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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 29, 2007

Space Ship 2 Rumors

Some rumors of the SS2 vehicle.

Genesis II News Roundup

Here are the stories on the Launch of Genesis II from Bigelow Aerospace yesterday:

Space Adventures Working on Contracts to Circumnavigate the Moon

Space Adventures says they plan to have contracts signed at the end of the year for the first Lunar tourist. The plan is to have a Russian Soyuz circumnavigate the Moon with a private passenger.

Endeavour Launch Date Moved Up Two Days

Space Shuttle Endeavour's launch date has been moved up two days to August 7, 2007.

Opportunity Ready to enter Victoria Crater

NASA resilient rover, Opportunity, is ready to descend into Mar's massive Victoria Crater.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Genesis II Launched and In Orbit

Genesis II is in orbit and communicating with the ground station. Congratulations to Bigelow Aerospace. I will give you more as I get time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Armadillo Begins Business

Three aerospace companies have approached Armadillo Aerospace about flying sensors for them in 2008.

Masten Begins Flight Tests

Masten Space System (of Jon Goff fame) have begun flight testing. They have videos.

Why OSR Likes SpaceX

Talor Dinnerman has an article in the Space Review on why the Operationally Responsive Space (OSR) program goals are and why they like SpaceX so much.

NASA is Making the ISS a National Lab

NASA is planning on opening up the ISS to government and commercial agencies in 2011. It will be a national lab, with about half of the US section open for research.

National Space Society To Co-Host Participatory Exploration Summit with NASA Ames Research Center

National Space Society To Co-Host Participatory Exploration Summit with NASA Ames Research Center

June 26, 2007, Moffett Field, CA – The National Space Society, in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is co-hosting the Participatory Exploration Summit at Ames Research Center today. This invitation-only event will bring together Web 2.0, virtual world and Internet experts with NASA stakeholders to discuss the use of new technologies to better engage the public with space exploration.

Confirmed attendees include television host and author Bill Nye; Popular Science editor-in-chief Mark Jannot; and Jerry Heneghan, CEO of Virtual Heroes and an executive producer of the America's Army Game Project. Leaders from companies and organizations such as Twitter, IBM, Creative Commons, Qualcomm, McCann Worldgroup, Digital Space Commons, Kurzweil Technologies, O'Reilly Radar and more are expected to attend.

Participatory exploration employs the use of new interactive technologies to more deeply engage citizens with space missions. Such technologies are second nature to youth today and will be essential to capturing and retaining the long-term interest of future generations in exploration.

"Participatory exploration is the next big thing for space," said George Whitesides, Executive Director of the National Space Society. "This goes beyond the simple distribution of images via the web to an era in which the public truly experiences space exploration, in real-time and in high resolution. Participatory exploration offers the opportunity for NASA and other space organizations to redefine the public's relationship with exploration, and energize the public about space exploration goals and missions."

For more information on the Summit, visit:

NASA and the National Space Society will co-host the event. Sponsors of the event include Virtue Arts, Lunar Explorer, Virtual Heroes and Virtual Astronaut.
About the National Space Society
The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen's voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space. For more information about NSS, how to join or donate, or the society's annual International Space Development Conference, visit:

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The End of an Era

Stargate SG-1 is over. Now bring on the movies.

Atlantis is Back in California

Safe and sound.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

China Developing a New Rocket

China is building a bigger Long March rocket that will reportedly carry 25 tons to orbit.

Gliese 581c May be To Hot

But Gliese 581d might be just right to support life...

Atlantis is Comming Home

If the weather doesn't get in the way, Atlantis should arrive back on Earth Thursday at 1:55 p.m. EDT .

Asteroid Bound Dawn Briefing

NASA has scheduled a news briefing at 2 p.m. EDT, Tuesday, June 26, to preview the asteroid belt-bound Dawn mission. It will air live on NASA Television and be streamed on the agency's Internet homepage at Dawn is expected to launch on a Delta II on July 7, 2007.

NASA Signs Space Act with Spacehab and CSI

After signing an agreement with SpaceDEV earlier this week, NASA has signed unfunded Space Act agreements with Spacehab Inc. and Constellation Services International to work on orbital launch capability so NASA can focus on exploration of the Moon and Mars.

[update 7:45 am] Sam Dinkin has an interview with CSI CEO Charles Miller.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

SpaceDev Signs Space Act Agreement with NASA

SpaceDev, Inc. (OTC BB:SPDV.OB) has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to facilitate its development of reliable, safe and affordable transportation of passengers and cargo to and from Earth orbit. Under the Agreement, NASA will provide information about the agency's projected commercial demand for crew and cargo services to the International Space Station (ISS) as well as technical support regarding commercial vehicle requirements for rendezvous and docking with the ISS. NASA will also provide inputs to the development program through regularly scheduled technical exchange.

"We appreciate the leadership and foresight of Michael Griffin, Scott Horowitz, Alan Lindenmoyer and the entire NASA COTS office in their commitment to us and the emerging space industry," said Mark Sirangelo, SpaceDev's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This Agreement will allow us to work closely with NASA to share data, concepts and updates on our program's progress. Having a continuous interchange with NASA will help accelerate our ability to make strides to meet our country and industry's near and long term needs for space transport. We are committed to the use of the NASA Langley derived HL-20 as the foundation of our space transport program."

This Agreement builds on SpaceDev's continuing and developing relationship with NASA as a result of the COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) proposal effort, where SpaceDev was one of three finalists in the competition. The SpaceDev vehicle has on-board propulsion utilizing SpaceDev's patented hybrid solid rocket motor technology. SpaceDev's unique space transportation system is designed to effectively, reliably and safely carry crew/passengers and cargo in suborbital as well as orbital flight regimes. It is a piloted space solution which launches vertically and lands horizontally on conventional runways.

About SpaceDev

SpaceDev, Inc. is a space technology/aerospace company that creates and sells affordable and innovative space products and mission solutions. For more information please visit Except for factual statements made herein, this news release consists of forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Words such as "believe," "intends," "expects," "plans," "anticipates" and variations thereof, identify forward-looking statements, although their absence does not mean that a statement is not forward looking. Forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current expectations, and are not guarantees of performance. The Company's actual results could differ materially from its current expectations. Factors that could contribute to such differences include risks associated with: rescheduling or cancelling orders; uncertainties in government budgeting; ability to control expenses; and, the need for additional financing. Reference is also made to other factors described in the Company's periodic reports filed with the SEC, including the Company's most current Annual Report on Form 10-KSB and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-QSB. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. SpaceDev does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

ISS Computers Fixed

The failing Russian computers on the ISS have been fixed.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

SpaceX Releases Demo Flight 2 Review

SpaceX has released a pdf file of the Demo Flight 2 Review from March 20, 2007.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Michael Belfiore "Rocketeers"

I have been asked to review Michael Belfiore's "Rocketeers" book. I will let you guys know when I receive a copy. Stay tuned.

Space Carnival #7

Space Carnival #7 is up.

ESA Plans to use Quantum Entanglement for Satellites

The European Space Agency is looking at using "quantum entanglement", where two quantum particles' states become "linked" to "communicating with satellites with total security."

Researchers successfully completed a 90 mile test with this concept earlier this year.

The Russian Computers are Crashing

After the installation of the new solar panels on the ISS, the Russians computer lost their mind (forgive the technical software terms ;-). Astronauts and Cosmonauts are attempting a reboot. If they can't fix it NASA says it may abandon the ISS.

These are the systems that control thrusters are also used to control the oxygen-production and carbon-dioxide scrubbing.

NASA seems optimistic that they can fix the problem.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Stupid Comments on Space Tourism

David S.F. Portree has made some uniformed comments on space tourism and New Space in general. Clark Lindsey, Jeff Foust, Keith Cowing, and Rand Simberg explain it to him.

Japan Sets Lunar Mission Data

Japan has set a launch date of August 16 for their lunar orbiter, SELENE.

Oceans on Mars

Planetary scientists are pretty sure now there were oceans covering most of Mars billions of years ago.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Why is NASA Scared of In-Orbit Assembly?

RLV and Space Transport News asks since the ISS assembly has gone so well, minus the shuttle and Russian money problems, why is NASA so scared of in-space assembly for a Moon mission?

TGV Rockets Completes Test Firing

TGV Rockets has completed a successful test firing of their engine technology. They hope to dramatically decrease the cost of military suborbital missions and quick satellite-like views of a theatre.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ares is Losing Popularity in Washington

According to NASA Watch, members of both parties in Washington are starting to say what some of us have been saying for a while.

[A] greater use of private sector solutions - i.e. the use of commercial launch vehicles - specifically EELVs - as the launch vehicle of choice for the CEV. No one seems to be all that fond of continuing the development of Ares 1 (a government-owned solution) or the cost of developing something that already exists i.e. something you can buy now (EELVs).

NASA Selects ORBexpress® RT for Software Radios

NASA is researching using ORBExpress@ RT develop the Software Communication Architecture (SCA) for their high performance software defined radios (SDR).

China Drafts Space Law

China is working on a draft space law. This is likely a political move aimed at the US and Europe. The law is supposed to "effectively protect the space environment, reduce or eradicate fragments in space and expand international cooperation."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Europe Joins the Space Tourism Race

The EADS will soon announce a sub-orbital vehicle as a followup to the Phoenix prototype. (hat tip to RLV and Space Transport News.)

Shuttle Hooked to ISS

Yesterday the Shuttle successfully docked with the ISS.

China's First Lunar Mission Delayed

China has delayed their first unmanned Lunar mission 5 - 6 months. Chang'e was originally scheduled for April, but is now expected to launch in October. Delays are from the new oxygen/hydrogen propulsion system China is developing for their Lunar exploration plan.

NASA's Message

NASA has released their core message strategy, Inspiration + Innovation + Discovery = Future.

US Increases Military Space Budget

After China's January ASAT Test, the US Congress has plans to increase military space funding. The House bill increases the Pentagon’s 2008 budget request by 1/3 for the Operationally Responsive Space program.

ORS's mission is to develop a system that can quickly launch low cost satellites to replace damaged satellites or to quickly increase US space capabilities for a military operation.

The Senate Armed Services Committee bill plans to double the funding for space situational awareness programs.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Shuttle Docks with ISS

Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with the ISS today. The dock is scheduled for 2:38 pm CST.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Indian President Expects Martian Colonys in 50 Years

Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam says that we could have industrial complexes and human colonies on Mars in 50 to 75 years. Sounds good to me.

Virgin Galactic Appoints First "Space Agent"

Virgin Galactic has appointed their first travel agent for space, or space agent. British luxury tour operators, Elegant Resorts, is now the only agent in the world able to book sub-orbital flights on board Virgin Galactic.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Shuttle is Up Up and Away

The Space Shuttle Atlantis rocketed into space tonight around 8pm EST. Everything went smoothly. Congratulations to NASA and the crew of STS-117. Godspeed.

Bigelow Where in the World is Back

Everyone's favorite space game is back. Where in the World is the Genesis 1 Module looking at?

HobbySpace Gets into Space

Congratulations to Clark, HobbySpace, and JP Aerospace on getting a ride to near-space (at least on paper :)

NSS Reponse to Gregg Easterbrook

NSS responds to Gregg Easterbrook's article in Wired last month. (Which was predictably stupid).

$225 Million for Virgin Galactic

Sir Richard Branson has borrowed against 1/3 of his 10% share in Virgin Media for $225 Million to invest in space tourism. (from RLV and Space Transport News)

Top 10 Stars for Planet Hunters

PlanetQuest has named the top 10 stars in planet hunting. (It's better than reading about angio-brad in People -djs).

Of course, Gliese 581 came in first with that little terrestrial planet, 581 C.

Ares May be Ready in 2013

NASA has a plan to get Ares/Orion ready by 2013 rather than the 2015 goal they have been stating.

We at Space Pragmatism will be shocked if they make 2016.

Jacksonville Applies for a Spaceport License

Jacksonville with their 12,500-foot runway for the shuttle, has applied for a spaceport license hoping to become part of the new space tourism industry.

Atlantis is Poised to Launch Tonight

With no technical difficulties entering the last 24 hours before countdown, Atlantis seems ready to launch tonight at 7:38pm EST. The launch can be seen on NASA TV.

Hubble Mission September 2008

NASA has set the Hubble mission to repair and upgrade the space telescope for September 2008.

XCOR Receives money from Boston Angles

The Boston Harbor Angels, a group of 36 angel investors, has invested in XCOR Aerospace. According to Aleksandar Mollov, the groups managing director, XCOR impressed them by:

XCOR's development strategy, which focuses on going after government contracts that move the company closer to creating its own commercial space vehicle. XCOR has worked on methane-powered rocket technology for NASA, and was recently awarded an Air Force contract to design a rocket-powered supersonic vehicle that can reach altitudes of 200,000 feet.

Congratulations XCOR!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Developers Looking at Spaceport America

Real Estate developer Adam Grabois is looking to buy 45 acres from Las Cruces New Mexico near the site of Spaceport America. He plans to build a 40,000-square-foot office building.

Ohio is Wooing PlanetSpace

Ohio is offering almost half a million dollars for PlanetSpace to perform suborbital launches from their state.

Armadillo Performs Level 1 Lunar Lander Challenge

In Oklahoma Armadillo Aerospace's Pixel vehicle past the level 1 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge requirements not once but twice. If it had happened at the X-Prize cup it would have won the $350,000 prize. There is video...

Quantum Communications

Researchers have sent a cryptographic key 144km (~90 miles) using spooky interaction between entangled quantum particles. This could enable instantaneous communications across the vastness of space.

Creation of ICAO Like Organization

The International Civil Aviation Organisation is a new UN directorate to handle commercial spaceflight up to the geostationary orbit. It should take a few years for the ICAO to finished formation. The creation was cased by the interest and progress in space tourism and other private space ventures.

[Update: June 8, 2007] I misunderstood the article and this is a creation of an ICAO like organization over space to be named later. Thanks to Alessandro.

NASA's Messenger probe to Pass Venus on to Mercury

NASA's Messenger probe will make its second pass by Venus on Tuesday on it's way to Mercury.

Bill Richardson on Space

The Democratic presidential candidate and Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, spoke to a group of space professionals in Washington last month. He said space is a "a bona fide area of economic growth and opportunity" and that he would use the Spaceport America model for his national space policy. He is the only Democratic candidate I would consider voting for, mostly for his views on space.

Monday, June 04, 2007

New Space Review

The New Space Review is Out:

Take off and nuke the site from orbit (it’s the only way to be sure…)

Space solar power: opposition and obstacles

The bombardment of Sheboygan

Review: Distant Worlds

Extrasolar Planet Exhibition

Press Release from NSS:

NASA, National Space Society and Northrop Grumman Corporation To Unveil Extrasolar Planet Exhibition at Goddard Visitor Center
Student Educational Exhibition debuts June 5, 2007, 7:00 - 9:00 PM

WASHINGTON, DC June 4, 2007 -- The wonder and science of the search for extrasolar planets will come 'down to Earth' in a unique way on Tuesday evening, June 5, when a new artistic installation is unveiled at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. The exhibit is part of a new educational initiative to educate and stimulate student interest in planetary science.
'Worlds Beyond' is a hands-on educational project that merges the search for planets outside our solar system with the creativity of an interactive art installation. Middle-school students from around the Washington, DC area have participated in this pilot education program and will be presenting their finished projects at the special opening event.

The opening will take place at the NASA Goddard Visitor Center, on Tuesday, June 5th, from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Visitor Center is located off of Rt. 193, Greenbelt Rd., in Greenbelt, Maryland.

In addition to the art exhibition, NASA scientists and engineers will be present to interact with the students and the public to share the wonders of the discovery of extrasolar planets, those that orbit stars other than our sun.

The event will continue into the early evening when the Worlds Beyond exhibition will come alive with an LED light display, representing the Earth's local Galactic region.

George Whitesides, Executive Director of the National Space Society, remarked, "Worlds Beyond will give students and the public a remarkable personal connection to our celestial neighborhood, and to these special extra-solar systems."

As part of the opening, a new model of the James Webb Space Telescope will be unveiled at the Visitor Center. The Webb Telescope, managed by the Goddard Space Flight Center and designed and built by prime contractor Northrop Grumman Corp., will play a key role in the discovery and study of extrasolar planets.

In addition, the event will premier a new composition by noted musician and sonification researcher Marty Quinn of Design Rhythmics Sonification Research Lab based solely on the scientific data characterizing the newly-discovered extrasolar planets.

Worlds Beyond was organized by the National Space Society in partnership with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and was sponsored by the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

For information on Worlds Beyond, visit To learn how students and local schools can participate in the project, contact Adam Esposito, National Space Society, at (202) 429-1600, or via email at

For more information on NASA's science programs, visit:

About the National Space Society
The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen's voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space.

Editors: For images, please contact Adam Esposito at the National Space Society, at (202) 429-1600, or via email at

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 122,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.


National Space Society
Adam Esposito
Phone: (202) 429-1600

Pheonix Ready for Launch

NASA has given the go to the Phoenix Mars Mission to launch in August of this year. Phoenix is a stationary lander designed to dig ice from under the Martian dirt.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Space Shuttle Workers Strike

The International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers, representing the 570 space shuttle workers voted to go on strike today, one week before the launch of Atlantis. The strike could start as early as June 12.

Lunar Lander Challenge

Mark Whittingham proposes the NASA start a Lunar Lander Centennial Challenge. No arguments from me.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Genesis 1 Red Sea to Africa Video

Bigelow Aerospace has released a new video from their Genesis 1 module currently orbiting the Earth. It goes from the Red Sea to Africa.

Robot Guy Weighs in on the VSE

Robot Guy gives his response on how VSE should be implemented. I can't disagree with much of what he says. I am a big proponent of using Hardware we already have (live the EELV, for instance) instead of building a bunch o' shiny new rockets.

New Space Carnival 5

New Space Carnival 5 is up.

NASA Releases their Exploration Framework

NASA has released The Global Exploration Strategy: The Framework for Coordination (pdf). This document is meant to create ways for space agencies to exchange information on exploration plans. Basically, it allows the space agencies of the Earth to cooperate to fill each other's gaps as we go out into the solar system.

It does outline NASA's high level exploration tasks. First the Moon, then Mars, then Asteriods and other Moons. It's a pretty easy read.

Shuttle Launch Date Set

Space Shuttle Atlantis will launch at 7:38 p.m. EDT June 8.

China Readys 100 Launch

China's Long March rocket last month will make them the 4th country to have 100 launches under their belt.

Russia Accuses US of Hording Helium-3

Since reports that NASA rejected a joint lunar program with Russia, Russia now says the US is planning to go it alone to the Moon in order to get all the Helium-3 to themselves. Russian space company, Energia, claims they will start industrial production of Helium-3 in 2020. Okay, sure.

On another note, Russia's lunar partner, China, the strong supporter or peace in space, had this to say:

"Whoever conquers the moon first will be the first to benefit," said Ouyang Ziyuan, the chief scientist of China's lunar program.

Ahh, peace for all mankind.