Nov.30, 2003 Space News
briefs... Still away from home but can post a few items
I've managed to pickup...
Jeff Foust says that the new space policy will look pretty much
like the old one: Report:
new space vision to offer little change - spacetoday.net - Nov.30.03
Moon dust offered at auction: For
Right Price, a Bit of the Moon, Perhaps - NY Times - Nov.27.03
Space advocacy groups starting a new collaboration: Final
Planning for New National Space and Satellite Alliance Almost Complete
- SpaceRef - Nov.28.03 ...
Here's a profile of the space artist Tom McCall: Painting
the final frontier: Top space artist taps into technology, poetry
of flight - TimesDispatch.com - Nov.30.03 (via spacetoday.net)
Here's the kind of thing the ISS is good for - testing materials
for radiation shielding:
material may be shield for space trip: Local researchers develop
composite that can shelter astronauts from radiation - Huntsville
Times - Nov.30.03
Nov.25, 2003 Space News
space tug news... By chance my item about space tugs
yesterday preceded this announcement today:
Recovery Ltd. Teams With Holland's Dutch Space To Develop Space
Tug for Telecommunications Satellite Servicing: The spacecraft
rescue concept evolved by Orbital Recovery Ltd. becomes ConeXpress
ORS in joint program with Dutch Space - Orbital Recovery Corp
Recovery is join with the Dutch
Space, which has been working on converting "the Ariane
5 payload adapter unit into a self-propelled spacecraft [and] pursuing
this conceptual work under a program supported by the European Space
will combine the SLES robotic technology with the Dutch Space system
for satellite recovery. Surely NASA will not ignore a commercial
system for the Hubble if the tug is up and running by 2007.
A HobbySpace reader notes that NASA
wants to use a tug to send the Hubble into to sea while Orbital
Recovery wants to maintain it in orbit. He sent me a link to this
statement at the ORC website: Space
Tug to The Hubble Rescue? - ORC.
I was so focused
on the space tug concept and who should build it that I forgot to
address the issue of where it would tug the Hubble. Obviously, this
incredibly productive instrument should be kept in orbit, especially
since a system like the ORC tug will easily be ready by the 2012
timeframe. ORC says:
calculations indicate that, with the appropriately size solar
arrays and fuel load, that our solar electric propulsion system
could either boost HST to a very long lived high earth orbit where
it could be stored or even do a plane change to move it to the
International Space Station (ISS) where it could be serviced repeatedly
and reboosted by the SLES to a high orbit above ISS.
The fact that
NASA is not jumping on the chance to take advantage of this system
and accelerate its development illustrates once again that its "culture"
problems extend beyond the shuttle program and into the entire agency.
briefs... Check out the beautiful solar images: The
Winners! Top 10 Sun Images from SOHO - Space.com - Nov.25.03
A plea for NASA to take public space travel seriously: Public
space travel and a national space vision: An open letter to NASA
Administrator Sean O'Keefe by Derek Webber - The Space Review -
Nov.24, 2003 Space News
the space tug... This article in Space News: NASA
Proposes $300 Million Tug To Deorbit Hubble - Space News - Nov.24.03
is rather surprising. It's well known that the company Orbital
Recovery is already developing a space tug that would do this
job. Why would NASA develop a separate system from scratch? Why
did the reporter not bring up the issue?
job for the Spacecraft
Life Extension System (SLES)TM, developed with technology from
the DLR German Aerospace Center (see press
release), involves attaching a tug to an aging comsat in geostationary
orbit with little stationkeeping fuel left and extending its working
life for several years. However, as these
images show, it's clear that the company has also examined whether
a SLES can manuever the Hubble and believes that it can.
I'm sure that
Orbital Recovery will apply for the contract but it seems that,
as usual, NASA wants to develop new hardware under its own direction
rather than simply contract with a commercial firm. If so, the agency
will miss yet another opportunity to nurture the development of
a new commercial space service.
Space scientist and space artist Bill Hartmann talks about Mars
and his new guide book for the red planet: Guide
to Mars: Interview with Bill Hartmann - Astrobiology Magazine -
briefs... This article gives a clear and piquant overview
of the lunar property ownership question: Dennis
Hope, The Masai, And The Moon Virgiliu Pop - SpaceDaily - Nov.20.03.
Let's save a Saturn V for old times sake: AT Rocket Bottom: Saturn
V needs $5 million repair to avoid scrapheap - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Intel Smart Dust Inside:
Intel's Tiny Hope for the Future- The microprocessor giant is thinking
even smaller: tiny sensor chips that network with each other - inside
everything on earth. - Wired - Dec.03....
Sombody will eventually create a practical supersonic transport:
considers 'son of Concorde' - BBC - Nov.23.03 (But I think it
will come as a business jet first.)
Chapter 4 now on
Nov.21, 2003 Space News
tourism lectures... Robert
A. Goehlich, whose graduate work in Germany led to a book
on space tourism, is now doing his post-doc at Keio University,
in Yokohama, Japan. (Long time space tourism proponent Patrick
Collins also works in Japan but I don't know if they are collaborating.)
He has posted on his web site several papers on various aspects
of space tourism.
He is also posting
his lectures from a course
he's now giving on space tourism. Here is the press release for
SPACE TOURISM Lecture Series
Dr. Robert A. Goehlich
is the first worldwide official educational offered lecture about
space tourism on a regular basis. Online registration and additional
information can be found at www.robert-goehlich.de.
This project is financed by Japanese government program "Japan
Society for the Promotion of Science" in cooperation with Alexander
von Humboldt Foundation.
motivation for this topic is to introduce aerospace and non-aerospace
students into new approaches such as space tourism as a driver
to overcome the stagnation of the space market. At the moment
space tourism is a field where reality, hoaxes and science fiction
are mixed up in such a way that it makes difficult for the general
public to distinguish between reality and wishes. These circumstances
have a negative effect on the realization of space tourism and
should be eliminated explains Goehlich.
Goehlich was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1975. He studied Aerospace
Engineering at the Technical University Berlin from 1996 to 2000
and received his Ph.D. in 2003. His investigations are focused
on cost engineering for reusable space transportation systems
and strategies to realize space tourism. In 1999, he worked at
the Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel, investigating
pollutant emission models for computer-aided preliminary aircraft
design. In 2000, he conducted his master's thesis addressing the
feasibility of space tourism at the University of Washington,
Seattle, USA. At the National Aerospace Laboratory, Tokyo, Japan,
he examined the economical performance of a Reusable Launch Vehicle
concept, in 2001. He stayed for 3 months in 2002 at Astrium/EADS,
Kourou Spaceport, French Guiana to consider a program proposal
for a tourist reusable launch fleet operated from Kourou Spaceport.
Currently, he is doing post-doctoral research at Ohkami Laboratory,
Department of System Design Engineering, Keio University in the
fields of space tourism, cost engineering and mission program
sundials and Mars... This cool
project gets students to build sundials and then compare their
shadows to the display via the web to similar dials in other time
zones and to dials on the Mars
landers Spirit and Opportunity: Mars
landers create opportunity for Web-linked sundials around the world
- Univ.of Washington - Nov.20.03.
propulsion progress ... The
Ion Propulsion Program at NASA Glenn is
making program on the HiPEP-
High Power Electric Propulsion project according to this announcement:
Successfully Tests Ion Engine - NASA - Nov.20.03 . Such an ion
engine that is both very efficient and high power (at least as far
as ion engines go) is intended to work with a nuclear reactor like
that under development in NASA's Project
Nov.20, 2003 Space News
innovations ... In this article - Space
Mission on Auction Block - Wired News - Nov.20.03 - about SpacDev's
placing a satellite mission for sale on eBay, Lakshmi Sandhana was
kind enough to quote my
views on what this event signifies. He had to compress my statements
a bit about a price elasticity effect in which lower priced space
missions will encourage more innovations and more applications of
attacks... The effects of the ATF's
stupid assualt on hobby rocketry begin to spread: Kettering
University Terminates Rocket Club - ARSA - Nov.6.03
Nov.19, 2003 Space News
briefs... Alan Boyle reports on how satellites can quickly
provide extensive communications services to those working a distant,
disconnected place: Phone
lines on the front lines - Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log - Nov.18.03
Space.com continues its survey
of the satellite industry:
Satellite TV: Upstart Creates Crowd - Space.com - Nov.19.03
The elaborate space exhibit SPACE:
A JOURNEY TO OUR FUTURE will travel to several museums around
the US over the next four years, starting with the Pacific
Science Center in Seattle, Washington.
Nov.18, 2003 Space News
outposts... Leonard David attends another space resources
meeting, this one in Hawaii (tough life being a space reporter!)
Organized by the International
Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG), the meeting looked
at how to "convert the bleak Moon into a bustling, off-Earth
continent for scientific research, technology testing, producing
energy, even as practice ground for future expeditions to Mars".
Seen as Astronomical Outpost - Space.com - Nov.17.03
Nov.17, 2003 Space News
mining meeting... Leonard David writes about a recent
Roundtable V, held October 28-30 at the Colorado School of Mines:
Resources: 'Living off the Land' - Space.com - Nov.11.03 (Link
via Kert Kaido).
I hope to live
to see the time when mining asteroids will seem no more (or less)
amazing that the private development of the gargantuan floating
platforms that drill for oil in deep ocean waters.
rocketry site... The three Vatsass brothers created the
Rocket Team Vatsaas
website about their common rocketry hobby. It's very informative
and also unusually stylish and offbeat. See, for example, their
collection of rocket inspired consumer items - Rocket
Team Vatsaas NotRocs. Their Construction
Tips and Hints and the
Lessons Learned pages will give rocketeers a big help. (Via
Nov.16, 2003 Space News
Chapter 3 now on
kids ... Fred
Becker, long time space activist and musician,
contacted me this past week about his project to collect links to
home pages, essays, articles, books, and memoirs that deal with
the impact that space exploration had on individuals in the Space
Race days of the late 1950s and the 1960s.
if I could post his collection and I agree very happily. In fact,
I already had a subsection of the Space
History section along the same lines. I decided to split
this off onto its own page called Personal
Space Histories and will maintain it with Fred's
help. He says he would like "to get tons of links, to make
the point that Apollo and space had a great impact on kids in the
If you have
posted a web page or other resource that tells how the 60's space
exploration affected you, please contact me or Fred and we will
add it to the list.
art coloring contest... Beyond-Earth
Enterprises, a HobbySpace advertiser
and startup rocket company, is sponsoring a coloring
contest. "Fifty kids in grades K-6 can have their artwork
flown on Beyond-Earth's first rocket flight." The goal is "to
encourage children to think about space." See their press release:
Coloring Contest Announcement - Beyond Earth Enterprises - Nov.03.
Contest deadline is Dec.1.
in the spotlight... Nice to see that Prof.
Chris Hall (Virginia Tech) has now collected in one spot his
series of interesting reviews of various spacecraft: Spacecraft
of the Day Archives - Spacecraft blog
Nov.14, 2003 Space News
Rocketry boost ... I finally had a chance last night
to watch the Rocket Challenge series of three one hour programs
on the Discovery
Channel (See previous
item.) Wow, if these shows don't turn kids and adults
on to rocketry, I don't know what could. I was very impressed at
the fun and lighthearted yet authentic and enthusiastic representation
of this exciting hobby. If you have not yet seen the shows, be sure
to catch them during repeats tonight, Nov.15. or Nov.22nd.
... The shows must be getting fairly good viewership.
The companion web site - FlyRockets.com,
includes HobbySpace in their excellent
(if it links to HS it must be) rocketry
links web page and I've notice a significant bump up in traffic
young ... Speaking of inspiring the young, the Experimental
Aircraft Association (EAA) recently reached one
million kids who have flown on a private airplane by a qualified
pilot under its EAA
Aviation Young Eagles
in 1992, the goal was to reach 1 million by December 17th, 2003,
the anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight.
There have been
that fears that participation in private aviation was in an inevitable
decline. I'm sure this program has gone a long way towards inspiring
young people to pursue an interest in flight. [My thanks to Aleta
Jackson of XCOR for the news about this progam.]
briefs ... RocketmanBlog recounts the events that led
to a bad day for a satellite company: NOAA-N
Prime Accident Investigation - Rocket Man Blog - Nov.13.03 ...
Substantial deposits of water ice at the Moon's poles now look less
study raises doubts about lunar ice - spacetoday.net - Nov.13.03.
But evidence for liquid flows of water on Mars in the distant past
now look more likely: Distributary
Fan: "Smoking Gun" Evidence for Persistent Water Flow
- Mars Global Surveyor - Nov.13.03
Fan on Mars Suggests Ancient Rivers Were Persistent - JPL News -
amateur satellite goes silent after a long and productive life:
Satellite Declared Dead - ARRLWeb - Nov.13.03
Nov.13, 2003 Space News
redirections... Keith Cowing offers an interesting review
of the facts and the rumours concerning the administration's possible
plans for a major policy announcement with regard to the future
direction of NASA and the US space program: Bush
Space Policy: Will America (Finally) Go Somewhere Once Again? -
SpaceRef - Nov.12.03 ...
Meanwhile Rand Simberg looks at past mistakes made with
regard to space and wonders if one big mistake, putting the ISS
on a high inclination orbit, could be corrected by redirecting Station
towards a more equatorial plane: From
Russia, Without Love by Rand Simberg - FOXNews.com - Nov.12.03.
Comsat briefs... Space.com continues its series on
satellite business. This week's topic concerns satellite radio:
Radio: How it Works - Space.com - Nov.12.03 *
Radio: Business is Booming - Space.com - Nov.12.03 * Satellite
Showdown: Dueling Radio Services Reviewed - Space.com - Nov.13.03 ...
... Looks like efforts continue to get satellite
to home and business off the ground. I just heard about
the company Miraxis
that has Loral building two Ka-band satellites to provide 40Mbps
downlinks and 2Mbps uplinks. Wildblue
will start services in 2004. Starband
offers service now. (StarBand
Prepares to Exit Bankruptcy - Washington Post - Nov.13.03)
Nov.12, 2003 Space News
dealers ... Yesterday SpaceDev
announced that it is offering a complete satellite mission - including
hardware, launch, control and command plus the users payload - for
$9.5M on eBay: SpaceDev
Auctioning Microsatellite Mission On Ebay - Spacedev - Nov.11.03.
This is mostly
for PR purposes I'm sure, but buying off-the-shelf spacecraft and
operations will eventually become routine. It was somewhat timely
that ESA just announced that it was buying two Russian orbital capsule
flights to use for science experiments: European,
Russian space agencies sign up for flights - Spaceflight Now /ESA
- Nov.10.03. The flights of the two unmanned Foton
capsule flights will help to make up for lost flight time with the
we noted that NOAA has given funding to Team
Encounter, which plans to launch a commercial solar
sail mission, to study the use of solar sails to hoover
over the polar regions and NASA is paying them $6.5M to carry
Stellar Compass experiment.
If these government
agencies can buy space missions from a private companies, it doesn't
seem like such a big leap for these agencies to start buying rides
on private launch vehicles instead of building their own. [Update
Nov.13.03 : I should have mentioned that SpaceX,
a privately funded project, is already getting some government payloads
for its unmanned Falcon.]
Canadian company Columbiad
is developing several gun
launch systems to launch payloads initially for suborbital missions
and eventually for orbital (See the history of Gun-launched
projects at Astronautix.)
is currently marketing a service to place "cremains (up to
3kg) into space where they will scatter and drift back down to Earth"
for $12,500 with its Starburst
Memorials Services. A lower altitude Wayfarer Memorial will
send ashes to 100km for $500. The company joins Celestis
and other companies in offering various space
at the big space picture seems to be a common theme
this week. Jeff Foust reviews the quest for a goal for the US space
vision thing by Jeff Foust - The Space Review - Nov.10.03. Taylor
Dinerman wonders whether NASA is capable of accomplishing big programs
such as returing to the Moon : Can
NASA go back to the Moon, or anywhere else? by Taylor Dinerman -
The Space Review - Nov.10.03. And this NY Times article
posits that humans will someday go to Mars but the questions of
when and for what price wait to be answered:
Humans Ever Visit Mars? - NY Times - Nov.11.03
TV now reaching the RV and even the car: Satellite
TV in the car, on the move / New technology makes dish receivers
small enough to fit atop an SUV - SFGate - Nov.11.03
Nov.11, 2003 Space News
memorabilia collecting continues
to grow as shown by this article: Collecting
space mementos becoming popular hobby - LJWorld.com - Nov.10.03.
Robert Pearlman and his collectSPACE
site deserve a lot of credit for helping to promote this hobby.
briefs ... Planetary Society is sponsoring a campaign
to convince the White House to support a manned mission to Mars:
for a Human Mars Mission - Planetary Society - Nov.10.03 ...
the spirit of a rock tour, a group of space scientists and engineers
will visit science museums and planetariums in five cities with
exhibits and demonstrations to raise awareness of the Mars
Exploration Rovers missions, which will reach Mars in January:
Your Typical "Rock" Tour: Mars Rocks With Marsapalooza! - NASA -
donated £10,000 to AMSAT-NA
Project Echo, which expects to launch its satellite on Mar 31,
2004 on a Russian rocket, and to the AMSAT-DL
Phase 3 E Express satellite project, which should launch in
the 2005/2006 timeframe.
Nov.10, 2003 Space News
hobbyists outpost... The amateur space
radio community has really made the ISS into the first
outpost in orbit for at least one subgroup of space hobbyists. While
even many space activists do not pay much attention to what is happening
on the ISS, amateur space radio enthusiasts maintain a very lively
interaction with Station. The ISS ham radio capabilities continue
and it is used regularly by the astronauts to communicate with hams
and student groups on earth. All
of the previous Expedition 7 and current Expedition 8 crews
and websites are devoted to the ISS
ham radio projects. The ISS
Fan Club, for example, has lots of info and resources about
ISS ham radio communications and reports on contacts with the ISS
by members. It provides a nice set of news
boxes and tickers you can install on your site. If you contact
the ISS, you can win one of their
the site of Claudio
Ariotti, IK1SLD for lots more info about the latest on the ISS
and amateur space radio events.
Mars Gravity Biosatellite Project
website has recently gotten a big overhaul. The goal of the project
is to "send a small population of mice to low Earth orbit aboard
a spinning spacecraft creating 'artificial gravity' identical to
that on the Martian surface." NASA has focused exclusively
on microgravity and ignored this technique that could be used by
astronauts in space to avoid the detrimental health effects of long
term exposure to weightlessness.
team includes members from an impressive set of top universities.
They welcome new participants who want to get
this exciting project.
dollars at work... The Alcohol, Tobacoo, and Firearms
Enforcement agency steadfastly refuses to admit it is wrong to target
hobby rocketry as a potential source of terrorist weapons, despite
that it is very wrong. Now it is producing a propaganda film to
push its mission to protect America from rocketry enthusiasts: ATFE
to produce anti-rocketry video - RocketForge - Nov.6.03
Nov.8, 2003 Space News
Chapter 2 now on
album soon to be released. The CD To
Touch the Stars began with a song contest run by
the National Space Society
in 1998 and grew into a major project involving several artists
and the Mars Society.
(See the history below.) The heroic efforts of Eli Goldberg at Prometheus
Music and his collaborators have finally gotten the project
onto the launch pad and sales will soon blast off. Here
is the most recent news release on the album:
who has actually set foot on the threshold of space and experienced
firsthand its majesty and the incredible potential it holds for
the human race, I am thrilled by this new collection of original
songs celebrating the beginnings of our great endeavor to reach
for the stars."
(Apollo 11 astronaut)
am confident that music and songs -- perhaps from this very album
-- will make an impact on a future explorer and inspire him or
her to reach for the stars."
-- Brian Chase
(Executive Director, National Space Society)
"If we are to win the hearts and souls of humanity to the vision
of a spacefaring future, the space exploration movement must also
its songs...it is my hope that this album will begin a tradition
whereby our most powerful language -- music -- will help rally
the souls of the present to the cause of the future."
-- Dr. Robert Zubrin
(President, Mars Society;
Best-selling author of "The Case for Mars")
and artist listing at Prometheus Music
To Touch the Stars
THE FULL SCOOP ON THE CD
the space shuttle Columbia broke up over Texas in February of
2003, NBC turned to legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second
man to walk on the moon, for perspective on the tragedy. As
part of his comments, Buzz began to read a poem, until, overcome
with emotion, he could not continue.
What Buzz was reading from was actually the lyrics to a song
from the new CD from Prometheus Music, "To Touch The Stars --
A Musical Celebration of Space Exploration". The song was "Fire
In The Sky" (by Dr. Jordin Kare), which includes the line:
"As they passed from us to glory, riding fire in the sky". Buzz
subsequently downloaded album tracks off the Internet, and was
moved enough to offer his endorsement for the album.
Songs range from the scientific ("If We Had No Moon") to the
historic ("Fire in the Sky") to the whimsical ("Dance on the
Ceiling", "Dog On the Moon"). "These are exciting, well-crafted,
professionally-written songs in a variety of styles," says multi-instrumentalist
Mark Ungar, who lent his expertise on electric guitar and sitar,
vocals and guitar synthesizer to several of the tracks. "Everyone
who was involved turned in great performances. It'll appeal
to anyone who enjoys music and is inspired by the exploration
The project grew out of a partnership between Prometheus and
the National Space Society (NSS), which sponsored a "pro-space"
songwriting competition, inviting "spacebards" to submit entries.
"If we are to win the hearts and souls of humanity to the vision
of a spacefaring future, the space exploration movement must
also develop its songs," says Dr. Robert Zubrin, then-chairman
of the NSS and influential author of the international best-seller
The Case For Mars. "A few people have realized this, and so
a subculture has emerged of space folk songs. But outside of
performances at space and science fiction conventions, few people
have heard this wonderful music". Zubrin was so convinced of
the importance of this endeavor that he held a similar contest
a couple of years later when he founded the Mars Society.
Co-producer Eli Goldberg, owner of Prometheus, adds: "People
in the sci-fi community have been writing and singing songs
about space for years, but this project really raises the bar
-- we wanted to put out a really high-quality album, not just
in terms of the recording and musicianship but the writing as
well. We wanted it to be as good as anything you'd hear on the
radio or in movies or on TV, and I think we've succeeded in
The 17 album tracks include winning entries from the NSS and
Mars Society contests, along with new works from selected singer/songwriters.
Elementary school teacher Michael Penkava's "Now's The Time
To Touch A Star" was the NSS contest's 1st place winner. "Space
isn't just vocabulary words and data: it comes alive as we explore
and discover, as we analyze and synthesize, as we discuss and
Penkava was encouraged to enter the contest by a student, and
harbored no hopes of winning. "I recorded it in the classroom
on a cheap karaoke machine - the sound quality was terrible.
The child who wanted me to enter said, 'If your song is good
enough, it doesn't matter how bad it sounds.' Out of the mouths
A majority of the tracks were recorded in Oakland, California
at Flowinglass Studio, home of progressive Celtic/Medieval rockers
Avalon Rising. Owner Kristoph Klover engineered and co-produced,
as well as contributed guitar, vocals and a song ("Others
Standing By"), containing the refrain:
"Why would you go there?" they say.
"There's nothing up there anyway,
We could use the money here.
Don't you know that life's too dear?"
Dreamers never ask why.
Spend their money in the sky.
We'll send the best from Earth,
To find out what it's worth.
At a time when, more than ever, science without a clearly defined
political or commercial agenda is decried as a waste of taxpayers'
money, Zubrin says: "It's an anthem that the country could use
Tracks were penned and performed by a variety of musical luminaries.
The soaring ballad "Beyond the Sky" was written by
renowned singer/songwriter Judy Collins to honor astronaut Eileen
Collins, first woman to command a space shuttle (here sung by
Prolific composer/writer/singer Christine Lavin makes an appearance
with her Nova-episode-in-8-minutes number "If We Had No
Moon", inspired by the documentary film of the same name
by Martin Ives. Gunnar Madsen, a co-founder of the popular a
cappella group The Bobs, rips through stunning performances
of Surprise! (a "Russian folk-song" about Sputnik) and the ska
rave-up Dance On The Ceiling.
The album was mastered by veteran engineer George Horn at world-famous
Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California, with an expected release
date during the 2003 holiday season.
Nov.7, 2003 Space News
TV Rocketry ... The Discovery Channel
will present this Sunday evening (and repeat them in the following
week) a set of shows about rocketry:
News briefs ... A presidential candidate
takes a Mars mission seriously: Dean
Calls for Humans to Mars - Martian Soil - Nov.6.03...
... Rand Simberg (not yet running for
president) talks about non-governmental paths to space: Getting
There from Here: Speaking of the Future with Rand Simberg - The
Speculist - Nov.6.03 ...
While Congress hears about renewed lunar expeditions from David R. Criswell, Roger Angel, Harrison H. Schmitt,
and Paul D. Spudis
2003 Space News
Satellite impact ... Space.com has begun a
series of articles about the satellites and their benefits to society
and the economy: Space
Age Communication and You - Space.com - series. The first article
looks at the GPS system and how it has enabled a $22 billion industry: Satellite
Grows Up, Market Booms - Space.com - Nov.5.03
Request for space entrepreneur sci-fi...
Entrepreneurship Network website is looking for sci-fi
stories "featuring space entrepreneurship themes" in the spirit of
the Rocket Company now in serialization here.
Kirsten Tynan, who runs the website, will accept submissions
through the end of November.
out the other sections of this interesting site such as the list of Commercial
Ventures and links to Interviews
with space entrepreneurs. There is also the Space
Entrepreneurship Network Discussion Forum
The Sound of Music Presolicitation... I
wonder if Lockheed-Martin and Boeing will compete for this contract on
a cost-plus basis: NASA
Presolicitation Notice: Music Production Services - SpaceRef - Nov.4.03.
International Space Art exhibit to open
this weekend in England:
MIR: Art in Variable Gravity
Saturday, November 08, 2003 - Sunday, December 14, 2003
An Arts Catalyst Exhibition CORNERHOUSE, Manchester,
UK OPENING HOURS:
Tue-Sat 11am-6pm, Late nights Thu until 9.00pm, Sun 2-6pm
presents new video and installation works commissioned by science-art
agency The Arts Catalyst and the MIR partnership, by Stefan Gec (UK),
Vadim Fishkin (Rus/Slo), Yuri Leiderman (Rus), Otolith Group: Kodwo
Eshun, Anjalika Sagar and Richard Couzins (UK), and filmmaker Andrew
Kötting (UK), with photographs by Evgeni Nesterov (Rus).
is a unique project that has facilitated artists work in conditions of
zero gravity (weightlessness) and in high G-forces, with the
collaboration of the Russian space programme. In such extreme and
unstable circumstances, risk and the unknown have large parts to play.
artistic experiments have become possible with the end of the Cold War
and coincide with the search for a new rationale for space activities.
As international political support for space programmes has weakened,
so utopian cultural arguments for space exploration have begun to
re-emerge, such as Russian cosmism, the artistic and philosophical
idealism that Earth is the cradle for humankind and that sooner or
later we will inevitably move into space. These utopian ideas dominated
much earlier thinking about space, both in science-fiction literature
and artistic expression, before the space age started and the Cold War
context superseded these ideas with the Space Race and Star Wars .
At the dawn of a new millennium, it is timely that artists and
independent cultural activists are reclaiming these territories, in a
contemporary and very direct sense.
works in this exhibition emerge from recent MIR (Microgravity
Interdisciplinary Research) campaigns which have enabled artists and
scientists to undertake projects using the facilities including zero
gravity flights and the giant centrifuge at the Gagarin Cosmonaut
Training Centre in Star City, the heart of the Russian space programme
and one of the former 'closed cities' of the Soviet Union.
MIR partnership is a collaboration between a group
of international art organisations: the UK-based Arts Catalyst and
Projekt Atol in Slovenia, with V2 in the Netherlands, Leonardo/OLATS in
France and the US, and the Multimedia Complex for Actual Art in Russia.
The MIR Initiative aims to open up space facilities by matching
artistic processes and scientific research to give new impetus to space
research and space art.
Aviation push mower wonder... I've talked
about it before but I still want to encourage readers to see the FanWing site,
especially those who aren't familiar with its remarkable lift
technique. Check out the videos
latest 2.2 m. wingspan version (a prototype for a UAV).
Tech: Amateur railguns provide somewhat more
dramatic aviation scenarios.
Space lottery ... Lotteries are often
suggested as means to support private space development. Tony Webb has
been pursuing this idea for several years now and has his eSpaceLotto nearly
ready to fly. He will be on The Space Show this Sunday to
talk about the project:
The Sunday, November 9, 2003: 12:00-1:30 PM Pacific
Time: Space Show will feature
Tony Webb, founder of eSpaceLotto
for international space tourism. Mr. Webb became the youngest agency
owner in the nation for Exxon Office Systems Company, a subsidiary of
Exxon Enterprises. He competed against IBM, Wang, DEC, & Lanier for
dedicated word processing and FAX industry. His experience also
includes expertise in database informational services and software
development used by the U.S. Senate. Mr. Webb is known for the
innovative usage of technology for small business development and has
presented his work at the Association of Small Business Development
Centers National Conference. In 2002, Mr. Webb spoke at the
International Space Development Conference and presented his concept
for the international space tourism lottery. His space tourism lottery
is well along in the development phase and will most likely take place
first in Europe. This is an exciting space tourism program with
incredible potential to be a significant contributor to building a
space tourism industry.
can talk to either the guest or the host, or send e-mail or chat during
the program by calling toll free 1 (866) 687-7223, using
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or chatting on AOL IM
using the screen name spaceshowchat. Streamed shows can be heard via www.live365.com/stations/dlivingston?site=dlivingston
guests who will appear on the show in the coming weeks include:
November 11, 2003: Mike Dinn, retired Director of the Canberra Deep
Space Communications Complex, and John Saxon, retired Australian
Tracking Station Director.
November 16, 2003: Rich Pournelle, Business Development and Investor
Relations, XCOR Aerospace.
November 18, 2003: Roger Launius, Space Historian, Smithsonian Air and
November 25, 2003: Dr. John Brandenburg Tuesday, December 2, 2003: Rick
Searfoss, former astronaut.
December 7, 2003: Jim P. Schulz, Founder, Space Resources, Inc.
December 9: Gregg Nemitz, President of Orbital Development and Founder
of the Eros Project.
December 16, 2003: Watts Wacker, futurist discussing the future for
space development & commerce.
December 17, 2003: SPECIAL PROGRAM WITH RICK TUMLINSON, Co-Founder of
Space Frontier Foundation. This special Space Show Program honors the
100th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers famous flight and we look
ahead to what we can do in Space! 7-8:15PM Pacific Time, live365.com.
December 21, 2003: Repeat of special December 17, 2003 program with
December 23, 2003: Sam Burbank, National Geographic filmmaker,
space exploration activist and leader.
New Apollo or old SEI... There are rumours
that the President may soon offer a long term space policy plan that
includes a return to the Moon: Bush May Announce Return
To Moon At Kitty Hawk - Spacedaily - Oct.29.03. Some though, think it
will take longer and more money this time than before. Is
new lunar mission pie in sky?: Expert says it's on the table, but
others think time's not ripe - The Huntsville Times - Nov.1.03.
to the Senate, Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society
pointed out that
the average annual NASA budget during the 1960's Moon Race
period was around $17B (in today's dollars), which is only about 10%
more than the current budget. Yet the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo
programs plus a vibrant planetary exploration program were developed
successfully during that time. This compares to the past decade when
NASA struggled to launch 3 or 4 shuttles a year, fell way behind and
over budget on the ISS, loss two Mars probes, and failed miserably at
new vehicle development. Clearly, without meaningful reform of NASA,
the agency won't get to the Moon or even out of LEO.
The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation will
hold a hearing this week on Lunar
Exploration, Thursday, November 6 2003 - 2:30 PM. Check that page
for web streaming info as the hearing approaches. (Via Kaido Kert
posting on a newsgroup.)
Japanese student satellite send photos of
the earth. Two CubeSats were launched on June 30, 2003:
Cubesat 'XI-IV' from Tokyo University and 'CUTE-I' from Tokyo of
Institute of Technology University. You can now find images
earth from XI-IV on line. (Via AMSAT
Hubble beauties... Checkout this marvelous presentation
(with Flash) by news.com.au
of some of the Hubble Telescope's best shots. (via Dave Ketchledge)
The story of a rocket company and its
struggles to develop a low cost reusable launch vehicle began here
today. Be sure to drop by every week to read the latest installment of The Rocket Company by Patrick J. G.
Stiennon and Dave M. Hoerr and with illustrations by Doug Birkholz.
Both Stiennon and Hoerr are engineers with real-life experience
with rocket startup companies. Their fictional group of billionaire
space financiers will try to build a vehicle that will cause the cost of space transportation
to spiral rapidly downward as the market for launch services expands.
In this context, the authors will explore the marketing, regulatory,
and technical problems facing any serious attempt to reduce the
cost of space transportation.
to October 2003 articles in archive