§ 8.3.9 General Space Corporation (GSC)
General Space Corporation was founded in 1993 by a few veteran American and Russian space professionals with offices in Houston and Moscow to commercialize space-related products and services. Apparently, this corporation has not been very active for quite some time. However, Mark Reiff, the American director and apparently the person who pushed the company forward, is a very knowledgeable and well-networked career space professional in US government contracting circles. His response to my inquiry is that their "plans are on indefinite hold".
GSC is interesting because its focus is to commercially take advantage of existing Russian technology, e.g., the Soyuz vehicles, and the Salyut and Mir space stations. GSC's products include:
- Marketing traditional, well-proven Soyuz vehicles and their derivatives, piloted by Russian cosmonauts. These include a "Soyuz Quick Access Research Vehicle" for inexpensive quick access to manned space flight research, and proposed "Soyuz/Inflatable Module" vehicle extensions which offer "manned" lunar flyby capability and the potential for a mission to Mars' moons. These could also be applied to other manned missions not discussed on the website, e.g., to an asteroid near Earth.
- "Salyut/Mir Service Module Research Facility", a commercial manned space station
- "Lunar Transportation Project" for lunar personnel and cargo transportation infrastructure
Their website has been left "under construction" for about a year now, but their impressive graphics and brief text on mission scenarios are worth visiting at http://home.earthlink.net/~markreiff/gsc/gsc-projects.html You can also obtain some information on "Who is GSC?" at http://home.earthlink.net/~markreiff/gsc/gsc-intro.html although details on the American and Russian officials are mostly missing, and few positions are filled.
Mark Reiff is a project engineer with thirteen years experience in aerospace project management and space vehicle system and hardware design. He has experience in all phases of space vehicle development including requirements definition, design, integration, as well as verification. Mr. Reiff is also a well-known, well connected and highly active participant in the space development community's intelligentsia, and has a long track record of vigorous space advocacy and unwavering commitment to private sector space development beyond his formal paid work life. He runs several e-mail mailing lists (though some have occasionally gotten mixed with his harsh partisan politics of an unequivocal and subjective nature which may have unnecessarily affected some people's attitudes...).