Many folks would like to see us back on the Moon and developing its resources.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Virgin Galactic: "Virgin Galactic is a company established by Richard Branson's Virgin Group to undertake the challenge of developing space tourism for everybody.

Virgin Galactic will own and operate privately built spaceships, modelled on the history-making SpaceShipOne craft. These spaceships will allow affordable sub-orbital space tourism for the first time in our history.

Due to the unique technology developed by Burt Rutan, this space craft design has overcome the difficult issues of re-entry into the earth's atmosphere faced by so many designers trying to create efficient, re-usable space vehicles.

We believe that it is in mankind's interest to develop our knowledge and understanding as well as access to space. Every customer of Virgin Galactic will be helping the development of a new generation of space craft.

Designs for the Virgin Galactic craft are progressing on a weekly basis at Rutan's base in Mojave, California and by early 2005 the final design for the maiden Virgin Galactic ship, the VSS (Virgin SpaceShip) Enterprise, should be signed-off.

What will follow will be a concerted Research and Development programme to earn the craft their qualification to carry some of the world's first scheduled space tourists. Safety is paramount. It is planned to have multiple levels of redundancy on key systems in order to achieve a very robust system in every phase of flight.

Virgin's experience in aviation, adventure, luxury travel and cutting-edge design will be vital in contributing to the design of the spaceship, the smooth operation of the spaceline and creating an unforgettable experience unlike any other available to mankind.

"We've always had a dream of developing a space tourism business and Paul Allen's vision, combined with Burt Rutan's technological brilliance, have brought that dream a step closer to reality. The deal with Mojave Aerospace Ventures is just the start of what we believe will be a new era in the history of mankind, one day making the affordable exploration of space by human beings a real possibility."
Richard Branson "

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Kern County General Services: KGOV - Internet Television: "Internet Television (KGOV-Live)
You can watch the current KGOV broadcast from your computer, via a feature called KGOV-Live. In order to use KGOV-Live, you must first install RealOne Player version 8 or higher on your computer. "

You should be able to watch SpaceShipOne on September 29 2004. - LRK -
ANSARI X PRIZE: "Launch Schedule
September 29th launch currently scheduled for approximately 6:00 A.M. P.S.T.
Mojave Civilian Flight Test Center
Address: Mojave Airport
1434 Flight Line Mojave, CA 93501

North to Interstate 5 to Hwy 14 North (One hour to Mojave)
East at First Stoplight (Hwy 58)
Left on Airport Blvd.
Right on Riccomini - Head to Parking Area and Viewing Area.

These directions are informational only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use. The X PRIZE Foundation and its affiliates assume no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use. These directions are only to be used as an aid in planning. When using any driving directions or map, it's a good idea to do a reality check and make sure the roads still exist, watch out for construction, and follow all traffic safety precautions. Gates Open at 3 AM
Traffic may be heavy
Plan to arrive by 5 AM
Posted on Sun, Sep. 26, 2004
'A tunnel to the moon'
Next step to future will be taken in desert outpost

MOJAVE, Calif. - The Mojave Airport is an unassuming collection of old runways and dusty tin buildings. Planes and parts of planes - fighter jets, crop dusters, outdated commercial airliners - sit like ghosts in a desert graveyard.

The little airport has no regular passenger traffic, but it's becoming known as the hub for space travel's future.

On Wednesday, the first commercial rocket ever piloted by a non-military astronaut is scheduled to take a second brief trip from Mojave to beyond the Earth's atmosphere.
SpaceShipOne, as it's called, made its maiden voyage to the stars from here in June, helping reignite a worldwide interest in private space travel that has been compared to beginning of commercial flight.

Rocket companies abound

But the company that built SpaceShipOne, Scaled Composites Inc., is only one of several rocket designers here shooting for the stars.

Not far from Scaled Composites is Xcor Aerospace Inc., which is building rocket engines it hopes to sell to commercial space companies. Also nearby is Interorbital Systems, which is offering promotional $250,000 tickets for a week in space orbit, even though its first ship isn't expected to be complete before 2006. Space Launch Corp., meanwhile, is building a rocket plane that could be used to launch small satellites.

In all, nine companies are working on space-related projects at Mojave, according to airport officials.

Those who have been to the airport known to pilots as "Mojo" say it really does have a lot going for it.

"You never expect by looking at it that this is where the next space age is being born, but it is," said George Whitesides, executive director of the National Space Society, a Washington, D.C. group that promotes civilian space travel. "It's a very special place that I think history is going to remember."

What makes the 1940s-era former naval air station 100 miles north of Los Angeles the place to be is "location, location, location," said airport manager Stuart Witt, echoing the old real estate mantra.

Perfect weather for flying

Friday, September 24, 2004

Aquababe number one
Also known as Her Deepness, Sylvia Earle has lived for weeks at a time on the seabed, given her name to marine forms, and dived deeper and more often than practically anybody else on Earth. This month she comes to britain with a message that all is not well in the world's oceans, thanks to mankind

Colleagues affectionately call Dr Sylvia Alice Earle "Her Deepness". And American publications have dubbed her "Queen of the Deep", among other highly complimentary titles.

Sylvia Earle makes light of them all, but there is absolutely no doubt that she deserves them. For this diminutive, attractive, highly articulate and passionately committed lady from New Jersey, USA is, among her other remarkable underwater accomplishments, the world's deepest woman diver. In 1979, for instance, she made the world's deepest solo dive, a record of its kind that still stands. Contained in the one-atmosphere armoured diving suit JIM, she was strapped to the front of a small research submersible and taken 385 metres down off Hawaii. Untethered, she then walked the seabed for 21/2 hours.

At that time, only submarines had reached that depth, and she was later to say that what she saw amazed her - including coral that pulsed with blue light, sharks 18 inches long, and fish with little lights "that cruised by like miniature ocean liners".

But Sylvia's love affair with the underwater world began much earlier than that, as did the amazing record of her achievements. At the age of 16, when her family moved to the west coast of Florida, she had the Gulf of Mexico on her doorstep, and spent much of her time cataloging the plants and animals in the water.

Aiming for a degree in botany, she wrote a thesis on the algae of the Gulf, started a collection of marine life samples, and now has 20,000 of these. Using early examples, she is now able to identify changes in the marine habitats of the Gulf, which today adds to her worries about the future of life in the sea.

Her teenage studies were quickly to earn her a Bachelor's degree from Florida State University, then a Master's degree from Duke University.

NASA - Administrator's Symposium Examines Exploration and Risk: "Glenn Mahone/Bob Jacobs
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1898/1600)

Ann Sullivan
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
(Phone: 650/604-3039)

Sept. 22, 2004

Administrator's Symposium Examines Exploration and Risk

Have you ever been into space, in a research submarine, or been a part of a remote polar research base? Whether it's exploring the depths of our oceans or reaching the top of our highest mountains, great feats often involve great risk.

During a special symposium hosted by Administrator Sean O'Keefe, NASA examines the similarities between space exploration and other terrestrial expeditions with the help of some of the best known explorers in the world, including mountain climbers, deep sea explorers, scientists and science fiction writers. The discussions also will include NASA astronauts, other notable aeronautics and deep space explorers.

The symposium, 'Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and the Stars,' will be carried live Sept. 27-28 on NASA TV and webcast on from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif.

Sessions and participants:

Monday, Sept. 27 -5:30 p.m. EDT

Session One – Earth Moderator: Chris McKay, Planetary Scientist, NASA's Ames Research Center (ARC), Calif.

Ed Viesturs, American High-altitude Mountaineer
Penny Boston, Director of Cave and Karst Studies, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Dale Andersen, Astrobiologist, Antarctic/Arctic researcher, SETI Institute
Nathalie Cabrol, Planetary Geologist, ARC, SETI Institute
Bill Stone, President, Stone Aerospace
David Roberts, Writer specializing in mountain climbing, adventure, and archaeology

Tuesday, Sept. 28 – 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. EDT

Session Two – Sea
Moderator: David Halpern, Senior Policy Analyst, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
John Chatterton, Professional Diver, featured in the book, Shadow Divers
Sylvia Earle, Founder and Chairman, Deep Ocean Exploration and Research
Jean Michel Cousteau, President, Ocean Futures Society
Mike Gernhardt, NASA astronaut
James Cameron, Academy Award winning director, undersea explorer
Laurence Bergreen, author, Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the Globe

Session Three – The Stars

Moderator: John Grunsfeld, NASA Chief Scientist and astronaut
Harrison Schmitt, former NASA astronaut
Shannon Lucid, NASA astronaut
Steve Squyres, Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, Scientific Principal Investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover mission
Jim Garvin, NASA Chief Scientist for Mars and the moon
John Mather, James Webb Space Telescope Senior Project Scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Graham Yost, Writer/Director, From the Earth to the Moon

Times and participants are subject to change. See the NASA TV schedule on the Internet for the latest updates.

NASA TV is available in the continental United States on AMC-6, at 72 degrees west longitude, Transponder 9, 3880 MHz, vertical polarization, audio at 6.8 MHz. If you live in Alaska or Hawaii, NASA TV is on AMC-7, at 137 degrees west longitude, Transponder 18, at 4060 MHz, vertical polarization, and audio at 6.8 MHz.

For more information about NASA TV or to watch the events on the Internet, visit:

Monday, September 20, 2004

SpaceDev Begins Work on ''Dream Chaser'' Space Vehicle Space Act MOU Signed with NASA Ames Research Center | SpaceRef - Your Space Reference: "PRESS RELEASE
Date Released: Monday, September 20, 2004
Source: SpaceDev, Inc.
SpaceDev Begins Work on ''Dream Chaser'' Space Vehicle Space Act MOU Signed with NASA Ames Research Center
SpaceDev (OTCBB: SPDV) has begun designing a reuseable, piloted, sub-orbital space ship that could be scaled up to safely and economically transport passengers to and from low earth orbit, including the International Space Station. The name of the vehicle is the 'SpaceDev Dream Chaser(TM).'
SpaceDev's founding chairman and CEO, Jim Benson, recently signed a Space Act Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NASA Ames Research Center director, Dr. Scott Hubbard. This non-binding MOU confirms the intention of the two parties to explore novel, hybrid propulsion based hypersonic test beds for routine human space access. The parties will explore collaborative partnerships to investigate the potential of using SpaceDev's proven hybrid propulsion and other technologies, and a low cost, private space program development approach, to establish and design new piloted small launch vehicles and flight test platforms to enable near-term, low-cost routine space access for NASA and the United States. One possibility for collaboration is the SpaceDev Dream Chaser(TM) project, which is currently being discussed with NASA Ames. "

NASA Transfers X-37 Project to DARPA: "NASA Transfers X-37 Project to DARPA
By Brian Berger
Space News Staff Writer
posted: 15 September 2004
02:41 pm ET

WASHINGTON -NASA has transferred its X-37 technology demonstration program to the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which plans to go ahead with atmospheric drop tests of the prototype space plane next year."


Saturday, September 18, 2004

Maslow and Mensa: "Maslow and Mensa
by Mark S. Hutchenreuther

The Premise
Around March of 1994, Janice Johnson asked me if I would give a talk for her Local Officer Training sessions at the New England Annual Gathering. Because of my frequent creative involvement in Mensa, she suggested a topic of 'How to Bring Out the Creativity in Your Members.' I immediately accepted, then set out to figure out what I would talk about.
I had been working on another topic at the time, called 'The Singles Curmudgeon.' In that talk, I briefly covered Maslow's hierarchy and my own 'Hutch's Hierarchy of Relationships.' I quickly realized that much of my talk should be about Maslow and his famous hierarchy.
Maslow's hierarchy is variously described as having five, six, or seven layers. Fortunately, the lower four layers and the top layer are common to all three schemes. If a sixth layer is included, it is placed between Self-Esteem Needs and Self-Actualization Needs, and it is called Self-Fulfillment Needs. In the seven layer scheme, Self-Fulfillment is divided into two layers, Cognitive Needs, and Aesthetic Needs. I will discuss the five-layer hierarchy for a number of reasons: it is simpler, it is sufficient, and it is what Maslow himself used in his last book."
A corpse is not a good customer: "A corpse is not a good customer!
by Adriano Autino

'Only if I kill a German will I succeed in persuading the other Germans that I am a man. Yet we have a law, that tells us not to kill'. As Mendel, the fugitive Russian Hebrew in the novel by Primo Levi, ' If not now, when?', says. Mendel, wandering behind the German lines somewhere between Bielorussia and Poland, survives Nazi persecution along with other Jews and resistance fighters, badly armed, decimated by hunger, disease and cold. He fights as best he can, against an enemy that understands only death. They have no alternatives, they have to respond to the Nazi's challenge accepting the rule of killing. In that bitter truth, we see all the anger, impotence, and repressed aspiration to a human state - unattainable in 1943-44, during the nazi-fascist Age of Barbarism.

We can observe that it is war, by itself, which produces this impotence, this regression of honest people to a bestial state, in which they give up and return to Nature's laws, whereby the stronger kills the weaker. This is a true commentary on all the wars which have stained our planet with blood from the dawn of history to our times. Nevertheless there is a big difference between a guerrilla fought with handmade weapons, under desperate conditions, in a state of technological and logistic inferiority, and military operations carried out by a modern technologically well equipped army. Paradoxically, though we would rather sympathize with the courage and the abnegation of those who fights in conditions of inferiority, we have to acknowledge that they don't generally have many alternatives to killing. While technological superiority, indeed, allows alternatives, in which awareness of strength is tempered by wisdom, and, above all, driven by political motives in which aspiration to a human state is a dominant ideological character, and with respect for the Law quoted by Mendel: do not kill. Obviously technological superiority, while it allows to choose behavioral models of higher ethical level, doesn't absolutely guarantee anything. And it is always the free will of the people to choose an higher profile or the simplest logic: I am technologically superior, therefore I can kill you better!

For Nicolas Van Rijn (a space merchant, protagonist of the science-fiction cycle of the Paul Anderson's "Polesotechnic League") "a dead body is not at all a good client". And not even a boy to whom we have (i.e. "our" soldiers have) slaughtered his parents and raped his sister will never be a good client, neither our friend. We don't even need, after all, to resort to great philosophies, and "ideological roots": our bourgeois culture of commerce and progress it would be enough, in a context of increasing economy. The moral strength and the technological one always owe to be accompanied by friendship, by unconditional help, to all the human terrestrials which dare to smile and to put together their efforts to win the true challenge that we have to face: not the one of the religious ideologies, on the contrary the one - perhaps really religious, in the sense that asks to unite (in Latin religere) lot of people's efforts - to continue the development of the human civilization over the limits of this small planet.

These simple concepts should finally enter our head, and we will have to pay much more attention that who will sit on the desks of the future governments will have such concepts well present, in their every action and decisions.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

spacelaw: "Space Law and Space Resources

by Philip R Harris
Law is not immutable; it responds to the needs of society. Since World War 11, humanity has moved increasingly into outer space, encountering new conditions and new needs along the way. The law of outer space has addressed the new political, economic, and technical needs that accompany this transit of human society into space. Space law has been expressed in broad, vague principles that have permitted the maximum flexibility necessary for exploratory space activities. But, as exploration gives way to settlement, this predominantly international law lacks the specificity and legal certainty necessary for mature commercial activity.
Space industrialization is confronting space law with problems that are changing old and shaping new legal principles. Manufacturing in space (Space Manufacturing a. Latex beads produced in the microgravity of space b. Latex beads produced in Earth's gravity In the microgravity of low Earth orbit, perfectly uniform spheres of latex can be manufactured. Compare these produced on the Space Shuttle (a) with those produced on Earth (b). Note that the products influenced by gravity are of different sizes and sometimes deformed.) and exploiting nonterrestrial resources pose economic and political issues that the nations must address. Space exploration has been conducted in the names of peace and humanity; yet, the increasing awareness of the value of space exploration and space applications dictates a new consideration of the merits of international competition and international cooperation (A rendering of the cooperative shipping of lunar oxygen.)in space.
It is given that nations must pursue their national interests. The policymakers in the United States have not always considered well the national interest in space. This lack of policy soph"


Soviet Missions to the Moon: "Soviet Lunar Missions

The image at the top of the page is the first image of the far side of the Moon, taken by the Luna 3 spacecraft in October, 1959.

The Soviet Lunar program had 20 successful missions to the Moon and achieved a number of notable lunar 'firsts': first probe to impact the Moon, first flyby and image of the lunar farside, first soft landing, first lunar orbiter, and the first circumlunar probe to return to Earth. The two successful series of Soviet probes were the Luna (24 lunar missions) and the Zond (5 lunar missions).
NSSDC currently holds data from the Luna 3, 9, 13, 21, and 22 and the Zond 3, 6, 7, and 8 missions. All this data is photographic in nature, except for the lunar libration data from the Luna 21 Orbiter. Lunar flyby missions (Luna 3, Zond 3, 6, 7, 8) obtained photographs of the lunar surface, particularly the limb and farside regions. The Zond 6, 7, and 8 missions circled the Moon and returned to Earth where they were recovered, Zond 6 and 7 in Siberia and Zond 8 in the Indian Ocean. The purpose of the photography experiments on the lunar landers (Luna 9, 13, 22) was to obtain closeup images of the surface of the Moon for use in lunar studies and determination of the feasibility of manned lunar landings. "

Teets: America must reach for space dominance: "by Master Sgt. Scott Elliott
Air Force Print News

9/15/2004 - WASHINGTON -- On the anniversary of the first man-made object reaching the moon, the Department of Defense�s executive agent for space urged America to strive for dominance in space.

Undersecretary of the Air Force Peter B. Teets, who also serves as the director of the National Reconnaissance Office, used the occasion of a Soviet Union mission to highlight what he believes to be the three keys for the United States to achieve space dominance."


Friday, September 10, 2004

Mission Index

NSSD Image Catalog Mission Index.

Looking for interesting images.
- LRK -

Moon and Mars - Videos