Luna Operations & Base in 5 to 7 years
* Luna Exploration & Bases will be a part of the Mars Program, not a Separate Program!
• First Mars Landing by Humans in 7 to 10 years.
*Permanent Mars Exploration & Colonization, Main Focus from the very first Mars Landing!
6) Access to Earths Orbit, Space, and Luna & Mars will become commonplace and routine.
7) Humanity will use the ISA, and this new infinite and vast Space Frontier now with in its grasp, as a means & goal to wean itself off the many many generations of War Based Cultures & Thinking as a means of Growth & Common Survival.  The Space Frontier offers a new dimension and pyridine for future human society, culture, and thinking.  I hope the young people of this generation discover this truth & fact, and realize it before the ways and thinking of the past bring global destruction and mayhem to the present, leaving human beings to live in caves and struggling just to stay alive, let alone even think about such things as exploring space & settling new worlds!  We live in both wondrous times and very dangerous times for humanity.  I only hope as a single insignificant human being among billions, could ever even begin to hope for, is that our worlds leaders and wise men globally can stop killing and fighting with each other just long enough to see this wondrous new horizon and opportunity now rising before humanity.  The Space Frontier, and a New Planet for Humanity, Mars!  The International Space Agency, I believe, and always have since I was small child, is the key and pathway to this New Space Frontier.

Dr. Bolonkin:   Director Dobson, if your were to get a phone call from any one person in the World as a result of this interview being read, asking you how they could help!  Who would that one person be, and why?

ISA Director Dobson:  Well, let me think?  Yes, yes I think it would not be any one person, as that would mean that just one person would have a vested stake in ISA, and its Growth, Development, and Successes.  I would love to get a call from any Head of State, say like the President of the United States, President of Russia, President of the European Union or any European Nation, or Leaders from China, Japan, India, and so on.  Also, a call from the Head of any National Space Agency like NASA, RSA, ESA, CNSA, JAXA, ISRO, ect. ect.  Even a call from the Chairman or CEO of any Aerospace Company like Boeing, RSC Energia, Arianespace, Great Wall Industries, ect. ect.  My personal hope though, would be for a call from Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Burt Rutan, or Arthur C. Clark all personal child hood heroes, and whom I drew my inspiration from when creating the ISA Organization.  And Why?  That’s easy, the International Space Agency needs these people to succeed, and to become and achieve what it can, and must, to be ISA Organization I have envisioned.  These people together as a group, through the ISA Organization, can, and will, achieve far more than any one of them, or small few of them, could ever have achieved or even dreamed of achieving.  That would I think, would be my best hope and goal as a result of this interview and its  publication.

Dr. Bolonkin:   Director Dobson, what do you hope to gain from working on ISA?

ISA Director Dobson:  To see it succeed!  To see it come to life as I have envisioned it!  To see my life long sacrifices and dedication to the International Space Agency Organization since 1982 serve the global community of which I am a part, in wondrous and peaceful ways!  Most of all to see my Critics, Agitators, and Hecklers all proved wrong, that the ISA is a worthy and just cause, and will succeed; and that their ridicule of me and the tremendous adversity in my life which they have caused over the years, was all worth the many sacrifices and unwavering dedication to the ISA for all these years.  I am sure the Wright Brothers, whom I have drawn much inspiration and solace from over the years, did not take kindly to being called Bird Men, (ie: Crazy Men!) and Heckled by Snobbish Elites and Jealous Nay Sayers, who thought their Dream & Vision to build a Heavier Than Air Flying Machine “An Airplane” as a Crazy and Unachievable Endeavor.  So much so, that the Numerous Requests by the Wright Brothers to have Media Coverage of the Event was totally ignored and ridiculed as a waste of time, and nobody came that historic day.  The pictures we have of that Historic & Famous Event, comes from a photographer who was there only by chance at Kitty Hawk Beach to take pictures of the Life Guards.  The Media did not even cover the event in earnest until almost 2 years later, when the Wright Brothers were literally Flying Circles around their Critics & Nay Sayers.  In Europe, they refused to even believe, or cover the Wrights accomplishments, until they personally came to France and flew around and gave air rides to people.  The odd thing!  When the Wright Brothers proved their Dream & Vision, all the former Critics & Nay Sayers then set upon the Wright Brothers like parasites and fleas in an Attempt to Steal and Claim as theirs, the Wright Brothers life’s work, vision, and invention the Airplane.  They failed, and again the Wright Brothers prevailed in this adversity.  I think the International Space Agency has faced the very same society & human nature problems and intense scrutiny & adversity that the Wright Brothers faced.  I hope, and believe, that History will be far more kind and generous to the International Space Agency, and Myself, than the Present.

Dr. Bolonkin:   Now how can people contact the ISA?

ISA Director Dobson:  Here is the general contact information for the ISA.  I need to let people know that only official items, or official business, in writing and signed or notarized, and sent by certified or registered mail, will receive an official response from the International Space Agency.  All other general public inquiries, questions, and comments to the ISA will be replied too, as we have time and resources to do so.  Also, for people just wanting to explore ISA Efforts, Information, or interact with other ISA Supporters, please use the Official ISA News Board.

Official ISA Web Site:  http://www.isa-hq.com

Official ISA News Board: 
http://p201.ezboard.com/binternationalspaceagency

Start An ISA Society, Chapter, Group, or Club: 
http://space.meetup.com/5

ISA Public Affairs Department – Email: 
public-affairs@isa-hq.com

ISA Societies & ISA Foundation - Email: 
foundation@isa-hq.com

ISA Mailing Address:  International Space Agency
                                        Post Office Box 541053
                                        Omaha, Nebraska
                                                            68154-9053
                                         United States Of America

Public Phone Number:  (402) 299-2799  (*Messages Only!)
Long Distance & Overseas Calls Will Not Be Returned, Please Use ISA Email

Dr. Bolonkin:   Mr. Dobson, thank you for your time, and sharing your thoughts and comments about the International Space Agency, and its historic efforts with me today.

ISA Director Dobson:   Dr. Bolonkin, you are welcome, and on behalf of the International Space Agency, the Growing ISA Global Team, and Myself, Thank you, and God Speed!  I like wise wish the readership of this interview the same, and ask most humbly as one human being to another, please give your, help, support, and understanding for the Historic International Space Agency Organization & Its Efforts Globally.  Ad-Astra!  To The Stars

Dr.Sci. Alexander Bolonkin