Philanthropy May Open the
Way to Moon and Mars. A
new approach to funding space missions may be winning favor,
as events at the 4th Mars Society Convention (23-26 August at
Stanford University) attest. During the convention, dot com millionare
Elon Musk described his interest in funding space missions, including
a program that might eventually lead to settlements on Mars.
Musk, along with several others, has set up the Life
to Mars Foundation. The Foundation will consider proposed
space missions for 2003 and beyond that could be budgeted up
to $10 - $20 million each. While Musk did suggest that being
"inclusive" was desirable, Keith Cowing of NASA
Watch noted he shied away from a commitment to collaborating
with the Mars Society and this has raised some concerns. Says
Mars Society President Robert Zubrin, "He (Musk) should
not do this alone." However it is clear from recent activites
of such noted millionaires as Joe Firmage, Dennis Tito and now
Elon Musk, that philanthropic gestures toward space missions
are increasing. At the same time, there is also a shift in attitude
away from dependence on NASA or government funding and toward
more independent private initiative.
Dark Side of the Moon May Provide Data on Earth Climactic
Changes. Two physicists, Philip Goode of the New Jersey Institute
of Technology and Steven Koonin of Caltech, have teamed up to
create a global network that will monitor "Earthshine"
reflected from the Moon. They hope to track changes in Earth's
albedo, the amount of sunlight Earth reflects back to space.
Studying the albedo lets scientists gather data on how much solar
radiation is being retained by Earth to drive its climate system.
A detector on the back of a 6-inch telescope at the Big Bear
Solar Observatory in the San Bernadino Mountains of California,
tracks variations in "Earthshine," coming from the
dark side of the Moon which correlate with seasonal or day-to-day
shifts in the albedo. A second telescope, which will be shipped
to an observatory in Crimea, is now being built to help with
long-term monitoring efforts. Koonin says that they eventually
hope to establish another monitor in China and they are also
working with collaborators in Taiwan to develop automated Earthshine
telescopes that could be placed around the world.
'2001: Destination Space' Exhibition to be Documented on Film.
The successful exhibition at the Tech
Museum of Innovation in San Jose CA, which ended yesterday,
will be presented as an independent documentary about how the
show began. Still photos will be used for an on-line version
of the exhibit scheduled to be complete by 1 October. The Tech
Museum's '2001: Destination Space' web site will remain on-line.
Dennis Gonzales, who managed '2001: A Space Odyssey Collectibles
Exhibit', will post the new URL on his website http://www.2001exhibit.org.
Co-star of the Kubrick / Clarke film classic, Gary Lockwood has
updated his product page with a new autobiography and a color
photo of himself and Kier Dullea. Click here
for access. Warner Brothers is planning a re-release of the film
this fall at selected theaters in USA.
'2001: HAL's Legacy' will be shown on PBS for nationwide
airing on 27 November at 21:00 in 3 time zones. Gonzales says
the following models will be on his website soon: Clavius Moonbase,
Lunar models Space Pod and ARIES, Leonov from 2010, and HAL 9000.
A traveling collectibles exhibit is being considered. Contact
Lee Shargel for details.
Dennis Gonzales can be reached at 650-604-0429.