SSI Newsletters: 1985 January February

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1985 JanFeb cover

[[librarian note:  This address is here, as it was in the original printed newsletter, for historical reasons.  It is no longer the physical address of SSI. For contributions, please see this page]]





SSI Newsletter 1982 Q3 image Gerard O'Neill

The operation of the Space Shuttle is maturing now, though its engines need substantial rebuilding after every flight and the risks are still high. A new initiative, the program for the Space Station proposed by the White House, will soon be entering its review in Congress. With those facts, both new, it’s appropriate to select those elements within governmental space programs that will have direct application to SSI’s productive use of the energy and material resources of space.

The Shuttle is of interest for two reasons. For the foreseeable future it will be the only vehicle available to U.S. companies that will have the capability of transporting people to low orbit and returning them to Earth. And the engines of the Shuttle, difficult and finicky as they now are, will gradually be modified and improved until they can be re-used without the replacement of many components. Those engines represent today’s state of the art in rocketry, and they will also be used in freight-carrying rockets that will be derived from the Shuttle.

Considerable advances have been made in the technology of space suits and of independent one-person rocket units, since the Apollo days of 15 years ago. In the late 1960’s the physical effort required to move in space suits was so great that only astronauts of professional-athlete strength and stamina could use them for more than a short time. Now, in today’s improved models, people of good health with relatively small frames can move and work for hours at a time. That technology, with little or no further improvement, will be fine for the tasks that commercial space ventures will require. Independent one­person rocket units, or “Manned Maneuvering Units” as NASA calls them, are also effective enough now that they need little or no further improvement to be useful for commercial space ventures.

The Space Shuttle makes sense as a vehicle only if one assumes that its major purpose will be for the transport of people. There are no present plans for it to be used that way, and for all other purposes expendable vehicles are turning out to be competitive or more economical in cost. As for the Space Station, its value may emerge more clearly as the years go on. The Space Station makes sense mainly as a natural extension of the Skylab Project, a work station for experiments in zero gravity. Probably the most valuable technology that will be developed for the Space Station will be life support systems for recycling air and water.

For those who develop, with SSI’s support, large scale commercially productive space ventures, the project of greatest potential interest is the “Return to the Moon,” now beginning to be discussed. For that project it would be necessary to develop new versions of two technologies that we had in 1969-interorbital transfer vehicles and lunar landers. For the supply of oxygen for interorbital transfer vehicles and landers, it will be cost effective to build chemical processing plants to separate oxygen out of lunar soil. As readers of “Update” know, oxygen is the most plentiful element in the lunar soils, being 40% by weight of the average shovelfull of lunar dirt. The research conducted by Rockwell International under SSI sponsorship in 1982-1984 paved the way for such plants.

In summary, the governmental research program is producing a part, but only a part, of the technology that will be needed for the commercial development of space resources. It remains for SSI, with its clear view of what needs to be done in space, to add the remaining building blocks. With your continuing support and involvement, that is exactly what SSI is doing.

Gerard K. O’Neill



The SSI Reception on November 9th was well attended and very enjoyable. Among the guests were: Dr. Freeman Dyson, Dr. James Hicks from Los Angeles, Local Support Team Leaders Morris Hornik and Dan McHugh. Following the reception Dr. Les Snively showed Mass­Driver III to a group of guests. The next Senior Associate Reception is planned for Saturday, May 11, 1985.

Executive Vice President, Gregg Maryniak, delivered a paper on the Non­Military uses of space at the National Defense University on December 6th and 7th. The paper titled “LIVING OFF THE LAND – The use of resources in space for future civilian space operations.” will be run in parts in upcoming issues of SSI UPDATE.

Staff member Robert Bonadurer addressed a group of fifth and sixth graders; in the Marlboro Regional School District on November 19. The presentation was incorporated in their project dealing with future scenarios. In early November Bob addressed the Princeton University SEDS group about SSI and recruitment for the May Conference on Space Manufacturing.

If you are interested in scheduling a lecture by someone from the Space Studies Institute, please call the Princeton Office for details.

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1985 JanFeb image 1 crew

SSI is sponsoring a Bernal Sphere Model Contest. The contest is designed to bring the concept of living in space into the classroom. Any student, group, or individual from 6th grade through High School may enter. The model should be under 1 cubic meter, fully assembled, and delivered to the Princeton office by May 1, 1985. Models will be judged on accuracy, creativity, and appearance. The winning model will be on permanent display at SSI. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three entries, to be spent on science equipment for the participant’s school. For entry blank and kit (bernal sphere blueprint, slides, description, and rules) send $6.00 to cover cost and postage to: Space Studies Institute, Bernal Sphere, 285 Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.

SSI is continuing to produce bibliographies, but due to increased printing costs, is no longer including it in every newsletter. If you would like to receive Part 6 of the bibliography please send a stamped, self-addressed business size envelope to: Bibliography, SSI, 285 Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08540.

Special thanks go to Morris Hornik, Dennis Mateik, Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Robert H. Davis, Angela Glinos, Tom Glinos for stuffing the November / December SSI Update. Their continued support is greatly appreciated.

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1985 JanFrb image 6

By David Odom, M.D.
Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1985 JanFeb image 2 Odom
The Princeton/ AIAA/SSI Conference on Space Manufacturing has been instrumental in pointing the way toward space industrialization through its definition and advancemnet of critical path research. Those who have attended have shared in an excitement generated by the wide sense of participation by speakers and audience alike. The deversity of subjects allows those of us with expertise in only one area the chance to enhance our holistic understanding of a great human undertaking.

The Princeton Conference has allowed three days for the formal presentation of papers. These papers are chosen with an eye toward revelance to critical path research as well as the limited amount of time available for presentation. Traditionally, the conference has allowed another avenue for those attendees eager to present their works. Informal sessions at night have allowed a limited form of peer review-limited in the sense that not all attendees are able to come at night due to other commitments. My original thought was to expand the exposure that these informally delivered papers have received in the past. The mechanism to achieve this would be poster sessions. Six to eight free­standing poster boards could allow the presentation of a greater number of papers on a revolving basis over a three day period of time. A separate room could be dedicated to this purpose. It would even be possible to highlight several poster papers during each coffee break with their authors in attendance.

There may be other papers suitable for this type of presentation. It may very well be that conference chairpersons have the difficult job of declining fine and relevant works for formal delivery due to presentation time constraints. The poster sessions could then act as an avenue to retain a few pearls otherwise lost to the conference. Further, papers may be in a preliminary stage and authors may want to test their ideas with sophisticated investigators.

How is such an endeavor organized? Who picks the papers? Will any or all such papers be published along with formal proceedings? Answers will evolve as we gain more experience. I expect that besides a chairman, the poster session should have a committee made up at the least by conference chairpersons.

Authors considering the poster session for presentation should thoroughly understand its visual nature. Full utilization of graphics and color is important as well as overall visual composition and harmony.

At this point, we have an idea and one half dozen 3′ x 5′ two-sided, cork boards. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.


(May 8-11, 1985)

A tentative schedule for the Conference is as follows:

May 8, 1985
Weds. A.M.:
Space Manufacturing and Solar Power Satellites
Chair: Peter Glaser / Arthur D. Little Inc.

Weds. P.M.:
Space Transportation and Electromagnetic Accelerators
Chair: Ed Bock / General Dynamics-Convair

May 9, 1985
Thurs. A.M.:
Space Stations and Habitats
Chair: Gordon Woodcock / Boeing Aerospace

Thurs. P.M.: Materials Processing
Chair: Wolfgang Steurer / Jet Propulsion Laboratory

May 10,1985
Fri. A.M.: Biomedical and Social Considerations
Chair: B.J. Bluth / University of California-Northridge

Fri. P.M.: International/Economic Issues
Chair: Irwin Pikus / National Science Foundation

Fri. Evening: Cocktail Hour / Banquet: Nassau Inn, Princeton, New Jersey.

May 11, 1985
Sat. A.M.:
Summary Session

A Round Table Discussion is scheduled for Thursday evening. Prospective authors are invited to submit a 500 word summary for acceptance review by April l, 1985.

For registration information please contact: Conference Coordinator, SSI, 285 Rosedale Road, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 609/ 921-0377.



The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will be publishing the proceedings for the 1985 Conference. It will be a limited publication. Each session chairperson and registered participant will receive a copy. If you are unable to attend the conference, but would like to reserve a copy of the proceedings, please send your request and remittance ($29.50 for SSI members and $39.50 for non-SSI members or non-AIAA members) to Space Studies Institute, 285 Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08540. The proceedings will be mailed after December, 1985



James D, Burke is a member of the Space Studies Institute Board of Trustees, and is a technical advisor at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

By James D. Burke

At the end of October a nationwide symposium convened at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington to consider all the aspects of an American return to the Moon. This meeting was the next step in a planned course of events intended to build knowledge and advocacy toward the day when humans again arrive on the Moon, this time expecting to stay.

The leaders in this initiative are Dr. Michael Duke of the NASA Johnson Space Center, Dr. Paul Keaton of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and others, in a variety of professions, who believe it is now time to plan seriously for the next great milestone in space exploration: human residence on the Moon. The initiative began with a meeting at Los Alamos in April, whose purpose was to lay out objectives and a strategy for the revival of the lunar program. That meeting resulted in a statement of goals (see accompanying article) and a plan for activities through the summer leading up to the fall symposium in Washington.

The event at the National Academy was a grand experience. In the Great Hall and in the meeting room the atmosphere combined fond reminiscences of the bygone glory of Apollo, solid scientific papers on the continuing quest for knowledge of the Moon, and above all a zesty search into the unknown future. Key­note speakers James A. Beggs, George A. Keyworth, Walter Hickel and Arthur Kantrowitz, each in his own way, expressed the idea that a healthy society must always be reaching out, attempting new achievements, taking decisions, moving on.

Apollo astronaut, scientist, and former Senator Harrison Schmitt envisioned the role of the Moon leading human exploration of Mars. The beloved space pioneer Krafft Ehricke gave the Symposium’s evening lecture on his visions of an ever­ expanding civilization in space; dozens of others spoke on the scientific, technical, cultural, economic, legal and political aspects of the settlement of the Moon.

SSI subscribers and associates can be proud that the vision and purposes of the Institute, and its underlying rationale, were so well reflected in this large symposium on some kinds of human settlements off Earth. The ideas of increasing the total natural resources available to humanity, of learning to use nature’s bounty well, and of building new forms of society in peace and abundance through the foresight and courage of the pioneers – all of these ideas were vigorously promoted at the symposium.

Did the meeting achieve its purpose? That will, of course, not be known for some time. Clearly NASA, having just begun on the space station program, is in no position to mount a huge lunar initiative now-even without any general government budget problems. But the people who look beyond today, and who consider the deeper aspects of what nations do with their advanced technology, spoke plainly to us all during those days at the end of October: with operational space stations and an upperstage transport system, in a few years America can be poised to take the next step, either in cooperation or in peaceful competition with other nations, and that step may well be the leap to the Moon.


by The Lunar Base Working Group

We the scientists, engineers, industrialists, and scholars of law and history were convened in Los Alamos by NASA in the last week of April 1984, to deliberate matters concerning the establishment of a permanently manned base on the Moon’s surface. Early in our discussions we realized that a fundamental reason for building a lunar base is to obtain the benefits of further exploration. As in the past, the associated scientific and technological discoveries will improve the quality of life on Earth. But in a broader sense, space exploration stimulates an even greater response.

The exploration of space touches the most profound elements of human nature. It excites our spirit of adventure and challenges us to achieve our full potential. It confronts us with the awesome beauty of creation. We are convinced that exploration beyond the Earth is a natural function of a spacefaring nation.

We also are persuaded that space exploration should be coupled with continuous human residence on other celestial bodies, such as the Moon and Mars. In this way, we can learn to utilize the ocean of space better. The enterprise will increase our scientific knowledge, expand our commercial capabilities, sharpen our technological skills, and open our access to additional resources. The scale and nature of the undertaking will create new opportunties for global cooperation and peaceful competition and will fire the next generation’s enthusiasm to extend its space exploration beyond the limits of our own.

Furthermore, space activities will be more efficient if supplies are freed from complete dependence on the Earth’s resources. The Moon is a promising source of extraterrestrial supplies. We know enough about lunar resources to foresee the production of oxygen, power, fuel, building materials, and metals – all of which can be useful to space endeavors on the Moon, in near-Earth orbits, and elsewhere in the solar system. Thus a lunar base represents an investment in other space programs, and an early commitment to this objective will influence the character of some space projects currently being planned.

We therefore recommend that this nation advance scientific exploration, expand opportunities for commerce, and prepare for the permanent habitation of other planets by adopting the goal of returning to the Moon.

Specifically, we propose that a series of investigations be initiated now by appropriate institutions to consider perma­nent facilities on the Moon as the next step beyond the low Earth-orbit Space Station. Our national civilian space program should incorporate this goal and encourage international participation. In 1972, we withdrew from the Moon. Restoring our capability to visit the lunar surface presents no insurmountable technical obstacles, and establishing a permanent base is well within our reach. In this venture from the Earth, we can develop opportunities to serve the Earth. We can begin a new age in which horizons of mankind are expended and aspirations of future generations are fulfilled. We can continue to explore the heavens and, for the first time, live there.


Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1985 JanFeb image 3 Mass Driver

Space Studies Institute Newsletter Mass Driver LogoMASS DRIVER UPDATE

Work on Mass-Driver III (MD3) has moved ahead another step. We have successfully fired the bucket through five drive coils which generated 1500 gravities of acceleration, within 20% of the design goal of 1800g’s. The drive coils were run at full power and the bucket coil was fired at 70% of its planned voltage.

A professional video taping crew was present during one day of the last work session, recording the procedures and several firings. The Senior Associates on the crew, David Brody and Rick Tumlinson, will provide SSI with edited copies when they become available for archival and public educational use.

Senior Associates Dennis Mateik, and Morris Hornik will return to the laboratory in the very near future to press on with Les Snively looking over their shoulder.

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1985 JanFeb mass driver program

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1985 JanFeb 4 mass diver


CSSS-Chicago’s Local Support Team meets at the Adler Planetarium. Meetings take place at 1 pm at the mid-level lecture hall, following is a schedule of the upcoming meetings:

January 13: Review of the Washington, DC Lunar Base Conference
February 10: Lunar Concrete for Space Construction
March 10: Shuttle Derivied Heavy Lift Vechicles
April 14: National Space Policy on Space Commercialization

In addition to the above topics meetings feature recent NASA films and updates on latest events in space.

Ohio Local Support Team Leader, Bob Brodbeck, has reported that Ohio Support Team member, Dave Kemper, from Cincinnati, and editor of “Stardate” magazine, has arranged for an article titled “Imagine” to be published in “Stardate”. The article was written by members of the Ohio Support Team. It will appear in the January issue. An editorial supporting SSI and its research will appear in the same issue. The circulation is about 19000.

Boston Local Support Team Leader, Peter Diamandis, and members, Kenneth Sunshine and Alexander Serenford will be conducting a Space Industrialization Seminar in four parts during the month of January. This is the second annual seminar series.

Mr. Diamandis is also preparing for “Spacefair ’85 – Career from Space” in April. If you would like to participate in this activity, or get in touch with the local support team in your area, please send a postcard or letter with your name, address, and phone number if you wish, to SSI, and we will forward your name on to the Local Support Team in your area.

Morris Hornik, Washington Local Support Team Leader attended the first­ever Northeast Regional L-5 Space Development Conference. It was held in Pittsburgh the last week of October, and was a great success. The program included many presentations of interest and those in the audience were congenial and motivated. SSI was represented by Senior Associate Dennis Matiek and Executive Vice President Gregg Maryniak. A slide-illustrated lecture entitled “Civilization in Space; the Grand Design” which portrays the O’Neill scenario for space manufacturing and settlement was very well received, and a sizable amount of SSI literature was distributed.

Several new Senior Associates and members joined the Institute during the weekend, and others did so shortly there­afterwards. If this event was a preview of what can be expected at the National Space Development Conference in Washington, DC the last week in April, the major “get­together of space enthusiasts” will be well worth attending. Congratulations to all those in Pittsburgh who contributed to the October events.

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1985 JanFeb mass driver image 5

The following meeting notice was sent to SSI by Dr. John McIntyre, School of Social Sciences, The Georgia Institute of Technology: The International Space Policy Conference will be held May 16-17, 1985 . The Conference will focus on the generic issues and options of international space policy. For more information contact Dr. Mcintyre at xxx-xxx-xxxx. Abstract deadline is February 1, 1985.

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