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| || UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND CONVENTIONS|
Known as the premier global space conference - the 33rd Space Symposium, held April 3 - 6, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will convene space leaders to discuss critical issues affecting all space sectors. The Symposium is considered the "must attend" event of the year for making critical and profitable connections.
By Alla Malko
On December 2016 Mark Hopkins, CEO of the NSS, was invited by NASA administrator Charles Bolden to attend a Holiday Reception at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. There were representatives of many national and international space agencies, including NASA, Boeing, SpaceX, Blue Origin, ESA, JAXA, and others. Everybody there was in a holiday spirit and were networking in a laid-back atmosphere. Mark Hopkins spoke to various members of the space industry to promote NSS activities and seek for possible sponsors and partners for futures ISDC and Space Settlement Summits. Most people show admiration for NSS as a leader in promoting space and STEM education for both the youth and lay public. At the same time, Mark Hopkins was invited to join special guests Taraji Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, and Pharrell Williams for a screening of HIDDEN FIGURES at the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington DC. After the screening, there was a reception and further opportunity to network with the space art and education community.
All these invitations highlight the respect and acceptance that NSS has acquired as a key space movement organization.
Mark Hopkins with NASA administrator Charles Bolden
Mark Hopkins with SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell
Mark Hopkins with the JAXA representative
Mark Hopkins with Director of the Johnson Space Center, Ellen Ochoa
Filmmakers and actresses on a screening of HIDDEN FIGURES
The Enterprise In Space Orbital Debris Mitigation Student Competition is expected to launch student experiments that will support a new technology for orbital debris mitigation or develop new experiments for orbital debris detection. The competition, which started December 1st, 2016, is being led by Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC), the leading organization in charge of the Enterprise Centre for Excellence in Space Orbital Debris Detection and Remediation. The competition is organized in different phases, at the end of which the best experiments will fly to space. GAC is managing the competition, supervising the students, and will select the best experiments. The experiments will support the Gossamer Orbit Lowering Device (GOLD) inflatable deorbit system or will perform orbital debris detection and tracking. Students from universities are invited to compete by submitting to GAC their ideas and proposals for experiments on the GAC Debris Mitigation CubeSat. The student projects will be self-funded. GAC will monitor the students and their projects as the experiments are designed and built. During the mission, students from universities, and possibly high schools, might be involved in many ways: for example, by tracking the CubeSat and predicting its orbit.
ISDC 2017 will be rockin’ from 9am until midnight May 25th-29th with plenary sessions, break-out sessions, lunch speakers, dinner events, receptions, a huge Exhibit Midway, music, and infotainment. To kick off the infotainment events, we will show the documentary Fight for Space on Thursday, May 25th and host an interactive panel discussion about the contents of the documentary. Director and writer, Paul Hildebrandt, will be on the panel and several interviewees will be in attendance. On Friday, May 26th, the STEAM Screening of short films created especially for ISDC with the theme “Spirit of Exploration and Discovery” will premiere. These films were created under the direction of Frank Pietronigro and Zero Gravity Arts Consortium. Stay tuned for Saturday night’s infotainment event!
by Michael Molitch-Hou
Students, you can 3D print something in space. Help drive innovation forward in space manufacturing technology by entering the Print the Future Contest. Click here for more information.
By Enterprise In Space, a project of NSS
Imagine and share with us the exciting environment of Low Earth Orbit in one of many ways. Are you ready for the next great adventure? To mark the first steps of the National Space Society's Enterprise In Space (EIS) program that will send over 100 student experiments into Low Earth Orbit (LEO), we are offering this worldwide search to find a group of kindred spirits to embark on this exciting adventure challenge. We want to see what a low Earth orbit adventure means to you! Imagine yourself as a professional engineer, designer, advertiser, writer, or artist that has been hired to create promotional materials about LEO and its environment. What topic or aspect about LEO would your choose to promote? What format would you use to present it to your customer? Show us, and you could become part of history as one of the first groups of students to win the chance to virtually make this incredible journey into low Earth orbit. You can be one of the first EIS virtual crew members! See more about the challenge here.
| || NSS CHAPTERS ROUNDUP
By Claire McMurray
By Michael Stennecken, DRG e.V. /German Space Society with Claire McMurray
Gene Cernan, the Last Man to leave our "8th Continent" (the Moon—after Europe, Asia, Africa, South-, North-America Australia, and Antarctica) passed away on January 16, 2017 at the age of 82. Now the half of the 12 Moon-walking astronauts are still alive. In nine Moon missions, 24 men reached the Moon (three of them twice); 10 of them are dead now. In this list you can see who they were: Apollo 8, 1968 orbital mission—Borman, Anders, Lovell; Apollo 10, 1969 orbital mission— Stafford, Young, Cernan; Apollo 11, 1969 first landing—Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins; Apollo 12, also a 1969 landing—Conrad, Bean, Gordon; Apollo 13, 1971 could not land, but got farthest past the Moon—Lovell, Haise, Swigert; Apollo 14, 1971 landing—Shepard, Mitchell, Roosa; Apollo 15, 1971 landing—Scott, Irwin, Worden; Apollo 16, 1972 landing—Young, Duke, Mattingly; and Apollo 17, 1972 (last) landing—Cernan, Schmitt, Evans. I myself [Stennecken] had no opportunity to meet Cernan, only years ago his partner of the Apollo 17 mission, Jack Schmitt, the Last Man to enter the Moon and also the only professional scientist to walk on the Moon so far. Whatever we leave – Moon or Earth –we hopefully can say "We came in Peace for all Mankind."
Credit: Stenneken; Lunar rock and rover by NASA/Cernan
By Jim Merriman, edited by Claire McMurray
Jim Merriman’s interest in space started early, with the 1959-60 TV show Men into Space, and a “Man in Space” Disney Comic book he found at Sears when he was nine. Three years later, he had a friend show him how to make rockets. After joining the Air Force, Jim found a copy of Space World magazine (Ad Astra’s predecessor) in the base library and subscribed. There he learned about the National Space Institute, joined, and remained a member on and off as NSI combined with the L5 Society to become the National Space Society. In the 1980s, Jim enjoyed Space Week activities as an active member of the original St. Louis Space Frontier. Attending his first ISDC in 2010 inspired him to push for a St. Louis ISDC. After a 2012 visit to Mike Mackowski (one of the original St. Louis Space Frontier organizers), Jim helped organize the new St. Louis Space Frontier NSS chapter. Now serving on their board of directors, he has helped with outreach and with planning their regional “Gateway to Space” conferences. He also serves as treasurer and board member of The Space Museum in Bonne Terre, Missouri, where he gives tours to visitors, does public outreach, and helps archive space artifacts and memorabilia. Currently Jim is extremely active as one of the volunteers working—at last!—on programing and tours for the 2017 St. Louis ISDC. That’s the kind of service that keeps a chapter active!
By Marianne Dyson
Space books keep us informed, stimulate our imaginations of the future of human space travel, and make excellent gifts. Your purchases through the NSS link (of books or anything else!) to Amazon also provide a credit to NSS to use for our educational programs. Check out this new title at NSS Reading Space:
Non-Fiction: Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly, reviewed by Mark Lardas. The book behind the current motion picture about the black women mathematicians who helped win the space race.
Don't forget to check the archives for books you may have missed, including some classics. Use the "MORE" links to read over 300 reviews of nonfiction, fiction, and children's books.
By Edward Ellegood, Florida Space Report
President Trump's 'Mysteries of Space' Joins Inaugural Speech Tradition (Source: Space.com)
President Donald Trump took the oath of office in Washington, D.C., today (Jan. 20) and mentioned space exploration — if for one fleeting moment — as one of the paths forward to make America great again. "No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again," Trump said in his inaugural address. "We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow." (1/20)
Trump Names Former Climate Scientist to NASA Advisory Role (Source: WIRED)
Greg Autry and Erik Noble have been named as presidential liaisons at NASA. Both have backgrounds in the field, and Noble has even done some climate science. Trump named Autry his White House liaison and Noble his White House senior advisor at NASA. They’ll probably work together to maintain open lines of communication between the space agency and the Oval Office. Autry, in addition to serving on Trump’s NASA-specific transition team, has been a professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business focusing on commercial spaceflight. He’s also the coauthor of Death by China, an alarmist look at Sino-American trade relations. That suggests pro-Elon, anti-taikonaut views. Noble is a veteran of the Trump campaign, in which he served as a data analyst. Before that, he was an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Center, doing climate and weather prediction modeling. Such a background would not seem to square with Trump’s climate change denialism and clear disdain for government-funded climate research. “Having someone in this position with such a strong background in atmospheric science is a good thing,” says Marco Tedesco. (1/21)
A Vehicle for Ferrying Space Tourists on Missions to the Moon (Source: Globe & Mail)
Last summer, Imaginactive released the Solar Express space train concept, which reduced travel time between Earth and Mars. Creating a space train is not a new idea. In fact, Dr. Buzz Aldrin is working on a similar concept that would help us colonize the solar system in different stages. Our Cycler concept finds its inspiration from the Aldrin Mars Cycler project. We tried to imagine how a spacecraft like this would look if it were built with technology being developed today. Therefore the Cycler pictures technology from Bigelow Aerospace, Masten Space Systems, and SpaceX, among others. The Cycler’s largest part would be Bigelow Aerospace’s inflatable B330 modules, which would be linked together to form a series of three space wagons. These modules would be attached together by an interface modules (IM) that would each include lateral ‘Jefferies’ tubes connectors. Each Cycler would be manned by four astronauts and would each be capable of transporting up to 12 passengers, most of whom would probably be space tourists going on the six-day trip around the Moon. Click here. (1/22)
NASA Moves to Secure Commercial Crew as Obama Administration Exits (Source: Parabolic Arc)
NASA had made a couple of major moves relating to human spaceflight this month as the Obama Administration would down toward its exit at noon on Friday. On Jan. 3, the space agency announced it had awarded four additional flights apiece to Boeing and SpaceX to carry crews to and from the International Space Station (ISS). Each company now has six flights for their Starliner and Crew Dragon vehicles, respectively. “The additional flights will allow the commercial partners to plan for all aspects of these missions while fulfilling space station transportation needs,” NASA said. “Awarding these missions now will provide greater stability for the future space station crew rotation schedule, as well as reduce schedule and financial uncertainty for our providers,” said Phil McAlister, director, NASA’s Commercial Spaceflight Development Division. “The ability to turn on missions as needed to meet the needs of the space station program is an important aspect of the Commercial Crew Program.” (1/18)
SpaceX to Reopen Legendary Kennedy Launch Site (Source: Florida Politics)
Kennedy Space Center is getting back in the rocket business, now that SpaceX is back in business. SpaceX is planning to launch its next rockets in the next few weeks from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. They will be the first rockets to blast off from Kennedy Space Center since the space shuttle program was shut down more than five years ago. NASA announced Thursday that the company will launch another cargo load to the International Space Station on a Falcon 9 rocket, sometime in February, from Launch Complex 39A. The exact date has not been set. But that won’t even be the first. SpaceX also is planning a private launch from the site before then, though the company has not announced any details on the exact date or customer. The company is in line to lift two different commercial satellite missions into space this winter, for the Luxembourg SES-10 satellite, and for the Brazilian EchoStar satellite. (1/19)
How Cheap Internet Access Could Be SpaceX’s Secret Weapon (Source: Fortune)
In November, SpaceX filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission to launch 4,425 satellites into orbits between 690 and 825 miles above the Earth. “Once fully deployed, the SpaceX System will pass over virtually all parts of the Earth’s surface and therefore, in principle, have the ability to provide ubiquitous global service,” SpaceX said in its application. “Every point on the Earth’s surface will see, at all times, a SpaceX satellite.” To put this project’s ambitions into context, there are currently 4,256 satellites orbiting the planet. Only 1,419 of them are working. The rest are effectively space junk. So Musk wants to put three times as many satellites into the sky as there are in operation right now. SpaceX will first deploy 1,600 satellites to offer Internet access in the U.S., and the rest to expand coverage around the world. It’s not clear whether SpaceX will offer access directly or through other companies like Google, which in 2015 participated in a $1 billion investment in SpaceX to help it build satellites. (1/18)
NASA Installs SLS Platforms in VAB (Source: Florida Today)
Kennedy Space Center recently completed a significant milestone in its preparations to work on the Space Launch System exploration rocket. The last of 20 platforms — paired to form 10 levels — that will give workers access to the 322-foot rocket and Orion crew capsules was installed in High Bay 3 of the Vehicle Assembly Building. NASA and contractor employees signed the last platform half before hoisting it into position on the uppermost level earlier this month. The space agency is targeting a late 2018 test flight of the SLS and an unmanned Orion from launch pad 39B. (1/22)
Who Launches What, Carrying How Much From Where. (Source: SPACErePORT)
The SPACErePORT's chart of international orbital launch vehicles has been updated and now includes 58 rockets that are operational, in development, or proposed, operating from spaceports around the globe. The chart also gives payload capacities to low Earth orbit. Click here. (1/23)
Scientists Enter Hawaii Dome in Eight-Month Mars Space Mission Study (Source: Reuters)
Six scientists have entered a dome perched atop a remote volcano in Hawaii where they will spend the next eight months in isolation to simulate life for astronauts traveling to Mars, the University of Hawaii said. The study is designed to help NASA better understand human behavior and performance during long space missions as the U.S. space agency explores plans for a manned mission to the Red Planet. The crew will perform geological field work and basic daily tasks in the 1,200-square-foot (365 m) dome, located in an abandoned quarry 8,000 feet (2.5 km) above sea level on the Mauna Loa volcano on Hawaii's Big Island. There is little vegetation and the scientists will have no contact with the outside world, said the university, which operates the dome. Communications with a mission control team will be time-delayed to match the 20-minute travel time of radio waves passing between Earth and Mars. (1/20)
Red Zeitgeist: Popular Entertainment and the Settlement of Mars (Source: Space Review)
The success of the National Geographic Channel series about Mars exploration has been enough to warrant a second season. Dwayne Day takes another look at that series and the overall interest in the Red Planet, in both fact and fiction. Click here. (1/16)
Ad Astra Magazine - Winter 2016
- INTERNATIONAL SPACE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE: ONE CONFERENCE, MANY VOICES By Christine Nobbe
- INTERNATIONAL SPACE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE 2016: DREAM BIG, BUILD SMALL By Clifford R. McMurray
- INTERNATIONAL SPACE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE 2016: OUR SPACEFARING CIVILIZATION STARTS HERE By Nicole D’or
- A RADICALLY EASIER, MARKET-DRIVEN PATH TO SPACE SETTLEMENT By Al Globus
- THE SPACE COAST GETS A MAKEOVER By John F. Kross
- STUDENTS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SPACE BEYOND BORDERS By Lynne F. Zielinski
- NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY 2016 AWARDS By Dale L. Skran
- THE ESSENTIAL SPACE LIBRARY By John Strickland
- ELEMENTAL WORLDS By Jason Albee
- ALPHA CUBESAT By Gary Barnhard and Anastasia Ford
- NSS CORRESPONDENCE - What Do NSS Chapters Do? By Claire Stephens McMurray
- LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER By Pat Silver
- NSS ANNOUNCEMENTS - Microgravity Exotic Optical Fiber Fabrication By Mike Snyder
- LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE CHAIR - The Dam Breaks—Space Settlement on a Roll By Mark Hopkins
- SPACE SETTLEMENT COLUMN - The Journey Ahead—Paving the Way to Interstellar Flight By Philip Lubin
Our Vision: People living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity.
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