NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement Student Art Contest

The National Space Society (NSS) is looking for student artists to create illustrations for the NSS Roadmap to Space Settlement. Submitted artwork should realistically illustrate at least one of the Milestones in the Roadmap document.

All students at any grade level between the ages of 10 and 25 are eligible. Submitted artwork is intended to be used by NSS to promote a future of humans living and working in space and may be used on the NSS website, Ad Astra magazine, and/or a future calendar.

The due date is April 22, 2013. More information.

National Space Society Officer and Director to Receive Prestigious National Space Educator Award

Lynne F. Zielinski, National Space Society (NSS) officer and director has been selected by the National Space Club as the 2013 recipient of the National Space Educator Award. This prestigious award will be presented this Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at the 56th annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Since 1982, the award has been given annually to secondary school teachers who mentor students in the field of space, science, and technology. Recipients are also given a $1,500 grant and a plaque for their respective school.

“Lynne Zielinski is the first two-time winner in the thirty year history of the National Space Club National Space Educator Award. After being selected in 1988 for exemplary work motivating students to do research by planning and flying experiments on the Space Shuttle, she did not rest on her laurels,” said National Space Club Award Chairman Kerry Joels.

“She spent the next quarter century expanding her students’ opportunities to participate in space science research, encouraged dozens to pursue science and engineering degrees, and expanded community awareness of space science. Her career is an impressive and exceptional model for a space educator,” he added.

Zielinski has been a member of NSS’s Board of Directors and Chairman of the Education and Outreach Committee since 2006. She also serves on the NSS Executive Committee as Vice President of Public Affairs. She annually organizes the activities that attract hundreds of students to the NSS International Space Development Conference for the NSS/NASA Ames Space Settlement Design Competition.

“We are pleased to join the National Space Club in honoring such a deserving and forward-thinking educator with the National Space Educator Award,” said Mark Hopkins, NSS Executive Committee Chairman. “We are especially proud that Zielinski was selected for her over 30 years of noteworthy accomplishments in bringing science and math to life for thousands of students and teachers through space and technology.”

Her 32-year career as a physics, astronomy, and space science teacher at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois has been highlighted with numerous accomplishments, including participation in the Teacher In Space program. For Zielinski’s full biography, please visit www.nss.org/about/bios/zielinski.html.

Past recipients of the award include Teacher in Space educator astronaut Barbara Morgan and Challenger Center founding chair Dr. June Scobee Rogers.

White House petition proposes space solar power as national energy and space goal

Courtesy KurzweilAI.net:

A petition to the White House to task the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to examine space solar power (SSP) as a new energy and space goal for the U.S. has been posted on the White House WE the PEOPLE website, with a goal of 100,000 signatures by April 3, 2013.

The petition, initiated by SSP pioneer John C. Mankins, reads:


Task the Office of Science and Technology Policy to examine Space Solar Power as a new energy & space goal for the US.

New concepts make it possible for solar energy to be harvested in space and delivered 24/7 to markets in the U.S. & globally. Space solar power (SSP) could supply vast new energy while addressing climate concerns.

SSP is now being pursued by other nations (e.g., China, Japan), and energy determines preeminence in space as on Earth.

But SSP falls between the charters of U.S. technology and space agencies (DOE, DOD, NASA), so it’s “no one’s job.” These agencies have existing responsibilities and stakeholders; they are not looking for new goals.

Only the White House (OSTP) working with Congress can change the policy gridlock in the U.S. and develop a plan to lead international R&D in this game-changing energy/space endeavor.

If you agree the U.S. should lead R&D on SSP, please support this petition.

“Harvesting solar power in space and delivering clean, inexhaustible energy to humanity has been a vision for more than 40 years,” Mankins, who is currently CTO of  asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries, explained to KurzweilAI. “Now, new technologies and new concepts exist that can transform this vision into a reality.

“Within a decade, perhaps less, the first solar power satellite made from mass-produced modules could be in operation, transforming everything we do in space and the future of energy on Earth. Space solar power is both technically feasible, and could be economically viable — but only if we act to make it so.”

NASA, international studies support SSP

Mankins headed two NASA studies of SSP. During 2011 — 2012, NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program supported a preliminary Phase 1 project to investigate a transformational new approach to the concept of SSP called the SPS-ALPHA, to deliver energy to Earth.

SPS-ALPHA would typically be based in a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO), where it would intercept sunlight using a collection of individually pointed thin-film mirrors, convert that sunlight into a coherent microwave beam and transmit the power to markets on Earth or in space.

And in 1995–1997, NASA conducted its Fresh Look study, a preliminary reexamination of the technologies, systems concepts and terrestrial markets that might be involved in future SSP systems.

A three-year, ten-nation study of space solar power in 2009–2011 by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), co-chaired by Mankins, found that SSP appears to be “technically feasible within 10–20 years using technologies existing now in the laboratory, and economically viable in the next 1–3 decades under several different scenarios for future energy markets, including potential government actions to mediate environment/climate change issues.”