Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lunar Sacrament

A poem by Ron Drummond

Lunar Sacrament

Buzz Aldrin took

the sacrament on the moon,

cup, wine, wafer, prayer:

cross made out of nothing

but bottled air

stirred into brief

cruciform presence

by an articulate hand,

human reverence

hovering in a bubble

above an ancient bone-dry sea

that knew more change

in a few life-pulsing hours

than in the thousand thousand

millennia that came before.

Neil Armstrong bore witness,

spoke not a word,

told no one what,

in that timeless, momentary

ceremony before their

long short walk,

he'd seen and heard,

a flickering cross of life,

or nothing,

on a briefly

untranquil sea.

Copyright © 2009 by Ron Drummond

For more information about the history of this event.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Next Step in Space: Support Commercial Spaceflight!

Next Step in Space: Support Commercial Spaceflight!
Unless we act now... America is 18 months from being dependent on foreign countries to put astronauts into space.

Unless we act now... the United States will be unable to provide human space transportation for a minimum of 5 years.

Unless we act now... we will send more than a billion US taxpayer dollars overseas that could be re-invested in our own economy.

It doesn't have to be this way.

On Facebook Next Step in Space: Support Commercial Spaceflight!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Posts on Space Settlement Blog Day

I want to thank everyone who particapated in Space Settlement Blog Day. It was very successful. There were several very interesting essays written for the occasion.

Space Settlement Blog Day by Douglas Mallette on The Space Advocate

Settle the Final Frontier by Elizabeth Barrette on Gaiatribe

Can We Afford to Settle Space? by David Brandt-Erichsen on National Space Society Blog

Celebrate the First Steps By Marianne Dyson on Mission Blog

40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing! by
Shanksow on Aerospace, Technology, Paranormal and Ufos News

Exploration, Development and Settlement of Space by Karen Cramer Shea on The Space Movement

July the 20th: Space Exploration Day/Space Settlement Day on Day of X

Stumping for Space: Three Vignettes from a Layman by Jake Christensen CHILDE JAKE'S PILGRIMAGE

From Olduvai Gorge to the Sea of Tranquility by Alex Michael Bonnic on The Discovery Enterprise

Space Settlement post by David Riseborough on Earth Space Continuum Earth Space Continuum

Space Settlement, Social Media and Blogging by Aron Sora on
Habitation Intention

Intentional Communities in Outer Space by Bob Steinke on The Liber(al)tarian Network

More on Apollo 11 anniversary By Andy Janes on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Catgirls

Moon Colonization: An American Historical Perspective Nick Azer on Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration

Plasma Wind's Contribution to the Space Settlement Blog Day -Plasma Wind

How will it really happen? by Dale Amon on Samizdata

Space Settlement Blog Day by SpaceCrazed on SpaceCrazed

Opening The Way Out By Gregory Anderson on The Way Out

“Benevolent Science Fiction” on The Scattering

Step by step to space settlement and More about space settlement day Clark S. Lindsey Space Transport News

you can Reach the MOON NOW By Mark on Moonbounce by KB9RQZ

Moon-Mine News by Niklas Järvstråt

Moon Business (Twitter)

Happy Space Settlement Blog Day! By Charles Radley on The Moon Society Blog

Sponsored by the National Space Society, the Space Frontier Foundation, the Space Movement, the Moon Society, and Space Renaissance Initiative.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Exploration, Development and Settlement of Space

Space exploration, space development and space settlement up until now have seen as a continuum which go together. Once we have explored space we will develop it which will mean settling it. That is the way it was always assumed it would work, but today the paths seem to be diverging. One path would lead us to explore Mars. One Path would have us develop Solar Power Satellites. But where is the path that leads to settlement?

The exploration of Mars seems to be the path of choice for many in the space movement. The problem is Mars is the Easter Island of space, far from everything, few unique resources and mainly of interest because of the evidence of past life there. The Moon has a much greater development potential than Mars but she is totally ignored. The Moon is the girl next door and Mars is the Hollywood sweet heart. Nothing shatters a romantic image faster than reality. So maybe we need to go to Mars so we can get past the fixation and really move forward with development.

The development of space solar power is quickly becoming a necessity for the continued economic survival of our society. By default it seems to be our only hope for sufficient amounts of carbon free base load power. Terrestrial solar and wind do not provide base load power, clean coal maybe unworkable, nuclear is too dangerous to spread widely to less stable countries. Space solar power is the ultimate in clean energy source when made from lunar materials, since nothing would imapct earth's environment except the power. The Moon is actually closer to geostationary orbit energy wise than the earth. Providing a reasonable percent of the Earth's power needs with space solar power would most cost effectively be done through developing the Moon. This would seem great for space settlement, but unfortunately the current plans for mining the Moon and building space solar power would be done with automation. The new Movie "The Moon" shows what it might be like, one man one the Moon supervising an automated base. This doesn't bode well for space settlement.

Space settlement must be our ultimate goal. We must have thriving communities off of Earth or we are doomed to extinction on the Earth, it is just a matter of time. Why should humans go into space? There is one reason that can never be automated and isn't dependent on economic justification. That is science. We will never really be able to automate science. While we can automate particular experiments. The scientific exploration is testing the unknown automation can only be done where you know what you are trying to do. To fully understand the history of life on Mars, and the geology of the Moon will require humans on the Moon and Mars for long periods of time. To use the far side of the Moon's radio silence for all the possible radio astronomy observations and the lunar stability and vacuum for all the possible physics experiments would take large numbers of scientists, engineers and support staff. To do these experiments will take years not days. So the scientists will be the settlers of space. Around the science bases the cities will form because they will be the first markets in space.

While many argue that science can be done more effectively on the ground, this will not always be true. First, if we go to Mars and develop space solar power, the cost of space travel will have dropped dramatically. Second, if the goal is science than we will be sending scientist to do their own research. Not doing science by proxy or as an add on to a mission with other purposes. Third, eventually we will research the limits of the the experiments possible on Earth. Eventually, science in space will be justified in terms of cost/ benefit once launch cost go down, missions are designed for science as the main purpose, and as we push the limits of Earth.

Getting beyond the limits of Earth is why we have to explore, develop and settle space. While the paths of these are diverging because we have already explored the best place to develop and development may no longer require humans. We must continue to strive for the exploration, development and settlement of space even if these goals are pursued separately.

Happy Space Settlement Blog Day

We have 34 blogs participating. This is a great success. What a great way to honor the Apollo 11 landing.

Please let us know which of their blog posts you liked and found interesting.

Thanks to all the blogs which are participating. Thanks to David Brandt-Erichsen and Brice Russ for all their technical work which has made Space Settlement Blog Day so successful. Thanks to all the sponsors the National Space Society, the Space Frontier Foundation, the Space Movement, the Moon Society, and Space Renaissance Initiative.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

6 Days Until Space Settlement Blog Day

Space Settlement Blog Day is now 6 days away. 29 blogs have signed up so far.
For More information go to Space Settlement Blog Day .

Sign up your blog.

Blog for and about space settlement on July 20th.