Space Station geeks might dig this animation used by NASA to familiarize astronauts with the International Space Station. What would you add to the station if you had the opportunity to create a design for it?

I was thinking of a mini greenhouse that could serve as a get away place for station inhabitants who are a bit weary on living without much  presence of terrestrial beauty like trees and grass.

Source: Gizmodo

NASA has kicked off a competition among university engineers to design an inflatable habitat that is “light-weight, safe, and reliable” to house future astronauts “in space and on other planetary bodies.” On the line is $58,000.

The eXploration Habitat (or X-Hab) “lofts,” as NASA is chicly terming them, must be designed to sit as an expansion atop the agency’s existing hard shell prototype, which will include (cramped) spaces for activities like suit maintenance and geological research. The challenge, open to all university seniors and graduate students, is intended to spur interest and research in math, science, and engineering, and will honor each of three winning teams with $48,000 and a shot to field test their prototype for a final ten grand.

Full article here.

Source: US Japan Live Forum

Astronaut Naoko Yamazaki will give a free lecture talking about her experience living on the International Space Station.

Naoko Yamazaki: Astronaut

July 25, 2010 : Lecture starts at 10:00am (Participants will be admitted into the theatre 30 minutes before lecture)
Lcoation:     Club House 3 Theatre Enter Gate 3–>Gate 3: 25002 Moulton Parkway, Laguna Woods, CA92637
Sponsor :    Live Forum Foundation USA, Space Online School (SOS), a non-profit educational organization.

Video of an earlier presentation by Naoki Yamazaki at Space Science Day 2009 before her flight to the International Space Station. Click here and scroll down for video.

Thank you to Jun Suto of S-CUBED LLC  for this event lead.

Recently, I learned about two similar but separate efforts to promote the space industry in South Africa.

Africa from Space

  • Hard Hat Tour of Spaceport America from Spaceport America Construction Blog.
  • New York Times article on Las Vegas based space  firm, Bigelow Aerospace.

Dr. Madhu Thangavelu*, an architect and engineer who is a professor at U.S.C.   sent me a document on his or a lunar humanity center and retirement complex. The paper was first presented in 1998 at ASCE Space Conference, Alburquerque, New Mexico and has undergone several edits over the years.


* Madhu is also a 62MileClub Face of Space.

  • Retro space tourism posters.
  • Sir Richard Branson on Elon Musk (Space X), advice for British Petroleum, and Virgin’s interest in alternative fuels.
  • “If you could integrate any resource, gadget, or convenience on your Virgin America airplanes, what would it be, regardless of whether it’s been invented or not?”  A contest question to submitted to Sir Richard Branson by Marvin Arias. See  Sir Richard’s answer below.

Visions of Tomorrow, Yesterday, and Today from author Howard Bloom. We’ll be posting a conversation with Howard in the next few weeks.

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