SSI Newsletters: 1991 January February

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1991 JanFeb cover

P.O. BOX 82
[[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]]





The Space Studies Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. Peter E. Glaser, the inventor of the Solar Power Satellite, has joined the Board of Senior Advisors of the Institute. Dr. Glaser is the Vice President of Space Operations of Arthur D. Little Incorporated of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Glaser is known throughout the world as an expert in terrestrial and space solar power and space science and engineering.

Highlights of his career to date include work as the project director for Apollo lunar science experiments to measure the Earth-Moon distance, heat flow from the lunar surface, and lunar gravity. In 1983, he was responsible for studies to determine the feasibility of using NASA satellite-based sensor systems to identify carbon dioxide induced climatic changes for NASA.

In 1985 he managed the study of advanced space transportation systems for operations in high-Earth orbit; in cis-lunar space; in lunar orbits and to, on, and from the lunar surface for NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.

Since 1988 he has conducted studies and research on advanced extravehicular systems requirements for manned missions to GEO, lunar surface operations and planetary exploration. This work has included approaches for dust protection and the removal of dust contamination and on the development of thermal storage materials for space suit gloves and bootsoles.

In 1968 he conceived the solar power satellite as an option for meeting future global energy demands, for which he was issued a patent in 1973. From 1972 to 1982 he directed studies for NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy on technical and economic evaluations of this concept.

Dr. Glaser served on the NASA Office of Space Exploration, Lunar Energy Enterprise Case Study Task Force and on the Task Force on Space Goals. He is currently president of the SUNSAT Energy Council and past chairman of the Space Power Committee of the International Astronautical Federation and past president of the International Solar Energy Society. He is a member of the editorial boards of Space Policy, Solar Energy and Sun World and is an associate editor of the Space Power Journal.

SSI has been privileged to work with Dr. Glaser throughout the Institute’s history. In addition to years of working together informally on the space power concept, Dr. Glaser has served on the Research Committee for Space Power which prepared the Request for Proposals for SSI’s study for the Design of a Solar Power Satellite from Lunar Materials. In addition he participated in SSI’s Lunar Systems Study Project in 1988 and was the Principal Investigator for the Institute’s work on near-term space power experiments and demonstrations during 1989 and 1990.

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1991 JanFeb image 1 Glaser

We are proud to welcome our long time friend and colleague as a member of the Board of Advisors of the Space Studies Institute.

Gerard K. O’Neill


Educational Outreach Program

An important segment of SSI’s Educational Outreach Program is the sponsorship and co-­sponsorship of conferences. Page two of this issue of SSI Update includes the program for the 10th Biennial SSI/Princeton Conference on Space Manufacturing. The Princeton Conferences are always enjoyed for their diversity of topics and quality of presenters. We hope you will be able to attend. The banquet speaker for this year’s conference is Dr. Joseph P. Allen. Dr. Allen is President of Space Industries International, Inc., and flew the successful Shuttle mission in 1984 when he retrieved the Palpa B-2 and Weststar VI communications satellites. Dr. Allen will speak on the recently released Augustine Report.

SSI will be co-sponsoring several conferences this year, they are listed in the order of their occurrence.

The Seventh National Space Symposium will take place April 9-11, 1991. Sponsored by the United States Space Foundation, the conference will include topics on civil, military, commercial, and international space policy. Registration is $475.00 for USSF members, $525.00 for non-members, and $295.00 for educators, military or government. For more information please contact Diana L. Nitschke, USSF, P.O. Box 1838, Colorado Springs, CO 80901, 719-550-1000.

The second international symposium, SPS 91: Power from Space will be held in Paris, France, April 10, 11, and 12. Topics include: solar power from space, global energy issues, energy transmissions, the use of extraterrestrial materials, and the development and implementation of solar power satellites. Gregg Maryniak will present a paper “Nonterrestrial Resources for Solar Power Satellite Construction” on behalf of SSI. Registration information is available by contacting C. Lafont, (33) 1-40-65-92, SEE, 48 rue de la Procession, 75724, Paris, Cedex 15, France. The registration fee is 3,300FF ($625.00). English and French are the official languages and simultaneous translation will be provided.

Editor’s Note:

Due to the current world situation this conference and art contest may be postponed until August, 1991. Exact dates are unavailable at press time. Please call the SSI office for more information.

The 10th Annual International Space Development Conference sponsored by the National Space Society will be held May 22-27 in San Antonio, Texas. The theme of this year’s conference is “Space: A Call for Action.” Registration for SSI members is $70.00 until May 1 and $80.00 after May 1. For further information please contact Carol Luckhardt Redfield at 512-522-3823 or 512-679-7625.

The International Conference of Near­Earth Asteroids will be held June 30-July 3 in San Juan Capistrano, California. Topics for the conference include the nature of near­Earth asteroids, their origins, relationship to meteorites, searches (Palomar/International search programs, prospective search programs, SEI Moon-based search), and asteroid resource utilization. For more information please contact Dr. Clark R. Chapman, NEA Conference, Planetary Science Institute, 2421 East 6th Street, Tucson, AZ 85719.


Lunar Electrolysis Experiments Proceeding with New Furnace

A new furnace supplied by the Space Studies Institute is accelerating lunar electrolysis research. Under the direction of SSI Senior Associate, Dr. Rudolf Keller, EMEC Consultants of Pennsylvania is conducting experiments leading to the production of useful materials for space operations from lunar soil using electrolytic techniques.

The furnace, a DEL TECH Model DT-28­STBL-B, has a working diameter of 6 inches and permits electrolysis experiments at temperatures of up to 1500 degrees Celsius. Dr. Keller reports that initial experiments have been conducted using MLS-1 (Minnesota Lunar Simulant-1) produced by Dr. Paul Weiblin of the University of Minnesota.

During the first electrolysis test, MLS-1 was melted in an alumina crucible and electrolyzed between platinum electrodes. Applying high current densities, both electrodes were destroyed. A second experiment was conducted with a modified composition simulant mix. An electrolysis current of 1 Ampere was maintained for four hours. The cell voltage fluctuated (probably due to deposition of solid semi-coherent metal into the electrolyte space). The platinum electrodes survived.

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1991 JanFeb image 2

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1991 JanFeb image 3



Another New Asteroid

Just as we go to press yet another new asteroid has been discovered which has travelled through our neighborhood in space. 1991 AQ was discovered by Eleanor Helin, leader of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Planet-Crossing Asteroid Survey. The object passed within 5 million miles of the Earth on January 28. No word yet on orbital elements or chemical composition. It’s getting crowded! (Actually, we’re just now understanding how crowded it normally is.)


Asteroids Revisited

In the last Update we discussed the newly observed Trojan Asteroid in the Mars-Sun System. The New York Times reported on January 25 of this year that a small asteroid, perhaps 30 feet (13.6 meters) in diameter passed within 106,000 miles (170,500 kilo­meters) of the Earth during the preceding week. Using a CCD (Charge-coupled device) array on a 36 inch telescope at Kitt Peak, the object, designated 1991-BA, was traced for about six hours. According to Dr. Tom Gehrels of the Spacewatch Camera project, the asteroid is probably tied gravitationally to Venus and is not expected to return to the vicinity of the Earth “in the foreseeable future.” The sighting demonstrates the importance of the Spacewatch Camera project and represents the smallest close natural object ever observed beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.


Space Power: The Enabler

As we move into the new year, SSI is particularly focusing on research and education on space power. Space power appears to us to be the single most important economic and political driver for the human breakout into space. From a technical standpoint, space power also is essential to undertaking any new projects in Earth orbit or beyond. We believe that abundant power is a fundamental prerequisite to the efficient use of space resources. For example, processing oxygen from lunar soil via electrolysis as has been proposed by Rudy Keller and by Larry Haskin, is likely to require megawatt scale power for an appropriately scaled plant. Developing reasonably sized industrial power sources needs to be undertaken now. We are currently (no pun intended) looking at the use of early power beaming experiment platforms as a way to augment on-board power systems of Space Shuttles, space stations and lunar bases.


Space Power Comic Strip Contest

In conjunction with the SPS 91 Conference in France (See page 1) the Societe des Electriciens et Electroniciens (SEE) is sponsoring a contest for artists under the age of 25 on the subject of solar power satellites. The winning entry will be published internationally in several languages by the SEE. Entries must be eight pages long and accompanied by a single cover page with text not to exceed 300 words. Deadline for the posting of submissions is March 15. For additional information phone SSI and we will fax or mail you a copy of the information sheet (which credits SSI for its SPS research.)

Welcome Dr. Glaser

SSI is particularly pleased to welcome Dr. Peter E. Glaser, the original champion of Space Solar Power to the Board of Senior Advisors of the Institute. We have had the great pleasure of working with Dr. Glaser over the years and the Institute staff joins me in welcoming him officially to the organization.

SSI Selected as Solar Power Satellite Archive

SSI is now maintaining the information generated by NASA and the Department of Energy in its study of the Solar Power Satellite concept. Shown here are several representative diagrams from the study contents. The bulk of this work was conducted during the 1978-­1980 period at a total cost of about $20M. In order to preserve this valuable data, SSI agreed to store this information at its headquarters. A volunteer effort to catalog these materials is currently planned with a proposed completion date of May of this year. Scholars or researchers interested in utilizing this information are requested to contact SSI headquarters to arrange for access.

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1991 JanFeb image 5

Space Studies Institute Newsletter 1991 JanFeb image 6

Gregg Maryniak


MAY 15-18, 1991

The 10th Biennial SSI/Princeton Conference on Space Manufacturing, sponsored by Space Studies Institute, is a forum for papers on all aspects of the use of nonterrestrial resources. The program includes papers both on technical aspects of space development and on the social sciences.

In order to accommodate a broad range of presentations, three types of presentation will be encouraged: 1) the traditional presentation of papers in the auditorium at the Woodrow Wilson School, 2) a poster session and display, 3) an evening session on advanced space systems.

The first three days of the Conference will be open only to registered participants. A summary session on Saturday, May 18 is free and open to all.


A registration fee of $320 includes lunches, coffee breaks and the Friday night banquet. Registration through the Space Studies Institute is available.

To register for the conference send a check or money order for $320.00 made payable to: SSI, P.O. Box 82, Princeton, NJ 08542. Please note if you will be attending lunches on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and the Friday night banquet. Or register by phone, 609-921-0377 with a VISA or MasterCard number.


The Compri Hotel has been selected as our Conference Headquarters. It is located approximately three miles north of Princeton on Route 1. The Hotel will provide bus service to and from the University’s Woodrow Wilson School as parking spaces in town and on campus are severely limited. Upon receipt of the Conference registration fee, a hotel reservation card will be mailed to you; or you may make reservations directly by phone at 609-520-1200. Please mention our conference name (Space Manufacturing) to receive the special room rate.


Continental Airlines has been chosen as official carrier for this conference. To receive up to 40% discount on your tickets, you must book at least two weeks in advance and fly into Newark Airport. Call and give our reference number: EZ 5P29. For transportation from Newark Airport to any of the hotels in the Princeton area, call Princeton Air­porter at 609-587-6600 a week in advance.


Following, is a listing of sessions, chairmen and a brief description of content matter.
Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University
Wednesday, May 15
8:30 am Registration

8:45 am Introductory Remarks: Gerard K. O’Neill, President Space Studies Institute

9:00 am
Keynote Address: Mark J. Albrecht Executive Secretary National Space Council

9:30 am Session I SPACE POWER
Chair: Peter Glaser Arthur D. Little Co.
This session will address the technology and application of space power to elements of the space infrastructure, and to meet increasing terrestrial global power requirements especially in developing countries so as to mitigate the global warming trend.


1:00 pm Session II LUNAR BASES
Chair: Wendell Mendell NASA Johnson Space Center
This session examines siting, construction, operations and products (both industrial and scientific) of permanently staffed bases on the Moon.

3:20 pm BREAK

Chair: Irwin Pikus Department of Commerce
This session will include discussion of economic factors and implications of international space development.  There will be one ten-minute break each morning.
Thursday, May 16

Chair: John Garvey McDonnell Douglas
This session will cover recent developments in space transportation technologies, particularly those that relate to the Space Exploration Initiative.

11:45 am LUNCHEON

Chair: James Logan
Space Medical Systems
Biological and physiological aspects of long­term missions are now recognized as being as important as propulsion and basic engineering for spaceflight. This session will examine the problems of microgravity and low gravity environments, radiation shielding and other topics.

3:00 pm BREAK.

Chair: Faye Bailiff
Martin Marietta
NASA has offered to make expended external tanks available for feasible U.S. commercial and non-profit endeavors through 1993. This is intended to help promote a strong U.S. commercial presence in space; This session will examine ways of utilizing the expended external tanks as a nonterrestrial resource.

Wine and Cheese Reeeption
Chair: James Burke Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Chair: Joel Sercel Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This session will consider advanced concepts which may favorably impact exploration, industrialization and colonization. Advanced concepts includes technology, system concepts and space architectures which are either novel or require basic scientific research to validate. Launch systems, transportation systems. exploration scenarios and any unique technologies in any space endeavor can be considered.

Chair: Mark Nelson
Institute of Ecotechnics
Robust closed-cycle systems are essential if we are to sever the umbilical cord to the Earth in future space missions and bases. This session will examine closed cycle life support and the creation of new kinds of “biospheres” or living in space.

11:45 am LUNCHEON
Guest Speaker: Vladimir S. Syromiatnikov NPO Energia

Chair: John S. Lewis
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
This session will examine advancements in the discovery, characterization, mining, extraction
and use of extraterrestrial materials.

2:15 pm BREAK

2:30 pm Continuation of Session IX
Ramada Hotel, Princeton, NJ

Guest Speaker: Joseph P. Allen, Space Industries International, Inc.
Topic: Report of the Advisory Committee on The Future of the US Space Program
Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University

Saturday, May 18
9:00 am Summary Session
Each chairman will present a summary of the papers that were presented during his/her session.
Space Studies Institute, Rocky Hill, NJ

12:30 pm Box Lunch Picnic
Informal gathering of Conference participants and Senior Associates of the Institute. Tickets for this event may be purchased through the Institute or during the Conference at the Registration Table.

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NEXT: 1991 February-March (SSI And Air Force propose ET reclamation)

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