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The Space Log
Space for Everyone - September 2004

September.29.2004 Space News

News briefs ... Amazing that the Mars orbiters can see the tracks of the rovers: Making Tracks on Mars - Astrobiology Magazine - Sept.27.04 ...

... Enter this online contest for a trip to Space Camp: G4TV.com's Space Camp Contest - G4techTV - Sept.27.04 ...

... Lot of cool ideas, like electrostatic radiation shielding, will be examined by the latest winners of grants from NASA's advanced concepts program: NASA explores advanced space concepts - Spaceflight Now - Sept.28.04 ...

... Satellite photo sessions will synch with the tides: Coast-mapping Satellites Will Follow The Tides - ESA/ScienceDaily - Sept.28.04

September.28.2004 Space News

Space tourism study released ...

Futron Releases Space Tourism Market Study to the General Public

Bethesda, MD - September 28, 2004 - Futron Corporation announced today that it is making its groundbreaking Space Tourism Market Study, the most comprehensive survey of customer demand for suborbital and orbital space tourism to date, available to the public at no charge.

The Space Tourism Market Study, originally published two years ago, is based on a Zogby International poll of affluent Americans commissioned by Futron in 2002. The poll gauged the level of interest in, and willingness to pay for, space tourism experiences among those people with the means to afford such flights. Futron used the poll results to generate a 20-year forecast for consumer demand for orbital and suborbital space tourism flights.

"Futron worked very hard over the course of several months to objectively and accurately analyze the space tourism market," said Phil McAlister, Director of Futron's Space & Telecommunications Division. "We hope that our efforts, as captured in this report, will benefit the many people interested in this promising market."

Highlights of the Space Tourism Market Study include:

  • " The overall space tourism market is very promising, and could generate revenues in excess of $1 billion per year by 2021;
  • " Suborbital space tourism will generate the largest demand, with the potential for 15,000 passengers and $700 million in revenues per year by 2021;
  • " Orbital space tourism, while growing more slowly than its suborbital counterpart, will still have up to 60 passengers and $300 million in revenues per year by 2021;
  • " Those interested in suborbital space tourism are demographically distinct from those interested in orbital tourism.

The report is available in PDF format from Futron's web site at http://www.futron.com/spacetourism.

Astronomy adventures... Check out "exciting astronomy adventure travel in Chile" offered by QuasarChile:

Enjoy the Atacama Desert, site of NASA Mars experiments, with personalized and expert guidance, and visit world premier research astronomy destinations (VLT and ALMA). Spend nights discovering the unique southern skies (Magellanic Clouds, southern clusters,...) with amateur telescopes.

Other astronomy and space related travel packages are available from companies listed in the Astronomy section.

The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday September 28, 2004: 7-8:15pm Pacific Time - the Space Show features "the return of Jim Benson, Founding Chairman and Chief Executive of SpaceDev, a publicly traded space development and exploration company. SpaceDev specializes in affordable, high-performance small satellites and safe, affordable hybrid-based rocket motor propulsion systems. ..."

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2004 special live coverage of the Space Ship One X-Prize flight in Mojave, CA begins at 6AM. [See links at top of the RLV News page.]

Sunday October 3, 2004, 12:00-1:30 PM Pacific Time - the Space Show "features Adriano Autino, prolific science and space writer/lecturer for leading magazines, journals, and space advocate organizations, as well as Italian entrepreneur, making software and tools for aerospace and infrastructure. As an 'astronautic-humanist', he is the author of many original concepts for space age philosophy..."

Find the Space Frontier on the Queen Mary...

Conference Registration Rates for Space Frontier Conference 13 increase this Friday. Register Today!

Space Frontier Conference 13 - Register Today

The Space Frontier Foundation, America's leading edge space organization, will help celebrate World Space Week by hosting Space Frontier Conference 13 aboard the majestic Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach California from October 8-10, 2004.

The conference will begin with an all day session Friday co-hosted by the Space Access Society and featuring Alternative Space transportation firms, from grass roots X-Prize contenders to multi-million dollar launch companies. The day will be punctuated by a luncheon panel of financiers and investors who will discuss the ins and outs of money issues relating to space companies.

Saturday's program includes a showcase of alternative space firms building space hotels and other new space businesses, to a discussion of Hollywood and media in space, to talks on how you can get into space yourself, and the big picture of where this is all leading – the human settlement of space.

Saturday evening the Foundation will hold its annual awards banquet. A gala affair will honor those who have made real breakthroughs in the opening of space, presented a compelling future in the media and the people who have worked each day to make a difference. Sunday sessions will focus on leading edge ideas and culminate in a town hall meeting and workshop on how to expand and accelerate this important movement.

Following within days of Burt Rutan and other X-Prize flights, this conference is the place to be to hear the inside stories, meet the movers and hear about what is coming next on the space frontier!

For secure online registration: www.space-frontier.org/Events/SFC13/
For more information about SFC 13: www.space-frontier.org/Events/SFC13/

Reserve your room at the RMS Queen Mary now!

The rooms in the block reserved for the Space Frontier Conference rate of $129 per night on the RMS Queen Mary are Outside Staterooms, usually $240 per weekend night. If you plan to stay on the ship you need to register ASAP. To get our special conference rate you need to call 800-437-2934 or 562-435-3511. Registrations made online will NOT be eligible for our reduced conference rate.

For Queen Mary information: www.queenmary.com

September.27.2004 Space News

Big news day in commercial space ... See RLV News for the latest news on the announcement by Richard Branson on the development of Virgin Galactic space tourism company and on Bigelow Aerospace's sponsorship of the American Space Prize to spur development of low cost orbital transport.

Weightless fun ... See the video of John Carmack and his Armadillo Aerospace crew experiencing a ZERO-G flight.

Amateur Mars exploration... I've mention several times over the past year or so the project of AMSAT, led by the German chapter, to develop a vehicle to reach Mars. (See AMSAT P5-A: Amateur Mars Satellite in the Satellite Building section.) The propulsion and spacecraft technology is actually not much beyond what AMSAT already accomplished with AO-40, the large satellite launched in 2000 with mixed results.

Maintaining communications with the vehicle is the bigger challenge (especially if the vehicle loses its attitude control temporarily and can't point its high-gain antenna at the earth.)

The P5-A would be an orbiter. The German Mars Society has proposed that it carry an additional craft that would release a balloon that would provide descend into the atmosphere and transmit back various measurements.

Over the weekend there was a news conference by the German Mars Society that present results of studies of the proposal and possible techniques to use for a 2009 launch:

ARCHIMEDES on the track
Sven Knuth President, Mars Society Deutschland
September 26, 2004

Today on a press conference in Bochum, Germany, the private financed Mars balloon mission P-5A/ARCHIMEDES was presented. The huge press coverage exceeded every expectation. All newspapers and magazines, TV and radio stations covered this visionary idea. Especially articles in business newspapers like Handelsblatt will help rise the needed funding.

The AMSAT P5-A is destined to enter an orbit around the planet Mars. This spacecraft will then transmit scientific data to Earth – data from experiments on-board P5A as well as - via its repeater function - from the ARCHIMEDES balloon. This probe will also take with ARCHIMEDES on its way to Mars after launch with Ariane 5 where it is released and enters atmosphere.

Extensive studies conducted throughout the past years have indicated that both the concept of inflating the balloon during descent as well as the concept of inflating the balloon from the ground poses immense technical hurdles that need to be overcome. Both result in extremely complex spacecraft designs and mission sequences that cannot be realized by the project Archimedes team, if the proposed launch window of 2009 is to be used. Hence, a different concept has been developed, whereby the balloon is to be inflated out in space while approaching the planet, and subsequently used as a hypersonic drag device to slow the vehicle down enough for descent to its operating altitude. This way, the ARCHIMEDES mission will also demonstrate the technology for inflatable atmospheric drag devices on Mars. It provides room for the significant technology experiment COMPARE, the scope of which is to gather crucial hypersonic flow data during entry of a large body into the Martian atmosphere. This data will be invaluable to future heavy landers and aero-assisted manśuvres. It also provides the unique opportunity to measure the density profiles of the upper layers of the atmosphere with accelerometers due to the spacecraft's very low ballistic coefficient.

In addition to the aforementioned baseline mission scenario, two other scenarios are currently considered. The first option would be to target mission duration of one sol. This would drop the requirement for night time survival, and thus also reduces the requirements for power and thermal control. Since the mission could be flown with primary batteries only, solar cells would not be needed, and the suspension bridle also becomes unnecessary. Most important, however, less internal overpressure would be required, since the balloon would be allowed to sack at night, and hence the floatation gas could cool and contract below ambient pressure. But this in turn lowers the skin load when the floatation gas pressure rises upon entry heating. It should be noted here that all mission requirements including the demonstration of sustained floatation in the Martian atmosphere would be fulfilled by this option, albeit being less desirable due to the short mission lifetime.

The second option would go even further and allow the balloon to descent directly to the ground, a scenario referred to as the "Direct To Ground Scenario" (DTG). In addition to the first option, this option would employ a simpler, more common and more robust, yet also heavier balloon skin material which is not able to sustain floatation but causes the mission to descent during a prolonged period of about two hours (as compared to classic entry bodies that travel through the atmosphere all the way to the ground within a few

For more information visit the project website (there is an English version available): http://archimedes.marssociety.de/

September.26.2004 Space News

Space tourism class... Robert Goehlich is teaching another course in space tourism at Keio University. Space Tourism II Lecture - Fall Semester 2004 is described as follows:

Starting from September 29, 2004, this lecture is part of Center of Excellence (COE) Program. In contrast to “Space Tourism I” lecture, the goal is to discuss selected topics such as “Ansari X Prize”, “Space Adventures”, “Tourist Module on ISS” etc. in detail. The lecture is complemented by various guest speakers from universities and industries as well as using the Space Tourism Market Simulation II. This is a master course, but bachelor's or Ph.D. students are also welcome. Transfer of credits to other universities on request. Visitors are always welcome!

He will be posting the lecture notes as the course progresses. He also says that the course is available on the "internet via webcam and microphone."

News briefs ... The latest Indian satellite is devoted to educational broadcasts: Take-off To Learning? EDUSAT, India's first thematic satellite, ought to link schools across the country - Financial Express - Sept.26.04 ...

... A near miss coming soon: Asteroid Close Encounter Coming Wednesday - National Geographic - Sept.24.04...

... Buy satellite and aerial photos and maps of your neighborhood and other areas of interest: LandVoyage.com - Unlimited Maps and Imagery - Aerial Photos - USGS Topo Maps - Satellite Images...

... Tom Hanks mini-series on the Apollo program will be shown on the TNT network during Oct.1-3: From the Earth to the Moon....

... A British journalist becomes Superman for a hour or so: Flights to weightlessness make playgrounds of the sky - Telegraph - Sept.26.04...

... "I've been interested in space travel as long as I can remember." says teenager: Space Adventures' SPACEFLIGHT CLUB Interests All Ages: Fourteen year-old becomes Club member : Supports teen survey results - Space Adventures - Sept.23.04

September.24.2004 Space News

News briefs ... The Coalition for Space Exploration, made up of various activist organizations in support of the Space Exploration Initiative, sent out its latest newsletter: The Vision for Space Exploration - Sept.17.04. Earlier newsletters can be found on their news and info page....

... The ISS astronauts continue their sessions via ham radio with schools around the world: Astronaut Thrills Audiences in Japan, Germany via Amateur Radio - ARRLWeb - Sept.22.04 ...

... NinjaBee.com has released the Outpost Kalok, "a humorous space station tycoon game!"....

... Space technology assisting the handicapped: Space-tech at the Paralympics - ESA - Sept.21.04....

... William Shatner planning an invasion of Iowa: William Shatner Holds Auditions for Sci-Fi Film - Space.com - Sept.22.04 ...

... NASA chooses a constractor for Project Prometheus, which will develop an electric propulsion system powered by a nuclear reactor: NASA Selects Contractor For First Prometheus Mission To Jupiter - NASA/ScienceDaily - Sept.23.04 ...

... Even more advanced propulsion schemes compared in this paper: Comparison of Fusion/Antiproton Propulsion Systems for Interplanetary Travel by Stanley K. Borowski - NASA Lews Research Centner - 1996

September.22.2004 Space News

Sci-Fi story competition ... Alan Boyle and MSNBC are sponsoring a sci-fi short-story contest" Bluetopia vs. Redtopia - Alan Boyle/Cosmic Log - Sept.21.04. The theme should center around the results of the Presidentail race - "We invite you to send in your positive sci-fi visions of the future, based on the policies of your favorite candidate." See Mark Whittington's "The Night We Return to the Moon", as an example of what they are looking for.

News briefs ... The rovers return to work after a brief vacation: Mars rovers renewed - Spaceflight Now - Sept.2.04...

... Hope they didn't get any moss growing on them: Martian methane hints at oases of life - news @ nature.com - Sept.21.04 ...

... Sloshsat heading for orbit to study how to handle large volumes of liquids in microgravity: Misbehaving liquid sent into space - New Scientist - Sept.22.04

September.21.2004 Space News

Zero-G-oy experiences... John Carmack has posted the following testimony on a couple of newsgroups so I don't think he'll mind if I reprint it here:

Since I got involved with the X-Prize, Peter Diamandis has been talking to me about his other project, http://www.nogravity.com/. Like most people, he was hitting me up to invest in his company, but I said that I would rather be a customer than an investor (where possible, this is a better way to support companies). It took two years for it to go from "We are going to be starting flights in a couple months!" to actually getting the airplane to Dallas, but today I took all of the Armadillo crew and some of my partners from Id Software up on a chartered flight, "beta testing" the experience.

It was awesome!

We had 14 people, so it was only a little over half the full capacity, giving us plenty of room to bounce around. Doing the martian (1/3) and lunar (1/6) gravity parabolas is a really good idea, as it lets people get a little used to the movement before completely floating around. Many people thought the lunar gravity parabolas were the best part.

We did a total of 17 parabolas, the normal 15 and two extras at the end. At least half the people thought that was plenty (or two too many), but a bunch of us were like "Ten more parabolas!"

Nobody puked, although we did have one person staring solemnly at his barf bag at one point, and a few people had to go sit down for a bit. They gave recommendations for prescription medication that a couple people went and got filled, but the rest of us just took over the counter dramamine pills that they provided. One of the crew mentioned a promotional flight they had recently flown with a bunch of unmedicated journalists that had been hitting the cocktail bar, resulting in fully one third of them losing it.

The time went by so quickly that you completely forgot half the things you planned on trying. A couple of us were doing low gravity judo throws, and I took a shot at the worlds first flying armbar in zero gravity (didn't work out too well). Most of us that were doing fairly aggressive bouncing around landed on our heads at least once, so I have some concern that they will eventually have someone test the liability waiver.

The bottom line is that I highly recommend the experience, and I am almost certainly going to do it again at some point. Peter said most of their bookings are for corporate incentive programs, which is probably the most fun way to do it, but grabbing a friend and getting tickets for one of the passenger flights that will be starting soon out of Florida would still be memorable. The current individual price is $3k.

The take home lesson is that we need to add a lot of cabin volume to our first consumer suborbital spacecraft. Adding an extra 63" by 12' of cabin volume will only cost us about 250 pounds. You won't get much more total zero-g than on the parabolas, but it will be contiguous, and combined with the view, the boost burn, the reentry acceleration, and the exclusivity, I do think it is going to be a ride worth $100k. Zero-G is almost certain to stir up a lot of excitement about manned space flight in general.

We'll have more pictures and video in the regularly scheduled Armadillo update this weekend, but here are a couple:


John Carmack

... Another account of a Zero-G-oy ride is given by Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing. The first episode in her account starts here. (Via Transterrestrial.)...

... More about preventing motion sickness at The Balance Factor: Can You Handle Zero G? - Space.com - Sept.21.04.

News briefs ... Possibility of bacterial life on Mars grows stronger: Water and methane maps overlap on Mars: a new clue? - ESA Portal - Sept.20.04...

...India successfully launches its education satellite: India launches EDUSAT - spacetoday.net - Sept.20.04...

... More about the accoustic engine driven by radioactive decay: Spacecrafts powered by thunder - New Scientist - Sept.20.04.

The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday September 21, 2004: 7-8:15pm Pacific Time - the Space Show "features JMatt Bille and Erika Lishock discussing their book "The First Space Race," a ground-breaking study of the contest to launch the world's first satellite..."

Wednesday Sept. 22, 2004, 7-8:15 PM Pacific TIme Special Space Show "features Brian Feeney, Team leader for the da Vinci Project, live from Toronto, Canada. Mr. Feeney will be discussing the da Vinci Project “go” for the X-Prize which is currently planned for Oct. 2, 2004..."

Sunday Sept. 26, 2004: 12:00-1:30pm Pacific TIme - "features Richard Westfall, President and Research Director of Galactic Mining Industries, Inc. He founded Galactic Mining Industries, Inc. in 1989 and the company has operated as a think tank for the last 15 years, dedicated to developing the technical and legal foundations of space colonization. The focus of Galactic Mining has been the mining of asteroids and the building of space stations...."

September.20.2004 Space News

More on Zero-G... This article looks at the stresses and strains (which turn out to be mild) on planes that fly the parabolas: How Safe Is a Roller Coaster in the Sky? - Space.com - Sept.20.04...

... Rand Simberg, who was involved in an earlier effort to launch a commercial parabolic flyer project, notes that the motion sickness threat is overblown by the media: Another Myth Of The Old Space Age - Transterrestrial Musings - Sept.19.04.

More science... Rand also points out that I was being overly glib in my science note on weightlessness in orbit when I spoke of an orbit as occurring when "the curve of your falling trajectory matches the curve of the earth."

As he points out, and as Kepler did a few centuries ago, a spacecraft in orbit actually follows the path of an ellipse, with the center of mass of the earth at one of the foci of the ellipse. I'll note that since the earth is very massive relative to a spacecraft, you can arrange for an orbit that is pretty close to circular with respect to the earth's center.

Run this fun applet to shoot a cannonball around the earth. See also the list of more orbital simulation applets.

These two sites Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion and Kepler's Laws tell you about the details of ellipses and the principles that Kepler discovered. And here are applets that illustrate Law 1, Law 2, and Law 3.

News briefs ... Speaking of applets, try out NASA's satellite tracking simulator as recommended in this article: Surfin': Tracking Spacecraft Online By Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU - ARRLWeb - Sept.17.04...

... India is launching a satellite (into a nearly circular geostationary orbit at) dedicated to educational broadcasts: Countdown begins for educational satellite launch - NewKerala.com [India] - Sept.19.04...

... So what will you munch on during your trip to Mars: What to Eat on the Way to Mars - Wired - Sept.20.04...

... Gregory Anderson recommends that media have a camera in orbit waiting to broadcast the first Mars landing: Operation Public Eye by Gregory Anderson - The Space Review - Sept.20.04....

... Richard Godwin of Apogee Books highly recommends this Rocket Science (I cravenly added my Amazon affiliate link to this item)....

... This looks to be a promising resource for resourceful hobbyists of all sorts: Make Magazine

September.18.2004 Space News

Zero-G and your stomach... Many of the articles about the new publicly available Zero-G flights focus on the possibility of motion sickness. After all, the astronauts didn't dub their parabolic flyer the Vomit Comet for nothing.

However, it should be pointed out that the company has tried to minimize the possibility in several ways:

  • Fewer parabolas - the NASA plane flew up to 60 parabolas at a time. Motion sickness was more common after 20 or so. ZERO-G flights do 15.
  • Gradual reduction - the first few parabolas produce Mars-like 1/3 Earth gravity, then Moon-like 1/6 g, and then zero.
  • They intersperse "a few minutes of straight and level flight" occasionally into the trip.
  • Coaching is given on how to avoid getting sick, e.g. urging people to focus on a fixed point during the high-g valleys of the flight.

There are also anti-nausea pills such as a scopolamine-Dexedrine cocktail, but these are not perfect.

More articles:

Science note... The "zero g" effect produced by these flights, just like in orbit, is an apparent one. Earth's gravitational pull doesn't change and remains as strong as ever. (It decreases as 1/(distance squared) as you move away from the planet.)

Over the top of the parabola, both you and the plane are falling together. You are no longer being pressed against the floor of the plane, which is usually keeping you at a fixed distance from the earth via the lift of its wings. (In the valleys of the trajectory, the plane is having to decelerate and reverse you from the speed gained during the falling portion of the parabola. So you feel higher g force in that case.)

In orbit, the same principle applies except you and the vehicle are falling around the earth because your rocket produced enough horizontal speed to keep you from hitting the ground as you fall. That is, the curve of your falling trajectory matches the curve of the earth.

GPS brief... Add satellite positioning info to your photos:DIY Black Box - Tagging photos with GPS coordinates - Engadget - Sept.04.

September.17.2004 Space News

Homesick, not sick, for floating... If there are a lot of articles like this one - Farewell to Gravity - Wired - Sept.17.04, then the Zero Gravity company is going to need to arrange for more planes...

... Buzz weightless again: Buzz Aldrin Returns to Lunar Gravity & Weightlessness Aboard Zero Gravity Corporation's G-Force One - PRNewswire/ZeroGravity Corp. - Sept.16.04

Space arts report.... Here are some miscellaneous space art and music related links...

... During May-June 2005, the World Space Culture in London will encompass an international conference, exhibitions and performances with the goal of celebrating "the diversity of attitudes and approaches to space exploration across cultures."...

... Check out one artist's space explorations: Space Synapse Systems...

... The Voyager 2 art packet for aliens: British artist revisits Nasa's alien view of Earth - Independent.co.uk - Sept.16.04...

... Steamrolling a space conference: Chip Davis and Mannheim Steamroller to Perform at Strategic Space Conference - Space Foundation - Sept.16.04 ...

... Natural art: A ring of scrim: Cassini returns an otherwordly view a space artist would envy. - Astronomy - Sept.17.04

Astronaut autographs... Countdown Creations, a HobbySpace advertiser, is sponsoring a space charity event at its Rocket Town store: "Evening With The Astronauts" To Launch At Rocket Town: Astronauts to sign autographs for the public to benefit Association of Space Explorers - Rocket Town - Houston's Space Superstore!

September.16.2004 Space News

Lunar In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) University Design Competition... College students will compete to see who designs the best systems for obtaining useful materials from the lunar surface. The contest is being sponsored by the Florida Space Research Institute and NASA: FSRI and NASA Sponsor Lunar Exploration Design Competition - FSRI - Sept.13.04.

Letters of Intent are due on Oct. 17, 2004 and proposals are due on Nov. 19, 2004. See ISRU Design Competition Guidelines.pdf for program details.

News briefs... Students in ESA countries can obtain a cool space DVD for free: 'Newton in space' DVD: a fresh approach to teaching science - ESA - Sept.15.04...

... The organization SeaTurtle.org uses satellits to track turtles at sea: Satellites Track Turtle Trouble - Wired - Sept.15.04 ...

... NASA budget battles coming down to the wire: SpaceWatch NASA Faces Final Budget Debate by Frank Sietzen - UPI/SpaceDaily - Sept.16.04

September.14.2004 Space News

News briefs... You can now purchase a ticket to experience microgravity on planes flying parabolic trajectories. See item in RLV News...

... Satellite broadband delivery to the home remains alive though growing slowly: Satellite Service Battles Lag - Wired - Sept.14.04 ...

... 2001: A Space Odyssey still gets the highest ratings: Mad Hal named 'top sci-fi moment' - BBC - Sept.13.04

Wasting money on libraries... In response to my recent entry on NASA's failure to archive properly its technology development, a reader responded with a story from his days in Huntsville, Alabama while working with a major aerospace company on the space station program:

"The NASA Inspector General's office sent staff to audit the company. The result was a citation under the waste, fraud, and abuse category for having documents in the company library that were more than 5 years old. They decided it was a waste of taxpayers' money. Of course, the engineers took the 'offending' documents and stored them at their desks.

Aren't you glad that we are paying government watchdogs to make sure that evil, profit making corporations don't waste taxpayers' money?"

I'll also note that Gene Meyers says in a recent interview on the Space Show that many of the Space Shuttle development records have not been saved.

The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday Sept 14, 2004: 7-8:15pm Pacific Time - The Space Show "features returning guest Robert Zimmerman. Mr. Zimmerman is an award winning science writer, space historian, and author of the new best selling book, “LEAVING EARTH: Space Stations, Rival Superpower, and the Quest for Interplanetary Travel.” As an award-winning author, writing articles and books on issues of science, history, technology, and culture, his work is published regularly in such magazines as Astronomy, The Sciences, The Wall Street Journal,..."

Thursday, September 16, 2004, 5-6:30 PM - "Special Live Taping of The Space Show features Professor Michael Duke, Director of the Center for Commercial Applications of Combustion in Space at the Colorado School of Mines, a NASA Space Commercialization Center. Dr. Duke has 40 years in space science and lunar exploration. He has worked at Johnson Space Center for 25 years as Lunar Sample Curator, ..."

Sunday Sept. 19, 2004: 12:00-1:30pm Pacific TIme - Space Show "features Taylor Dinerman, space writer regarding military and civilian space activities since 1983. From 1999 until 2003, Mr. Dinerman ran Space Equity.com. Taylor Dinerman has now been writing for a variety of publications including Ad Astra, The Wall Street Journal and the American Spectator..."

September.13.2004 Space News

N\ews briefs... In response to an article by Alan Wasser, Sam Dinkin continues a discussion about space property rights: Races, beauty contests, franchises, and build-out requirements for lunar property - The Space Review - Sept.13.04 ...

... Some ideas about convincing the public of the importance of space development: Marketing space to the general public - by Jeff Krukin - The Space Review - Sept.13.04

Space book auction... Richard H. Jackson, former owner of Missile, Space, and Rocket Used Books, is selling on September 23, 2004 his personal collection of over 6000 space related books including science fiction, novels, children space books, brochures, pamphlets, Martin Caidin books and manuscripts, plus other miscellaneous books. Mr. Dale Sorenson has finished the catalog and it is posted in its entirety on Waverly Auction. To receive a printed copy of the catalog send your snail mail address to: info@waverlyauctions.com

September.12.2004 Space News

Spinning off better beds ... I'm not one to hold direct spinoffs as a primary reason to support space development. (It's worth doing for its own sake.) Many products that are famous as spinoffs, such as Teflon, were not in fact developed by space research.

However, it appears that one product that is starting to make big money really is a space spinoff. As reported in this article- The Sleep of Forgetfulness (and the Bed Remembers) - NY Times - Sept.12.04 - the key material used in the Tempur-Pedic mattress came from NASA funded research into cushioning for astronauts during launch and reentry. (See also the NASA Connection - Tempur-Pedic).

Mars home builders... The Mars Homestead Project announces plans to build a "full-scale prototype research base" on Earth to develop techniques for constructing bases on Mars: New Project To Design, Build A Home On Mars - MarsHome.org - Sept.10.04

September.10.2004 Space News

News briefs ... There will probably be at least some science rescued from the remains of the Genesis spacecraft: Genesis Capsule a 'Mangled Mess' - Space.com - Sept.9.04...

... Thinking of a "what-if" future: Noah's Ark plan from top Moon man - BBC - Sept.8.04.

The SpaceShow this week:

Sunday Sept. 12, 2004: 12:00-1:30pm Pacific TIme - The Space Show "features returning guest, Professor Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, a space law specialist from the University of Mississippi Space Law Center. Prof. Gabrynowicz is the Director of the National Remote Sensing and Space Law Center and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Space Law. She has taught space law and policy since 1987 and remote sensing law and policy since 1990..."

From the archive you can hear Jim Muncy, head of PoliSpace, talk about space legislation in an interview on the Space Show recorded last Tuesday.

September.9.2004 Space News

Comsat comeback... People buying those Hi-Definition TVs want something to watch and the satellite broadcasters aim to supply them: DirecTV to buy three Boeing satellites - spacetoday.net - Sept.8.04. The recession in the communication satellite industry that began around 2000 may be coming to an end. While a boom in new satellites is unlikely, it looks like there will be a stable demand for several years.

Despite claims that satellites would inevitably lose to high bandwidth cable, the opposite is happening. DTH is growing strongly while cable actually lost subscribers this year. Meanwhile, satellite radio is also growing rapidly.

News briefs... More on nanosats: Small satellites could be future of space technology - The Statesman [Utah State Univ.]- Sept.3.04...

... Space.com is marketing space music on its SPACEBOX site.

Tech brief... Development of the amazing Fanwing flying machine continues: A Leonardo da Vinci for the twenty-first century: It may look like a combine-harvester but a plane designed in a Tuscan farmhouse is being hailed as one of the great breakthroughs in aeronautical history. Peter Popham meets its inventor - Independent - Sept.6.04.

September.8.2004 Space News

Alt.space leaders... SpaceNews/Space.com has posted a list of the 100 people that it thinks have made the biggest contributions to space exploration and development since 1989: 100 Who Made a Difference. It includes many of the usual suspects from NASA, DOD, and the major aerospace companies. However, it also includes a number of people in the entrepreneurial/space advocacy community. See the sections on Entrepreneurs * Visionaries and Innovators * Explorers and Trailblazers * People to Watch

Nano cost sats... For about $40K-$50K it possible for even a small college research group to build a Cubesat and get it into orbit: Cubesats: Tiny Spacecraft, Huge Payoffs by Leonard David - Space.com - Sept.8.04.

News briefs... Whether it's for $20 model rockets or $260M spacecraft, reliable parachute deployment remains an unsolved problem: NASA's Genesis Probe...

... The spacetug project of Orbital Recovery continues to strengthen technically and financially as high quality aerospace companies join its team: Swedish Space Corporation negotiates strategic investment in Orbital Recovery Ltd. - Orbital Recovery - Sept.8.04 ...

... Rand Simberg lays out clearly the reasons why it currently costs so much to go to space, why this high cost is not due to any fundamental laws of physics or economics, and how the costs can be brought down significantly: The Path Not Taken - The New Atlantis - Sept.04...

... How about a series based on private Enterprise opening space? Fans Hope Suns Can Rise Again on 'Star Trek' - The New York Times - Aug.31.04

September.7.2004 Space News

News briefs ... The Congressional Budget Office releases cost estimates for the President's space initiative program: CBO Study: A Budgetary Analysis of NASA's New Vision for Space Exploration - SpaceRef - Sept.5.04....

... Dwayne Day gives his review of the CBO study: Estimating the cost of the vision by Dwayne A. Day - The Space Review - Sept.7.04....

... Sam Dinkin enters the Moon vs Mars debate on the side of our nearest heavenly body: Colonize the Moon before Mars by Sam Dinkin - The Space Review - Sept.7.04....

... Alan Wasser promotes squatters rights as a driver for lunar development: A better way to promote space settlement in our lifetimes - The Space Review - Sept.7.04.

September.1.2004 Space News

Planet search... The Dopplar method to finding planets circling other stars works best with big planets and those that orbit close to the star (i.e. those with fast orbital periods). The latest announcement of the discovery of Neptune-sized planets indicate the technique is improving and lowering the mass range that it can detect. Astronomers discover small exoplanets - spacetoday.net - Sept.1.04.

Nevertheless, finding earth sized planets in earth type orbits will require far more sensitive techniques. These include Transit Photometry (monitoring the reduction in light as a planet crosses in front of star) and interferometry.

News briefs... The GOP Platform mentions space but that's about it: Republican Party platform, 2004 edition - Space Politics - Sept.1.04....

... These slide style reports on the Mars rovers are a quick and convenient way to keep up with their latest exploits.

Continue to August 2004 articles in archive

HobbySpace News Articles Index 1999-2003


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