New Horizons Pluto mission panels on NASA TV

There will be two live programs today on NASA TV dealing with the New Horizons  mission to Pluto:

NASA TV to Air Events That Highlight Pluto-Bound Spacecraft 

Media and the public are invited to attend two events Monday, Aug. 25 from 1-3 p.m. EDT to learn more about the agency’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and its historic connection to the Voyager spacecraft’s visit to Neptune in 1989.

The events, which will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website, will take place in the Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street SW in Washington.

New Horizons will conduct a six -month-long study of Pluto and its five moons, including a close approach in July 2015.

• The 1-2 p.m. event will feature a panel discussion with:
o Jim Green, director, NASA’s Planetary Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington
o Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena
o Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado

• The 2-3 p.m. event will include several New Horizons science team members giving personal accounts of their work during the Voyager Neptune encounter and their new assignments on the Pluto mission. Panel participants include:

o Moderator: David Grinspoon, Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona
o Fran Bagenal, University of Colorado, Boulder
o Bonnie Buratti, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
o Jeffrey Moore, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California
o John Spencer, Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado

Media and the public can also ask questions via social media using #askNASA.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedules and downlink information, visit:

For more information on New Horizons on the Internet, visit:

[ Update: Panel videos can be seen here.]

Kickstarter opens for LOHAN launch in NM

I mentioned earlier the UK’s Register newspaper’s LOHAN (Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator) project. They have now opened the crowd-funding campaign to pay for their launch at Spaceport America in New Mexico: Balloon launch of the Vulture 2 rocket-powered spaceplane by Special Projects Bureau — Kickstarter.

The world’s first 3D-printed, rocket-powered aircraft will lift off from Spaceport America, New Mexico, in Autumn 2014

Here’s their Kickstarter video:

Video – TMRO/Spacevidcast 7.26 – Firefly Space

The latest live TMRO/Spacevidcast show is now available on line:  Firefly Space – TMRO.

From the caption:

TMRO is a crowd funded show. If you enjoyed this episode, consider contributing to the show, allowing us to expand and do cool new things. Even as little as $1/ep can make a high difference –

We bring on guest PJ King the COO of Firefly Space Systems to talk about their Flirefly Alpha and Firefly Beta rockets. Interview starts at12:43

Space News:
1:40 – F9R-Dev1 Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly
5:38 – ULA gets their RD-180 Engines
7:30 – Launch of LongMarch 4B with Gaofen-2 and BRITE-PL-2
9:20 – Galileo launch via Soyuz

TMRO is a weekly show all about space and the comsos. Covering major events from NASA, ESA, JAXA, Roscosmos, SpaceX and more, TMRO is your weekly news and views show for every space geek! Featuring monthly live shows and weekly cosmic updates, get your Space Geek on right here! Don’t forget to subscribe.

Space elevator conference

The ISEC 2014 Space Elevator Conference has been underway this weekend at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. Several of the presentations are described in the The Space Elevator Blog. For example:

  • Loop Technology –  “Keith [Loftstrom] posited a Ground station 8 degrees south of the equator, claiming that a) this would allow the tether to be ’tilted’ allowing things to be oriented off of the tether, b) it keeps the tether out of the way of things in orbit around the equator and c) that if the tether breaks, the mass above the break will be flung out into space along the imaginary equator line, thus missing other tethers that may be constructed.”
  • The Space Elevator in the Earth’s Atmosphere – “Dr. John Knapman give a presentation on how we deal with the Tether and the Climber within earth’s atmosphere.  Even though the distance of this portion of the trip is tiny compared to the total trip (~50km vs 100,000km), there are many “special” hazards which must be dealt with.  This consists of weather; wind, rain and lightning.”
  • 2014 ISEC Space Elevator Conference – Day 2  – ” [Dr. Bryan Laubscher] gave us an update on [Odysseus Technologies Inc]’s continuing efforts to build longer, stronger nanotubes.  He discussed the patents that OTI has made, both in terms of taking existing ‘forests’ of nanotubes, drawing off threads and strengthening those threads and also in growing stronger nanotubes themselves.  His presentation elicited many questions and a whole lot of discussion. “

Space reporter Leonard David is also at the meeting: What’s Up with Space Elevators? –