March Storm 2006

All associates of the Space Studies Institute are invited to participate in the twelfth annual ProSpace March Storm to be held in Washington from February 26, 2006 through March 1, 2006.

In past years, ProSpace has kept alive funding for satellite solar power and last year was especially useful in obtaining passage of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act. It would be difficult to overstate the promise of this legislation. The act provides a clear and enabling regulatory regime for the emerging suborbital space transportation industry. The success of this industry appears critical to the evolution of a cheap, orbital transportation system through free and open competition in the marketplace.

ProSpace managed an SSI-sponsored briefing on Capitol Hill under the auspices of the Senate Space Roundtable on the NEO Impact Threat.

Participation in March Storm really makes a difference and the March Stormers have the additional satisfaction of knowing that it does. To become a veteran you need to invest two days, one in training on Sunday, February 26 and one briefing congressional offices on Capitol Hill the following Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday. After the daily congressional briefings, the veterans gather each evening to tell the most interesting stories of the day over dinner and drinks. These dinners are great fun and they ensure that you will end the day in a good mood.

For further information and to register, go to ProSpace.org.

2006 Space Space Settlement Summit

Space Studies Institute will participate in the Space Settlement Summit to be held at ISDC 2006, the 25th International Space Development Conference of the National Space Society.

This year’s ISDC, May 4-7 in Los Angeles, is co-hosted by The Planetary Society, with participation by NASA, and a large variety of space-advocacy groups and commercial space companies.

A call for papers to be presented at the Space Settlement Summit will be issued soon by SSI.

Winter 2005

Space Studies Institute
Update, The Newsletter of The High Frontier

The maiden flight of Falcon 1, the first privately produced semi-reusable orbital launch vehicle, has been delayed several times by minor problems. Nonetheless, SpaceX is proceeding with development of its fully reusable launcher, Falcon 9, and still expects its launch price per pound to low Earth orbit to be below $500 by the end of the decade. This is good news since that price, about one-fourth of the cheapest launch price available today, is the threshold at which space launch demand becomes elastic.

The Commercial Space Transportation Study, released in 1994, projected that market demand would triple at that price. At a mature transportation price of from $30 to $50 per pound, the space transportation market was projected to be 10,000 launches per year. You can find the complete CSTS at www.hq.nasa.gov/webaccess/CommSpaceTrans. Also worth reading is a related study done in 2001 by Andrews Space and Technology that can be found at SpaceFuture.com.

I have just returned from Mojave where I found XCOR to be sitting on a mother lode of robust and reliable, inexpensive space transportation technology. There are other competent competitors in this market and we can be hopeful that a radical decrease in space launch costs is in view. This creates both challenges and opportunities for the Space Studies Institute. The challenge is that if the Institute is to be relevant to further space development, we must bring our several research projects through to working hardware. And we must do so in a timely way, so that when launch costs are low enough, we will have the technology available to make the earliest use of nonterrestrial resources. The opportunity is that there will be possibilities for SSI to commercialize some of its technologies.
Continue reading Winter 2005

Fall 2005

Space Studies Institute
Update, The Newsletter of The High Frontier

SSI’s purpose is to colonize space. We believe that there is a commercial route to the High Frontier that will be profitable every step of the way. Profitability will ensure the continuation of private effort even when government efforts falter as they have faltered and must inevitably falter again. Can anyone doubt that our Moon flights would have continued had they been profitable? Without profits we can not be sure of the large continuous investment needed to settle space.
Continue reading Fall 2005

Technology for Human Space Settlement