The Space Gazette
Space for Everyone -
May 1, 2002 - Vol.
The Spacefaring Web 2.7:
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."
Spotlights the ISS
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
African in Space web site. Also, Spacetoday.net
maintains a frequently updated
list of articles about this trip and other space tourism
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
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"
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
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
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.
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
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
and featured in a segment of the morning news program The Today
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
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
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
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.