Cassini reaches Saturn...
Hard for me to believe that seven years has passed already but
sure enough, Cassini
will fire it's braking rocket today to go into orbit around
Prepares To Put On The Brakes by Leonard David - Space.com -
June.29.04. The spacecraft will spend years studying the
ringed planet and its moons. In January the Huygens probe will
drop onto Titan, the only moon in the solar system to have an
Follow the mission at:
Echo alive and well...
Yesterday a Russian Dnepr rocket launched several satellites
to orbit including the AMSAT
Echo microsat: Dnepr
launches satellites - spacetoday.net - June.29.04 . Contact
was made with the bird soon after:
AMSAT News Service Bulletin 182.01 From AMSAT HQ
SILVER SPRING, MD. June 30, 2004
To All RADIO AMATEURS
First contact with Echo was during the pass 1452-1500 UTC
on 29 June 2004. The first look at ECHO's telemetry shows
things are looking good. The battery, solar panels and temperatures
were all as expected.
Initially the transmitter power output was set to approximately
2.2 Watts during commanding sessions. Based on a very good
looking power system, the transmitter has been able to be
left turned on with the power turned down.
During the second set of passes approximately twelve hours
later, the command team finished loading the housekeeping
software. The housekeeping task is up and running as of 30
June 2004 at 0525 UTC. With more data available on the power
systems performance the transmitter has now been left at about
The morning passes on 30 June will concentrate on gathering
telemetry. The evening passes then will continue with checkout
A telemetry decode program, TLMEcho, is available for those
who would like to view and report data from Echo. It may be
downloaded from AMSAT.ORG
in the Echo project area, www.amsat.org/amsat-new/echo/
Laurie in space...
Avant-garde multimedia artist Laurie
Anderson has become the first artist-in-residence with NASA.
and Stars Align for Performance Artist: Laurie Anderson Accepts
Art Commission From NASA - Washington Post - June.30.04
Space for kids... Bill
Gillespie teaches at Seaforth Public School in Australia and
he asked me for some reference material to help his group of
10-12 year olds develop a space themed web site. I think their
in the Annual Web Design Awards came out quite well.
If you are looking for some suggestions on how to answer common
questions about why people should and definitely will go into
space, here is a brief
FAQ that I sent them.
Making space... FCC tells
geosat operators to properly dispose of their old spacecraft:
Enters Orbital Debris Debate - Space News - June.28.04 ...
Many scientists often speak as if robots can trivially take
the place of humans in space exploration. This view convinced
the British government not to spend a single pound in support
of human spaceflight. So why do they "waste money"
on sending humans into another tough environment. Design
wanted for Antarctic base - BBC - June.29.04. To be consistent,
shouldn't they replace the British
Antarctic Survey researchers with robots?
Mobile homes on the Moon...
An interesting approach to lunar exploration involving mobile
habitats has been developed at NASA Ames:
Rocket Town in Houston... Countdown
Enterprises, a much appreciated HobbySpace
advertiser, is opening Rocket
Town on July 3rd in Houston, Texas. The superstore will
sell space related apparel, collectibles and gifts.(I assume
they sell rockets too!) It also will offer lots of educational
"hands-on space experiences."
The store is in a partnership with collectSPACE
and they "will present for sale rare and one-of-a-kind
space flown artifacts in a museum-like display." Robert
Pearlman of collectSpace is also VP of Countdown Enterprises.
More info at
Countdown Enterprises, Inc. announced today the July 3rd
opening of Rocket Town™, a space souvenir and memorabilia
superstore located just three miles west of NASA's Johnson
Space Center in Houston, Texas. Rocket Town offers visitors
a chance to shop in-person for the same large selection of
space apparel, collectibles and gifts that Countdown Creations
has been offering online since 1997.
... continue at "Countdown
set to launch Rocket Town" - collectSPACE - June.28.04
I sure wish them success. The more consumer-oriented space
businesses the better.
Space Review, published by Jeff Foust, today
has one of its biggest issues ever: six articles and a photo
collection from the SS1 flight. These include a couple of articles
related to the Aldridge
And one article provides a caveat about relying too much on
prizes to motivate space development: Beware
prize fatigue by Tom Hill - The Space Review - June.28.04.
Pay as you go - at the right price
... In his article,
Taylor Dinerman discusses the "pay as you go" recommendation
by the commission. This means that NASA would support long term
projects with whatever money it could obtain from year to year
and would no longer cancel important projects outright just
because for a given year it has insufficient funding to keep
them fully staffed and on track. Projects would shrink or expand
to fit the available funding and if the money fell drastically,
the project would be "put into hibernation" until
money became available later.
This would help prevent the kind of waste described in an article
Science by the space architect Constance
Adams, who worked on the Transhab ISS module project.
She lamented the loss of the knowledge gained over several years
of hard work and the destruction of a topnotch team when the
project was abruptly canceled and its members scattered to other
I would suggest an additional requirement on the pay as you
go guideline. One of the biggest hurdles for the President's
initiative is the demand by Congress and the public
for hard numbers on the total costs. However, for such a long
term program as going to the Moon and Mars, which will span
decades and involve lots of new technologies and techniques,
many of which are not even invented yet, it's impossible to
make an honest detailed accounting now of the total cost. However,
one way to put a limit on the price tag is to require that launch
costs fall to preset thresholds before the program can continue
to each phase of its development.
For example, I would require that before NASA can send another
manned mission to the Moon, the average price per kilogram of
payload to low earth orbit (exactly what orbit can be argued
about) for commercial launches must fall to $1000 per pound.
This is not far from what SpaceX
is already planning to charge for the initial Falcon V flights
("$1300 cost per pound" according to this press
release). Further reductions could be achieved with improvements
to the vehicle and higher flight rates. Similarly, before NASA
could commit to a manned mission to Mars, LEO launch costs must
fall to $250/lb.
It's important for a couple of reasons that the cost thresholds
be determined by commercial space transport. Firstly, private
companies will include the expense of vehicle development in
what they charge whereas NASA would write off the development
cost and look only at operating costs. Secondly, NASA would
become highly motivated to encourage and nurture the commercial
launch services since its programs would be tied to the success
of the private firms.
I think this sort of launch price-pegged approach would satisfy
Congress that approval of the new space policy would not commit
the country to a huge expansion in total space funding. Also,
it will help spur commercial space transport and that in turn
will drive space development costs down even more over the long
New US AMSAT to launch
on Tuesday. The AMSAT-NA
Echo (OSCAR- E) microsat will ride aboard a Russian Dnepr
(converted SS-18 missile). See also What
is ECHO? and the newly redesigned Echo
page. This will be the first AMSAT-NA satellite for many
These reports give the history and technical details about
the spacecraft: OSCAR-E_Status_Report
- Spring 2004 (pdf) * OSCAR-E_Status_Report_
- Fall 2003 (pdf).
Check the AMSAT
News Bulletins for the latest status reports.
Creating a sci-fi future in space...
The flight of the SpaceShipOne
might seem like an event in a sci-fi novel if there were not
several hundred media representatives and fifteen thousand or
so spectators in Mojave to give witness to the fact that it
actually happened. Certainly the White Knight and the SS1 looked
like vehicles in a fantasy graphic novel.
Sci-fi about the near term future in space has been very meager,
especially at the major TV and film level. I hope the SS1 flight
will inspire writers, TV and film makers, and other creative
people to consider that a wild and marvelous space frontier
is not far away. A frontier with private adventurers and developers
stretching from Mojave to the Moon offers an infinity of scenarios
and plots if they just open up their imaginations to the possibilities.
While waiting for the pros to catch on, perhaps space enthusiasts
can step in and create their own productions. There have already
been some amazingly elaborate Fan
Fiction programs based on Star Trek and Star Wars
themes. Computer graphics and video tools continue to expand
in capabilities while dropping in price. Developing an engaging
and richly visualized sci-fi video based on a near-term space
scenario is certainly within reach of a group of highly motivated
Check out the world of Machinima, which involves the
art of filmmaking within a real-time, 3D virtual environment.
You can read about this vibrant area at Machinima.org
and the FAQ
there. The Machinma.com
site provides a meeting ground for the community of 3D video
developers and they also offer some
See also the 3D
Modelling resources in the Space Models section and
for Creating Space Simulations in the Space Simulators
Future past ... Following
up a recent
item about the Space
Age Pop era, Fred Becker sent me some interesting
links to the Prelinger
Archives / Futurism page at archive.org.
It offers a selection of short films from the 1950s and early
1960s period made by some big companies about the future. For
example, check out Century
21 Calling, a " [r]omp through the futuristic landscape
of the Seattle World's Fair, centered in the Bell System pavilion."
Along with the inspiration form Sputnik and the space race,
here's one reason scholastic achievement scores in the US peaked
in the 1962-1963: When
Science Was Simple: Watching Mr. Wizard - NY Times - June.27.04.
Fred also passed along this link to a site that celebrates
both Thelonious Monk and that cool new high tech musical instrument
of the 1960s, the Moog: Thelonious
Moog: Yes We Didn't
Filk review... Here is
a good survey of the history and status of filk music: Future
Folk byTwila Oxley Price - Folk Perspective - June.04. She
lists a number of the top tunes of the genre. Note that she
includes the To
Touch the Starts space CD but producer Eli Goldberg often
points out to me that only a few of the songs on the album should
be classified as true filk tunes.
Hubble on the big screen... The
Hubble will soon be coming to an IMAX near you:Hubble
IMAX Film Takes Viewers on Ride Through Space and Time - HubbleSite
- June.24.04 * Video
Weird Martian rocks...
Geologists continue to find amazing new features on the surface
of the Red Planet: Mars
scientists marvel at mysterious rock formation - Spaceflight
Now - June.25.04
Rocket attack... The stupidly
oppressive regulations on rocketry are starting to have an effect
and it ain't good: Rocket
Hobbyists Dropping Hobby - Wired - June.25.04.
News briefs .. NASA is
reorganizing itself to meet the challenges of the new space
initiative and to fulfill the recommendations of the Aldridge
Commission according to the latest reports: NASA
Begins to Transform Itself - Keith Cowing/SpaceRef - June.24.04
chief announces plan to transform agency - CNN.com - June.24.04....
... Michael Mealling reports
on whether Congress is going to mandate changes such as forcing
to NASA to work more efficiently with private companies: Aldridge
Report Sausage :: RocketForge - June.23.04...
... But no shuttle to Hubble
Hangs Tough On Hubble - SpaceDaily - June.23.04 ...
... Here is a report from
a National Academies workshop on space exploration with recommendations
for NASA: Stepping-Stones
to the Future of Space Exploration: A Workshop Report - Nat'l
Academies Press - 2004 (via HS
reader M. Antoniewicz)...
... Meanwhile, from Mars
comes more beautiful pictures from the ESA orbiter Mars
Express - The Valles Marineris canyon - ESA - June.22.04
Space tourist flight canceled... According
to reports from Russia, the flight to the ISS by Greg
Olsen has unfortunately been canceled due to health concerns:
Space memories ... Alan
Boyle reports on collectibles related to the recent SpaceShipOne
history for sale - Alan Boyle/MSNBC - June.23.04. The Canadian
everQuest company is getting attention for its travel bags made
from Soyuz parachute materials" The
Soyuz Bag - The Globe and Mail - June.23.04
Spacedate 21.06.04, Mojave, California...
- Check out Joan Horvath's special
report on her trip to Mojave to watch the heroic
flight of SpaceShipOne
Age Pop additions were passed along by Fred Becker.
The album Folk
Songs For The 21st Century - Sheldon Allman - Dana's Downloadable
Album of the Month - April 2004 is certainly a work unique
to the late 1950s. Allman wanted
to write "tunes that our present day composers might
be writing if they took the wonders of the future seriously."
Allman was a character actor who will be quickly recognized
by those familiar with 1960s period TV shows. He orginally studied
opera and has quite a strong voice. Though the title refers
to folk songs the style is actually 50's rock'n'roll, which
is not exactly the best match for his voice.
See the site Space
Age Pop a Go-Go for lots of resources about the space influenced
music of the 50s and 60s.
SpaceShipOne tune... Speaking
of space music, here's a tribute by Terence
Chua to yesterday's SS1
flight called Spaceship
Aldridge Commission report (see
web site and the Executive
Summary - Spaceref) is not getting universal aclaim. Here
are a couple of alternative views: The
Dinkin Commission report by Same Dinkin - The Space Review -
Half-Baked Proposals for Space - New York Times - June.24.04
Space solar power remains
a topic of interest, especially at a time of rising energy costs:
NASA Spaces on Energy Solution - Wired News - June.22.04
Power from Space - SPS'04 Conferece" - ESA - June.30 -
July 2, 2004
Micro rocket info ... Jetex.org
provides "a comprehensive online resource covering the
technical and historical aspects of small sustained thrust micro
rocket motors for use in model airplanes and other craft."
10:45: SpaceShipOne is in the air..
I'm posting updates on the mission in the RLV
Space memorabilia market
seems to be growing: Space
paraphernalia comes out of attics - Huntsville Times - June.18.04
There is a big market for space and aviation memorabilia,
she said. Between 70,000 and 80,000 people around the world
participated in Aurora's auction last April, either in person,
by phone, over the Internet or by mail.
... But there are still
potholes to watch out for when dealing with former NASA materials:"Man
offering Apollo parachute arrested" - collectSPACE - June.18.04
Mars Society Music contest ...
for Space Pioneer Song Contest
Society - June 14, 2004
The finalists for the Second Rouget de Lisle Award contest
for songs celebrating the cause of the human exploration and
settlement of space have been announced.
Over 100 songs were received from songwriters all over the
Earth. The songs were written in a wide range of styles, including
folk, pop, country, rock, jazz, opera, Broadway, and British
dance hall. Our of these, twenty were selected as finalists.
The finalists will sing at a special event to be held at the
International Mars Society Convention, Palmer House Hilton,
Chicago IL August 19-22, 2004, with the winners judged by
All twenty finalist songs will be recommended to Prometheus
Music for inclusion on their next space song CD, and provided
to NASA for consideration for use as wake up songs for ISS
crews and Interplanetary probes. (The winner of the First
Rouget de Lisle contest, "The Pioneers of Mars" by Lloyd Landa
and Karen Lindsey, was used by JPL as wakeup music for the
Mars rover Opportunity.)[ Pioneers of Mars is available
as Real Audio stream
from the To
Touch the Stars
CD page at Prometheus Music.]
In alphabetical order by writer, the finalists are:
Hotel on the Moon Joe Alley
Mars Landing Tamara Cannon
When Mice Become Men Jenetta Deavers
Make this World Come Alive Leslie Fish
Oxygen Harmon Huff
Red Skies Ronald Reed Jackson
Gonna Tread on the Red Planet Alexander Jamieson
Lullabye of Mars S. Miria Jo
Port of Mars Jim Layeux
Red Dust Jim Layeux
Blue Star Jim Layeux
Rock-a-bye Steve McDaniel
On to Mars Bob McNally
First Footprint Bob McNally
Green Hills of Terra Francis Parker
Shine Your Light Lauren Reed
The Good Ol' U of Mars Marilyn Rucker
Klaatu Borada Nikto Regina Smoler
Thank God Dreams Survive Bill and Tina Swindell
Toward the Red Thom Williams
Mars needs music, and the Chicago convention is going to be
the Woodstock of Mars!
Mars renders music ... Inspired
rendering of Mars from Kees
Veenenbos, the Romanian composer Serban
Nichifor created Songs
of Mars and In Aeternum.
Furthermore, the composer says the background of the music
(the "objective" like organ sounds) is actually a conversion
of the jpg image to midi sounds using the MIDImage
software. The melody is his "subjective" contribution made with
Music Processor™ music notation software.
The compositions are available in the Mozart format (".mz"
of Mars and In
Aeternum. (A free Mozart
Viewer is available for playing the files.) The Song of
Mars is also available from The
Living Music Journal as a MIDI
Building Mars homes...
The Mars Homestead
Project investigates how to use local Mars materials to
build human habitats. Builders
in a Strange Land - Wired News - June.18.04
Advanced rocketry left out...
Rand Simberg notes that the Aldridge Committee sees space exploration
as an important way to inspire students to pursue technical
subjects but didn't take the opportunity to support hobby rocketry.
Such support might have helped to defend it and other technical
hobbies against attacks
by over-zealous regulators: Even
More Aldridge Thoughts - Transterrestrial Musings - June.17.04
News briefs... The point
is not science but settlement: Space
Is Our Home, not a Program: Focusing on federally funded exploration
misses the point: Settlement is the goal, and it's key to our
survival and prosperity - BetterHumans.org - June.17.04
For a list of the reasons this is so, see Why
Space Settlementm - Space Frontier Foundation...
.... A system to monitor
vital signs of space travelers could also be useful on earth:
Researchers Go From Heaven To Earth In 'LifeGuard' Test - ScienceDaily
Aldridge Commission Report...
Analysis and commentary at:
News brief... The Saturn
V that has been rusting away in Houston will finally get restored:
Moon Rocket to Get Face-Lift in Texas - Reuters.com - June.17.04
Aldridge Commission report is
now available on the commission
web site. The Executive
Summary is posted in html at Spaceref.
Commentary at TransTerrestrial
Musings and by Michael
Mealling at Rocketforge.
Kerry on space... Discussion
of John Kerry's remarks on space policy: If
You Favor The New Space Initiative... - Transterrestrial Musings
- June.16.04 * Kerry
and the space vision - Space Politics - June.16.04
Inflatable space hotels from
get more press attention in this article: An
Inflatable Space - The Statesman - June.16.04
Aldridge Commission report anticipation
grows. Everybody expects it to recommend major changes at NASA:
... It Kerry wins, it sounds
like he would certainly not zero out funding for human spaceflight.
However, he probably won't support a major push for deep space
exploration as would happen with Bush's new space initiative:
Kerry Criticizes Bush for Space Vision - Space.com - June.16.04
A book to rove around in -
- The NASA Mission Reports Volume 2 from Apogee
Books gets a good review in Book
chronicles current Mars missions - Florida Today - June.16.04.
In a recent Space
Show interview, publisher Robert Godwin of Apogee Books
talks about the development of the book and the DVD that comes
with it. (Amazon
News briefs... The satellite
building business gets a boost in orders this year: Satellite
launch industry enjoys orders' rebound - Florida Today - June.16.04
... Bacteria may help with close loop living in space: Waste,
the final frontier: The sheer amount of human refuse is a major
obstacle to long-distance space travel. Kate Ravilious investigates
the remarkable bacteria that could convert it into a source
of electricity - Independent.co.uk - June.16.04...
... It's not cost effective
at the current price for launching payloads to LEO, but good
science does in fact happen on the ISS: Mob
Rules: An experiment onboard the International Space Station
is helping physicists decipher the group behavior of atoms and
molecules. - Science@NASA - June.16.04
Sunday, June 15, 2004 Space Show "features reDr. Christopher
P. McKay, Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division
of NASA Ames. Chris received his Ph.D. in Astro Geophysics
from the University of Colorado in 1982 and has been a research
scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center since that time.
His current research focuses on the evolution of the solar
system and the origin of life. He is also actively involved
in planning for future Mars missions including human settlements.
Chris been involved in research in Mars-like environments
on Earth, traveling to the Antarctic dry valleys, Siberian,
the Canadian Arctic, and the Atacama desert in Chile to study
life in these Mars-like environments. Dr. McKay be updating
us on his new work in the Atacama desert as well as a variety
of issues dealing with Mars, the rovers, and planetary science..."
Thursday, June 17, 2004 Special Space Show is a special open
lines live taping of The Space Show offering listeners the
opportunity to be a guest on a future Space Show program.
Space Show listeners will be able to listen and participate
in this live open lines taping session by accessing
from 7:30 - 8:45PM PDT ... Listeners will be able to use the
toll free line, e-mail and chat as is the case for all live
shows. However, this special open lines program will provide
Space Show listeners with the opportunity to phone in on any
topic of interest. Those callers presenting an interesting
topic and discussion will be invited to be a guest on a future
Space Show program. This opportunity is only for those listeners
calling the program, not for those sending e-mail or using
chat. So if you would like to be a guest on the program, call
the show and tell us all what you would like to discuss. This
is your chance to promote your ideas, discuss the subjects
most interesting to you, to promote any books or other projects
that you are working on or have completed, or your work in
general. This program will be repeated Tuesday evening, June
22 at the regularly scheduled time of 7PM PDT and all other
regularly scheduled repeat broadcasts.
Sunday, June 20, 2004 Space Show "features Fraser Cain,
publisher of Universe Today, a space and astronomy website
which he began in 1999. It's now one of the more popular space
sites, and visited by more than 200,000 people every month.
The newsletter edition goes out to 23,000 people every weekday.
In his regular life, Fraser was the co-founder of Absolute
Software, a security software company, and an executive with
Communicate.com - both of which are still public, despite
the dotcom crash. Most recently, he was the marketing director
for interactivetools.com - a content management software company.
He's currently works on Universe Today and is completely current
on events in both astronomy and space..."
Hear the SpaceShow programs live at KKNW, 1150 AM in Seattle,
and on line at www.live365.com/stations/dlivingston?site=dlivingston.
Commercialization and NASA...
Often when alt.spacers complain that NASA needs to work with
private space developers, the retort is that the agency already
does this via its many contracts with Boeing, Lockheed-Martin,
and Northrop. However, these giant companies act more like the
design bureaus (in Henry Spencer's term) in the old Soviet Union.
They are big, bureaucratic appendages to NASA that very careful
do exactly as the agency wants and avoid any risky and innovative
space development on their own.
There are, in fact, good examples that show that space can
be done differently. The DC-X,
Lunar Prospector, and other projects that followed a nonstandard
aerospace business approach managed to accomplish their missions
with drastically lower costs as compared to what NASA and its
usual suspects would have spent if they had been in charge.
I have heard former DC-X managers say that if normal NASA procurement
methods had been followed, their project would have cost about
ten times more than it actually did (less than $100m) Pat Bahn
told me that he ran a NASA cost model program with DC-X parameters
and got a factor of around 40 times higher than the actual cost.
Commission is apparently going to call for NASA to make
a major change in the way it interacts with private firms, especially
with respect to LEO access. This will mean, for example, that
the agency should offer to purchase launch services from the
lowest bidder according to payload mass and not require that
the vehicle be built according to NASA specifications. The commission
will also probably encourage prize related programs like the
X PRIZE, which
NASA is now doing on a small scale with the Centennial
However, as Michael Mealling points out in The
"Fish, Barrel and #6 Birdshot" That Is The NYT - RocketForge
- June.14.04, the press will probably react in a knee-jerk
manner to words like "commercial" and "privatization"
and assume it simply means shifting more work from NASA to the
big aerospace companies like it did with the shuttle processing.
Is Urged to Add Tasks for Industry - The New York Times - June.15.04
Suggests Changes at NASA: Report Encourages Some Privatization
- Washington Post - June.15.04
If that's all it means then the whole commission exercise was
pointless. To accomplish the full vision of the new initiative,
as well described in Space
Vision Misunderestimated By Charles Rousseaux - TCS: Tech Central
Station - June.15.04, a whole new approach to space exploration
and development will be required. And it won't be done with
just a bunch of new cost-plus contracts to two or three giant
Camp KSC... The official
affiliate in Florida shut down a couple of years ago due to
the recession and the post-9/11 slowdown in travel. However,
there is now the Camp
Kennedy Space Center. It's only available in the summer
but seems to offer many of the same activities. Kids
explore Camp KSC contraptions: Many find Mission Control, multi-axis
ride popular - Florida Today - June.14.04.
News briefs... Check out
Week Greeting Cards from 123Greetings.com and the list of
... I mentioned recently
that satellite radio was growing rapidly but it looks like satellite
TV also keeps on expanding as well: DISH
Network Passes 10 Million Customer Milestone - EchoStar - June.14.04
... Science fiction lured
Donna Shirley to engineering and Mars exploration and now to
Science Fact, Now Chronicling Science Fiction - The New York
Times - June.15.04...
... If you didn't see the
Venus transit across the Sun in real-time, check out the great
photos at The
2004 Transit of Venus - Gallery - science@NASA.
The Space Intiative: It's not just
humans to the Moon & Mars... Jeff Foust reports
on a recent meeting in Washington D.C. that focused on whether
the Bush space initiative overly emphasizes sending humans to
the Moon and Mars to the detriment of astronomy and space science:
and the exploration vision - The Space Review - June.14.04.
The conclusion seemed to be that the initiative as stated by
the President does not do this but that NASA might interpret
it that way....
... Harrison Schmitt, lunar
explorer and ex-Senator, defends the role of humans in space
Exploration and Development: Why Humans? - Geotimes - June 2004
partnerships are the key to achieving long term success in lunar
exploration and development according to Pioneering
the way out by Gregory Anderson - The Space Review - June.14.04
... The NSS Washington
Legislative Conference - July 11-13 - has "morphed"
into a big lobbying effort on Capitol Hill in support of the
space initiative: Join
the Moon-Mars Blitz! - NSS Chapters News - June.11.04.
Show biz looks again at space tours...
The Lance Bass flight never got off the ground but it looks
like show business people are still pursuing space tourist projects:
into space, be part of reality show: The great space race is
back on among reality TV producers. - CNN.com - Jun 14, 2004
(via Ken Schweitzer) * The
Vine: Reality TV's eye on final frontier - Hollywood Reporter
- June.14.04 (via spacetoday.net)
News briefs... Satellite
radio will be another space-enabled business to attain great
Satellite Radio Tops Two Million Subscribers - XM Radio - June.14.04
29 Million Sat Radio Subs by 2010 - SkyREPORT.com - June.14.04...
... GPS and satellite imaging
help to create the ultimate maps: A
SuperMap for Soldiers Or Business Travelers - Information Sciences
Institute - May.28.04 ...
... Maybe kids living in
NY City will someday see the stars: Light
Pollution - The New York Times Editorial - June.14.04...
... Dwayne Day disputes
the simple-minded conventional wisdom today of "satellites:bad,
human spys: good" with regard to US intelligence operations:
defense of the beleaguered spysat - The Space Review - June.14.04
O'Neill tops my list but not this one: Favorite
Space Visionary? - Slashdot Poll - June.14.04 (via K. Kert)
Space quotations... Writer
has nicely assembled a big collection of quotations concerning
space from various notables: Space
Quotes to Ponder.
By the way, Ms. Engdahl was recently interviewed
on the Space
News briefs... The Aldridge
Commission will recommend significant changes in NASA: Moon-to-Mars
Commission Recommends Major Changes at NASA - Space.com - June.10.04
early peek at the Aldridge Commission report - Space Politics
... Such changes couldn't
come soon enough. NASA is already jacking up the unmanned lunar
program to $1.3B: Could
LRO weigh down the exploration plan? - Space Politics - June.10.04...
... The Moon
Society will "support the effort to refocus NASA's
human space activities toward exploration, including a return
to the Moon and moving on to Mars and beyond." : Moon
Society Joins The Space Exploration Alliance - RocketForge -
... Satellite TV has been
growing rapidly but it would sure speed up even more at this
satellite TV? - SkyREPORT.com- June.11.04....
... A neat idea for sensors:
Integrated Circuits: By interfacing bacteria to silicon chips,
NASA-supported researchers have created a device that can sense
almost anything. - Science@NASA - June.10.04
NASA's role in space exploration
and development will be the central topic of the Aldridge
Commission's report due out next week. James Burk at Project
Constellation gives his recommendations of what
the report should say. Michael Mealling gives in turn his
response to those recommendations: A
Response to ProjectConstellation's Aldridge Commission Article
- RocketForge - June.9.04. See also the discussion at
Musings where I got these links.
News briefs... GPS is inspiring
more and more applications: For
Wandering Tourists, Help From on High - The New York Times -
... Free ranging mini-bots
Satellite Assistant (PSA) could become useful companions
on space stations: A
Jet-Powered PDA for Astronauts - Wired - June.10.04
Tech News: VTOL progress... The
Israel company Urban
Aeronautics says that it has completed a set of test
flights of its CityHawk vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL)
demonstrator. (No photos posted yet.) They will now begin development
of the X-Hawk
The UrbanAero approach is to use one or more large vertical
fans for lift and a set of vanes below each fan for control.
Crew and cargo compartments are then fitted around these big
fans. (The X- Hawk also has a couple of ducted fans for horizontal
propulsion.) This seems like an approach to VTOL that might
be more robust than with the Moller
Skycar, which rotates the engines for takeoff and landing. (See
Note that Moller reports that the start of tetherless flight
tests will be delayed while Freedom
Motors ramps up production of its rotary engines. These
compact engines with exceptionally high power to weight ratios
are a spinoff from the skycar development.
News briefs... Robert Pearlman
reports on the return of a prototoype Apollo capsule to the
U.S.S. Hornet aircraft carrier that once plucked it from the
capsule departs for aircraft carrier" - collectSPACE - June.9.04...
... NASA requests proposals
for a spacecraft to provide a detailed mapping of the Moon:
To Solicit Proposals For Lunar Orbiter Payload Next Week - Aviation
Week - June.8.0...
... Speaking of the Moon,
check out the dynamite list of speakers
at the Return
to the Moon conference in Las Vegas, Nevada July 16-18,
... The SciFan:
Books & Links for the Science Fiction Fan has a huge database
of info about writers
(I just discovered an author there named Lindsay
Sunday, June 13, 2004 Space Show "features returning
guest Dr. Jeff Foust, editor of The Space Review (www.thespacereview.com),
a weekly online publication of articles and commentary on
space-related topics. He also publishes Spacetoday.net,
which provides links to and summaries of space news from around
the web, as well as spacepolitics.com,
a weblog devoted to space policy topics.,..."
Tuesday's show with Robert Godwin of Apogee
Books should be on line soon. [Update June 12: Now available]
Hear the SpaceShow programs live at KKNW, 1150 AM in Seattle,
and on line at www.live365.com/stations/dlivingston?site=dlivingston.
Sea & space states... The
project to establish ocean based independent states might have
implications for space settlements. (Via Transterrestrial
News briefs... The joy
of weightlessness: Free
From Gravity, These Students Taste Outer Space - NY Times -
June.8.04 * Mild-Mannered
Reporter Gets a Superman Moment - The New York Times - June.8.04
... Express your views
on Moon base politics in the Survey
- Political Feasibility of a Moon base
Venus transits tomorrow across
sleepovers herald rare Venus show Tuesday - USATODAY.com - June.7.04.
Lots of info here: Transit
of Venus. Web cast at spaceweather.com.
News briefs... Good set
of Space news and history links: Poynter
Online - History of U.S. Space Flight (via Fred Becker)...
... Florida Today sees
lots of dangers on the Space Station: Space
Station in Peril - FLORIDA TODAY Special Report - June..04
Display. But Keith Cowing at NASA
Watch (short term items) thinks they exaggerated in several
... Satellite radio is
saving radio: Radio
Free America: The people behind satellite radio understand the
dreadful quality of traditional commercial radio. - The Atlantic
Online - June.3.04 (via spacetoday.net)...
... Space collectibles
Panchenko gets a message from space: Greeting
and Fruits from... ISS - A.Panchenko - May.29.04.
News briefs... Check out
CAD Drawings made by David Velasquez of various Space Stations
... The Cassini-Huygens
spacecraft is carrying some original musical compositions to
deliver to Saturn's moon Titan:
'Music2Titan': sounds of a spaceprobe - ESA - June.4.04.
See the Music2Titan
site for details (but not yet the music files as far as I can
... New Scientist interviews
Apollo Astronaut Dave Scott: To
the moon and back - New Scientist - June.4.04...
... Webcast of the Venus
solar transit on June 9th will be available at SpaceWeather.com
Transit of Venus.
News brief... Amateur astronomer
accomplishes something no one, amateur or pro, has done before:
Images Venus's Surface - Sky and Telescope - June.3.04
... Flippant claims of
trillion dollar costs for the Bush space
initiative continue to be shown to be nonsense: New
Moon Shot Not So Costly - SpaceDaily/UPI - June.3.04 * CRS
Report for Congress: NASA FY 2005 Budget in Brief, and Key Issues
for Congress - SpaceRef - June.3.04
... New space ride sounds
attraction simulates blastoff - The Washington Times - June.3.04
Private human spaceflight begins...
Space Launch Attempt Scheduled for June 21
Paul G. Allen and Burt Rutan Announce Plans for
First Non-Government, Privately Funded Manned Space Flight -
Scaled Composites - June.2.04
Robotic repair for the
Hubble becomes an official option: NASA
to pursue robotic servicing of Hubble - spacetoday.net - June.2.04
NASA Releases RFP On Robotic Hubble Servicing Options - Aviation
Week - June.2.04.
No word on whether Orbital
Recovery will put in a bid to move the observatory to the
Assistance: ConeXpress Spacecraft Could Extend Satellite Missions
- Space.com - June.2.04
News briefs... Derek
Deville web site offers more pictures of the recent record
breaking GoFast! rocket flight by the Civilian
Space eXploration Team ...
... The National
Space Society now has a news blog (via Rocketforge.)...
... More complaints about
the way the Beagle 2 failure report has been handled: Beagle
2 Report: What happens on Mars, stays on Mars - Aviation Week/SpaceRef
Exploiting space workers... To
build large, complex structures in space, such as bases on the
Moon or O'Neill scale habitats, for a reasonable cost will require
big improvements in space construction productivity. This will
have to come from robotics, especially from large numbers of
robots working in a collaborative manner. For progress in this
area, see, for example, the work going on at Polymorphic
Robotics Laboratory and that described in this article:
robots pull together: Air hockey helps joint techniques for
work in space. - Nature - May.28.04