FISO: METERON and its related robotics Technologies at ESA Telerobotics & Haptics Lab

The latest presentation to the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) study group is now posted in the FISO Working Group Presentations Archive. The  slides and videos (zip) and audio (mp3) are available for the talk, METERON and its Related Robotics Technologies at ESA Telerobotics & Haptics Lab – Part 2,  André Schiele , Delft Univ of Technology & ESA/ESTEC – May 29, 2013.

A zip file is used this time since the

presentation by André Schiele includes a pdf, and a set of 8 short mp4 videos. When you open the pdf, you will be pointed to these videos (by number, as in “Video1 – EXARM / PA10 Telerobotics Workcell”) which you can open by clicking on the mp4 file by that name, OR by calling them up by clicking on the YouTube link on the page, if you happen to be internet-connected. These videos will NOT automatically launch in the pdf document.

Here are a couple of the videos from the TeleroboticsLab YouTube channel:

Kickstarter to launch the comic book “FloatBall” about a space sport

Former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Ken Harvey and aerospace engineer Allen Herbert have sought ways to excite young people’s interest in technology and spaceflight and one of the concepts they have developed is a team sport that would be played in microgravity. Called FloatBall, it combines elements of football, basketball and freefall. It was described in this 2008 NY Times article: Marketing Sports as the Next Phase of Space Tourism –

Obviously such a game requires sizable facilities in space and low cost transport to support the building and populating of such facilities. Such transport isn’t available yet and may not be for awhile. So they are pursuing a way to keep the idea alive by bringing it first to a comic book world. They have recruited a team of artists and seek to raise $30k on Kickstarter by June 21st to launch the FloatBall comic book series:

Harvey says:

Combining our talents, we came up with a game that would be fun, ferocious and factual. Since society has not yet achieved the level of space proficiency needed to play our new game, we decided that next best step would be to create a comic book about the sport. Not just any comic, but one that is cool and fun like Marvel or DC Comics, and also factually based on scientific possibilities.

FloatBall, like the original Star Trek, will help ignite the reality of today while fueling the imagination of tomorrow. This is where we need your help. We’d like to ask your assistance with funding this project.

Here is a video about the Kickstarter project:

Harvey also says:

If you are a fan of comics, space, sports, or science, then this is the comic for you. We need to raise enough money to produce and distribute the first issue. You can be in on the beginning of something great. Years into the future, your name will be associated with the beginning of a new age of sports in space.

Our goal is to create the first of a series of illustrated comic books delving into the world of FloatBall, the sport of the future. Who knows, with any luck the story will become a movie!

 Preproduction sketches of FloatBall players by the FutureDude team.“Preproduction sketches of FloatBall players by the FutureDude team.”

No babies in Mars colony till proven safe

Rand Simberg discusses the potential health hazards involved in a human pregnancy and birth in an environment at a fraction of earth’s gravity such as the 0.38g on Mars : The Bioethics of Mars One – PJ Media.

Before permanent settlements are the Moon and Mars are viable, he points to the need for a G-Lab orbital facility, which would use spin gravity to study the effects of fractional gravity on lab animals.

Astronomy Cast – A look at space stations past and future

The Astronomy Cast  is a weekly audio webcast program that covers a wide range of space related topics. They now have over 300 half hour programs in their archive. Recently, for example, they had a four part series on the history and future of space stations:

Author Mary Roach on The Space Show on Thursday evening

An announcement from The Space Show:

Author Mary Roach is back, Thursday, May 30, 2013 @ 7PM PDT

Dear Listener: I would like to call your attention to a special Space Show program scheduled for Thursday evening, May 30, 7-8PM PDT with author Mary Roach. Mary was last on The Space Show with her very successful and popular books “Packing for Mars” and “Stiff.” Mary is back with her new hit book and best seller, “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal.” In addition to Mary telling us about Gulp, we will extrapolate to related topics for eating and digesting on the way to Mars, on Mars, food for Mars, and more. Mary Roach is not only very well informed with her science but she is funny, she goes where most authors would not dream of going, she is articulate, and if you have never heard her before or had a chance to ask her a question, trust me on this, you are in for sheer delight plus a first rate education on our topics. Mary is with us for just an hour so callers, keep it tight. Let’s make room for everyone who wants to talk with Mary Roach. If you have any questions about this special Space Show program for Thursday evening, May 30, 7-8PM PDT, please email me. Thanks. Sincerely, Dr. David Livingston


Dr. David Livingston