Many people have cited science fiction as instilling in them an interest in space exploration. For me it wasn’t just science fiction but also space art, not to mention the space program itself. The vision of artists like Chesley Bonestell allowed me to imagine myself standing on the surface of other worlds – heady stuff for a kid.
Very early on NASA realized the power of art to capture the historic nature of our first steps out of the cradle. Art not just to illustrate yet to be built hardware but art to capture the emotional aspect of space exploration. NASA created the NASA Art Program in 1962 and gave artists unprecedented access to the astronauts and facilities so that those artists could share their impressions with the world.
NASA/ART: 50 Years of Exploration is a new book that features a broad sampling of the art produced by the NASA Art Program. I recently wrote a review of that book and provided a number of links to related space art resources. Read the NASA/ART: 50 Years of Exploration book review
In 2006-2007 I managed the NSS’ first ever space art contest and production of the 2008 Space Settlement Calendar. For me the project was a true pleasure in that we were able to facilitate the creation of some great space art. You should check out the 2008 NSS Space Settlement Calendar Art Contest Gallery. The contest was repeated in 2007-2008 for the production of a calendar for 2009. If you don’t have a calendar for 2009 yet and you are a lover of space art, I highly recommend the NSS Space Settlement 2009 Wall Calendar which is currently on sale at a discounted price. Of course the proceeds go to support the National Space Society’s programs and projects like the International Space Development Conference.
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.
Spacefest is being held in San Diego this year at the Town and Country resort, from February 19-22. It will be the largest gathering of pioneer astronauts in the area, as well as some of the most compelling, charismatic and expert astronomy speakers on the planet.
There will also be the world’s largest Space Art exhibit, featuring NASA artists, as well artists from TV, movies, documentaries, books, magazines, and digital media.
A reception, banquet, luncheon, autograph show and a Thursday golf tournament will give folks a chance to share a meal and rub elbows with our celebrity guests.
Admission is $30 daily/$65 all weekend (in advance), or $50 daily/$95 for all weekend at the door. Active military cheerfully admitted for only $10/day or $20 for a military family.
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.
Jack Morton Auditorium, George Washington University, 805 21st St. N.W.
“Join this band of rebels out to change the course of history in space, as they board a private Gulf Stream jet, fly to Russia and negotiate one of the most remarkable business deals of the final frontier. ”
American Astronautical Society
Space Frontier Foundation
ISU-USA Alumni Association
Society of Satellite Professionals International
National Space Society
Women In Aerospace
The Progress & Freedom Foundation
All gifts to the International Space University are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. A non-deductible cost of $15 per person must be accounted for in reporting this philanthropic gift for those attending the reception. Donations benefit ISU’s Arthur C. Clarke Fellowship Endowment and General Scholarship Fund and the George Washington University Space Policy Institute Fund for ISU Scholarships.
MOUNTAIN VIEW and LONG BEACH, Calif. — (TED CONFERENCE) — February 3, 2009 – With the support of NASA, Google and a broad range of technology thought leaders and entrepreneurs, a new university will launch in Silicon Valley this summer with the goal of preparing the next generation of leaders to address “humanity’s grand challenges.” Singularity University (SU) (www.singularityu.org) will open its doors in June 2009 on the NASA Research Park campus with a nine-week graduate-level interdisciplinary curriculum designed to facilitate understanding, collaboration, and innovation across a broad range of carefully chosen scientific and technological disciplines whose developments are exponentially accelerating.
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
Frontiers of Propulsion Science
Marc G. Millis, NASA Glenn Research Center Eric W. Davis, Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin
I am presently writing comments on a Space Policy Paper and I was pointing the author to a column written by my father, John G. Cramer for Analog Magazine TWENTY years ago. The second paragraph is terribly timely so much so it is scary.
I’ve just returned from Vancouver, BC, where I was Science Guest of Honor at V-Con. Dr. David Stephenson, a Canadian space scientist, remarked there that each nation seems to play its own national game in space. The Russians play Chess, plotting their moves with a strategy that looks decades into the future. The Japanese play Go, systematically surrounding each technological territory with their pieces until they make it their own. The Europeans play Bridge, kicking a lot under the table while presenting a smooth performance above its surface. And what of the USA? Well, in the 1960’s we were playing Monopoly. But now, under the present policies of NASA, we seem to have switched to Trivial Pursuits …
By the time you read this some 4-6 months from now, our democratic processes will have elected a new president. He will, among other things, have to decide what to do about the NASA problem. At minimum a new NASA Administrator must be appointed, and perhaps the space agency will also be restructured as some critics are presently suggesting. Will there be further plodding along the dismal path that has lead from the triumph of Apollo to the Challenger Disaster? Will the agency continue to place science far down in the priority queue, going always for the Premature Choice and the job security of mammoth engineering projects. Will NASA continue to withhold any investments in the future, in advanced propulsion technologies, and in new ideas? I hope not.
I hope that the new President will choose carefully when making the decisions on the new head for NASA and on whether to restructure the agency. The new President can get advice from anyone he chooses. I think that he should have a very long talk with Freeman Dyson.
Since George Whitesides has decided to follow other Opportunities.
Posted by Mark Hopkins
Call For Applications For The Position Of Executive Director Of The National Space Society
If you know someone, who you think might make a good candidate, please contact them. Suggest they email their resume to Mark Hopkins at email@example.com AND (for backup purposes) to Bill Gardiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.