11:40 am: News briefs ... Florida
students put in the midnight oil to make lunar oxygen: Students
compete to produce lunar oxygen-producing tool: Florida Tech group
a finalist in NASA contest - Florida Today - Mar.30.05
... Here's a review of the
new Apollo 13 DVD:
"Apollo 13: Anniversary Edition" review - collectSpace - Mar.29.05
... The Instapundit praises
Challenges program: Looking
Forward to Prize Fights by Glenn Reynolds - TCS - Mar.30.05
11:40 am: SciTech brief ...
After my paroxysm of postings about lithium-ion batteries, I should
give fair time to fuel cells. If Ballard
Power Systems (a top player in fuel cells) succeeds in meeting
its 2010 targets for energy density, durablity, and costs as shown
on the graphs in their technology
"road map", then fuel cells will certainly move very close to
real-world practicality and cost-effectiveness. If last year's technology
hat trick is a guide, then Ballard has a good shot at meeting
its 2010 goals.
There will still be the little problem of producing hydrogen (plus
distributing it) but I would, not surprisingly, advocate we follow
Glenn Reynold's suggestion
and use space power to make it.
2:30 am: News briefs... Interest
in Mars has grown tremendously over the past decade with the successes
of the various orbiter and rover missions. While the Moon doesn't
offer the range of enticements offered by the red planet, Leonard
David reports that enthusiasm for returning to the Moon is growing
and for a number of good reasons: Earthís
Moon: Still A Puzzle - Space.com - Mar.29.05
... Two space advocacy groups
- the Mars Society
and the Space
Frontier Foundation - join forces to fight for the Hubble Telescope:
HUBBLE! Space Leaders Call for Hubble Rescue - Space Frontier Foundation
- Mar.28.05 * A
new huddle over Hubble - MSNBC - Mar.29.05
... All those aliens in UFOs
must come here to see if those crazy stories about humans are true,
e.g. there's the one about a boat with satellite navigation and
communications powered by solar cells and can cross an ocean but
is driven by a single person using oars: Photo:
Rowing into history - CNET- Mar.28.05
2:30 am: SciTech brief ...
Following up yesterday's news about a big advance in lithium-ion
batteries, I tracked down some examples of high performance prototype
vehicles powered by the currently available type of li-ion batteries.:
at AC Propulsion with
The Eliica (Electric
Lithium-Ion battery Car) from, Japan is a four axle, eight wheel
(one motor per wheel) speedster:
The Venturi is
a beautiful high performance sports car from France:
With regard to fast charging of a high energy battery, I see that
which uses conventional lead-acid batteries to go up to 80 miles,
offers an on-board charger that can "charge to 80% in under
10 minutes if 400 amp AC service is available at a nearby charging
station." So fast high power charging of the new li-ion is
not out of the question.
2:50 pm: SciTech news: A Big Battery Boost....
Yet another company has announced a major advance in lithium-ion
batteries. Only this time it is a huge Japanese electronics firm,
which says that it will begin selling the battery in a year: Toshiba's
New Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Recharges in Only One Minute:
New battery offers unsurpassed recharge performance and high energy
density - Toshiba - Mar.29.05.
Previously, the companies Altair
Nanotechnologies and NanoEner
Technologies announced similar batteries: Charge
a battery in just six minutes - New Scientist - Mar.7.05 * Ener1
Nanotech Unit Prepares to Commercialize Revolutionary Battery Electrodes
- Chemie.DE - Feb.16.05.
They all are using nano-technology for the electrode materials
to obtain superfast recharge times AND higher energy densities.
With so many companies showing similar technology, it implies that
the approach is robust and viable (and that there are going to be
a lot of patent lawsuits.)
If the performance numbers hold true in real world use and the
price is no worse than that of the current Li-ion batteries, which
seems so according to the chart on the Toshiba
PR, then this is really big time news. Consumer electronics
companies will love them because all sorts of wireless consumer
devices are requiring more and more power. Fast recharge would be
a whole new feature that battery powered devices have never had.
Such batteries may even bring the pure electric car back into the
race with hybrids and hydrogen for the car of the future stakes.
EVs seemed to be coming on in the 1990s but long recharge times
and short driving distances left them confined to the speciality
commuter car niche. I would bet that if these batteries can provide
driving distances above 250 mi (400km) for a standard size sedan,
then EVs will become real contenders.
Note that according to this battery researcher at MIT (who spoke
before the recent announcements), the lithium-Ion battery has far
to go before reaching its full potential:
Battery Research: Too Little, Too Late? - Computerworld - Jan.10.05
10:25 am: Dial-up Sputnik ... I
have not yet found many additional details on the nanosat that was
thrown into orbit by the ISS crew during their recent spacewalk
Sputnik Flies the Coop - Wired - Mar.29.05. However, this article
Sends First Signal - RIA Novosti - Mar.28.05 - does give the
interesting news that communications with the spacecraft are carried
out via the Globalstar
satellite telephone system.
The article doesn't say what kind of communications protocol is
used but it would be cool if it used TCP/IP (i.e. Internet) as was
implemented for the SpaceDev
10:25 am: The
Tuesday, March 29, 2005, 7:00-8:15 pm (Pacific Time ) - Dr. David
Schrunk on the topic of quality laws and democracy and its application
to space development.
Wednesday, March 30, 2005, 7:00-8:30 pm (Pacific Time) Dr. David
Schrunk, author and specialist on quality laws and space development.
Dr. Schrunk will be discussing his new book, THE END OF CHAOS:
Quality Laws and The Ascendancy of Democracy, an important subject
for the space program as indirectly quality programs for laws
in the space arena will be designed to facilitate rather than
to hinder humankindís advancement into space..
Sunday, March 27, 2005, 12:00-1:30 pm (Pacific Time) features
Dr. Alan Binder, principle investigator for Lunar
Prospector returns as a guest to The Space Show.
Recent shows include interviews with space columnist Sam
Dinkin and space medicine specialist John
Jurist who discusses medical requirements for space tourists.
10:25 am: This
week's AMSAT news: Echo
Telemetry Data Online * Echo Operating Schedule for April * Spring,
Satellites and Spaghetti * FCC Report & Order on 'Smart Radios'
* ARISS Status: Successful Contact with Mt. Gambier, Australia
School * Upcoming School Contact * ARRL Article on Rains High School
Contact * ARISS International Meeting Held * Energia News
10:25 am: Stevie briefs ... The
adventures of Stevie Austin continue as shown in this latest update:
"We have updated The
Stevie Austin Project Web Site to offer some exciting new
photos and info which document the first phase of Stevie's intense
Airborne Training Program. Stevie is working very hard to sharpen
her Parachuting skills, in preparation for her upcoming Parachute/Skydiving
With the help of good folks from California to Texas to New Jersey,
Stevie has acquired her own fully functional Parachute System,
as well as an authentic Air Force Flight Suit, both of which have
been put to immediate use during her Airborne Training.
Stevie remains at full Mission Ready Status and she looks forward
to getting back in the air ASAP!"
3:15 pm: News briefs ... A
posting at Martian
Soil provides links to some interesting card model plans that
include a MarsDial!
Nye ,The Science Guy, the Mars
Explorer Mars Rover Spirit and Opportunity, and a big set at
Paper Models. You can find many more free card model plans in
Models section here. ...
Explorers, Inc. supplies space related science teaching resources
for K-12 education. For example, the Mission:
Solar System set of classroom mission simulations include Mars
rover and orbiter, lunar orbiter, and asteroid rendezvous.
... Collecting Soviet space
artifacts is becoming a big business and one that's not always on
the up and up: Psst
- Wanna Buy a Slightly Used Soviet Space Suit? - Wired - April 2005
... Dwayne Day continues his
examination of the Beagle 2 mission: A
very sick dog indeed: the Beagle 2 failure investigation - The Space
Review - Mar.28.05 ...
... The next ISS crew gets
training in how to use the facility's ham radio station:
Training of the ISS Expedition 11 - Energia - Mar.15.05 * Ham
radio training - Energia - Mar.16.05 ...
... On Mir there were a couple
of instance of small satellites literally thrown into orbit by cosmonauts
during spacewalks. (A couple of these were student built.) Now ISS
spacewalkers have also thrown a nanosputnik into orbit: Spacewalking
Astronauts Outfit ISS For New Cargo Ship - Space.com - Mar.28.05
... Neal Thompson's biography
of Alan Shepard is coming out in paperback: Light
This Candle ...
... A participant in a crew
at the Mars
Desert Research Station says it was a "once-in-a-lifetime
thing to Mars - Morning Sentinel (Maine) - Mar.28.05
1:55 am: News briefs ... The
Apollo 13 - Special
10th Anniversary Edition DVD will be released on March 29, 2005.
The two disk set includes a number of special features, such as
the version edited for the Imax format. Available at Amazon.
(Item via a HS reader.) ...
... Reflections on the mission
and on the movie by Lovell and Howard in this article: Feature:
'Apollo' program lives on - UPI/WashTimes - Mar.25.05
2:05 pm: News briefs ... This
sounds like an intriguing, near-term Solar
Sci-fi style book: Novel
sets murder on space station in 2010 - SignOnSanDiego.com - Mar.25.05.
You can buy it at Reaching
Beyond : A Space Thriller by Nora E. Milner, 2005, Authorhouse.
... Space spinoffs
aren't needed to justify space development but they still are a
genuine benefit to the world. See For
Space, For Relief - WorldChanging - Mar.22.05 for a report about
a water purification system derived from space research and used
in emergency relief situations. ...
... Here are some different
roads that NASA may take to the Moon: Lunar
Roadmap Alternatives & Key Questions - Kent Joosten - NASA JSC
- Jan.25,2005. See also Mark
Whittington comments on the commercial road to lunar development:
New Way to Explore the Moon - The Washington Dispatch - Mar.24.05...
... Most moon visitors will
not want to reach the Moon quite as quickly as this probe did: Kissing
moondust: Forty years after crashing into the Moon, live, on national
TV, Ranger 9 still offers an exciting ride. -Astronomy - Mar.24.05...
... More about Planetary Radio
on XM: Planetary
Radio hits the XM Satellite Radio Airwaves - Planetary Society -
... Companies created by Howard
Hughes made significant contributions to space development and commercialization:
Hughes Beyond "The Aviator" - TCS: Tech Central Station
12:05 pm: News briefs ... An
Imax film on the Mars rovers will be appearing this year: 'Pumping
Iron' Director Spotlights Mars Mission in IMAX Film - Space.com
- Mar.23.05 ...
... SETI proponent Seth Shostak
discusses cosmic calls by the public: Lost
for words in space - Guardian - Mar.24.05 ...
... Clifford McMurray wants
to convince young people that space exploration is cool: Space
Exploration: What Could be Cooler? By Clifford R. McMurray - adAstra
/ Space.com - Mar.24.05 ...
... The commercial space industry
will be happy to see that there is at least some growth in the number
of spacecraft launches: Teal
Near-Term Outlook Projects 26% Growth in Spacecraft Launched - Teal
Group/PR Newswire - Mar.23.05.
1:15 pm: News briefs ... Here's
another article about projects to transmit personal calls to the
in Space: Calling the Cosmos Gets Commercial - Space.com - Mar.23.05.
See also the info and links here in the Vicarious
Space Travel section...
... Maybe someday we will be
able to see earth-like planets directly and look for signs of civilisation,
e.g. smog: Extrasolar
planets observed: For first time, light is detected from two confirmed
planets orbiting stars outside our solar system - Cornell News -
4:50 pm: News briefs ... You
iPodsters out there can now download the latest NASA science news:
to go: A new "podcast" puts audio recordings of NASA science
news articles into your pocket MP3 player - Science@NASA - Mar.21.05
.... The Indian lunar project
gets ESA as a partner: ESA
Council give go-ahead to Europe's cooperation with India in a lunar
exploration mission - ESA - Mar.21.05 ...
... At the next party, you
better watch what you say about Mars life: Scientist
at center of Mars flap speaks out: Controversial story has long-term
consequences, Stoker says - MSNBC - Mar.22.05 ...
... The Iridium sats keep going
and going: Iridium
Satellite Constellation Passes Milestone for Longevity - Iridium
4:50 pm: The
Tuesday, March 22, 2005, 7:00-8:15 pm (Pacific Time ) - Sy Liebergot,
author and retired NASA Apollo program key team member.
Sunday, March 27, 2005, 12:00-1:30 pm (Pacific Time) features
Sam Dinkin, a regular columnist at the Space
Review, Chief Economist at Optimal Auctions, Founder of SpaceShot,
Inc., and on the Advisory Board of the Colony Fund.
4:50 pm: This
week's AMSAT news: AMSAT
KEPS distribution approved by AFSPC * AFSPC KEPS policy requires
email addresses * ANS Editors Wanted * AO-51 operating mode info
* ARISS Status: Texas School Contact Successful * ARRL Article
on Bentley Contact * St John's School Video * Astronaut Training
* ARISS School Selection Committee Meeting Held
7:05 pm: News briefs ... The
Moon is not a detour on the way to Mars: En
Route to Mars, The Moon: Why colonize the Moon before going to Mars?
NASA scientists give their reasons. - Science@NASA - Mar.18.05
... Alan Boyle discusses the
price on a cosmic phone broadcast: The
high cost of calling E.T. - Cosmic Log/MSNBC - Mar.18.05 ...
... Another instance of space
a developing country: Indian
satellites to enable telemedicine in Afghanistan - New Kerala -
... Michael Griffin has lots
of challenges ahead: New
NASA chief faces monumental job - CNN.com - Mar.18.05 ...
... Former astronaut John Young
enters the space collectibles industry: Astronaut
Young signs with Novaspace - collectSPACE - Mar.20.05
pm: Space software news... A new game from Sims creator
Will Wright allows players to develop simulated life all the way
from primordial spores to the creation of space empires: Will
Wright Presents Spore... and a New Way to Think About Games - GameSpy
- Mar.14.05 * Spore
PC Preview - 1UP.COM - Mar.11.05. (Via Michael
... Try out the SpaceDev
Lunar Lander Simulator, which is supported by the forums
... The Claimstake
game itself a
"3D dexterity game about asteroid mining in deep space.
You are a Beltminer. You have been issued a Prospector mining
craft in order to land on asteroids and stake a claim on valuable
minerals. These minerals will be used for the good of the space
station Terra. Your ultimate goal is to find water...and construct
an Ice-water extractor on an asteroid.
At the end of each mission, you will will have to spend a percentage
of you credits on repairing the Prospector, buying Mineral Beacons,
and re-fueling your craft. Once you collect enough resources...you
will be able to build an Ice Water Extractor.
The site has over 500 register users as of Feb.5 ...
... Check out BamBam131.com
where David Robinson displays the many spaceships, space stations,
and other space related 3D models made with Bryce.
7:05 pm: New space prize ... In
2003 the Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust established
the $500,000 Heinlein
Prize to "be given as frequently as annually to one or
more individuals who have achieved practical accomplishments in
the field of commercial space activities": Heinlein
Prize: Accomplishments in Commercial Space Activities - Press Release
The goal is to encourage "human advancement into space through
commercial endeavors" in honor of writer Robert
Heinlein, many of whose books depicted a wonderfully exciting
future for humanity in space.
Now the trust has announced the Robert
A. Heinlein "Flight into the Future Project Contest",
which is intended to support students and young researchers in European,
African, and Middle Eastern nations who have innovative projects
in the field of space exploration: The
Heinlein Prize Trust Announces The "Robert A. Heinlein Flight
Into The Future Project Contest"- Heinlein Prize: Press Release
- Jan.27.05. (Contests for students in other regions will be
Entries must be sent by May 14, 2005 and awards will be presented
on July 7, 2005, the anniversary of the birth of Robert A. Heinlein.
Details of the contest is available in invitation.pdf.
3:35 pm: Sci-Fi writing contest... Write
a story according to the following guidelines: "The year is
3037 and, despite the predictions of environmentalists, human beings
still thrive on planet Earth. What's it like? Transport us to a
day in the life of a character." Deadline April 30th, 2005:
Contest - ReadingWriters, Home of The VERB.
3:35 pm: News briefs ... Here's
a long (18.35min/281MB) video from a Canadian group about the Mars
Mars Arctic Research Station: Mars
sur Terre (Mars on Earth) - Le film (in French with English
Clar "is an early pioneer of art-in-space and began work
in this field in 1982 with a NASA approved concept for an art-payload
for the U.S. Space Shuttle." His Art
Technologies(tm) site describes the various space art projects
that he has developed. More about him and a conference he helped
to organize in this article: Art
in Space - TCS: Tech Central Station - Mar.18.05 ...
... David Livingston celebrates
four years and over 300 shows at the frontier of alt.space: The
Space Show Prepares to Turn Four - ad Astra/Space.com - Mar.18.05
... Keith Cowing points
to more great Saturn system pictures like this one: Cassini's
Private Eclipse - JPL - Mar.3.05.
11:35 am: News briefs ... Following
up the previous report
on government restrictions on satellite tracking data (see also
Now article), CelesTrak reports
(see the March 17th item at the bottom of the page) NORAD has offered
an "Interim CFE Data/Analysis Redistribution Approval Process"
that will allow for limited
redistribution of tracking data by sites like CelesTrak...
Transport 's plan to develop a suborbital space vehicle is in
limbo while the founders try to develop a viable business plan.
Meanwhile, the brave test flight pioneer Stevie Austin who survived
Rubicon launch attempt with her head held high (by a beachcomber)
is looking for other adventures:
Greetings from Rubicon ICU,
We have an update for you regarding Astronaut Stevie Austin's
Plans for 2005!
Please visit Stevie's
Web Site and check the latest news. There have been some changes
in her plans this year but there is no change in her burning desire
to get into the sky and beyond!
Stevie is prepared for an action packed year of adventure. She
is asking for your help for referrals to any and all air/sky/space
loving folks who may be willing to take her on various vital "Training
Missions" such as Skydiving, Hang Gliding, Ballooning, Flying
(in any and all types of aircraft) and most of all, Rocketing
into space! These exciting "Training Missions" will each be filmed
as part of Stevie's popular Internet Movie Series! We need the
help of kind and fun-loving experts in these various fields to
make her Missions happen. Please visit the site and get all the
Meanwhile, Stevie has returned "home" to Rubicon ICU in Pasadena,
CA after a wonderful few months at STC HQ in Forks, Washington.
She is staying fit and maintaining Mission Ready Status at all
times. She's waiting for her next Mission as we speak. She will
remain willing to travel anywhere in the country, at her own expense,
to take part in any Training Missions that willing folks can offer
Thank you for your interest in Stevie's ongoing story and adventures!
It'll be a fun and exciting year for sure!
5:10 pm: Andre
Norton has died... The writer Andre
Norton (the pseudonym used by Alice Mary Norton) has passed
away at the age of 93: Science
fiction author Andre Norton dies - Volunteer TV - Mar.17.05.
of science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories is enormous.
She continued to write till the end of her life and her final novel,
Three Hands for Scorpio,
just came out.
Aleta Jackson of XCOR
Aerospace says "Her novels such as Sioux
Star Are Ours, Uncharted
Stars, and Cat's
Eye helped a 13 year-old (me) decide to go into engineering,
and especially aerospace. She will be missed."
11:45 am: News briefs ... From
the images of Mars returned by the early flyby missions in the 1960s
and from the rather static photos taken by the Viking landers in
the 1970s, an impression of a dead, boring red world became ingrained
in the minds of most people. Beginning, however, with Pathfinder
and Mars Global
Surveyor and continuing up to the recent rover missions, a new
impression has emerged of a dynamic, fascinating, mysterious place:
Signs of Recent Glaciers, Volcanoes and Flowing Water on Mars -
Space.com - Mar.16.05 ...
... There are new discoveries
being made in the Saturn system as well: Cassini
finds an atmosphere on Saturn's moon Enceladus - Spaceflight Now
- Mar.16.05 ...
... One of the first questions
for Michael Griffin will concern whether he will reverse the decision
not to send a Shuttle repair mission to the Hubble Telescope: The
People's Telescope: Wrangling Over Hubble's Fate - Space.com - Mar.16.05.
11:45 am: SciTech briefs ... Despite
what you may have heard, we are a long way from the "end of
things that do not make sense - New Scientist - Mar.19.05 ...
Nanotechnologies announced recently the development of a new
type of electrode for Lithium-Ion batters that will allow for super-fast
recharging and discharging: Charge
a battery in just six minutes - New Scientist - Mar.7.05. Turns
out that another company - NanoEner
Technologies - is also using nanotechnology techniques to make
a similar type of battery: Ener1
Nanotech Unit Prepares to Commercialize Revolutionary Battery Electrodes:
Will produce high discharge rate lithium-ion battery electrodes
for hybrid electric vehicles, other uses - Ener1- Feb.14.05.
2:15 pm: News briefs ... Progress
continues on the restoration of the Saturn V in Houston: "Funds
sought to restore Saturn V" - collectSPACE - Mar.16.05.
More on the project and how you can help at Save
the Saturn V ...
... Here's an excellent article
space art, the canvas is infinite - Orlando Sentinel - Mar.13.05
... Students around the world
continue to take advantage of the ham
radio connection to the ISS: Students'
Space Questions via Ham Radio Show Strong Science Slant - ARRLWeb
2:15 pm: SciTech brief ... These
two sites offer news about developments in alternative fuels, hybrid
and electric vehicles, etc.: WorldChanging:
Another World Is Here and Green
11:00 pm: News briefs ... Satellite
manufactuers will be happy to hear about the new company ProtoStar
and its plans to build and operate three comsats to provide direct-to-home
TV in asia: Asian
satellite TV venture planned - spacetoday.net - Mar.15.05 *
Closes on Initial Funding From New Enterprise Associates and SpaceVest.
New Direct-to-Home (DTH) Satellite Provider to Support Asia's Expanding
Market Demand. - ProtoStar - Mar.14.05 ...
... Wally Schirra, one of the
original Mercury astronauts, has a new website (WallySchirra.Com):
(Cyber) Space" - collectSPACE - Mar.15.05
1:30 pm: News briefs ... Projects
such as the SLOOH
service that bring public access via the web to
robotic telescopes will need strong publicity efforts
if they are to survive: See
stars from your computer: Internet Sites Bring Observatories To
Astronomy Fans' Computers - MercuryNews - Mar.14.05 ...
... Amateur astronomers can
see extremely faint objects with Dobson
type big light-bucket, low cost telescopes: Amateurs
join the hunt for elusive Pluto: For 75 years, it tested limits
of observation - MSNBC - Mar.11.05 ...
... I hear that the gift shop
at the The
Museum of Flight in Seattle is selling the To
Touch the Stars CD ...
space.com to include To
Touch the Stars titles in its SpaceBox
song selection ...
... Enjoy the cartoon adventures
of a flying ant at Klyde
Flies in Space! - Klyde Morris
1:30 pm: The
Monday, March 14, 2005, 7:30-8:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - Henry
Vanderbilt, chief of the Space
Access Society, will be on a special edition of The
Space Show this evening 7-8:30 pm (Pacific Time). They will
discuss the Space
Access '05 Conference, which will take place this April 28-30
in Phoenix, and a range of topics dealing with the question of
how to lower the cost of access to space.
Sunday, March 20, 2005, 12:00-1:30 pm (Pacific Time) features
Jim McDade, long time space advocate, activists, and publisher
of Space ADG newsletter.
Recent interviewees include George
Whitesides, head of the National
Space Society, and Terry
McNeeley and Bruce Behrhorst of nuclearspace.com.
1:30 pm: This
week's AMSAT news: AMSAT
Volunteer Needed * AO-51 schedule page update * OSCAR 11 Celebrates
21 Years * AMSAT awards issued * ARISS Status
1:30 pm: Dreams
of Space ... The Arts
Catalyst program in Britain encourages collaborations between
the arts and sciences and has sponsored a number of space related
projects. A exhibit opening this month in Edinburgh (STILLS
Exhibitions) will display photography and video of a microgravity
MIR - Dreams of Space
Stills, 23 Cockburn Street, Edinburgh
t +44 (0) 131 622 6200
Exhibition runs 19 March - 5 June
Vadim Fishkin (RU), Stefan Gec (UK), Yuri Leiderman (RU), Otolith
Group: Richard Couzins, Kodwo Eshun, Anjalika Sagar (UK), Evgeni
Nesterov (RU), Carey Young (UK)
MIR - Dreams of Space presents new photographic, installation
and video works by British and Russian artists reflecting the
utopian idealism that spurred the start of the space age and the
enduring legacy of the Russian quest for Space.
The works were created through the MIR programme, a unique initiative
which enables artists to work in conditions beyond the confines
of Earth's gravity - in zero gravity and hypergravity - using
facilities at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star
City, heart of the Russian space programme and one of the former
'closed cities' of the Soviet Union.
50 years after the launch of Sputnik, and at the start of a new
millennium, with new aspirations to build the International Space
Station and to reach Mars, it is timely that artists are reclaiming
these territories, in a contemporary and very direct sense.
MIR was commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and the MIR Consortium,
a group of international organisations including Arts Catalyst,
Projekt Atol (SLO) , V2_Institute for the Unstable Media (NL),
Transmediale (D), Leonardo/OLATS (FR/US), SpaceArtONe (FR), MoM
(ESP) and the Multimedia Complex for Actual Art (RU).
A programme of MIR documentary & artist films accompanies the
exhibition, including work by Andrew Kotting, Ewen Chardronnet,
Ansuman Biswas & Jem Finer, Morag Wightman and Marcel.li Antunez
1:25 pm: Red dust devils ...
Alan Boyle reports on pictures of Martian whirlwinds, called Dust
Devils, taken by the Spirit rover: Dust
devil caught on Mars - Cosmic Log/MSNBC - Mar.11.05...
... And Leonard David reports
that Spirit got a solar panel cleaning free of charge from a passing
Gets A Dust Devil Once-Over - Space.com - Mar.12.05
10:05 pm: News briefs... Here's
a nicely written essay on the possibility of Mars life: Reading
the Red Planet: Life on Mars looks more likely than ever. Green
monsters less so. - Wall Street Journal - Mar.11.05 (via a HS
... Here's a sculpture that
really puts things into their proper proportion: UK
Solar System set for creation - BBC - Mar.10.05 ...
... A trekker will make it
into real space: Space
Adventures Welcomes Eugene Roddenberry, Jr. as SPACEFLIGHT CLUB
Member Son of science-fiction legend will make father's dream of
private spaceflight a reality - Space Adventures - Mar.11.05
10:05 pm: Space radio news... Radio-Free-Mars
has occasional live webcasts and also provides a big selection of
Music songs for downloading. ...
... The The
Planetary Society's Planetary Radio Show will now be available
on the XM Satellite Radio anywhere in North America. Tune to Channel
133, XM Public Radio every Saturday at 10pm Eastern, 9pm Central,
8pm Mountain, and 7pm Pacific.
10:20 pm: News briefs... Small
businesses in rural areas might find it cost-effective to use satellite
broadband provided by the new company dataBahn
Satellite Services ...
is another effort to make a business from radio transmissions
into space: Hello
aliens, this is Earth calling - New Scientist - Mar.10.05 ...
... The Oxford English Dictionary
takes sci-fi lingo seriously: SF
Citations for OED.
10:40 pm: News briefs... I
hope that the SLOOH
project succeeds in making a business out of public participation
in astronomical observations with large telescopes via the web:
Joins Forces With Discovery.com To Introduce Online Exploration
of Space: Discovery.com Audience Takes Command From Their Home Computers
of High Powered Telescopes Situated in the Canary Islands -SLOOH
PR/Yahoo - Mar.8.05. More Robotic
Telescope programs are listed in the Astronomy section...
... With more modest tools,
Tammy Plotner at Universe Today is guiding a "Messier
Marathon", which involves observing all 110 Messier Objects
in a single week.
10:25 am: News briefs... The
X PRIZE Foundation
has a new website of its own and provides lots of great info on
of the program, new projects like the X
PRIZE Cup, and other topics....
... Fraser Cain reports on
an innovative spacecraft
that will use ion propulsion to rendezvous and orbit two different
Will Show How Different Two Asteroids Can Be - Universe Today -
10:25 am: Rocketry simulation update...
sent me an announcement regarding their famous RockSim
Apogee Components has updated the RockSim engine database to
include every certified rocket motor on the NAR/CAR/TRA combined
list of approved motors. This new database is in the RASP.eng
format, allowing it to be used in any software program that supports
this common engine format.
There are over 363 motors in the new database, compared to approximately
250 in the old data files. The database even includes many new
motors that were certified after the NAR/CAR/TRA list was released
This extensive motor database allows modelers using a simulation
program (like RockSim) to pre-test their rockets with even more
motor choices than before. Knowing how rockets will perform prior
to launching them increases their safety and reliability. Because
it reduces the chances of an expensive mishap, performing a preflight
simulation saves modelers money.
The free data file can be downloaded from the Apogee Components
web site at: Loading
New Motor Files into RockSim
10:25 am: SciTech news brief ...
Photovoltaics on tape
and thin foil substrates, such as that from DayStar
Technologies, appear to offer substantial improvements in cost
and power to weight ratios: DayStar
Technologies Unveils LightFoil Photovoltaic Product for Military
and Homeland Security Applications: Specifically Designed for High
Altitude Airships, Winged Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Orbital Applications
for Next Generation Satellite Craft - DayStar - Mar.3.05
10:25 am: The
Tuesday,March 8, 2005, 7:00-8:15 pm (Pacific Time ) - the show
features Ed Buckbee, co-author of "The Real Space Cowboys" and
the first director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center as selected
by Von Braun.
Sunday,March 13, 2005, 12:00-1:30 pm (Pacific Time) features
Terry McNeeley and Bruce Behrhorst from www.nuclearspace.com
will be the guests.
See also the recent interview at NuclearSpace.com with Tim
Frazier, DOE director for radioisotope power systems: Safety
Considerations In Space Nuclear Operations - NuclearSpace.com
10:25 am: This
week's AMSAT news: Call
for papers - 2005 AMSAT Space Symposium and Annual Meeting * Keplerian
Data Update * AMSAT Hamfest Activities for 12-13 March 2005 * Emory,
TX ARISS Contact - 08 March 2005 * AMSAT awards issued * Cubesat
mission status page * ARISS Status - 25 Feb 2005
10:25 am: Third
space song contest is announced by the Mars Society:
Third International Space
Pioneer Song Contest to be Held.
March 7, 2005
The Mars Society is proud to announce that it will hold its
Third Rouget de Lisle Award contest for songs celebrating the
cause of the human exploration and settlement of space.
We are asking for a tape or CD of songs, to be submitted together
with a hardcopy of the lyrics by no later than April 30, 2005
to Mars Society, Box 273, Indian Hills, CO 80454. Songs can be
any style; classical, folk, country, pop, jazz, rock and roll,
etc. A committee of judges will then down select to ten finalists,
who will be invited to play at the 8th International Mars Society
Convention, University of Colorado, Boulder, August 11, 14, 2005.
The audience will then vote for the winning songs. All finalists,
however, will submitted to Prometheus Records for consideration
for its next CD, and will also be forwarded to NASA for possible
use as wakeup songs for crews of the International Space Station,
the Mars Rovers, and the Cassini spacecraft which is now orbiting
The winner of our first contest "The Pioneers of Mars" was recently
used as wakeup music for the Mars rover Opportunity. Written by
partners in life and song Karen Linsley and Lloyd Landa, "The
Pioneers of Mars" was honored with the Mars Society's first
Rouget de Lisle award in 2000.
Co-author Landa died unexpected of a heart attack days before
the song's debut at the Mars Society's August 2000 Toronto conference,
after which Karen exclaimed in tears, "Get to Mars. And when the
notes of this song are heard on Martian soil, he will live again."
The Second Rouget de Lisle was held in 2004, with the winners
awarded at the 7th International Mars Society Convention in Chicago.
The winners of that contest were:
Gold Medal Category;
1st place; "Thank God Dreams Survive," by Bill, Tina, and Casey
2nd place; "On to Mars," by Robert McNally
Silver Medal Category
3rd Place; "Lullaby for Mars," by S. Miria Jo
4th Place; "When Mice Become Men," by Janetta Deavers
Bronze Medal Category
5th Place; "Make this World Come Alive," written by Leslie Fish,
sung by Beatriz Serrato
6th Place; "First Footprint," by Robert McNally.
Songs from the first and second Rouget de Lisle contest have been
posted and are available for downloading at the "Mars
Songs" link at www.marssociety.org.
So tune up your harps, space bards, turn in your songs and prepare
to turn out for Boulder. Let your voices ring out into the solar
system. Mars needs music, and the Boulder conference is going
to be the Woodstock of Mars!
For further information about the Mars Society, visit our website
12:00 pm: News briefs... Fourteen
ten different universities and a private company will be launched
in April on a Russian DNEPR vehicle. The launch is being coordinated
by California Polytechnic State University. Here is an article on
one of the university projects: CubeSat
could put KU in orbit - LJWorld.com - Mar.5.05 ...
... I'm starting to think that
solar power might not be such a crazy idea after all,
especially if the VSE
program succeeds in establishing a base on the Moon: Criswell
on Lunar Solar Power - SciScoop - Mar.4.05. Note that a prototype
solar cell derived only from materials available on the Moon was
recently built by a university group:Lunar
colony to run on moon dust and robots - New Scientist - Jan.23.05
... And for Moon base construction,
we can use a concrete derived from only sulfur and lunar soil (no
water required): Materials
to build concrete structures exist in abundance on the lunar surface
- UAH - Feb.14.05 ...
... Here's another article
about the Deep
Space Communications Network and its efforts to make a business
out of transmitting personal messages, images, etc into the cosmos:
your photos, videos spacebound - Florida Today - Mar.6.05 See
also the Craigslist "ad
into space" program and Alan Boyle's earlier report at
signals for sale - Cosmic Log/MSNBC - Feb.23.05) ...
... Jeff Foust reports on the
internal events at NASA that led up to the decision to cancel the
repair mission: Hubble
slips away - The Space Review - Mar.7.05. Robert
Zimmerman's recent article argues that the decision was not
supported at the time by hard data and analysis: Space
Watch: Backing a bad Hubble decision - UPI - Mar.3.05
2:20 pm: News briefs... PlanetQuest
is a "nonprofit organization dedicated cutting edge research
in planet detection and citizen science". It is developing
a distributed software system similar to that used by SETI@Home
but for analysing telescope data in the search for planets around
other stars: Planets
Lurk on Your Desktop - Wired News - Mar.2.05 ...
... Alan Boyle reports on space
related audio programs available on the web: Download
the sound of science - Cosmic Log/MSNBC - Mar.2.05. As an example,
he mentions Slacker
Astronomy, which describes itself as "a weekly, five minute
podcast covering recent news item in astronomy." While I don't
use an iPod, I di prefer downloading prgrams like the SpaceShow
and listing to them at my convenience, such as when I'm jogging,
rather than listening directly online via a stream. I list a number
of space programs in my SpaceCast
2:20 pm: SciTech: Sonofusion gets louder
... Amazingly hot temperatures have been measured in
the bubbles produced in sonoluminescence experiments: Bubbles
Get Hotter than the Sun - LiveScience - Mar.3.05 * Temperature
inside collapsing bubble four times that of sun - PhysOrg - Mar.2.05.
This is quite interesting because not long after the first
report of sonofusion
by a group led by Rusi Taleyarkhan came out in 2003, a theoretical
paper in Nature by Didenko and Suslick at the University of Illinois
claimed to prove that sonoluminescence bubbles could not possible
reach temperatures high enough to produce fusion reactions. Now
measurements by the same Suslick prove that in fact the bubble temperatures
reach much higher temperatures that he said were possible.
In 2004, Taleyarkhan (who has since moved from Oak Ridge National
Lab to Purdue University) and his collaborators published a second
refereed paper in Physics Review E that reproduced the earlier
positive results with an apparatus improved to overcome shortcomings
in the original experiment.
Recently, an attempt
supported by the BBS to reproduce the Purdue experiment was unsuccessful.
Taleyarkhan claims this was due to problems in the other team's
Note that Jeffrey Clymer maintains a timeline
and bibliography page on sonofusion developments.
5:20 pm: British rocket history
will be the subject of the The
BROHP Charterhouse Conference 2005, 31st March to 2nd April,
2005. The BROHP (British Rocketry and Oral History Project) meeting
is supported by the British
National Space Centre, British
Interplanetary Society, UKSEDS,
and other groups.
I've heard that technical literature and information that's been
inaccessible for decades because of the British Official Secrets
Act is gradually being released about the very active rocketry programs
of the 1950s and 60s. A number of British rocket engine designers
from that period attend the conference.
For lots of information on British rocketry, see Nicholas Hill's
(This item via a HS reader.)
4:15 pm: Satellite tracking mess...
Bill Harwood gives an excellent report on the situation involving
the US government's new restrictions on access and distribution
of spacecraft tracking data: Satellite
watchers worried about Air Force restrictions - Spaceflight Now
- Mar.2.05. As many of the commentators point out, these restrictions
will only hamper those trying their best to obey the rules. (See
item on this topic.)
4:15 pm: News briefs ... More
offering to send messages to space via the Deep
Space Communications Network : Craigslist
Beamed to Extraterrestrials - TechNewsWorld - Mar.1.05 (via
... ESA is sponsoring a workshop
program in which students will " to find novel and innovative
ways of sustaining human life in space: Aurora
Exploration Programme - First Habitat Design Workshop: Call for
applicants - ESA - Mar.1.05 ...
... Sounds like a fun light
and shadow show in Pasadena this Friday: JPL
Artist Sheds Light on Pasadena Event - JPL/NASA - Mar.1.05
2:45 pm: The
Tuesday, March 1, 2005, 7:00-8:15 pm (Pacific Time ) - Dr. Pascal
Lee returns to The Space Show.
Sunday, March 6, 2005, 12:00-1:30 pm (Pacific Time) features
George Whitesides, Executive Director of NSS.
2:45 pm: This
week's AMSAT news: AO-51
Schedule Update * AMSAT upgrading member database * AMSAT-UK Colloquium
Call for Papers * AMSAT awards issued * ARISS Status: 1.
Maine Contact Successful 2. ARRL Article on Illinois Contact 3.
SuitSat Meeting Held 4. NASA Explorer Schools Applications Reviewed
11:45 am: Around the world in 80 hours...
Atlantic Global Flyer is off on its one man nonstop journey
around the world. Follow its progress via this tracking
page and the mission
11:05 am: Sat observing contest ...
The ESA Rosetta
spacecraft is aiming to rendezvous with, orbit, and land on comet
67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. To build up the speed to catch the comet
by 2014, the spacecraft will carry out a series of flybys of the
Earth and Mars. A flyby
that will come within 1900km of earth will take place this Friday,
To raise awareness of the event, ESA is sponsoring a contest for
the best photo of the spacecraft taken by amateurs: Amateur
watchers invited to 'Rosetta Up Close' photo contest - ESA - Feb.28.05.
The winner will get two tickets "to attend the exclusive Venus
Express launch event at the European Space Operations Centre
(ESOC), Darmstadt, Germany, in mid-2005 (date to be announced)".
See the Sat
Watching section for links to examples of photography
of spacecraft taken from the ground by enthusiasts.
11:45 am: Drawn to the sky ...
The ancient practice of astronomical
sketching has not lost out completely to CCD imaging.
Putting to paper ones observations of the sky can greatly enhance
the experience. Craig D. Wandke eloquently expresses his joy at
observing and recording his visual studies of the Moon in this article:
night, I'm drawn to the moon - csmonitor.com - Feb.23.05.
11:45 am: Space biz news ...
Iridium may have lost billions of dollars its original investors,
but as a small, private company it is gradually developing several
niche markets that might actually allow it to survive for a long
Announces 2004 Revenue and Subscriber Growth - Iridium - Feb.23.05
Satellite Radio's stock got a big boost when it announced yesterday
that it would raise its subscription fees to $12.95 per month, matching
that of Sirius.
The company also received a boost when its new satellite was successfully
launches XM satellite - spacetoday.net - Mar.1.05.
11:45 am: News briefs ... Dwayne
Day reviews the Beagle
2 failure review fiasco: A
different kind of openness - The Space Review - Feb.28.05 ...
Oberg reviews an America-Russia disagreement over what is pushing
the ISS around: Action-reaction
in space: the "gyrodine war" heats up - The Space Review
... Alan Boyle reports on who won
the bid to transmit messages to outer space: Personal
ads for aliens - Cosmic Log/MSNBC - Feb.28.05 ...
I recently heard from Fred
Bortz, who writes science books for young people. His site also
includes an archive
of his reviews of space and science books, many of which have been
published in major newspapers and magazines. ...
the rocketry newsletter at ModelRockets.us....
- the pioneers checkpoint is "run by a community of some
of the world's most experienced explorers... [it aims] to open up
the most extreme parts of the world and beyond to all go-wishers....
The site publishes independent, noncommercial guides and news on
mountaineering, ocean sailing, polar expeditions, space travel,
edge technology, adventure statistics and hands-on science. "
The PYTHOM - Space
Expeditions section focus on space adventures....
... Big government space programs
always like to talk about the great things they will accomplish
20 years from now. Unfortunately, the date always remains 20 years
from now. The Japanese space agency follows the pattern: Report:
Japan Eyes Manned Base on Moon - NY Times/AP - Feb.28.05
11:45 am: SciTech: Aviation news ...
Here are some status reports on several of my favorite aviation-related
to February 2005 articles in archive