Category Archives: News

SpaceShipTwo. Sincerest condolences and heartfelt wishes

The Space Studies Institute wishes to express our deepest sympathy to the family and colleagues of today’s lost SpaceShipTwo pilot, and extend our best wishes for a speedy and full recovery of the other pilot.

This is a sad and difficult moment in the human quest for the freedom to travel and live beyond the cradle of Earth.

Each test, each flight, whether perfectly completed or suffering any loss, is a required step in a very important journey. Every person who puts his or her life on the line for this goal is a hero and those who sacrifice the most will not be forgotten.

We hope that those who are struggling to come to terms with today’s loss will take time to appreciate and respect the courage and absolute dedication that these pilots put into making their worthy ambitions a reality for all of humanity. We owe them a great debt and, in their names, we must continue the work of making space accessible to everyone.

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November 3rd update:   The names of the pilots have been officially released.  Peter Siebold remains hospitalized at this time.  Friends of Michael Alsbury have organized a funding page to assist his family ( http://www.gofundme.com/MikeAlsbury ).

Dr. Peter E. Glaser 1923-2014

The Space Studies Institute is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Peter Glaser on May 29th.

Dr. Glaser’s name was synonymous with the technologies of Satellite Solar Power, a fundamental cornerstone of The High Frontier vision, and his long time personal association with our founder Gerard K. O’Neill was well known.

We grieve this loss but celebrate the great life of this important man whose passion and hard work has inspired so many and will undoubtedly play a major part in the future of humanity.

From Citizen Space Exploration to Space Settlement

(Los Angeles, CA) – A new strategy for space development will be presented at the International Space Development Conference, which takes place at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel this week.

Citizens in Space, a project of the United States Rocket Academy and the Space Studies Institute, will present “The Great Enterprise: From Citizen Space Exploration to Space Settlement” in the Redondo California Ballroom at 3:00 on Saturday, May 17.

“The Great Enterprise is a theme developed by the Space Studies Institute over the past several years,” said Robin Snelson, executive director of SSI. “The end goal of the Great Enterprise is the permanent human settlement of space.

“Space settlement was envisioned by SSI founder Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill, Princeton physics professor and author of the best-selling book ‘The High Frontier,’ nearly 40 years ago.

“O’Neill’s vision inspired the creation of space-advocacy groups like the National Space Society, the sponsor of the International Space Development Conference. Despite the widespread interest in O’Neill’s ideas, space settlement has remained an elusive goal.

“A new strategy is required. Dr. O’Neill showed that permanent human settlement of space is a realistic goal, but we need a practical path to reach that goal. The old belief that government will step in with large sums of money has led nowhere and failed to inspire the general public.”

“The burgeoning Do It Yourself movement provides a model for the new strategy,” said Edward Wright, founder of the United States Rocket Academy and program manager for Citizens in Space. “530,000 people attended Maker Faires last year. Citizen-science projects and hackerspaces are springing up all over the country. Space advocacy organizations must tap into that community to a create a Do It Yourself space movement.

“All progress starts at the low end. We will outline a path for incremental development, beginning with low-cost suborbital spacecraft that are already under construction, followed by practical, achievable steps, leading ultimately to space settlement.”

“Now is the time for a new type of space movement, based on individual initiative and enterprise,” said Robert Smith, evangelist with the Space Studies Institute. “It is time we moved beyond mere advocacy. We must roll up our sleeves and take the bull by the horns. As the saying goes, ‘If you want something done right, do it yourself.’”

Citizens In Space

Exotic Propulsion Initiative

This blog post from 2013 is just the tip of the iceberg. See the SSI Programs page for the latest information on SSI’s Exotic Propulsion Initiative


 

Update 11/24/14: Welcome BoingBoing Readers!
Strange thrust: The unproven science that could propel our children into space by Charles Platt

Help us reach our goal of raising $42,000 to provide the Woodward Lab at CalState Fullerton the new instrumentation, computers and power supplies that Emeritus Professor Jim Woodward and his colleague Professor Heidi Fearn need to continue their research on Mach Effect propulsion! Please donate (tax deductible) using the button below.

SSI has always prided itself on focusing our resources on projects that work to provide technologies that further the cause of space settlement and permanent life off Earth.  We’ve announced two efforts, the G-Lab and the E-Lab, to provide technologies required for understanding the amount of gravitational force and practical closed life-support systems required for long-term or permanent human habitation in space.

To these projects we have added the Exotic Propulsion Initiative, to explore exotic propulsion opportunities at the very borderlands of physics.

Much public and press excitement has been generated by the DARPA-funded “100 Year Starship” effort, and work on warp drive theory and concepts at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

Prof. Jim Woodward has donated major royalties from his new book to kick start SSI's Exotic Propulsion Initiative
Prof. Jim Woodward has donated major royalties from his new book to kick start SSI’s Exotic Propulsion Initiative

An intriguing and thoughtful recent book by Professor Jim Woodward, Making Starships and Stargates: The Science of Interstellar Transport and Absurdly Benign Wormholes (Springer Praxis Books / Space Exploration), has further heightened interest in “exotic” physics propulsion concepts.

While no one can predict if or when these technologies might become practical, we can say for certain that not funding basic research will consign any breakthroughs to the realm of science fiction forever.

Accordingly, SSI has established our Exotic Propulsion Initiative to take bold new risks that are unlikely to find conventional funding.  Donations to the project will be first used to extend and replicate Professor Woodward’s provocative research findings at his lab at CalState Fullerton, and as resources permit, to open new avenues of exploration into advanced propulsion with other scientists.

Professor Woodward has donated major royalties from his book to SSI in order to jump-start this project’s funding.  We are grateful for his donation and are very pleased to be able to offer an opportunity to all interested parties to extend and increase his gift.