ITAR Event in DC

Entrepreneurial Space and Export Control: Red Tape in the Final Frontier

29 Apr 2009
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Washington, DC

A half-day event exploring the impact of America’s export control regime on the job growth, competitiveness, and capabilities of domestic entrepreneurial space entities. Taking place 29 April at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, The Thornton Room.

This unique event is free and open to the public, however space is limited. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to as soon as possible.


World Moon Bounce Day Celebrates 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

World Moon Bounce Day will be June 27 in Australia and June 26 in the U.S., Echoes of Apollo (EOA), an international space education organization, in cooperation with the National Space Society, will announce Tuesday. Participants worldwide will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing by bouncing radio voice transmissions off the moon, known as “moon bounce.”

Moon Bounce DayIn collaboration with schools, amateur radio organizations, and cultural groups, people from around the world will communicate with one another via the moon using more than 13 dish antennas, including the 150-ft.-diameter Stanford Research Institute radio dish in Palo Alto, California; the 70-ft. dish at Morehead State University at Space Science Center in Kentucky; the 25-meter Dwingeloo Radio Telescope dish in Dwingeloo Holland; and the 90-ft. dish of the University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania.

These antennas will bounce transmissions off the moon, to be received by dish antennas in other countries. Station operators and their guests will experience the thrill of hearing their own voice or that of others talking via the moon, with a delay of about 2.5 seconds. (The June 27 date is based on optimal alignment of the Moon and Earth for participating dish locations.)

“World Moon Bounce Day is part of Echoes of Apollo, a four-year global party that will re-educate new generations about the Apollo missions and in particular, the Apollo 11 mission,” said Sydney-based Robert Brand, the International Events Manager for EOA. In 1969 at age 17, Brand wired up NASA communications equipment in Sydney that relayed the data from the moon via the Parkes and Honeysuckle Creek radio telescopes, including video and data from the Lunar Module and Command Module.

World’s biggest space party

Echoes of Apollo, billed as “the world’s biggest space party,” was formed in 2008 by people involved in or interested in the Apollo moon missions. It is the first stage of a four-year-long effort to re-focus attention on the moon, the Apollo missions of 40 years ago, and a possible future return to the moon. The group will further the spirit of exploration of space and the advancement of science, recognize space as a way to connect the people of Earth, and show how the knowledge of space can be used to solve the problems of the planet.

“For three months (June to August 2009), we will be celebrating space exploration around the world with an incredible diversity of events, fun, and learning in honor of the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11’s mission to the moon,” said California-based EOA coordinator Patrick Barthelow, AA6EG. This may be the last time that those involved in the original Apollo 11 mission can take part in a public celebration. It will bring people together after 40 years, and help focus attention on the future of space exploration.”

Resources: Rare video footage of Apollo 11, photos, a review of moon-bounce (EME, Earth-Moon-Earth) communications, and a profile of “The Dish,” an award-winning 2000 film starring Sam Neill.

Family Day at National Air and Space Musuem

Explore the Universe
Saturday, April 04
10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Throughout the National Mall building
Admission: Free

Learn about the universe by participating in an array of family friendly hands-on activities, listen to the cosmic sounds of The Chromatics and talk to Museum staff and local experts about choosing, using, and caring for telescopes and other astronomical instruments.

Schedule of events and activities

10:05 and 11:30 AM
Two Pieces of Glass — a Planetarium Show for the International Year of Astronomy

11:00 AM and 1:30 PM
Listen to the The Chromatics sing about the Universe

11:00 AM and 1:30 PM
Go to a Story time (recommended for children ages 3 and older)
There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars written by Bob Crelin

12:30 PM
Observe the stars of astronomy who will talk about their work and why they love astronomy
* Dr. Vera Rubin–proved Dark Matter exists
* Dr. Nancy Roman–made the Hubble Space Telescope happen
* Dr. George Carruthers–put the first telescope on the moon

2:30 PM
Take a family tour about Women in Astronomy

All Day Activities

Build your own refracting telescope (free with timed-ticket available at the activity table)
Recommended for children ages 8 and older

Make a pocket solar clock
Recommended for children ages 5 and older

Find out about your sun sign and make a constellation
Recommended for children ages 3 and older

Chat with amateur astronomers
Learn about star parties and the International Year of Astronomy

Learn how to help save the night sky
Talk to members of the International Dark Sky Association

** Schedule of events and activities is subject to change **

This event is made possible by the generous support of the Northrop Grumman Corporation.

NASA Honors Gemini and Apollo Astronaut James Lovell


NASA will honor astronaut James “Jim” Lovell, Jr., with the presentation of an Ambassador of Exploration Award for his contributions to the U.S. space program. During a ceremony Friday, April 3, Lovell will accept the award at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum in Lexington Park, Md., and present it to the museum for display.


I went to the SATELLITE 2009 Conference at the convention center in Washington DC. It was interesting to see the other half of the space sector, that being the half that makes money. Human spaceflight and space science are the half that spend money without return. The Astrotech Reception was the first Washington Space Reception where I didn’t recognize anyone in the room. It was still a lovely reception on the bridge over L Street.

In the exhibit hall I discovered CTD – Composite Technology Development and their elastic memory composites which look very useful for building solar power satellites.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Ada Byron Love Lace, born “Ada Byron, the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, was born in December of 1815, and one month later her mother in a bitter and celebrated separation, left the “mad and bad” Byron and took Ada with her.”- Source:

Ada Lovelace was one of the world’s first computer programmers, and one of the first people to see computers as more than just a machine for doing sums. She wrote programmes for Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, a general-purpose computing machine, despite the fact that it was never built. She also wrote the very first description of a computer and of software.

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology. Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Whatever she does, whether she is a sysadmin or a tech entrepreneur, a programmer or a designer, developing software or hardware, a tech journalist or a tech consultant, we want to celebrate her achievements.

Happy Ada Love Lace Day. To Celebrate I am taking three girls to the Baltimore Science Center. This is by chance rather than planning but it is very fitting.

In the field of Space Exploration there are many women to celebrate.

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova – First woman in space

Sally Kristen Ride – First American woman in space.

Peggy Annette Whitson – First Female Space Station Commander

Shannon Matilda Wells Lucid – First American woman to make a long-duration space station mission.

Kalpana Chawla, Laurel Blair Salton Clark, Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe, Judith Arlene Resnik who gave their lives on the Space Shuttle.

Or those who kept their feet on the ground like-

Donna Shirley – Managed Mars Exploration at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Jill Cornell Tarter – Director of the Center for SETI Research.

Who would you like to acknowlegde on Ada Lovelace Day?

U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington DC to Host Open House

U.S. Naval Observatory to Host Open House, 2009 April 4 As Part of IYA 2009 “100 Hours of Astronomy” Program

In celebration of the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s first use of the telescope, the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO have declared 2009 to be the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009). As part of a world-wide celebration of this event, the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) will be sponsoring a free-admission Open House on Saturday, 4 April, from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm. During that time the Observatory’s telescopes will be open for inspection, scientists will explain the mission of USNO’s Master Clock, exhibits will display the Observatory’s history and present work, and local amateur astronomers will share views through their telescopes.

The open house will coincide with world-wide activities promoted by the IYA, specifically the “100 Hours of Astronomy” activities taking place around the globe from April 2 through April 5. The main goal of this effort is to give as many people as possible the opportunity to look through a good-quality astronomical telescope. To this end, USNO’s open house should provide many opportunities for patrons to do so. In addition to safe observation of the Sun during the afternoon, the evening hours will feature a multitude of amateur telescopes that will be trained on the Moon, Saturn, plus a host of other interesting celestial sights.

Once on the grounds, visitors may tour the historic Building 1, home of the Observatory’s worldrenowned James M. Gilliss Library, and its 115 year-old 12-inch Alvan Clark refractor telescope, which will be set up for safe viewing of the Sun, weather permitting. The 26-inch “Great Equatorial” telescope, famous for its discovery of the moons of Mars in 1877 and still in use on every clear night, will also be open for inspection.

The Space Economy Symposium

I attended a half-day symposium on The Space Economy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Friday.

The state of the Space economy is good. It has flattening because of maturing markets, such as GPS receivers which are cost less this year than last and because of the issues in the overall economy. The Satellite Revenue has increase 16% year over year and government funding has provided stability.

Research and development is important for our future in space. DARPA should be used as a model since it cancels nonperforming projects and it stimulates development on the cutting edge. Two areas panelist thought needed government funded research were for the development of large liquid fueled rocket engines and satellite to satellite links.

Other views of the Space Economy Symposium

Rep. Griffith, let’s introduce you to ITAR

The space economy: a public-private partnership?

World Space Week Awards Reception

I went to the World Space Week Awards Reception last night. It was a really nice event. Honorees included Lori Garver- President Capital Space, William Gerstenmaier – Associate Administrator for Space Operations NASA, Edward Weiler – Associate Administrator for Science NASA, Bill Nye -“The Science Guy”. It was a very well attended event. The Reception had great food especially the salmon.

NSS had a good representation Brett Silcox – NSS Associate Director was there. George Whitesides former Executive Director of NSS was there, it was his Birthday. Happy Birthday, George, we hope you have a prosperous year. Honoree Lori Garver is also a past Executive Director.

Orphans Of Apollo at GWU

I went to Inaugural Event of the new Arthur C. Clarke Fellows Endowment of the International Space University. It was a wonderful event, which also included an inspiring tribute to Arthur C. Clarke and a showing of Orphans of Apollo and Q&A with Michael Potter the Director.

Orphans of Apollo is about Walt Anderson and Mircorp leasing of the Mir Space Station for commercial use and all the feathers it ruffled. I wondered about the name because real orphans of Apollo are not interested in anything in orbit except the Moon. The movie takes us on a rollercoaster ride through this attempt at space commercialization. I knew many of the people in the movie during that time. I remember being amused by what they were trying and amazed they got so far.

What I enjoyed most about the evening is seeing how much progress the space movement is making. George Whitesides attended reminding us that the presidential transition team included the Executive Director of NSS, the former Executive Director of the NSS Lori Garver and a former NSS Board Member Alan Ladwig. This week government officials seemed to be looking at Space Solar Power as something worthy of research funding. The movie Orphans of Apollo included a clip with Elon Musk and Space-X which are becoming serious contenders in the launch field. But the thing that was giving me the most hope was the event itself especially Michael Potter’s speech which would have done Rick Tumlinson proud.

Listening to Michael Potter speak at an event sponsored by the George Washington University Space Policy Institute is like seeing cars drive under the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. As a teenager I used to live in Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was one of the last things I saw in the city before I left. At the time there were groups of heavily armed soldiers about 20 yards apart, on each side of the Brandenburg gate, with guns pointed at each other. No one had passed through the gate in decades. Now there is a major street running under the gate when I first saw a picture of it as it is now I stared for 10 minutes trying to get my head around the concept. I feel like that now. The Space Policy Institute under Dr. Scott Pace is a fundamentally different place than it was a year ago.