Bigelow Aerospace is offering a $760 million contract that can met their criteria for getting passengers to their inflatable orbital habitats.
prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
SpaceX has completed the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Critical Design Review (CDR) for its first Falcon 9 / Dragon mission as required by NASA.
SpaceX is one of my favorite new space companies. They don't talk a lot, but they just keep rolling along with rockets and cargo and passing whatever milestones are thrown at them.
Just for your information, this CDR required "480 design documents to NASA for detailed review by its experts. At the review, twenty six speakers gave thirty two presentations on over two dozen different topics including aerodynamics, propulsion, communication, ground processing, flight operations, recovery and more."
Good job to Mr. Musk and his team.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Here is a history of some the rocket work done in McGregor, TX where SpaceX has been test firing engines since 2003.
This week's Carnival of Space is up atSpace for Commerce, by Brian Dunbar:
Thursday, October 11, 2007
If you haven't yet read the NSSO paper on space based solar power, you should. It is really really interesting. I think it could open some eyes.
[update 10/15/2007] The link I has been broken. Here is the (currently) correct link. I fixed the orginal one as well, so it should work now.
According to the Space Foundation, space spending topped $220 billion in 2006. This represents a %16 increase in space spending. While the greatest growth was in GPS related products, $30 million was spent on commercial space transportation. $20 million was for Anousheh Ansari's trip to the ISS and $10 million in Virgin Galactic deposits.
An Australian group has created a habitat design they claim is "90 to 95 percent self-sufficient." Luna Gaia, as it is called, uses microbes, called Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (or MELIiSSA), to recycle waste products, water, and carbon dioxide.
I wonder if Bigelow could use this?
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
New Space Solar Power Organization Announced
The Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy
Will Pursue Recommendations of New NSSO-Led Study
Study Concludes Space Solar Power Could Deliver Clean, Renewable Energy for Planet,
But Requires a Coordinated National Program of Investment
Wednesday, October 10, 2007: The Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy (SSAFE), a new organization advocating investment in space-based solar power technologies to address the planet's future energy needs, was announced today at the National Press Club.
The coalition of thirteen leading research organizations and space advocacy groups focused their inaugural event on the announcement of a new study of space-based solar power led by the National Security Space Office (NSSO).
The study concludes that space-based solar power deserves substantial national investment as a path towards addressing America's future energy needs via a renewable energy source with no carbon emissions or hazardous waste. In the Space Solar Power concept, developed in the late nineteen-sixties by Dr. Peter Glaser, energy from sunlight is collected in space and transmitted wirelessly for use on Earth.
Mark Hopkins, Senior Vice President of the National Space Society, stated, "As the United States makes decisions now to answer the energy challenges of the next 50 years, space-based solar power must be a part of the answer. While the technical challenges are real, significant investment now can build Space Solar Power into the ultimate energy source: clean, green, renewable, and capable of providing the vast amounts of power that the world will need. Congress, federal agencies and the business community should begin that investment immediately."
The new Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy (SSAFE) will promote the findings of the NSSO-led study, and seek to communicate the benefits of the technology to business, government and the general public.
According to Air Force Colonel-Select M.V. 'Coyote' Smith, the leader of the study, "When we started this work I had my doubts about the technology. But as the facts poured in, it became obvious that my initial assessment was wrong. Not only is this possible, but space-based solar power is probably the greatest opportunity to develop a safe, clean source of energy that can readily be shared with all of humanity."
The founding members of SSAFE are the National Space Society, Space Frontier Foundation, Space Power Association, Aerospace Technology Working Group, Marshall Institute, Moon Society, ShareSpace Foundation, Space Studies Institute, Spaceward Foundation, AIAA Space Colonization Technical Committee, ProSpace, Space Enterprise Council, and Space Generation Foundation.
Still images of a space solar power system created for today's announcement are available at:
Video animations in NTSC and HD are available upon request. Email: email@example.com
The NSSO-led study will be made available at:
New National Space Society white paper on Space Solar Power:
The website of the new Space Solar Alliance for Future Energy is:
SSAFE Founding Organizations and Contacts:
National Space Society
Mark Hopkins, Senior Vice President
Space Studies Institute
Lee Valentine, Executive Vice President
Space Enterprise Council
David Logsdon, Executive Director
Aerospace Technology Working Group
Space Frontier Foundation
Margo Deckard, Space Solar Power Project Manager
Jeff Kueter, President
Peter Kokh, President
Frank Johnson, President
Space Generation Foundation
Loretta Hidalgo Whitesides, President
Space Power Association
John Mankins, President
Ben Shelef, Co-founder firstname.lastname@example.org
AIAA Space Colonization Technical Committee
Klaus Heiss, Chairman
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Dicover Magazine has an interview with creator of SpaceShipOne, Burt Rutan.
Here is a summary of his views on NASA:
No, no. NASA does hundreds of wonderful things. They send robots all over the solar system. They have scientists doing all kinds of stuff. Some of it is good work. The stuff that JPL [the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California] does is fabulous work.
People think I’m a NASA critic. That’s not true. I’m just saying what they are doing on [the manned space program] is not looking for the breakthroughs that are needed. The breakthroughs are likely to come from folks who go out and try some new stuff.
But I have a tremendous amount of respect for what JPL does. NASA did some phenomenal research during the 1960s in response to [Yuri] Gagarin [the first cosmonaut], and very quickly we were driving cars and playing golf on the moon. That is something that made me very proud to be an American who sent taxpayer funds to that NASA.
William Byrd has resigned as Rp/K's President. They have seen some trouble lately with getting enough investment to stay in NASA's COTS program to provide orbital services.
[Update 8:32 PM CST] I can't ready. Randy Brinkley has resigned and William Byrd is the new president. Those of you who read English, already knew that :)
Monday, October 08, 2007
NASA is looking for 10-15 new astronauts to begin in 2009 and eventually go to the Moon. While I agree it is hard to go in knowing you won't fly for a long time (if ever), who among you would turn it down if NASA gave you a slot.
Roger Pielke thinks space science should be moved to other agency's and NASA should focused on a vision of colonizing space. While I agree with him in principle, I don't think it solves the money problem for NASA, as the science money would go with the science. Certainly NASA would be more focused and that would gain some efficiency, I think the best plan is to have NASA support the efforts of private groups in colonizing space.
These types of efforts begin with small steps, such as space tourism and Bigelow's private space "hotels."
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
This week's Carnival of Space is up:
I think this is the first time we've had an
entry about pigs. The entry is related to space, it
is about pigs on Mars.
Leonard David at Space.com has an overview of where Bigelow Aerospace is headed. Remember that Bigelow launched the space module Genesis 1 & 2 to test out the inflatable structure they plan to build private orbiting stations in a few years.
The Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination, or QUID, has been developed by the Travelex to be the first currency in space.
The QUID has been designed to withstand the stresses of space travel and the extreme environment found in orbit around the Earth. It has also been created so that it can be purchased on earth in any one of the 176 currencies used around the globe.
Different colors and sizes are used to denote different values. They are valued from one to ten and by looking at today’s rates one QUID would cost you $12.50, 6.25 Pounds, or 8.68 Euros.
DARPA has given SpaceDev a $3.75 million contract to develop solar thermal propulsion and bus design for the High Delta-V satellite program.
Monday, October 01, 2007
Richard Garriott, game designer and multimillionaire, is set to go to the ISS in October 2008. His father is former astronaut and Vice President of Space Programs at Teledyne Brown Engineering (where yours truly used to work) Owen Garriott.