Lee Jones Reporting From The New Mexico Space Port Ground Breaking

July 19th, 2009. A date that will forever change the way we view space flight. In the arid desert just west of the mountain range that defines the western border of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, a group of about 420 space enthusiasts, press and dignitaries gather to witness an historic event. The ground breaking of the first commercial Spaceport on planet earth, Spaceport America was about to take place. With all eyes focused across the desert sands and brush, bright metallic figures approach from the not too distant east as spine chilling music played. Conquistadors! The first explorers to discover this great land called New Mexico approached. Commemorating the true spirit of exploration, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson among other distinguished dignitaries remember the legacy of spaceflight in its early beginnings just a short distance away. The first picture of planet earth from space was taken from a V2 rocket launched just a few miles away. A historic letter found in the New Mexico government archives was presented by Governor Richardson on behalf of this great state to Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic. This letter written by Governor jack Campbell in the early 1960’s and addressed to President John F. Kennedy stated; Dear President Kennedy. In light of this historic event, this great nation has now found its way to space. This is a true beginning that someday will evolve into commercial space transportation of people and cargo to space. Please consider the great state of New Mexico as that place where commercial space transportation should begin. This great visionary and the people of planet earth have now witnessed this dream come to pass. As each rocketeer scooped the desert sand and placed it in a small capsule, preparations were made to load the sand on to a rocket which ultimately closed the ceremony as it was launched toward space. Planet earth has now entered a new era in space travel and the sky is no longer the limit and commercial space is no longer a dream. It’s reality! 

Lee Jones 

Space Ambassador Program Director

Finalists Selected for the Heinlein NewSpace Business Plan Competition

Finalists Selected for the Heinlein NewSpace Business Plan Competition

After a thorough selection process, the Space Frontier Foundation is pleased to announce the 10 finalists for the Heinlein NewSpace Business Plan Competition. The winner will be announced at the Apollo 11 Anniversary Gala during the NewSpace 2009 Conference.



The Obama Administration today announced the launch of an independent review of planned U.S. human space flight activities with the goal of ensuring that the nation is on a vigorous and sustainable path to achieving its boldest aspirations in space. The review will be conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of experts led by Norman Augustine, the former CEO of Lockheed Martin, who served on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology under Democratic and Republican presidents and led the 1990 Advisory Committee on the Future of the U.S. Space Program and the 2007 National Academies commission that produced the landmark report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, as well as a number of other high-profile national

Reactions to the new Commission

The Philosophy of Space by Dennis Wingo
Bob Park gets his wish: “It’s time for another Augustine Report” by Michael Huang
Augustine and Griffin from the archives – Space Politics

Other Links
Report of the Advisory Committee On the Future of the U.S. Space Program December 1990

Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future

COTS – D to get $80 Million

COTS D – Commercial Human Spaceflight to get at least $80m

NASA and the White House have agreed for the first time to release money to the human spaceflight option in its Commercial Orbital Transportation Services, or COTS program.

Under an agreement hammered out with the White House, NASA announced today on Capitol Hill that it will provide the COTS program with $150 million of the $400 million for human exploration given to NASA under President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan.  

According to industry insiders, about $80 million of the $150 million is specifically for a “crewed launch demo.” The rest was broken down into $42 million for a docking system to the international space station, $20 million for a cargo transportation demo and $8 million for miscellaneous aspects of the COTS program, including human rating.

Space Elevator Conference 2009

Space Elevator Conference 2009

Explore the frontiers of space exploration this summer with a four-day conference on the Space Elevator in Redmond, Washington at the Microsoft Conference Center.

Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Space Elevator is a radical new way to access space less expensively than possible with chemical rocket technology. The technology offers solutions to many of the problems facing communities today, including but not limited to the need for clean, renewable energy.

The Space Elevator uses a carbon nanotube ribbon that stretches from the surface of the earth to a counterweight in space. Climbers ascend the ribbon, lifting cargo and passengers to earth orbits and launching space ships to distant planets.

The 2009 Space Elevator Conference focuses on all aspects of Space Elevator development, engaging an international audience of scientists, engineers, educators, managers, entrepreneurs, enthusiasts and students. This conference will feature topical discussions in all of the four pillars of Space Elevator development: science/technical, political/social, legal, and economic. Other topics include the space missions and the style of life on Earth that Space Elevator technology will enable.

The conference is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation.

Frontiers of Propulsion Science by Marc G. Millis and Eric W. Davis

Frontiers of Propulsion Science is the first-ever compilation of emerging science relevant to such notions as space drives, warp drives, gravity control, and faster-than-light travel – the kind of breakthroughs that would revolutionize spaceflight and enable human voyages to other star systems. Although these concepts might sound like science fiction, they are appearing in growing numbers in reputable scientific journals. From AIAA

Congratulations Marc!

Frontiers of Propulsion Science
Marc G. Millis, NASA Glenn Research Center
Eric W. Davis, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin

Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics Series, 227
Published by AIAA, © 2009, 739 pages, Hardback
ISBN-10: 1-56347-956-7
ISBN-13: 978-1-56347-956-4