The World's Energy Future [Still] Belongs in Space by Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill

energy future in space
Solar Power Satellites are a solution to both global energy needs and to the greenhouse gas problem. The primary obstacle is the enormous lift costs. A cheaper source of construction materials than Earth must be found.

Editor’s note: Published more than 15 years ago, this essay is even more true and urgent today, and guides the philosophy and actions of Space Studies Institute. This very slightly UPdated version now includes selected illustrations from SSI’s free-to-copy sample slides, the Solar Power Satellite art set.

Trilogy January/February 1992

One of the great phenomena of our times is the environmental movement. Like any popular, large-scale movement, it has its irresponsible fringes, but it is impressive not only for its power, but for the number of its thoughtful, reasoning supporters. And none too soon, because within the past half-century the growing world population’s drive to industrialize has reached the point where human activity is clearly damaging the environment, in some cases irreversibly. Such damage is not unique to our own times; the deforestation of ancient Greece and much of Europe and Britain in the past few hundred years are examples. Now the damage has become general and worldwide.
Continue reading The World's Energy Future [Still] Belongs in Space by Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill

New Trends in Astrodynamics and Applications

Space Studies Institute is cosponsoring New Trends in Astrodynamics and Applications III, an International Conference at Princeton University, August 16, 17 and 18.

For obvious reasons SSI has a particular interest in new types of low energy trajectories, motion near LaGrange points, halo orbits, weak stability boundaries and (relatively) low thrust transfers. SSI has a project to develop small, cheap asteroid probes using a solar sail that could be used to fly by a large number of asteroids on a single mission, so we are particularly interested in mission concepts incorporating low energy trajectories as well as the underlying numerical methods and algorithms for orbit and trajectory optimization.

The conference homepage is The speaker list is excellent and the preceding conferences have been very productive. I hope to see many SSI associates there.

SSI Executive Vice President Lee Valentine will give a talk. For the abstract, Continue reading New Trends in Astrodynamics and Applications

A contest for astropreneurs

Friday, June 23, 2006 7:22 PM by Alan Boyle at Cosmic Log

It may not be as heady as the X Prize, but the Space Frontier Foundation is planning what you might call the B Prize for space-related business plans. The payoff for the best pitch? Entrepreneurial glory … plus a $1,000 poker chip, awarded by an investor at the foundation’s annual conference in Las Vegas next month. XCOR Aerospace’s Rich Pournelle, a guy who is well-versed in the world of space entrepreneurship, sent along the call for entries for the NewSpace 2006 Business Plan Competition.

Pournelle emphasized that the entries need not be restricted to rocket ships. “It only has to be space-related,” he told me. “For example, if it’s a rocket-powered car, we would consider the business plan. Or materials science, or solar power technology that might be used in satellites, or remote sensing, or any kind of life support systems. Any of that kind of stuff, we would consider.”

Here’s the language from the call for entries, which will be posted on the Space Frontier Foundation‘s Web site as well: “Entrepreneurial space companies who are interested in participating in this rewarding competition are asked to submit a 1-3 page executive summary of their plan by July 10 to  Amaresh Kollipara is an entrepreneur and a former Accenture executive who will screen the entries. 

Read the rest at Cosmic Log

Continue reading A contest for astropreneurs

Program for ISDC 2006

Here is the finalized program for Space Studies Institute’s track at ISDC 2006.

Thursday May 4, 2006

2:00 P.M.
Klaus Heiss: The Shuttle Decision Revisited and the Jamestown Proposal

2:30 P.M.
Lee Valentine: A Space Roadmap: a Profitable, Incremental Approach to Space Industrialization and Space Settlement

3:00 P.M.
Red Whittaker: The Grand Challenge and Recent Advances in Space Robotics

4:00 P.M.
Niklas Jarvstrat: Building a Self Reliant Moon Colony

4:30 P.M.
Alex Freundlich et al: Turning the Moon into A Solar Photovoltaic Paradise

Peter Schubert: Synergistic Construction Mechanisms for Habitats in Space Environs

Al Globus: Kalpana One: A New Space Colony Design

Friday May 5, 2006

3:00 P.M.-5:00 P.M.
Gary Barnhard: Architecting the Future
Masse Bloomfield: Space – The Endless Frontier
Brian Enke: The Medusa Approach to Mars Exploration and Settlement
Pamela Conrad: Making the Vision Real: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Space Exploration
Sherry E. Bell: Evolutionary Psychology and Its Implications for the Future of Humans in Space

5:00 P.M.
Pascal Lee: Astronaut Training for Moon and Mars Surface

5:30 P.M.
Greg Allison: Human Destiny – Why We Must Choose to Settle Space Now to Survive

Saturday May 6, 2006

2:00 P.M.
Hirdy Miyamoto: Granular materials on the surface of the small asteroid Itokawa: Initial results of the Japanese Hayabusa mission

2:30 P.M.
Jeff Kargel: Martian resources supporting expansion of a self-sustaining Mars outpost

3:00 P.M.
Phil Sadler: Thermal Well for ISRU Water Extraction from Lunar/Martian Permafrost

3:30 P.M.
James Dohm et al.: Tier-scalable Reconnaissance To Test Overarching Geological Theories and Locate Prime Targets on Mars

4:00 P.M.
Wolfgang Fink et al.: Tier-Scalable Reconnaissance for Remote Planetary Exploration

4:30 P.M.
Roberto Furfaro: Autonomy in Planetary Exploration: Fuzzy Expert System for Tier-Scalable Reconnaissance

5:00 P.M.
William Jewell: A Proposal for an All Biological CELSS: Phase 2 of the Cornell/SSI Collaboration

Sunday May 7, 2006

11:00 A.M.
Giorgio Gaviraghi: Artificial Planets

11:30 A.M.
Phil Putman: An Orbiting Magnetic Arrest System for Rocket-free Transportation to Earth Orbit

Technology for Human Space Settlement