Saturday, February 28, 2009

Orphans of Apollo at GWU

I went to Inaugural Event of the new Arthur C. Clarke Fellows Endowment of the International Space University. It was a wonderful event, which also included an inspiring tribute to Arthur C. Clarke and a showing of Orphans of Apollo and Q&A with Michael Potter the Director.

Orphans of Apollo is about Walt Anderson and Mircorp leasing of the Mir Space Station for commercial use and all the feathers it ruffled. I wondered about the name because real orphans of Apollo are not interested in anything in orbit except the Moon. The movie takes us on a rollercoaster ride through this attempt at space commercialization. I knew many of the people in the movie during that time. I remember being amused by what they were trying and amazed they got so far.

What I enjoyed most about the evening is seeing how much progress the space movement is making. The movie Orphans of Apollo included a clip with Elon Musk and Space-X which are becoming serious contenders in the launch field. But the thing that was giving me the most hope was the event itself especially Michael Potter's speech which would have done Rick Tumlinson proud.

I studied at GWU under John Logsdon. Dr. Logsdon is a friend of large aerospace companies and was always concerned about his reputation. Dr. Logsdon would not have allowed Michael Potter and Jeff Manber in the door let alone thrown them an event. I remember talking to Dr. Logsdon about having an event to discuss property rights in space and being told he was not interested and he did not want the event to occur on GWU property.

Listening to Michael Potter speak at an event sponsored by the George Washington University Space Policy Institute is like seeing cars drive under the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. As a teenager I used to live in Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was one of the last things I saw in the city before I left. At the time there were groups of heavily armed soldiers about 20 yards apart, on each side of the Brandenburg gate, with guns pointed at each other. No one had passed through the gate in decades. Now there is a major street running under the gate when I first saw a picture of it as it is now I stared for 10 minutes trying to get my head around the concept. I feel like that now. The Space Policy Institute under Dr. Scott Pace is a fundamentally different place than it was a year ago.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Here is an interesting paper which considers what would be required to build a spacefaring civilization, which I thought I should bring to the attention the space movement.


The American spacefaring dream, which envisions average Americans being able to safely and routinely travel to and work in space, remains the American public’s benchmark for measuring progress in America’s human space enterprises. This article begins with a brief review of the ideas and developments that led up to the formation of the American spacefaring dream in the late 1950s. It continues with discussion of how building new logistics infrastructure capabilities has enabled America to lead the world in opening new physical and technological
frontiers and why this provides a successful model for fulfilling the American spacefaring dream of opening the space frontier. The article concludes with the identification of specific planning objectives to guide the development, construction, and operation of an integrated American spacefaring logistics infrastructure.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP)

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP)

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP), based at NASA Ames Research Center, has undertaken the task of translating the original analog data from 1,500 tapes taken from the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft into digital form. The Lunar Orbiter images were taken in the 1960s by cameras onboard five separate Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. They were captured on magnetic tapes and then transferred to film for analysis. Unfortunately, the full resolution of those images was not available because the technology didn’t exist to extract it all. Thankfully, the tapes were saved from destruction decades ago by Nancy Evans, co-creator of the Planetary Data System. Now the digitized LOIRP images, which are the highest-resolution taken of the lunar surface to date, can finally be analyzed.

LOIRP, the brainchild of Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing, has faced many challenges, including resurrecting antiquated equipment and image processing techniques.

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Overview

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Progress Report 5 February 2009

The Space Elevator

The Space Elevator

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Director's Screening of the Film "Orphans of Apollo"

The International Space University,
The Arthur C. Clarke Foundation
George Washington University's Space Policy Institute

Invite You To
An Exclusive Director's Screening of the Award Winning Film
"Orphans of Apollo"
Inaugural Event for the New Arthur C. Clarke Fellowship Endowment
Of the International Space University

5:00pm Doors Open
5:30pm Introductions & Film Followed by Director's Q&A
6:30pm Closing Reception

$250 "Event Sponsor" (3 tickets Included)
$100 "Scholarship Booster" (2 tickets Included)
$25 General Admission $15 Student


Jack Morton Auditorium, George Washington University, 805 21st St. N.W.

"Join this band of rebels out to change the course of history in space, as they board a private Gulf Stream jet, fly to Russia and negotiate one of the most remarkable business deals of the final frontier. "

Supporting Institutions
American Astronautical Society, Space Frontier Foundation
ISU-USA Alumni Association, Society of Satellite Professionals International
National Space Society, Women In Aerospace
The Progress & Freedom Foundation

All gifts to the International Space University are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. A non-deductible cost of $15 per person must be accounted for in reporting this philanthropic gift for those attending the reception. Donations benefit ISU's Arthur C. Clarke Fellowship Endowment and General Scholarship Fund and the George Washington University Space Policy Institute Fund for ISU Scholarships.

Frontiers of Propulsion Science, Edited by Marc G. Millis and Eric W. Davis

Frontiers of Propulsion Science is the first-ever compilation of emerging science relevant to such notions as space drives, warp drives, gravity control, and faster-than-light travel – the kind of breakthroughs that would revolutionize spaceflight and enable human voyages to other star systems. Although these concepts might sound like science fiction, they are appearing in growing numbers in reputable scientific journals. From AIAA

Congratulations Marc!

Frontiers of Propulsion Science
Marc G. Millis, NASA Glenn Research Center
Eric W. Davis, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin
Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics Series, 227
Published by AIAA, © 2009, 739 pages, Hardback
ISBN-10: 1-56347-956-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-56347-956-4

Friday, February 6, 2009

Let's Party- Yuri's Night 2009 Party List

Yuri's Night 2009 will celebrate humanity’s achievements in space with 51 Parties, so far, in 19 countries between April 4th and 12th. Check out the Party List.

Yuri's Night is named for Yuri Gagarin's first flight into space in April of 1961.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Space Movement on Facebook Now Has 300 Members

The Space Movement Group on Facebook now has 300 members. We are making great progress. We have great momentum.

There are many space groups but only one space movement.