Artwork by Rick Guidice / NASA Ames Research Center


Settlement Enabling Test – About

The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization of people dedicated to opening the Space Frontier to human settlement as rapidly as possible. When evaluating a proposed government program, policy or regulation, the Foundation shall apply the following test to assess the extent to which the program, policy, or regulation is “Settlement-Enabling.” These results will be used to craft an appropriate pro-Settlement response of support or constructive criticism.

The Space Frontier Foundation credo informs and influences many of the questions that are a part of the Settlement Enabling Test. It is included here to ensure it informs those who are examining proposed national policy.

~ Credo ~

Our goals include protecting the Earth’s fragile biosphere and creating a freer and more prosperous life for each generation by using the unlimited energy and material resources of space.

Our purpose is to unleash the power of free enterprise and lead a united humanity permanently into the Solar System.

When the Space Frontier Foundation was first formed, the organization also created the Frontier Enabling Test. The goal of the Frontier Enabling Test was to better articulate plans and ideas that would move humanity’s direction in space in a more rewarding, more dynamic, and more profitable way. It is from the Frontier Enabling Test that we derive each question for the Settlement-Enabling Test. While not specifically included in the ranking questions section, the Frontier Enabling Test remains a vital part in determining how to better shape space policy.

~ Frontier Enabling Test ~

Our definition of a “frontier enabling” technology or policy is one which has as its effect the acceleration of the creation of low cost access to the space frontier for private citizens and companies, enables or accelerates our use of space resources, and/or accelerates the rate at which wealth can be generated in space.

In other words, is the project or policy going to provide a return on the national investment, if we define “return” to be the economically sustainable human habitation of space?