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The Space Log
Space for Everyone - April 2005


11:45 am: News briefs ... Posting on the Space Log will be minimal for the next few days due to my attendance at the Space Access '05 Conference. I'll be posting comments on the meeting in my RLV News section and collected on the meeting review page.. .

... "myGmaps enables you to create, save and host custom data files and display them with Google Maps." Here's an example: Anne Marte Pensgaard's Greenland Ski Expedition - Guardian Mobility - April 2005. (Via Slashdot.) ..

... The Speculist is a blog dedicated to futuristic technologies and ideas.


2:15 am: News briefs ... The astronomy site Cloudy Nights Telescope Reviews offers a lot of interesting resources such as How to . . . instructions for various star gazing techniques. Check the high quality Star Charts that the site provides for free in PDF format. You can also get them in jpeg formats here: Star Charts for PSP - a photoset on Flickr - Bernard Roth. (Item via Boing Boing) ...

... Still hoping someone will propose making aerogel artwork in space: Aerogel: The World's lightest solid - gizmag - Apr.26.05 ...

... Using micro-GPS devices to measure distances and locations while running, biking, and other outdoor sports seems to be a growing in popularity: GPS Runner * GPS Biker * GPS Athletes ...

... The home builder KBHome iw holding a "promotion in support of America's space shuttle program." The company will be giving away commemorative wristbands and is sponsoring prizes that include a trip to KSC to see the Discovery launch: KB Home Initiates National Promotion to Support Launch of NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery - SpaceRef - Apr.25.05


2:05 pm: The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday, April 26, 2005, 7:00-8:15 pm (Pacific Time ) - "Robert Zimmerman returns to The Space Show to update us on all related space news issues and more."

Sunday, May 1, 2005, 12:00-1:30 pm (Pacific Time) - "As a result of my travel to and from the Space Access Society Conference in Phoenix, this program is a replay of the recent April 12th interview with Al Zaehringer."

Shows are discussed on the Spaceshow Forum at Space Investor.

2:05 pm: This week's AMSAT news: MSAT's External Relations Team Update * Tony England, W0ORE visits with AMSAT * FM OPS on Linear Transponder * May AO-51 Operating Schedule
ARISS Status:
New Hampshire School Contact Successful * California School Contact Successful * Upcoming School Contacts * ARRL Article on Flory Contact * ARRL Article on New Crew Aboard the ISS * ARISS School Receives Award

11:50 am: News briefs ... Via Thomas James and Rand Simberg comes a link to the Big Dead Place, which depicts McMurdo Base as a less than ideal Antarctic frontier town. We perhaps can use McMurdo as a guide to things to avoid when developing space settlements. ...

... Note that despite the difficulties and dangers, there are lots of scientists lining up to go to the Antarctic in person rather than sending robots instead. In fact, most would consider it prepostrous to suggest that any current robotic system could fully replace what they do there for less cost. ...

... Taylor Dinerman suggests an unadorned, non-PR, C-SPAN style approach for US government broadcasts to the world: A satellite bouquet for Karen Hughes - The Space Review - Apr.25.05....

... More great pictures from the Saturn system: Cassini produces three stunning new views of Titan - Spaceflight Now - Apr.22.05.


12:40 pm: Comet crater contest... The Planetary Society is sponsoring a contest for the best guess of how big a crater the Deep Impact spacecraft will make when it smashes into comet Tempel-1 on July 4th, 2005. More info:

12:40 pm: News briefs ... According to this article: Whatever happened to machines that think? - New Scientist - Apr.23.05, interactive systems like Intellibuddy are becoming increasingly powerful and the famous Cyc is moving closer to having common sense and carrying out independent learning. However, we still aren't very close to a sentient AI machine like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey ...

... On the other hand, the capability to put astronauts into hibernation now seems less implausible than I thought: Mice put in 'suspended animation' - BBC - Apr.21.05 ...

... The Obergs argue that the universe is not inherently friendly to life and that human actions will be needed to protect and nurture life in our solar system for the long term: Consider cosmic view of Earth Day - USATODAY.com - Apr.21.05 ...

... Maybe these broadcasts should be aimed at Japan and Norway instead of ET: Whales in space - Cosmic Log/MSNBC - Ap.21.05.

12:40 pm: SciTech: Eclipse update... I like to monitor the Eclipse very light jet (VLJ) project because its success would offer yet another example of how entrepreneurial companies can develop and sell aerospace hardware at a significantly lower cost than what can be obtained from the mainstream giants.

It looks like Eclipse is moving steadily through its testing phase and, assuming there is no disaster, will obtain FAA certification by early 2006: Eclipse Aviation Expands Flight Test Fleet with Successful Maiden Flight of Third Eclipse 500 Jet - Eclipse Aviation - Apr.21.05. The company has 2200 planes on order for around $1.2M each, which is at least two or three times cheaper than most other business jets.

Here is a report on the Ester Dyson conference that brought alt.space and the VLJ entrepreneurs together: Why Top Techies Take to the Skies - Eclipse Aviation - Mar.25.05

12:40 pm: SciTech brief ... Check out the amateur pulse jet projects at Zach's Project Page


1:25 pm: News briefs ... Mars just gets more and more intriguing: NASA Scientist: 'Mars Could be Biologically Alive' - Space.com - Apr.19.05 ...

... A Washington Aerospace Club announcement says they are planning an exciting weekend of rocketry at their Fire in the Sky 2005 regional rocket launch event in Mansfield, Washington over Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30, 2005. Open to the public, there will be model rocket contests, a night rocketry launch, and a rocket building workshop. Other cool activities include a BalloonSat/PongSat Workshop where you can learn "to build and fly a payload via weather balloon to 100,000 feet with recovery sponsored by the Treasure Valley Near Space Program and taught by Paul Verhage." ...

... For those not living in Washington, check out the launch calendar and club listing at Rocketry Online for rocketry activities in your area....

... Space tourism gets some attention in Japan: Space tourism set to take off - Daily Yomiuri - Apr.20.05

1:25 pm: SciTech ... George Guebely is a student at the Art Institute of California, Los Angeles and a founder of Robo Monster, a competitor in the DARPA Grand Challenge robot race from LA to Las Vegas this October. He tells me they are looking for sponsors. Give them some support if you can.


11:15 am: News briefs ... Training planet hunters of all ages: More than 85,000 learn basics of planet finding - Planet Quest - Apr.18.05 ...

... Asteroid hunters develop a new rating system for the probability of an earth impact: Asteroid impact risk scale revised - spacetoday.net - Apr.18.05....

... Meanwhile, there is uncertainty about the long term threat of asteroid 2004 MN4: Earth’s gravity may lure deadly asteroid - Times - Apr.18.05.

2:05 am: Amateurs spot supernovae ... SLOOH, the robotic telescope service for the general public that I have mentioned seveal times, has scored a big success.

SLOOH Confirms the Discovery of Three Supernovae
'Slooh Online Community' First to Verify the Powerful Explosions of Supernovae SN2005ax, SN2005ay and SN2005bh

NEW YORK - April 18, 2005 - Slooh (www.slooh.com), the first online telescope community to offer live, high-quality views of outer space, has confirmed the discovery of Supernovae 2005ax, 2005ay and 2005bh, a significant milestone for the private astronomy community. Supernova 2005ax and 2005bh were discovered by amateur astronomer Tim Puckett. SN2005ax is located at a distance of 180 million light years away from Earth in the northern constellation Cepheus. SN2005bh is in spiral galaxy UGC 6495, four degrees north of the "tail" of the constellation Leo and 300 million light years away. Doug Rich, an amateur astronomer as well, discovered Supernova 2005ay, which is located 54 million light years away, beneath the bowl of the Big Dipper in the northern constellation of Ursa Major. The findings were verified by Slooh member Lode Stevens, an astronomer with the Europlanetarium in Belgium, using Slooh's online telescopes.

Via the Internet, Slooh allows members to remotely access and control its high-powered telescopes which are situated at an elevation of 7900 feet on Mt. Teide, at the Institute of Astrophysics in the Canary Islands, one of the world's best locations for astronomical viewing. Slooh's patent pending technology collects the light of distant celestial objects and develops the images in real time as members look on. The telescopes are stationed five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, which enables members in North America to see the night sky during daylight hours in the U.S., starting as early as 2pm EST.

"This showcases the power of the Slooh community cooperating together to explore the universe" said Michael Paolucci, President and Founder of Slooh. "The supernovae discoveries immediately became featured Slooh missions for all members to see LIVE."

In confirming the discovery, Stevens said, "Because of Slooh's unique technology and excellent viewing location, we were able to confirm the existence of the supernovae, which our observatory would not have been able to achieve alone. This is a great discovery for astronomy."

"For a short period of time a single star can outshine an entire galaxy, so you can only imagine the amount of energy released. A supernova discovery is both scientifically important as well as fascinating," said David Bishop, webmaster of the International Supernovae Network, which is used by both amateur and professional astronomers alike. "Slooh has been a very useful resource for confirming Supernovae. Before you can report a supernova you need a confirmation image. Slooh's location and ease of operation makes it ideal for this task."

Since its launch nearly a year ago, Slooh has added numerous new features including Slooh Radio, a nightly live audio feed of leading astronomy personalities who describe Slooh missions in progress as they take questions from members. Featured speakers have included David Levy, co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy and Bob Berman of Astronomy Magazine. Most recently, Slooh partnered with Discovery.com with the mutual goal of making astronomy and the online exploration of space easy and affordable for the general public.

Slooh's basic membership costs $49.95 per year for unlimited group missions, plus 15 minutes of solo mission time. Deluxe membership is $99.95 per year for unlimited group missions, plus 90 minutes of solo mission time. Additional solo time can be purchased in 15-minute intervals for $19.95. A monthly membership of $7.95 per month is also available. Slooh is available online for a 7-night free trial and requires only a 56K modem and Flash 7.

About Slooh

Bringing the rhythms and wonders of outer space to people of all ages, Slooh's mighty telescopes are the centerpiece of LIVE interactive 'missions' to hundreds of known wonders of the universe. Slooh has stationed high-powered telescopes at the Institute of Astrophysics in the Canary Islands, one of the world's best locations for astronomical viewing. Slooh's missions are driven by its patent pending LightMachine(tm) technology, which accumulates the light of distant celestial objects and displays them in real time for the viewing audience. With members in over 60 countries, Slooh has been named Duke's Choice Award by Sun Microsystems and PC Magazine's site of the day. For more information, please visit www.slooh.com.

See also the article: Star Hunting for the Rest of Us - Wired - Apr.18.05

2:05 am: The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday, April 19, 2005, 7:00-8:15 pm (Pacific Time ) - The show will feature Linda Plush of the Space Nursing Society.

Thursday, April 21, 2005, 7:00-8:30 pm (Pacific Time) - The show will feature Professor Allan Paull, international program leader for HyShot scramjet test program from Univ. of Queensland, Australia. .

Sunday, April 24, 2005, 12:00-1:30 pm (Pacific Time) - The show will feature im Benson, CEO and Chairman of SpaceDev.

Shows are discussed on the Spaceshow Forum at Space Investor.

2:05 am: This week's AMSAT news: ARISS Chairman Presentation at Dayton * AMSAT Awards Issued * PCSAT2 One Step Closer to Launch
ARISS Status:
NASA Explorer School Contact Successful * ARRL Article on Science Discovery Center Contact * New Russian QSL Card *


12:15 pm: Apollo 13's 35th ... It has been 35 years since the Apollo 13 mission. Here are several recent articles related to the missio:

1:45 am: Sat photo boomlet ... I recently mentioned that maps.google.com was turning satellite photos into mass market items. Looks like there are already some cool innovative applications.

Jamais Cascio in Satellites for Everyone - WorldChanging - Apr.15.05 points to the photo sharing site Flickr where one can put links and comments on images. People are now using this capability to map out there lives on satellite photos. See these examples of Flickr: Memory Maps. ...

... Here's an odd satellite photo hobby - collecting images of signs Readable From Space.

1:45 am: News briefs ... A revival of interest in classical Greek civilization may be a spinoff of satellite imaging technology: Decoded at last: the 'classical holy grail' that may rewrite the history of the world - The Independent - Apr.17.05 ...

... Smart-1 is providing additional data on high points at the lunar poles where the sun always shines: SMART-1 search for lunar peaks of eternal light - ESA - Apr.15.05. Here's an earlier article about a similar search using data from the Clementine mission.: Perfect Spot Found for Moon Base - Space.com - Apr.13.05


3:05 pm: Lunar colonization documentary will premier at the upcoming National Space Society conference in Washington D.C. Producer Chip Proser sent me this press release about the GaiaSelene documentary debut. (Check out the interview with Mr. Proser at the SpaceShow from November 2004.)

GaiaSelene Premier
International Space Development Conference
Washington. DC – May 19th

There are two and a half ways to save the Earth and two of them are on the Moon.

What are the most compelling reasons for space colonization?

Gaia Selene - Saving the Earth by Colonizing the Moon, a new feature documentary, connects our current crisis in pollution, global warming and climate change to the coming world-wide energy crisis.

A new technological study shows that by the year 2050 we will need three times as much primary power and it will have to be three times as clean. There is no earthly technology now on line, or capable of coming on line by the year 2050, that can solve our energy problem.

But don't worry! We have developed space technology.

Space Solar Power is clean and renewable. It could replace polluting fossil fuel plants.

Lunar Solar Power uses collectors crafted from lunar material and could microwave power back to earth.

Power from Moon Dust- Forty tons of 3Helium in Fusion Reactors could power the U. S for a year, and would be worth 320 Billion Dollars.

We have already spent a trillion dollars on space technology. Now it is time to build on what we started forty years ago. We can and will do it.

The Meek Shall Inherit the Earth ... The Rest...is Ours!

Emmy Award Winning Documentary Producer Charles Proser presents Gaia Selene, a new documentary on the exciting New Frontier and the future of “Homo Spaciens”.


  • Dr. Alan Binder.....Principal Investigator - Lunar Prospector
  • Dr. Martin Hoffert....New York University
  • Daniel Lashof.....Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Dr. David Lockbaum.....Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Dr. Gerald Kulcinski..... Nuclear Fusion Laboratory, University of Wisconsin
  • Dr. David Criswell..... University of Houston
  • Dr. Bradley Edwards.....Institute for Scientific Research / Carbon Graphics
  • John C. Hemry, Author
  • Dr. David Schrunk....."The Moon, its Resources, Colonization”
  • Dr. Paul Spudis, Johns Hopkins University, Presidential Commission on Space
  • Mark Solter, Astrominer
  • Peter Kokh, The Moon Society
  • Dr. John Lewis....."Mining the Sky...University of Arizona
  • Dr. Patrick Collins.....SpaceFuture.com; Tokyo University


SETI SuperStar

10:55 am: HS is a SETI Superstar ... My SETI section was chosen by the SETI League as their April SETI SuperStar site. I thank them for the recognition. ...

... Alexander Zaitsev at IRE RAS (Institute of Radioengineering and Electronics of Russian Academy of Sciences) sent me the news. The IRE RAS site has a lot of interesting resources such as the Interstellar Radio Messages page. (This paper is certainly not your everyday science article.)

10:55 am: News briefs ... Occasionally one reads descriptions of space travel, typically from those who want to stop the funding of human spaceflight, as some kind of horrible ordeal. But the people who have actually gone into space almost always depict the experience as one of the greatest of their lives, if not THE greatest. E.g.: Amazing Space: Six months in space affected NASA astronaut Michael Fincke physically and emotionally. Why he can't wait to blast off again. - Newsweek/MSNBC - Apr.12.05 ....

... Glad that Mr. Gagnon will get to see one of his mission patches fly to space. Mission patch work of Titusville man: Designs will blast into space Thursday - Florida Today - Apr.13.05. More about mission patches in the Space Art and Space Collecting sections....

... Students make contributions to aerospace material science: Students find inclusions in shuttle debris - Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Apr.13.05


8:35 pm: A "true-science Mars exploration novel" in the near future is the description of Shadows of Medusa by Brian Enke. The story involves the first human flight to Mars and the secrecy and intrigue surrounding the mission, which is threatened by a "web of murder and deceit".

Brian works as a research analyst in the Department of Space Studies at the Southwest Research Institute. In his spare time he is also involved with the Mars Society and has worked as a director for mission simulations at the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station and the Mars Desert Research Station. So when he writes about future Mars missions, he knows his stuff.

Sounds like great solar sci-fi for your summer reading. Check out the Shadows of Medusa Forum and the book order page.

8:35 pm: News briefs ... Leonard David reports on a good place to put a lunar colony: Perfect Spot Found for Moon Base - Space.com - Apr.13.05 ...

... The safe return of Apollo 13 was no accident: Apollo 13, We Have a Solution: Rather than hurried improvisation, saving the crew of Apollo 13 took years of preparation - by Stephen Cass - IEEE Spectrum - Apr.13.05 (via Transterrestrial).

11:25 am: Spacefaring to prevent a big bang ... In reference to a Washington Post article about the possibility of an asteroid or comet colliding with the earth, I suggested on Monday that we need a space infrastructure in place to prevent such a cataclysm. Rand Simberg makes an argument along similar line: Stuck In Cis-Lunar Space - Transterrestrial Musings - Apr.11.05. We need more than an "Apollo-like program" to get us "in a position to deal with these kinds of threats."

This is particularly true for a comet, which most likely will hit just a few months after we first see it. We need to have a well developed spacefaring community in place from which we can then start a crash program, so to speak.

11:25 am: News briefs ... With my Eyes in the Sky section, I've made informing visitors about satellite photo access a priority from the beginning of HobbySpace. Looks like Google maps will finally turn sat photo viewing into a mass market activity: Surprises Lurk in Satellite Snaps - Wired - Apr.13.05 ...

... On the near space front, Sanswire unveils its airship: Robot plane ready to connect your call? - CNET - Apr.12.05.

11:25 am: SciTech news ... Here are some cool items from the frontier of optics:

A 3D display shows great depth and you don't need special glasses to appreciate it: Japanese 3D display goes the distance: University of Tokyo scientists create a 3D display with an image depth of several metres - optics.org - April.12.05 ...

... I bet LEDs take over most lighting jobs in the next decade: Brighter LEDs challenge car lamps: Single LEDs are now bright enough to meet standards in the car industry - optics.org - Apr.5.05 ...

... Artificial vision is making steady progress: Artificial vision gets resolution boost: US scientists design an optoelectronic retina with 2500 pixels per millimeter - optics.org - April.7.05


11:25 am: News briefs... Here's an interesting new way to look for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence located in other star systems: New Method Could Detect Alien Space Stations - Universe Today - Apr.11.05. Note that in terms of construction materials, humans already could create stations of the size show in this artwork. Far older civilizations could certainly create very large space structures. ...

... Chinese amateur astronomy is alive and well: Amateur Chinese astronomer spots fast-moving space object - People's Daily Online -- Apr.11.05 ...

... Here's some background info as Michael Griffin begins his confirmation process: NASA's future lies on moon, Mars - USATODAY.com - Apr.12.05 ...

... A scientist's view of space policy: Exploring the Universe by Roger Blandford - Physics Today - April 2005 (via NASA Watch).

11:25 am: The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday, April 12, 2005, 7:00-8:15 pm (Pacific Time ) - Al Zaehringer, author of Rocket Science, returns as the guest regarding chemical rocket economics and more.

Sunday, April 17, 2005, 12:00-1:30 pm (Pacific Time) - the show will feature Simon Mitton, author of a new book about Fred Hoyle and his work, will be the guest for this program.

Recent shows include an interview with Henry Vanderbilt, head of the Space Access Society.

11:25 am: This week's AMSAT news: Forwarding AMSAT KEPs Data Permitted * SSETI Express Progress Update * PCSAT2 Arrives at the Launch Pad
ARISS Status:
Texas School Contact Successful * Upcoming School Contacts * ARRL Article on Chiao Contacts * ARISS International Meeting, 2005 * Dayton Hamvention 2005 Events * Brazilian Amateur Radio Group Interested in ARISS


1:35 pm: News briefs... It would help the cause if the R&D factions would promote science and engineering in general rather than constantly trying to undercut the other guys funding and claiming "My research is more important than theirs": Our Incredible Shrinking Curiosity - Washington Post - Apr.9.05 ...

... Maybe it will eventually become obvious that preventing a catastrophic collision of the earth with an asteroid or comet is plenty reason enough to build a space infrastructure: Science's Doomsday Team vs. the Asteroids - Washington Post - Apr.9.05 ...

... The annual Great Moonbuggy Race (are there any "so-so" moonbuggy races?) seems to have gone well:Utah State 1st in buggy race - Huntsville Times - Apr.10.05 * Utah State University Triumphs in College Division Of NASA's 12th Annual 'Great Moonbuggy Race' Saturday - NASA - Apr.9.05


12:55 pm: Solar sci-fi brief ... HS reader G. Dean recommends writer Michael Flynn and his Firestar Saga. The series appears to be solidly in the solar sci-fi spirit with a near term future scenario in which entrepreneurs develop "space industrialization and colonization" and attempt to divert an asteroid from colliding with earth.

The Firestar Saga comprises four books: Firestart, Rogue Star, Lodestar, and Falling Stars (Amazon affiliate links). I think I will pick them up.

12:55 pm: Yuri's Night reminder ... Don't forget to party for space on April 12th with the worldwide Yuri's night celebration. See the party list to find one near you.

At the LA Yuri's Night party, the "novelist, poet, and film artist Vanna Bonta" will premier her original musical film short, “What Goes Up”:. Vanna Bonta DVD 'What Goes Up' To Premiere at World Space Party Planet Wide - PR/eMediaWire - Apr.8.05. The DVD

features an original song and music video, as well two additional tracks of a special greeting from the astronauts aboard the International Space Station to the Yuri's Night World Space Party celebrants and a special message taped from the depths of the sea from Yuri's Night co-creator Loretta Hidalgo. The DVD also includes a Special Bonus track of the new NASA Exploration Systems’ Public Service Announcement “Reach.”

12:55 pm: News briefs ... Gee, even I didn't realize the space memorabilia market had grown to the point it could drive a museum director to crime: Former Museum Director Indicted in Theft of Space Artifacts - Space.com - Apr.7.05 ...

... Heavens! A US government agency is using commercial enterprises to help it better serve the public: The final frontier?: Strapped for money, NASA is offering to sell online corporate sponsorships - Miami Herald - Apr.8.05. What a scandal! ...

... Check out these cool satellite photos: Space Station Crew Photographs NASA Shuttle Discovery's Rollout to Launch Complex 39B - From Orbit - SpaceRef - Apr.6.05 * Volcano Eruption Spotted from Space - LiveScience - Apr.7.05 ...

... The The Great Moonbuggy Race may not compete with stock car racing yet but it looks like a great spectator sport: Moonbuggy Race is coming to a lunar surface near you - Huntsville Times - Apr.7.05.

12:55 pm: SciTech brief ... Feeding EVs and producing hydrogen for fuel cells seems like a perfect job for nuclear plants: Nuclear Now!: How clean, green atomic energy can stop global warming - Wired - Feb.2005


10:15 pm: SciTech briefs ... NASA will let the rovers rove until they can rove no more: Mars rovers go into triple overtime - Return to the Red Planet - MSNBC.com - Apr.5.05 ...

... Perhaps someday BIG BLUE from Kentucky will fly above other rovers on Mars: Into the Blue with Big Blue: Engineering students are building an airplane to explore the planet - Lexington Herald-Leader - Apr.6.05 ...

... Get set to rock your space socks off on April 12th: Yuri's Night Set to Rock the Planet April 12 - adAstra/Space.com - Apr.6.05 ...

... According to this article (in Russian), in 2006 Roskosmos will carry out an experiment named Mars-500 in which six men will live in a spaceship size module for 500 days to simulate a mission to Mars. The article also discusses plans to develop a nuclear power system for Mars missions. (Link via F. Novoshilov) ...

... And lastly, the article mentions that a space tourist will travel on a Soyuz to the ISS in 2006 and another will go there in 2007. This article also reports on Russian space tourist plans: Another Orbital Tourist to Fly Next Year - RIA Novosti - Apr.6.05 ...

... After watching the Space Show, you can discuss the interview with other listeners at the Spaceshow Forum hosted by Space Investor

10:15 pm: SciTech briefs ... I wonder if this super efficient thermoelectric effect (assuming the theory works when implemented in hardware) would work well between the sunny side and the cooler shadowed side of a spacecraft? Reversible Thermoelectric Nanomaterials - WorldChanging - Apr.6.05 * Scientists discover better way to generate power from thermal sources - Eurekalert - Apr.5.05 ...

... Wing power is nearly competitive already with more conventional power sources and new improved wind generators keep coming along. For example, this system with multiple rotors per generator looks quite promising: Selsam Wind Turbine ...

... My Mom has always wanted to live in a houseboat on the lake. Seems a bit boring to me but a Trilobis 65 Floating Home looks like a really cool aquatic abode, assuming you put it on a clear water lake or lagoon. You can even combine modules to make a futuristic vertical mansion from the top of a cliff down to the sea: Cliff Top (and bottom) Living - gizmag. You can hire Sub-Find to arrange for access to submarine transport.


2:20 pm: The SpaceShow this week:

Tuesday, April 5, 2005, 7:00-8:15 pm (Pacific Time ) - Dr. Patrick Collins is the guest. This program was recorded live in January 2005 and is a replay for this date.

Sunday, April 10, 2005, 12:00-1:30 pm (Pacific Time) features Henry Vanderbilt of Space Access Society is the guest for this repeat show from two weeks ago.

Recent shows include interviews with Alan Binder, head of the Lunar Prospector project, and David Schrunk who discussed space law.

2:20 pm: This week's AMSAT news: ANS Editors Wanted * AMSAT-DC Meeting * Special Event Station * AMSAT AT Dayton * ARISS Status: ARRL Article on St. Martins Contact * Upcoming School Contacts * ISS Ham Radios to be Cycled * SSTV Outgassing Tests Performed * SuitSat Meeting Held

12:25 pm: News briefs ... Check out the gorgeous pictures taken by astronauts like this view of Noctilucent clouds....

... And also find your neighborhood with this cool satellite mapping tool now available at maps.google.com. Select the satellite option in the top right and then enter an address of interest in the top box. I was able to zoom in on our condo in Maryland and on my Mom's place in Tennessee. The DigitalGlobe images are very sharp. (I think this is currently only available for US and Canada.)

... The new Explore Universe site provides space resources of various kinds, especially for young people. Check out the the space jokes section....

... This "planet" may actually be more of a failed star (i.e. a brown dwarf) but the image indicates the increasing resolution that will eventually lead to imaging someday of earth sized planets: First image of exoplanet orbiting Sun-like star - New Scientist - Apr.4.05 * Astronomers claim to take picture of exoplanet - spacetoday.net - Apr.5.05.


12:25 pm: News briefs ... Don't forget Astronomy Day on April 16th. Here are some Astronomy Day links that include even e-Cards ...

... Kids can learn about the nation's primary spysat agency via NRO Junior (NROjr.gov), which even includes some space music. (No, this is not an April Fools item.)...

... These university students will tackle the tough challenge of designing a suit for Mars explorers: Wanted: North Dakota students to design Mars space suit - Grand Forks Herald - Apr.1.05 ...

... Alex Panchenko runs USSR-Airspace.com, a Russian aviation and space collectibles store. Alex's site often includes photos sent to him by cosmonauts on the ISS such as this one of Salizhan Sharipov holding artwork by the cosmonaut Alexei Lenonov.

12:55 am: Art-Music-Astro dialogue ... The experimental electronic music group Flow Motion from London will exhibit new work that combines music, visual art, and astrophysics:

Flow Motion's

John Hansard Gallery, University of Southampton, Southampton
t +44 (0) 23 8059 2158
Exhibition runs 5 April - 14 May

The forthcoming exhibition, Astro Black Morphologies, is a multi media exhibition of work by artists Flow Motion that creates a dialogue between contemporary astronomy, digital art, and electronic music.

Flow Motion [artists and musicians Eddie George and Anna Piva] have been working with experts in the field of astrophysics to produce this unique and fascinating piece of work.

In 2002 scientist Phil Uttley at the University of Southampton announced that data readings of X-ray detritus from black hole Cygnus-X1 showed patterns of variation which were implicitly musical in structure.

Working with Phil Uttley, Flow Motion used the X-ray data gathered by NASA's Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer satellite as the basis of the installations, and collaborated with astronomer Tim O'Brien at Jodrell Bank Observatory to convert the data into audible phenomena.

Using the processed based technologies and techniques for subtracting, reshaping, and resounding sound sources particular of granular synthesis, Dub and electronica, Flow Motion make audible the music of black hole Cygnus-X1. With generative design by Adrian Ward, the resulting installations transform Cygnus-X1's data into a multisensory experience of
colour, light and sound.

(Press release via www.artscatalyst.org )

Here are some images of their work exhibited in 2001 at the institute of international visual arts. Edward George and Anna Piva have also experienced weightlessness via a plane in Russia flying parabolas and made recordings during the flight. More about this in their entry at spacearts.info.

1:35 am: News briefs... More space music: 'Heavens Above': Symphony, NASA look to the stars - The Clarion-Ledger (Mississippi) - Mar.31.05 ...

... Here's a good deal (and a good gift if you are already a NSS member): Special Offer: One Year Membership to the National Space Society, Free Subscription to Ad Astra magazine, plus Sky Voyager DVD Set ...

... Here's an usual project that involves the building of the ultimate chopper style motorcycle in tribute to the space shuttle: Space Shuttle Tribute Bike (via NASA Watch.) ...

... The Phantom Planet is apparently (I've not seen it yet) a very B-type B-movie but it's interesting that you can legally download a complete film for free....

... Speaking of melodramas, the intra-family battle over Voom and Cablevision has become quite a soap opera: Dolan pledges to keep Voom operating - spacetoday.net - Mar.31.05 ...

... And speaking of satellite media, I saw this report on TV the other day and it was quite well done: Satellite Radio's Two-Way Competition Takes Aim at Broadcast Radio - PBS Online NewsHour - Mar.30.05 ...

... And here is more about the impact of satellites on our lives: Visions from Above: Satellites in Our Lives - California Space Authority (CSA) ...

... This student competition rewards a winning essay in support of science and math learning with a space artifact: Students shoot for the stars - Herald Sun (Victoria Au) - Mar.31.05 ...

... Hal Clement was the first to see (via his imagination) the lunar electric haze. Moon Fountains: When astronauts return to the Moon in the years ahead, they might encounter electrified fountains and other strange things. - Science@NASA - Mar.30.05

1:35 am: Sci-tech briefs ... Usually fuel cell discussions center on the PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) type that runs only on pure hydrogen. However, there are various other types of fuel cells. For example, here is a report from a company called Franklin Fuel Cells about a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that runs not only on hydrogen but also on hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline: Franklin Fuel Cells demonstrate SOFC that can run on gasoline - Fuel Cell Today - Mar.30.05 * New On-Board Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Delivers 50% Efficiency - Green Car Congress - Mar.31.05.

With hybrids coming on strong, this type of fuel cell might be more competitive since it would not require a complete hydrogen infrastructure to be put in place. ...

... Speaking of gasoline, the Department of Transportation site www.fueleconomy.gov provides lots of info on auto fuel efficiency. And The Cost of Energy website from Lou Grinzo provides resources " to help non-experts teach themselves about the issues and policies surrounding energy."

Continue to March 2005 articles in archive

HobbySpace News Articles Index 1999-2004


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The Hobbyspace
The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
NewSpace Watch at NSG




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