Year 6 Number 26

Wednesday / 8 February 2006

Highlights
Sea Launch #19 scheduled today; 49-minute launch window opens at 13:35 HST; 4,333-kg EchoStar-10 goes to GTO   ISS E12 crew preps for arrival of E13 with 1st Brazil astronaut Marcos Ponte on 1 Apr; SuitSat-1 still transmitting?
SpaceX inaugural launch (Falcon 1 maiden flight) test tomorrow determines if 10 Feb 13:00-20:00 PST launch window viable   Russia outlines lunar development goals, including US$100M commercial Moon flights, helium-3 mining
FAA '9th Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conf' on 9-10 Feb in Wash DC; encourages, facilitates & promotes CST   Japan to launch JCSat-11 using ILS Proton from Baikonur in 2007; previous launches on Atlas from CCAS FL
Rick Tumlinson warns of being bogged down by govt bureaucracy on way to Moon; human space exploration has barely begun India LERUG attracting foreign members; group would carry out activities related to lunar, planetary exploration, settlement
Larry Kellogg understands lunar settlement experts' interest in Malapert Mt near South Pole; says North Pole not as interesting China scientists from Shanghai, Urumqi, Beijing, Yunan observatories training on VLBI tracking systems for lunar program
Buzz Aldrin makes appearance in Fly Me to the Moon 3D animated fiction film; story about 3 flies aboard Apollo 11 opens 2007 'ISDC 2006' on 4-7 May in Los Angeles CA; includes 'Space Manufacturing Processes,' 'Space Venturing Forum'
 

Space / Lunar Enthusiasts SFF Co-Founder Rick Tumlinson (R), Moon Society Pres Peter Kokh (C), SpaceShot CEO Sam Dinkin (L) Promote NewSpace Community, Commercial Interests As Humanity Heads Back To Moon; (Credit: LRS, HobbySpace)
 

Features

NASA FY 2007 Budget Aims for the Moon; Can't Please Everyone. According to Administrator Mike Griffin, NASA's FY 2007 budget request "demonstrates [US President Bush's] commitment to carrying out the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE)." The US$16.782B request would be a 3.2% increase over FY 2006 (only 1% increase including FY 2006 emergency Hurricane Katrina funding), and about 0.7% of the total federal budget. With a heavy focus on the VSE and the accelerated development of the Crew Exploration Vehicle, the budget request is strongly supported by many in the NewSpace community, including the Space Foundation and the Coalition for Space Exploration. US Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) also gave statements in praise of President Bush on the increased funding. House Science Committee Chairperson Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), however, voiced concern with the lack of focus on science, saying, "I believe the most important planet in the universe is the one we live on." Some, like Boehlert, feel the proposed budget "shortchanges" cost-effective robotic science missions and crucial aeronautics research. The Planetary Society accuses NASA of "blurring" the original VSE, which stated the goal of "a sustained and affordable human and robotic program to explore the solar system and beyond." NASA Watch's Keith Cowing also sees a shift from the original VSE, saying, "With every passing year this 'vision' is becoming increasing[ly] nearsighted."

Moonbase Analog to Focus on Water Recycling Imperative. Artemis Moonbase Simulation One, also known as the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) Crew 45, is planning its mission from 25 February to 12 March near Hanksville UT. Leslie Wickman, Director of the Center for Research in Science at Azusa Pacific University, is the crew's biologist. According to Moon Miners' Manifesto, she will use her time to work on a vital project that covers an area of her expertise -- water recycling systems for space settlement. "The overall water project is designed to research and develop efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly methods for reclaiming or regenerating used waste water to high standards of purity using low-cost, low-energy processes and locally available resources," writes Wickman. She says the project will advance space exploration, adding that closed loop life support system cycles reduce cost, minimize environmental impact and benefit Earth-based scenarios. "If the failure to recycle water for space missions continues (as is the case on the International Space Station), large amounts of it will have to be launched on a regular basis, or possibly harvested from polar ice," reports Wickman. During Artemis, Wickman plans to observe the current MDRS water system, measure usage rates using new flow meters, test the water quality at various stages, and recommend upgrades.

Space Settlement Institute Pushing for Private Industry to Lead Human Presence in Universe. Space Settlement Institute (Woodlands TX) Chairperson Alan Wasser says identification of financial incentives and other factors that would help motivate private industry to develop space, as well as remove regulatory, legal, social, and psychological barriers to private sector efforts, are essential components of the Institute's mission. The most potentially valuable asset on the Moon and Mars is the land itself, as real estate. Someday in the future, once there is a true permanent settlement, regular commercial access, and a system of space property rights, lunar and martian real estate will acquire a multi-billion dollar value, Wasser believes. The Institute is trying to get the US to promise that when anyone succeeds in establishing a permanent, privately funded space settlement and space line, the courts will accept the settlement's claim to ownership of a substantial share of that land. That would allow the settlement to sell deeds to their lunar land back on Earth. They could sell to those who intend to book passage on the settlement's ships and use their land, but also to the larger market of land speculators and investors who hope to make a profit on lunar land deeds without ever leaving Earth.

 

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