What’s in a name

This week the Personal Spaceflight Federation announced it was changing its name to the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and unveiled a new web site at the commercialspaceflight.org domain name. Why the change from the PSF to the CSF? According to the industry association, it’s a recognition that the companies who are members do more than personal spaceflight (aka “space tourism”): “There are so many uses for commercial access to space, and we want to emphasize the broad cross-section of potential markets for our members’ products and services,” CSF president Brett Alexander said in the statement.

I had heard a few weeks earlier that this name change was in the works. One reason for the change is that, as the statement notes, members companies are not exclusively focused on space tourism. Another reason, though, may have been that the term “personal spaceflight” really hasn’t gained wide acceptance in the field, or the general public. While some might cringe at “space tourism”, you’re still far more likely to hear that term as opposed to “personal spaceflight” or other alternatives. And if you have to explain what “personal spaceflight” is every time you use the term, it may be time to switch gears.

(I will add here that while that may be the case for the PSF/CSF, I have no immediate plans to change the name of this blog.)

The CSF also announced yesterday that Mark Sirangelo is the new chairman of the organization, succeeding Alex Tai of Virgin Galactic, who is stepping down after completing a three-year term. Sirangelo is currently executive vice president of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC); he had been chairman and CEO of SpaceDev prior to that company’s acquisition by SNC.

1 comment to What’s in a name

  • Joe Latrell

    One thing that is missing is a button, page, etc for companies to JOIN the CSF. I asked some time ago how to do it but we didn’t fit the Space Tourism model. With this new concept, one would think they would be interested in expanding their base easily.

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