Category Archives: Uncategorized

Space policy roundup – April.26.2019

A sampling of links to recent space policy, politics, and government (US and international) related space news and resource items that I found of interest:

Webcasts:

** China in Space: A Strategic Competition? | U.S.-CHINA – Senate hearing on April 25, 22019:

Unable to see this video? Click here.

** The Space Show – Mon, 04/22/2019Daniel Suarez discussed his new science fiction novel, Delta-v, and “deep space mining, space economics, commercial space, policy and regulations, government space activities, risk taking, lunar return, Mars and much much more”.

** The Space Show – Tue, 04/23/2019Jeffrey Smith talked about his two recent booster series articles on The Space Review (Part 1 and Part 2) and “also talked rocket and booster history, returning to the Moon and more”.

** Constellations, a New Space and Satellite Innovation Podcast: 48 – Explosion in VC Funding, The Year of Commercial Space Travel and Earth Observation for Everyone

Investment in the satellite and space industry has evolved from traditional government sources to backing by a couple of billionaire Unicorn investors, and now to an explosion in venture capital and angel investors driving the industry. This new wave of funding has taken the industry from a dozen or so privately funded space companies globally in 2009 to 435 today, that have received over $20 billion in investment. Chad Anderson, CEO of Space Angels discusses many of the exciting trends occurring in the space industry including where investment funding is going, and more importantly why. He talks about his prediction that 2018 would be the year of SmallSat and that 2019 will be the year of Commercial Space Travel. Chad also discusses the potential for earth observation to follow the path of GPS and become tightly intertwined in our everyday lives.

** April 23, 2019 Zimmerman/Batchelor podcast | Behind The Black

https://audioboom.com/posts/7242649-spacex-man-rated-dragon-capsule-suffers-an-anomaly-in-tests-bob-zimmerman-behindtheblack-com

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Outpost in Orbit: A Pictorial & Verbal History of the Space Station

Video: “SETI Talks: The Future of NASA Space Telescopes”

Here is a recent SETI Institute seminar in which three scientists each presented a different proposal for a next-generation space observatory: SETI Talks The Future of NASA Space Telescopes – What to Look for in the Next Generation

Three of those space telescopes got the attention of the SETI Institute because of their potential to answer the question, “Are We Alone?”

The Origins Space Telescope (Origins) is a large cooled infrared space telescope with higher sensitivity and better angular resolution than any prior observatory accessing similar wavelengths. Among its many science objectives covering the first stars to life, Origins could help scientists understand the abundance and availability of water for habitable planets and could look for biosignatures on potentially habitable worlds transiting low-mass stars.

The Large UV Optical Infrared Surveyor (or LUVOIR) is a general-purpose observatory; its key science goal is to characterize a wide range of exoplanets, including those that might be habitable and orbiting a range of stellar types.

The Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HabEx) is a space telescope, optimized to search for and image Earth-sized exoplanets in the habitable zones around sun-like stars, where liquid water might exist. HabEx would also have a suite of general astrophysics science capabilities.

Each of these concepts has pros and cons, as well as other technological, cost, and risk challenges. These mission concepts will be described in detail in their final study reports, which will be delivered to the National Academy of Sciences for the Astro 2020 Decadal Survey later this year. It is still unknown whether the Decadal Survey will prioritize none, one, or even all of these concepts, but the several hundred scientists and engineers involved in these mission concept studies for the past three years are confident that we are now capable of building these telescopes, and that the science that they can deliver will be compelling and change again our view of the cosmos, just as the Hubble Space Telescope has done for the past 3 decades.

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Einstein’s Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes

The Space Show this week – Feb.4.2019

The guests and topics of discussion on The Space Show this week:

1 Monday, Feb. 4, 2019: 2-3:30 pm PST (4-5:30 pm CST, 5-6:30 pm EST): No show for today.

2. Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019: 7-8:30 pm PST (9-10:30 pm CST, 10-11:30 pm EST): We welcome back Robert Zimmerman for space news updates.

3. Wednesday, Feb. 6 2019: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details. Hotel Mars is pre-recorded by John Batchelor. It is archived on The Space Show site after John posts it on his website.

4. Friday, Feb. 8, 2019: 9:30-11 am PST (11:30 am -1 pm CST, 12:30-2 pm EST): We welcome back Mark Whittington on returning to the Moon, policy and more.

5. Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019: 12-1:30 PM PST (3-4:30 PM EST, 2-3:30 PM CST): Dr. Beth O’Leary and Lisa Westwood are with us to discuss preserving space historical sites and more.

Some recent programs:

** Fri, 02/01/2019Dr. Michael Schmidt and Dr. Thomas Goodwin discussed “Pharmacogenomics in spaceflight, personalize spaceflight genetics for safety and better effectiveness, drug issues in space, the Moon, Mars, risk factors, metabolism and much more”.

** Tue, 01/29/2019Rod Pyle talked about “his new book Interplanetary Robots: True Stories of Space Exploration plus specific missions, Mars, Saturn, the Moon, the attributes of a PI and much more”.

** Mon, 01/28/2019Laura Forczyk spoke about her book project “Rise Of The Space Age Millennials: The Space Aspirations of a Rising Generation, plus additional multiple commercial space topics, policy issues, and STEM subjects”.

** Sun, 01/27/2019Robert (Rob) Godwin talked about his new book, Outpost in Orbit: A Pictorial & Verbal History of the Space Station.

See also:
* The Space Show on Vimeo – webinar videos
* The Space Show’s Blog – summaries of interviews.
* The Space Show Classroom Blog – tutorial programs

The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.

The Space Show - David Livingston
The Space Show – David Livingston

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Telescopes and Binoculars at Amazon

OSIRIS-REx begins exploration of asteroid Bennu

NASA’s science probe OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) arrived at the asteroid Bennu last week. After a few weeks of reconnaissance of the small object, the spacecraft will move in close enough to go into orbit around it. NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Arrives at Asteroid Bennu – NASA

Now, at about 11.8 miles (19 kilometers) from Bennu’s Sun-facing surface, OSIRIS-REx will begin a preliminary survey of the asteroid. The spacecraft will commence flyovers of Bennu’s north pole, equatorial region, and south pole, getting as close as nearly 4 miles (7 kilometers) above Bennu during each flyover.

The primary science goals of this survey are to refine estimates of Bennu’s mass and spin rate, and to generate a more precise model of its shape. The data will help determine potential sites for later sample collection.

OSIRIS-REx’s mission will help scientists investigate how planets formed and how life began, as well as improve our understanding of asteroids that could impact Earth. Asteroids are remnants of the building blocks that formed the planets and enabled life. Those like Bennu contain natural resources, such as water, organics and metals. Future space exploration and economic development may rely on asteroids for these materials.


This image of Bennu was taken by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a distance of around 50 miles (80 km).  Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

After a couple of years of study, the spacecraft will obtain a sample of the asteroid and return it to earth: 

When OSIRIS-REx begins to orbit Bennu at the end of this month, it will come close to approximately three quarters of a mile (1.25 kilometers) to its surface. In February 2019, the spacecraft begins efforts to globally map Bennu to determine the best site for sample collection. After the collection site is selected, the spacecraft will briefly touch the surface of Bennu to retrieve a sample. OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to return the sample to Earth in September 2023.

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Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto