Climate Engineering Or Space Solar Power Which is the Better Option?

Obama looks at climate engineering

The president’s new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth’s air. John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month that the idea of geoengineering the climate is being discussed.

One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort.

“It’s got to be looked at,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of taking any approach off the table.”

I have seen several comments to this article suggesting that Space Solar Power would be a far cheaper solution. I have to agree. Also Space Solar Power would be far safer. Once you put stuff into the atmosphere it is hard to get it back.

If the government is so worried about global warming that they are even considering climate engineering then the government should be funding development and construction of Solar Power Satellites and lunar construction facilities for Solar Power Satellites. Regardless of the business case or cost of the power since Space Solar Power would have a lower net cost (cost of construction and operation minus profit from power sold) and would be far safer than climate engineering.

The US could easily significantly reduce world wide carbon emissions if we beamed low cost carbon free power to the entire globe. We have the technology. The only question is do we have the will?

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.

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.

Global Warming Debate Heating Up

Harrison Schmitt doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming. “I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect,” said Schmitt.
Former astronaut speaks out on global warming

Imagine There’s No Global Warming


On the other side John P. Holdren, President Obama’s choice to advise him on matters of science policy says  “Climate change is real, it is accelerating, it is caused in substantial part by human activity, it is dangerous and it is getting more so,”
Climate Change by Frank Morring Jr. for Aviation Week.

This should get interesting. I propose we act as if we are causing it while we figure out if we are.

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP)

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP)

The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP), based at NASA Ames Research Center, has undertaken the task of translating the original analog data from 1,500 tapes taken from the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft into digital form. The Lunar Orbiter images were taken in the 1960s by cameras onboard five separate Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. They were captured on magnetic tapes and then transferred to film for analysis. Unfortunately, the full resolution of those images was not available because the technology didn’t exist to extract it all. Thankfully, the tapes were saved from destruction decades ago by Nancy Evans, co-creator of the Planetary Data System. Now the digitized LOIRP images, which are the highest-resolution taken of the lunar surface to date, can finally be analyzed.

LOIRP, the brainchild of Dennis Wingo and Keith Cowing, has faced many challenges, including resurrecting antiquated equipment and image processing techniques.

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Overview

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP) Progress Report 5 February 2009

The Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research

The Barringer Crater Company has established a special fund to support field work by eligible students interested in the study of impact cratering processes. The Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research will provide a small number (3 to 5) of competitive grants each year in the range of $2,500 to $5,000 USD for support of field research at known or suspected impact sites worldwide. Grant funds may be used to assist with travel and subsistence costs, as well as laboratory and computer analysis of research samples and findings. Masters, doctoral, and post-doctoral students enrolled in formal university programs are eligible. Applications to the Fund will be due by April 10, 2009, with notification of grant awards by June 8, 2009.

Biography of the Barringers

Application for Students

Flyer for Posting at Your Institution