2. Tuesday, Jan. 31 2017: 7-8:30 pm PST, 10-11:30 pm EST, 9-10:30 pm CST: We welcome back JOAN HORVATH and RICH CAMERON to discuss what use is a consumer 3D printer. According to our guests, “At the moment there are a lot of overblown claims about 3D printing as well as people genuinely doing great stuff. What can you really do with a printer that is in the $1-3K range?”
4. Sunday, Feb. 5,, 2017: 12-1:30 pm PST (3-4:30 pm EST, 2-3:30 5 pm CST): We welcome BARRY LEVIN back to the show for a continuation of his Back To The Envelope programming and 4th Industrial Revolution manufacturing as applied to the space industries.
The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.
The university Hyperloop competition at the SpaceX HQ in Hawthorne, California is underway. Live webcast is available at www.spacex.com/hyperloop. See also Hyperloop live report – Daily Breeze | Facebook.
30 university teams are participating in the contest. The track is a hollow tube about three-quarter-mile (1.2 km) long and pumped down to low pressure. Each of the teams will run their pod vehicle down the pod. The pod performance will be evaluated on acceleration, speed, braking, etc.
[ Update: Reports on the competition results:
- Elon Musk hails Hyperloop teams – and touts his tunnel at SpaceX – Alan Boyle/Geekwire
- Hyperloop competition brings new mass-transit technology to life in Hawthorne – Daily Breeze
- Elon Musk SpaceX Hyperloop results first phase – Business Insider
From Alan Boyle:
Here’s who won the Hyperloop competition’s awards:
- Fastest team: WARR Hyperloop.
- Highest overall score: Delft Hyperloop.
- Safety and reliability award: MIT Hyperloop.
- Performance and operations: University of Maryland. Honorable mention: Virginia Tech, Purdue, Hyperlift (St. John’s High School, Texas).
- Performance in flight: WARR Hyperloop.
- Innovation: Badgerloop (University of Wisconsin at Madison) and Team rLoop (the contest’s only non-student team, organized through Reddit). Honorable mention: VicHyper (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia).
- Design and construction: The top 10, from 1 to 10, are Delft, WARR, MIT, Virginia Tech, University of Maryland, University of Washington, Purdue, Carnegie Mellon University, Hyperlift, Keio Alpha.
A view of the MIT, Delft, and WARR pods barreling through the tube:
Comments from Elon Musk about the event (plus some words about the tunneling project):
More background at
- Live Coverage: Teams test out their pods at the Hyperloop competition in Hawthorne – DailyBreeze
- Take A Look At The Hyperloop Competition Entries | Hackaday
- How to get live updates from the Hawthorne Hyperloop competition – DailyBreeze
- Pipe Dreams: A Conversation with the Engineers at the Hyperloop Competition | Motherboard
- Hyperloop Competition Rules (pdf)
Updates at Hyperloop (@Hyperloop) | Twitter :
“Teams in final prep for today’s @SpaceX Hyperloop competition! Coverage begins at ~1:55pm PT at https://t.co/CoIedEujWn. #breakapod “
Here are some video reports from the test site:
We welcomed Dr. Clark Lindsey back to the program. During our 92 minute program, we talked about changes and trends leading up to today’s NewSpace and commercial space industries. We covered most if not all the industry segments, major companies and projects and programs currently underway. This was a wide ranging program you will find most interesting. We even discussed company fiances, making money in space and much more. Read the full program summary at www.thespaceshow.com for this program this date, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017.
It was a fun discussion with David. You can listen here to the audio:
Eleven Magazine sponsored a contest called MOONTOPIA, which invited people to submit designs “for a self-sufficient lunar colony for living, working, researching and space tourism”. There were hundreds of entrants and they chose one winner and 8 runners-up. See descriptions of the nine designs at Moontopia competition-winners show nine visions for lunar architecture – dezeen.com.
The winner was Lunar Test Lab:
The Testlab settlement is based on the idea of the Russian Babushka Doll – one layer protects the next. On the very inside of the settlement are the Pods, which inhabit the private sleeping quarters, the communal rooms, the greenhouse, as well as the experimental labs and the necessary machinery to sustain life on the moon. Between the pods and the outer most protective membrane is the void that acts as yet another protective layer between livable and unlivable space.
Here is one of the runners-up called Platinum City:
3000 permanent ‘post-human moon citizens’.
Currently spanning 7km from the city to the space elevator port and growing. Awaiting teraforming landscape update and expansion of the drone membrane artificial atmosphere.
Thousands of exoplanets around other stars have now been detected (mostly indirectly) in the past couple of decades. Now exocomets at other stars have also been detected. Here is a SETI Seminar about these distant dirty snowballs:
From the caption:
Present technology does not enable us to view images of these kilometer-sized infalling bodies, but the evaporation of gaseous products liberated from exocomets that occurs close to a star can potentially cause small disruptions in the ambient circumstellar disk plasma. For circumstellar disks that are viewed “edge-on” this evaporating material may be directly observed through transient (night-to-night and hour-to-hour) gas absorption features seen at rapidly changing velocities.
Using high resolution spectrographs mounted to large aperture ground-based telescopes, we have discovered 15 young stars that harbor swarms of exocomets. In this lecture we briefly describe the physical attributes of comets in our own solar system and the instrumental observing techniques to detect the presence of evaporating exocomets present around stars with ages in the 10 – 100 Myr range.
We note that this work has particular relevance to the dramatic fluctuations in the flux recorded towards “Tabby’s star” by the NASA Kepler Mission, that may be explained through the piling up of swarms of exocomets in front of the central star.
This week’s issue of NASA’s Space To Ground report on ISS related activities this week:
Today the Japanese HTV cargo module, which reached the ISS last December, departed from the Station today:
The latest cosmic finding with the Hubble Space Telescope:
By using galaxies as giant gravitational lenses, an international group of astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has made an independent measurement of how fast the Universe is expanding. The newly measured expansion rate for the local Universe is consistent with earlier findings. These are, however, in intriguing disagreement with measurements of the early Universe. This hints at a fundamental problem at the very heart of our understanding of the cosmos.The Hubble constant — the rate at which the Universe is expanding — is one of the fundamental quantities describing our Universe. A group of astronomers from the H0LiCOW collaboration, led by Sherry Suyu (associated with the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany, the ASIAA in Taiwan and the Technical University of Munich), used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and other telescopes  in space and on the ground to observe five galaxies in order to arrive at an independent measurement of the Hubble constant .
Objects with large masses such as galaxies or clusters of galaxies warp the spacetime surrounding them in such a way that they can create multiple images of background objects. This effect is called strong gravitational lensing. Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA
The new measurement is completely independent of — but in excellent agreement with — other measurements of the Hubble constant in the local Universe that used Cepheid variable stars and supernovae as points of reference [heic1611].However, the value measured by Suyu and her team, as well as those measured using Cepheids and supernovae, are different from the measurement made by the ESA Planck satellite. But there is an important distinction — Planck measured the Hubble constant for the early Universe by observing the cosmic microwave background.
Distant quasars tend to change their brightness, causing them to flicker. As the light which creates the different images of the quasar follows paths with slightly different lengths, the images do not flicker simultaneously but are delayed with respect to each other by several days. This delay in flickering can be used to measure the Hubble constant which describes the speed of expansion of our Universe.
While the relative time between two flickers is correctly represented in this animation, in reality the delays are in the range of days to two weeks. Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA
While the value for the Hubble constant determined by Planck fits with our current understanding of the cosmos, the values obtained by the different groups of astronomers for the local Universe are in disagreement with our accepted theoretical model of the Universe.
“The expansion rate of the Universe is now starting to be measured in different ways with such high precision that actual discrepancies may possibly point towards new physics beyond our current knowledge of the Universe,” elaborates Suyu.
The targets of the study were massive galaxies positioned between Earth and very distant quasars — incredibly luminous galaxy cores. The light from the more distant quasars is bent around the huge masses of the galaxies as a result of strong gravitational lensing . This creates multiple images of the background quasar, some smeared into extended arcs.Because galaxies do not create perfectly spherical distortions in the fabric of space and the lensing galaxies and quasars are not perfectly aligned, the light from the different images of the background quasar follows paths which have slightly different lengths. Since the brightness of quasars changes over time, astronomers can see the different images flicker at different times, the delays between them depending on the lengths of the paths the light has taken. These delays are directly related to the value of the Hubble constant.
“Our method is the most simple and direct way to measure the Hubble constant as it only uses geometry and General Relativity, no other assumptions,” explains co-lead Frédéric Courbin from EPFL, Switzerland
Using the accurate measurements of the time delays between the multiple images, as well as computer models, has allowed the team to determine the Hubble constant to an impressively high precision: 3.8% .
“An accurate measurement of the Hubble constant is one of the most sought-after prizes in cosmological research today,” highlights team member Vivien Bonvin, from EPFL, Switzerland. And Suyu adds: “The Hubble constant is crucial for modern astronomy as it can help to confirm or refute whether our picture of the Universe — composed of dark energy, dark matter and normal matter — is actually correct, or if we are missing something fundamental.”
 The study used, alongside the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the Keck Telescope, ESO’s Very Large Telescope, the Subaru Telescope, the Gemini Telescope, the Victor M. Blanco Telescope, the Canada-France-Hawaii telescope and the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope. In addition, data from the Swiss 1.2-metre Leonhard Euler Telescope and the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope were used.
 The gravitational lensing time-delay method that the astronomers used here to achieve a value for the Hubble constant is especially important owing to its near-independence of the three components our Universe consists of: normal matter, dark matter and dark energy. Though not completely separate, the method is only weakly dependent on these.
 Gravitational lensing was first predicted by Albert Einstein more than a century ago. All matter in the Universe warps the space around itself, with larger masses producing a more pronounced effect. Around very massive objects, such as galaxies, light that passes close by follows this warped space, appearing to bend away from its original path by a clearly visible amount. This is known as strong gravitational lensing.
 The H0LiCOW team determined a value for the Hubble constant of 71.9±2.7 kilometres per second per Megaparsec. In 2016 scientists using Hubble measured a value of 73.24±1.74 kilometres per second per Megaparsec. In 2015, the ESA Planck Satellite measured the constant with the highest precision so far and obtained a value of 66.93±0.62 kilometres per second per Megaparsec.
HI-SEAS (Hawai’i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) is a NASA funded project run by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in which teams of volunteers spend long periods in an isolated habitat atop Mauna Loa to simulate long term missions on Mars: HI-SEAS Mission V crew preparing to enter Mars simulation habitat – University of Hawaiʻi System News
While the 0.376 g gravity of Mars can’t be generated, they try to simulate as much as they can. Whenever a crew person goes outside, for example, they must wear a space suit. Communications between the crew and anyone on “earth” have lengthy time delays added.
A team of six people entered the geodesic domed facility on January 19th to begin an eight month stay:
During the eight-month HI-SEAS Mission V the crew will perform exploration tasks such as geological fieldwork and life systems management. The isolated and confined conditions of the mission, including 20-minutes of delayed communication and partial self-sufficiency, have been designed to be similar to those of a planetary surface exploration mission. Daily routines include food preparation from only shelf-stable ingredients, exercise, research and fieldwork aligned with NASA’s planetary exploration expectations.
Under the watchful eye of the research team and supported by experienced mission control, the crew will participate in eight primary and three opportunistic research studies. The NASA-funded primary research will be conducted by scientists from across the U.S. and Europe who are at the forefront of their fields.
The primary behavioral research includes a shared social behavioral task for team building, continuous monitoring of face-to-face interactions with sociometric badges, a virtual reality team-based collaborative exercise to predict individual and team behavioral health and performance and multiple stress, cognitive countermeasure and monitoring studies.
Here is a TMRO.tv Spacepod short report on the project: 6 people chosen for MARS MISSION! – Space Pod 01/18/17 – TMRO
Lisa Stojanovski reveals the 6 humans chosen for an 8 month simulated Mars mission, HI-SEAS Mission V, and explains where they’ll live, and the kinds of research they’ll perform. For more information on HI-SEAS visit hi-seas.org
The crew are: Ansley Barnard, Samuel Payler, James Bevington, Joshua Ehrlich, Laura Lark and Brian Ramos.
TMRO.tv videos are viewer supported:
TMRO Space Pods are crowd funded shows. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to http://www.patreon.com/spacepod for information, goals and reward levels. Don’t forget to check out our weekly live show campaign as well over at http://www.patreon.com/tmro
The latest TMRO.tv program is now available in the archive: Going back to the moon right this time – Orbit 10.03 –
Space news topics discussed included:
* Gene Cernan passes away at 82
* NASA: 2016 The Hottest Year On Record
* Boeing has acquired, and wants to sell, seats on Soyuz
* Exploding Binary Stars Will Light Up The Sky in 2022
* Possible Extended stay for Bigelow’s BEAM
* Future of Asteroid Deflection Mission to Be Decided Soon
TMRO is viewer supported:
TMRO:Space is a crowd funded show. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to http://www.patreon.com/tmro for information, goals and reward levels. Don’t forget to check out our SpacePod campaign as well over at http://www.patreon.com/spacepod
Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker Michael Barnett has a new : Teen rocket scientists star at Sundance’s SLC opening | The Salt Lake Tribune
Space exploration offers humans the chance to survive as a species.
That’s the unifying message offered by Michael Barnett’s “The Mars Generation,” which focuses on the funny, smart teenage wannabe rocket scientists attending the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp. Along the way, the documentary offers an inspiring call to action as it details America’s past and future space dreams.
The Friday night screening marked the Salt Lake City opening of the Sundance Film Festival. The “Mars Generation” premiere on Inauguration Day seemed significant, the director said, because he hopes it will jump-start a conversation about space exploration.
“Now is not the time to become nearsighted about the big idea of becoming interplanetary,” Barnett said. “This film is about the generation who is going to take us to Mars — if they are empowered to do so.”
- The Mars Generation Movie – Facebook
- 3 family films coming out of 2017 Sundance Film Festival | KSL.com (incl. video)
- 2017 Sundance Docs in Focus: THE MARS GENERATION
- The Mars Generation (2017) – IMDB
Isao Tomita was a pioneer in electronic music who first began experimenting with synthesizers in the late 1960s. Space was a favorite theme of his compositions and recordings and before his death in 2016 he was working on a “space-ballet symphony”: Dreamers in Space – NHK WORLD (incl. video) –
Tomita didn’t manage to finish the project but after his death, his collaborators kept working and the production debuted in Tokyo last November.
Called “Dr. Coppelius,” the production involves a young scientist who dreams of flying into space and a mysterious girl from another world who comes to help him achieve his ambition. It’s a space-ballet symphony in which the 2 characters transcend space and time.
The “young scientist” was inspired by Japanese rocket pioneer Hideo Itokawa.
Kazama’s character, Coppelius, is modeled on Itokawa. He and Hatsune Miku reach out to one another, dancing happily in space. At the end of the story, Coppelius goes traveling in search of unknown worlds. On the way, he finds the space probe Hayabusa floating alone in space. Once again, he encounters Miku. By reaching for the stars, Coppelius finds hope.
Go to the NHK WORLD article for a video showing a clip from the Tokyo performance.
I can remember listening often to Tomita’s recording of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” while in college in the 1970s. Although today I prefer orchestral performances of The Planets, I still find Tomita’s version of Venus quite appealing:
Here is the complete album with all 7 movements:
2. Tuesday, Jan. 24 2017: 7-8:30 pm PST, 10-11:30 pm EST, 9-10:30 pm CST: We welcome Rod Pyle regarding several of his new space themed books.
3. Friday, Jan. 27, 2016: 9:30-11 am PST; (12:30-2 pm EST; 11:30 am – 1 pm CST) We welcome back Clark Lindsey ** to discuss NewSpace and what lies ahead.
** I will be on the show this week.
4. Sunday, Jan. 29,, 2017: 12-1:30 pm PST (3-4:30 pm EST, 2-3:30 5 pm CST): Open Lines. Let us know what you think about space issues. Also, ask Dr. Space What He Thinks About This or That Regarding Space.
The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.
Alan Boyle reports on the unveiling of the Univ. of Washington team’s pod racer last week: UW Hyperloop team unveils its purple pod racer – Geekwire –
In the beginning, 1,200 teams applied. The field was trimmed down to 150, and then to 30. A week from now, UW’s team and the other finalists will send their three-quarter-scale pods through a 1-mile-long tube track that’s been constructed next to SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.
The winner will be determined on the basis of speed as well as design elegance and safety. These test pods aren’t expected to go supersonic, but they could hit 300 mph or more.
From the caption:
What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015. The video offers a trip down onto the surface of Pluto — starting with a distant view of Pluto and its largest moon, Charon — and leading up to an eventual ride in for a “landing” on the shoreline of Pluto’s informally named Sputnik Planitia.
To create a movie that makes viewers feel as if they’re diving into Pluto, mission scientists had to interpolate some of the panchromatic (black and white) frames based on what they know Pluto looks like to make it as smooth and seamless as possible. Low-resolution color from the Ralph color camera aboard New Horizons was then draped over the frames to give the best available, actual color simulation of what it would look like to descend from high altitude to Pluto’s surface.
After a 9.5-year voyage covering more than three billion miles, New Horizons flew through the Pluto system on July 14, 2015, coming within 7,800 miles (12,500 kilometers) of Pluto. Carrying powerful telescopic cameras that could spot features smaller than a football field, New Horizons sent back hundreds of images of Pluto and its moons that show how dynamic and fascinating their surfaces are. Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI
The original black-and-white “landing” movie can be viewed at:
While floating in the ISS Cupola module with the earth seen passing by in the windows behind her, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson shows off some of the art submitted by children ( 4 to 12 years old) to the Commercial Crew 2017 Calendar Contest –
Help select spots on Jupiter for the Juno spacecraft to image on its next pass close to the planet:
“We are looking forward to people visiting our website and becoming part of the JunoCam imaging team,” said Candy Hansen, Juno co-investigator from the Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, Arizona. “It’s up to the public to determine the best locations in Jupiter’s atmosphere for JunoCam to capture during this flyby.”
NASA’s JunoCam website can be visited at: www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam
The voting page for this flyby is available at: www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/voting/
JunoCam will begin taking pictures as the spacecraft approaches Jupiter’s north pole. Two hours later, the imaging will conclude as the spacecraft completes its close flyby, departing from below the gas giant’s south pole. Juno is currently on its fourth orbit around Jupiter. It takes 53 days for Juno to complete one orbit.
“The pictures JunoCam can take depict a narrow swath of territory the spacecraft flies over, so the points of interest imaged can provide a great amount of detail,” said Hansen. “They play a vital role in helping the Juno science team establish what is going on in Jupiter’s atmosphere at any moment. We are looking forward to seeing what people from outside the science team think is important.”
There will be a new voting page for each upcoming flyby of the mission. On each of the pages, several points of interest will be highlighted that are known to come within the JunoCam field of view during the next close approach. Each participant will get a limited number of votes per orbit to devote to the points of interest he or she wants imaged. After the flyby is complete, the raw images will be posted to the JunoCam website, where the public can perform its own processing.
“It is great to be able to share excitement and science from the Juno mission with the public in this way,” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator from the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. “Amateur scientists, artists, students and whole classrooms are providing the world with their unique perspectives of Jupiter. I am really pleased that this website is having such a big impact and allowing so many people to join the Juno science team. The public involvement is really affecting how we look at the most massive planetary inhabitant in our solar system.”
During the Feb. 2 flyby, Juno will make its closest approach to Jupiter at 4:58 a.m. PST (7:58 a.m. EST), when the spacecraft is about 2,700 miles (4,300 kilometers) above the planet’s swirling clouds.
JunoCam is a color, visible-light camera designed to capture remarkable pictures of Jupiter’s poles and cloud tops. As Juno’s eyes, it will provide a wide view of Jupiter over the course of the mission, helping to provide context for the spacecraft’s other instruments. JunoCam was included on the spacecraft primarily for public engagement purposes, although its images also are helpful to the science team.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, manages the Juno mission for the principal investigator, Scott Bolton, of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. The Juno mission is part of the New Frontiers Program managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the spacecraft. JPL is a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California.
More information on the Juno mission is available at:
The public can follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at:
Here is this week’s episode of NASA’s Space to Ground report on activities related to the International Space Station:
In this video, ISS chief scientist Dr. Julie Robinson talks about the science research on the station, including an example where a project contributed to better understanding of an osteoporosis drug now in use: