Space tourism by any other name... Jeff
Foust reports on the controversy over the term "space tourism"
it time to dump the t-word? - The Space Review - Nov. 20.04.
Some space advocates, Rick
Tumlinson in particular, hate that term because they think it
demeans the effort, training, and commitment that goes into becoming
a "citizen space explorer".
I think that while space tourist may not be perfect, it does a
great job of humanizing space travel and making it into something
that regular folks can see themselves experiencing. Most people
cannot conceive of switching places with highly trained astronauts
but they can certainly envision themselves sitting by the ISS window
and enjoying the view of Earth just like Dennis Tito did so often
during his trip.
The essential meaning of the term is that a person is making the
decision to go and then making it happen with his or her own money.
The fact that space tourism involves a lot more preparation and
complexity than a trip to the Bahamas does not change those two
crucial aspects of the activity.
So far, the suggested replacement terms smack of the same sort
of clumsy, self-important, technocratic euphemisms that have long
been a hallmark of annoying NASA-speak and they will never catch
Personally, I like astourists and astournauts. ;-)
See the discussion at Floral
Shirts And Cameras - Transterrestrial Musings - Nov.29.04
Spacecraft in a can... Student
participants in this annual contest will see their soda-can sized
payloads only go a mile high but they will learn many of the techniques
and technologies required for building and flying orbital spacecraft.
The program is supported by American
Astronautical Society (AAS), American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), National
Space Grant Consortia (NSGC), and Universities
Space Research Association (USRA). The rocket launches will
take place next June 2-4 in Plaster
City, California. A top prize of $2500 will to to the winning
CSXT booster recovered... Last
May the CSXT/GoFast
project successfully launched an amateur rocket to space
for the first time. The nose cone and avionics were recovered at
the time but the booster was considered lost. Now comes news from
tracking and recovery team team that the booster has been found
and brought home: Mystery
Solved: Stratofox Recovers CSXT Booster - Nov.2004
News briefs... Check out the
other articles in the latest Space
Review such as this one on the challenge of reducing space debris:
debris: not just an American problem? by Taylor Dinerman - The Space
Review - Nov.29.04 ...
... Robert Zubrin's Pioneer
Astronautics company has developed a clever "hopper"
design for a Mars explorer: Future
Robots May "Hop" Across Mars - Universe Today - Nov.25.04
... James Cameron interviews
Buzz Aldrin in the December Wired: The
Next Giant Leap - Wired - Dec.04 issue...
... Spectacular view from the
Cassini spacecraft of Saturn, the moon Mimas and the rings: Nature's
Canvas - Catalog Page for PIA06142 (via NASA
... Saving the Hubble may kill
other programs: Expense
may sink Hubble mission: NASA weighs benefits of trip - Florida
Today - Nov.27.04.
SciTech brief: The popularity
of helicopters is rising: Pilots
and Makers of Copters Defy the Aviation Slump - The New York Times
- Nov.30.04. Perhaps this will spur more interest and investment
types of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short
takeoff and landing (STOL) vehicles.
The Tuesday November 30, 2004, 7-8:15PM Pacific Time- the Space
Show features regular visitor Robert Zimmerman, author and space
Sunday December 5, 2004, 12:00-1:30 PM Pacific Time - the Space
Show features Frank White, author of "The Overview Effect" and
the new book "Decision: Earth Book One: Alone or All One?"
News briefs... Alan Boyle offers
some gift suggestions for the space cadets on your Christmas list:
for space geeks - Alan Boyle/MSNBC - Nov.24.04
... Some recent space business
news includes this artice about satellite TV service to autos and
TV Made Available From the Back Seat - Space.com - Nov.24.04
and signs that the hard times will get less hard for at least one
satellite builder: Cablevision
to buy five Lockheed satellites - spacetoday.net - Nov.25.04
... When you hear someone say
that people can't live in space because of the detrimental effects
of microgravity, remind them that artificial gravity produced by
rotation is a well known obvious solution: Artificial
Gravity: A New Spin on an Old Idea - Space.com - Nov.25.04
... Here's an excellent article
about an artist who is passionate about space: Finding
her space: Whether in life or art, Cecil Herring has always defied
the gravity of convention. - OrlandoSentinel - Nov.27.04. (See
also her Spacescapes
NASA budget news... NASA and
the President's Vision
for Space Exploration (VSE) got a big boost last weekend when
Congress allocated the full budget as requested.
The news hasn't really sunk in yet, however, with space advocacy
groups according to Keith Cowing: NASA
Wins Big - Yet Supporters Hardly Take Notice - NASA Watch - Nov.22.04.
Jeff Foust notes Tom DeLay's comments that the VSE was not uniformly
supported within the administration: DeLay
at JSC and other budget news - Space Politics - Nov.23.04.
Even with the budget increase, NASA still faces big challenges
to fund all its projects: Budget
ax falls on lunar probe: Shuttle workers breathing easier - Florida
Today - Nov.22.04
News briefs... The site ESA
Portal - Improving Daily Life highlights various direct and
indirect benefits of space exploration and development, e.g. 'Spacelift'
for Vendée Globe sailor - ESA - Nov.22.04 ...
... Here's a neat university satellite project: Washington
University CubeSat readied for NASA/Air force competition: Satellite
as small as a cantaloupe docks with mothership size of a medicine
ball - Washington Univ. in St. Louis - Nov.11.04 . See also
the paper: The
Bandit: An Automated Vision-Navigated Inspector Spacecraft by Swartwout
et al - Aug.2004 (pdf)
... The mystery of the Martian methane is drawing more and more
in Martian Air Suggests Life Beneath the Surface - NY Times - Nov.23.04
... If a sample of Martian
bacteria were returned to the earth, some believe the Space Station
would be a good, safe place to study it: A
meaningful role for the space station - The Space Review - Nov.22.04
... Fred Becker sends links to another space music site. Check
6 by Kurt
Swinghammer. Here's a review.
Hear some samples at Hear samples at Amazon
The Tuesday November 21, 2004, 7-8:15PM Pacific Time- the Space
Show features "Lucinda Weisbach, Director of Public Relations
for the Mars Society and a member of the Space Exploration Alliance,
advocate in Washington D.C. for FY 2005 funding and support for
the Moon, Mars, and Beyond initiative."
Sunday November 28, 2004, 12:00-1:30 PM Pacific Time - the Space
Show features " Brad Blair, space mining specialist. Refueling
in space, enabling a new paradigm for transportation beyond LEO.
The archive now includes a recent interview
with musician and space advocate Elaine Walker.
I doubt pure electric
vehicles will catch on anytime soon due to the lack of
a practical, reasonably priced battery than can provide sufficient
range to compete with gasoline power. So, hybrids
look to be a good near term approach until fuel
cells take over.
However, I think it is a mistake for the auto companies to promote
hybrids on the basis of fuel efficiency. Instead they should market
them on the basis of performance.
Despite their golf-cart reputation, electric vehicles can provide
excellent acceleration since electric motors give full torque from
low to high RPMs. No energy or time is lost in changing gears.
The Eliica, for
example, is a high performance electric sports car that outperforms
many conventional sports cars. Electric
shock: it's faster than a Porsche 911 - Drive.com.au - Nov.12.04.
I've seen videos of other high performance electrics easily beating
gas fueled sports cars in 1/8th mile drag races.
On the other hand, at cruising speeds gas engines provide good
efficiency and acceleration. Hybrids thus provide the best of both
worlds, assuming the total cost of two propulsion systems can be
brought down to a modest premium over a single gas engine.
Some of the car companies, in fact, have exhibited high
peformance hybrid concept cars but they have yet to market
News briefs... I like this
musical tribute - Valentina.mp3
- to cosmonaut Valentina
Tereshkova from the UK group Komputer
(item via Fred Becker) ...
... Here's a brief report on
the recent space activist meetings in Huntsville
Resources Beckon - SciScoop - Nov.19.04
... Satellite radio is getting
serious attention in the media business: Sirius
Satellite: Making Waves: The No. 2 company in digital radio has
reeled in Howard Stern with a $500 million payday. Is this a breakthrough
for the young industry? - MSNBC/Newsweek - Nov.29th issue
... The Zero-G flight business
seem to be doing well: No
In-Flight Peanuts! - MSNBC - Nov.21.04
... Read about the challenges
of programming the Mars rovers: A
Conversation with Mike Deliman - And you think your operating
system needs to be reliable. - ACM Queue - Oct.04
Musical journey to Titan...
Here's the latest on the Music2Titan
project that placed four musical compositions aboard the Huygens
probe that will dive into the atmosphere of Titan in January: It's
only rock 'n' roll, but we launched it - AFP/SpaceDaily - Nov.19.04.
Here is a video
about the project. Also, the site provides a nice animation
of the orbit of the Cassini spacecraft around Saturn.
News briefs... SETI@Home participants
and others can use the SETI
range calculator program by Eric Johnston at Scotland's
Seti. It estimates the range of radio signals that might be
sent by extraterrestrials based on the size of their transmission
dish, power, frequency, and bandwidth....
.... More about the study of
radiation shielding with magnetic fields: Repelling
cosmic rays with magnetic bubbles - New Scientist - Nov.19.04
... A future Mars probe my
rove by flying rather than rolling: Multiple
Mars UAV Proposals Likely In Next Scout Competition - Aviation Week
- Nov.17.04 (More Mars
flyer links.) ...
.... Sigourney Weaver wants
to go suborbital: Is
she pining for Alien? - The Sun Newspaper Online - Nov.19.04.
Space magazine collaboration... Not
sure what to make of this: Is
the National Space Society Fading Away - or Bouncing Back? - NASA
Watch - Nov.17.04. If Space.com can bring more resources to
Ad Astra magazine, that could be a good thing, especially if
it can become a monthly rather than quarterly.
However, it also looks like a sign that the NSS is struggling to
increase its membership and can't support the magazine.
My original primary
motivation for creating HobbySpace
was my disappointment with the general interest space magazines,
especially their failure to make public participation the primary
focus of their publications. I certainly hope that a revived Ad
Astra would move its focus in that direction.
More space burials .. The company
Inc. - Memorial Spaceflights (previously called Celestis)
will send human remains on the first Falcon
1 flight: Falcon
1's "Loved Ones" Flight - Space.com/Astronotes - Nov.18.04
News briefs... Nice to see
that someone is investigating the use of magnetic fields for radiation
Bubble Could Protect Astronauts on Long Trips - Universe Today -
... The Moon might be the best
place to build a space
elevator the first time: Space
Elevator? Build it on the Moon First - Universe Today - Nov.18.04
... Here are slides from a
recent NASA conference with other space agencies on the exploration
International Workshop on Exploration Day 3 Report Outs, Summaries
- SpaceRef - Nov.18.04 ...
... Lots of projects are now
based on the SETI@home
project. See, for example, the World
Community Grid. More projects listed at Scientists
from Different Fields Line Up to Join the BOINC Family - Planetary
Society - Aug.24.04 ...
... Check out the next issue
of Wired for a lot of great space stuff: Director
James Cameron Guest Edits WIRED Magazine, Unveils the New Age of
Space & Deep Sea Exploration in December Issue | SpaceRef -
Your Space Reference.
Satellite phones comeback...
An article in today's Wall Street Journal - The Return of the
Satellite Phone - reports that Iridium
and Globalstar are succeeding
in their comeback after bankruptcy. Iridium now has more than 100,000
subscribers and Globalstar has 120,000.
The phones are sold to " to heavy travelers and workers in
fields such as mining, drilling, forestry and engineering who do
business far from the reach of cellphones or landlines." Also,
there are vacationers to out-of-the-way destinations who rent the
phones. Globalstar says that "typical customers as geologists,
field scientists, long-haul commercial-vehicle operators, fishing-boat
operators and "extreme sport" enthusiasts."
The phones have gotten smaller than the "bricks" that
were originally offered, though still bigger than cellphones. Also,
usage prices have come way down....
... The company MSV
(Moble Satellite Ventures) is offering "customers a wide choice
of wireless data, voice, fax and dispatch radio services via its
two MSAT satellites.": MSV
Closes $230 Million Financing To Make ATC A Reality - MSV (Mobile
Satellite Ventures) - Nov.17.04...
... In other space business
news, it looks like the satellite radio stocks may continue to defy
financial gravity: Sirius
Highs [Motley Fool Take] - Fool.com - Nov.16.04 .
The Tuesday November 16, 2004, 7-8:15PM Pacific Time- the Space
Show features "Dr. Thomas Matula, Assistant Professor, School
of Business at the University of Houston -Victoria Campus who
will discus how to use market based approaches for stimulating
space commerce (visit www.spacemarkets.org
Sunday November 21, 2004, 12:00-1:30 PM Pacific Time - the Space
Show features " Elaine Walker, musician, singer, Mars and
space advocate, will be with us discussing Devon Island, Mars
exploration, and much more." [See the Elaine Walker entry
in the Space
Recent shows added to the archive include interviews with Dr.
Harvey Willenberg, who discussed space nuclear power and its
applicable uses for space commerce, and with Mark
Wolverton, the author of the new best selling book, "The Depths
of Space: The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes".
News briefs... Tom Hanks is
producing the IMAX film Magnificent
Desolation about the Moon landings. It will be released in the
fall of 2005: Magnificent
Desolation coming to IMAX - collectSPACE - Nov.15.04...
... Europe makes it to the
enters lunar orbit - spacetoday.net - Nov.15.04...
... Heath Allison contacted
me about his GPS
information called 1st-at-gps-tracking.com
and a set of tutorial articles that he commissioned:
Sustaining the Exploration Initiative...
Looks like NASA will get a boost in funding rather than a cut in
its budget for next year:
This will help with the agency's implementation of the new space
initiative announced by the President last January.
Common criticisms of the initiative include claims that there will
not be sufficient money for it, e.g. Back
to Iraq, but what about the Moon? by Greg Zsidisin - The Space Review
- Nov.15.04, and that such a long term program cannot be sustained
over many presidential administrations.
However, I don't think either of these challenges are initiative
killers. Although NASA's budget is much smaller (in current dollars)
than what it got at the height of the Moon Race, the roughly $16
Billion that it currenly gets is still a very significant amount
of money. If the money is spent more efficiently, e.g. replacing
the shuttle with lower cost space access services, NASA can accomplish
much of what was laid out by the President even if it doesn't get
a big increase in its budget.
If NASA funding is actually supplemented by modest increases then
that should speed up its exploration projects but they will proceed
even if funding is flat. There is the impression that unless the
agency receives the giant boosts in funding similar to what it got
in the 1960's for the Apollo program, then it cannot reach its ambitious
deep space exploration goals. I don't think that is true.
Human missions to the Moon and Mars can happen over the coming
decades within feasible funding levels if the agency follows
an incremental, step-by-step approach that takes advantage of advancements
in technology and advancements in space services offered by private
commercial space developers. (In fact, it's quite possible that
the commercial space companies may reach the Moon with people before
As far as the need to sustain the program over many decades, it
should be noted that the Space Shuttle program has lasted over thirty
years. It went on and on despite very high costs and the election
of Presidents, such as Carter and Clinton, with little interest
in space. Similarly, the ISS has lasted about 20 years despite serious
attempts to kill it in Congress.
Big organizations such as NASA are like giant oil tankers that
don't turn very quickly and tend to keep going in the direction
they aim for. Once NASA's vast establishment of centers, contractors,
and subcontractors becomes totally focused on the deep space exploration
programs, it will take an enormous effort to reorient them in another
Since January the agency has in fact been making significant steps
in reorganizing itself to implement the new policy. I think even
if Kerry had been elected, much of what Bush had proposed would
still have happened, though there would be some superficial changes
so that it could be relabeled a Kerry program.
With the Shuttle and ISS, the agency got set on a disappointing
if not disastrous path. I certainly hope that its new direction
will be a more productive one for space exploration and development.
This early stage would be an excellent time for space activists
to get involved in helping to set the new course since we are likely
to see NASA on it for a long, long time.
More review articles... The
Review includes more articles on politics and policy. Jeff Foust
looks at the pitfalls of developing a space policy during the tumult
of an election campaign: The
making of a space policy - The Space Review - Nov.15.04....
...Douglas Jobes of The
Space Settlement Institute reviews the possibilities of various
types of incentive programs the government can offer to encourage
space development: Will
government-sponsored space prizes fly? by Douglas Jobes - The Space
Review - Nov.15.04.
News briefs... If you are in
New York, check out the sci-fi art show From
Imagination to Reality: The Art of Science Fiction - Nov 5,
2004 - Jan 28, 2005 - New York Academy of Sciences * Sci-Fi
Paints a Pretty Picture - Wired - Nov.15.04 ...
... Is the methane on Mars
from living creatures or not? Scientists
face the fact of Mars methane - New Scientist - Nov.15.04
Space science publishing... Pure
science doesn't justify the costs of human spaceflight (other more
serious reasons do) but that doesn't mean that good science isn't
being done by astronauts.
For example, the Evaluation
of Shoulder Integrity in Space: First Report of Musculoskeletal
US on the International Space Station -- Fincke et al... Radiology
was submitted by astronauts on the ISS and was accepted for publication:
paper submitted from space - Spaceflight Now - Nov.14.04.
SciTech brief: Make holograms
at home with these
hologram kits from Liti
Fully funded commercial space tug...
Orbital Recovery has completed the second round of fund raising
for its space tug project: Orbital
Recovery Completes the Funding for its CX OLEV Space Tug With a
Team of European Space Industry Leaders - Orbital Recovery - Nov.11.04.
Begun by American space financier Walt
Anderson and engineer/entrepreneur Dennis
Wingo, the project has become a European company. ESA
gave them funding for the early definition phase and now several
top European aerospace firms are participating in the manufacture
and operation of the vehicles
The tug is called the
ConeXpress and it's main job will be to attach to geostationary
communications satellites that are running out of station-keeping
fuel and keep them operational for several more years. See the Orbital
Recovery Fact Sheet (pdf) for an overview....
... Orbital Recovery has also
to move the Hubble Telescope: They say the tug "could either
boost HST to a very long lived high earth orbit where it could be
stored or even do a plane change to move it to the International
Space Station (ISS) where it could be serviced repeatedly and reboosted
by the SLES to a high orbit above ISS."
However NASA apparently will go with a robot system that will try
to repair the spacecraft itself: Robot
Helps NASA Refocus on Hubble: Written-Off Mission to Extend Telescope's
Life Is Revived Because of 'Dextre' - Washington Post - Nov.12.04
Man tries to conquer space film... Someone
yesterday asked me about the status of David Sander's Man
(MCS) film and I realized I had not checked up on the project
for a long time.
The film relies on sophisticated computer generated graphics and
special effects techniques to present an alternative space history.
It's a history based on the vision of Wernher Von Braun and Chesley
Bonestell who depicted a very exciting future for space
exploration in their famous series of articles in Collier's Magazine
The film presents this alt history as if it were a documentary
in 1969 that is looking back on the accomplishments of the space
program in the past decade. These accomplishments include the first
landing on the Moon in 1963 and on Mars in 1968.
In October of 2002 I did an interview
with Blair Joscelyne, the composer of the soundtrack
for the film, and also communicated a few times with David. It seemed
at the time that the film would probably be released in 2003.
However, apparently dissatisfied with a short 30 minute version,
David decided to pursue a longer, more elaborate film. This involved
a lot more development and a lot more money. The website's What's
New postings indicates that progress has been made. See the
stills and a 4 minute film
clip shown at a sci-fi meeting in July 2003.
However, there were also lots of problems in the past couple of
years, including a disk crash that destroyed a considerable amount
of development materials.
Here is an interview with Sander at mike.whybark.com
- January 2003 Archives - Jan.5-10 (scroll to botton and start
with Jan 5th entry and work up.)
Doesn't appear that the film will be out soon. From the clip, though,
it looks like it will be worth the wait when it finally debuts.
Double space service... Terrestrial
radio companies have given up trying to block satellite radio systems
from broadcasting local weather and news: SkyFILES:
A Satellite Radio Victory - SkyREPORT.com - Nov.12.04. I was
not aware of the following capability of the satellite radio receivers:
XM has GPS capabilities in place with its XM NavTraffic service,
and earlier this month Pioneer introduced an aftermarket navigation
system that integrates XM NavTraffic.
Space impacts ... The IAA (International
Academy of Astronautics) has opened a web site dedicated to
the study of The
Impact of Space Activities on Society. They are asking leaders
of "societies and communities around the world as seen"
to complete the statement: "I believe that space activities are
impacting society through......" They plan to publish the replies
in a book.
News briefs... A large scale
survey of public attitudes towards space exploration is mostly positive:
Associates Releases The Market Study for Space Exploration - Dittmar
is nearly in lunar orbit: European
spacecraft prepares to orbit Moon - New Scientist - Nov.11.04
SciTech brief: This looks promising:
Stirling To Build Solar Dish Engine Power Plant - Sandia/Spacedaily
- Nov.12.04 :
The cost for each prototype unit is about $150,000. Once in production
SES estimates that the cost could be reduced to less than $50,000
each, which would make the cost of electricity competitive with
conventional fuel technologies.
Alt.space conference report...
Jonathan Goff of Masten
Space System generously agreed to do a writeup on presentations
at the recent Space
Frontier Foundation Conference. See Notes
From Space Frontier Conference 13.
He focuses on talks by space transport developers but also includes
some talks by other space entrepreneurs such as those at AstroVision.
This company plans to market high-resolution, continuous video from
a geostationary satellite.
Music from Saturn and elsewhere
... The Cassini spacecraft finds music at Saturn: Cassini
discovers music of the rings - New Scientist - Nov.9.04. There's
audio available online from Prof.
Don Gurnett at the University
Natural space sounds inspired the Sun
Rings music composed by Terry Riley and performed
by the Kronos Quartet. Prof. Gurnett has posted an online lecture
about the work: Sounds
of Space and the Kronos Quartet 'Sun Rings' - Iowa City, Iowa, October
2002 (currently a 48-minute MPEG)
News briefs ... Satellite radio
continues to grow: Turn
On, Tune In, Pay Up: How XM and Sirius persuaded millions that paying
to listen to a cool technology beats listening to a boring one for
free. - Technology Review - Nov.10.04...
... And satellite TV is doing
very well also: EchoStar
's Q3 earnings triple on subscriber growth - CBS Marketwatch - Nov.9.04...
... I hope to live to see
business on the Moon: Mining
the Moon, the Gateway to Mars by Leonard David - Space.com - Nov.10.04...
... The President hasn't forgotten
his space policy initiative:
Space and the press secretary - Space Politics - Nov.10.04 ...
... Satellites are essential
for migratory animal studies: Satellites
track albatross flight - BBC - Nov.10.04....
... More about the new BBC
space series: 'We
choose to go to the planets' - BBC - Nov.10.04 ...
... Another article about
Laurie Anderson and her space music: Inviting
the Cosmos Onto the Stage - NY Times - Nov.10.04 (ignore her
nonsense about Apollo 11 being a military mission.)
SciTech brief: Here's an interesting
article about the FanWing,
a whole new way to fly: Revolution
in the Air - Aerospace International - Nov.04
Space music news... Here are
some items about the To
Touch the Stars space music CD from Eli Goldberg's latest
Music update to those who contributed to the album:
With the help of Dr. Roger Launius (Chair, Division of Space
History; formerly NASA's Chief Historian), the National Air &
Space Museum gift shop has placed an order for the album, and
will be testing it at their music sampling stations.
- BIS/Spaceflight Magazine
The June issue of the British Interplanetary Society's monthly
magazine Spaceflight features a review of To Touch the Stars.
- National Space Society's Ad Astra
The most recent issue of the National Space Society's magazine
featured a follow-up article [written by this HS
editor] highlighting post-release album news.
- Electric Current
Twila Oxley Price also wrote a comprehensive piece about "filk"
mentioning To Touch the Stars, for the Ann Arbor entertainment
monthly Electric Current. It's also on the net at:
- American Astronautical Society's Space Times
Roger Launius us to send a copy of the CD to Jon Malay, who is
the President of the American Astronomical Society, and also Lockheed
Martin's director of Civil Space Programs.
I'm honored to share Jon he enjoyed it so much that he chose to
feature the album to lead in his "President's Message" for their
bi-monthly Space Times newsletter (July/August).
- Alabama Aerospace Celebration Liftoff
On November 18, there'll be around 4000 kids participating in
an aerospace education program which will include presentations
from two astronauts and also some musical presentations from personnel
at the Marshall Spaceflight Center in Huntsville, AL.
One of the events planned by event organizer Sandy Armstrong is
an elementary school choir singing Michael Penkava's "Now's the
Time to Touch a Star" (with the To Touch the Stars instrumentals),
and 3800 kids joining along.
Stan Clardy ("Big Blue Sky") will also be performing at this conference,
highlighting songs and stories about spaceflight.
This is all big thanks to Jim Kirkpatrick of the American Astronautical
Society, who sent Sandy the CD (after receiving a copy via Dr.
- "Out to Launch" fan fiction
Stargate:SG-1 fan fiction written around Leslie Fish's "Witnesses'
Waltz", as recorded on the CD. You can find it at:
... Space.com sponsored an
online poll of favorite space songs: The
10 best Spacepod songs as voted by our users: - SPACE.com/ SPACEBOX
- Nov.8.04 ...
... You can download hour
long real-audio files of space rock
broadcast by Aural
Innovations. See their playlist
of recent programs. Check out also the latest
News from the Space Rock, Psychedelic and Indie World...
... Yet another article on
Laurie Anderson's lunar music: Laurie
Anderson draws from NASA: Her experience stems from being its first
artist-in-residence - Seattle PI - Nov.9.04
A scientist who supported human spaceflight...
This week's Space
Review includes Michael Huang's article about the late Carl
Sagan's support for human spaceflight. Sagan's
rationale for human spaceflight - The Space Review - Nov.8.04.
Sagan had long adhered to the dogma in the science community that
the manned program should be dropped in favor of a robots-only,
pure science program.
However, he gradually came to believe that a human spaceflight
program was essential because it offered access to a safe haven
(or heaven!) for humanity and civilization in case a global disaster
of some kind occurred.
I've noted here several times that Sagan also often mentioned
a more practical benefit to space science from the human spaceflight
program. He pointed out that the space science budget went up when
the manned program budget went up and similarly went down when the
manned program was cut. Most scientists still have not learned this
Other articles include a discussion
of the implications of the election on the space program: A
mandate for exploration? by Taylor Dinerman - The Space Review -
Nov.8.04 and Sam Dinkin proposes a space referendum: Vote
yes on Prop 2001 by Sam Dinkin - The Space Review - Nov.8.04...
... Dwayne Day suggests that
government secrecy habits kept a spy satellite out of the new Smithsonian
Space Hangar: .The
invisible Big Bird: why there is no KH-9 spy satellite in the Smithsonian
by Dwayne Day - The Space Review - Nov.7.04 ...
... Tom Hill reports on how
NASA chose to use lunar orbit rendezvous as the basis of the Apollo
point by Tom Hill - The Space Review - Nov.8.04
News briefs ... The BBC will
soon broadcast Space
Odyssey, a "programme revealing the dangers and spectacles
of exploring other planets in the Solar System." Pushing
frontiers in TV space - BBC - Nov.8.04 ...
... Cable TV viewers in FairFax
Virginia, near Washington, D.C., can see broadcasts of the space
news program Around
Space, produced by
DC-L5, a chapter of the National Space Society ...
... Space tourism proponent
Spencer is a co-founder of Red
Planet Ventures, which is developing a resort in California
whose theme will be that of a "Mars Expedition Base".
Visitors will experience the life of an explorer on the red planet
... China continues development
of its human spaceflight program: China
Ramps Up Human Spaceflight Efforts - Space.com - Nov.8.04 ...
... More cat zero-g antics:
flying feline floating around Internet - Florida Today - Nov.8.04...
... Here are some cool satellite
photos of Disneyland: Hi-Res
Aerial Photo of Disneyland - Zan's Stuff - Nov.04
The Tuesday November 9, 2004, 7-8:15PM Pacific Time- the Space
Show features "Mark Wolverton, author of 'The Depths of Space:
The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes' .Mr. Wolverton has
thoroughly studied the Pioneer project. His articles have appeared
in numerous magazines and journals, he has published short stores
and scripts which have been produced by NPR and he has completed
a fellowship at NASA Ames Research Center."
Sunday November 14, 2004, 12:00-1:30 PM Pacific Time - the Space
Show features "Dr. Harvey Willenberg, retired Boeing Space
Manager, one of [Dr. Livingston's] doctoral dissertation advisors,
and consultant to NASA and the space industry, in addition to
being an expert on space nuclear power."
Now available in the archive is the recent interview with Chip
Proser, writer, director, cinematographer, and film producer,
returns to the program to talk about his new DVD documentary,
"Gaia Selene: Saving the Earth by Colonizing the Moon.
Smithsonian Space Hangar opened
recently at the Udvar-Hazy
Center near the Washington DC Dulles Airport: National
Air and Space Museum Launches Space Hangar at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy
Center - NASM - Oct.20.04.
Shuttle Enterprise is perhaps the main attraction but the collection
includes many other space age artifacts, large and small, ranging
from spacesuits to amateur satellites: Smithsonian
Displays Amateur Satellites - AMSAT - Nov.3.04.
Here are some other articles about the Space Hangar:
News briefs ... The MEPAG
(Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group) reports on how lunar
exploration can benefit both space science in general and the exploration
of Mars: Findings
of the Moon-Mars Science Linkage Science Steering Group - MEPAG
/ SpaceRef - Nov.5.04 ...
... More about the implications
of the election on NASA: Bush
re-election likely to boost NASA: Marshall focusing on shuttle return,
space station work - Huntsville Times - Nov.7.04 ...
... Sean O'Keefe certainly
seems enthused by the results: Constellation
shines brightly as NASA reaches for stars - US Navel Academy - Nov.5.04
... More on Laurie
Anderson's space experience: TO
THE MOON, LAURIE - SF Chronicle - Nov.7.04 ...
... Never know where you will
find people controlling robots on Mars: Martian
Robots, Taking Orders From a Manhattan Walk-Up - The New York Times
- Nov.7.04 ...
... Here's an ambitious project
to create an elaborate resort and real estate development in the
Bahamas with a space/scifi theme: MOON
Mars briefs ... The Mars orbiters
and rovers continue their amazing explorations:
Check the weblog Martian
Soil for regular updates on Mars news....
Vritual trip to Mars project is an open source project that
seeks "to create a full resolution, realtime and client-server
based 3D virtual trip to Mars". It uses Mars topography data
from the altimeter on the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft: MOLA
Science Investigation. (More planetary modelling projects in
News briefs ... Film and TV
Proser has produced the DVD Gaia
Selene Documentary, which presents the case for the argument
htat lunar exploration and settlement can benefit everyone on Earth
... Here's a well made time-lapse
photo of the recent lunar eclipse: A
Time Lapse Lunar Eclipse - APOD - Nov.3.04
... Space art maker David Hardy
talks to Universe Today: Interview
with David A. Hardy - Universe Today - Nov.4.04
Gravity press: Space
flight takes off at down-to-earth prices - baltimoresun.com - Nov.7.04
... Harvard debuts a higher
power telescope for public viewing of the cosmos: Observatory
opens deep space to all: New 25-inch telescope provides views of
nebulas, galaxies - Harvard Gazette - Nov.4.04.
Space and the election ... At
Jeff Foust reports on various aspects of the election results and
their possible effects on space policies. Florida Today believes
the President's space initiative will now takeoff: Victory
will jump-start space plans - Florida Today - Nov.3.04.
Space ham radio anniversary...
When the first crew came aboard the ISS four years ago, they soon
began to install and use the first permanent amateur radio station
in space. Since then, all of the crews, and also space tourists
Dennis Tito and Mark Shuttleworth, have used the stations to talk
with friends, families, hams, and school groups back on earth.
Here is a review of the history of the ARRIS
ISS Amateur Radio Station, Human Crews Share Fourth Anniversary
- ARRL Web - Nov.4.04
Sunday November 7, 2004, 12:00-1:30 PM Pacific Time - the Space
Show features "Chip Proser, well-known writer, director,
cinematographer and film producer [who will ] discuss his new
documentary, Gaia Selene, regarding opportunities and solving
terrestrial problems by returning to the Moon and using lunar
The Tuesday November 2nd evening show with Dr. Eligar Sadeh,
a professor in the Space Studies Department at the University
of North Dakota, with whom David discussed the ramifications of
the election on space policy, is now available
Other recent guests include economist and space commentator Dr.
Sam Dinkin and long time space tourism proponent John
Role players in space... Sargious
Denallo, the founder of Space-Ops
RPG , tells me that the "online, forum-based, role-playing
game" centers around "space exploration, science, technology
and adventure" and
"is basically a simulation of a small scientific outpost
on Mars, where players are involved in conducting experiments,
exploration missions, developing technology, and interacting as
explorers and settlers of Mars.
The spirit of the game is to encourage and develop interest in
space exploration, with an initial focus on human exploration
of Mars. We hope to expand the game into all areas of space exploration,
such as Moon settlement, asteroid mining, space tourism, etc."
Other space related role playing games are listed in the Solar
Satellite tracking... Sebastian
Stoff wrote me about Orbitron,
his "satellite tracking system for radio amateur and observing
purposes." It is free and "it's probably one of the easiest
and most powerful satellite trackers, according to opinions of thousands
of users from all over the world."
See the list of other satellite
News briefs ... Alan Boyle
announces the winner of the Cosmic Log sci-fi short story contest:
clear sci-fi winner - AlanBoyle/Cosmic Log - Nov.1.04...
... Russia, "at the initiative
of the Heinlein
Society", is sponsoring a contest for students and young
researchers to develop proposals fro "peaceful space projects
with a significant economic effect.":
Innovative Aerospace Contest Begins in Russia - Space.com Astronotes
- Nov.2.04 (this link will eventually move into archives)...
... The US space program will
maintain its current level of support in Congress: Most
major space backers in Congress win reelection - spacetoday.net
... Many US scientists argue
that if the the US gave up its manned spaceflight program, there
would be more money for unmanned missions. The empirical evidence
from Britain, which has long refused to fund any human spaceflight
projects of any kind, does not support this theory: 'Money
woes' foiled Beagle 2 shot - BBC - Nov.2.04...
... Meanwhile the Chinese continue
to grow there programs: China
reveals Shenzhou plans - spacetoday.net - Nov.1.04....
... What will future archeologist
learn from human ruins in space: Space:
The Final [Archaeological] Frontier by P.J. Capelotti...
... Like the oceans and the
air, space has become essential to the military: The
future of war is up in the air, commander says - Washington Technology
- Nov.1.04 (via a HS reader) +
deploys satellite jamming system - Reuters/CNN - Nov.1.04.
October was a good month for HS.
The number of visitors exceeded 90,000; the most ever for a single
month. The 137,000 pageviews also broke the monthly record. And
the total pageviews delivered since January 1999 crossed the 3 million
Traffic got a boost with the SpaceShipOne
X PRIZE launches on Sept. 29th and Oct. 4th, and the rate has remained
above the level prior to the flights. I hope to continue to attract
visitors with new features and improvements on the web site.
The next few years promise to be among the most exciting ever for
space enthusiasts. Projects like SpaceShipOne are turning spaceflight
from a far off sci-fi fantasy to a near term reality. I want HobbySpace
to help communicate this reality to a public that still can't quite
News briefs ... Some interesting
essays on manned spaceflight are included in the latest issue of
The American Enterprise: The
Sober Realities of Manned Space Flight - The American Enterprise
- Dec.2004 issue ...
... Here are some final thoughts
on space and the election:
... Jeff Foust examines the
proposed robotic mission to the Hubble telescope: Robots
and Hubble: a bad idea? by Jeff Foust - The Space Review - Nov.1.04...
... The rovers continue to
expand what we know about Mars and what we don't yet understand:
and Opportunity Pushing the Bounds of Exploration - Aviation Week
... The orbiters are doing
their part as well: Pit
chains hint at recent marsquakes on red planet - Spaceflight Now
... More about the TV that
called a satellite for rescue from reality shows: The
TV That Sent Out a Cry for Help, via Satellite - NY Times - Nov.1.04...
... More about the new portable
satellite radio: XM
introduces portable satellite radio - CNET News.com - Oct.27.04.
SciTech brief... Even biotechnology
offers opportunities for exciting projects for the amateur scientist:
... Flat TVs may be the first
major consumer appliance based on nanotechnology: Nanotech
on Display: South Korea's Samsung leads the race to perfect flat-panel
TVs built with carbon nanotubes. Will they be nanotech's first commercial
hit? - Technology Review - Nov.1.04
to October 2004 articles in archive