Planetary Society Hangout Jan 24th – Asteroid hunter Gary Hug

The latest Planetary Society Hangout included asteroid hunter Gary Hug who

scans the skies every night looking for new near-Earth objects and refining orbital measurements for existing ones. He is also one of the Planetary Society‘s Gene Shoemaker Fellows, which is our program to provide highly-skilled amateur astronomers with the equipment and support needed to continue the search for potentially hazardous asteroids.

Join Casey Dreier and Dr. Bruce Betts, who manages the Shoemaker program, as they talk to Gary Hug about how he hunts the night skies, the new NEO he discovered in January, and what drives him.

House space committee membership + Rice Univ. space policy panel webcast

The House Science, Space and Technology (HSS&T) Committee released a list of the members of the House Space Subcommittee, which will have major influence on NASA’s budget, programs and projects : House Space Subcommittee Members Named for 113th Congress –

[Update: More on the committee from Jeff Foust: House Science Committee organizes for the new Congress – Space Politics


There will be an interesting space policy discussion today (05:00 pm – 07:30 pm CT) at Rice University and it will be webcast live (perhaps it will also be available later in their video archive) : Lost in Space: The Need for a Definitive U.S. Space Policy – James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy Rice University

When the space shuttle program ended in July 2011, the United States lost its capacity to launch humans into space. U.S. astronauts are now flying to space in Russian spacecraft, and if the nation does regain such a capability, it may be provided by commercial companies. In the interim, NASA has initiated the development of a large rocket booster with no firm requirements or defined use, as well as a space capsule with limited capabilities to be flown to a yet unspecified destination. In light of the current situation, two reports were released in December 2012 that call into question the future of the U.S. space program: A Space Foundation paper urges NASA to shed some of its science and research functions, and to focus again on exploring space; and a study by the National Research Council concludes that a national disagreement over NASA’s space goals has proven detrimental to space agency budgeting and planning efforts.

With all of these concerns in mind, Rice University’s Baker Institute will bring together a panel of six space policy experts to review the present status and future of NASA and the nation’s civil space program. Participants will also discuss the need for and the elements of a definitive national civil space policy.

Panel participants include:

Mark J. Albrecht, Ph.D., is chairman of the board for U.S. Space LLC. He served as executive secretary of the National Space Council from 1989 to 1992 and as a principal adviser to President George H.W. Bush on space.

Leroy Chiao, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor at Rice University, the chair of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute’s user panel and special adviser for human spaceflight to the Space Foundation. He served as a member of the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee chaired by Norman Augustine in 2009. Chiao flew on three space shuttle flights and was commander of Expedition 10 flying for six months onboard the International Space Station.

Joan Johnson-Freese, Ph.D., is a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. She is the author of six books, including “Heavenly Ambitions: America’s Quest to Dominate Space” and “Space as a Strategic Asset,” as well as more than 80 articles on space security, globalization and foreign policy.

Neal F. Lane, Ph.D., is the senior fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute and the Malcolm Gillis University Professor at Rice University. He served as assistant to the president for science and technology and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) from 1998 to 2001. Lane also served as the director of the National Science Foundation and a member (ex officio) of the National Science Board from 1993 to 1998.

Eugene H. Levy, Ph.D., is the Andrew Hays Buchanan Professor of Astrophysics at Rice University. He served as provost of Rice from 2000 to 2010 and is currently a member of the NASA Advisory Council Science Committee.

John M. Logsdon, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of political science and international affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs after serving as director of school’s Space Policy Institute from 1987 to 2008. He is the author of “The Decision to Go to the Moon: Project Apollo and the National Interest,” a general editor of the eight-volume series “Exploring the Unknown: Selected Documents in the History of the U.S. Civil Space Program,” and has written numerous articles and reports on space policy and history.


George W.S. Abbey is the Baker Botts Senior Fellow in Space Policy at the Baker Institute.

Update Jan.25.13: Here’s a review of the event: Lost in Space: The Need for a Definitive U.S. Space Policy? « Coalition for Space Exploration

And the video:

“Beyond The Moon” – Sinoptik Music’s new album

Sinoptik-music has released the new album Beyond the Moon, which is described as follows:

 What is there beyond our sight, on the dark side [sic] of the moon? Why does it always look the same for the observer? People were concerned with this questions for years. Nowadays the scientists already know the answers, but romanticism and mysticism will still cover the Moon for years to come.

“Beyond The Moon” which consists of ten deep and hypnotic pieces, allows you to cross the horizon and to travel in time and space. Turn it on and prepare for the journey.

Ed: Sorry to be sciency rather than artsy, but, of course, the far side of the Moon is not “dark”. It alternates between two week long day and night phases just as does the tidally-locked side that faces the earth.

Citizen space exploration art

My earlier post here about the art exhibition Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration at UC Riverside remains inaccessible in the database of the old Space-for-All blog. Rather than try to reproduce all that, I’ll point readers to the long post I made for the NewSpace Watch blog: NewSpace inspires art exhibition – NSW – Jan.11.13.

Here is a review of the exhibition:  “Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration” at the UCR ArtsBlock – Highlander – Jan.22.13.


Everyone can participate in space