Sci-Tech: Hyperloop update + Better Li-ion battery + Tesla patents hybrid battery system

A study of Elon Musk’s hyperloop super fast mass transit concept finds that it appears to be feasible: Hyperloop sounds crazy … but simulation says it just might work – NBC


A reader points to this article about a project that could triple the energy density of Li-ion batteries with their new composite cathode:  Solid State Batteries could double the range of electric cars –

Seems like there have been announcements every few months for years from companies announcing big increases in Li-ion batteries with improved anodes/cathodes. Hope some of them finally get to market soon.

Meanwhile, Tesla Motors Inc patents a system that combines ” a standard lithium ion battery along with a metal-air battery pack”:  Tesla patent describes hybrid battery pack system for EVs –

2001: A Space Odyssey with live NY Philharmonic score

Would have been great to watch “2001” with a live orchestra playing the soundtrack: New York Philharmonic Plays ‘2001 – A Space Odyssey’ –

Maybe this will happen someday at Wolf Trap, which just had a similar orchestral performance for Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings.

The Space Show this week

The guests on The Space Show this week:

1. Monday, Sept. 23, 2013, 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome DR. DAVID BRIN to the program regarding his chapter in “Starship Century,” his scientific work, his books, and more. See for more information.

2. Tuesday, Sept.24,, 2013, 7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): We welcome back DR. PASCAL LEE, NASA Ames scientist, SETI, Mars Institute Chairman and more.

3. Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 9:30-11 AM PDT (11:30- 1 PM CDT, 12:30PM-2:00 PM EDT): We welcome DR. JAMES BENFORD, editor or “Starship Century.” For more information, visit

4. Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT). We welcome back DR. PAT HYNES to discuss this years Personal Spaceflight Symposium in Las Cruces, NM. Visit for more information.

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.

James Lovell backs commercial lunar ventures + Space policy roundup

Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 fame now backs the commercial approach to space development: Back to the Moon, Commercially –

Some in Congress are at this very moment talking once again about forcing NASA to establish a program to sustain a human presence on the Moon. I, unfortunately, am not optimistic as we have been here before.

But there is hope. The private sector is stepping up to meet the challenge: an ambitious startup, the Golden Spike Co., is leading the way in creating commercial models to mount human expeditions to the surface of the Moon for nations, companies and individuals.

Until now I have been very doubtful and indeed critical of many existing commercial space ventures that are largely funded by taxpayer dollars. But after several meetings with Golden Spike executives, including the chairman of its board — my old friend — former Apollo Flight Director Gerry Griffin, I became convinced that we truly are on the cusp of a brand new era of commercial lunar space travel.

He has become an advisor to Golden Spike, which is developing a system architecture to enable human missions to the Moon at a small fraction of what NASA’s Constellation program  would have cost. Their mission architecture combines existing rockets and in-space transports with new landing/return vehicles and surface systems.

Lovell probably won’t be invited back to any Congressional hearings on space.

Perhaps Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan, who has repeatedly dissed commercial approaches to human spaceflight, will be the next one to come around.

[ Update: Stephen C. Smith gives the background story to Lovell’s new views on commercial spaceflight: Jim Lovell Joins NewSpace – Space KSC.]


More space policy items:


Virtual SpaceTV 3D – September 2013

Here is the September 2013 episode of The Virtual SpaceTV 3D show with Amanda Bush. The programs are created by BINARY SPACE ( with story content from

Amanda reports on four different launches this month of new or almost new commercial rockets:

  • The Orbital Sciences Antares launch of the Cygnus cargo module to the ISS
  • Orbital’s Minotaur V launch of NASA’s LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) probe to the Moon
  • The second powered flight of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo
  • The expected launch of the SpaceX Falcon version 1.1 from Vandenberg

And there is also a  segment about the science of the LADEE mission.