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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, September 28, 2007

Four Views on Space

USA Today has four different views on space from Konrad Dannenberg, Mike, Griffin, Elon Musk, & Thomas Stafford.

Carnival of Space #22 is Up

This week's Carnival of Space is up:

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mars Rover Gets First Victoria Crater View

Opportunity has made its first stop in the Victoria Crater on Mars.

Dawn is on its Way to the Asteroid Belt

NASA launched the Dawn probe to the Asteroid Belt today.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Carnival of Space #21 is Up

This week's Carnival of Space is up:

Many of the posts were about the recent announcement by Google for the Lunar contest.

Scientific American October Issue on The Future of Space Exploration

I The following are some of the stories that are now available online and they are as follows:

"Racing Past the Moon"
Today competition matters less than conquering space.

To the Moon and Beyond

By Charles Dingell, William A. Johns and Julie Kramer White

Humans are returning to the moon. This time the plan is to stay a while.

Five Essential Things to Do in Space

By George Musser

Planetary scientists have a quintet of goals for exploring the solar system.

Also, this article includes an interesting multimedia presentation that summarizes the 5 goals for exploring the solar system. This can be found here:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

More on the ESA SpaceX Falcon 9 Contract

Elon Musk says that while the European satellite contract SpaceX received is not on the launch manifest, it is the seventh [whoops] launch contract for the Falcon 9 (including three COTS). It will be their first geostationary launch.

Note: I was incorrect, it wasn't ESA per se, but Avanti Communications Group using ESA money.

New X-Prize Annoucement Today

After 1:00 CST we should know what all the hype is about. Spaceref has some interesting stuff:

[NASA] Deputy Administrator Dale will participate in an announcement regarding the X PRIZE Foundation at the X PRIZE stage at 10:30 a.m., Sept. 13. She will unveil the NASA 50th anniversary logo at 12:30 p.m. at the mini stage in the
Exploration Pavilion. Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin also will speak.

I think I know what it is, but I will wait for the announcement. It is really cool.

[update 11:27 am] You can watch the video teaser at The X-Prize web site.

[update 2:13 pm CST] Welcome to the Google Lunar X-Prize.

Here are the rules:

COMPETITION GUIDELINES: To win the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a team must successfully land a privately funded craft on the lunar surface and survive long enough to complete the mission goals of roaming about the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending a defined data package, called a “Mooncast”, back to Earth.

PRIZES: The total purse of the Google Lunar X PRIZE is $30 million (USD).

• GRAND PRIZE: A $20 million Grand Prize will be awarded to the team that can soft land a craft on the Moon that roams for at least 500 meters and transmits a Mooncast back to Earth. The Grand Prize is $20M until December 31st 2012; thereafter it will drop to $15M until December 31st 2014 at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation

• SECOND PRIZE: A $5 million Second Prize will be offered as well, providing an extra incentive for teams to continue to compete, and increasing the possibility that multiple teams will succeed. Second place will be available until December 31st 2014 at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation

• BONUSES: An additional $5 million in bonus prizes can be won by successfully completing additional mission tasks such as roving longer distances (> 5,000 meters), imaging man made artifacts (e.g. Apollo hardware), discovering water ice, and/or surviving through a frigid lunar night (approximately 14.5 Earth days). The competing lunar spacecraft will be equipped with high-definition video and still cameras, and will send images and data to Earth, which the public will be able to view on the Google Lunar X PRIZE website.

Links for More Info:

Carnival of Space #20 is Up

This week's Carnival of Space is up:

Thank you for your interest in the carnival.

Best wishes.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

NASA COTS to Recompete

NASA has decided to recompete the $175 million left on RocketPlane/Kistler's COTS agreement. NASA removed Rp/K recently for failing to meet funding milestones.

ESA Selects SpaceX

The European Space Agency has selected SpaceX's Falcon 9 to launch the HYLAS communications satellite technology demonstrator.

Japan to Launch Lunar Orbiter on Friday

Japan is set to launch an orbiter called SELENE to the Moon on Friday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Sea is Burning

A "Garage" Scientist, John Kanzius , has found a way to burn sea water (yes sea water) by shooting radio waves at it. A Penn State researcher, Dr. Rustum Roy, has recreated the experiment.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rocketplane/Kistler Looses COTS

NASA has terminated their COTS agreement with Rocketplane/Kistler for not meeting the funding milestones. Hopefully the money meant for them will go to SpaceDev or T/Space.

Aviation Week has the full story.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Military Space Study to Continue

Col. M.V. “Coyote” Smith, leader of the National Security Space Office study on feasibility of space-based solar power has been so impressed with the idea during the study, he has extended it passed its original September 15 end date. He is set to give an interim report of their findings on October 11.

Phoenix Passes In-Flight Test

The Phoenix Mars lander has passed its in-flight tests. It will reach the red planet on May 25, 2008.

Russian Space Tourist

Vladimir Gruzdev, a grocery store owner and politician has charted with Space Adventures to be the first Russian to visit the International Space Station (ISS) as a tourist.

Carnival of Space #19 is Up

Fraser Cain is hosting this week's Carnival
of Space at:

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Space Lifestyle Magazine


GRAND FORKS, ND / Sept. 2 / -- Space Lifestyle Magazine, an digital edition publication on the people and happenings in space and the space sector launched today from their site, New Forks, LLC ( is a virtual media company based in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Subscribers to the free online magazine will be notified of the launch of the magazine through an email blast.

Subscribers and anyone who goes to the site can view the magazine online with any standard Internet browser. By using a Published Web Format (PWF), from the magazine’s publisher Texterity, Inc., readers will have the fastest loading time and the sharpest text to read their digital edition. The premier issue of Space Lifestyle Magazine not only has pictures and text, much like a traditional magazine, but readers can also watch video.

To attract subscribers to Space Lifestyle Magazine, New Forks has held a contest, where the 10,000th, 20,000th, 30,000th and 60,000th subscriber will each win a prize. The 60,000th subscriber will win a parabolic flight ticket from the Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G)., the top-ranked Internet radio station, has provided all other prizes. All winners of the contest will be announced together at a future date.

“Everyone involved has worked really hard to put forth this first issue,” said New Forks, company President and Editor-in-Chief of Space Lifestyle Magazine, David Bullock, “Being a virtual company, and both in media and within the space sector and work, advice and help has come from all over.”

Virtual contributors to the magazine include writers Nancy Atkinson, Lois Elfman, Michael Ricciardi and Robert Yeiser. Michael Delia has created layout and art remotely.

New Forks, LLC ( is an independent, start-up media company based in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Contact: David Bullock, President of New Forks, LLC. Tel. 347-404-5431 E-mail:

Spaceport America Design

Spaceport America has released their design.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Elon Musk Named Innovator of the Year

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, has been named Innovator of the Year by R&D Magazine.

SpaceX Dragon Accepted by NASA

The Dragon capsule by SpaceX has satisfied NASA's safety panel for COTS cargo transport.

Micro-Documentary on Spaceports

Where is Your Nearest Spaceport?

Micro-Documentary by The Futures Channel Provides a Look at a New Generation of Launch Facilities

Burbank, CA -- Whether you’re talking about privately owned and operated rockets to ferry cargo to low earth orbit, or the prepaid customers in line for the opportunity to weightlessly gaze upon Earth from outer space, the “personal spaceflight revolution” will bring a new infrastructure element to our communities: Spaceports.

“Spaceports,” a micro-documentary released today by The Futures Channel, provides a down-to-earth look at this new generation of launch facilities. To date, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has licensed commercial spaceports in five states.

Going on location in New Mexico and Mojave, California, the short video features interviews with FAA Associate Administrator Patricia Grace Smith, NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, Alex Tai, Vice President of Operations at Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and two-time Space Shuttle Pilot and one-time Space Shuttle Commander Rick Searfoss, among others.

“This film treats viewers to an inspiring preview of coming attractions of the launch facilities and spaceships that will enable the era of space tourism and public space travel. ‘Spaceports’ reveals how the private sector and bold entrepreneurs are bringing innovation and new ideas to an area that has traditionally been the domain of government-sponsored programs,” said Alan Ladwig, Manager of Space Systems for WBB Consulting. Widely regarded as a space outreach pioneer, Ladwig, as an associate administrator at NASA in the 1990’s, spearheaded the agency’s Teacher in Space Program.

Accompanying the video is a “Critical Thinking” section which poses questions that professionals have to consider in planning and building spaceports, and which invites viewers to take part in the discussion. Like other Futures Channel movies, “Spaceports” is designed to enhance interest in math and science by putting those subjects into a larger real-world context, in this case space exploration.

“With captivating video of space travel, simulations, and interviews with experts, students will learn about the exciting opportunities that lie ahead in the emerging personal spaceflight industry,” Ladwig added.

The Futures Channel was founded in 1999 with the goal of using new media technologies to create a channel between the scientists, engineers, explorers and visionaries who are shaping the future, and today’s learners who will one day succeed them.

Watch the movie:

Visit The Futures Channel: