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The Space Gazette

Space for Everyone      -      February 2, 2002     -         Vol. 2 No.3

The Spacefaring Web 2.1:
Goldilocks Cities

John Carter McKnight

A recent Sunday drive turned into research on space settlement design, as we visited three very different outposts of humanity in an extreme environment, the Sonoran desert north of Phoenix, Arizona. Each project can be seen as a model for a trend in the space movement: corporate complex, declining guru’s edifice, growth-limited ecotown. Like Goldilocks’ porridge, two fall somewhat short of their potential while the third was just right. Each, while confounding my prejudices, has much to teach about our future offplanet homes. One tentative conclusion is that the technical obstacles of closed-cycle living are nothing for us next to the psychological and cultural challenges of building a rich and rewarding life in a circumscribed environment.

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Space Music - Space Music of 50's & 60's

Space Age Pop
and Other Cosmic Rhythms

Fantastica - Music from Outer Space by Russ Garcia
Photo courtesy Jack Diamond
Fantastica - Music from Outer Space
by Russ Garcia
Circa 1960

The possibilities of space flight began to have strong influences on culture in the US and around the world even before the lauch of Sputnik.

This was reflected in the popularity of sci-fi space movies and also in music inspired by space.

The MusicSpace section is undergoing a major revamp and will be expanded to several pages.

It now offers an extensive description of music in the pre and post Sputnik period, with a special emphais on the Space Age Pop genre that has undergone a minor renaissance in popularity in the past few years.

The Space Age Pop label is typically given to a wide range of experimental and exotic music of the 1950's and 1960's, much of which has little relation to space.

However, there a substantial part of this genre did get inspiration from space, especially the early electronic synthesizer music. The sci-fi movies of the day almost always relied on such music to develop a mood of futuristic strangeness and mystery.

To learn more about Space Age Pop and other space inspired music, visit the MusicSpace.


Space Tourism * Dennis Tito * Mark Shuttleworth

Space Tourism Highlights

Space tourism continues its surprising rise in public awareness. Here we review several recent tourism related news topics:

Dennis Tito Talks at the Air & Space Museum

Dennis Tito gave a lecture on January 26th to an overflow crowd (that included this editor) at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C. He began by telling the amazing story of how a space engineer turned investment fund chief ended up making the trip to space that he never would have had made if he had remained a space engineer.

He then provided a detailed overview of his training, the launch, the week long stay on the station and the return to earth. His presentation included several videos and lots of beautiful pictures that he took of earth from the station. He also responded to the many questions from the audience with grace and wit .

The two strongest impressions that will remain with this editor from the presentation was, first, Tito's continual declarations of just how much fun he had in space and, secondly, his refusal to pursue any further serious involvement with space other than giving more such speeches to communicate to the public how much fun space is.

Many critics of human spaceflight often depict it as an ordeal to be endured. They speak as if astronauts don't go into space of their own free desire but are "sent" like soldiers into deadly combat. (This attitude can even be seen in unexpected places such as the recent Red Planet movie in which none of the astronauts expressed anything other than a desire to get the mission over as fast as possible and get back to earth.)

Tito's experience certainly refutes such attitudes. He repeated over and over in many different ways just how ecstatic he was during the entire mission. He was "in heaven", the trip was "worth every penny", it was the best week of his entire life, he said the age creases in his faced deepened from smiling continually for a week, etc., etc. This guy loved being in space and is sure most other people would as well.

Yet, despite feeling profoundly rewarded by the experience, he will not start investing in space businesses such as in space tourism or reusable launch vehicles. (No space angel he.) He is now back to being a hard edged business man who doesn't see a market yet and expects that it will be decades before the ticket price to orbit drops to even a million dollars.

Tito made an enormous contribution to space development by removing the "giggle factor" from space tourism. However, it looks like he personally will disappear from the space scene and become a footnote in its history.

Dennis Tito cautious about space tourism future by Jeff Foust for Spaceflight Now - Jan.28.02

Mark Shuttleworth's Flight Date Set

Meanwhile, the business that Tito kicked off continues to build. Mark Shuttleworth will go to the station in April and Russian now says that it has several more customers waiting in line.

Space Tourists Lining Up; Russians Hope $20M Price Tag Will Help Pay For ISS - Space.com - Jan.18.0

Unlike Tito's conflict with NASA, Shuttleworth has had no such problems and recently got a warm welcome when he came to Houston for further training:

Space tourist guidelines agreed on

Part of the reason he has had fewer problems (besides the fact NASA is now under new management) is that the ISS partners have agreed on guidelines for visitors for the station. As long as a visitor receives a basic level of training, they will be allowed access to the station:

 


Find previous space news in
Articles Index 1999-2002

 

See also  
Space Headlines
RLV News
News Links

The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
NewSpace Watch at NSG

Satellite Building - Space Radio - Space Education

Kolibri 2000 -
Russian Sat for Students

The Kolibri is a small satellite developed in Russian as a non-governmental, non-commercial project for students. It is a follow-on project to the Spoutnik Russia/French student satellite launched by hand from Mir in 1997.

The satellite was taken to the ISS in November 2001 on a Progress re-supply ship. It will be released by remote control from the station in late February 2002.

Russian and Australian students will communicate with the satellite over amateur satellite frequencies. It carries several scientific sensors including a magnetometer and charged particle detector whose data the students will monitor. The spacecraft will gradually loses altitude and enter the atmosphere in 2-4 months.

For more information, see the Kolibri entry in Satellite Building section..

Space Movies

IMAX & Tom Cruise
Go to the Space Station

The new IMAX movie about the ISS, and narrated by Tom Cruise, will premier on April 17 in Washington D.C. -

First Ever IMAX(R) 3D Space Film 'SPACE STATION' to Premiere at Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum - IMAX PR - Jan.29.02

The videos were taken by the astronauts in space from the beginning of the project till the most recent missions, showing the station in different phases of its construction.

You can check out the trailer and get a free screen saver at the IMAX Space Station web page.

 
 
 
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