Front Page


Editor: Veronica Pierce
OpEd: Dan Schrimpsher
Reporter: Dan Schrimpsher
Finance: Veronica Pierce
Contact Us Alternative Contact
space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Friday, June 24, 2005

"NASA" Mars base in Utah

Is it just me, or does that "NASA" base in Utah look a lot like the Mars Societie's base. I mean If you run the video, take a look at the name on the Hab Module. It says "Mars Society Mars Base."

Either VOA is losing it, or NASA is claiming something not their own. More likely VOA is losing it.

NASA Creates Simulated Mars Base In Utah Desert
Voice of America

Friday, June 17, 2005

Edurance Destiny

Space exploration isn't about science. (Let me repeat this for those of you who may be hyperventilating) Space Exploration/Colonization isn't about science.

Jonathan Goff has a new blog, Selenian Boondocks. He is giving Mike Griffin some tips with Your Focus Determines Your Path - SB - June.16.05

If you think that having a small McMurdo-on-the-Moon style lunar science base is space development, then your opinion on what is an ideal method to accomplish that will differ quite a bit from someone like me who doesn't see the moon as settled until there are dozens of settlements and hundreds of thousands of people living and working there.

Not bad. I have to go along with his position. I have heard it proposed to build an international science station on the Moon like Antarctica. Two words in that idea cause me heartburn, science and international.

Space Exploration/Colonization isn't about science. Exploring the new world wasn't about science. Opening the west wasn't about science. Marco Polo wasn't about science. Science is wonderful. Engineering is even better. Giving us room to roam is the best of all.

I know a lot people (particularly at the Planetary Society) are big on international cooperation. But I am here to tell you, international control of the Moon is a bad idea. Lets say the USA, Russia, and the EU jointly build a nice Moon base. John Q. Entrepreneur wants to move up and start a Helium-3 mining station. Well Russia & the EU don't want American industry to get defacto control over the Moon's Helium-3 mining so they block the proposal. Then the US retaliates when a Japanese company wants to do the same. Nothing would ever get done.

Now, with there three separate bases, when the US mining company sets up shop, Russia & Japan would simply send there own miners up there and compete. Now that sounds like a recipe for human (& capitalist) expansion.

How many people would give up the modern conveniences we are so proud of to work as a miner on the moon. I sure would. Most people I know would. Not everyone, but a lot of people. What does that tell you about priorities. How many people in the 18th and 19th century gave up the conveniences of the east coast to break new ground out west?

Manifest Destiny was a nineteenth century belief that the United States had a divinely-inspired mission to expand, particularly across the North American frontier towards the Pacific Ocean.

I propose we have a Manifest Destiny to live and adapt to every environment accessible to us. Whatever my old history professor said about Manifest Destiny, without it, would we have Silicon Valley? I don't know what effect solar system colonization will have on our society, but I have an unquenchable desire to find out, for better or worse.

Even more than that. This isn't just about nationalism, freedom, and capitalism expanding through the solar system, it is about survival. The most basic need of all humanity. This is Endurance Destiny. Humanity must endure. Why, you may ask. Because we will it to be so, and God wills it to be so, and we have the tools to make it happen.
"NASA is not about the 'Adventure of Human Space Exploration,' we are in the deadly serious business of saving the species. All Human Exploration's bottom line is about preserving our species over the long haul."
Astronaut John Young,"The Big Picture"

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Oh My! This is a whole new industry

Some people at Florida may be getting it, I hope. I think private space is going to have a bigger economic impact than NASA in a shorter amount of time than many people think. An article in the Florida Today says:

And a flurry of private firms are on the verge of fielding rocket ships to take tourists on expensive joy rides that could be economic boons for the communities chosen to be their home ports.
They go on to quote Pam Dana, the Director of Florida's Department of Economic Development:

The state "wants to get beyond just a heavy reliance upon launches, but to capture a lot of the new [Private Space] activity,"

I hope it isn't just talk, since the more competition for all aspects of personal space flight, the cheaper and better it becomes. One thing is for damn sure,

"If we're going to add the unnecessary regulation and red tape to commercial launches, we're not getting any of them," said Bill Posey, a state senator from Rockledge.

T/Space Drop Test

T/Space and Scaled composites had a drop test of a scale Crew Transfer Vehicle (CXV).

The great thing about this is that it came from a mere $3M study contract from NASA. The T/Space team went from nothing to a scaled dropped test (which worked perfectly as far as I can tell) for 3 million dollars. Hello? Sadly, NASA would have spent $3M figuring out the name of the ship. (Thanks to HobbySpace-RLV)

Some hope from NASA

NASA has decided to buy parabolic flights from Zero-G corporation rather than running their own "Vomit Comet." I think this is a good sign. I wonder if I can buy a ticket for one of the astronauts flights...

Monday, June 06, 2005

Associate Space Press

Clark Lindsey has proposed a space syndicated press. I like it. Count Space Pragmatism in. Since UPI is dropping Robert Zimmerman and Irene Mona Klotz's columns, we need a space focus press. It would also keep me from having to search through countless web sites every morning for new stories. The Space Wire.

As Rand
Simberg says, though, can we make money at it? Ain't that always the question...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Startup Rocket Companies

As a public service (and frankly just because I want to) I am going to start listing startup rocket companies I am contacted by. So starting with the one I am involved with.

Solar Skiff :

Solar Skiff is a company, a craft, and a concept. It is a simple idea to explore the Solar System with reusable spaceships manned by explorers and colonists from the planet Earth. The company, Solar Skiff, will help make this happen by building reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) spaceplanes. The long-term goal is to develop versatile spaceships and associated mission architectures enabling routine manned spaceflight throughout the Solar System. You can take part in this adventure.


The Wright Brothers were not at first trying to set up a business. They were trying to build an airplane.

Microlaunchers is an attempt at a third approach to developing space access: to, with miniature size and budget, develop a vertically integrated spacecraft launch/deployment system.

NASA and SpaceX

From SpaceX

Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) today announced the signing of a Space Act Agreement with NASA regarding development of human spaceflight hardware. SpaceX and Johnson Space Center (JSC) will identify joint opportunities in pursuit of cost effective human spaceflight systems.
Lets hope for more fixed priced rides like the XCOR contract. Let's cross our fingers. Maybe Mike Griffin is going to get it after all...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

2004 MN4, Return of the Jedi

As I mentioned in Why we need to Get off this Rock, Asteroid MN4 is important to pay attention to. At the ISDC a couple of weeks ago, as reported in Sounding the Alarm, Cautiously, Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart, chairman of the B612 foundation, spoke about why we still need to monitor MN4.

Now, I don't know about all his ideas (read the paper for more details) but I agree that we need to monitor MN4. We need to monitor all NEOs.

Monitoring isn't enough, though. What do we do if we find a asteroid targeting our lovely blue planet? To quote the Ghostbusters, "Who you gonna call?" According to a Wire Magazine article, Congressman Backs Asteroid Agency,

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) said in a phone interview on Friday that he supports former Apollo astronaut Russell Schweickart's proposal to create a federal asteroid-response agency. Rohrabacher said he will push Congress and the president to "take action on this by the end of the year."

I sure hope so. Somebody needs to pay attention to this. I wonder how private industry could handle this. I am sure it would be cheaper, but I am not sure if national security (Earth security?) can be handled by private industry. Private military is a scary prospect.

I would suggest a "matrix" organization that would be joined with NASA and DOD, but not under either one. Like a cross-disciplinary degree that takes the best from two departments. The Near Earth Asteroid Monitoring Agency (NEAMA), would compile data from astronomers (both amateur and professional), secure time on telescopes, partner with either NASA or DOD to build probes, transponders, or asteroid deflection rockets when needed.

Just my two cents (I don't have an ego about the name, though.)

Note: I have been out for the last few weeks, what with the end of school and everything. But know I am back, and I should be back to my normal posting schedule.