June 2008


(Source: New Scientist)
“Fewer astronauts, more robots. That’s the call from three European aerospace engineers, who argue that crewed satellite repair missions – like the ones flown by NASA to fix the ailing Hubble Space Telescope – are expensive, wasteful and set the wrong agenda for the space community. While such missions may be spectacular, they are unsustainable. Space agencies and satellite operators should instead be accelerating their efforts to develop robotic mechanics that can ply various Earth orbits, fixing errant satellites on demand. That way failing spacecraft can be repaired much more economically.” Full article here.

An insightful piece from The Space Review.

(Source: The Telegraph)

“In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Mr Aldrin revealed that he intends to lobby Barack Obama and John McCain, the two US presidential candidates, in an effort to ensure they find sufficient funds for Nasa’s goal to establish a permanent base on the Moon and then send a manned mission to Mars. “

“Every revolutionary idea … seams to evoke three stages of reaction.  They may be summed up by the phrases: (1) It’s completely impossible -don’t waste my time; (2) it’s possible, but it’s not worth doing; (3) I said it was a good idea all along.”
Arthur C. Clarke – in The Promise of Space, September 1967

“Make no little plans.  They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized.  Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.”
Daniel Burnham

“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy or suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows no victory or defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt
April 10, 1899

“We came all this way to explore the moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.”
Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders

“But for man, no rest and no ending.  He must go on, conquest after conquest.  First this little planet and all its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him.  Then the planets about him, and at last, out across the immensities to the stars.”
H.G. Wells – Things to Come.

 Check out this new non-profit! We also have this new organization listed on our resources page.

  http://www.overviewinstitute.org/

(Source: US News & World Report)
The Federal Communications Commission is likely to let satellite radio pioneers XM and Sirius come together. The companies say they need to merge to keep their business thriving in the face of growing competition. Ha. If they thought they had problems, it’s gotten worse in the 16 months that their merger proposal has languished in Washington bureaucracy.  (6/16)

(Source: Reuters)
Sirius Satellite Radio’s planned acquisition of XM Satellite Radio appeared on Monday to draw closer to consummation after a key U.S. regulator expressed support for the deal. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin confirmed published reports that he would support the transaction, with the companies agreeing to a series of conditions. Those conditions include a pledge to make 24 radio channels available for noncommercial and minority programming, according to FCC sources. In addition, the companies would agree to cap prices, provide interoperable radios and offer programming on an “a la carte” basis. (6/16)

(Sources: NASA Watch, AP)
A 7-year-old Ecuador boy has become the youngest passenger ever aboard a zero-gravity flight. Jules Nader says he wasn’t scared during the four minutes of weightlessness he experienced aboard an air force plane. He told The Associated Press on Friday that he felt “like Spider-Man.” Nader’s 10-year-old brother Gerard also made the flight, which was aboard an Ecuadorian air force plane in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on June 19. (6/21)

(Source: MSNBC)
Last weekend marked four years since Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites ushered in the age of privately developed spaceflight with the SpaceShipOne rocket plane. But don’t expect a big celebration: Rutan told me he’s been so busy ushering in the next stage of the spaceflight age that he forgot about the anniversary. “We are so focused on SpaceShipTwo development here, with a lot of new engineers and technicians, that we tend to forget our accomplishments of 2004,” the aerospace designer wrote in an e-mail from his headquarters in Mojave, Calif. “I can say that the SpaceShipOne program for [software billionaire] Paul Allen was the most challenging and most rewarding program I have done. (6/20)

 (Source: Space.com)
Two space tourism firms hoping to give fare-paying customers the rides of their lives are set to take some major steps forward in coming months. On July 28, the suborbital tourism firm Virgin Galactic will unveil the first WhiteKnightTwo mothership for its planned fleet of SpaceShipTwo spaceliners designed by aerospace veteran Burt Rutan and his company Scaled Composites. Meanwhile, the Virginia-based company Space Adventures is preparing to launch its sixth paying customer on a $30 million trek to the International Space Station on Oct.12, with two more orbital hopefuls already waiting in the wings. Visit http://www.space.com/news/080620-virgingalactic-spaceadventures.html to view the article. (6/20)

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