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By Dean Larson, Chair, Projects Committee
Our NSS Cornell University team, Cislunar Explorers, has just placed 2nd in Ground Test (GT) 3 of the NASA CubeQuest Challenge. This showing entitles our team to a $30,000 award that is sorely needed now to support equipment development, integration, and testing of our two spacecraft that will use the hydrogen and oxygen from water as propellant (a first in space) to go into orbit around the Moon. Our team is the only participant in the CubeQuest Challenge to place in the top three in all three contest rounds: GT-1, GT-2, and now GT-3. One last step. If we can continue our momentum and place in the top three in Ground Tournament 4, we will win a free ride into space on NASA’s new Space Launch System (SLS) booster in the Fall of 2018. We could still use plenty of funding help. If you’d like to donate to this exciting project and be on the right side of history, see
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/292227449/cislunar-explorer-make-your-own-water-propelled-sp. Hurry, we only have five days left on the Kickstarter. For more information, see the "NSS Projects" webpage at http://www.nss.org/about/projects/index.html.
By Christine Nobbe
Pricing for the 2017 ISDC in St. Louis
increases on November 15.
By Karen Mermel
Our NSS leaders are spreading the NSS vision! Chairman of the Executive Committee Mark Hopkins, Senior Vice President and Senior Operating Officer Bruce Pittman, and Executive Vice President Dale Skran, all attended the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. They listened to many very interesting and professional speakers and networked for NSS. Bruce Pittman also attended the Hawaii Aerospace Summit and met there with the Governor of Hawaii. Dale Skran and the Policy Committee wrote several press releases including: Elon Musk’s stupendous Mars announcement, the success of Blue Origin’s New Shepard launch and recovery, and the August Blitz success. Dale says that the Blitz is now in follow up mode. So if you still would like to speak to your Congress people, please feel free to make the contact and let Dale know. Things will pick up some during the lame duck session. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Fred Becker
The NSS Board of Directors held their Fall board meeting over this past weekend at the Johnson Space Center’s visitors center, Space Center Houston. Topics ranged from projects and plans to publications and conferences. NSS committees also met during this time and interacted with NSS Board members. The Space Solar Power Committee gathered all the leaders together in the field of space solar power and discussed implementation steps. NSS leaders are now setting their sights on the Space Settlement Summit scheduled for January in Los Angeles. The NSS volunteer board is working every day to improve NSS and advance the vision of a spacefaring civilization.
NSS Fall Board Meeting
By David Brandt-Erichsen
In our Roadmap to Space Settlement 2017 International Student Art Contest, the National Space Society (NSS) is looking for student artists to create ORIGINAL illustrations for the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement. Submitted artwork should REALISTICALLY illustrate one of this year’s two themes. This year’s themes: 1. People Living and Working in Space Settlements OR 2. Medicine and Medical Manufacturing in Space. All full-time students at any grade level between the ages of 13 and 25 are eligible. The deadline for submissions is March 16, 2017.
Example of the first theme, People Living and Working in Space Settlements
Example of the second theme, Medicine and Medical Manufacturing in Space
By Christine Nobbe, ISDC 2017 Chair
When I attend conferences I try to arrive early or stay late to explore the city. If you are like me, you will want to arrive early for ISDC 2017 on Wednesday, May 24th so that you can participate in the tours we have planned to the St. Louis Arch, Challenger Learning Center, Boeing Prologue Room, Academic Labs at Washington University and Saint Louis University Parks College, and more. The tours will be held on Thursday, May 25th. I like to save money by volunteering. If you are like me, you can be a Tour Guide and attend a tour for free! Please email me at ISDC2017@gmail.com to learn more.
By John Strickland
After working with a group at NASA Langley off and on since March, I was able to publish this article, Enabling a Mars Settlement Strategy with the Hercules Reusable Mars Lander, in The Space Review on Monday, Oct 17. The article includes two new images by my collaborator Anna Nesterova that were only finished last week. The Langley group's paper in 2015 was the first paper I know of under NASA sponsorship to support reusable spacecraft.
| || UPCOMING CONFERENCES AND CONVENTIONS|
||Reinventing Space Conference
||FAA COMSTAC Fall Meeting
||Florida Venture Forum and VentureTech Showcase
||Lunar Exploration Analysis Group
||SEDS Annual Conference
||West Lafayette, IN
||New Worlds 2016
||Canadian Space Commerce Association Meeting
||Space Rendezvous 2016 (Astronauts)
||Canadian Space Society Annual Summit
||Lombard (Chicago), IL
||National Space Club Huntsville Breakfast with Todd May
||Neil deGrasse Tyson lecture/presentation
||CODER Orbital Debris Workshop
||College Park, MD
By New Worlds Institute
Within 25 years the first colonists will arrive at the New Worlds of space. How will they survive? How will they thrive? For two days this fall, world class scientists, experts and engineers will join some of the newest minds and future leaders to explain, discuss and debate the challenges and solutions facing those who will go out there. Old ideas will be challenged. New ideas will be presented for the first time. Government explorers will tell us their plans. Entrepreneurs and financial experts will talk about new businesses and ways to pay for these new communities. Over 500 high school kids will design their own cities to be built on the Moon and Mars. Makers will show us how they will make what we need to live. Artists will show us what it will be like. And then we celebrate! New Worlds are about to open.
| || NSS CHAPTERS ROUNDUP
By Claire McMurray
By Mohamed Peer (edited)
Team October Sky (2016) gathered on Sunday morning, October 16th 2016 to mark its first anniversary. The 1-hour scheduled meeting extended to a 3-hour fun-filled team building session. October Sky was started by a handful of space-enthusiasts on 15th of October 2015, on the day of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’s birthday. Organizational changes, failed plans, unfavorable times and limited work-force did not crumble us, instead we learned to thrive. No matter how little we have done in the past year, if there is one best reason for us to celebrate — it’s just that we exist and there’s more to come. We thank National Space Society for supporting us in our journey!
By Mohamed Peer (edited)
Two of our volunteers, Aadithya Sai and Akshay Kumar were presented with Volunteer of the Year 2015-16 Awards for their unwavering involvement and volunteering efforts in the chapter since its inauguration last year. October Sky sincerely thanks them for believing in the idea of an Indian space-enthusiasts community. Volunteers must play an integral part of a non-profit like October Sky. We aim to provide opportunities for leadership and positive youth development within our organization so that our volunteers will learn to collaborate in teams with shared goals.
By Mike Mackowski
The Phoenix chapters of NSS and The Moon Society sponsored a display table and a presentation at "LibraryCon." This was a one-day free sci-fi event held Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the Southeast Regional Library branch in Gilbert, Arizona. This is the second year we have participated in this outreach opportunity that drew over 600 visitors throughout the day. The facility was full of families and enthusiasts checking out cosplayers (Marvel characters were in abundance), authors, gaming demos, and workshops on various sci-fi and fantasy topics. Mike Mackowski gave a talk on the prospects for human missions to Mars including coverage of the latest SpaceX announcements. The display featured our astronaut cutout for (little-used) photo-ops and some info posters and gravity jugs. We also gave away a lot of Ad Astra magazines. Thanks to chapter members Phyllis Bush, Greg Rucker, and Gary Henderson for helping out and working the crowd.
Phyllis Bush ready to talk about space!
By Claire McMurray
What do these items have in common? They all involve the Clear Lake NSS chapter, which served chili and other goodies when hosting the Fall meeting of the National Space Society’s Board of Directors at Anita Gale’s house. What about the Moon? Well, this NSS chapter is also a Moon Society chapter. At their October 17th meeting, they tentatively modified requirements for chapter Board members and unanimously re-elected the current officers. After reviewing material and videos received from the Sacramento L5 Society—a proposal for "Powering a Moon Base through the Lunar Night"—CLA-NSS has posted them on their website. Also, meeting upstairs during the Fall Board meeting, the NSS Committee on Space-Based Solar Power planned next steps. The chapter hosts a video on the SacL5 proposal: http://nss-houston-moon.org/chapter-resources/. (link expires December 17th)
Committee on Space-Based Solar Power
By Judy Tippett
On Saturday, October 1st, a St. Louis Space Frontier contingent arrived at the Collinsville Convention Center in nearby Collinsville, Illinois to participate in Archon, a fan-run science fiction convention. Our speakers, Christine Nobbe, Bob Perry, Nicholas Kirschman, and Maggie Duckworth served on 17 science panel discussions...they all were well received and answered a variety of questions admirably. I manned the fan table, looking friendly, and answering questions with enthusiasm. The costumes coming in the door were a source of constant entertainment! We talked with several vendors who expressed an interest in bringing their wares to ISDC in May. Using ISDC postcards and Ad Astra magazines we spread the word about our Conference, NSS, and St. Louis Space Frontier.
Christine Nobbe talking about the Moon
Interesting costumes at Archon!
Based on information from Cheryl York, Administrator for NSS in Second Life (SL "Ariel Miranda"), and Bryce Walden (SL "Banker Tomorrow"), NSS in Second Life Management Team
Early NSS chapter Oregon L5 Society first became involved in Second Life by building a lunar lava tube exhibit at NASA CoLab, a "Sim" run by NASA Ames Research Center. Wanting to establish a foothold in the largest user-created VR platform on Earth, NSS committed to buy and maintain a region or "Sim" in Second Life and appointed Oregon L5, through their Research Team (see http://www.oregonl5.org/lbrt/), to manage it. When Ames' funding dried up and they left Second Life, NSS was able to preserve CoLab's award-winning "NASA Library and Archive" built by professional archivist Shannon Bohle ( SL "Archivist Llewellyn"). Over the years the simple virtual lava tube has become a deep lunar lava tube base, currently being rebuilt with improved virtual materials. The previous surface base is still open to the public at altitude above the "ground." Farther up, there is a partial "Earth-Moon L1 Base" with a pressurized, water-shielded lunar-glass sphere, the "Space BALLroom," where they hold meetings and educational, socio-cultural, and space-related public events. The park-like setting changes with the seasons, and is a vital component of the facility life support system. It’s customized for a two-week lunar "day" lit by unfiltered sunlight and a two-week "night" illuminated by cool Earthlight. Every week, open meetings draw up to two dozen virtual attendees discussing space activities, space development, and related issues. A separate weekly meeting is held to share building experiences and help others create content for NSS in Second Life. For larger events such as Yuri's Night and Space Week, the chapter collaborates with International Spaceflight Museum, a tax-exempt nonprofit Texas corporation. The museum’s two sims can accommodate more people simultaneously, and their people help NSS on some projects. The "National Space Society" Group in Second Life has over 390 members from all over the world. We welcome new participants including those new to Second Life. Both membership in Second Life and participation are free. Meetings are Mondays at 3 pm Pacific time at http://slurl.com/secondlife/National%20Space%20Society/109/142/1260.
Meeting in Cyberspace
Links: https://secondlife.com and http://www.OregonL5.org.
by Marianne Dyson
Space books keep us informed, stimulate our imaginations of the future of human space travel, and
make excellent gifts. Your purchases through the NSS link (of books or anything else!) to Amazon
also provide a credit to NSS to use for our educational programs. Check out this new title at NSS
Non-fiction: Go for Orbit: One of Americas First Women Astronauts Finds Her Space, by Margaret Rhea Seddon, reviewed by Marianne Dyson. Rhea Seddon, MD, shares the challenges she faced as one the first women to fly in space. The inspiring story of a remarkable human being who faced down the naysayers, stood up to physical and emotional challenges, sacrificed personal gain for the good of others, and went on to live happily ever after.
Fiction: Public Loneliness: Yuri Gagarin’s Circumlunar Flight, and Zero Phase: Apollo 13 on the Moon, by Gerald Brennan, reviewed by Clifford McMurray. Two “alternative space histories” explore what might have been, in striking and fascinating detail. What if the explosion of the fuel cell in the Apollo 13 Service Module had occurred after Jim Lovell and Fred Haise had landed on the Moon, instead of before? And what if, instead of launching Vladimir Komarov to his death on a defective Soyuz 1, the Soviets had instead tried a circumlunar flight with an equally unproven Zond (a Soyuz variant) carrying Yuri Gagarin as its pilot?
Children’s Book: The Darkest Dark, by Chris Hadfield with Kate Fillion, reviewed by Peter Spasov. Inspired by the childhood of a real-life astronaut, this book encourages readers to dream the impossible.
Don't forget to check the archives for books you may have missed, including some classics. Use the "MORE" links to read over 300 reviews of nonfiction, fiction, and children's books.
by Edward Ellegood
Florida Space Development Council, An NSS Chapter
The Next President Will Take Power with Significant Space Decisions Looming (Source: Ars Technica)
At the upper edge of the atmosphere, where the sky kisses outer space, a few molecules of nitrogen and oxygen bounce around. If we consider the presidential election as playing out at the surface of the Earth, amid a thick atmosphere of invective and accusation, it is not a stretch to say the relative importance of space policy lies somewhere near the edge of space, bouncing around inconsequentially, like these stray molecules. Even so, the next president of the United States will have the ability, if not the desire, to shape the future of America’s civil space programs—especially with major decision points on the horizon, including the privatization of spaceflight and the details of where humans should go beyond low-Earth orbit. For this reason, we’re going to look at what changes a new president might make and what attitudes each candidate has had toward space. Click here. (10/22)
Opinion: How To Colonize Mars (Source: Aviation Week)
Within a month, the aspiration to send humans to Mars seems to have reached a new level of media exposure. First Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin disclosed its plan to build the New Glenn, a rocket with the potential to send humans into space. Then SpaceX CEO Elon Musk presented his vision of how we could shuttle to and from Mars within a couple of decades. And two weeks later, President Obama wrote an op-ed calling for America to set its sights on sending humans to Mars by the 2030s with the ambition of remaining there for an extended time. While coming from different angles, both Musk and Obama emphasized the need for a public-private partnership to achieve these ambitious goals. Musk’s main objective is to make the trip to Mars affordable for as many people as possible. His hypothesis is that if one can bring the cost down to the median cost of a house in the U.S.—$200,000—then there will be a critical mass of people who can afford and are willing to go. In order to reach that affordability threshold, he believes government money will be needed along the way, hence the need for a public-private partnership. Click here. (10/19)
Orbital ATK Looks Deeper Into Space Following Successful Launch (Source: Washington Business Journal)
Orbital ATK is no doubt celebrating — and breathing a sigh of relief — following its first successful launch of its Antares rocket since that same brand of rocket exploded seconds after takeoff two years ago. But Orbital ATK isn’t viewing this as moment of redemption, but rather as an opportunity to position its signature space vehicles for future deep-space missions. Following these commercial cargo launches, Orbital ATK wants to sell NASA on its cislunar space habitats. These space habitats would essentially be modified Cygnus vehicles that go beyond its current mission of delivering cargo in low-earth orbit — about 250 miles out — to the International Space Station, all the way out into cislunar space — the region comprising the Moon's orbit. (10/19)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Thinks Space Can Be the New Internet (Source: The Verge)
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos saw Neil Armstrong step on the Moon nearly 50 years ago and the moment changed his life. Now, as the head of one of the robust online retailers in the world, Bezos says that space is the next frontier, a new internet if you will, that is desperately lacking in infrastructure to support new entrepreneurs. Bezos said the sole purpose of his rocket venture Blue Origin is to build out the same kind of infrastructure for space that Amazon enjoyed in 1995 with the early internet. "Two kids in their dorm room can reinvent an industry," Bezos said, referring to the strengths of the modern internet. "Two kids in their dorm room cannot do anything interesting in space." Bezos says rocket reusability needs to be improved, and both Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are working toward the goal of vastly reducing the cost of sending payloads to space. Bezos said there's also a number of restraints right now that prevent the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that helped create Amazon do the same for a next-generation space venture. "We need to be able to put big things in space at low cost." (10/20)
New Chinese Company Set Up to Develop Space Economy (Source: Global Times)
The commercialization of rocket launches will boost the industry by bringing space tourism income and attracting private investment, experts said. ChinaRocket Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, the country's largest developer of ballistic missiles and carrier rockets, was established on Wednesday, marking the commercialization of China's space industry. "Chinese commercial space enterprises are lagging behind the global market due to lack of complete production chain in the commercial space industry and experience in commercial space activities like space tourism," Li Hong, president of the academy, said at a press conference on Wednesday. "Commercializing rocket launches will help develop the industry as many private companies will be interested in the sector," said Jiao Weixin, a professor at the School of Earth and Space Science of Peking University. Jiao said the establishment of the company signals that State-controlled space industry is stepping into ordinary people's daily life. (10/21)
Ad Astra Magazine - Fall 2016
- MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS: ISDC 2017 By Gloria Lloyd
- HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON—TO LAND ON MARS By John F. Kross
- DIPPING INTO THE FUTURE - Looking for Life in the Universe By Lance Frazer
- CAREFUL, BABY ON BOARD! ROCKETING THE CRADLE TO MARS By John F. Kross
- SPACE IN THE SWAMPLANDS By Mark Williamson
- U.S. SPACE WALK OF FAME MUSEUM By Mark Williamson
- NEW TO FLIGHT: REDUCING THE COST OF ACCESS TO SPACE By Dale L. Skran
- THE ESSENTIAL SPACE LIBRARY By Clifford R. McMurray
- CISLUNAR EXPLORERS: WATER-PROPELLED CUBESAT TO LUNAR ORBIT By Kyle Doyle
- SPACE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR LUNAR TOURISM By Dave Dietzler
Our Vision: People living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity.
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Please send requested information to Help-Wantedemail@example.com.
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