by Edward Ellegood
Florida Space Development Council
November 10, 2016

 

Bridenstine: This is Our Sputnik Moment, Moon Will Ensure U.S. Preeminence in Space

Exclaiming “this is our Sputnik moment,” Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) said the Moon is the pathway to American preeminence in space. He also addressed comments made several weeks ago by his colleague, Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), that seemed to contradict his approach to government oversight of commercial space activities, saying that the two views are closer than they appear. Bridenstine has become a leading advocate in Congress for passing laws that create a stable legal and regulatory environment for new types of commercial space activities. He has a broad outlook on U.S.civil, commercial and national security space issues. He introduced the American Space Renaissance Act (ASRA) earlier this year as a compendium of legislative provisions that can be incorporated into various pieces of legislation, including authorization and appropriations bills. — Space Policy Online

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NASA Wants Governments to Collaborate on Space Mining for Humanity’s Benefit

Space mining is a reality, so the public and private sector need to collaborate, not compete, to advance humanity, a top NASA official told CNBC on Friday. Alongside tourism, mining is a major hot-button area of research in the multi-billion dollar space industry. The hope is that asteroids near Earth can become developed into mining centers that can send refined materials, rare metals and even clean energy to Earth, Jose Cordeiro, NASA’s energy advisor, told CNBC. So much energy lies beyond Earth that it can help resolve earthly issues, such as climate change, water and food security, he added. But with any new frontier lies the thorny issue of regulation. “We shouldn’t think about countries when talking about the universe, we should be talking about planets. Thinking just about the U.S.A, Russia or China is not the way to go, we have to think about humanity and its continuation outside Earth,” Cordeiro explained. — CNBC

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NASA: We’re Not Racing SpaceX to Mars

If Elon Musk’s SpaceX can get to Mars and bring samples back to Earth before the United States can get there, it would be cause for celebration not lament, said NASA’s new science chief. “If Elon Musk brought the samples in the door right now I’d throw him a party out of my own money,” Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s newly named associate administrator for science, told reporters Monday. “I think that would be a huge success out of the strategies that were pursued by this administration of helping … the private industry to really grow capabilities that 10 years ago were not around,” he said. During his first sit-down with journalists, Zurbuchen also said that polarizing topics, including science issues, need to be tackled with empathy for and patience with people who have opposing viewpoints. — Seeker

 

Space Colonization and the Space Movement

by Mark Hopkins

The National Space Society and its precursor organization, the L-5 Society, have been promoting Space Settlement since 1975. Our ultimate goal is nothing less than the settlement of space and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity. This goal has been moving toward the mainstream at an accelerating pace.

Since then the pace has continued to accelerate. Both SpaceX and Blue Origin, using only non-government funds, have returned launch vehicles to Earth for reuse, signaling an imminent reduction in space transportation costs. Space Settlement is the goal of both of these companies. The Space Exploration Development and Settlement Act was introduced in Congress on March 16, 2016. If passed, the SEDS Act would make Space Settlement an official goal of NASA. Most recently, Elon Musk, head of SpaceX, announced his company’s plans to send the first human mission to Mars as early as 2024. Musk also announced that he will detail SpaceX’s plans to settle Mars during the International Astronautical Congress in late September 2016. This announcement is likely to cause the goal of Space Settlement to make a major jump toward the mainstream. — Ad Astra

 

NSS Working to Influence the Next Administration

by Dale Skran

On Saturday October 8th, 2016, NSS organized a workshop directed at recommending a space policy to the new Administration. Steve Jurvetson, a partner at the well-known Sand Hill Road venture capital firm DFJ hosted the meeting at the DFJ offices. Fifteen thought leaders from government, industry, and academia gathered in a fruitful collaboration to produce a set of five recommendations. NSS Senior VP Bruce Pittman organized the meeting, which included a tour of Steve Jurvetson’s private museum of space artifacts. Additionally, the Alliance for Space Development (ASD), of which NSS is a founding member, is sending a separate position paper to the Trump Transition Team this week. — Ad Astra

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Final Frontier Design Delivers MCP Gloves To NASA

Final Frontier Design has delivered a pair of functional Mechanical Counter Pressure gloves to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. This marks a major milestone in FFD’s fixed-price contract with NASA for MCP gloves and represents a promising alternative in space suit pressure garment design. — FDD

 

 

China Successfully Launches New Heavy-Lift Long March 5

China successfully launched the Long March-5, its largest ever carrier rocket, on Thursday night from the Wenchang launch center. The rocket is expected to become the carrier for the core module of China’s future Tiangong space station, lunar and Mars missions. — CCTV

 

Orbiter 2016 and Other Space Flight Simulators

A long-running flight simulator for space missions recently got another update. Bruce Irving reviews the changes to Orbiter and how it stacks up against other options, like Kerbal Space Program. — Space Review

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Where Does Jeff Bezos Foresee Putting Space Colonists? Inside O’Neill Cylinders

SpaceX’s Elon Musk wants to settle humans on Mars. Others talk about a Moon Village. But Seattle billionaire Jeff Bezos has a different kind of off-Earth home in mind when he talks about having millions of people living and working in space. His long-range vision focuses on a decades-old concept for huge artificial habitats that are best known today as O’Neill cylinders. The concept was laid out in 1976 in a classic book by physicist Gerard O’Neill, titled “The High Frontier.” The idea is to create cylinder-shaped structures in outer space, and give them enough of a spin that residents on the inner surface of the cylinder could live their lives in Earth-style gravity. The habitat’s interior would be illuminated either by reflected sunlight or sunlike artificial light. — GeekWire

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