Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Carnival of Homeschooling: Week 383 - Being Flexible

"In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable."
- Dwight Eisenhower

As the organizer for the Carnival of Homeschooling, Janine and I are the backup of last resort.  This is almost never a problem.  We have over thirty active hosts who take turns publishing the weekly editions of the Carnival of Homeschooling.  They are all very reliable.  But sometimes life throws curve balls and we have to be flexible. 

Janice Campbell was going to host this week's carnival but life threw her a major fast ball when her beloved grandmother died.  As such, Janine and I are stepping in at the last minute.

Carnival themes are always a bit of a challenge for me.  I try to pick something interesting which can be used to weave the posts together so the carnival flows fairly smoothly.  This morning, I reflected that often to be a successful homeschooler meant adaptable to changing situations.  There is great value in making plans and preparing for the coming days, but we have to be wise and know when to toss the plans out the door.

I'll stop pontificating and move on to the carnival:

Carnival of Homeschooling


Sometimes our environment changes and we are forced to adapt.  Rose writes about Homeschooling and the Common Core Standards at Learning at Home. Homeschoolers may need to make some changes in response to the Common Core Standards.

Sometimes we change as we move through a major event and process it.  Barbara writes that her Post Election Depression Lifting, Finally! at Barbara Frank Online.

One of the big changes homeschoolers face is having a child finally be done with homeschooling.  Economics Done! - a review is about what a soon to be graduated young lady thinks about economics; posted at Notes from a Homeschooled Mom.

In Homeschooling High School: End of School Year Review Heather writes about some of the changes they've made in how they teach their children, and let the children teach each other; posted at Sprittibee.

Monique shares some thoughts about It May be Time to Quit Homeschooling.  She makes the point that sometimes we, homeschooling parents, forget to take off our teacher hats and just be our children's parent.  Posted at Living Life and Learning.


S is for Schedule by Harvest Moon by Hand reminds us that there's value in having a predictable rhythm to each day - especially when homeschooling seems to be taking place more away from the home than in it. This post show ways to incorporate some of the Waldorf philosophy about a grain, color, and activity of the day.

In Top of the World by Homeschool Atheist Momma we read about a plan that has gone well.  We are invited to join them as they explore a local iconic mountain...and live the homeschool dream!

With Young Students and "the Fairyland in Geography", Celeste takes thorough look at Charlotte Mason's suggestions for making geography come alive for elementary students.  Posted at Joyous Lessons.

When making plans for your children, you might remember that Pets are Beneficial for Your Children!  Chris makes the point that pets are important for helping your child deal with a world that continues to be scary and confusing!  Posted at Home School vs. Public School.

Being Flexible

The next three posts didn't really address change or planning, so we'll be flexible and make a category just for them.

A lot has changed over the last five thousand years.  The Mesopotamia Song posted at Highhill Education shares a song which makes Mesopotamian History easier to remember. It's to the tune of The Ants Go Marching.

Christine shares two charity download-able patterns (one knit, one crochet) to benefit her public library in The Knitted Library Window Watchcap is here, posted at Our Curious Home.

In Things to Learn About....May Edition Jennifer has a list of links to free internet resources, such as lesson plans, worksheets, crafts, printables, coloring pages and more for special holidays and/or events in May.  Posted at Good Work Academy.

Carnival of Homeschooling

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Go here for the archives of previous carnivals.

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We thank everyone who has helped out. Thank you to all the participants in this carnival. And thanks to all those who help promote the Carnival of Homeschooling.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, April 29, 2013

Henry Cate's Life Humor 1.G

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:

Subject: The software that worked too well

This story is nth hand, thus to be classified as rumor.  But it is relevant to RISKS, so I pass it on, if only as a parable.

SeaTac is the main Seattle-area airport.  Ordinarily aircraft landings are from the north, and this end of the runway is equipped with all the sensing equipment necessary to do ALS (Automatic Landing System) approaches.

The early 747 ALS worked beautifully, and the first of these multi-centaton aircraft set down exactly at the spot in the center of the runway that the ALS was heading for.  The second 747 set down there.  The third 747 landed on this part of the runway. ... As did all the others.

After a while, SeaTac personnel noticed that the concrete at this point at the north end of the ALS runway was breaking up under the repeated impact of 747 landings.  So the software was modified so that 3 miles out on the approach, a random number generator is consulted to choose a landing spot -- a little long, a little short, a little to the left or a little to the right.

   Don't assume you understand the universe without actually experimenting.


  Joke! A guy is driving through Vermont when he sees some old fogey sitting on a rocking chair, rocking back and forth, looking like he hasn't moved since 1957. He asks they guy "Been rocking there all your life?" And the guy replies "Not yet!"


Another shaggy dog story:

In days of old when knights were bold there was on little runt who had to use a large shaggy dog instead of a horse.  Well it seems that as he was out on a quest it started raining and very dark and gloomy.  As it happened he came  upon a castle and requested entrance to the establishment.  He was admitted and soon he and his dog were drying themselves in front of the fire.  Soon  enough they were dry and comfortable and the day had turned to night and  the storm had become worse.  The knight prepared to go and noted that the dog was just as wet as ever and even more shaggy looking than when they had came in. The lord of the castle looked the situation over and thought a  while then proclaimed:

"I'll let you stay the night.  I can't send a knight out on a dog like this"


An Englishman is trying to hitch a lift in the Irish country side. Soon a mini-truck pulls up and the Englishman boards. "You look lost Lad. Where'er you off to?" asks the driver, an old Irishman. "Down this road 'bout 6 kilo- meters" the Englishman says. "Ah! y'er English. I'm a farmer. I'm off to the market to sell me horse and the pig." the farmer says as he points to the back. "These are dangerous parts, Lad, you shouldn't be out here alone, you know. That's why I carry this buffalo-rifle, you know, for safety."

Just then, another truck approaches head-on on collision course. The farmer swerves back and forth to maintain control. After a lot of skidding, he hits a street-light pole and they all come flying out of the truck. The farmer gets up to assess the damage. He sees his pig, all cut up and barely breathing. He limps back to the truck, gets his rifle and approaches the pig.

"Oh poor little piggy," he says, "All cut up and bleeding. Yer must be in terrible pain. I'll put ya out of yer misery". He points the gun at the pig and pulls the trigger and BOOM. Then he walks over to the horse which is also lying there bleeding. "Oh poor little horsey, all cut up and bleeding. Yer must be in great pain. I'll put ya out of yer misery". He points his gun at the horse and BOOM. Finally he looks the Englishman, who has been watching all this. Being hurt bad, he's struggling to get up. He has a slash across the side of his face, arms and legs cut up and bleeding badly and one eye squinting and blood trickling out of his mouth. The farmer walks over to the Englishman and asks, "Are ya alright?" The Englishman responds with a quivering voice while his hand is shaking with a nervous twitch, "Fine, I've never felt better in my life! Thanks for the ride."


The latest Homeschool Showcase is up

The latest Homeschool Showcase is up at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Who do you listen to?

The older I grow, the more I listen to people who don't talk much. -Germain G. Glien

Interesting article about food and autism

Autism Recovery with the GAPS Diet: One Mother’s Story is about how a change in diet made a huge difference.

Hat tip: Parents With Purpose

Henry Cate's Life Humor 1.F

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


A political activist named Dave was just arriving in Hell, and was told he had a choice to make. He could go to Capitalist Hell or to Communist Hell. Naturally, Dave wanted to compare the two, so he wandered over to Capitalist Hell. There outside the door was Adam Smith, looking bored.
"What's it like in there?" asked Dave.
"Well," replied Adam, "In Capitalist Hell, they flay you alive, boil you in oil, chain you to a rock and let a vulture tear your liver out, and cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives."
"That's terrible!!" gasped Dave. "I'm going to check out Communist Hell!" He went over to Communist Hell, where he discovered a huge line of people waiting to get in; the line circled around the lobby seven times before receding off into the horizon.
Dave pushed his way through to the head of the line, where he found Karl Marx busily signing people in. Dave asked Karl what Communist Hell was like.
"In Communist Hell," said Marx impatiently, "they flay you alive, boil you in oil, chain you to a rock and let vultures tear out your liver, and cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives."
"But ... but that's the same as Capitalist Hell!" protested Dave.
"True," sighed Marx, "but sometimes we don't have oil, sometimes we don't have knives ..."


     A man goes to his doctor for a physical.  A week later, the doctor calls him with the results.  "I've got some bad news and some very bad news.  First, the bad news.  You have an incurable disease, and I estimate you have 24 hours to live."
     The patient replies, "My God, that's terrible!  What could possibly be worse?"
     The doctor says, "I've been trying to reach you since yesterday!"


This IBM service rep, hardware engineer, and software engineer were driving down the road one day and they had a flat.  The service rep wanted to replace the car, the hardware engineer thought they could work around it, and the software engineer said 'maybe if we ignore it, it'll go away'.


Three guys went out in their 4 wheel drive unit to go "shootn". While out  they found a rabbit from one of the neighboring farms and caught it. They decided instead of "shootn" at it, they'd have some real fun. And so they  tied a stick of dynamite to the little beastie and lit it. Well remember, this was a poor confused farm rabbit, so it immediately ran off and hid,...  directly *under* their four wheel drive truck. *BOOM*
.....and the four wheel drive truck suddenly turned into a Volkswagen Rabbit!


A small town that cannot support one lawyer can always support two.


There are two kinds of lawyers, those who know the law and those who know the judge.


"There is no doubt that my lawyer is honest.  For example, when he filed his income tax return last year, he declared half of his salary as 'unearned income.'"

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Interesting tidbit on the history of books

The Revolutionary Effect of the Paperback Book is a quick read. 

I hadn't realized that paperback books only started being published in 1939.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Another piece of evidence on just how inefficient public schools are in using money

Charter School Funding Disparity Exists reports:

Peer-reviewed, forthcoming research finds that charter school students receive an average of $4,000 less for their education than peers in traditional public schools in five major cities, all of which are foundation Investment Sites. While the gap is widening in some cities and narrowing in others, the research finds that traditional public school students receive substantially more local, state and federal funds than those who attend public charter schools.
In the regions analyzed - Denver, Milwaukee, Newark, N.J., Washington, D.C., and the Los Angeles Unified School District – at least one in every ten students attend a public charter school. As more families demand these high-quality public school options, this funding disparity has severe implications on how schools can rise to meet this need.

In general charter schools do at least as well as public schools is teaching children.  Now we find they do it for less money.

This is only partially tongue in check, but maybe we should close all the regular schools and turn them into charter schools.  It could save over $200 billion dollars a year.

Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs.

Our son may be bi-lingual

Janine posted this on Facebook:


Our seven-year-old was showing me the words he can write:


Janine: pointing to "nta:" What is nta?

Son: Actually, I think it is Chinese.

Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschhooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at: Janice Campbell - Taking Time For Things That Matter.

This will be the 383rd edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Why we should study history

I love to learn history.  Right now I'm watching the PBS special on The Story of India while I exercise. 

I think this is an important reason to study history:

History is a vast early warning system.
-Norman Cousins, editor and author (1915-1990)

Some of our best posts from May 2007

Janine and I have been blogging about homeschooling for over seven years. If you missed some of our early posts, you have missed some of our best thoughts. Here are some highlights from May 2007:

I shared some thoughts about government waste in public schools and Why does public education cost more in some states.

We took a family trip in May.  I wrote about why We love Colonial Williamsburg.  One of my favorite times in Colonial Williamsburg was listening to Patrick Henry.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Henry Cate's Life Humor 1.E

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


"A manager does the thing right.  A leader does the right thing."
--Anonymous (the great Greek philosopher)


     A British customs agent tells the story of an arriving traveler came up to his counter one day  and the agent asked him, "How long do you plan to stay in the United Kingdom?" "Three days", he replied. "And what will be doing here?", the agent continued. The man said, "I want to overthrow the government." The customs agent said, "Oh, you'll need at least a week for that!", gave him a one week visa and let him in.


"If you steal ideas from one source, that's plagiarism, but if you steal ideas from more than one source, that's research."
-- Laurendo Almeida, Brazilian guitarist, talking at a recent concert before playing a medley of pieces by various composers.


Great quotes from Will Rogers:


Money and women are the most sought after and the least known of any two things we have.


Alexander Hamilton started the U.S. Treasury with nothing - and that was the closest our country has ever been to being even.


There is not a man in the country that can't make a living for himself and family.  But he can't make a living for them *and* his government, too, the way his government is living.  What the government has got to do is live as cheap as the people.


I see a good deal of talk from Washington about lowering taxes.  I hope they do get 'em lowered down enough so people can afford to pay 'em.


The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.


On account of us being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does.


Liberty don't work as good in practice as it does in speeches.


Why don't somebody print the truth about our present economic condition? We spent years of wild buying on credit, everything under the sun, whether we needed it or not, and now we are having to pay for it, howling like a pet coon.  This would be a great world to dance in of we didn't have to pay the fiddler.


A bit wild to think Will Rogers said the above lines decades ago.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Disruptive Innovation and Higher Education

This is a bit long, but I found Disruptive Innovation and Higher Education worth listening to:

It was interesting to learn that the accreditation process is relatively recent and contributes to blocking innovation.

Another view on the cost of public education

I found Seven Not-So-Fun Facts About the Costs of Public Education worth reading.  Mike Antonucci sets the stage with:

For many years we have expressed education expenditures as “per-pupil spending.” This is a reasonably good way to frame the numbers, though controversy sometimes arises over what is included and what isn’t. The following is a list of different angles on the same spending. All the figures cited are for 2010, courtesy of the National Center of Education Statistics, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The statistic I found most depressing was:

6) The average American employee thus works almost one hour every day to fund public schools.

Hat tip: Instapundit

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

Karyn is hosting this week's Carnival of Homeschooling at Teach Beside Me.

She starts the carnival with:

Hello and Welcome to the 382nd Carnival of Homeschooling! I am so happy to be hosting today and hope you have fun reading through all of the wonderful entries. We had a lot of GREAT posts submitted. Take some time to visit their thoughtful posts.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, April 22, 2013

Vacations are better when you homeschool

One of the great benefits of homeschooling is being able go on vacation when you want. 

I recently took a trip to Phoenix with my second daughter.  We went to the Space Access conference.  She had a great time hanging out with my father and brother.  After the conference last year she said she was interested in following the new about the space industry.  This year she decided she wanted to understand more of the science behind what is going on!!!

And this weekend my wife will be going to Phoenix with our third daughter.  The daughter is pretty excited.  She hasn't ever taken a trip when it was just her and mom. This trip will be pretty relaxed. They are going down to see family.    

We have friends with children in public schools.  They have to jump through all kinds of hoops to go on vacation during the school year.  The schools seem to feel they have the final say on if the children can even go.  (The real issue is the schools don't get as much money if the student isn't in the classroom.)

We don't go on as many trips as we used to.  Having a foster care child living with us ties us down.  We currently have a five-year-old boy.  He often sees his father a couple times day.  We are also limited a bit because our oldest two daughters are taking classes at the local colleges.  The oldest is taking 17 units.  The other daughter is taking a full set of junior year high school classes and two college classes. 

But when our family decides to take off a Friday it is great to be able to go when we want.

Friday, April 19, 2013

The latest Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up - Education is a Life

This week's Charlotte Mason Blog Carnival is up at Harmony Fine Arts at Home.

Henry Cate's Life Humor 1.D

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


One professor at school (an econ prof) had a strict policy that the hourly examinations were done at the bell and anyone who kept writing on their exam after the bell would take a zero on the exam.  Well, one guy kept writing on his exam for a while after the bell and then confidently strode up to turn it in.
The prof looked at him and said "don't bother to hand that paper in...you  get a zero for continuing after the bell."
The guy looked at him and said, "Professor, do you know who I am!!"
The professor replied, "No, and I don't care if your dad is president of the United States...you get a zero on this exam"
The guy, with a enraged look on his face, shouted, "You mean you have no idea who I am???"
The professor responded, "No, I've no idea who you think you are."
With that, the guy said "good," plunged his exam into the middle of the stack of other students exams, and did a hasty retreat from the examination room!!!


BUREAUCRACY:  a method for transforming energy into solid waste.


     A professor watched while a mechanic removed engine parts from his car to get to the valves.  A surgeon, waiting for his car being repaired, walked over to observe the process.  After they introduced themselves, they began talking, and the talk turned to their lines of work.
     "You know, doctor," the professor said, "I sometimes believe this type of work is complicated as the work we do."
     "Perhaps," the surgeon replied.  "But let's see him do it when the engine is running."


     Three professionals were discussing the nature of God.  The doctor said, "The Bible states that God made Woman by taking a rib out of Man; God is obviously a surgeon."  The engineer replied, "But before God made man he created Heaven and Earth out of Chaos; this is obviously the work of a master engineer.  The lawyer just smiled and said, "But who do you think created the chaos?"


     A lawyer and a pope died on the same day, and both went to heaven.  When the pope noticed that the lawyer had a larger mansion, he questioned Saint Peter about the allocation of rewards.  The justification was "Well, we've had 265 popes up here, but this is the FIRST lawyer!"


     More you know you are in trouble when:
You call suicide prevention and they put you on hold.
Your four year old tells you that its almost impossible to flush a grapefruit down the toilet.
Your car costs more to fill up that it did to buy.
The bird singing outside of your window is a vulture.
Airline food starts to taste good.
You have to borrow from your Visa to pay off your MasterCard.
The Gypsy fortune teller offers to refund your money.

This week's Carnival of Space is up at Dear Astronomer.

Reminder: Please send in a post for the next Carnival of Homeschooling

Please remember to send in a post about homeschooling for the next Carnival of Homeschooling. The next Carnival of Homeschooling will be held at Teach Beside Me.

This will be the 382nd edition.

Go here for the instructions on sending in a submission.

As always, entries to the Carnival of Homeschooling are due Monday evening at 6:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.

I have a reminder mailing list. If you would like email reminders, please tell me.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is up at Every Bed of Roses.

Chareen starts the carnival with:

Welcome to the 381 edition of the Carnival of Homeschooling where home school families share their homeschool wisdom with us from all over the world via their blogs.

Carnival of Homeschooling was started by the Cate Family over at Why Homeschool and has been a tremendous source of home school support and information.

When Chareen says all over the world, she means it.  She is hosting the carnival from Australia.

Carnival of Homeschooling

Monday, April 15, 2013

Henry Cate's Life Humor 1.C

From the Henry Cate Life Humor collection:


The employer generally gets the employees he deserves.
-Walter Bilbey


I have lived in the world just long enough to look carefully the second time into those things that I am most certain of the first time.
-Josh Billings


Friendships are fragile things, and require as much handling as any other fragile and precious thing.
-Randolph S. Bourne


Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem more afraid of life than death.
-James F. Byrnes


You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question.
-Albert Camus


Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do.
-Dale Carnegie


The Golden Rule is of no use to you whatever unless you realize it is your move.
-Frank Crane


Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
-Benjamin Disraeli


Mediocrity requires aloofness to preserve its dignity.
-Charles G. Dawes


Minds are like parachutes - they only function when open.
-Thomas Dewar


Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own. You may both be wrong.


Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.


If something goes wrong, it is more important to talk about who is  going to fix it, than who is to blame.
-Francis J. Gable


Expressing anger is a form of public littering.
-Willard Gaylin


A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.
-- Barry Goldwater


If it can't be understood, it's not finished yet.
-Paul Herbig


Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.
-Edgar W. Howe


If you want to get rid of somebody, just tell them something for their own good.
-Kin Hubbard


The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
-- Hubert Humphrey


Give us the fortitude to endure the things which cannot be changed, and the courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to know one from the other.
-Oliver J. Hart


Consider carefully before you say a hard word to a man, but never let a chance to say a good one go by. Praise judiciously bestowed is money invested.
-George Horace Lorimer


What we see depends on mainly what we look for.
-John Lubbock


When people cease to complain, they cease to think.


The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good  people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
-Theodore Roosevelt


Do you know what a pessimist is? A person who thinks everybody as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.
-George Bernard Shaw


Most novices picture themselves as masters - and are content with the picture. This is why there are so few masters.
-Jean Toomer


Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active.
-Leonardo da Vinci


Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of the pleasures; costs nothing and conveys much. It pleases him who receives, and thus, like mercey, is twice blessed.
-Erastus Wiman

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Jim Muncy of PoliSpace - What's What In Washington

Jim Muncy of PoliSpace - What's What In Washington

Jim encouraged everyone to look beyond rockets.  Pay attention to what is happening in Washington DC and get involved.

We are asking Washington DC to allow us to continue to learn how to fly rockets.  Currently asking for eight years.  There is great concern regulations may be made on speculation.

The recent laws in New Mexico don't provide much protection.  Rockets are built from parts from other states.  So you don't get to chose the court you are sued in.  The proposal is that people sign waivers that they won't sue.  And looking to have the issues addressed in a federal court.

The law allows experimental permits which is less restrictive, but once you fly under a full license, you can't use the experimental permits.  They are trying to change this.

Jim doesn't expect a fight over lengthening the learning period issue.

There is a question on how much data should you be required to share with the government and with the public.  For the most part the rocket industry already shares a lot of information.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Rand Simberg of Transterrestrial Musings - Safe is Not An Option

Rand Simberg of Transterrestrial Musings - Safe is Not An Option

Rand has written a book: "Safe is Not An Option."  The tag line is "We're Not Kill Enough People In Space."  In the last twenty five years we've lost about 4%.

Rand says we don't get innovation when we are risk adverse.  Politicians say space is important but they aren't willing to risk lives.

The book goes through some history on things like Exploration and settlement.  Magellan sent five ships because he knew not all would make it. Only one ship returned.  Some of the early settles in the United States died.  Even Scientific Research wasn't safe: Franklin, Curie, Lazear, Kittinger and Stapp.

There are two aspects of the problem in space.  NASA pushes hard for safely.  Currently commercial projects are allowed to use their own judgement in regards to safety.

The Orion Launch Abort system may have added more risk than it took out.

NASA considered abandoning the ISS last year, rather than taking the risk.  Why does ISS need a lifeboat at all when the station on Anartic.

Jonathan Goff pointed out that MRSA kills about five people a day.  With a big focus on safety we are delaying commercial crew from doing more research and so every 36 hours than we're saving in potential crew loss.

Rand wants us to be careful that the commercial space industry doesn't adopt NASA's safety standard.

Philosophically people should be allowed to assess their own risk against their own reward.

Recommendations for commercial space industry:

Congress should extend moratorium indefinitely
Amend CSLA to extend recognition of maritime classification societies to spaceflight
Kill SLS and fund competitive commercial crew
NASA should purge from their language "Human Rating" and "safe" without an adjective

Then we can start acting like space is really important

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Golden Spike - Doug Griffith - On The Shoulders Of Apollo: How Golden Spike Plans To Lead The Next Wave Of Human Lunar Exporation

Golden Spike - Doug Griffith - On The Shoulders Of Apollo: How Golden Spike Plans To Lead The Next Wave Of Human Lunar Exporation

Golden Spike's mission is to create a "railroad" that will allow access to the moon and beyond.  They plan to sell to foreign companies and science organizations.  Over twenty nations have used the Mir.  Doug went over the leadership and the advisory board.

Their research says there are several nations which want access to space.  There are also corporations seeking commercial activity or marketing activity.  And there are some wealthy individual looking for adventure.

Many nations want to do science on the moon.  Golden Spike can put people on the moon for the price of robotic missions.  There are some limitations on where they go on the moon.

Their price is $1.5 billion per mission or $750 million per expedition member.  They may be the only two on the flight.  They are trying to make it as automated as possible.

The cost for the first landing is about $7 billion.  They plan to leverage collateral revenues and advance ticket sales so they can limit the financing needs.

They currently are looking at four launches:
1) First takes the lander to a moon orbit
2) Second docks with the lander
3) Has the passengers
4) returns with the passengers

If they use the Falcon Heavy they might only need two launches.

The lander is the only major hardware that must be developed essentially from scratch.  They have started development on the launder.

The EVA suits will be developed, but will be based on existing designs.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

John Griffith, Bennet Cowdin - Harder Than It Looks: Trial & Error In A Stratospheric Balloon Project

John Griffith, Bennet Cowdin - Harder Than It Looks: Trial & Error In A Stratospheric Balloon Project

John and Bennet are fifteen-year-old engineer enthusiasts.

They wanted to design and fly a weather balloon payload up to at least 20 km.  It would carry a GPS and have a parachute.  Some of the initial challenges: payload had to withstand high G-force on impact.  They encased it in styroform.  There were extreme environment concerns: -60 C.

They had three flights.  The first and second flights they had accuracy, but the camera failed.  On the third flight it worked.  They ran out of money.  They ran a kickstarter campaign and raised $3100.  They were able to bug the needed hardware.

Flight 4, the balloon popped early.  It landed in the Tehachapi Mountains.  They got 5200 photos.  They were happy with the flight.

Flight 5 - they got video also.  The photos on the way up were good.  After the balloon popped the change pressurization and low temperatures caused condensation so the pictures had some milkiness.

They are now looking at flight 6.  And some other ideas.

It has been fun and given them a lot of experience.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

United States Rocket Academy - Ed Wright - Lynx Cub Payloads

United States Rocket Academy - Ed Wright - Lynx Cub Payloads 

They have purchased ten flights on the Lynx.  They are a non-profit organization.  They will fly 100 citizen-science experiments and 10 citizen astronauts.  Four citizen astronauts have been announced and are in training.  A fifth has been selected.  There are still five slots available.

Project timeline: looking at flight tests in the later half of 2013!!!

They will be announcing a kickstarter campaign soon.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

XCOR Aerospace - Jeff Greason

XCOR Aerospace - Jeff Greason 

The founders of XCOR used to hang with the early Space Access.  XCOR is a private company.  They have been around since 1999.  They have developed several engines.  They developed the Rocket Racer.  They have almost 50 people.  Reusable vehicles can achieve lower cost if and ONLY if the capital cost of amortized life is low and the risk of losing the vehicle is low.  XCOR believe these things are not learned on paper.  Suborbital is a stepping stone to get to the important places.  Suborbital flight allows them to learn important lessons.

He showed a video similar to this:

Lynx Status

Everyone wants to know the status of the Lynx. They aren't done yet.  It is coming along.  It just takes time.  He showed some firings of the engine.

They recently worked with Boeing. The relationship went well.  And XCOR got paid.

Originally they had thought to pull out some of the complex avionic, but they have seen value to keep all the avionics.

They are done with the Aerodynamics.  Jeff really likes wind tunnels.

He showed pictures of the fuselage, the cockpit, the strakes, landing gear and nose gear.  There are several pieces still to finish and then they will put everything together.

The orbital vehicle:

The conceptual problems are solved
Lots of work ahead
Carrier Aircraft plus two rocket powered stages
The goal is $1 million per person

Midland R&D relocation

Midland, Texas - an odessa binary star system, two cities split by an airport.  The area has about a quarter of a million people.  Their new place in Midland is much bigger than their California site.  Midland has a lot of oil infrastructure.  Not sure when they'll be moving to Midland.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

XeneCore - Joe Latrell - Solid Filled Composite Technology

XeneCore - Joe Latrell - Solid Filled Composite Technology

Joe rejected carbon air inject molding.  Joe will explain a new process which he says is easier.  The process he likes came from Tennis Rackets.  It is simpler.  Some microbeads are put in which prevent voids.  The mold is put into the oven.  The product comes out light weight and very strong.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

FAA AST/Michelle Murray

FAA AST/Michelle Murray

Henry Vanderbilt introduced Michelle by saying if you wanted to do commercial launches you need to talk with Michelle.

Michelle showed a video.

Anyone who wants to launch in the US, or any US citizen who wants to launch anywhere in the world needs a license from the FAA.  You also need a license if you want to operate a launch site.

Michelle showed the AST organization chart.

The AST-500 is the Operations Integration Division is "your local" AST office.  They have staff in DC, CA, FL, TX, VA & soon in NM.  They have a pre-application consultation.  Michelle encouraged people to come to them as soon as possible.

Once the application is done there are five areas they review: Policy, Payload, Financial Responsibility, Environmental and Safety.

Michelle went over various types of license.

She went through the licensed launch locations.

They have a suborbital forecast which ranges from 255 to 1592 flights /year in about ten years.

She encouraged the audience to check out the Annual Compendium Commercial Space Transport 2012.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Panel Discussion: World Space Programs & Projects. The US is far from the only player. What's going on in the rest of the world? Clark Lindsey, Doug Messier

Panel Discussion: World Space Programs & Projects. The US is far from the only player. What's going on in the rest of the world? Clark Lindsey, Doug Messier

Clark is going to review some of the new space activity outside the United States.


Thin Red Line - builds inflatable.

MDA - built the robotic arm on the shuttle.  Worked on refueling satellites.  They had a deal with Intelsat, but the deal was canceled.  MDA bought Space System Loral, which should allow them to have more opportunities in the US.


United Kingdom:  Virgin Galactic - They have a contracted with Scaled Composites to build WK2/SS2.  Virgin Galactic now owns The Spaceship Company.

Swiss: Swiss Space Systems - A jet takes their shuttle up and launch in the air.  They are looking at a first launch in 2017.  They are planning on a $10 Million per launch.

Europe - Reaction Engines - SABRE, planning to take 15 tons to 300 km orbit, single stage, expecting 200 flights, goal of about $1,000 per kg to orbit.  They have been able to attract lots of private investment.  Once they get their prototype built then they would do a Skylon development with a price tag of around $20 billion.

Europe - Arianespace, their plan A, assume SpaceX will fail.  There was no Plan B.  SpaceX has been making multiple commercial satellite deals.  Plan B now consists of repeating the word "reliability" over and over and avoiding the word "price."  If Falcon 9 v1.1 provides to be reliable, Arianespace won't be saved by Arine 5 (Mid-Life Evolution) or Ariane 6.

Some other Europe projects

United Kingdom - Bristol Spaceplans - seems inactive

Project Enterprise - a small Lynx-like rocketplane, seems active

United Kingdom - SpaceFleet EARL, attracting investors

United Kingdom - Tranquility - reusable engine - still active

Spaceport Sweden -

Doug took over, he'll talk about the rest of the world.


Angara - been in development since 1995, a modular vehicle, going from light to heavy, first flight around October / November 2013.

Soyuz 2.1v - domestic flights

Vostochny - major construction underway, first launch in 2015

Baokonur - Kazahkstan wants to renegotiate lease, it is basically a Russian city, they may pull out in 2021.

Orbital Technologies Commercial Space Station, announced 2010, no funding identified, no recent news

Space Adventures Circum-lunar Trip - announced years ago, one passenger signed, test flight needed, no recent news

Russia leads the world in launches, but little new work.  They have reorganized the entire space sector.  It is currently operating at 30% to 40% capacity.  There has been some talk of consolidation.  1 in 5 rubles lost through waste, fraud, salaries are low, many of the workers have left


Only two commercial launches last year, they are looking at a ISS-style space station in 2020

Cooperation with the US is blocked by Congress, there has been some cooperation with Europe


They have been moving slowly, only 7 launches in 12 years, PSLV is their only reliable launch vehicle, has 2.5 metric tons to GTO.  The GSLV-II is highly unreliable.  The GSLV-III is under development, a larger rocket, 10 tons to LEO.  The human spaceflight program is on hold


They have a joint program with the Ukrainian.  First launch has been delayed to 2015.  They have some rocket under development, not clear if the Brazilian government will follow through on their promises for funding.

South Korean

Have a Naro-1 project completed, successful launch in January, the first stage was based on the Russian Angara, currently have plans for a 1.5 metric tons to LEO by 2021.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Unreasonable Rocket - Paul Breed

Unreasonable Rocket - Paul Breed 

Over the last year Paul worked on business plans and concepts for a Nano Sat Launcher.  Paul thinks there is a dedicated Nanosat launcher is a viable (but not huge) business.

He built a batch of micro IMU/CPU boards to help in tracking a rocket.  He flew 5 or 6 guidance experiments - all failed from control reversal supersonic.  He did have three flights.  The first two failed.  The third didn't do exactly what he wanted, but happy with the flight.

His goal is to have Return To Launch (RTL) with unguided parachute.

He has fun three GPS which can handle 20Gs, they cost $1000.

He plans to go back to building rockets at least three days a week in January.

He is interested in working with people in San Diego to build rockets.

He has been asked to investigate a Low Energy Nuclear Reaction.  There may be something there.

His business plan.

Unreasonable Rocket is going to provide a scheduled predicable schedule.  There is a backlog of 250 with about a 100 month.  All Nanosat launch today as secondary payloads.  Companies can't do iterative development when they might have to wait up to two years.  He can print motors.

He plans to launch from a fishing boat or a small plane at sea.  Looking at launching every quarter for $400,000.  If someone wants a customer schedule the cost would go up to $600,000.

He plans to build one time use rockets.

The Global Launch Market is a billion dollar market.

He is looking for $2.5 to $5 million investment.

Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR)

Paul is convince the LENR effect is real.  About 95% of the experiments fail, and no one knows why.  Its like finishing in distilled water.  Paul is plan to build a LENR wind tunnel.  He wants to run fifty samples a day through his tunnel, not one every eight weeks.   He expects to spend a several months on this.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Doug Messier of Parabolic Arc - America's Rocket Renaissance: Opportunities, Possibilities, and Threats

Doug Messier of Parabolic Arc - America's Rocket Renaissance: Opportunities, Possibilities, and Threats

Some of been thinking our best days are in the past.  Doug feels like there are a number of projects and programs, some of which will bear fruit.  He reviewed them.  America is in a good position to dominate the space age.  We could have trillion dollar corporations.  There will be off-world exploration and settlements.  We may have affordable energy satellites.

Politics could be disruptive.  Policy are often changing.  There is a great potential for over-regulations.

Industry might also suffer a set back from accidents, unreliable systems, uneconomical programs, overestimation of the market and poor transitional management.

Doug considered various scenarios.

Scenario One: 2013-2021:  American launch vehicle competitive, profitable suborbital market develops, 2 commercial crew systems in operation ....

Scenario two: 2013-2021:  American launch vehicle competitive, profitable suborbital market develops, 2 commercial crew systems in operation, 2 profitable Bigelow, private industry beats NASA into deep space

Scenario three: 2013-2021:  Commercial projects fail at suborbital and orbital levels, deep space ventures premature bubble, NASA's SLS/Orion remain only way into space, other countries dominate space


Enormous potential in this New Space Age
Open up space to a vast array of activities
America in the lead
Capabilities based exploration
\Many Obstacle to over come
Need to maintain an environment of innovation and risk taking
Companies need to deliver on promises
Government needs to be consistent

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Tethers Unlimited - Gerry Nordley

Tethers Unlimited - Gerry Nordley  

This is sort of a status report.  Tethers Unlimited  (TUI) has received several awards over the last year.  They have worked on several projects.  Like a 3D printer.

TUI is hiring.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Infinity Aerospace - Brian Rieger - ArduLab: Open Sourcing Space

Infinity Aerospace - Brian Rieger - ArduLab: Open Sourcing Space

Infinity Aerospace has a nano-lab, the ArduLab. It is powered by their software.  There are two modes: experiment mode and data mode.  You can control the experiment from the ground while the lab is on the space station.  Brian says it is easy to use.  This helps with providing an eco-system for experiments in space.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

LiftPort - Michael Laine

LiftPort - Michael Laine

LifePort 2.0 - the Space Elevator company that would not die.

The original idea is to tie a string from a satellite to the earth.  Then can go up and down the string.  Michael funded a lot of the work out of his own pocket.  He had some money from real estate.  When the market tanked he was no longer able to fund the work.

They are now looking starting with a lunar space elevator.  They want to build string that is 250,000 km long the width of dental floss.  This could allow cheaper access to lunar materials.

They are using kickstarter for funding.  They asked for $8,000 to build a string up to a balloon.  They raised $110,000.  They got about $20,000 to play with.  There was a lot of media attention and some backers.  And lots of volunteers.

A lot of doors have opened.  Rick has been to several countries.  They are looking at doing some experiments this summer, up to 23,000 feet.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Sugar Shot To Space - Rick Maschek

Sugar Shot To Space - Rick Maschek  

Rick showed a picture of a rocket embedded in the top of the roof of a car.

The primary goal of Sugar Shot to Space program is to loft a rocket powered by "sugar propellant."

Everyone in the project is a volunteer, from around the world.  Rick showed some pictures of the various rockets built over time.

Rick showed us this video:

They have tried various pressures when building their fuel.

They think they can get something to orbit if they use five stages.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Orbital Outfitters - Jeff Feige

Orbital Outfitters - Jeff Feige
Jeff asked that some of the images he'll share today not be posted.

Orbital Outfitters was started to meet the commercial space market's needs.  They were founded in 2006.  Their primary manufacturing facility is located in North Hollywood.  They have worked with several companies.

Why wear a suite?  Suits provided emergency protection against lack of oxygen, lack of atmospheric pressure, noxious gases and thermal environments.  There is not a single suit solution.  Suits are necessary.

They struggled with designing suits for a thousand different people.  People come in a large set of various sizes and shapes.  They decided to go with modulization.  They can put together pieces to build a comfortable suit for each person.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

NSS, ISDC - Veronica Zabala

NSS, ISDC - Veronica Zabala

International Space Development Conference will be in San Diego this year, May 23 to 27.  Veronica reviewed some of the people and companies which will be there.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

STAR Systems/Hermes Spacecraft - Mark Longanbach

STAR Systems/Hermes Spacecraft - Mark Longanbach

Their goal is "Space for All."  Their outside shell design is patterned after the space shuttle.  The Hermes space concept is now being funded as a kickstarter project.  The Star Systems Team has four core people and a 75 pit group.

Mark walked through their development efforts.

They are looking for more money.  They would like nitrous tank development, regulatory assistance and sensor acquisition contacts.

Mark has some general kickstart advice:
Sell the vision & team
Have a stellar Front Page
Video Matters - professional video & sound
Select Tiers carefully - intangible is King, the fewer the better and high markup is acceptable (They sold a lot of $75 t-shirts)
Know your budget

He shared some kickstarter articles/sites.  He has found several successful space kickstarter projects.  The links are on their company's site.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

XLSpace - Michael Carden

XLSpace - Michael Carden 

Michael is manufacturing and selling Hydrogen Peroxide.  It is a non-toxic liquid at room temperature.  It scales up nicely.  The engines can be very simple and reliable.  Ignition is instantaneous, no hard starts.  It is inexpensive in bulk.  Storeable in vehicles for up to a year, and in a storage farm for up to three years.

X-L Background - developed a new concentration method in 1997.  They are co-located with Frontier Astronautics.

For quantities less than on a drum it is about $8 a pound.  On the drum level the price drops to around $5.50 a pound.

He had a great line about "once you get pass bureaucratic issues you are half way to orbit."

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

SpeedUp/Luna City Enterprises - Bob Steinke, Osa Fitch - Impulse Turbine Generator For Rocket Applications

SpeedUp/Luna City Enterprises - Bob Steinke, Osa Fitch - Impulse Turbine Generator For Rocket Applications

They are working on impulse turbine.  It doesn't need seals. They have created the "Steinke-Fitch (S-F) Turbine."  They have a patent pending.  They did a demo.  The turbine gets up to 6000 RPM.  It provides 2 volts.  They propose that the turbine be put in between the storage tank with 3000 psi the tank where it is burn, at 300 psi, and gather electricity from the flow of the fuel.  The turbine is still in prototype but they plan to make it a product soon.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Frontier Astronautics - Tim Bendel

Frontier Astronautics - Tim Bendel 

Frontier Astronautics tries to help small space companies.  They are based in a missile silo in Wyoming.  One of their customers is New Stone Aerospace.  They are working on a NASA project.  They are designing a robot.  They want it to smart enough to explore on its own, like if it were on an asteroid or one of the moons of Jupiter.

They have a Custom CNC machine.

X-L Space Systems produces 70%-99% Hydrogen Peroxide on site.  It is for sale.

Recently they've hosted Speed Up and the University of Colorado.

The walls at the site are a minimum of two and a half feet.

Tim showed this video:

In addition to hosting other companies they are doing their own projects.  They are working on an engine.

Tim show a picture of his Chugwater Spaceport, population 244.

They do provide storage, for a fee.

Frontier Astronautics is in the process getting permission from the government to launch to sub-orbital.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

David Valentine, University of Minnesota - Stories As Technologies

David Valentine, University of Minnesota - Stories As Technologies

David is an anthropologist.  He is studying the new space movement.  One of the questions he asks is "Why is the audience so small?"  He feels like we don't tell the right stories.  If we want to be successful we'll need to tell the right stories.

From an anthropological stand point stories have three key aspects.  1) Stories aren't just narratives  they are claims about the world works.  2) Stories are variable.  3) Stories are real.  They shape the material world.

The New Space uses the history of the western world settled the New World.  David says we ignore the displacement of native people and feels that is a mistake.

One of the fundamental aspects to life is exchange.  Capitalism and Socialism are two different stories about exchange.  David feels that that space may allow new types of exchange.  By using stories based on the based may tend to blind us to the future possibilities.

He challenged us to tell stories more attractive to the general population.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

James Bennett, co-founder AMROC - The Quest For Unobtainium: New Perspectives On The Economics Of Colonization, And Their Implications For Space Settlement Strategies

James Bennett, co-founder AMROC - The Quest For Unobtainium: New Perspectives On The Economics Of Colonization, And Their Implications For Space Settlement Strategies

It is good to look at history for possible wisdom, but we have to be careful not to learn the wrong lessons.  James warns us that we have to be careful about "The Quest for Unobtainium" in looking for some high value items to ship back to the home.

Much of America was settled by settler economy, as opposed to plantation economy.  Especially after 1880.  Settlers were largely self-financed by the settlers themselves, using saved and borrowed capital.  About half the continent was settled in 60 years, after 1850.  These were mostly literate people.  Technology allowed survival with fewer specialized skills, and they needed less capital.

Home export was not the initial driver.  Production was not typically exported back home.  It would be consumed by the colony itself.  As they became more self-sustaining they would export to the new frontiers.

What lessons carry over?  Space settlement will not be an exact duplicate of the colonial experience.  Human motivations will be similar.  Many colonists will be motivated by transcendental goals, including practical freedom.  Colonists do not have to improve economic status, just human satisfaction.  Many colonists were escaping debt.  This pattern could follow today with the crushing student debt.

We'll need to resolve the ability to allow colonists have a secure title.  Need to have it available for collateral. Might need to scrape the Space Treaty.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Lee Valentine, Chairman SSI - Systems Considerations For A Robust Closed Environment Life Support System

Lee Valentine, Chairman SSI - Systems Considerations For A Robust Closed Environment Life Support System

Earth currently had a 1 million tons of air for each person.  There is also 200 million tons of water for each person.  Highly inefficient.

Space Studies Institute (SSI) is looking to create systems which have closer to a ton of air and a ton of water for each person.  It is a challenge to recycle crop waste and sewage.  SSI is looking to create some systems to test their ideas.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Joe Carroll, Tether Applications - Are We Preparing To "Live Beyond Earth, Sustainably And Indefinitely"?

Joe Carroll, Tether Applications - Are We Preparing To "Live Beyond Earth, Sustainably And Indefinitely"?

We'll need to learn how to recycle better, air and water.  We'll also need to grow food in space.  We'll need to learn how to make clothes in space.  It will be a lot of hard work.

We don't know what are the long term health issues are for partial gravity.  We know 1G is OK, but we have seen that micro-gee causes problems.  The Moon has 1/6 gravity.  The Mars have 3/8 gravity.  We really want to get more data on partial gravity.

Another problem we need to worry about is radiation.  Dr Jim Logan of NASA JSC says: "We can visit the Moon and Mars, but we can't live on them: we must live in them, under meters of rock, to limit cosmic ray doses."

Joe's conclusions:

Current national space investments are not based on plans, but on the residual momentum of old programs.

We don't even know what "a plan" might be.  But democracies are reactive; dictatorships make plans.

Special interests will continue to drive most US policies.  The phrase "more sustainable and even indefinite" may allow some leverage with this administration, but probably not with Congress.

Progress towards settlements requires tasks that benefit existing interests, or are painless, or painful to avoid.  Such tasks exist, and are worth pursuing.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Al Globus, San Jose State University at NASA Ames - Paths To Space Settlement

Al Globus, San Jose State University at NASA Ames - Paths To Space Settlement

How do we get from where we are today to the first couple settlements.  For Al an important part of a having a space settlement is are people raising children there.  Al wants to raise children with one gravity so they can return to earth, to visit.  He likes rotating settlements, he suggests something with a radius of about 250 meters, about 350 meters wide.  Trillions of people could live in free space.

What do we need?  We need a much better Earth to Orbit transportation system.  Need to build really bit things in orbit.  We'll need air, water and food.  And we'll need to pay for it.

Al reviewed the Space Shuttle.  It could do some good things, but it was way more expensive in transporting stuff into space.  A big part of the high cost is the low volume.  If we were transporting at a higher volume the cost would go down.

Space Tourism may provide a path of bootstrapping ourselves into space.  Al said we need government to support space tourism.

Low-g Retirement could be a great market.  They won't need wheelchairs.  They won't have bed sores; they'll not have to worry about falling and breaking a hip.  And grandchildren will want to visit!

Another path is Space Solar Power (SSP).  High risk, huge payoff investment.  It has essentially unlimited quantities of electricity, 24 hours, 7 days a week.  Today's market is about 8 Terawatts.

The last path into space is Planetary Defense.  Al doesn't think this will be a big market in the near future.

What can we do to help?

Enter kids into the Annual NASA Ames / NSS Student Space Settlement Design contest
Buy a ticket and go to space
Support Commercial Space

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Gary C Hudson, President SSI - SSI Introduction and Status Of Programs

Gary C Hudson, President SSI - SSI Introduction and Status Of Programs

The Space Studies Institute (SSI) was founded by Gerard O'Neil in 1976.  They are promoting living in space.  They don't lobby Congress for money.  They focus on what others aren't doing.  Areas they look at are: Transportation, Resources, Environment Society and Economy.

They have two flagship projects: G-Lab to study vertebrate responses to reduced gravity  and  E-Lab to Demonstrate balanced environmental life support systems, first on Earth and then in space.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

HySor Student Hybrid Rocket Team - Bryce Schaefer

HySor Student Hybrid Rocket Team - Bryce Schaefer

HySor - Hybrid Sounding Rocket, part of a project being done by University of Colorado Graduate students.

They want to launch a 2 kg payload up to 10 km.  They are predicting a launch in spring of 2013.

He showed the mechanical overview.  Another student showed a video of a static test.  A third student talked about some failure analysis they did on a nozzle coming off during the static test.

They are tracking their progress at a web site.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Stratofox Aerospace Tracking Team - Ian Kluft

Stratofox Aerospace Tracking Team - Ian Kluft - Stratofox Participation in the California Near Space Project's CNSP-18 Transcontinental/Transatlantic Stratospheric Balloon

The goal of Stratofox Aerospace: You launch it; We bring it back.

They started with a dozen founding members in 2002.  They now have 65 members.  They have done several searches for rockets at Nevada's Block Rock Desert.

Ian told us about a number of success stories.  One of the fun ones was a balloon which went all the way to the Mediterranean sea.  They had only been trying for Colorado.  This last year they tried again and got to Morocco.  Both balloons went over six thousand miles.

Stratofox would like more members.  They are a non-profit organization.  Donations are tax deductible.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Deep Space Industries - Rick Tumlinson

Deep Space Industries - Rick Tumlinson 

Rick said it is good that we have two companies trying to get into mining the sky.  It shows it isn't a one time thing; it makes the industry very credible. He listed their team of advisers.

Their focus is harvesting resources in space for use in space.  Some markets for resources are: fuel, air, water and stuff to build with.

One of the reasons why now is a good time is the dramatic drop in costs of launching, computer power and so on.

They are considering launching small spacecrafts to go out and look around.  They will be calling the class of these vehicles: FireFlies.  They plan to build three.  They are looking at 2015.

Dragonflies - will return with 25 to 50 kg samples.

They have developed Microgravity Founding plans and patents.

Rick shared this video:

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Panel Discussion: Planetary Defense - We live in a cosmic shooting gallery.

Panel Discussion: Planetary Defense - We live in a cosmic shooting gallery. can we do to detect and deflect inbound objects with what we've got now? How can we affordably improve those capabilities soon? John Schilling, Henry Spencer, Henry Vanderbilt, Gerry Nordley

George Herbert was originally scheduled to be part of this panel.  He came down with a 103 degree fever.  Next year a large comment is going to hit Mars next year.  What could we do if a comet was going to hit earth?

Henry Vanderbilt gave George Herbert's slides:

For a small comet we could just explode nukes above it to blow off material and change direction.  A larger comet is deeper so more mass per unit surface area.

You might try splitting the comet and have the two halves go around the earth.  Another option is to send in several spacecrafts loaded with lead which are fraction of seconds apart to dig a big hole and then send in a rocket with a large nuke.

Today we could probably handle a 2 km comet.  A 10 km comet would be harder to handle.  A 50 km comet is a great argument for establishing colonies on Mars and in the asteroids.

Henry Spencer took his turn.  Normally we only see comets about nine months out.  A 1967 university study looked at trying to stop Icurus.  They created a scenario of using five or six Saturn V loaded with nuclear bombs.

John Schilling - we have an early warning problem.  Once we get a reasonable set of senors built and positioned we'll have enough time to deal with the comets.  Most comets are the smaller sized comets which are easier to deal with.

Henry Spencer said it would be nice to test some of these theories.  Currently it would be very hard to set up a nuclear bomb experiment.

Gerry Nordley said we have lots of amateurs, they are motivated to find comets.  It would be worthwhile to organize them better.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Ben Brockert, Able Space - alumnus of Masten Space and Armadillo has a new company

Ben Brockert, Able Space - alumnus of Masten Space and Armadillo has a new company

Ben has started up his own company: Able Space.  He is now doing space contract work.

He talked about a real-life contract he did for Jonathan Goff.

While he was at Masten Space he did rocket operations (thousands of static engine tests & dozens of test flights), welding, plumbing, avionics and paperwork.

At Armadillo he worked on a LOX/Methane engine for NASA, gimbal systems, cold gax RCS and engine testing.  He also helped with Photo, views and social media.

He has several current projects.  One is a low cost rocket test stand.  He wants to be able to help students and amateurs.  The goal is to use off-the-shelf as much as possible with a below $2000 price tag.

He is also working on a small liquid sounding rocket.  Wants a 1200 lb gross lift off weight, mobile launch system, small payloads to 40-120 km.

He is looking for additional work.

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.

Martin Elvis, Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics - Astronomy Challenges Of Identifying Ore-Bearing Near-Earth Asteroids

Martin Elvis, Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics - Astronomy Challenges Of Identifying Ore-Bearing Near-Earth Asteroids

Martin has worked in astronomy for thirty years.  He is interested in asteroid mining.  We have been in a golden age of astronomy.  We are hitting a funding wall.  Don't expect many more new off earth observatories.

The way out is an exponentiating space economy.  He likes this because they'll need astronomers!  They'll find the rocks and assay their value.

Some of the areas astronomers can help:

Try to answer the question "How many ore-bearing Near Earth Objects?" (NEO) Martin showed an equation he came up to get a number.  He thinks about one in 2500 asteroids will worth mining for platinum based resources.  A 100 meter asteroid could be worth over a billion dollars.  He thinks there around a dozen asteroids which have profitable platinum based asteroids.

For water based asteroids it is more like one in 200 asteroids.

People belief there are about 20,000 NEO objects greater than 100m.  The guess we about 30% are already know, but only finding about 400 a year so would take another 35 years to find the rest, at the current rate.  There are new surveys coming down the road so could be only another ten years.

Another important question astronomers can help with "What are the characteristics?"  Things like to know: Metallic/Stony/Carbonaceous, Size/Shape, Solid/Fractured/Rubble, Rotation/Tumbling, and mass.  Right now we're only processing about a hundred a year.  Martin went over some of the techniques we have for learning characteristics of asteroids.

Another question: "How Many Assay Missions?"  Going to need dozens and dozens of assay missions. If an astronomer can figure out a way to increase the probability of finding a good asteroid the method could be very valuable: commercial astronomy!

Once we have a large space going economy we can start building bigger and more expensive telescopes!

The full agenda for Space Access 2013 agenda.