Al Globus on Marcia Smith

In MISSING THE MARK By Marcia S. Smith July 23, 2009 Ms. Smith wrote “Alternatively, if President Obama does not care enough about the space program to adequately fund   it, let’s find that out now.”  In Washington there is only one measure  of caring that really matters: funding.  Furthermore, while speculating about future funding is fun, it’s rarely accurate.  What we do know is that in his first six months in office Obama has asked for, and received, billions in additional NASA funding.  He cares.

While many in the space movement equate NASA with the human space program and exploration, during the campaign Obama made it clear that  he wants additional funding for Earth observation, aeronautics and  other parts of NASA that directly benefit the American people. Not  surprisingly, that’s where a lot of the additional funding has gone.

A final point, the reason the human space flight program is in trouble is that is has the wrong goal:  exploration.  If you want knowledge about space, robots are cheaper and, for most things, better.  We have 40 years of data on this.  It’s a fact.  Human exploration, as presently pursued, boils down to flags and footprints — which are not worth the money.  There is only one really important goal for humans in space: settlement.   It may be the only worthy goal, but it is of such vast, literally cosmic, importance that no other goal is needed. We are talking about the survival of not just civilization, not just humanity, but of life itself.   Someday, some way, this planet will become inhabitable.  It will probably be a long time, but right now we know how to settle the solar system.  It will difficult, it will be expensive, but we know how to do it (see
for one approach).  Carpe diem!

New Space Looks to the Moon


Ramin Khadem, a veteran of the telecom satellite industry, thinks there’s definitely money to be made on the moon. That’s not surprising: As chairman of Odyssey Moon Limited, he’s in charge of one of the ventures planning to deliver commercial payloads to the moon – not 40 years from now, but sometime in the next five years.

“The moon is almost like an eighth continent,” Khadem told me. “It’s within the planet Earth’s own economic sphere … Our approach has been to explore this eighth continent. Just as explorers went to the new world and found all sorts of great things, we think there are opportunities there.”

NSS Supports Mars Society Convention

NSS Members Receive “Membership Rate”
National Space Society members are invited to register at a discounted rate for the 12th annual International Mars Society Convention, to be held this week, July 30-August 2 at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Click here to register and enter the code NSShD4YF in the box above the “Regular Member Convention Admission” sections of the registration page.
The Mars Society has a tremendous program this year.  Speakers include,
Dr. Steve Squyres – Cornell University, Mars Exploration Rovers
George Butler Director – Roving Mars, Pumping Iron
Dr. John Grunsfeld NASA Astronaut – Invited
Miles O’Brien – space journalist, former CNN anchor
Michael Carroll – artist and author
Andrew Chaikin – historian and author
Dr. Roger Launius – Chief Space Curator, Smithsonian Institute
Dr. Jim Garvin – NASA
Dr.  John Mather NASA; Nobel Prize winner
Dr. Mario Livio – Space Telescope Science Institute
Dr. Chris McKay – NASA
Bertram Ulrich – Curator, NASA Art Collection
Dr. Carolyn Porco – Cassini
Dr. Robert Zubrin – President, The Mars Society

The convention will also have some impressive special programming which includes,

1. Exploration:  An Historical Perspective: An examination of the history of exploration on Earth and how historical lessons might be able to be applied to space exploration.
2. The Art of Space:  A panel of artists discuss the importance of the arts to promote and document space exploration.
3. Reporting Space:  A look at the role of the media in space exploration.
4. Tour of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
5. Special viewing of ROVING MARS (which commentary from Dr. Steve Squyres and George Butler)
6. The Great 2009 Mars Blitz: Join over 100 space advocates on Capitol Hill to tell Congress why they need to support an aggressive human space flight program that will get us out of low Earth orbit as quickly as possible.

The Canadian Space Movement

How do we get young Canadians to reach for the stars? by Sumitra Rajagopalan

Forty years later, the sequel is being written as the US and many other countries, including Canada, gear up for the next Moon shot. Like the Sputnik and Apollo programs, this new space race is a golden opportunity to inspire the next generation of space explorers and enthusiasts. But, first, they need this generation to tune in.

Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk is to undertake in the months ahead aboard the International Space Station, where he will remotely control and drive a robot parked at CSA’s offices near Montreal. Open-source coding could allow participants to program lunar robots in real time, with all the excitement streamed live over the Internet.

From the Canadian Space Society

The CSS connected with the Hamilton Police Pipes and Drums to record a tune to honour Bob Thirsk and Julie Payette currently in orbit. The tune of choice?  “The Maple Leaf Forever”, a tune that dates back to Canadian confederation and has been played for dignitaries at official functions at home and around the world. To download and listen to the recording sent to the astronauts, click here.


Canadian Space Summit 2009
Dual Use: Opportunities for collaboration on space technologies
Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, ON, Canada,
November 20-22, 2009
Organized by the Canadian Space Society, Kingston Chapter
Confirmed Session Chairs

Nadeem Ghafoor MDA Corporation Planetary Exploration
Brian Weeden Secure World Foundation Earth Orbit
Jessica West Project Ploughshares Law and Policy
John Hutchings Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics Astronomy
David Loop Herzberg Institute for Astrophysics Astronomy
Shawna Pandya University of Alberta Life Sciences
Chuck Black Canadian Space Commerce Association Space Commercialization


Regular Early Bird (Close 15 Sept)
CSS Member $125 $75
Non member $200 $150
Student Member $75 $25
Banquet Ticket $75 $75

SPACE Cananda and the International Academy of Astronautics are sponsering
“FROM THE SUN TO THE EARTH” An International Symposium on Solar Energy from Space

September 8-10, 2009
Ontario Science Centre
Toronto, Canada

Overall Goals

  • To determine what role solar energy from space might play in meeting the rapidly growing need for abundant and sustainable energy during the coming decades
  • To assess the technological readiness and risks associated with the space-based solar power concept
  • To frame a notional international roadmap that could lead to the realization of the concept

Master of Ceremonies

Bob McDonald

Bob McDonald National Science Correspondent for CBC and Host of CBC Radio One’s “Quirks and Quarks”

Day 1: Space Canada International Policy Forum

Keynote Speaker – Dan Fortin
Dan FortinWe are delighted to have Dan Fortin, president of IBM Canada, delivering the keynote address. Dan is responsible for the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of IBM’s Canadian division. Dan leads a team of 20,000 professionals in providing industry-leading solutions to help IBM clients address today’s most pressing business challenges.

Dan will be followed by a full complement of outstanding speakers including:

  • Dr. Andrew Weaver, Nobel Laureate, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Dr. Bryan Erb, Pioneer in Space-Based Solar Power
  • Dr. Ram Jakhu, Associate Professor, Institute of Air and Space Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University
  • Jessica West, Program Associate at Project Ploughshares and Manager of the Space Security Index
  • Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards, Founder and CEO, Odyssey Moon enterprise
  • Iain Carson, European Business Editor, The Economist

Co-Chairs, IAA Study:
John MankinsNobu Kaya

Does The President Need to Micromanage NASA?

In MISSING THE MARK By Marcia S. Smith July 23, 2009 Ms. Smith wrote-

NASA has spent the last 40 years doing what it was told to do – build and operate the space shuttle and (albeit much more slowly and at much greater cost than expected) build a space station – while waiting for the signal to advance beyond low Earth orbit once more. The starting gun has fired twice: in 1989 and in 2004. Unfortunately, the occupants of the Oval Office in each of those cases did not follow through with requisite funding and political muscle to ensure those efforts bore fruit. Today we are still in low Earth orbit.

In the last 40 years NASA has done mostly what it has wanted.  The shuttle was NASA’s idea as was the International Space Station. The major things the President asked for without being lobbied by NASA were to send Dr. Harrison Schmitt to the Moon, because of pressure from the science community, and the two Bush calls to go to the Moon, opportunities which NASA squandered.

Alternatively, if President Obama does not care enough about the space program to adequately fund it, let’s find that out now.

Assume that President Obama doesn’t care as much about NASA as we would like.  When there was a talk of a missile gap, NASA was important to show our technical prowess in a non-threatening way. NASA hasn’t been important to the President since.  Presidents want NASA to demonstrate America’s technological leadership and not kill any one, that seems to be about it.

It is time for NASA to mature and take responsibility for its self and its accomplishments, and do so within the percent of the GNP NASA has been receiving for the last several decades.  Don’t expect to see Apollo level funding again. Don’t expect a President with 2 wars going on, a third one possibly on the horizon, the worst economic crisis in the last 80 years, and a health care crisis to worry about NASA.

Barack Obama put NASA in the able hands of Charlie Bolden and Lori Garver. President Obama looking forward to making speeches about the wonderful things NASA is accomplishing during under the leadership of Bolden and Garver.


Dr. John Bossard has come up with this new term.

“Exvironmentalism”. The word environment comes from the word “environ”. Your “environs” would be the places in you immediate region around you. It comes from the old French word which literally means “to turn in a circle inwards” (en- in, viron- a circle or circuit, virer- to turn). So the environment is the firmament in which you circle around in, inwards. Thus, the word exviron would connote “to turn in a circle outwards”. The exvironment would thus be the firmament that we would circle out into.

We can use the definitions to reframe our considerations, to open up the notions life-expansion and life preservation, and to use the best of the ideas of environmentalism and the transition of mankind off the planet and out into the cosmos. We can positively combine these ideas, these philosophies, to make something better than the sum of the parts. This then, is the essence of Exvironmentalism: the synergy of the space movement, the environmental movement, and perhaps many others, to productively encourage, identify, and promote the expansion of life outwards from the planet Earth, and into the Cosmos.- from Plasma Wind’s Contribution to the Space Settlement Blog Day

Exvironmentalism is just what we need to pursue. Expanding the biosphere beyond Earth. While using space resources to allow the preservation of Earth’s biosphere. Space and environmentalism are not in conflict.

In fact the only way in the long term to protect Earth’s enivronment is to gain acess to resources off of Earth. If our desendants are limited to Earth eventually they will use every posible resource avalible in order to survive regardless of how many species it drives into extintion, or how few trees there are left standing. A closed system is finite and all non renewable resources will eventually run out as well as all renewable resources which do not renew fast enough. If given a choice between survival and environmental protection most people will pick survival every time. If we do not gain access to space resources we will be putting our descendants in that position.

Space Solar Power is a perfect example of Exvironmentalism. Space solar power is clean, carbon free, baseload power. If made from lunar resources it will have virtually no effect on earth’s environment.
Terrestrial solar on the other hand can damage sensitive desert environments, wind can kill raptors, neither provides base load power. This not even considering the effect of the smart grid running new power lines through sensitive areas to take renewable power to existing cities.  Or the fact that for the cost of the Smart Grid we could be delivering Space Solar Power right out side of the major cities.

We need to think in terms of Exvironmentalism and combine space development and evironmental protection. Earth is the only planet which we know can support life it is precious, we must protect it.  Humans are the product of millions of years of evolution, we have a rare gift intelligence we must use our intelligence to protect our less intelligent cousins from the dangers of the universe as well as from our own greed and thoughtlessness.

Post Script -Right after I finished writing this post I found an article which shows the alternative to expanding the resource base. The Radical Population Control And Eugenics Agenda Of The Global Elite

Posts on Space Settlement Blog Day

I want to thank everyone who particapated in Space Settlement Blog Day. It was very successful.  There were several very interesting essays written for the occasion.

Space Settlement Blog Day by Douglas Mallette on The Space Advocate

Settle the Final Frontier by Elizabeth Barrette on Gaiatribe

Can We Afford to Settle Space? by David Brandt-Erichsen on National Space Society Blog

Celebrate the First Steps By Marianne Dyson on Mission Blog

40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing! by
Shanksow on Aerospace, Technology, Paranormal and Ufos News

Exploration, Development and Settlement of Space by Karen Cramer Shea on The Space Movement

July the 20th: Space Exploration Day/Space Settlement Day on Day of X

Stumping for Space: Three Vignettes from a Layman by Jake Christensen CHILDE JAKE’S PILGRIMAGE

From Olduvai Gorge to the Sea of Tranquility by  Alex Michael Bonnic on The Discovery Enterprise

Space Settlement post by David Riseborough on Earth Space Continuum Earth Space Continuum

Space Settlement, Social Media and Blogging by Aron Sora on
Habitation Intention

Intentional Communities in Outer Space by Bob Steinke on  The Liber(al)tarian Network

More on Apollo 11 anniversary By Andy Janes on Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Catgirls

Moon Colonization: An American Historical Perspective Nick Azer on Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration

Plasma Wind’s Contribution to the Space Settlement Blog DayPlasma Wind

How will it really happen? by Dale Amon on Samizdata

Space Settlement Blog Day by SpaceCrazed on SpaceCrazed

Opening The Way Out By Gregory Anderson on The Way Out

“Benevolent Science Fiction” on The Scattering

Step by step to space settlement and More about space settlement day Clark S. Lindsey Space Transport News

you can Reach the MOON NOW By Mark on Moonbounce by KB9RQZ

Moon-Mine News by Niklas Järvstråt

Moon Business (Twitter)

Happy Space Settlement Blog Day! By Charles Radley on The Moon Society Blog

Sponsored by the National Space Society, the Space Frontier Foundation, the Space Movement, the Moon Society, and Space Renaissance Initiative.

Space Ambassador Program Update

Dear Space Ambassadors,

It’s truly exciting to see the development of the Space Ambassador Program nearing completion with a startup date rapidly approaching. I know there are over 3700 Space Ambassadors out there that are just as excited as we are here at NSS.

The Space Ambassador video is currently in production and final filming is projected to occur with Virgin Galactic at Oshkosh Air Venture July 28th. Final editing and approval will follow shortly thereafter.  Data base construction and power point tools are targeted to be complete and ready for Beta test August 15th with the startup date immediately after.

Full details, rules, tools and login information will be sent to all Space Ambassadors upon successful beta testing and subsequent approval by NSS. Also, for those of you who missed the Space Ambassador workshop at ISDC 2009, additional Sponsors have been added. Besides the top Ambassador being assigned duties on Space Ship Two with Virgin Galactic, additional Ambassadors will be assigned duties with Zero G of Space Adventures and Space training with NASTAR center. More sponsors are being contacted and assignments will continue to grow.

Flight and research assignments will be made at an awards presentation during ISDC 2011. The top 10 finalists will give their presentations to ISDC participants during the conference for final judging and subsequent assignment.

Calling all Space Ambassadors; White Knight Two will fly into Oshkosh July 27th for the Experimental Aircraft Associations Air Venture. It will make several low level fly bys and performance demonstrations throughout the event and will depart on August 2nd to continue testing in the Mojave at Scaled Composites. I will be there from July 31st through August 2nd and hope to meet some of you there.

More updates will be available on the NSS blog sight as well as being sent to all registered Ambassadors as we approach final rollout of the program.

See you up there,

Lee Jones

Space Ambassador Program Director