Sunday, March 29, 2009

Space Renaissance Press Conference In London On March 31

Space Renaissance Initiative – Press Release
Press conference 2009 March 31st - 16.00
British Interplanetary Society - 27/29 South Lambeth Road - London, UK
Press Kit for Press Conference

The Space Renaissance Initiative (SRI) will present a proposal to ignite a space economic revolution on 2009 March 31st, before the G20 summit.

The proposal is a simple priority-driven agenda: to develop low-cost civilian space transportation, orbital and sub-orbital space tourism, lunar industrialization, spacebased solar power, and the use of near-Earth asteroids to build space infrastructures. These include research and industrial settlements on the Moon; orbital stations, resources utilization, space hotels, service facilities and space debris collection.

This is not speculation. All of these goals can be achieved within the first half of this century. By the second half of this century, based on the experience gained in near-Earth space, Mars and the Martian moons will be settled with the long-term goal of terraforming the red planet.

In order to help the development of the civilian space industry, we recommend governments should provide incentives in the form of tax abatements and financial help for companies working in the space industry; new investment funds for space tourism and the space industry; and special programs geared towards universities and other educational systems. These policies also extend to private organizations, individuals, space agencies, and financial institutions.

Governments can invest public money toward the new space economy through space agencies (primarily devoted to science and exploration), more commercially oriented agencies (to be chartered), and private enterprise, for the industrialization of the Moon-Earth region.

With a current population of almost seven billion people, human growth on planet Earth is rapidly becoming unsustainable. Problems stem from a shortage of raw materials and lack of inexpensive and accessible energy. This dearth of resources, which results in continuous global economic recessions, could cause our civilization to implode to one billion within the end of this century, with increasing risk of humanity falling back to pre-technological ages.

The only fundamental solution to assure continued growth of civilization is to open the high frontier and start surveying the resources of the solar system. Space contains unimaginable amounts of unexploited resources on the Moon, asteroids and other planets. Establishing a foothold off-Earth would also protect humanity from planetwide catastrophes.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Ada Byron Love Lace, born "Ada Byron, the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, was born in December of 1815, and one month later her mother in a bitter and celebrated separation, left the "mad and bad" Byron and took Ada with her."- Source:

Ada Lovelace was one of the world's first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Women's contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Whatever she does, whether she is a sysadmin or a tech entrepreneur, a programmer or a designer, developing software or hardware, a tech journalist or a tech consultant, we want to celebrate her achievements.

Happy Ada Love Lace Day. To Celebrate I am taking three girls to the Baltimore Science Center. This is by chance rather than planning but it is very fitting.

In the field of Space Exploration there are many women to celebrate.

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova – First woman in space

Sally Kristen Ride - First American woman in space.

Peggy Annette Whitson - First Femal Space Station Commander

Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid - First American woman to make a long-duration space station mission.

Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe, Judith Arlene Resnik who gave their lives on the Space Shuttle.

Or those who kept their feet on the ground like-

Donna Shirley - Managed Mars Exploration at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Jill Cornell Tarter - Director of the Center for SETI Research.

Who would you like to acknowlegde on Ada Lovelace Day?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Does International Cooperation Benefit The United States of America?

U.S. government space spending, which makes up more than 80 percent of global government space budgets
according to Government Budgets on the Space Foundation Web Site.

The US government spends four times as much on space as ALL the other governments combined.

This raises the question - Why are doing international cooperation?

It is usually claimed that the US can't afford to go it alone in space. This can't possibly be true since the United States Government is spending 80 percent of the of global government spending on space. The last 20% can't possibly make or break any project since much of that money must be spent just doing the basics such as having an office and nurturing local industry.

With the road block of ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) making it expensive and legally dangerous to do international aerospace trade, and all the cost of coordination, International Cooperation can not possibly be less expensive than purely American projects.

While I can see value in rewarding our Allies by allowing them to participate in our space activities off the critical path. I don't see how putting any partner on the critical path benefits any US space project.

Does the United States really benefit from international cooperation or is it just an excuse for government officials to travel abroad on the U.S. taxpayers dime?

Is Inspiration Without A Destination Morally Repugnant?

In An Astronaut's Letter to President Obama: Six Space Policy Musts, Tom Jones writes as the last of his Space Policy must-
Inspire the Next Generation of Space Explorers
Look our young people in the eye and tell them that we need explorers—doers—who are citizens of the most forward-looking nation on Earth. Tell them America is signing up a world-beating corps of talented scientists and engineers and turning them loose to explore the asteroids, the moon, and the solar system. That same team can conquer terrestrial challenges in energy, defense, environmental protection and high-tech competition. Generations of Americans found prosperity and forged our nation's future on the frontier. Mr. President, reignite the excitement generated by those epic Apollo voyages. Launch our future explorers to prove themselves at the frontiers of space.

I find this morally repugnant. Since NASA has no intent give our children a future by "turning them loose to explore the asteroids, the Moon, and the solar system." NASA intends to spend several hundred billion dollars to camp on the Moon for a few years then abandon it to go on a few Mars Missions. No plans for settlement anywhere. No plans to let more than a hand full of people ever go. No plans to go to the asteroids or anywhere else in the solar system expect the Moon and Mars. It is cruel to suggest anyone has a real chance of going into space through NASA. Because they don't. If NASA wants to use space to inspire our children to study math and science then we must give them a future in space. Otherwise NASA is simply guilty of child abuse.

Why is NASA Horrible At Implementing Space Policy?

In an article in the Space Review Is the US serious about space policy? by Jeff Foust. He discusses a roundtable discussion of space policy experts titled “Challenges for Space Policy in 2009” in Washington last week. (The event took place under the Chatham House Rule, so that none of the discussion can be attributed to any speaker.) One speaker said “We’re horrible at implementing policy, absolutely horrible. We’ve got to figure out why we’re horrible.” There are several reason why the US is so horrible at implementing space policy these include the rush to engineering, pre-mature choice, and the discord between talk and action.

There is the rush to engineering instead of considering a larger long term plan. As the long term plan is developed elements can be considered. Each element needs to be carefully considered as to how it fits with other elements, and long term implications and requirements driven by the choice of that element. Then the best entire package can be chosen with the elements which bring the best options at the least cost for the entire package. The elements in the package should be chosen always remembering that good is the enemy of the best. This is often talked about in terms of the need to lower standards to only do good enough instead of the best possible solution which is often more expensive and takes longer. But I question this interpretation. The best solution can only be considered in terms of the larger plan. If pursuit of perfection in a single element means the project is delayed due to difficult engineering or cancelled due to cost overruns, or simply that other elements suffer than that was obviously not the best choice. The best solution is one that makes the whole project work best not the individual element. There are implications for every choice. Moving too quickly to engineering locks in choices and drives up costs. The rush to engineering is one reason why NASA is horrible at implementing space policy. (For more on the rush to engineering see The critical role of advanced technology investments in preventing spaceflight program cost overruns by John C. Mankins, December 1, 2008)

Premature choice is another reason why space policies have consistently failed. Premature choice is related to but different from the rush to engineering; they are however mutually reinforcing tendencies of NASA which have caused many cost overruns, delays and failed projects. NASA chose to replace the Saturn 5 with the Shuttle before the Moon Landing. Having put all its eggs in the basket of the space shuttle, NASA had to make it to work. Even when it became obvious NASA had bit off more than it could chew. We are still living with the consequences today. NASA needs to return to pattern of testing different options, it had before Apollo. The rush to the Moon with the all up testing of the Saturn 5, which actually worked, started NASA down a dangerous path. NASA needs to have a more Darwinian approach to projects. Testing options against each other in small projects before making major decisions for big projects. Premature choice is one reason NASA is horrible at implementing space policy.

Discord between talk and action is another reason why NASA is horrible at implementing space policy. For instance NASA says that the goal for Vision for Space Exploration is to develop the Moon but there is little work being done on insitu resource utilization. Use of resources is fundamental to any development. Using space resources is especially important because of the extremely high launch costs. Discord between talk and action is extremely detrimental to effective leadership and management since workers begin to question every directive wondering is management serious about this one are is this just empty rhetoric. One reason there is discord between talk and action is that there is always discord within NASA about what it should be doing. NASA employees tend to have their own dreams of space and ideas how to accomplish that but NASA as an organization tends to be lead by commands from outside mainly the White House, momentum, or great visions of what space exploration should be. NASA is not good at suggesting its own direction which is developed organically. So, there is always internal resistance to whatever is the space policy of the day. NASA has developed many methods to keep this resistance hidden, but this resistance still undercuts the implementation of space policy. The methods of controlling this resistance also stifle technologically innovation.

Space policy implementation at NASA is horrible because of the rush to engineering, premature choice and the discord between talk and action. The discord between talk and action, premature choice and the rush to engineering are all related. Rushing to engineering and premature choice mean that management may quickly realize they are not on the right path to achieve success but they can not change their rhetoric because that would endanger funding and force them it admit that mistakes were made. For NASA to become effective at implementing space policy they will need to change there culture to one of open discussion of long term plans before engineering begins, one of embracing lots of small scale testing and letting the results choose the path forward, one of striving for honestly matching talk and action. NASA is one of America’s greatest assets which has been less than effective lately, hopefully with change brought on by new direction and leadership NASA can live up to its potential.

Space Solar Power Video

Space Based Solar Power - Alternative Energy Solution

FACT: There aren't enough resources on this planet to sustain continued human growth and increasing quality of life.

FACT: If we want to avoid catastrophic war, suffering, and global shortages of energy, we need to start looking to space seriously for solutions.

Space Based Solar Power is the first step.

Music - "Pulse" by Yoko Kanno

Saturday, March 7, 2009

1 Million New Jobs From Space Infrastructure!

1 Million new jobs, and more from Space Infrastructure!

Space Solar Power Will Be Needed To Supply Most Of The Worlds Power By 2100

The End of Easy Energy and What to Do About It by James Michael Snead


Easy energy refers to the current oil, coal, and natural gas energy sources that provide about 86% of the U.S.’s and the world’s energy. An increasing average world per capita demand for easy energy combined with a growing U.S. and world population will exhaust recoverable resources of easy energy this century, probably within the lifetime of today’s young children. Current sustainable nuclear and renewable energy sources provide only about 14% of the world’s electricity and modern fuel needs. To meet the world’s projected 3X increase in energy needs by 2100, if not decades earlier, today’s sustainable energy production must expand by a factor of over 25X. This paper’s assessment of the energy production potential of conventional nuclear, geothermal, wind, ground solar electric, and land biomass finds that these will fall significantly short of both the U.S.’s or the world’s 2100 sustainable energy needs. To fill the substantial sustainable energy shortfall that will emerge by 2100 as the era of easy energy ends, space solar power and algae biodiesel—absent the extensive use of advanced nuclear energy and/or undersea methane hydrates—will need to be substantially developed. Space solar power will be needed to supply most of the U.S.’s and the world’s dispatchable electrical power generation capacity while hydrogen produced with off-peak space solar power electricity and algae biodiesel will be needed to fill the fuels shortfall.