Category Archives: SSI Alumni

Two great Summer Gatherings

Two summer gathering alerts from SSI Senior Associates John Jossy and Tom Valone!

From SSI SA Thomas Valone, PhD, PE, President of the Integrity Research Institute:

‘It was a joy to have Gerard sign my copy of The High Frontier in the 1970s and gratifying to see his institute still in business.

This summer the Ninth International Conference on Future Energy (COFE9) will be held in Albuquerque NM on July 28-29, 2017 in parallel with the ExtraOrdinary Technology Conference in the same Embassy Suites Hotel. We also feature Breakthrough Propulsion speakers and are currently funding TWO breakthrough propulsion projects by previous presenters.

For more information please visit www.futurenergy.org ‘

 

And from SSI SA John Jossy:

‘This August Icarus Interstellar is holding their Starship Congress in Monterey, California. The event, held every other year, is dedicating this meeting to focusing on lunar space infrastructure development. Icarus Interstellar’s mission is to support the basic research needed for humankind to reach the stars. But first things first. The focus of this year’s conference poses the question: “How can we hope to gain experience living, building and working off planet without systematically capitalizing on our nearest, most accessible celestial body?”

Day one will examine the moon as a stepping-stone to the planets, and ultimately the stars. The presentations will explore all aspects of lunar colonies. For example lunar city planning, lunar resources, construction, power, water, radiation shielding, living and working, economy, sociology. In addition, planetary, deep space and interstellar exploration with the Moon as a centerpiece will be examined through discussions of spacecraft shipyards, lunar space elevators and deep space remote sensing telescopes.

The second day will look first at massive space access systems. This will include cis-Lunar transport vehicles, global logistics, tourism, legal and safety considerations and military presence. The topic of “Children in Space” will then be explored covering youth space education programs, people with disabilities in space and answer the question “When will we send the first child to space?” The philosophy behind solving this problem is that when it is safe for children to go there, it will be much more desirable for all people to travel to the moon!

The third day will address large-scale space based infrastructure and cultural needs. The former topic will address technology needed to support space and lunar industry such as space stations, mining facilities, telecommunications, zero gravity and lunar gravity manufacturing technology development. The cultural aspects include space arts, sports, community and culture; that is, everything not considered infrastructure, but which is necessary for humans to live and prosper on the Moon and in space.

A presentation on this third day will be made by Kim Holder, creator of Moonwards, a website depicting a virtual colony on the Moon. Moonwards attempts through engineering rigor and 3D simulation, to visualize a large-scale settlement by a group of nations collaborating to colonize the Moon, basing their design decisions on technical and economic merit. Immediately after the presentation, a panel discussion is planned moderated by Dr. David Livingston, host of the Space Show. The panel will feature Dr. Haym Benaroya, professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Rutgers University, Kim Holder, and myself. You can visit Moonwards at www.moonwards.com .

Starship Congress 2017 is happening August 7-9 at the Hyatt Regency in Monterey, California. You can find more information with links on how to register here:

http://www.icarusinterstellar.org/pages/starship-congress-2017 ‘

 

Thanks Tom and John for sharing this great information!

 

Power Beaming from the Creator

There are many videos showing experiments of Wireless Power Beaming available on YouTube, most all mention either the 1964 Raytheon Microwave Helicopter experiments or the 1975 JPL Goldstone tests – and the official NASA Goldstone PR video alone has over 40 thousand YouTube views  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O44WM1Q9H8).

Today, we have something extra to add to the collection.

In the 1980’s the manager of the projects, who many rightly name as “The Man Behind Microwave Power Beaming”, SSI Senior Advisor Dr. Bill Brown of Raytheon Labs, made a special version of videos of those tests featuring his own voiceover for a more technically interested audience. The Space Studies Institute is very proud to bring this SSI Engineering classic back to the public. Please tell others about it.

Thanks go to new SSI Associate Mark Shaw for delivering the thought-lost VHS tape to us and to CyberLink for excellent video forensics software that helped clean it up so nicely.

Enjoy.

Stephen Hawking should roundtable with Mike Combs

Last night after the family was asleep I started checking on the mailing list for the upcoming SSI Update, our special private Newsletter for SSI Associates. Robin Snelson had just sent nearly a hundred new addresses and before the merge I took a moment to appreciate the people on the long-term list. My eyes were caught by the name Mike Combs.

Mike has been a great Advocate and organizer and writer on The High Frontier for many, many years. Robin told me that he was one of the earliest HF Webmasters and many Space professionals know him from his legendary Space Settlement site (the original 1996-2014 pages are now hosted as a reference on the National Space Society servers at http://www.nss.org/settlement/MikeCombs/ ). He continues to run the SSI Yahoo group and when we started assembling the SSI Newsletter Archive Mike was the first to offer his personal copies of issues that we hadn’t yet found. He’s just a great, dedicated High Frontier person. A true shining star.

Anyway, I finished merging the names and fired up the new SSI Facebook page to check that all was well… and I saw Mike had given the page a “Like.” A happy sight to end a day.

Woke up this morning and flipped open the Google news to see the report that Stephen Hawking has given us all a deadline to get our butts beyond the limits of this Earth. The issues are listed like a tolling bell and the end-all goal is stated by the author of the article without hesitation: we have to find “Another Planet” that will make everything wonderful again for the chosen ones.

So, let’s see. There’s a problem, a whole host of problems, caused by the limitations of squeezing the last drops out of a limiting planetary surface and the answer is… to pass through billions of miles of limitless resources and limitless raw energy and quick like scared little bunnies scuttle back down to hope for the best on yet another limiting planetary surface.

Don’t they say that continuing to make the same mistakes while expecting a different result is a sign of insanity?

What’s this got to do with Mike? “Planetary Chauvinism.”

In The High Frontier book and in many other writings and presentations, Gerard K. O’Neill brought up that term, usually with the anecdote of a conversation with Isaac Asimov:

“We are so used to living on a planetary surface that it is a wrench for us even to consider continuing our normal human activities in another location. If, however, the human race has now reached the technical capability to carry on some of its industrial activities in space, we should indulge in the mental exercise of “comparative planetology.” We should ask, critically and with appeal to the numbers, whether the best site for a growing, advancing industrial society is Earth, the Moon, Mars, some other planet, or somewhere else entirely. Surprisingly, the answer will be inescapable: The best site is “somewhere else entirely.”

In a roundtable TV interview, Isaac Asimov and I were asked why science fiction writers have, almost without exception, failed to point us toward that development. Dr. Asimov’s reply was a phrase he has now become fond of using: “Planetary Chauvinism.””

-Gerard K. O’Neill, The High Frontier, Chapter 3: The Planetary Hangup
copyright space studies institute

I sent Bing looking for the original reference and came across this short Wikipedia entry that says that Ike recalled hearing it from Sagan. That entry ends with the line: “The counter-argument is that all the benefits of a planet can be achieved in space, usually by an O’Neill Cylinder type structure.” And looking an inch down to the source we see a link to Mike Combs’ “Somewhere Else Entirely”.

Read Mike’s piece. Click the link and read it right now. And if it’s been a while since you sat down with the details in The High Frontier, get your copy off of the shelf or go over and pay that whopping 7 bucks to get it on your Kindle. Refresh your memory on the finer points and talk it up. People are discussing this stuff – Your Stuff – right now.   And they’re ready to listen to you.

There are NO LIMITS to Growth. The limits are only in the views that we humans have accepted to be truths, but that are truly only rote and easy habit. There are a far wider range of solutions that can pay all of the bills that we’ve stacked up and give every human being a new surplus.

We call those better, smarter, more profitable long-term options that we have the technology and ability to start building right now: “The High Frontier.”

The All Time Classic: Gerard K. O'Neill's The High Frontier
The All Time Classic: Gerard K. O’Neill’s The High Frontier

Thanks Mike!