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Leeward Space Foundation
Saturday, 28 August 2010

Space is the Answer

by

Kim Peart 

Historians often find events in their research that did not seem to be that significant when they happened, but when later viewed in context, can gain a significant role in the pageant of history. The decision to build the space shuttle, for instance, may come to be seen as one of the great errors of space development, instead of continuing to improve the Saturn V rocket for heavy lift and develop a lighter space plane for astronauts and later, passengers. Efforts to revive the Saturn V have recently been abandoned and its replacement, the Space Shuttle, is now being canned permanently. How many times must the wheel be reinvented?  

Few people knew about the death of Sergei Korolev in 1966, as the Soviets had kept the identity of their chief rocket scientist a secret. His passing, however, may come to be seen as a much more significant event in the progress of human civilization than we now appreciate.  

Korolev delivered many successes for the Soviet space program, including the first satellite in space and the first man to rise above Earth's atmosphere. These successes left the United States reeling and sparked the 1961 challenge by President John F. Kennedy for a race to the Moon. The Soviets picked up the gauntlet and set Korolev to work on their Moon program and his work may have trumped the Americans once again, had he lived to see it through. As if the hand of the artist behind the vision was critical for its success, all attempts to launch his giant N-1 Moon rocket subsequently failed in giant fireballs. 

A testament to the success of Korolev’s work is that the descendents of his rockets are still in service, where the extraordinary work of Wernher von Braun and his team in developing the Apollo Moon rocket is now in the rust-pit of discarded technology. If Korolev had lived a little longer and delivered another winning stroke for the Soviets with a Moon race victory, Superpower competition may then have seen a push for dominance in space that resulted in permanent human activity beyond low Earth orbit, on the Moon and even Mars. Human technology would have greatly advanced beyond all that we have achieved and Earth's main power source could have become the Sun, with solar energy collected directly in space and beamed to receiving stations on Earth. We may even have avoided global warming and the current prospect of dangerous climate and ocean change, by not needing to burn all that coal and oil. The rare commodity of fossil fuels could have remained fossils and been preserved for more important uses. 

If the Soviet Union had won the Moon race, the United States would have quickly followed, delivering a permanent human presence on the Moon and beyond through Superpower competition. When Gerard K O'Neill presented his vision for space settlement in 1976, especially in the light of the oil crisis that was still current, his vision may have swiftly translated into reality, which included selling space based solar power to Earth markets. Factories in space may now be producing products for Earth and space markets, using resources gathered from the Moon, the asteroids and planets and processed with the unlimited energy of the Sun. But that is not our story. Korolev died, the Soviets lost the Moon race and the United States lost interest in the opportunities that had been opened to begin building a Solar civilization.  

Where are we Now? 

Our last remaining human foothold in space may soon be lost, when the International Space Station is retired in a few years. With no replacement on the horizon and the current global economic meltdown threatening to dive deeper beneath the fiscal waves, any serious space development could be at risk, including our current cutting edge with space technology. Should dangerous climate change deliver a body blow to our global civilization, we could be trapped on spaceship Earth turning into a desert hulk in space. Is this a risk worth taking?  

Compared with the loss of all that we have gained, securing a sustainable presence beyond Earth may be the only option that we should be entertaining and the survival insurance policy that we cannot afford to live without. By investing in a confident survival position beyond Earth, we would be able to deal with all Earth's problems, human and natural. If we become trapped on Earth without hope for the future, we may find ourselves sliding toward a new Stone Age, or worse. 

What are the Options?

 Without survival, there is no other activity available. To ensure our survival on Earth, our primary objective should be to secure a sustainable presence beyond Earth, where no further resources will be needed from Earth. I describe this as the Liberty Line. Beyond the Liberty Line all further space development is essentially free and we will not be at risk of falling back to Earth. Once the decision is made to secure the Liberty Line, humanity will find a new survival confidence, where all problems can be solved and we will have a greater vision to work with, where the way to the stars will be open.

It is a simple choice, but the time available to act may be short, as our civilization sails into the perfect storm of catastrophe now rising up before us.  It is not only climate change that we have to worry about, though the seriousness of this is increasing as scientists gain a clearer view of what is happening. A legacy of earlier inaction on space development is that we now need 1.4 Earths to maintain current lifestyle demands and as the developing world catches up, this unsustainable situation increases. It was sometime in the 1980s that human society moved into the ecological red and began demanding more of the Earth than the planet could continue to supply. To keep going in this direction is dangerous terrain. Environmentalists believe that we must shrink our demands or face collapse.  

We face a drastic dilemma that appears to be beyond solution. The supertanker of our global civilization cannot be turned around very quickly as we continue to sail on with a momentum that will deliver outcomes that we may not like to live with, that may even overwhelm and sink the ship. Our failure to act on serious space development after the success of Apollo may now come home to roost, unless we find a way to lift our game. 

A Plan for Action! 

We can dust off O’Neill’s vision for space settlement in the light of our current knowledge and generate interest in space with a plan to build an Earth-gravity Star City. This would be a stepping-stone across the Solar System and toward the stars. The momentum to build a Star City will drive the need for space industry, much of which can be automated, also using robots and remote control systems. A huge human presence is not needed in space to get the ball rolling, but to ensure that we do lift our game toward a confident survival position beyond Earth, we may need to consider making a giant leap into the future. To achieve this, we will need to shape a vision that will appeal to a billion people, as that level of support may be critical at this late hour.  

With a view to the Liberty Line, beyond which building our civilization across the Solar System will be essentially free, we will be able to describe a Solar economy, including Earth, where poverty is history. We will be able to look toward a mature and cultured society that allows a healthy life with unlimited creative opportunities for all Earth’s children. With such a vision we may win peace on Earth and maximize security in space. If we attempt to expand the ways of Earth into the celestial realm, we may find the gates to space locked against us by conflict and or terrorism and we could be trapped on a dying Earth in an evolutionary dead-end. 

If we can learn to successfully fly beyond the Earthly nest, we will be in a position to also work toward delivering a healthier Earthly environment for human society, where evolution is able to continue indefinitely into the future. A spin-off of space development could see Earth’s main energy supply being delivered from solar power stations in space, an adjustable sunshade constructed to help cool the Earth and mirrors built to help warm the Earth if the cooling is too successful and another Ice Age threatens to arrive. We would be in a position to deal with any asteroid that may threaten a catastrophe on Earth, simply by mining the object into oblivion. 

International Cooperation Essential 

It may only take ten seriously keen people to get a ball rolling to sell the vision. Their effective action could attract a thousand people in support, which could in turn inspire a million people to join the movement. Such numbers could hope to win the support of a billion people who seek a healthy and creative future for their children. Business as usual on Earth alone may be a dangerous gamble. The only game could be to build a future beyond Earth. While we remain prisoners of Earth, we will be the victims of any catastrophe that befalls this planet, whether caused by Nature, or at our own hands.  

Conclusion 

Let's not let Korolev's untimely death be in vain, because one Superpower did not act without the competition that Korolev's vision and skill may have delivered for the Soviet Union. The Cold War is gone, but the future of human civilization beyond Earth is still waiting to be realized. We have all to lose if we delay and the whole Universe to gain if we act now and open the way to the stars. The future is in our hands. It is our choice. Will we act?  

About Kim Peart 

Kim is a visual artist now living in Queensland, Australia, who first became involved in space advocacy with the L5 Society in 1976. He has researched and been active with environmental issues and returned to space advocacy in 2006 after realizing that our future survival depended on securing a sustainable presence beyond Earth and now with global warming, this concern has increased. In 2009 Kim and his partner, Dr Jennifer A. Bolton, launched the Island Earth organization to bring a focus to Earth and space issues and the amazing future that is waiting to happen, if we act in time. 

References 

‘The High Frontier’ by Gerard K. O’Neill, 1976

‘Dr Space – the life of Wernher von Braun’ by Bob Ward, Naval Institute Press, 2005

‘Space Race’ by Deborah Cadbury, Fourth Estate, 2005

‘Creating A Solar Civilization’ by Kim Peart, 2006, found at: http://www.tdf.it/2006/2/peart_eng.htm

‘Storms of My Grandchildren’ by James Hansen, Bloomsbury, 2009

‘Eaarth – making a life on a tough new planet’ by Bill McKibben,  Black Ink, 2010 

Contact:   kimpeart@iinet.net.au


Posted by jplspace at 1:04 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 28 August 2010 1:30 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 10 August 2010
PRESS RELEASE - Space is the Answer - For immediate release
Mood:  energetic

               PRESS RELEASE – Space is the Answer – For immediate release

 

Leeward Space Foundation announced today plans to establish an international system of local chapters to be know as “Space is the Answer” chapters.  The purpose of establishing this network of local chapters is two fold.  Firstly, the local chapters will support the mission of Leeward Space Foundation by promoting the idea that the development of space and space resources can provide many, if not all the answers to Mankind’s most pressing concerns.  “Most people know that Human Civilization faces some very difficult challenges ahead such as; climate change, industrial pollution, developing clean energy, eliminating poverty and many others ”, said John Lee, Executive Director of Leeward Space Foundation, “but few realize that there are permanent solutions to these problems to be found by developing nearby space resources”.  

 

Secondly, the network of local chapters will help Leeward develop a Scholarship program for High School Seniors or equivalent and a separate scholarship for college level.  Each local school or community chapter can sponsor a graduating senior or college student who will then present a paper to Leeward concerning how he believes developing space resources will provide an answer to a particular concern facing humanity.  The best papers will earn their composers scholarship grants and will be published on http://www.Space-Is-The-Answer.Org   Lee also said, “We must make the next generation aware of the huge potential of space development, for they are the ones who will build the infrastructure that will grow Human Civilization out into the Solar System”.  The first year’s scholarships will be $1000, but plans are to grow the top scholarship to $10,000 and to offer four other lesser grants.

 

The application process to become a “Space Is The Answer” local chapter is very easy: simply send an email to:  chapters@LeewardSpaceFoundation.Org with your location and the group to be represented.  There are no national dues or donation requirements, though each chapter may charge local membership dues.  Each chapter must actively participate in as many of Leeward Space Foundation’s fund-raising activities as possible. The activities are listed at: http://www.LeewardSpaceFoundation.Org/id21.html.  In order to insure widespread participation in the scholarship program, Leeward will also accept papers from candidates nominated by any group or organization that will commit to participate in Leeward’s fund-raising activities.

 

Leeward also announced that the first “Space Is The Answer” Chapter will be located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  This chapter, along with the Puerto Rico chapter of the National Space Society, Leeward Space Foundation and Stratowave Corporation will be sponsoring the first - Space Is the Answer - Space Congress in Puerto Rico from Oct. 23 through Oct. 27, 2010.  The promoters of the new Mexican Space Agency will be attending with a delegation.  Anyone who wishes to attend the Congress or present a paper about how “Space Is The Answer” to any of Mankind’s greatest concerns may do so by registering at:  http://leeward.crowdvine.com/


Posted by jplspace at 1:05 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 14 September 2010 4:23 PM EDT
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Friday, 18 June 2010
Open Letter To President Obama
Dear Mr. President,

Firstly, I would like to applaud your efforts to have BP set aside $20 billion to help
pay the economic cost of the “oil spill” in the Gulf.  Notice the quotes around the term
“oil spill”, I use quotes because I think the term trivializes the magnitude of the
disaster.  A spill occurs when you knock over a glass of milk; what we have in the Gulf
is a gusher of unparalleled proportions.  Secondly, even though the $20 billion will
bring some relief to those who will suffer the most, it only treats the symptoms of the
disease and is not a cure.

We had a sure fire plan to make sure that such a disaster as this never had a chance to
occur back in the 1970s when Gerard K. O'Neill wrote “It is important to realize the
enormous power of the space-colonization technique. If we begin to use it soon enough,
and if we employ it wisely, at least five of the most serious problems now facing the
world can be solved without recourse to repression: bringing every human being up to a
living standard now enjoyed only by the most fortunate; protecting the biosphere from
damage caused by transportation and industrial pollution; finding high quality living
space for a world population that is doubling every 35 years; finding clean, practical
energy sources; preventing overload of Earth's heat balance.
—Gerard K. O'Neill, "The Colonization of Space” and of course there can be no “oil
spills” in outer space.  The same sure fire plan could still work today.

NASA has ask for suggests two different times on their Open Gov. site for ideas about
what NASA should be doing and both times the idea of a Space Base Solar Power Conf. was
the top idea. http://www.opennasaplan.ideascale.com/a/panel.do?id=7200 .  NASA has
ignored the idea, thinking perhaps that Energy is not in their mandate.  Maybe it is time
for NASA, the Department of Energy and other interested parties to come together to find an
absolutely clean Space Based solution to our energy needs that will prevent the next oil
gusher disaster somewhere else in the world.  How many Eco-Systems must we totally
destroy before we say “Enough”, it’s time for a paradigm shift in our approach to solve
the World’s energy needs.

BP itself has talked about “Beyond Oil”, so perhaps the cure is to also encourage BP to
match that $20 billion as an investment in Space Solar Power.  Mr. President, I know that
you have talked many times about investing in clean renewable energy.  Every Earth based
renewable energy source has drawbacks, whether it be cost, distribution, storage or in
some cases pollution.  Space Solar Power is the ultimate clean source and is available
24/7, plus there are many new ideas that can bring the costs down as well.  If we can
have this conference and BP invests $20 billion in the best of the ideas that come out of
the conference, then the US and the world will be well on their way to moving from a
fossil fuel economy forever.  

Thanks for your attention,
John Lee
Executive Director
Leeward Space Foundation
229-942-1281  

Posted by jplspace at 1:13 PM EDT
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Friday, 28 May 2010
System To Solve Lift Costs For SSP On OpenNASA
 
Here is a space systems architecture for repeatedly transporting payloads between low Earth orbit and the surface of the moon without significant use of propellant. This architecture consists of one rotating tether in elliptical, equatorial Earth orbit and a second rotating tether in a circular low lunar orbit. The Earth-orbit tether picks up a payload from a circular low Earth orbit and tosses it into a minimal-energy lunar transfer orbit. When the payload arrives at the Moon, the lunar tether catches it and deposits it on the surface of the Moon. Simultaneously, the lunar tether picks up a lunar payload to be sent down to the Earth orbit tether. By transporting equal masses to and from the Moon, the orbital energy and momentum of the system can be conserved, eliminating the need for transfer propellant. http://www.tethers.com/papers/CislunarAIAAPaper.pdf

Drs. Hoyt and Forward of Tethers Unlimited proposed the idea over 10 yrs ago. Bob Forward has passed on, RIP, but Bob Hoyt is still offering the plan. http://www.tethers.com

Hoyt has said that the system would pay for the up front investment after nine usage cycles. After that, the operating costs is minimal.

Now consider the tether in Earth orbit, suppose the tips of this tether are rotating at a speed equal to the orbital speed of the center of gravity of the whole tether system. The tips are rotating in a direction such that when they enter the atmosphere, they will slow with respect to the atmosphere because they will be moving in a direction opposite to the orbital speed. The tip will continue to slow with respect to the atmosphere until it's speed is nearly zero when it is in a vertical position.

So, the question that needs to be researched is: Just how far into the atmosphere can the tether come without causing damage to itself. If it can reach 300,000ft, then a Spaceship One could deliver cargo - 100,000ft many jet fighters can reach that altitude - 40 to 50 thousand ft. and most jet airliners could deliver cargo - or maybe 10 - 20 thousand ft. where a mountain top would work.

If the system could be used to lift automated factories to high Earth orbit to turn out components for SSP satellites from material brought from the Moon, the problem of lift cost for SSP satellites would be solved.

Posted by jplspace at 9:42 PM EDT
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Sunday, 15 November 2009
Help Save The Earth - No! - Help Save Us

The key to our continued survival is for some of us to leave the Earth in a big way and to spread self supporting colonies throughout the Solar System and eventually to other star systems.  To do this as quickly as possible the Leeward Space Foundation believes that we should develop rotating tethers to pickup people and cargo in low Earth orbit and throw them toward the Moon, where they will be caught by another rotating tether and delivered to the surface or caught by a Lunar Space Elevator down which they can travel to the surface.  Either of these approaches is possible "NOW" with present day technology.  With the money we have already spent on developing new rockets that may or may not get a handful of people to the Moon in 20 - 30 years, we could have hundreds of people on the surface of the Moon full time in 10 yrs.  We don't need any new rockets, nor do we need the shuttle; any rocket that can presently be used to put people and materials into orbit will do fine.

Why the Moon first and not Mars?  Because, until we can get beyond the Exploration of Space and create economic ventures in space, we will never populate space, moons or planets in a big way.  Therefore, the Moon first, because Lunar surface materials are nearly perfect for building Solar Power Satellites.  The material can be brought into space cheaply with a tether or Space Elevator, where the solar collectors can be manufactured and deployed.  The energy is then beamed back to the Earth, to any location where it is needed.  It's not that this type of energy is any cheaper than that produce on the surface of the Earth, but that it is completely clean, even cleaner than "Wind" and "Ground based solar" energy.  We could easily move away from a fossil fuel based economy forever.

To achieve these goals the Leeward Space Foundation will work with like minded groups such as the Moon Society and the Space Renaissance Initiative to make NASA and Congress aware of what we could be doing to achieve our goals in space much more cheaply and quickly.  I call on all those who believe in the rightness of these goals to do everything in their power by word or deed to help make these plans come to pass.

If I may be so bold as to suggest a couple of things that could help raise some money for these efforts without cost.  First, is the Space Elevator credit card offered by Capital One.  If you order and use the card, Capital One will make a one time donation of $25 to the Leeward Space Foundation and 1% of all your expenditures thereafter will be cash back to the Foundation.  Just visit the following link to apply: https://www.cardlabconnect.com/HELP SAVE THE EARTH NOW

Secondly, most of us shop online and book our travel through some online service like: Expedia, Travelosity, Orbits or Priceline.   If you could visit Goodshop at: http://www.GoodShop.com/?charityid=879255 when you shop, you will have a choice of over 1000 onlines stores from Amazon to Sears to Zappos which will donate a percent of what you spend to the Foundation.  Likewise, under the Travel listing you will find all the major travel booking sites, who will also donate to the Foundation.  These are things that nearly all of us do that would help bring about what we all want: The development of space resources for the benefit of Mankind.

For other ideas on how you can help, visit: http://www.leewardspacefoundation.org/id21.html

Posted by jplspace at 2:39 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 15 November 2009 5:08 PM EST
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Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Why We Must Leave the Earth, or Die Trying
 

          The short answer is that if we don’t leave the Earth soon, the human race will perish here.  As Dr. Stephen Hawking stated in the Spring of 2008 “If we don’t move off world and create self supporting colonies on the Moon, Mars, Asteroids, the Moons of Jupiter and Saturn and some day other star systems, then sooner or later something is going to get us”.  Sounds a bit like fear mongering in order to garner support for a particular point of view or project.  This is only true though, if there are no real dangers that could threaten our existence as a species.  So, can we think of any past threats or disasters that could have been the death of us or our civilization?

          Many of us remember the Cuban missile crisis of the early 1960’s, but since we dodged that bullet, we tend to forget just how close to a civilization if not species destroying event it could have been.  If the Soviet leader had been just a tad more stubborn and the bombs had been launched, you probably would not be here today reading this essay.  Even in the 1960’s there were enough bombs to destroy all of Mankind plus how many other species we don’t know.  Today, this danger still has not gone away, though terrorism appears to be more likely.  Bioterrorist could potentially create a pandemic that would reduce our civilization to a mere shadow of today’s level. 

          These are some examples of man made disasters, but there are many others of naturally occurring origins.  For example, by studying Mitochondrial DNA, scientist have determined that our human ancestors experienced a population bottle neck about 70,000 years ago.  They estimate that there may have been as few as 1000 breeding pairs at one point.  We would have been on the endangered species list of the time.  What could have caused such a reduction in our numbers?  Our best guess is that the explosion of a super volcano in Indonesia around 70,000 years ago filled the atmosphere with 700 – 1000 cubic miles of dust and ash that exacerbated an ice age that had already been underway,  reducing the population of many plants and animals.  Shortages of food and very cold temperatures reduced our numbers to dangerously low levels.  There are many of these super volcanoes around the Earth; the most famous of which is under Yellowstone National Park.  This one last blew about 600,000 years ago, but could explode again at any time, since it is still an active volcanic zone today.  A society as large as ours that depends on huge areas of cultivation and dependable transportation to distribute food supplies would be much more seriously impacted by such an event than the hunter/gathers of 70,000 years ago.  We could easily loose a major portion of today’s population and civilization.

          Another example of a recent natural disaster is the 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia.  A small meteor or comet appears to have exploded above the ground leveling over 830 square miles of forest.  There is no city on Earth big enough that it would not have been totally destroyed by a similar event.  This object was a small one, around 30 meters in diameter, causing a reduction of temperatures of a couple of degrees world wide for several years.  What if the object had been ten to a hundred times as large; would we or our civilization have survived?  Dr. Hawking speculates that in our solar system and any others formed in the same manner as ours, (which may be all of them) every planet will be struck by an object big enough to cause large extinctions once every million years.  The reason we haven’t heard from ET may now be apparent.  A million years is not long enough for intelligent life to develop; so no messages for SETI to receive.  If  Dr. Hawking’s extinction theory holds; how then did we not get wiped out during our evolutionary development?  Some believe that we were protected by a large Moon and the super planet Jupiter, whose gravitational pull sucked in many of the large objects that might have hit us.  The Moon, Jupiter and a little bit of luck and we survive for now; but this combination makes for a poor insurance policy, because the Earth has still been struck by some fairly large objects; just not large enough to get us, yet. 

          This is just a cursory examination of some of the dangers that we face and that are most likely to occur.  There are many more events that are less likely, but could still destroy the Human Race, such as: a nearby supernova explosion, a gamma ray burst or a flare up of the Sun; just to name a few.  One or more of these may have caused mass extinctions in the distant past, but we don’t have a way to judge when such events might have occurred or when they might happen again.  The most disturbing and most likely possibility is that we might be the instrument of our own demise.  By inhabiting outer space and other worlds, maybe we can save ourselves from ourselves.

          One of the greatest dangers we face that is of our own creation is that of pollution.  If the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere can be considered pollution as a by product of the burning of fossil fuels, then Global Warming is a pollution problem.  If as many have predicted, Global Warming causes sea levels to rise, we could over time loose one quarter to one third of our present living land area.  The very areas where most of Earth’s population lives are the areas that will be lost first.  With millions of people driven from their homes, we could easily be fighting wars over food, living space and other basic human needs.  When things get this bad we will not have the resources to do what we should be doing now – colonizing space and the system’s planets and moons.

          Global Warming is not the only type of pollution, though it may be the most pressing.  We have also created vast polluted areas related to the mining, refining and manufacturing of many goods and services.  The generation of electrical energy is probably the largest contributor to the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.  Then there are the millions of pounds of nuclear waste that have accumulated because we have no proven safe way to dispose of it.  We can save the Earth from all this pollution by moving into space, building habitats in space and colonies on the Moon, planets and asteroids.  We begin by mining near earth asteroids and the Moon.  Using materials thus obtained to manufacture the equipment to build huge solar power satellites to beam power back to Earth to wherever it is needed.  We would be removing the major causes of pollution to land and atmosphere to outer space where it can be more easily managed.

          Related to the use of resources from space to solve pollution problems is the question of whether there is a developing crisis of depletion of natural resources on Earth.  Some would say that the oil crisis in the Summer of 2008 is a prime example of such a depletion of resources.  Many experts believe that we have reached the peak production possible and that we will not be able to find new sources of oil fast enough to keep production from decreasing over time.  If we can build solar power satellites in space and beam back to earth clean non polluting energy, we can move away from a fossil fuel economy forever. 

          There are many other natural resources without which it would be difficult if not impossible to maintain our present level of civilization much less advance to a higher level.  Several of these are grouped into what are called the rare earth metals.  Rare earths are used in many chemical processes as catalysts that would be extremely expensive or impossible without them.  Some are also used in electric motors and batteries for hybrid and electric cars( http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE57U02B20090831 ).  The rare earths are not really rare as a function of their abundance in the Earth’s crust, but are very much so in concentrations that can be mined.  Known supplies of some of these resources will last for only another 15 – 20 years.  How then can we move to an electric economy powered by solar energy to the degree necessary for our future needs?  John S. Lewis gives us the answer in his book Mining the Sky: Untold Riches from the Asteroids, Comets, and Planets.  He  estimates the economic value of one small M-type asteroid 3554 Amun at $20 trillion dollars, $8 trillion worth of iron and nickel, $6 trillion worth of cobalt, and about $6 trillion in platinum-group metals(rare earth metals).  "As we enter the 21st century, humankind must deal with the energy crisis, the depletion of natural resources and the pollution of the earth.  The solution to all these problems lies beyond the earth by tapping the vast resources of the solar system, in particular the Moon and asteroids, as a source of materials and the sun as a source of power, which will also remove to outer space some of the major sources of pollution.  Uncountable dollars worth of metals, fuels, and life-sustaining substances await in nearby space.  Vast amounts of these important substances are locked away--for now--in the asteroids, comets, moons and planets of our own solar system.  The abundant resources of the solar system, including effectively limitless solar energy, could support a vast civilization of 1016 people"; that's over a million times our present population.  John S. Lewis argues in his book Mining The Sky that the "shortage of resources is an illusion born of ignorance." 

Posted by jplspace at 3:12 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 8 September 2009 9:49 PM EDT
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Thursday, 30 July 2009
Space Elevator Conference Press Release
 
"Stairway to the Stars" Space Elevator Conference 2009 Set To Open August 13 Redmond, WA.  Scientists, researchers and space enthusiasts from throughout the world will gather on the Microsoft campus August 13-16 for Space Elevator Conference 2009, an exploration of the technical, legal and social issues and challenges of building an Elevator to Space. A variety of events are planned for the public, as well as the scientific community, on this revolutionary way to send cargo and humans into space. Events include:

* A four-day technical conference discussing the issues and
   challenges of constructing an Elevator to Space
* Space Elevator 101, a half-day public information event
   geared towards the layperson
* A special showing of the film
   "Orphans of Apollo"
* The NASA Centennial Challenge Strong Tethers Competition,
   for a possible purse prize of up to $2 million

Space Elevator Conference 2009 will kick off on Wednesday, August 12 with a free Space Elevator overview presentation and Q & A session open to the public at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, Wash. Space Elevator Conference 2009 is sponsored by the Space Engineering and Science Institute (SESI), JPL Space Foundation and Microsoft Corporation. Dates are as follows:

* Space Elevator overview presentation: Wednesday, August
   12, 7-8:30PM
* Technical conference: August 13-16, 7AM-8:30PM Thursday
   through Saturday, and 7AM-6PM on Sunday
* NASA Centennial Challenge Strong Tether Competition: Friday
   August 14, 9:30-11AM
* "Orphans of Apollo": Friday, August 14, 7-8:30PM
* Space Elevator 101: Saturday, August 15, 9AM-1PM and
   1-4PM

Pricing for the technical conference is $300 in advance and $375 after August 1 for the full four days, including breakfast and lunch daily. Student pricing as well as one- and two-day passes to the technical conference are also available. The NASA Centennial Challenge Strong Tether Competition is open to conference attendees only and is included in the price of registration. Admission to Space Elevator 101 is $40 in advance for 1-4 people or $50 at the door. Ticket prices for "Orphans of Apollo" are $10 per person. To register online or to purchase advance tickets, please visit www.spaceelevatorconference.org.

#### Contacts: Michael Laine, Belinda Young ####
Space Elevator Conference BYPR
Telephone: 360-863-1417 Telephone: 206-932-3145
laine@liftport.com, byoung@bypr.com

Copyright © Space Elevator Conference
If you have a comment, please Contact us..
 
If you have been hoping that someone would find an affordable, reliable and save way to access space and would like to show your support for these efforts at no cost to you, please check out the many ways that you can help at:  www.JPLSpaceFoundation.Org/id21.html

Posted by jplspace at 12:47 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, 30 July 2009 12:54 PM EDT
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Friday, 10 July 2009
ISEC NEWSLETTER

 

The official newsletter of the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC)

 

Our mission statement:
"... ISEC promotes the development, construction and operation of a space elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity ..."


The ISEC e-Newsletter - Issue #1 - July, 2009


 

The Space Elevator Games are ON!

 

The Spaceward Foundation and NASA have announced that the Space Elevator Games Climber / Power-Beaming competition has been scheduled for August 5-7 at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

From the Press Release: "We are thrilled to be working with the people at NASA HQ and Dryden” said Ben Shelef, Founder of the Spaceward Foundation, host of the Space Elevator games. 'NASA is a symbol of mankind's quest to explore space and Dryden is the symbol of beyond-cutting-edge technology development. The people and atmosphere here are everything the ‘Right Stuff' was all about. This year's challenges will feature several teams from the US and Canada competing for $2,000,000 of prize money, and it promises to be a spectacular race. Most of the teams competing this year are veterans of past competitions and they are now the experts in this field.'"

The official website for these games is http://www.spaceelevatorgames.org.  Because this competition will not be open to the public (due to the secure facility where it is being held), it will be televised on NASA TV and via a webcast at the official website.  In addition, the official website will show interviews, team standings, blog posts from the competition, clips from previous year's competitions, etc. - in short, everything you need to stay on top of the Games.

Ben Shelef, the CEO of the Spaceward Foundation (host of the Space Elevator Games), gives us this latest update:

 
  "The latest and greatest in Space Elevator gamesland!

We're almost, almost, almost there. For those of you not following the Games blog (http://www.SpaceElevatorGames.org), the Power Beaming challenge is scheduled for August 5 through 7, (Wed – Fri) coupled with a Space Elevator symposium on site on Tuesday, August 4. The Tether Strength challenge will be held on Aug 13th at the Space Elevator conference in Redmond, Washington.

The last few weeks have been filled with excitement as we ramped up testing both at Dryden and at individual team facilities. Scroll down the blog and you'll see images from testing at LaserMotive's digs in Seattle (yum!) and further back the results of Kansas City Space Pirates' test runs at the lakebed at Dryden.

We flew the helicopter/tether configuration, but didn't get to finish the test 100% due to a mechanical problem, and so have to re-fly the tests. In addition, we'll have another qualification window for laser testing – all will happen between July 21 and July 24. This will be the chance to see what USST (winner of all previous Games) have up their sleeves. (Due to a string of issues, they could not get qualified last time, having driven from and back to Saskatchewan basically for nothing - though we did all get a chance to admire the paint job on their truck!

Once we're through this set of tests, it is full steam ahead for the Games – there will be very little at the Games that we didn't test previously, so we'll have a high degree of confidence that things will go as planned and the teams will see the fruits of their labor – between 2 and 4 years in the making!

More soon!"
 
 

You can read the complete Spaceward press release here (note that the dates of the competition have changed since the press release date.  Check the official website of the Games for the latest information and schedule).


What is ISEC?

The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is the result of a coming-together of leading figures and organizations who have worked long and hard over many years to promote the concept of a Space Elevator.  With organizational members in the United States, Europe and Japan and individual members from around the world, ISEC's goal is nothing less than to get a Space Elevator built.

From our bylaws:

"... ISEC promotes the development, construction and operation of a space elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity ..."

Our plan of action is based on four pillars: Technology, Law, Business, and Outreach:

Each of the pillars is headed by a pillar lead, who functions much like a university's department head. Their job is to start initiatives (projects), pursue collaborations, guide project leads and prospective project leads in pursuing their individual projects, and generally increase the activity level of their pillar.

If you agree with us that building a Space Elevator should be a priority for all of us and you would like to help make this happen, please Join Us!  Benefits include e-newsletters (such as this one), an e-magazine and e-journal and other items listed on our sign-up page.

Come and join us and help make the future happen!


Why should you join ISEC?

#5] You want to know where your mother's yarn has gone.
#4] Bragging rights – be the first on your block to be a card carrying member
#3] Great Pick-up lines at Cocktail Party
#2] Develops your unassailable credibility as a rocket scientist
and
#1] Self Satisfaction at furthering space exploration – Actually you ARE!

(*With thanks to Peter Swan and apologies to Mr. Letterman...)


The Japan Space Elevator Games

Japan, too, is holding their version of the Space Elevator Games.  This is their first-ever competition and is entitled the Japan Space Elevator & Technical Competition (JSETEC) - "Climb me to the moon".

This competition will be held on Saturday, August 8th, and Sunday, August 9th at Nihon University in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.  For more details, you can visit their website at http://jsea.jp/en/node/455.


The 2009 Space Elevator Conference

The 2009 Space Elevator Conference will be held from Thursday, August 13th through Sunday, August 16th, at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, Washington.  A full and varied set of activities are planned; everything from "Family Day", where the concept of a Space Elevator is presented to families and others who may be new to the idea, to Roadmap workshops to in-depth presentations on the state of the various technologies necessary to build a Space Elevator.  Corporate sponsors so far include the Space Engineering and Science Institute (SESI), the JPL Space Foundation and the Microsoft corporation.

The official conference website is http://www.spaceelevatorconference.org and here you can stay current with the latest conference developments and  register to participate or attend.  We hope to see you there!


EuroSpaceward to hold its third annual conference in December

On December 5th and 6th, 2009, EuroSpaceward will host it's 3rd International Conference on the Space Elevator, CNT (carbon nanotube) Tether design & Lunar industrialization challenges.  More details on this conference will be coming soon.  Visit the EuroSpaceward website to register.


Visit ISEC on the Web!

Visit our website at http://www.isec.info.  There you can join learn more about what is happening in the Space Elevator community and what is being done to advance the concept of a Space Elevator.  Please consider joining ISEC - we foster research and sponsor Space Elevator-related causes, but to do so takes money.  Your contributions are crucial to our success.  Thank you!

If this newsletter has been forwarded to you, you can also sign up to be on our mailing list so you don't miss a thing!


 

 
 

Posted by jplspace at 12:20 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 10 July 2009 12:24 PM EDT
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Monday, 16 February 2009
Adopt A Foundation
Mood:  spacey
Topic: Adopt JPLSpaceFoundation
The JPL Space Foundation seeks to be adopted by any individual, class, school, or school system that would like their students to have a direct and active role in the development and direction of Mankinds last frontier - Space Exploration. Anyone involved in the education of children knows that the development of confidence and self-esteem is difficult. Students often feel that they are not able to do anything that really matters in the real world. Adopting the foundation can change this feeling because students will be able to help support the foundation by raising money through their everyday activities. Most elementary school students and older are computer literate enough to search the web for information and this is how they can help.

If students visit our website at: http://www.jplspacefoundation.org and click on the banner at the top of the page, they will be taken to the GoodSearch home page where they can download the GoodSearch "search bar". When they use the search bar to look up information on the web, Yahoo will pay GoodSearch two cents, who will then donate one cent to the foundation. They also have a GoodShop button, which when clicked will show a list of several hundred online stores from which parents can shop. Each store will then donate from 0.5 - 7.5% of the purchase price to the foundation. The cost of the items bought will be the same as it would have been if they had gone to the store directly. Students can keep up with the progress of donations by visiting the GoodSearch site and clicking the "Amount Raised" button. The number of searches are updated in real time and donations from shopping on a weekly basis.

Teachers may use the foundation wedsite as an educational resource for all matters related to space, space exploration and astronomy. The home page will always contain information about the current projects that we are supporting so that students can see where the money raised from their efforts will be spent. Presently, the home page deals with the Space Elevator with links to information that explains what the space elevator is, how it will work and the state of research in the development of the elevator. There is also a "Space and Astronomy Page" with links to almost everything related to space exploration, NASA missions, the Solar System and understanding the Universe.

Our mission involves not only supporting research but also supporting educational programs that promote greater understanding of Science, Space and Astronomy. To provide educational content as it relates to Space and Space travel we are curating a Space and Technology Channel on http://www.Nibipedia.com called "jplspace".  Nibipedia has welded the millions of videos on Youtube to the millions of text articles in Wikipedia.  Students not only learn by watching and reading, Teachers can also allow students to add their own content so that they not only learn but also teach.

The greatest educational benefit will be derived by students who discover that their efforts can make a real difference in not only their own education but also in an area that is becoming increasingly important to mankind-Space Exploration.


Posted by jplspace at 6:10 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 17 February 2009 1:33 PM EST
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Monday, 22 December 2008
ISEC Press Release

Leading Players in the Space Elevator Movement Join Together to Form New International Consortium

New Independent Group to Foster Global Research, Develop International Standards and Serve as a Worldwide Information Exchange on the Space Elevator

Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. (December 22, 2008) – A coalition of leaders in the Space Elevator movement today announced the formation of The International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC), a new independent group designed to promote standards and foster research relating to the construction of an Elevator to Space at the global level.

Founding members of ISEC include the Spaceward Foundation, the Space Elevator Reference, the Space Elevator Blog, EuroSpaceward and the Japan Space Elevator Association.  Heading the new organization is Ted Semon of the Space Elevator Blog, who will serve as president.

According to the Consortium, the goal of ISEC is to promote the development, construction and operation of the Space Elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity.  The group will accomplish this through these key areas:

- Development of a unified plan and roadmap for the Space Elevator and the coordinated assignment of specific research topics
- Funding of research on technologies relevant to the Space Elevator
- Development of the international legal framework necessary for the operation of the Space Elevator
- Global public outreach and central information exchange on Space Elevator activities

The Space Elevator is a project whose time has come,” said Semon.  “With the challenges facing today’s global economy, it is clear that new industries and new ideas are needed to help our planet in the 21st Century.  The Space Elevator can be a key positive contributor, from providing inexpensive nanotechnology material science breakthroughs that will make your car stronger and lighter, to the creation of new industries that offer opportunities for investment and job creation.  The International Space Elevator Consortium devoted to its development can make this happen.”

ISEC will be unveiling additional plans and details in the upcoming weeks, including a board of directors, technical journals, university and industry relationships, research opportunities and scholarships.  Memberships will be available on the individual, corporate, academic and governmental levels.

Headquartered in the greater Los Angeles area, center of the aerospace industry, the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) is a non-profit organization devoted to the research and construction of an Elevator to Space.  For more information please visit www.isec.info.

For more information please contact:

Ted Semon
ISEC
1-630-240-4797
ted [at] spaceelevatorblog.com

Belinda Young
BYPR
1-206-932-3145
byoung [at] bypr.com


Posted by jplspace at 2:38 PM EST
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Saturday, 15 November 2008
From Ted Semon at The Space Elevator Blog

Introducing the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC)

November 15th, 2008

“ISEC promotes the development, construction and operation of a space elevator as a revolutionary and efficient way to space for all humanity”

This is the mission statement of the newly formed International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC), an organization created to encourage the growing international interest and momentum towards building a Space Elevator.  Several attendees at the recent Space Elevator Conference in Seattle talked about pooling their efforts to get such an effort underway and, after a false start or two, we’ve now succeeded in forming this Consortium.

We have incorporated as a non-profit corporation in the State of California and are now working on establishing our Federal 501c3 status (and for those of you who would like to point out how difficult this is, I’d just like to say that IRS Form 1023 and I are old friends :) ).

Several groups have joined together in this effort; The Spaceward Foundation, The Japan Space Elevator Association, EuroSpaceward, The Space Elevator Reference and this Space Elevator Blog.  In addition to these groups, several other individuals (both long-timers in the Space Elevator community and newcomers from the Seattle conference) have joined this Consortium.

Yours truly has been chosen as the President of this organization; an honor which I find very humbling and exciting at the same time.  I have lots of plans to aggressively grow this organization and make no mistake about it; our goal is nothing less than to get a Space Elevator built.

You will be hearing much, much more about this organization in the near future so stay tuned.  In the meantime, I encourage you to head to the ISEC website and sign up for our newsletter so you can stay current with all of our efforts.


Posted by jplspace at 9:27 AM EST
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Monday, 4 August 2008
Raising Money For Space Activities

The recent Space Elevator Conference (July 18, 19, & 20) was a huge success in the minds of the attendees.  The inclusion of a Japanese group added an international flavor and a new slant on what the elevator should look like.  See http://www.spaceelevatorblog.com for more information.

Raising money for the conferences and other space activities remains a challenge.  One new idea that came out of the conference was that of using GoodSearch to allow any and all space enthuaist to help raise money.  The idea was presented by the JPL Space Foundation who  believe that there are thousands, if not millions of space enthusiasts who share our dream of finding an affordable, reliable and safe access to space and would help make affordable access to space a reality if only they could find a way. We think we have found a way that we all can do something to help raise money. There is a new search engine called Good Search which is powered by Yahoo that will contribute one cent to a charity of your choice every time you use Good Search to look up anything on the web. All you need do is go to: http://www.jplspacefoundation.org and click the Good Search Banner and download the Good Search "search bar" when you get to their site. Choose JPL Space Foundation as your Charity, if it doesn’t show up automatically and then surf the web as usual using Good Search. All proceeds will be used to support research for the Space Elevator and any other technology that will allow us to reach space at an affordable cost.

Also, if you shop on-line a good deal, just click the Good Search logo on the search bar and then the Good Shop link and again choose JPL Space Foundation as your charity and you can shop from Amazon to Sears to Wal-Mart and many others. A percentage of your purchase will go to support the Foundation. I know a few percent or a few cents per person isn't much, but all of us together and all our friends that might like to help can make a big difference over time. It’s not what we do that matters, but how many of us that do it.

I think there are many people who would love to learn of a way they could help advance our efforts to explore space on a faster schedule.

1000 people at 2 clicks/day equals from $7000-$25,000 per year including shopping.

John Lee

JPL Space Foundation


Posted by jplspace at 12:46 PM EDT
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