Monthly Archive for October, 2010

Happy Halloween!


An unfortunate researcher at the NASA Ames Conference Center. His name badge reads: "Waiting for Funding!"(Photo: Douglas Messier)

SSI Space Manufacturing Conference: International, Legal and Economic Issues


International, Legal and Economic Considerations
Chairman: Brad Blair

“Mining Law and Property Rights for Outer Space”
Wayne White, Oceaneering Space Systems

“Economic Incentives and Tax Credits for Space Resource Development”
Eva Jane Lark, BMO Nesbitt Burns

“The ILO as Property Rights Agent”
Steve Durst, International Lunar Observatory Association and Space Age Publishing Company

“3D Metal Printing in Space: Enabling New Markets and Accelerating the Growth of Orbital Infrastructure”
Jason Dunn, Aaron Kemmer, Michael Chen, David Hutchinson and Brad Blair — Made in Space
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SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Space Solar Power and Energy Systems


Session 6: Space Solar Power and Space Energy Systems
Chair: Dr. Philip K. Chapman

Space Solar Power – Achievable Within a Generation?
John Mankins, Artemis Innovation Management Solutions LLC

Towards an Early Profitable Powersat
Al Globus, San Jose State University Research Foundation

Impact of Lunar Volatiles: New Opportunities for Exploration and Infrastructure Development on the Moon
Edward McCullough, McCullough Innovations & Consulting

Making it Happen
Dr. Philip K. Chapman, Consultant, Energy and Astronautics

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NSS, India to Launch Space-Based Solar Power Initiative



The National Space Society will hold a press conference Thursday, November 4 at the National Press Club to reveal one of the first initiatives ever undertaken by a non-profit American organization and a former head of state. That initiative pairs India’s eleventh President, Dr. A.P.J. Kalam with America’s National Space Society. Its name? The Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative.

The Kalam-NSS Energy Initiative’s goals? To solve the global energy crisis. To solve the global carbon crisis. And to solve America’s next generation jobs crisis. How? By harvesting solar power in space.

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Russians May Launch Ukrainian to ISS


International Space Station

Roscosmos PAO reports that Ukraine could be the next country to visit the International Space Station:

Russia and Ukraine have agreed that they may send a Ukrainian cosmonaut on a Russian spaceship to participate in long-term operations on the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS), Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov told news media.

According to him, it was Ukrainian proposal which implies training of national cosmonauts in Roscosmos’ Gagarin Training Center. However, the ‘costly’ initiative still has to be discussed with the ISS international partners, Perminov stated.

The Ukrainian National Space Agency will also work through all the aspects of the project, which haven’t been specified at the current stage.

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SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Engineering Non-Terrestrial Resources


Miners hoping to strike it rich during the California Gold Rush at Auburn Ravine in 1852. (Credit: California State Library)

Session 5: Engineering Materials from Non-Terrestrial Resources
Chair: Dr. Peter J. Schubert

Electrical Energy Storage Using Only Lunar Materials
Dave Dietzler, and Dr. Peter J. Schubert, Packer Engineering Inc.

In-Situ Production of Construction Materials by Combustion of Regolith/Aluminum and Regolith/Magnesium Mixtures
Prof. Evgeny Shafirovich, Christopher White and Francisco Alvarez, University of Texas at El Paso

Electro Dynamic Debris Eliminator (EDDE) Opens LEO for Aluminum Recovery and Reuse
Jerome Pearson, John Oldson and Dr. Eugene Levin, Star Technology and Research, Inc., Joseph Carroll, Tether Applications, Inc.

Building a Vertical Take Off and Landing Pad Using In Situ Materials
Dr. Paul Hintze, NASA Kennedy Space Center
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SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Craig Venter Speaks on Synthetic Biology


J. Craig Venter (Credit: Public Library of Science)

Craig Venter
J. Craig Venter Institute

— Few things excite his imagination than trying to design people and organisms for the long-term settlement of space
— Created a bacterial cell controlled by chemically synthesized genome earlier this year
— Mapped the human genome for the first time 15 years ago
— Can now map a human genome in a couple of days with a machine that costs about $500,000
— NASA has been doing genetic selection for quite some time — astronaut selection — without really admitting it…why not make it more rigorous?
— Screen for traits that are highly compatible for space — inner ear changes that eliminate motion sickness, minimize bone loss, etc.
— If people are going to be traveling and living in space for a long period of time, might think about engineering humans for with these traits

— Every person who goes to ISS is bringing maybe 10 million bacteria, genes, etc. with him/her

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SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Robotics and Space Manufacturing


Robotics and Space Manufacturing Session

Lee Valentine, Space Studies Institute (Moderator)

Mitchell Weiss, Seegrid Corp.
“Application of Visually Guided, Autonomous Robots to Space Mining and Construction”

Greg Baiden, Laurentian University, Penguin Automated Systems
“Lunar Mining: Taking the Best of Terrestrial Mining and Fitting it on the Moon”

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SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Closed Environment Life Support System


International Space Station

Closed Environment Life Support Systems

Dr. William Jewel, Cornell University, and Dr. Lee Valentine, Space Studies Institute
“The Engineering Trade Space for a Robust Closed Ecological Life Support System: A Suggested Technology Road Map”

Dr. Peter Curreri, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and Michael Detweiller, Junction Solutions
“Habitat Size Optimization of the O’Neill-Glaser Economic Model for Space Solar Satellite Production”

Sherwin Gormly, Dynamic Corporation, NASA Ames Research Center, and Michael Flynn, NASA Ames Research Center
“Membrane Based Habitat Wall Architectures for Evolving Structures and Comprehensive Resource Recycle in ‘Homestead’ Stage Space Colony Development”

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SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Extraterrestrial Prospecting Session


Asteroid Ida

Extraterrestrial Prospecting

Michael A’Hearn, University of Maryland
“Water or Rocks: Resources for Earth or for Exploration?”

Brad Blair, SSI, and Prof. Leslie Gertsch, University of Missouri-Rolla
“Mining Methods for Asteroid Utilization”

Mark Sonter, Asteroid Enterprises Pty Ltd.

“Mining Concepts Development for Assessing Asteroid Resources”

Dr. Faith Vilas, University of Arizona
“Resources from Asteroids: What We Can Expect From What We Now Know”
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SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Space Transportation Session


ULA fuel depot

Space Transportation Session

Chairman: Gary C. Hudson, HMX Inc.
“Earth to LEO Roadmap: Technologies and Possibilities”

Dallas Bienhoff, The Boeing Company, and Jeff Goff, Altius Space Machines, Inc.
“Top Ten Technologies for Reusable Cislunar Transportation”

Joe Carroll, Tether Applications
“Tether Sling Concepts for LEO and Beyond”

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SSI Space Manufacturing 14: Jeff Greason


XCOR CEO Jeff Greason

Jeff Greason – XCOR

— space is an endeavor and enterprise I have believed in for as long as I remember
— now finds himself in the space business– believed in the early space shuttle projections — flying every week
— no point in going any place just to go…need something to do with it…
— if you are going to explore and you have no idea about what to do with what you find…
— People aren’t as into space because there was no ultimate point to exploration…
— we don’t seem to be proud of what we’ve done, almost cowering from the technology that we can wield.
— we sit on the shore of an ocean that has vast resources of materials, energy and space
— the moon is not sterile and dry…it will support a great culture and be the transportation hub of the Solar System
–  Our work is a result of the work that Gerard K. O’Neill did….looked at colonies that would be sustainable, profitable, self-sustaining

Obama Honors NASA Employees Who Helped Rescue Trapped Chilean Miners


President Barack Obama meets in the Oval Office with members of the NASA team and other Americans involved in the Chilean mine rescue on October 28, 2010. From left, Dr. Michael Duncan, Dr. Albert Holland, Dr. James Polk and Dr. Clint Cragg, are pictured along with others who traveled to Chile to assist the once-trapped miners. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza.

President Barack Obama welcomed NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and a NASA team that assisted trapped Chilean miners to the Oval Office on Thursday for a ceremony that recognized Americans involved in the rescue.

After the White House event, Bolden and Deputy Administrator Lori Garver presented NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal to five agency employees who supported the rescue effort. The NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal is awarded for a significant, specific accomplishment or substantial improvement in operations, efficiency, service, financial savings, science, or technology that contributes to NASA’s mission.

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Video: Bob Bigelow and Tim Pickens Fire a Rocket Engine


Robert Bigelow, Tim Pickens and friends fire a rocket motor for Bigelow Aerospace’s space station project during the ISPCS.

The 100-Year Starship Could Take a While



Throughout history technical challenges have inspired generations to achieve scientific breakthroughs of lasting impact. Several decades ago, for instance, the race to the moon sparked a global excitement surrounding space exploration that persists to this day. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the NASA Ames Research Center have teamed together to take the first step in the next era of space exploration—a journey between the stars.

The 100-Year Starship study will examine the business model needed to develop and mature a technology portfolio enabling long-distance manned space flight a century from now. This goal will require sustained investments of intellectual and financial capital from a variety of sources. The year-long study aims to develop a construct that will incentivize and facilitate private co-investment to ensure continuity of the lengthy technological time horizon needed.

Continue reading ‘The 100-Year Starship Could Take a While’