Space Tourism Society-San Diego Chapter
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About Me

December 2006, Space Shuttle Discovery STS-116 appearing
star- like as booster rockets seperate
lucky pic--by RDN

In 1981, the same year as the first space shuttle flight, I learned to SCUBA dive as a volunteer firefighter with a search and rescue unit.  Throughout the years, my passion for SCUBA has led to a range of diving experiences, inclusive of oceans, lakes, rock quarries and pools around the world. 

Then, in 2006, while attending a business meeting in Florida, I experienced the night launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery STS-116.  Wow! This fortunate coincidence rekindled my excitement for space exploration, both current and the past.  After all, I grew up fifteen minutes from Neil Armstrong’s hometown and have vivid memories of the Apollo program. (To this day I still visit the Armstrong Air and Space Museum when I visit my parents in Ohio.)

A real thirst to learn more about NASA and commercial space exploration developed.  While exploring the methods Astronauts use to train for spacewalking, I realized that all the years I was SCUBA diving, I was actually experiencing the closest simulation to being in space possible here on earth - neutral buoyancy.

Wanting to immerse further, I attended the April 28, 2011 Space Tourism Society T+10 Anniversary Dinner hosted by the Society’s Founder and President, John Spencer.  The celebration marked the 10th anniversary of the First Private Space Traveler Dennis Tito, as well as the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Space Tourism Society.    

The excitement at the event was palatable.  Hundreds of attendees, from the casual enthusiast to those on the forefront of a new area of the commercial space industry were in attendance.   As each speaker shared their thinking; ideas that ranged from suborbital experiences to long-term off-world vacations, a vision of our future in space emerged.

With millions of people from around the world intrigued by the possibility of experiencing space travel, and my own growing enthusiasm, it only seemed natural to combine these factors into the creation of the San Diego chapter of the Space Tourism Society.  Membership in the San Diego Chapter of the Space Tourism Society offers entry into a community where private enterprise and the casual enthusiast gather to share up to date information on the latest space tourism developments, form connections with other space enthusiasts and visionaries, and bring to life the dream of experiencing space, by way of earth-bound simulations and eventually true space travel.

As President and Founder of the San Diego Chapter of the Space Tourism Society, I invite you to become an active member and join a community of committed space enthusiasts.  We are your launchpad for space exploration. 

Welcome aboard!

Rick D. Nichols

President and Founder of STS-SD


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