The Space Show: John Hunter and gas guns + An open lines show

John Hunter spoke on the Space Show on Monday about “hydrogen gas gun technology and capability, microwave propulsion for delivering cargo”: Dr. John Hunter, Monday, 2-18-13 – Thespaceshow’s Blog.


David and callers discussed in an Open Lines show last night a range of topics that included “Carnival Cruise lines & informed consent, space radiation, nanosat launchers, & much more” : Open Lines, Tuesday, 2-19-13 – Thespaceshow’s Blog

Video: Discovering the new moons of Pluto

The SETI Institute has just posted this video in their lecture series:  Discovery of the New Moons of Pluto – Mark Showalter (SETI Talks) – YouTube

Dr. Showalter recently discovered the fourth and fifth moons of Pluto. His recent discoveries of two small moons orbiting Pluto raise interesting new questions about how the dwarf planet formed. We now know that a total of four outer moons circle around a central “double-planet” comprising Pluto and its large, nearby moon Charon.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will arrive at Pluto in July 2015, and the new discoveries come just in time for the science planners to target closeup views of the tiny bodies during the flyby. However, the discoveries also come as a mixed blessing–small moons often raise clouds of dust, prompting concerns about a possible hazard to the spacecraft when it flies through the system at more then 10 km per second.

Sci-Tech: DARPA RFI for defusing the threat of ionizing radiation

DARPA is seeking proposals for projects to investigate ways to mitigate the health effects of ionizing radiation: DARPA Seeks to Defuse the Threat of Ionizing Radiation – DARPA

DARPA releases request for information on novel approaches to mitigate immediate and long-term health damage from acute exposure to ionizing radiation and model its biophysical effects

The program is aimed at dealing with terrestrial situations but if it results in useful treatments, the would be useful for space explorers and settlers if they are subjected to high radiation doses when exposed to a solar flare event with insufficient shielding.

SEDS Rocketry Challenge

SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space) is sponsoring a rocket contest: 2013 High Power Rocketry Challenge -SEDS

The SEDS Rocketry Challenge returns for 2013. This year teams are challenged with designing, building, and flying a rocket from the ground up that can carry a 3.0 pound (1.36kg) payload to 10,000 ft. as quickly as possible.

A new component this year charges teams with carrying a payload of scientific and technical value. Teams are encouraged to design a payload that will carry back valuable scientific data or tackles a technical challenge. All teams that compete will have a chance to present their rocket, payload, and findings at SpaceVision 2013 in Tempe, Arizona.

Teams will be scored on three primary goals:

  • Reaching an altitude 10,000 ft (3,050m)AGL while carrying a 3.0lb (1.36kg) payload*
  • Time to altitude
  • Carrying an innovative scientific and technical payload

A letter of intent is due by Friday, March 1, 2013. Teams may enter the competition up until Monday, April 8th, when the design report is due. Please submit your letter of intent to the competition coordinator, Chris Ogden, at

Key Dates:

  • April 8, 2013 : Design Report Due
  • May 31, 2013 : Build Report Due
  • September 2, 2013 :  Launch Deadline
  • September 6, 2013 : Launch Report Deadline

Winners of the SEDS 2013 High Power Rocketry Challenge will be announced at SpaceVision 2013 at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

The project is currently seeking sponsors for awards to the top teams. If you are interested please contact for more information.

For more information, please see the following documentation:

SEDS 2013 Rocketry Challenge