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The Space Log
Space for Everyone - July 2005

July.31.2005

7:20 pm: News brief ... The Discovery launch launches interest in shuttle souvenirs: Shuttle souvenirs are out there - Star-Gazette [NY] - July.31.05 * A tale of woodchucks, rocket fuel and eBay: Shuttle souvenirs mushroom on Internet auction site, but there's the fuel that got away ... - Star-Gazette {NY} - July.31.05


July.30.2005

11:30 am: News briefs ... Quite a week for space. The Discovery launches and a big ruckus ensues about the foam debris. Then came this wonderful image (with artificial coloration) of an ice lake on Mars: Water ice in crater at Martian north pole - ESA - July.28.05. On Friday came the news that Pluto may not be at the end of the Solar System list of planets: Astronomers claim discovery of tenth planet - spacetoday.net - July.29.05 ...

... Not everyday that a New York Times columnist reports from a Mars Society analog simulation base and says something like "... the Marsonauts are really figuring out how to explore the unknown, how to look for life in a place worth risking lives to reach." : Over the Moon By John Tierney - New York Times - July.30.05 ...

... Speaking of Mars, Bob Zubrin's Pioneer Astronautics company announced yesterday that its Mars Gas Hopper has successfully flown via a C02 propulsion system: Gas Hopper Airplane Takes Flight - Pioneer Astronautics - July.29.05. Alan Boyle supplies more background info: Hopping on Mars - Cosmic Log / MSNBC.com - July.29.05 ...

... Space travel is real important to a lot of regular guys and gals: Ticket To Space Winner Visits Oshkosh - AvWeb - July.29.05 ...

... You will be able to watch satellite TV anywhere you go with a portable viewer from Samsung: Samsung Launches Satellite DMB Phone that Slides and Rotates - gizmag - July.27.05 ...

... Checkout the preview of the new IMAX space movie at Apple - QuickTime - HD Gallery - IMAX - Magnificent Desolation ...

... Dr. Sten Odenwald of the Astronomy Cafe. has opened the site Solarstorms.org in which he provides informatio on "the human impacts of solar storms and space weather". ...

... Robert Zimmerman says he will be talking about space developments on the Coast-to-Coast radio show next week:

With Discovery in orbit, the shuttle fleet grounded, an American tourist and a Chinese crew going into space in October, and NASA's authorization winging its way through Congress, the future of space exploration looks alternatively gloomy and bright.

In an effort to bring some clarity to the situation, I have been invited to appear as a guest for a three hour radio interview on the nationally syndicated radio show, Coast-to-Coast with George Noory, this coming Monday night to Tuesday morning, August 1 to 2, from 11 am to 2 pm (PST), or 1 am to 5 am EST Tuesday.

In the Washington DC area the show airs on WMAL 630-AM. In New York it airs on WABC 770-AM. For other parts of the country you will have to do your own research.

Appears that Coast-to-Coast will archive the show if you miss the live version.


July.29.2005

2:30 am: News briefs ... Unfortunately, Ron Howard's space reality show will be in simulated space rather than in orbit, but at least it's about space: With 'Xquest,' reality TV hits final frontier - USATODAY.com - July.27.05 * Ron Howard Spaces Out - E! Online News - July.28.05 ...

... Spaceport, a space theme attraction, opens in Liverpool: Multi-million pound visitor attraction opens with a focus on the future British space programme - StarChaser/Space Race News! - July.27.05 ...

... Nanotechnology will certainly play a growing role in space development:The Next Giant Leap: The science of nanotechnology could lead to radical improvements for space exploration. - NASA - July.27.05 ...

... For example, check out the Programmable Matter(TM) - FAQ at the Programmable Matter (TM) Corporation (Item via HS reader Jay K.)


July.28.2005

2:30 am: News brief ... Robert Goehlich, who has written two books on space tourism and taught courses in Japan about it, offers a Space Tourism Market Simulation, described here as follows:

Space Tourism Market Simulation (STMS) is an interactive simulation covering various disciplines such as rocket engineering, economics, design, laws, ethics, art, etc. around space tourism to understand and practice coherences about this topic. Participants can choose one out of eight specific groups such as passenger, manufacturer, organization, space travel agency, investor, government, opposition or own created group. They can either cooperate or compete with other groups. The idea of STMS is to improve participant’s knowledge and skills of space tourism in the fields of strategic decision-making, engineering, teamwork, marketing and entrepreneurial activities.

2:30 am: News briefs ... Michael Huang makes a strong defense of human spaceflight: Why they go - Washington Examiner - July.27.05 ...

... Project ASTRO NOVA is a collaboration of "Astronomers and Teachers as Partners for Learning". ...

... Seems to be a good sized audience for space events: Yahoo!'s Shuttle Webcast Breaks Record - Mediaweek - July.27.05


July.27.2005

1:15 pm: Mars colony design ... The Mars Homestead Project develops a design for a permanent Mars settlement: Mars Foundation Completes Groundbreaking Mars Settlement Study, Major Publications of Technical Concepts Announced - July.24.05.

There are also a set of graphics are available and a long report: A permanent settlement on Mars: The architecture of the Mars Homestead Project - G. I. Petrov et al (pdf).

See also this article:Mars Plan Envisions Comfy Colony - Wired - July.28.05.

1:15 pm: Student space projects ... Students in the Department of Astronautics at the Technische Universität Berlin, Germany are developing a clever compact telescope design for space. A prototype of the Dobson Space Telescope will be tested in microgravity during a parabolic flight: The unfolding space telescope - ESA - July.27.05 ...

... The Naval Academy's PCSAT2 payload is on its way to the ISS aboard Discovery. Attached to the back of a materials test package for deployment on the exterior of the station, PCSAT2 is an " Amateur Satellite Communications system similar to what is flying on PCsat . It will support educational and student outreach objectives of both AMSAT, ARRL and NASA as well as provide telemetry on the health of the system."

1:15 pm: The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday, July 26, 2005, 7:00-8:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - Astronaut Winston Scott was a guest. He discussed the Discovery launch and his new book. "This book is not a typical space or astronaut book as it is told through the memories of Capt. Scott, prompted by events that occurred during two space shuttle missions as a NASA astronaut on board both Endeavour and Columbia." Audio of the interview is now online.

Sunday, July 24, 2005, 12-1:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - "Arthur Hingerty discusses Earth to orbit transportation and MagLifter." He "has worked as an engineer for 29 years. His responsibilities included launch operations engineering at the Kennedy Space Center on the Space Shuttle’s main propulsion system and on the shuttle orbiter’s payload electrical system; and research support engineering at the University of Florida’s Department of Physics low-temperature laboratories. He is presently a Senior Systems Engineer with a major aerospace company in the Denver area and has been affiliated with the MagLifter Research Consortium since 1996."

Sunday, July 24, 2005, 7-8:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - "Space Show welcomes back Declan O’Donnell. Declan O'Donnell is an expert on issues relating to space governance and the founder of United Societies in Space (USIS), in addition to his being a tax and securities attorney with a special interest in space law...Mr. O'Donnell has a superb understanding of the issues concerning the expansion of space commerce and the importance of establishing a system of space governance that will facilitate commercial space growth."

The interviews are discussed on the Spaceshow Forum at Space Investor.

1:15 pm: This week's AMSAT news: SSETI Express readied for August 25 Launch * Earliest Shuttle Launch Posibility * AMSAT Symposium * Ballots in the mail * Crossband Repeater on ISS
+
ARISS Status:
Upcoming School Contacts * NASA Explorer School (NES) Teacher Workshop * SuitSat Status * ARRL Article on Return to Flight Mission * PCSAT2/MISSE5 to Fly on STS-114 * ARISS International Meeting, Guildford, U.K.

1:15 pm: News brief ... Universe Today reports on searching for life below the ice on Europa and Mars: Melt Through the Ice to Find Life - Universe Today - July.19.05.


July.26.2005

4:40 pm: Space collecting news ... The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation and collectSPACE will hold their third annual Silent Auction: July 29 - Aug.13, 2005. Put in your bids for astronaut-donated memorabilia, artifacts and experiences. ...

... The space memorabilia show at NASA Glenn Research Center took place last Saturday: For sale: Spaceship. 1 owner, low mileage: Psst, buddy: Looking for a used spaceship? - Clevland Plain Dealker - July.24.05 ...

4:40 pm: News briefs ... The number of challenges in NASA's Centennial Challenges program continues to grow. The new Space Glove contest is run by Volanz Aerospace, a Maryland non-profit that also offers the Spaceflight America and America in Space Academy programs. ...

... The Institute for Space Law & Policy, led by Berin Szoka and Rick Tumlinson, promises to make a big impact on space property rights and other areas. Grokspace aims to become the main forum for news and discussions within the space law community. The public rollout will occur later this year. ...

... The Discovery Channel is building its own telescope observatory for educational and research purposes: A telescope for your TV - Astronomy - Juy.22.05 ...

... Amateurs bring sophisticated equipment and lots of patience to the supernova hunt: Amateur Team Discovers a Record 100 Supernovae - Sky and Telescope - July.22.05 ...

... So I guess this means Unobtainum is now at hand: Science fiction-like materials discovered - ScienceDaily - July.21.05


July.21.2005

7:30 pm: News briefs ... NASA assists James Cameron on an underwater documentary: NASA and Hollywood Collaborate On Film - VOA News - July.20.05 ...

... And the IMAX Space Station 3D film goes to DVD: Up on the Roof: IMAX Space Station comes to DVD - SPACE.com - July.21.05 ...

... ZERO-G does it's own teacher-in-space (simulated) program: Zero Gravity Corporation Successfully Inaugurates ZERO-G Learning Lab; While NASA Astronauts Anxiously Await Their Flight to Space, 15 Teachers Had the Zero-Gravity Experience of a Lifetime - ZERO-G - July.20.05 ...

... Alan Boyle reports on Apollo 11 commemorations: Watching giant leaps - Cosmic Log / MSNBC - July.20.05 ...

... Monitor developments at the Haughton-Mars Project via webcams: Live Webcams Coming Online at Devon Island - NASA Watch - July.21.05.


July.20.2005

10:40 am: News briefs ... On the 36th anniversary of the first lunar landing, we have the capability to reach the Moon via Google ...

... The Clarke-Bradbury Science Fiction International Competition has announced the winners for 2005: Clarke-Bradbury 2005 Science Fiction Competition winners announced - ESA - July.20.05 * Winner announced for Second Clarke-Bradbury SF Competition - ESA Tech Transfer - July.20.05. The theme this year dealt with space elevators. Here is the winner Clever by Christian Doan and the runner-up Ervin's Watch by Scott A. Rolsen. ...

... Another marvelous snapshot from Cassini: Saturn fantasy made real - Spaceflight Now - July.19.05 ...

... Gee, maybe spending money "in" space isn't such a waste for people on earth: Radar finds water for Sudan refugees - BBC - July.20.05 ...

... MindComet :: Blog In Space is another PR effort built around the broadcast into space concept. Doesn't make any sense scientifically but it's a fun activity with some symbolic meaning for the participants: MindComet Launches BloginSpace.com: Free Service Transmits Blogs Into Space - MindComet- July.19.05 ...

... The rovers keep on exploring: Mars Rovers Wheel Onward - SPACE.com -- July.19.05

10:05 pm: SciTech brief ... I guess people have gotten cynical about announcements regarding nuclear fusion . The Purdue experiment that I mentioned last week, and which independently replicates a previous sonofusion test, has gotten very little attention in the press. (Even my submission to Slashdot about it was rejected.)

Nevertheless, the data looks pretty good to me. More of the technical details of the original experiments are available in this paper - Sonofusion - Fat or Fiction? Lahey, Taleyarkhan, Nigmatulin - NURETH-11 Meetin, Avignon, France, Oct.2005 - which will be presented at a conference in France this fall. The consistency of the results are quite striking. The neutron and tritium signals are quite strong and are only seen in deuterated acetone and only when cavitation is occurring. Neither signals are ever detected in undeuterated acetone. The tritium production is consistent with the fusion rate calculated from the neutron signal.

Even if nuclear fusion is happening, that doesn't necessarily imply sonofusion will ever offer a practical source of energy. The above paper says the current system is seven orders of magnitude away from break-even. The authors suggest ways to span this and produce a practical reactor but it will take a lot of effort to develop it. It could resemble the Farnsworth Fusor devices, which produced fusions as far back as the 1960s but have never produced more energy output than input.


July.19.2005

10:30 am: News briefs ... Richard Garriott, son of astronaut Owen Garriott and a successful computer game entrepreneur, has a long time interest in going to space and is one of Space Adventures major investors: Munchkin village mayor tries to go to space Computer programmer touts commercial space tourism - Daily Texan - July.19.05. ...

... Here are some cool videos showing the weird behavior of liquids in microgravity: Did you ever wonder what it would be like to see a water balloon pop in space? These come from the page Explanations of Gravity and Microgravity in the Education section of the Exploration Systems - Glenn Research Center. More educational materials on microgravity can be found here. ...

... NASA takes a small step towards space farming on the ISS: Space Station Harvest Relieves Crew's Minds, Appetites - SPACE.com - July.19.05 ...

... Boeing investigates whether the ISS, for which it was the major contractor, might be useful for developing space technologies: Boeing Team Brainstorming List Of ISS Exploration Experiments - Aviation Week - July.18.05 ...

... Via JP Aerospace comes word of a new space band: Space Vacuum from Outer Space


July.18.2005

1:45 pm: News briefs ... Most Americans don't think about space except when they occasionally come across a report about, say, the rovers on Mars or the Discovery launch via CNN or the front page of a newspaper. So asking randomly selected people about space policy without offering any context is pointless. As Jeff Foust notes here - Gallup-ing in different directions - Space Politics - July.17.05 - poll results differ dramatically according to how the questions are presented. ...

... In recognition of the 36th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, Rand Simberg and William Simon will be on the SpaceShow tonight to discuss their annual Evoloterra program for celebrating the landing of humans on the Moon: On The Radio - Transterrestrial Musings - July.18.05 * Evoloterra -- When We First Left Planet Earth ...

... Jim Oberg suggests that the value of international collaborations in space should not be exaggerated when discussing the Apollo-Soyuz project: The real lessons of international cooperation in space - The Space Review - July.18.05. ...

... Here are some pictures Jeff Foust took at a Apollo-Soyuz commemoration held on July 14, 2005 at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington: Photo Gallery: Apollo-Soyuz Test Project 30th Anniversary - The Space Review - July.18.05

1:45 pm: The SpaceShow this week:

Monday, July 18, 2005, 7:00-8:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - "Rand Simberg & William Simon return to honor our first setting foot on the Moon with their special Evoloterra program (www.evoloterra.com)"

Tuesday, July 19, 2005, 7:00-8:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - "Col. Gary Henry, USAF Space Command and author of "The Decision Maker's Guide To Robust, Reliable, And Inexpensive Access To Space."

Sunday, July 24, 2005, 12-1:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - "Joe Lennox returns with a special program and book for children & adults."

The interviews are discussed on the Spaceshow Forum at Space Investor.

1:45 pm: This week's AMSAT news: AMSAT-NA Symposium Registration Now Online * AMSAT-UK Colloquium July 29-31 * SSETI Express July Update * PCSAT2 Planned for Launch on STS-114 * Update Your Keps - ISS Orbit Modified * AMSAT-Italia Developing Ionosfera * Delft University of Technology Announces Delfi-C3 * Goddard Amateur Radio Club Shuttle Retransmissions * Membership Challenge Successful, Thank-you WA6FWF and KE9V * AMSAT Satellite Awards This Week * P3E Mode-UV Transponder Milestone
+
ARISS Status:
Upcoming School Contacts * SuitSat Status * PCSAT2/MISSE5 to Fly on STS-114 * NES Teacher Workshop * Astronaut Training * ARISS International Meeting, Guilford, U.K. * ISS Ham Training Manual * Space Tourist Resumes Training

1:45 pm: SciTech brief ... Flying cars, tabletop fusion, yada yada. Here is a really important breakthrough: New beer tap pours beer four times faster and increases keg yield by 30% - gizmag - July.17.05


July.17.2005

4:55 pm: Mars sim news ... The 2005 session of the Haughton-Mars Project is getting underway on Devon Island in the Canadian Arctic: HMP Research Station Field Update - SpaceRef - July.14.05. The NASA supported project is getting logistical support from the Mars Institute ...

... Meanwhile, the Flashline Arctic Research Station, also on Devon Island but a separate project owned and operated by the The Mars Society, has also begun is 2005 mission. Latest info is available at 2005 Mission Updates. ...

... In this Interview with Dr. Robert Zubrin - SpaceAlumni.com - July.15.05, he gives a long list of useful findings that have been made with the Society's Mars analog projects.

4:55 pm: News briefs ... Amateurs are making significant contributions to the search for exosolar planets via the Transit Search technique: Amateur astronomer explores from his back yard: Pleasanton man helps professional planet hunters observe changes in space - Daily Review [CA] - July.17.05 * Amateur Detects New Transiting Exoplanet - Sky and Telescope - July.7.05 ...

... Coins "containing metal that flew on historic spacecraft" will be real popular with space memorabilia collectors: "House votes for Mint to make NASA coins" - collectSPACE - July.16.05 ...

... Interstellar-probes.org is a website dedicated to the subject of Interstellar Robotic Probes. Using conventional physics for interstellar travel, it's not impossible that such probes might have be sent to our solar system by extraterrestrial civilizations. Check out the SpaceShow Interview with Scot Stride , an engineer at JPL who studies this subject. ...

... Landscape artist Barbara Ernst Prey gets a NASA commission: An artist on a space mission - Newsday.com - July.17.05 ...

... Check out the art at the Mars Society. A gallery of art by David Robinson has recently been added.

4:55 pm: SciTech briefs ... I've long thought that the marketing for hybrids should be based on their superior performance rather than on fuel economy: Hybrid Cars Burning Gas in the Drive for Power - NY Times - July.17.05. For typical short distance, daily urban driving, even those hybrids with mediocre efficiency ratings will use much less fuel than gas engine only versions. As hybrids develop, their fuel efficiency can be enhanced tremendously, especially via the plug-in approach.


July.15.2005

1:25 pm: News briefs ... Mars may not have Martians (at least until people settle there) but it sure has plenty of fascinating alien phenomena: The Devils of Mars: When humans visit Mars, they'll have to watch out for towering electrified dust devils. - NASA - July.14.05 ...

... There seems to be a bit of bipartisan spirit in the space policy area: Science Committee Unanimously Approves NASA Authorization Bill - House Committee on Science - July.14.05


July.14.2005

12:50 pm: News briefs ... NASA's Centennial Challenges program is discussed in Cosmic Competition - Technology Review - Aug.05 issue ...

... Another example of an amateur astronomer developing a first rate observatory: A cosmic view from comfort of home: Do-it-yourself astronomer built observatory that rivals the mighty Palomar - times union - July.14.05 ...

... Space tourism in South Africa: Space tourism comes to SA - Moneyweb - July.14.05.

2:15 am: News briefs ... When Discovery finally flies, it will be carrying a big pot of souvenirs: "Discovery's on-board souvenir stash" - collectSPACE - July.13.05 ...

... A famous space sim seeks a home in Idaho: Historic Space Simulator Still Looking For a Home - KIDK 3 - Idaho Falls - July.12.05 ...

... The SSETI student satellite project in Europe heads for launch: SSETI Express sets off - ESA - July.13.05 ...

... George Whitesides and Gary Bernhard of the National Space Society argue for the creation now of a cadre of astronauts specifically assigned to the Moon and Mars missions: NASA Must Establish the Moon and Mars Astronaut Corps - SPACE.com - July.13.05 ...

... There are some space policy commentators that unload so much big dumb bombast that I turn and click away at the first sign of their ranting. However, Jon Goff can't resist firing a shot or two at a "fat, slow fish in a very small barrel": Bell's at it Again - Selenian Boondocks - July.13.05


July.13.2005

12:15 pm: News brief ... The EAA Young Eagles monthly celebrity webchat will host aerobatic pilot Sean D. Tucker next Wednesday, July 20 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. CDT. See last month's Mike Melvill WebChat Transcript.

10:55 am: News briefs ... Still time for young people to sign up for the Space Generation Congress 2005, which will be held in conjunction with the International Astronautics Congress (IAC), Oct. 17-21, 2005 in Fukuoka, Japan. ...

... The American Astronomical Society wants space for science: AAS Statement on the Vision for Space Exploration - July.11.05. See the comments from Jeff Foust and Dan Shrimpsher. ...

... Art and the Discovery launch: Ex-aerospace artist [Bert Winthrop], 88, to attend launch as spectator - Florida Today - July.13.05 * Capturing the moment: Artists provide passionate look at NASA history - Florida Today - July.13.05.

1:30 am: SciTech: Sonofusion confirmation ... A Purdue team has independently replicated an experiment in which nuclear fusion apparently takes place in a vessel full of deuterated acetone via hyper-fast collapsing bubbles driven by the sonoluminescence process: Purdue Findings Support Earlier Nuclear Fusion Experiments - Purdue Univ. - July.12.05.

"The two key signatures for a fusion reaction are emission of neutrons in the range of 2.5 MeV and production of tritium, both of which were seen in these experiments," Xu said.

The results were published in a peer-reviewed paper: Abstract: Confirmatory experiments for nuclear emissions during acoustic cavitation Yiban Xua and Adam Butta - Nuclear Engineering and Design May.2005. (This came out in May so I'm surprised there hasn't been more publicity about it.)

The original experiments were led by Rusi Taleyarkhan who was at Oak Ridge National Lab at the time but is now at Purdue. (Xua and Butta had already started their experiment before Taleyarkhan arrived and their work remained independent of him).

A recent article, co-written by Taleyarkhan, in IEEE Spectrum magazine says that there are other groups working to replicate the experiment and should release their results soon. The article describes the experiment and how a practical sonofusion reactor might be based on the process: Bubble Power: Tiny bubbles imploded by sound waves can make hydrogen nuclei fusion and may one day become a revolutionary new energy source - Spectrum - May.05.

See the Sonoluminescence Fusion Experiments subsection for links to other papers and resources.


July.12.2005

11:05 am: News briefs ... Greg Olsen wants to carry out his own research program while on the ISS: 'Private researcher' aims for the stars - Space tourist says he'll spend his orbital time doing science. - news @ nature.com - July.11.05 ...

... Google Earth and Google Maps are getting a lot of press attention these days. See the forums at Keyhole Community for news and info on spinoff activities. ...

... NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will provide a historical sightseeing tour of the Apollo landing spots: Abandoned Spaceships and Moon Buggies - NASA - July.11.05 ...

... Baseball by satellite radio is catching on: Satellite Radio Is Music to Fans' Ears - New York Times - July.12.05


July.11.2005

1:30 pm: Memorabilia Show - NASA Glenn Research Center... If you are near Cleveland on July 23rd, be sure to check out the space memorabilia show at NASA GRC:

July 23, 2005 Space Memorabilia Show - NASA Glenn Research Center - Cleveland, Ohio: FUN, FREE AND EDUCATIONAL! The NASA Glenn Visitor Center in Cleveland, Ohio in collaboration with collectSPACE.com will host an all day space memorabilia show and swap meet, on Saturday, July 23rd from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. View historic artifacts from space programs around the world and talk to collectors of various types of space memorabilia. As always, free photos for everyone at the "Picture Yourself in Space" digital photo booth and plenty of handouts! For more information and reservations, call 216-433-9653 or visit visit grc.nasa.gov.

1:30 pm: News briefs ... I had lost track of what was happening with David Sander's 'Man Conquers Space film in which he uses wonderful computer graphics to depict an alternative history of the space age. He originally started the project as a short film but then decided to expand it to a full length feature. That meant finding the money to fund the film, which was obviously a challenge. However, he now reports finding a sponsor: Major MCS Landmark Reached - Man Conquers Space - July.6.05 ...

... In this week's Space Review, Jeff Foust examines a recent study on NASA policy from two former NASA officials: A stroll down Abbey Lane - The Space Review - July.11.05. Chris Carberry speculates on how space might figure into the next presidential race: 2009: a space vision: Variables facing the Vision for Space Exploration over the next four years - The Space Review - July.11.05

1:30 pm: Student sats ... The ESA student satellite project - YES2 - Young Engineers Satellite 2 - will attempt to demonstrate that small cargo capsules can be delivered from the ISS to earth by dropping them down to the edge of the atmosphere with a tether. The article - YES2 SpaceMail - Project Overview (pdf) - March 2005 - describes the project. (See also Delta-Utec - space tethers).

Unfortunately, a test of the Fotina spherical capsule was not included on the recently successful Foton-M2 mission due to a lack of funding: Russian space lab ferries experiments back to Earth - Spaceflight Now - June.16.05 . However, it appears that YES2 will fly on the Foton-M3 mission in the autumn of 2007. (Item via J. Oranje.) ...

... A previous YES mission successfully flew in 1997: TEAMSAT - The YES subsatellite - ESA.NL. ...

... Discovery will carry a student built "Amateur Satellite Communications system" from the Navel Academy that will be placed on the outside of the ISS: PCSAT2 - External ISS Experiment in the Amateur Satellite Service. It will compliment the current ARISS systems in use on the station. The PCSAT2 is similar in design to the PCSAT launched in 2001 and still in operation.

1:30 pm: The SpaceShow this week:

Monday, July 11, 2005, 7:00-8:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - "Mr. Scot Stride, senior engineer at NASA JPL, will be discussing solar system SETI and more."

Tuesday, July 12, 2005, 7:00-8:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - "Rob Godwin of Apogee Books will discuss "Edison's Conquest of Mars," the original sequel to "The War of the Worlds," and sci-fi and how it relates to space activities. Copies of "Edison's Conquest of Mars" will be given away during this program."

Sunday, July 17, 2005, 12-1:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - "Charles Miller, CEO of Constellation Services, International will be the guest."

The interviews are discussed on the Spaceshow Forum at Space Investor.

1:30 pm: This week's AMSAT news: AO-51 July Schedule * OSCAR-11 Reception Reports Requested * AMSAT Journal Status * 2004 Annual Report & Audit
+
ARISS Status:
Mayborn Museum Contact Successful * ARISS-Russia Contact * SuitSat Hardware Delivered to Energia * Expedition 10 Crew Debrief * Expedition 11 Crew Participates in Field Day * PCSAT2/MISSE5 to Fly on STS-114

1:30 pm: SciTech briefs ... Urbanero posts an update on development of the X-Hawk ‘rotorless’ Vertical-Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicle ...

... This article - Driving on Air: 20th Century Flying Carpets - Raymond L. Robb - Veriflite - Spring 2005 - gives an interesting history and status of the X-Hawk and other vehicles with "tandem fan arrangements". The US military sponsored programs in the 1950s to develop such vehicles. For example, Piasecki Aircraft "Pioneers in Vertical Flight" delivered two "AirGeep" prototypes to the Army and a SeaGeep to the Navy. See the article for a discussion of why the military dropped the programs and why new technology may make them practical today. ...

... The July issue of Wired has an interesting article on a solar power generator using an innovative mirror concentrator designed and developed by Energy Innovations. This is a firm created by Bill Gross, a leading entrepreneur (Idealab) from the dot-com period: The Dotcom King & the Rooftop Solar Revolution - Wired 13.07 - July.05. The systems. The affiliated EI Solutions company will market the systems.


July.8.2005

4:25 pm: News briefs ... Here's a fun and entertaining article from Popular Science on high powered rocketry: The Biggest Bang: Welcome to the Large Dangerous Rocket Ship launch, where even failure is fun, if the explosion's big enough - Popular Science - July.05 issue ...

... More about the Shuttle Experience simulator in development at KSC: "'Shuttle Experience' to launch tourists" - collectSPACE - July.6.05 * KSC launches $160M plan to lure tourists: Shuttle Launch Experience is Visitor Complex key - Florida Today - July.6.05 ...

....A song for Discovery: Songwriter and Entertainer Glenn Medeiros Writes Timely and Inspirational Tune for NASA's Return to Flight Launch Scheduled for Next Week - SpaceRef -July.7.05 ...

... Amateur astronomers are now making significant contributions to extrasolar planet studies: Amateur Detects New Transiting Exoplanet - Sky and Telescope - July.7.05. More info at Transitsearch.org.

4:25 pm: SciTech briefs ... I've mentioned here many times that rapid prototyping systems will be crucial to making it practical to live and work in space. They offer the ability to make a near infinite variety of spare parts on site rather than having to deliver them from earth. However, it never occurred to me that food might be made with a rapid prototyper: Fighting Global Warming With Lab-Grown Meat - WorldChanging - July.7.05 ...

... I've also written many times about the Eclipse 500 and other very light jet projects. Now it appears that even Honda has one in development: Honda To Debut Twin-Engine Jet In Oshkosh - AviationNow - July.5.05


July.6.2005

3:00 pm: News briefs ... Check out this JPL music video showing the Comets, of Bill Haley and the Comets, celebrating the success of the Deep Impact mission: Comets a Smash at JPL - Video - JPL - July.5.05 (via a HS reader) ...

... Speaking of comets, the hunting of comets in SOHO images has been a popular hobby for a number of amateur observers. Now it looks like this summer, the number of comets found with SOHO will reach 1000: History's greatest comet hunter nears major milestone - Spaceflight Now - July.6.05 ...

... Looks like Greg Olsen will finally make it to space: Roskosmos signs contract for Olsen flight- spacetoday.net - July.6.05 ...

... An item for the "Science is Really Hard" file: The Barnard's Star Blunder - Astrobiology Magazine - July.6.05. Decades of work, all for naught.

3:00 pm: SciTech news brief... The small but efficient wind turbines from Swift Turbines could become quite popular since one can attach the low vibration device to the roof of a house rather than requiring a specially built tower. More info at Micro-Wind for the Home - WorldChanging - July.5.05 * SWIFT Rooftop Wind Energy System.pdf (pdf )


July.5.2005

11:35 am: News briefs ... Last week I posted some objections to the thesis in two recent Space Review articles by Alan Wasser that space development in the 1960s was halted by passage of the Outer Space Treaty and its restrictions on space property ownership. Space historian Dwayne Day offers a much more extensive refutation in Big claims, little evidence - The Space Review - July.5.05.

(Sam Dinkin takes issue with Day's summary generalization that it is physics, as expressed in high launch costs, rather than policy that prevents lunar commerce: Saturn V a Cost Barrier? - Transterrestrial Musings - July.5.05.) ...

... Taylor Dinerman continues the discussion about space weapons: More on space weapons - The Space Review - July.5.05 ....

... The Comets of Bill Haley and the Comets will celebrate Deep Impact with a concert for NASA employee: Comet Party at JPL - NASA Watch - July.5.05.

1:55 am: News brief ... The Deep Impact success got lots of well deserved press on Monday. Here is a small sampling of links:

1:55 am: The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday, July 5, 2005, 7:00-8:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - Tim Pickens, CEO of Orion Propulsion, has been developing innovative propulsion systems for many years. For example, he was the lead propulsion designer for Burt Rutan on the SS1 project. He led development of a balloon launched hybrid rocket vehicle with the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5) that reached 36 miles in altitude, a record at the time for an amateur group. Orion is designing and building thrust stands (20k lb and 200k lb) for AirLaunch.

Tim also has a a reusable fly-back booster proposal submitted to the “Hybrid Launch Vehicle” program. "This concept is a highly responsive vehicle (launch turn around time of 24-48 hours), and will reduce the cost of what is currently available by a factor of 3-6."

Sunday, July 10, 2005, 12-1:30 pm (Pacific Time ) - Dr. George C. Nield, Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation FAA/AST. Dr. George C. Nield is the Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the FAA. He has over 30 years of aerospace experience with the Air Force, at NASA, and in private industry.

The interviews are discussed on the Spaceshow Forum at Space Investor.

1:55 am: This week's AMSAT news: AO-51 Off-Air * Symposium Registration Now Online * New Items at the AMSAT Store * STSTLE List Operational Again * Please Report Your AMSAT Field Day Results * AMSAT Membership Challenge * One Year Anniversary of Echo
+
ARISS Status:
Texan School Contact Successful * Planned School Contacts * ARRL Article on Canadian, Swiss School Contacts * ARISS CDs Delivered * Expedition 10 Crew Debrief Scheduled * ARISS International Meeting Held


July.4.2005

2:55 am: News briefs ... The initial images from the Deep Impact strike on Tempel 1 are spectacular. Look forward to seeing the full sequence tomorrow. ...

... CNN offers this interesting podcast (audio - mp3) that includes a series of interviews with noted writers (Harlan Ellison, Connie Willis, Bruce Sterling, and Len Wein) about sci-fi in recent films: Hollywood's Sci-Fi Summer (8:01 p.m. ET, June 27) Hollywood's science fiction fascination, with Renay San Miguel. - CNN.com - Podcasting ...

... The Space Frontier Foundation now offers its NewSpace News page with links to recent articles, commentary, and other items related to alt.space developments.


July.1.2005

3:55 pm: News briefs ... Microsoft won't let Google get too far ahead in the satellite imaging business: Orbimage To Provide Microsoft MSN With Satellite Images Of Earth - InternetWeek - June.30.05 ...

... Speaking of satellite imagery, the recent gathering of ships to mark the bicentennial of the Battle of Trafalgar could be seen from space by the ASAR radar system on the ENVISAT spacecraft: International Fleet Review viewed from space - ESA - July.1.05 ...

... The Cute-1.7 Japanese student satellite will head to orbit next year: Student satellite to hitch ride into orbit - asahi.com - July.1.05 ...

... Here's a community effort in support of astronomy: Carson residents dig deep to support observatory - Reno Gazette - July.1.05 ...

... Satellite radio keeps growing: XM Satellite Radio Extends Lead With More Than 640,000 New Net Subscribers During Second Quarter Of 2005 - XM Radio - July.1.05 ...

... In addition to the review of films involving Mars, Astrobiology Magazine reports on Mars on the radio and in literature: Mars in Pop Culture: Radio - Astrobiology Magazine - July.1.05 * Mars in Pop Culture: Literature -Astrobiology Magazine - July.1.05

3:55 pm: Space music news ... Philip Glass wrote Orion as a commission of the Athens Cultural Olympiad and performed it with a multinational ensemble at its premier in June 2004:

Just as cultures are linked by shared themes, a common history and customs, so we - each separately and all together - are linked by the common quality of the natural world: rivers, oceans, our environment, its forests and mountains. And stars. Man has gazed up at the stars since the birth of humanity. This is the origin of astrology, astronomy, the measurement of the seasons and the first steps of science. I believe there is no single experience in the world which tells us more than the vastness of space, and the innumerable heavenly bodies. And thus the stars form a bond between us all - regardless of country, nationality, regardless even of time.

Orion, the largest constellation in the night sky, can be seen at all times of year, from both hemispheres. It seems that almost every civilisation has created myths and drawn inspiration from Orion. As the project advanced each of the musicians and composers, myself included, used part of this inspiration to aid us in our creative task.

And so the star-studded skies, seen from every corner of our planet, inspired us to present a multicultural, international, musical composition.

This reviewer liked the performance more than the music: Philip Glass, Orion (UK Premiere), International Soloists, Philip Glass Ensemble; Barbican Hall, 14th June 2004 (AR) - MusicWeb - review by Alex Russell. An album was released in 2005 (Amazon: US UK). ...

... Here's a review of a performance by the Kronos Quartet of Terry Riley's Sun Rings: Kronos soars into outer space - Chicago Sun-Times - July.1.05

2:25 am: News briefs ... The Pongsats educational program at JP Aerospace that allows students to send ping-pong ball sized payloads to suborbital space via balloons and sounding rockets was the subject of a news segment on KXTV in Sacramento. It is available online by selecting the Tuesday June 28, 2005 entry on the list of videos at News10 - KXTV - Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto. ...

... The Tales of the Heliosphere weblog provides a nice tour of Palomar in these three recent entries: Photos Of The "Big Eye" At Mt. Palomar Observatory - Tales of the Heliosphere - June.28.05 * Light Pollution Or Civilization? - Tales of the Heliosphere - June.28.05 * Comets, Asteroids, And Brown Dwarfs, O My! - Tales of the Heliosphere - June.30.05 ...

... Fraser Cain at Universe Today has posted an interesting interview with astronaut Story Musgrave, who flew on the space shuttle six times: Interview with Story Musgrave - Universe Today - June.30.05. ...

2:25 am: Space TV - Mission Is Possible ... Fraser mentions the TV program CSI, which I've been planning to bring up here. I'm not a regular viewer of CSI or its spinoffs but the times that I've watched it I've been very impressed. The highly popular program not only presents science and technology in a (mostly) realistic way, it makes them central to the stories.

This violates a major truism in the popular entertainment industry, which holds that real science and technology must be inherently boring and nerdy. If tech is a necessary part of a story, it must be carried out by a geeky sidekick. CSI, though, presents its attractive cast as tech savvy investigators who use their esoteric knowledge to solve crimes.

My point is that creating a hard-science space drama that is popular with the public should be feasible as well. A solar sci-fi TV series that dealt with developing space technologies and the creation of communities and societies there would have an infinite variety of scenarios, story lines, conflicts, and characters to take advantage of. All that's needed are good writing and casting - something that's unfortunately been missing from the few attempts at realistic style space TV shows.


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