All posts by Robert Smith

An update on the SSI Newsletter Archive

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1995 Jan-Feb coverWe were just wrapping up the conversion of the January/February 1995 SSI Update and recalling how that was a bit of a jolt to some of the general membership (SSI Senior Associates had been previously informed).

In that one issue of the newsletter Dr. George Friedman (Corporate Vice President for Engineering and Technology at Northrop Corporation, Adjunct Professor in Engineering at the University of Southern California) was named to the board and was presenting his expanded vision of NEO research for the Space Studies Institute.

NEO studies had been, of course, a part of SSI’s efforts for several years, but Dr. Friedman saw expanding the work as being a great benefit to SSI and as an important piece of The High Frontier big picture – while not one that may have been top-of-mind when Gerard K. O’Neill started his investigations decades earlier at Princeton.  After all, Shoemaker-Levy was not on any form of radar in 1976, but in 1995 that story and its implications were bringing NEOs far closer to all of our homes.

We hope you’ll head over and visit the SSI Newsletter Archive and read this issue and Dr. Friedman’s arguments because the consideration of SSI’s role in relation to the Human Habitation of Space requires bringing all thoughts to the table and assessing them in order to prioritize the directions for your Senior Associate pledges and other – greatly appreciated – contributions.

The link to that SSI Update issue is now available in the newsletter Archive, just scroll down to the bottom of the list.

You might be interested in how Dr. Friedman’s efforts evolved over time. Keeping track of the SSI Update Archive will help – we’re nearly done with the conversion of the SSI Update which followed that one (it was the first of the Quarterly releases of SSI Update so it is a long one, with three O’Neill articles, a piece by Dr. Friedman attempting to ease some concerns, and a reprint of the Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine article on the SSI Air-Spike experiments by SSI’s Dr. Leik Myrabo and Yuri Raizer), that issue should be ready for posting in the Archive in a few days.

 

[[4-18-2016 addendum: It has been asked if SSI’s Dr. George Friedman is the same George Friedman who started the Stratfor global intelligence organization.  We see the confusion because there is a well-known video interview with that George from 2012 after the first SpaceX ISS rendezvous where that George talks in very positive terms about Asteroid exploitation and Space Solar Power.  However our Doctor George Friedman is a different person.]]

Quick hello from Space Access 2016

sa16_garypathways(left to right: Dave Salt of Telespazio-Vega GmbH, SSI Senior Associate Dr. Justin Karl, Industry legend and SSI Advisor Henry Spencer and SSI President Gary Hudson)

 

It’s dinner break on day two of the Space Access Society SA’16 in Phoenix and I just ran up to the room to get you some pictures of a couple of the day’s sessions.

The picture above shows SSI President Gary Hudson at the podium kicking off the morning panel “Paths to Reusability”, a fast paced and enlightening talk/Q&A on the widely varying approaches, market potentials and the Cons and Pros of RLV’s and ELV’s (Reusable and Expendable Launch Vehicles) .  Plus more than a bit of discussion on the effects of different soft-tech and HR policies of both long-established launch providers and companies new to the game.  If Mr. Bezos had a listener in the audience, I think he will be hearing happy words and also a bit of good advice to keep in mind from the many person-years of industry experience in the room this morning.

 

Later in the day Dr. Justin Karl gave a quick overview of the Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach Commercial Space Operations course then handed the microphone over to his UCF SpaceOps lab students Carl Christiansen, Bryan Malave, Edgardo Manzenara and Daniel Risler to present their undergrad G-Lab study plans (somewhat related to last year’s SSI G-Lab overview by Gary Hudson).

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There have been, as always, a lot of great presentations at this year’s Space Access —  While it’s mostly a rockets and propulsion gathering there was MUCH talk of the need for a real G-Lab, a “LEO, CisLunar and Beyond” panel with Dave Masten, Steve Hoeser, Mitchell Clapp and Jeff Greason that hit High Frontier topics and ULA brought out slides backing SSI Senior Advisor John Mankins’ SPS-ALPHA work.

Ok, it’s after 8 here.  Mitchell Burnside Clapp of DARPA is already into his talk on the DC-X and Pioneer Rocketplane so we have to get back down to the ballroom, there’s still more to come tonight and a full day tomorrow.

If you’re in the Phoenix area you should consider a day ticket tomorrow morning – Registration opens at 8am and I think that day rate is still $60 — well worth it. It’s right at the Radisson Hotel Phoenix North, 10220 North Metro Parkway East, Phoenix Arizona.  For more information hit the Space Access Society page.

See you at Space Access?

It’s right around the corner now, April 7th-9th in Phoenix.

SSI President Gary Hudson is scheduled for the 9am Friday “Paths to Reusability” panel, at 5:30 SSI Senior Associate Dr. Justin Karl and a group of his UCF students will be telling about their work on the undergrad G-Lab project (which should be an interesting follow-up to Gary’s SSI G-Lab presentation at Space Access last year), plus a number of other SSI Seniors, Members and Alumni will be doing presentations and panels running the gamut of topics from LEO to the beltway(s).

If you’ve never been to Space Access, but have been to other Space conferences, this one will surprise you.  First, it’s a lot cheaper than most and second, it’s got a completely different kind of approach  – they call it a total immersion event.  It’s not a “Big Show” with a perfect beach calling you away from Space from every window (though those conferences are a lot of fun and can be extremely helpful to the huge crowds they draw), Space Access is a tight group of folks who really care about getting to Space – REALLY getting to Space – all together in the same big room for a relentless series of morning to late-night presentations and panels and discussions all in a single track.  No finding out you missed the good stuff by picking the wrong door on the wrong floor, you miss nothing.

If you haven’t looked at the schedule, go over and take a peek.  We just got an email and it appears that the hotel is sold out for Friday and Saturday nights but there are other places to spend your few sleeping hours right in the area.

You’ll be surprised even by the website, check it out now by clicking here for the Space Access Society Space Access ’16 schedule.

And we truly hope to see you there!

 

Make Something, Make The High Frontier

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1986 JanFeb Freeman Dyson mass driverA while back SSI released the Kindle Edition of The High Frontier on Amazon.com as a way to get The Vision out to new eyes in an inexpensive way.  The cost of this edition is very low ($6.99), and even less to folks with a Kindle Unlimited Prime account (Free-ish).

We have some plans for The High Frontier for this year too… currently written in pencil.  It all comes  down to TANSTAAFL (“there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch” – Heinlein) and if we all stay up to date with SSI Associate dues and if additional contributions work out then we hope to be letting you in on some interesting information soon.

But back to this story…

SSI released The High Frontier Kindle edition at the low price to get The High Frontier read by new people and re-read in a fresh way by its long-time fans,  and we are happy to see that it is being read.

When you look at the Amazon reviews of The High Frontier you see that for the most part they are glowing, but occasionally they bring up points that, due to the time and events that have passed since Professor O’Neill originally sat down at his typewriter, require some “reading between the lines” in the book.

For instance, there was a review thread that said: Continue reading Make Something, Make The High Frontier