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

Monday, January 16, 2006

January 16, 2006
Space - What do you want to know? - Where do we go from here?

Good day,

Stardust capsule drop successful. - LRK -

Our local Tracy paper is thin. Only 28 pages today with 6 pages dedicated to
our local sports. The Stardust success is on page 15 just before the 6
pages of classified ads and is a slim 4 inch high column.

The Sacramento Bee is the big paper with a five different sections. The
caption "Space capsule comes bearing comet dust" is on page A4 in the middle
of a big page sandwiched between "Rep. Ney to temporarily step aside as
panel chief", (in large bold type) and "Sego Mine victims remembered as
service" in normal bold type. The only thing that catches your eye is the
flare, streak in the sky of the entering capsule.

Maybe would have gotten more notice if it had smashed.

Well your viewing may vary.
- LRK -

The Boston Globe has a more encouraging article about an exciting year
coming up. Copied that below as well.
- LRK -

In 2006, space odysseys across the solar system

By David L. Chandler, Globe Correspondent January 16, 2006
snip - see below - LRK -

The local PBS KQED9 is playing a nice clip of the Stardust arrival on the
- LRK -

Philip Sloss on InsidKSC sends appology for not going to be able to have
pictures of the launch tomorrow of the New Horizons mission.

Will you care if you missed the launch, 9 years from now?
- LRK -

Planetary News: New Horizons (2006) New Horizons Set to Launch on 9 Year
Voyage to Pluto and the Kuiper BeltBy Amir Alexander
16 January 2006

A towering giant of a rocket sits quietly at Launch Complex 41 at the
Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. It is 60 meters (200 feet)
tall and, with five solid fuel booster rockets attached at its base, weighs
575,000 kilograms (1.26 million pounds). It is an Atlas V, NASA's mightiest
launcher. At 1:24 p.m. Eastern Standard Time tomorrow, if all goes well,
the sleeping giant will come to life in a deafening roar of fire and smoke.
Slowly at first, and then faster and faster, it will rise into the sky,
shedding its solid boosters and then its first, second, and third stages in
succession. By the time the sound and fury subside, only a small spacecraft
will remain, streaking silently through the emptiness of interstellar space.

So will begin the 9-year voyage of New Horizons, the first space craft
destined to visit Pluto and the Kuiper belt.

Once again I have copied the links from "The Space Review" post edited by
Jeff Foust. If you subscribe, I apologize for overloading your senses but
we have been talking about Helium-3 and the article about the interview with
Gerald Kulcinski caught my eye. Other subjects we have commented on are
there as well. You may want to look at some of them.
- LRK -

See if this catches your eye.
- LRK -
Welcome to this week's issue of The Space Review:
A fascinating hour with Gerald Kulcinski
Gerald Kulcinski has spent the last two decades at the University of
Wisconsin exploring the potential for fusion using helium-3 mined
from the Moon. Eric Hedman talks with him about his fusion research
as well as his new position on the NASA Advisory Council.

I have copied one paragarph here from what Eric R. Hedman wrote about the
talk with Kulcinski.
- LRK -

I recently received an email response to one of my articles from a teacher
that was dead set against human spaceflight. He told me that he had never
had a student tell him they were inspired by any of the manned spaceflights.
He didn’t believe that inspiring children was a valid argument for the space
program. When I related this to Professor Kulcinski he put it in context
with what he is seeing among incoming students. Many of the nuclear
engineering students have a clear vision of why they want to be nuclear
engineers. Some of the students have a desire to help provide clean safe
power. Others are interested in nuclear power systems for space
applications, including propulsion. In nuclear engineering there are more
students that want to be in the program than there are slots for them. By
comparison, in mechanical and electrical engineering there are fewer
qualified applicants than available slots. One of the ideas Professor
Kulcinski thinks may work to bring more students into engineering and the
sciences is to get better math teachers by paying them significantly more
than teachers of other subjects. The best engineers I know are not motivated
primarily by money, but by what they want to do with their lives.
Nevertheless, they still do like money. I believe the same is true about
teachers, so I don’t know if this would work. I haven’t as of yet heard of
anything better to try.

I would like to see a future that will be worth being excited about. Having
some goals that will benefit all seems like something to strive for.

Learning how to open up our minds to the expanse of space just seems like
something I can support so we will continue to see what we can find of
interest. Suggestions appreciated.

Take a look at what Jeff Foust is doing.
- LRK -
What is The Space Review?
The Space Review is an online publication devoted to in-depth articles,
commentary, and reviews regarding all aspects of space exploration: science,
technology, policy, business, and more. more info

Write for us!
Interested in contributing an article to The Space Review? Please read our
submission guidelines.

In contrast, if you have feelings about what direction you would like to see
this lunar-update list go, let me know on that too.

Thanks for looking up with me.

Larry Kellogg

Web Site
Bog Spot
RSS link
News ltr
Philip Sloss writes - LRK -
I've been forced to go with cable since I moved to the Atlanta area and the
NASA TV reception via Comcast has been screwed up since at least last

For some reason, they have been unable or unwilling to troubleshoot the
problem, which means I'm stuck with this crappy reception for however long
it takes them to pull their collective finger out. I'm definitely going to
be looking into some way to get satellite again, but there's no way that's
happening for several days. Barring a miracle, I won't be getting anything
here tomorrow.

Sorry in advance,
Philip Sloss

Make sure to visit the Flagship website:
Yahoo! Groups Links
<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:


Welcome to this week's issue of The Space Review:
A fascinating hour with Gerald Kulcinski
Gerald Kulcinski has spent the last two decades at the University of
Wisconsin exploring the potential for fusion using helium-3 mined
from the Moon. Eric Hedman talks with him about his fusion research
as well as his new position on the NASA Advisory Council.

Negative symbolism, or why America will continue to fly astronauts
The political costs associated with ending human spaceflight played a
major role in the Nixon Administration's decision to fly the final
Apollo missions and approve the shuttle program Dwayne Day examines
this decision to explain why it is unlikely a future president would
terminate a manned space program.

EU-US chronowar
Europe is billing Galileo as a more accurate satellite navigation
system than the existing American GPS system. Taylor Dinerman
discusses how one particular technology decision could give Galileo
the upper hand.

The effects of export control on the space industry
Since the enactment of more stringent export controls for commercial
spacecraft, satellite manufacturers in the US have lost considerable
business. Ryan Zelnio measures how big of an effect those export
controls have had on the US space industry.

A peek behind the scenes of The Space Show (part 2)
Dr. David Livingston combined expertise in business and a passion for
space into a popular radio show. In the conclusion of his two-part
interview, Mark Trulson asks Livingston how The Space Show came into
being and his plans for the future.


We appreciate any feedback you may have about these articles as well as
any other questions, comments, or suggestions about The Space Review.
We're also actively soliciting articles to publish in future issues, so
if you have an article or article idea that you think would be of
interest, please email me.

Until next week,
Jeff Foust
Editor, The Space Review
For more information please visit



In 2006, space odysseys across the solar system
By David L. Chandler, Globe Correspondent January 16, 2006

When it comes to exploring the solar system around us, there's never been a
year like the one that is beginning to unfold. A dozen different planets,
moons, comets, and asteroids will be coming under close scrutiny by new or
continuing missions or will have spacecraft sent their way over the course
of this year -- more than in any previous year.

''It's a golden age of planetary exploration," said Charles Elachi, director
of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, where most US planetary
missions are planned and run.

''Things have turned around" after a long dry spell in exploration during
the '80s and early '90s, said Maria Zuber, head of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology's department of earth, atmospheric, and planetary
sciences. ''I can't remember any time in the past when we've had so many
things going on simultaneously."

This year's missions will study the smallest and the largest objects in the
solar system, as well as the closest and the most distant from the sun, the
hottest and coldest, the youngest and the most ancient.

The first step in this planetary odyssey took place yesterday in the Utah
desert, where a capsule full of particles from a comet and from the depths
of space parachuted back to earth -- an event made more suspenseful by the
crash-landing last year of the Genesis capsule using a similar reentry

The capsule, called Stardust, plunged through the dusty bright tail of comet
Wild 2 last year and collected bits of the matter that comets spew out as
the sun's heat boils away their volatile surface materials. But it also
collected bits of interstellar dust, perhaps the most ancient samples humans
will ever see without leaving the solar system altogether.

Step two of this banner year may happen as soon as tomorrow: the launch of
New Horizons, a probe headed to the outermost part of the solar system. The
spacecraft will be NASA's fastest ever -- it will whiz past the moon just
nine hours after launch.

It will be the first probe ever sent to Pluto, the only planet never
explored by spacecraft, and also the first to fly by the Kuiper Belt
Objects, the icy worlds that orbit out beyond Pluto. These objects are so
far from our sun that from their vantage point, the sun looks like any other

Along the way, New Horizons will use the gravity of Jupiter to speed its
path to Pluto -- and in the process will get the closest views of the planet
since the Galileo mission in the '90s. New Horizons will be able to beam
data back much faster from Jupiter than Pluto because it will be so much
closer to Earth -- so the mission will actually deliver more scientific data
about Jupiter in 2007 than it will about its primary targets in 2015 and
beyond, said the mission's chief scientist, Alan Stern of the Southwest
Research Institute in Colorado.

And because Jupiter's weather system is always changing, with storms that
can last centuries, observing its changes over time is expected to provide
important new information about our solar system's largest planet.

Meanwhile, nearly every other part of the solar system will come under
scrutiny, too.

''It's like 16th-century Europe with ships going to different lands and
coming back with great stories and great adventures," said Louis Friedman,
director of the nonprofit Planetary Society, an advocacy group for

Working outward from the center of the solar system, here are the year's

Our sun will get some new attention as a pair of US probes called STEREO
will be launched to provide constant 3-D imaging of our own star. The images
will offer an early-warning system of solar flares that could disrupt radio
communications and power grids and endanger astronauts in space.

NASA's Messenger probe, now en route to Mercury, will make a close flyby of
Venus this year. At around the same time, the European Space Agency's Venus
Express mission will also reach the second planet and go into orbit for the
most detailed long-term observation ever attempted.

The craft, a near-replica of the European Space Agency's highly successful
Mars Express orbiter, will begin a 486-day mapping mission of Venus in
April, using a whole suite of cameras and instruments to study the
perpetually cloud-shrouded world. Venus is nearly Earth's twin in size but
is hellishly hot because of its thick atmosphere, which traps heat.

The moon is also coming under scrutiny, with Japan's Lunar-A mission set for
a possible launch this year and Europe's SMART-1 continuing its close-up
observations in lunar orbit.

The solar system's most intensively explored planet will get even more
firepower aimed its way this year. The Mars rovers are still plugging away
nearly two years after their warranties ran out, and two ongoing NASA and
one European orbiters are constantly photographing the details of the fourth
planet's surface; these will be joined by yet another craft in March.

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will provide more detail than ever about
surface composition and topography, allowing for a much more accurate
understanding of potential landing sites for future missions and ultimately
human visits. This orbiter ''will send back more data from Mars than all the
other Mars missions put together," Zuber said.

NASA is scheduled to send off a probe in July, called Dawn, which will orbit
two different large asteroids, Vesta and Ceres, to study them in detail.
Asteroids exist in several different types, and understanding their
differences could be crucial if one is ever discovered on a collision course
with Earth.

The Cassini probe will continue to provide detailed scrutiny of Saturn and
its system of rings and moons. This year Cassini will focus more intensely
on the solar system's second-largest and most interesting moon, Titan -- the
only body other than Earth known to have an ongoing cycle of evaporation,
rainfall, and flowing rivers. Scientists are hoping these fly-bys will
finally reveal signs of actual liquid seas on the surface, which have been
expected but so far not detected.

Planetary scientists agree that this will be a banner year. But some also
sound a note of caution, having seen early years of active exploration
followed by a long dry spell of inactivity.

Friedman of the Planetary Society says that the release in a few weeks of
the federal budget for the next fiscal year could set the tone for future
exploration. One key issue for him is whether a mission to Jupiter's moon
Europa will be funded.

Europa, which scientists believe has a frozen-over ocean, is the likeliest
place in the solar system -- besides Earth and Mars -- where life could have

That mission is ''like a watershed," Friedman said. ''I view that as a
litmus test for the future of planetary exploration."

To learn more

Stardust mission to comet Wild 2:

New Horizons mission to Pluto and Kuiper Belt:

STEREO mission to better understand solar flares:

Messenger mission to Mercury via Venus:

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Lunar-A mission to the moon:

European Space Agency's SMART-1 mission to the moon:

Mars Reconnaissance Rover:

Dawn mission to study asteroids:

Cassini mission to Saturn:

Also, the MIT Museum will hold a forum Thursday at 7:30 p.m. about the
landing system on the Mars Exploration Rovers at the museum, 265
Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge. Call 617-253-4444 or go to for more information.

© Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

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