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SSI 50: Bioneering

“Life originated in the sea and developed in it slowly for hundreds of millions of years, while the land surfaces of the ancient earth remained utterly lifeless. The primitive, soft-bodied sea creatures, many of them hardly more dense than the water itself, were utterly unable to colonize it. The gleaming surface above their heads was a deadly, impassible boundary. They had developed in water, and without water all around them they could not live.”
-Jonathan Norton Leonard
Flight Into Space: Facts, Fancies and Philosophy
Chapter 11: The Hostile Environment
1953

“Space doesn’t give a d**n about ideology, it’s always trying to kill you”
-Jim Logan
SSI 50: The Space Settlement Enterprise
September 10th, 2019

 

This next SSI 50 Panel recording, “Bioneering,” may have parts that will ruffle some viewers but knowing the real issues and working to create fixes is the price of admission to into O’Neillian Islands and other off-Earth locations.

After a brief overview, session Host Dr. Jim Logan, cofounder of the Space Enterprise Institute and former NASA Flight Surgeon on Gene Kranz’s Mission Control Team, welcomes Dr. John Charles of Space Center Houston for a major dose of radiation and other killers.

Next, Morgan Irons of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Founder of Deep Space Ecology, LLC gives a conference highlight: a Space-based Agriculture, Soil and Quasi-Closed  Technologies presentation to help us plan for moving into sustainable Habitats instead of sterile metal boxes.

Joe Carroll, President of Tether Applications Inc., brings reduced gravity issues, that all too often go un-mentioned even by professionals, right up to the forefront, and then Dr. Logan takes the podium again for a – sobering – view from his decades of work beyond the front line of Space.

This one is a doozy. “Bioneering,” the second panel of day two of SSI 50: The Space Settlement Enterprise. Recorded September 10th, 2019 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

If during some parts of this video you start feeling a bit ill, I offer the sentence that Jonathan Norton Leonard wrote right after the quote at the top of this post: “But life tries everything over and over until something works.”

And Jim Logan’s upbeat, motivational sentence?  Let’s get to work on those fixes so maybe in a future session he will have one.

SSI 50: Professor Heidi Fearn Mach Effect Drives Update

The next video from the September 2019 SSI 50 Space Settlement Enterprise gathering held at the Museum of Flight in Seattle is SSI Senior Associate Professor Heidi Fearn’s Monday Lunchtime presentation “Mach Effects For In-Space Propulsion.”

This short but excellent video shows the current updates of Professor Fearn’s and Professor James Woodward’s (and Chip Akins’, John Brandenburg’s, T. Marshall Eubanks’, SSI President Gary C Hudson’s, Daniel Kennefick’s, Paul March’s, José Rodal’s and Jonathon Woodland’s) work on the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts MEGA Drive work.

As always, Professor Fearn kept even the non-physicists in the crowd fascinated and we hope that you enjoy the video as much as we all did live in Seattle.

Oh, by the way!  Heidi quickly mentions something that some folks weren’t aware of.  The August 2019 issue of Scientific American featured her and Dr. Woodward and the project work in the 8 page article by Sarah Scoles entitled “The Good Kind of Crazy.”

ssi_sa_hiedi_cover

See up at the top right, “Fringe Physics – Wild ways to propel our species to the stars”?

ssi_sa_hiedi_pages

If you missed it and don’t have a subscription to Scientific American so you can read it online, you can buy reprints from this link.  (Personally I just went to eBay and bought a couple of more physical copies to give to friends, paid about 9 dollars each.)

In any case, even newer information is now on the SSI YouTube Channel, from Professor Fearn’s Monday September 9th SSI 50 Lunch presentation.

Enjoy!

New G-Lab Program pages

“She had her fourth birthday last week,” Halvorsen answered proudly. “Children grow fast in this low gravity. But they don’t age so quickly – they’ll live longer than we do.”

Floyd stared in fascination at the self-assured little lady, noting the graceful carriage and the unusually delicate bone structure. “It’s nice to meet you again Diana,” he said. Then something – perhaps sheer curiosity, perhaps politeness – impelled him to add: “Would you like to go to Earth?”

Her eyes widened with astonishment; then she shook her head.

“It’s a nasty place; you hurt yourself when you fall down. Besides there are too many people.”

So here, Floyd told himself, is the first generation of the Spaceborn; there would be more of them in the years to come. Though there was sadness in this thought, there was also a great hope. When Earth was tamed and tranquil, and perhaps a little tired, there would still be scope for those who loved freedom, for the tough pioneers, the restless adventurers. But their tools would not be ax and gun and canoe and wagon; they would be nuclear power plant and plasma drive and hydroponic farm. The time was fast approaching when Earth, like all mothers, must say farewell to her children.”

– 2001, Chapter 10 “Clavius Base”

There is absolutely no proof that a gravity lower than Earth’s would do no more than alter bone structure making humans elegantly delicate and tall.

There is absolutely no proof that living in a lower gravity would make for longer lives.

Both ideas have been common in even the best science fiction forever, but there is no proof that either would actually be the case.

2001 is a great story, and above all Clarke’s Dr. Floyd paraphrasing Tsiolkovsky still has absolute merit; the Spaceborn will be coming eventually. It sure would be nice, though, if some space agency or company that says that it wants to help Humans live on planets with low gravities would start doing some actual research on generations of vertebrates before the first Spaceborn is on its inevitable way.

The cost to their entire program after just one child is born not quite right would likely be far, far higher than the cost of putting a multi-G test habitat in operation as early as possible.

This is the fundamental reason for SSI’s G-Lab Project.

For more information, please see the growing collection of resources on the SSI G-Lab Program page.

 


Warning!  The video below will NOT make space dreamers happy.

SSI President Gary C Hudson presenting the G-Lab issue at The Space Access Society.
 

The Vision – Uncut – Now on YouTube

2022 update: If you are looking to quote with date cite and if this includes the words you are interested in, then this document is now public and thus publically quotable.  Get the PDF with this link: TheVision_public.pdf


A special video for the Space Studies Institute membership, this is the complete and uncut version of “The Vision” from Gerard K. O’Neill.

Produced by SSI Senior Associates Rick Tumlinson, Morris Hornik and Andrew Lindberg, this is a direct copy from the O’Neill family’s original (Thank you Tasha and Ed!). The lower quality segments that we allow others to post on YouTube came from the cd accompanying the 3rd edition of The High Frontier book.

Sections and start times:

Survival 00:00
Hopeful Future 02:50
Relief for the Earth 06:00
An Obvious Idea 08:30
1969-1979 09:50
The Founding of SSI 11:55
Who is SSI 13:45
The Space Program 14:55
The National Commission on Space 19:46
Scientists, Citizens and Space 25:25
The Moon 27:50
Space Colonies 33:35
To the Stars 40:51
We are the Pioneers 43:35

Note: If you view the YouTube page for the video with a computer browser, the start times are links that jump to the exact position in the video.  To jump out of this page into that page, select the video above and click the “YouTube” logo that pops up at the lower right.

Pass this on, give it a thumbs up, support The High Frontier!