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The Space Gazette

Space for Everyone      -     May 1, 2002     -         Vol. 2 No.9

The Spacefaring Web 2.7:
Revolutionary Patience

John Carter McKnight

16th Century Japan was a time something like ours in a way: as we see the prospect of a spacefaring civilization just out of reach, so they saw the future of a strong, united nation. Three great warriors each in turn attempted to realize that dream: Oda Nobunaga, Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Tokugawa Ieyasu. A folk verse, imagining each confronting a recalcitrant songbird, encapsulated their methods (this discussion is adapted from Dave Lowry, Moving Toward Stillness: Lessons in the Daily Life of the Martial Ways, pp.21-24).

The first of the warlords, Nobunaga, was direct, ruthless, without social skills or subtlety. Of him, the verse goes,

"If the hototogisu will not sing - kill it."

continue...

Space Tourism

Shuttleworth Spotlights the ISS

Mark Shuttleworth on the ISS
Mark Shuttleworth on the Space Station.

Mark Shuttleworth successfully made it to the International Space Station last week, becoming the second person to pay his own way to space. His trip has gotten tremendous publicity, especially in his native land of South Africa.

In fact, the Tito and Shuttleworth visits have far exceeded any other event in bringing attention to the station. Ironic, considering NASA's cool attitude towards tourism on the station.

You can follow Shuttleworth's activities on his First African in Space web site. Also, Spacetoday.net maintains a frequently updated list of articles about this trip and other space tourism topics.

Note that .Shuttleworth has made a strong effort to promote his trip with South African young people in an effort to motivate them to study science and math.

His education efforts include the media campaign Hip2B2 (Hip-to-be-Square) and the use of the HAM radio on the ISS that allows him to make brief conversations with students as the ISS passes over his country.

Note that, as with Tito, the amateur astronaut Shuttleworth is making good use of amateur radio. I hope that we will see more of this kind of synergy in amateur space activities as I discussed in my Space for Amateurs article.


Space Radio

More HAMing It Up In Space

Shuttleworth is bringing particular attention to the Space Station ham radio but it actually has been in routine use by the station crews. Calls to school groups around the world now happen on a regular basis. The 10 minute passes require careful timing and preparation but most students seem to really enjoy the experience of talking directly to someone in space.:

See the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) home page for information on how to arrange a connection with the ISS crew for your school.


Activism

Join the Space Race to Denver

Don't miss the National Space Society's 21st Annual International Space Development Conference and Exhibition in Denver, Colorado on May 23-27, 2002.

The meeting will offer everything a space junkie could possible desire:

"Space Mining, Space Solar Power, Space Construction, Development and Settlement of the Moon and Mars, Launch Facilities, Launch Technologies, Educators Training, NSS 101, Many Roads to Space, and a Plenary Event featuring cutting edge visionaries. Other events: Art Show, Video Room, SF Authors, Star Gazing, Late Night Entertainment, plus much more"


Other Space Happenings

Mars Mice: The Mars Society's TransLife satellite project is speeding up. The privately funded project seeks to test the use centrifugal force to produce artificial gravity.

This could be a crucial technique for insuring that astronauts are in good physical shape when they reach Mars after a flight of several months.

A small colony of mice will go to space in small, cylindrical satellite which will spin. To the mice living along the inside surface it will seem that they are in a world with 3/8g, just as they would on Mars.

The satellite should launch in 2005 and fly for 52 days before returning the mice to earth.

For more about this project:

Starshine 2 Returns: - the student satellite project Starshine has seen the second of its satellites fall into the atmosphere.

In the Starshine project, mentioned many times here at HobbySpace, ball shaped satellites are covered with small mirrors polished by students around the world. After the satellites are released in orbit, their mirrored spinning surface makes them very bright.

The students track and monitor the satellite whenever it passes over them and they log the data. How quickly the satellite's orbit decays is related to the density of the atmosphere, which in turn is related to the output of the sun.

Meanwhile, Starshine 3 is still in orbit and Starshine 4 and 5 will be launched in 2003 from the shuttle Atlantis. The smaller Starshine 5 will not have mirrors and not be visible to the naked eye. Instead it will be tracked by the U.S. Space Command and its orbit compared to that determined for Starshine 4. This comparison will provide a more precise determination of the atmospheric density than with Starshine 4 alone.

Solar Sailing Come September : The Planetary Society's Cosmos 1 solar sail project continues steadily towards a launch in Russia this September.

The X Prize Goes to New York - A model of the Canadian Arrow X PRIZE team's rocket was taken to New York on April 25th (see photos) and featured in a segment of the morning news program The Today Show.

The event aimed to publicize the X Prize contest and Erik Lindbergh's commemorative flight, which highlights the 75th anniversary of his grandfather's famous flight to Paris and the use of prizes to encourage aerospace development.

 


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

Sat Building, Education

A PongSat for
Each of Us

Guess what you get if you split a table tennis ball in two, put in an itty-bity experiment, reseal it and fly it to a high altitude or even to orbit?

You get a PongSat !!

This fun concept has been developed by the amateur rocketry group JP Aerospace and now has several hundred students involved.

JP Aerospace took some pongsats up already in a high altitude balloon and expects eventually to launch them with their Microsat launchers to space.

The experiments range from the extremely simple, like studying the effects of vacuum on a marshmallow, to the quite sophisticated, such as a cosmic ray counter.

The possibilities are endless for clever students.

Space Science, Education

Student Space Crystals

Dr. Alexander McPherson at the University of California at Irvine is carrying out a number of space biology projects for NASA.

He is particularly interested in taking advantage of microgravity to help in the making of large crystals of proteins and other complicated molecules.

The larger and more uniform the crystals, the easier it is to study their structure with X-rays.

He realized that very many substances would need to be tested in space (up to 10,000 samples at a time) and that preparing the crystallization samples was simple enough that students could easily do it.

So he worked with NASA to develop the Student Access to Space program, in which students compete to send their samples to the ISS for testing. It is a great way to involve students in genuine scientific experiments and let them see their handiwork go to space.

 
 
 
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