Lunar Sessions at the International
Space Development Conference in San Jose CA 23-26 May. The sessions will be chaired by NSS member
and president of the Long Island Space Society Arthur P. Smith.
They start on Saturday 24 May at 8:00 AM PDT with a presentation
on lunar solar power by David Criswell, Director of the Institute
for Space Systems Operations at University of Houston. A 90-minute
panel on using lunar resources to develop solar power follows
Criswell's talk at 9:00. At 10:30, JPL mathematician Martin Lo
proposes a lunar sample return mission. At 11:00, Yuki Takahashi,
a PhD candidate in the Department of Physics at UC Berkeley,
presents his plan for a lunar radio telescope. At 11:30 Claudio
Maccone of Alenia Spazio discusses plans for a lunar farside
radio lab. The lunar track breaks for lunch at noon to join other
ISDC attendees for a luncheon presentation by Rex Ridenoure on
the Rocketcam. At 2:00 Lynn Harper, General Manager of NASA Ames
Astrobiology Academy, speaks on "Beyond the Planet of Origin."
At 3:00 space author Marianne Dyson presents "Moon Science
101." The Saturday Moon track finishes with a 4:00 talk
by Randall Severy of the Moon Society and the Artemis Society.
One additional lunar session will be held on Sunday at 4:00 when
Susmita Mohanty of MoonFront discusses lunar base architecture.
Full ISDC program details are at www.nsschapters.org/isdc/2003.
Author Focuses on Moon, Mars Analog Sites. Patricia Dickerson
is presenting a paper at the Colorado School of Mines' 'Workshop
on Analog Sites for Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars' in
Golden. In it she says there is no phase of exploration that
does not profit from research at terrestrial analog sites. An
exploration progression begins with integrative interrogation
on and from Earth. Enlightened reconnaissance involves testing
and refining complex robotic and environmental systems at analog
sites, then on the Moon before going to Phobos, Deimos or Mars.
Targeted inquiry on the Martian surface would apply the investigative
/ integrative power of human explorers, informed by experience
at analogous sites on Earth and Moon and aided by intelligent
robots. The ISS can be used for imaging specific sites and for
training exercises in rock / soil sample preparation in zero-G.
Earth scientist / engineer astronauts should be engaged in evaluating
sites, lunar base construction and designing power-generation
systems for the Moon and Mars. Dickerson says there is no shortage
of vision - it's there in student designers of rockets and self-configuring
robots and in pioneering space explorers. http://www.mines.edu/outreach/cont_ed/analogs.htm.
Space Transportation to Leverage Fuel Cell Technology. The
NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland OH is now appropriating
commercial fuel cell development to space transportation applications.
ElectroChem, Inc. and Teledyne Energy Systems, Inc. have both
delivered prototype proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell
power generators to NASA JSC for performance, endurance and operational
testing. "PEM fuel cells are leading the way, having emerged
as the leading fuel cell technology for near-term commercial
applications," says Glenn Fuel Cell Technology manager Mark
Hoberecht. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that combine
oxygen and hydrogen to produce electric power, leaving only water
as their by-product. Alkaline fuel cells - similar to PEMs -
are currently used as the primary source of electrical power
on the Shuttle orbiter. Alkaline models are however old and costly,
while PEM cells are lighter, safer, longer lasting, more reliable,
cheaper and more powerful. They are also being developed on large-scale
commercial applications. The fuel cell enterprise is being done
in support of NASA's Space Launch Initiative, whose goals are
to ensure the provision of space access by increasing safety,
reliability and affordability. Fuel cell advocates say that one
day the technology could support a return to the Moon by facilitating
efficient transportation, power/communication stations and astronomical