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The Space Log
Space for Everyone - July 2004

July.22.2004 Space News

News briefs... A conflict develops over who gets the next Soyuz seat: Russians scramble to fill spaceship seat: Military cosmonaut vies with young Russian tycoon - MSNBC - July.21.04 ...

...Newly digitized versions of Apollo photographs now available at The Project Apollo Image Gallery ...

... NASA has a new site at One Giant Leap for Mankind : The 35th Anniversary of Apollo 11 - NASA

July.21.2004 Space News

Space history... James Oberg points out that there may come a time when no one alive will have walked on the Moon: The secret formula for going to the moon: Fear played a role in 1960s, and may do so again by James Oberg - MSNBC - July.19.04. If that happens, it will certainly indicate a state of human stagnation. (Link via R. Campbell)...

... One experiment keeps doing its job: The Most Important Thing Armstrong Left on the Moon: A cutting-edge Apollo 11 science experiment left behind in the Sea of Tranquility is still running today. - Science@NASA - July.20.04

News briefs... More pieces of Mars found on earth: New Mars meteorite found - Alan Boyle: Cosmic Log - July.20.04...

... While pieces of the Moon go underground: American moon rock gifts vanish - BBC - July.21.04 ...

... Space Station:Sim developer on Tech TV: Vision VideoGames Intervew on G-4 Tech TV Friday July 23, 2004 - Vision-Play - July.21.04

July.20.2004 Space News

The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday July 20, 2004: 7-8:15pm Pacific Time -"Rand Simberg and William Simon return to The Space Show to honor and celebrate our going to the Moon. They will present their unique celebration program, Evoloterra."

Sunday, July 18, 2004, 6:00-7:30pm Pacific Time - "Space Show features returning Space Show guest, Dr. John Jurist....Among the topics that Dr. Jurist will be discussing will be the many tradeoffs involved in developing a life support system in space or even the tradeoffs involved in developing a useful spacesuit."

Hear the SpaceShow programs live at KKNW, 1150 AM in Seattle, and on line at www.live365.com/stations/dlivingston?site=dlivingston.

Space poll high... Support for space exploration shows suprising breadth: Poll: Support Grows for NASA's Space Vision - Space.com - July.19.04. However, as Rand Simberg notes, it depends a lot on how you frame the poll questions. Unlike most such polls, this one apparently puts NASA funding within the context of total government spending.

Space history... A sampling of articles and sites related to the 35th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon:

News briefs ... If the cut in NASA fundiing holds up, hitching a ride with a private firm may be the only way the agency gets back to the Moon: Private firms step up for lunar missions By Irene Mona Klotz - UPI - July.19.04 ...

... Mars past gets more intriguing all the time: Mars rover finds that water persisted - New Scientist - July.4.04

July.19.2004 Space News

Student rocket launch... News of the July 17th launch of the Pathfinder Rocket in Advanced Rocketry News...

Lunar meeting reports... More about the The Return to the Moon Conference can be found in this article by Leonard David: Moon Viewed as Policy Battleground - Space.com - July.17.04 and this Return To The Moon V Trip Report by Michael Mealling - RocketForge - July.18.04. Rand Simberg also added more entries to his blog.

New Moon review by Michael Mealling : New Moon Rising - review by Michael Mealling - RocketForge - July.17.04. See also the collection of info about the book.

Dumping stuff that works... NASA continues to act like the same ol'big dumb locomotive on autopilot that blindly rumbles down a track defined by programmatic inertia and bureaucratic exigencies rather than following the course that will best reach its fundamental goals: NASA Denies Funding for Key Satellite: Decision on Orbiter Frustrates Scientists - Washington Post - July.19.04. The NASA managers need to remember that the agency builds science spacecraft for the purpose of increasing knowledge not just to build spacecraft.

This case is similar to the Hubble decision but even more comparable to the decision to deorbit the working and very productive Compton Gamma Ray spacecraft: FAQ: Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory - NASA Watch - 16 May 2000.

Expanding Bigelow info... Here's a list of recent articles on the Bigelow Aerospace expandables projects:

Space history... Articles related to the 35th anniversary of Apollo 11 will be popular this week. Here is a sampling:

Space biz news ... Satellite radio continues to grow vigorously: Sirius Satellite Radio Reaches 500,000 Subscribers - SIRIUS Satellite Radio - July.14.04 * XM Radio Exceeds 2.1 Million Subscribers at End of Second Quarter - XM Radio - July.1.04 ...

... I wonder if the sat radio success is starting to affect the ground radio business: A Radio Giant Moves to Limit Commercials - NY Times - July.19.04 ...

... A huge comsat was launched over the weekend: Ariane 5 launches Anik F2 - spacetoday.net - July.18.04

July.18.2004 Space News

Conference blogging ... Rand Simberg has been blogging direct from the The Return to the Moon Conference. E.g. check out his report on Frank Sietzen's talk...

... See also the RTTMV Pictures by Michael Mealling ...

... Michael points to the Space Setttlement Project announced at the meeting. ...

... Speaking of Frank Sietzen, the SpaceShow interview with him and Keith Cowing is now available in the archive. ....

... Don't forget the upcoming 2004 Mars Society Convention. Here's the schedule (pdf)

Cell phone in flight via satellite... If the interference worries can ever be laid to rest, satellites may be key to practical cell phone use on airliners: In-flight cellphone network passes test - New Scientist - July.16.04

July.16.2004 Space News

News briefs... Jeff Foust reviews a recent space activist campaign in Washington: Moon-Mars Blitz wrap-ups - Space Politics - July.14.04...

... Congressional committee hears more about space prizes: Witnesses Express Strong Support for Aerospace Prizes - House Committee on Science - July.15.04 ...

... Third installment of the series of excerpts from New Moon Rising is now available: Book details Bush moon decision - UPI - July.15.04...

... It's expensive but SATfinder - Satnews Publishers provides a big database of satellite info.

Tech news briefs... Just heard about the thriving hobby of micro jet turbine engines. They are used for model planes and other applications. Check out the links such as Advance Micro Turbines and Gas Turbine Builders Association .

July.15.2004 Space News

Arctic Mars projects underway... The 2004 crew for the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station (FMARS), supported by the Mars Society, has arrived on Devon Island in the Canadian arctic. Here's a list of research goals for the ninth FMARS crew....

...The separate NASA supported Haughton-Mars Project also has arrived to begin its 8th field season. Webcams should be available around July 19th.

Lunar news... The The Fifth Annual Return to the Moon Conference starts tomorrow in Las Vegas, Nevada and lasts till Sunday. Check out the agenda....

... NASA's project to put an orbiter around the Moon by 2008 will cost $90 million "from development through first-year operations" according to this article: NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Takes Shape - Space.com - July.14.04 (link via Jon Goff). That's a lot cheaper than previous rumors suggested.

News briefs... The second excerpt from the New Moon Rising book: Exclusive: Book details space plan's birth - UPI - July.14.04 (part 2) ...

... The DART project to demonstrate autonomous rendezvous readies for a launch this fall: NASA - Autonomous Rendezvous Spacecraft Arrives At Vandenberg - NASA - July.14.04. See also the DART page at Orbital Sciences, which leads the project.

July.14.2004 Space News

New book rising... The book New Moon Rising by Frank Sietzen and Keith Cowing will be out this week. They tell the behind the scenes story of the development of President Bush's new space policy and the affect it is having on NASA: Book charts development of new space vision - Florida Today - July.14.04.

An excerpt is available at UPI: Book details NASA's ordeal - UPI - July.13.04

Here's nother interesting new book is Moon Rush: Improving life On Earth with the Moon's Resources by Dennis Wingo - Apogee Books

REMEMBER: Support your favorite space site by making your Amazon purchases via a clickthrough on any Amazon ad on that site. If you make a purchase in the immediate session following that clickthrough, a commission is paid to the site. This doesn't affect your purchase price in any way.

A shuttle for Hubble should remain an option: Committee recommends reexamining shuttle Hubble mission - spacetoday.net - July.14.04

News briefs... Aerosmith visited NASA a few months ago - Aerosmith Reaches New Heights Talking With Astronaut - NASA - Jan.29.04 - and now there's a video - Aerosmith and NASA: Dream On - NASA - Multimedia - Video Gallery - in which they "join forces with NASA to encourage the next generation of explorers to 'Dream On'."...

... A potentially interesing Congressional committee meeting tomorrow: Subcommittee to Examine Role of Contests and Prizes in Space Exploration [on July 15] - House Committee on Science - July.13.04...

... A defense of people in space: Robotic space endeavors lack creativity of humans by Mark R. Whittington - USATODAY.com - July.13.04...

... Apollo astronauts to each get a Moon rock dedicated to them but not to take home: "Astronauts to get moon rocks in name" - collectSPACE - July.14.04

July.13.2004 Space News

The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday July 13, 2004: 7-8:15pm Pacific Time - The Space Show features features authors Frank Sietzen (formerly the editor of the NSS Ad Astra magazine) and Keith Cowing (of NASA Watch and Spaceref ) to discuss their new book, "New Moon Rising: The Making of America's New Space Vision and the Remaking of NASA." .

Sunday, July 18, 2004, 6:00-7:30pm Pacific Time - Space Show features a pre-recorded session featuring Rand Simberg who will update us with all important events and activities in the space development world.

The archive now holds the Space Ship One Broadcast from June 21, 2004. This special Space Show program featured author John Carter McKnight (of "The Spacefaring Web" commentaries) on location and David Livingston in San Francisco. The original three hour and forty minute broadcast has been edited to one hour, 45 minutes. David assures "all the listeners that this is the full broadcast of the events this historic morning".

Other recent broadcasts in the archive include those with Dr. Paul Spudis, a renowed lunar scientist, and Dr. George Nield of the FAA and who is involved in the licensing of spaceships like the SS1.

Hear the SpaceShow programs live at KKNW, 1150 AM in Seattle, and on line at www.live365.com/stations/dlivingston?site=dlivingston.

Space architecture discussion... Richard Clar of Art Technologies(tm) sent me a link to a transcript of an interesting Space Architecture Panel Discussion that he helped to organize for the World Space Conference in 2002.

See also the resources here on space architecture and the interview with architect Constance Adams.

News briefs ...The IAA International Academy of Astronautics puts forth an alternative space initiative for Europe: IAA's vision for the next steps in exploring deep space - ESA Portal - July.13.04 (item via HS reader B. Lee) ...

... Fred Becker pointed me to the upcoming retro-future sci-fi file coming out in September: Sky Captain & the World of Tomorrow

Tech news: A new electromagnetic frontier is opening up in the terrahertz range. Check out TeraView and other terrahertz info.

July.12.2004 Space News


Book a microgravity flight... The US based company ZERO-G has begun booking seats on its parabola flying jet. Just like the flights used to train astronauts, you will experience microgravity for up to 25 seconds during the period over the crest of each parabola in the trajectory.

The plan is to fly about 20 parabolas. To lesson the chance for motion sickness, the first 5 parabolas would produce Mars-like gravity, the next 5 at lunar gravity, and the final 10 at zero-g.

The first commercial flight starts on October 9th. The company will use cargo jets. Air cargo is primarily a night business so the vehicles are available during the day. See the photos and video for a view of the plane and what the flights will be like.

Peter Diamandis, astronaut Dr. Byron K. Lichtenberg and their partners have been slogging through the regulatory process for about decade to make this happen. Congratulations to them for making it to the finish line.

This item via HS reader Robert Burmeister.

The Space Review this week has a number of interesting articles including

Moon step... While many Mars advocates want to skip the Moon altogether, others argue that it will provide lots of useful experience, technologies, infrastructure, etc. that will support a Mars program: Moon To Provide a Stepping Stone to Mars and Beyond - Space News - June.28.04

News briefs ... Andrew Chaikin reviews the Disney/Von Braun space programs of the 1950s: 'Tomorrowland': Disney's Vision of the Future on DVD - NPR - July.8.04 ...

... A new space history program is in development at the BBC: BBC unites old adversaries for new series on space race - BBC - Jun.24.04 (item via M. Huang) ...

... Seth Shostak puts some perspective on NASA: Commentary: NASA May Take a Licking, But it Keeps on Ticking - Space.com - July.8.04 ...

... A storehouse of Usnet space info at Space - Yarchive via the Yarchive - Usenet Archives ...

... Useful technical reliability info at NASA Workmanship Technical Committee (from a posting by John Carmack at the ERPS forum) ...

... Space burial gets some attention from the Financial Times: Crossing the final frontier - Financial Times - July.9.04 (link via Sam Dinkin.)

July.8.2004 Space News

Mars Sats... Future Mars explorers, both robotic and human, will have a satellite support infrastructure awaiting them. There are currently three active orbiters around the Red Planet and more will be going there. Besides their remote sensing priorities, the orbiters assist ground systems with communications and navigation. For example, some of the communications with the Mars Rovers is relayed through the two US orbiters. This allows for more efficient accumulation of data since a rover has a high speed direct link with earth for only about three hours a day (see this page on rover data transmission.)

The satellites also help with navigation: Red Planet Wayfinder: A GPS System for Mars - Space.com - July.7.04.

The Mars Reconaissance Orbiter, slated for launch in 2005, will carry the Electra payload that will provide communications and navigation services. The first satellite dedicated to communications and navigation around another planet will be the Mars 2009 Telecommunications Orbiterl.

Progress continues, as well, on Interplanetary Internet development.

News briefs... Meanwhile the rovers continue to rove: Rovers roll on (and up and down) Mars by James Oberg - MSNBC - July.6.04...

... The newest AMSAT-NA spacecraft gets its official name: Echo Satellite is Officially AMSAT-OSCAR 51 - ARRLWeb - July.7.04.

Tech brief.... My favorite new flying technique is growing in scale. The latest fanwing prototype - the Fanwing UAV - can carry 12kg. See the movie (5MB mpg).

July.7.2004 Space News

News briefs... The upcoming Return to the Moon conference has an interesting agenda ...

... SpacedOut ... is a project to build the largest model of the solar system in the whole solar system. School sites across the UK will represent the sun, planets, moons, asteroids and comets. Schools enter Solar System orbits - BBC - July.6.04. ...

... Also, check out another British site UK goes to the PLANETS, which describes various space science missions that involve UK researchers. ...

... Too bad I can't locate an on line source for the video To Fly by Brad Sayles that won a TELLY Award according to this article: Composer's NASA work wins award - Galveston County[Texas] Daily News - July.7.04 (via spacetoday.net.)...

... I did find a couple of articles about his involvement with the Space Cowboys movie: Oscars 2001 - Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman - Space Cowboys sound effects * Audio: Striving for Realism: Audio Effects in Space Cowboys - Film & Audio Magazine - Aug.2000.

July.6.2004 Space News

The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday July 6, 2004: 7-8:15pm Pacific Time - The Space Show features Dr. Paul D. Spudis, a Senior Staff Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland and Visiting Scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas.

Sunday July 11, 2004: 12:00-1:30pm Pacific Time - Space Show features Dr. George C. Nield, the Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the FAA. Dr. Nield has over 30 years of aerospace experience with the United States Air Force, at NASA, and in private industry. [He is deeply involved with the licensing of commercial space transports such as the SpaceShipOne.]

Sunday, July 11, 2004, 6:00-7:30pm Pacific Time - Space Show features a special live taping session featuring Rand Simberg who will update us with all important events and activities in the space development world.

The archive will soon include the Space Ship One Broadcast from June 21, 2004 Space Show program featuring the continuous broadcast of commentary on the the Space Ship One launch and landing.

News briefs... Fred Becker forwards this link to an writeup about Space Age Music and the Moog by Susi O'Neill - Hypnotic/Switched on radio.co.uk - 1999 ....

... Congratulations to the Canadian Mars Society on winning a space research grant: Canadian Space Agency Awards $20K Contract to Mars Society Canada for Its Second Research Expedition - Mars Society of Canada - July.5.04 ....

... Thomas Olsen warns that entrenched interests will resist many of the recommendations of the Aldridge Committee. However, the private sector initiatives could be enacted relatively easily and provide greater benefits in the long run anyway: The Aldridge Report: it's all about execution - The Space Review - July.5.04...

... Taylor Dinerman says it may be time to create a new Space Force in parallel with the Air Force and other services: A new space service? - The Space Review - July.5.04...

... Dwayne Day reports on a study in the late 1960s of a scheme to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with the earth by a fleet of Saturn V launched nuclear warheads: Giant bombs on giant rockets: Project Icarus - The Space Review - July.5.04....

... A new version of the StarStrider - The 3D-planetarium from FMJ-Software has been released.....

... The Northern Virginia Association of Rocketry is hosting "the National Association of Rocketry Annual Meet" - NARAM-46 - on July 31 through August 6, 2004 at Great Meadow Outdoor Events Center The Plains, Virginia.....

... A whole 26 lecture college level course on rocket propulsion is currently available at AE 6450 Rocket Propulsion, Dr. Narayanan M. Komerath - Georgia Tech - Fall 2004

National Academies studies... HS reader Michael Antoniewicz has been scanning the list of publications at National Academies Press and found a number of studies related to the new space exploration initiative. Here's some of what he discovered (in HTML unless labeled PDF):

July.4.2004 Space News

Saturn non-saturnine ... Saturn is bringing joy and excitement to the Cassini/Huygen's team. Too many articles about Saturn and Titan to keep up with here. See spacetoday.net for links to the latest. For example, see these summaries: Titan images surprise scientists - spacetoday.net - July.4.04 and Cassini ring images delight scientists - spacetoday.net - July.4.04

Rocketry news... Alan Boyle reports on the effects so far of the regulations imposed on rocketry since 9/11: Rocket ruckus revisited - Alan Boyle/Cosmic Log - July.2.04. Thankfully, they have not caused the fatal disaster many feared.

However, I think it's clear that they will seriously hinder the growth of an important educational activity that should be encouraged rather than discouraged by the government....

... John Wickham is leading a group of students in the development of a sounding rocket that will launch from Wallops Island: Local rocketeers prepare for Virginia launch - Casper Star Tribune - July.3.04. The Pathfinder Rocket will fly on July 14th. The project involves students from the University of Cincinnati (Ohio) and from Casper College and Natrona County School District in Wyoming.

News briefs... Dwayne Day tells the interesting story of the Soviet Moon rocket:The Secret at Complex J: At Tyuratam, the Soviet moon booster emerged slowly and suffered disaster. - Air Force Magazine - July.04....

... You never know where GPS will show up these days and it's making the military nervous: Coke's GPs Promotion Has Army Nervous - Space.com - July.2.04 ...

Space arts... More about Laurie Anderson's residency at NASA: NASA Gives Space to Artist in Residence - NPR - July.3.04 (See also this previous link: Moon and Stars Align for Performance Artist: Laurie Anderson Accepts Art Commission From NASA - Washington Post - June.30.04)...

... Colorado missile masters get a tribute: Trajectory to the stars: Artist Darrell Anderson lands a dream with Missileers mosaic - DenverPost.com - July.4.04 (via spacetoday.net)...

... William Shatner's "classic" rendition of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is made into a video (via NASA Watch.).

Tech news briefs... Suppressing sonic booms shows promise and may lead to practical supersonic business jets in the not to distant future: Whooshhh! - Popular Science - July.04 [Update July.5.04: Rand Simberg isn't impressed - Show Me The Numbers! - Transterrestrial Musings - July.5.04] ...

... Low cost, light weight video projectors via the magic of lasers and holograms: Holograms enable pocket projectors - TRN - June.30.04

July.2.2004 Space News

News briefs... Jeff Foust reports on preparations for the Moon-Mars Blitz lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill: Moon-Mars Blitz update - Space Politics - July.1.04....

... He also writes about a problem with funding for the Centennial Challenges space prizes program: Centennial Challenges Setback - Space Politics - July.2.04....

... Saturn pictures available at JPL - Multimedia and JPL - Latest Images.

The SpaceShow this week:

Sunday July 4, 2004 Space Show features a replay of the July 1, 2004 taped program discussing the Return To The Moon Conference with Manny Pimenta of the Space Frontier Foundation.

Recent shows available in the on line archive:

June 29, 2004: Dr. Carol Rosin, who spoke about "the militarization of space, transforming military space to commercial space, economic and job stimulation and more".

June 27, 2004: Joan Horvath, the CEO of Take-off Technologies, LLC and the Executive Director of Global Space League, Inc.. She spoke about her trip to watch the SpaceShipOne flight. (Read her special report for HobbySpace. She also "brought us up to date on the efforts to develop a thriving commercial launch industry as part of the greater Oklahoma Space Port Authority using Frederick, Oklahoma as the launch site and base" and "She also talked about the special and exciting business partnerships being developed with Take-Off as well as Global Space League with the entertainment industry, Santa Clara University, school programs, and much more."

Hear the SpaceShow programs live at KKNW, 1150 AM in Seattle, and on line at www.live365.com/stations/dlivingston?site=dlivingston.

Tuesday shows are on at 7-8:15PM Pacific Time and Sunday shows at 12-1:30PM Pacific Time.

July.1.2004 Space News

Space on a roll... Gee, what a year for space. Just yesterday we had Cassini reaching Saturn plus an unusual space walk on the ISS. Two wildly successful Mars Rovers just keep on roving, Mars Express is sending spectacular pictures, President Bush gave space policy a major jolt in January, just last week SpaceShipOne initiated private spaceflight, and in May an amateur rocket for the first time reached space.

In the coming six months we can hope to see the X PRIZE won and SpaceX fly the Falcon I, which would be the first completely privately funded vehicle to put a payload in orbit. [Update: Bill Claybaugh corrects me. Orbital Sciences Pegasus was developed with private funding. However, it did get much indirect support from DARPA, including a 6 launch contract early in its development.]

Vicarious spaceflight ... Cassini arrived at Saturn with over 600,000 signatures from people around the world: Paw prints sent to Saturn - Alan Boyle/Cosmic Log - June.30.04

Can't trust anything these days - Speed of light may have changed recently - New Scientist - June.30.04. However, I won't get too excited yet about c becoming inconstant. More likely there is something wrong with the analysis of the Oklo site. reactor. (Tell your anti-tech friends that nuclear reactors are all-natural.)

I was just thinking the other day about the many (at least a dozen or so) announcements during the time I was in particle physics of major or semi-major discoveries in that field, almost all of which turned out to be false after further analysis and/or failures to replicate the results. Free quarks, magnetic monopoles, heavy neutrinos (later experiments showed that neutrinos do in fact have mass but far below what these earlier experiments claimed), new particles of various sorts, etc. Some of these announcements came with press conferences. All turned out to be wrong.

Until the results are confirmed by other researchers using different methods, be skeptical of claims of major discoveries in fundamental physics

Continue to June 2004 articles in archive

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