Next Monthly Meeting – May 4, 2019 – 3:00-5:00Pm – Barbara Bush Library

Join NSS North Houston Space Society on May 4, 2019 from 3:00-5:00 PM at the Barbara Bush Library (6817 Cypresswood Drive Spring, TX 77379). Learn about the latest happenings in space exploration and about what is just around the corner. Talk to fellow members. (Our members include people of all walks of life. Some have experience in space exploration, some are engineers in other fields, some are business people, programmers, sci-fi writers, students, and people that are interested.) Discussing space exploration with others that are interested in it too is one of the benefits of coming to a NSS meeting.

The May 4th meeting will also feature Herb Baker, Former Manager at NASA/Johnson Space Center. His office provided contract management support to the Flight Operations Directorate, the Safety & Mission Assurance Office, the Human Resources (HR) office, and the Office of the CFO at the Johnson Space Center and included support to operations at NASA’s aircraft operations at Ellington Field. This support covered activities within Mission Control, the Astronaut Office, the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, and the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility among others.


Website:  http://NorthHoustonSpace.org
MeetUp: https://www.meetup.com/Future-North-Houston-National-Space-Society-Chapter/
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/NssNorthHoustonSpaceSociety/

Summary of our April 6, 2019 – meeting – SPACE: Final Investment Frontier featuring Meagan Crawford of the SpaceFund

Nathan Price started by giving an update of recent news and announcements. The first was that future meetings would be held at the Barbara Bush Library (6817 Cypresswood Drive, Spring, TX 77379) and the timing would be changed to 3PM-5PM on the first Saturday of each month.

SpaceX DM-1 had just launched before the last meeting. The Crew Dragon capsule completed all the expected tests and maneuvers. This was a key step towards re-establishing the capability to launch astronauts from the US. This is capability that we have not had since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.

March 26, 2019 – Mike Pence directed NASA to land astronauts on the south pole of the moon by 2024.

SpaceIL’s Lunar lander had launched just before the last meeting. It entered lunar orbit on April 4, 2019 and is expected to land on the surface on April 11, 2019. This will be streamed live. (http://www.visit.spaceil.com/ )

SpaceX completed a test fire of its StarShip hopper. The StarShip will transform human space transportation as the 747 did for commercial airline travel. This is a craft that is 100% reusable, will be able to carry 100+ people at a time, can be used for point to point travel on earth as well as travel to orbit, moon, mars and beyond.

This is a big step towards a city on Mars, moonbase, and point to point travel on earth.

And it is a major step towards the
https://dearmoon.earth/ project which aims to send a group of artists around the moon in 2023.

Then we had our main event. Meagan Crawford from the SpaceFund ( https://spacefund.com/ ) talked about the opportunities and challenges with investing in the space industry, how the SpaceFund are addressing these, and how much the space industry has to catch up to the other areas of investment.


As a “Thank You” for presenting, Meagan was presented with a EcoSphere:

Upcoming events:
Falcon Heavy Launch of Arabsat-6A scheduled for April 10, 2019. ( https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/ )

Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator, will be talking at Rice University Friday, April 12, 2019 from 7-8PM at Keck Hall. Reception at 6:30PM. Free to the public. Registration and updates at
http://spacefrontiers.rice.edu/

And our next meeting is Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Barbara Bush Library 3-5PM.

Herb Baker – Former Manager at NASA/Johnson Space Center

His office provided contract management support to the Flight Operations Directorate, the Safety & Mission Assurance Office, the Human Resources (HR) office, and the Office of the CFO at the Johnson Space Center and included support to operations at NASA’s aircraft operations at Ellington Field. This support covered activities within Mission Control, the Astronaut Office, the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, and the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility among others.

Many good discussions followed the presentations.

Meagan talks to C. Stewart Hardwick (SF Author)

Saturday, April 6, 2019 – 6PM – Space – The Final Investment Frontier – Meagan Crawford – SpaceFund

Space – The Final Investment Frontier

Historically, space investing has been the exclusive domain of governments and billionaires, which has drastically impeded the flow of needed capital for frontier-enabling companies. SpaceFund believes this lack of investor appetite for space startups boils down to two fundamental problems: lack of information and lack of liquidity. SpaceFund has put together a team of experts to close the information gap, by producing and publishing data about the industry, and by acting as an intermediary for investors who know little about the industry. However, the industry’s lack of liquidity and long investment horizons provide a more difficult challenge for would-be space investors. This is where the advent of new digital financial technologies can help significantly increase liquidity by decreasing investment horizons and decoupling project timelines from investor exits. Meagan will discuss the thesis that created SpaceFund, show some of the company’s recent industry research, and explain how this new venture capital firm will help fund the permanent human settlement of space. 

About the Speaker: Meagan Crawford is a NewSpace industry pioneer with a breadth of experience across finance, investing, management, entrepreneurship, communications, marketing, and team building. A strong believer in the power of free enterprise as the driving force that will lift humanity off-world, Meagan is dedicated to several projects focused on building a sustainable, profitable, successful space industry – for everyone.  Meagan is a managing partner of the SpaceFund, a venture capital firm, created to bridge the two most important revolutions of this generation.

Website:  http://NorthHoustonSpace.org
MeetUp: https://www.meetup.com/Future-North-Houston-National-Space-Society-Chapter/
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/NssNorthHoustonSpaceSociety/

Summary of February 2019 NSS North Houston Space Society Meeting – Space Infrastructure & High School Astronaut Contest

At our February 2019 meeting, we had about 30 people attend. Anita Gale was our guest speaker. She spoke about space infrastructure and how the ideas that had been part of the “future history” of the Space Settlement Design Contest are now becoming reality.

In recognition of her efforts and in thanks for coming and speaking at our February meeting, she was presented with the following:

It is an Ecosphere, a completely self contained ecosystem. It has algae that absorb carbon dioxide, produce oxygen and food. The miniature shrimp use the oxygen and eat the algae. It is a materially closed world. These ecospheres usually last for 2 years without problems, but some have been lasted as long as 20 years.

The earth is like the ecosphere. It is small compared to the rest of the universe and it is materially closed (mostly). The significance of this gift is that Anita is helping humanity break free of our materially closed world and to start using the resources of the solar system.

Here Nathan explains:

We also had Mallesh Maharana attend the meeting. He is the winner of the 2018 Space Vacation contest. And he has won a ZERO-G Experience.

Here Nathan explains the program and Mallesh discusses his entry.

It was a great meeting, and I look forward to seeing you at the March 2, 2019 meeting.

Questions about Space Law?

“Who can own the moon?”  “What happens if a rocket from another country damages your property?”  “Can you salvage an abandoned satellite?”  We had an opportunity to talk about these and other questions with Nathan Johnson, a space law attorney licensed in Washington, DC at our November 2018 NSS North Houston Space Society meeting.  

Mr. Johnson now has a space law podcast to talk about these and other topics at http://AstroEsq.com   It comes out every two weeks, and I have learned a lot from listening to it. 

Mr. Johnson has worked in the emerging commercial space industry. He worked at the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation during SpaceX’s first berth with the International Space Station, on Capitol Hill during deliberation over regulating commercial human spaceflight and has consulted for private companies and investors in evaluating new and novel business opportunities in orbit, lunar, and deep space. He also volunteers as the Executive Director of the new Texas Space Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocacy group which works to increase awareness, activities, and action on behalf of the regional Texas space economy.

Next Meeting – March 2, 2019 – Lunar Architectural Developments

Join us at our next meeting of the NSS North Houston Space Society Saturday (March 2, 2019) at 6 PM at my house (9327 Swansea Bay Dr.; Spring, TX 77379).  (Everyone is welcomed, feel free to invite others.)

Lunar Architectural Developments

Returning to the moon has become a topic of renewed interest in the last year or so in the United States. It has also been of great interest in many other countries for the last several years. What has changed recently and why is there so much interest now? What resources are likely to be found on the moon and what will it take to utilize them?
Establishing a lunar capability for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) and manufacturing to create infrastructures that support permanent human expansion beyond the Earth’s surface, while ensuring human survival and quality of life on the Earth, will inherently be a complex and risky venture. What are the technological, economic, legal, and policy challenges to be overcome? What are the expected benefits? How might this be able to work?

About the Speaker:

 David Cheuvront is an independent business and technology advisor, mentor, and consultant with over 40 years of experience in aviation and space, with half of that as a NASA engineer at the Johnson Space Center. He actively supports commercial space initiatives, start-ups, STEM education, and collaborations across diverse disciplines and organizations. He initiated and co-led a NASA Ames economic research project on space development to identify conditions under which lunar mining and propellant production could become investable. Dave previously consulted to the “Evolvable Lunar Architecture” Study by NextGen Space LLC which resulted in the current U.S. Government’s interest in Public Private Partnerships for lunar development. Dave is a member of the NSS Policy Committee.

Website:  http://NorthHoustonSpace.org
MeetUp: https://www.meetup.com/Future-North-Houston-National-Space-Society-Chapter/
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/NssNorthHoustonSpaceSociety/

Rice Space Institute (RSI) Lecture: Expanding Space

Come to the Rice Space Institute(RSI) Lecture this Thursday, January 31, 2019, 7-8PM at Rice (
100 Herring Hall, Rice University6100 Main Street Houston, TX 77005 · Houston, TX)

Then come to the NSS North Houston Space Society meeting on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 to discuss this and other space topics.

FREE EVENT: As part of the Houston Spaceport Frontier Lecture (http://spacefrontiers.rice.edu/) of the 2018-19 season, the Rice Space Institute (http://rsi.rice.edu/) presents Helen Reed, Ph.D., Regents Professor in the Department of Aeronautical Engineering at Texas A&M University, in a talk titled “Expanding Space: Creating the Next Generation of Space Explorers.”

Description: “The increased capability and low cost of micro-satellites
are fueling the way to easy access to space for a wide
range of new space explorers. Dr. Reed will describe
experiences in creating interdisciplinary teams of
students, with industry and government partners, to
engage in design-build-fly of operational small satellites
that advance new technologies and feed into national
initiatives. Combining industry practices with the learning
environment of a university helps drive the next generation
of space exploration. Involving more than 1,000 students
over the years, Dr. Reed’s teams have launched four small
satellites with the U.S. Air Force and NASA and partnered
on many other projects.”

Reed’s Texas A&M page:
https://engineering.tamu.edu/aerospace/profiles/hreed.html

AggieSat Lab: http://aggiesatweb.tamu.edu/

Prior to the lecture, a reception will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Herring Hall on Rice Interactive map: https://myatlascms.com/map/?id=473#!s/key=Herring Hall?m/120254

NOTE: This will be a NON-HOSTED MEETUP.

Find full information about parking on campus here:
https://parking.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=177 ALL PARKING MUST BE PAID BY CREDIT CARD.

To be placed in the mailing list for future RSI lectures and events, go to this page: https://mailman.rice.edu/mailman/listinfo/Spacefrontiers

Next Meeting February 2, 2019 – Space Settlement Design

Join us at our next meeting of the NSS North Houston Space Society Saturday (February 2, 2019) at 6 PM at my house (9327 Swansea Bay Dr.; Spring, TX 77379).  (Everyone is welcomed, feel free to invite others.)
Topic:  Space Settlement Design
Agenda:
6:00 – Pizza/Open discussions
6:20 – Space Settlement Design – Anita Gale
6:50 – Discussion and Wrap Up

Description:

When Gerard O’Neil popularized space settlements decades ago, we believed that people would be living in space by 2019.  The L5 Society and NSS kept the idea alive, and Space Settlement Design Competitions started in 1984 to get high school students interested in living in space.  Now, presentations in technical conferences are showing that serious progress is finally being made to enable space settlements to happen, and part of the path to make it happen was predicted by the high school Competitions.

About the Speaker:

Anita Gale is a member of the NSS Executive Committee and a member of the NSS Space Settlement Advocacy Committee. She has chaired or co-chaired the Space Settlement Sessions for ISDC since 2007.

In 1984, Anita co-founded Space Settlement Design Competitions, industry simulation games that engage high school students in designing future space settlements. The Competitions have evolved into an International activity involving over 1000 students each year on six continents. Anita’s work with Space Settlement Design Competitions was recognized by NSS in 2008 with the presentation of a Space Pioneer Award, in the Category of Educator.

She has worked as a Senior Project Engineer in Space Shuttle Payload & Cargo Integration, for The Boeing Company in Houston. Her professional career started on the Space Shuttle program in 1974, for Rockwell International in Downey, California. She provided conceptual designs for cargo integration on future launch vehicles, contributed to R&D for Shuttle upgrades and future missions of both reusable and expendable launch vehicles, and developed process improvements. She holds three US patents on launch vehicle payload interface standardization and containerization, which are essential technologies for reducing future vehicle processing costs and schedules.  After the end of the Space Shuttle Program, Anita developed cargo integration processes for the Boeing Commercial Crew program.  She retired from Boeing in 2016.

Website:  http://NorthHoustonSpace.org
MeetUp: https://www.meetup.com/Future-North-Houston-National-Space-Society-Chapter/
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/NssNorthHoustonSpaceSociety/

Summary of the January 5, 2019 Meeting – Gateway, Orbits, Space Solar Power

The January 5, 2019 meeting of NSS North Houston Space Society was a big success.  Doug Hall gave us an overview of the Gateway.  Dr. Greg Stanley talked about orbits and the pros/cons of various of each for the Gateway.  Dr. Feng Hsu talked about the benefits of Space Solar Power (SSP) and the need to prioritize it.  And there was much lively discussion before, during, and after the presentations.


In Doug Hall’s presentation, we saw the 2016 plan for the Gateway (previously called Lunar Orbital Platform and Gateway (LOP-G)) which was a slimmed down, minimalist version of the orbital platform with 10% of the pressurized volume of the ISS.   Compared with the version that was announced in summer of 2018 which had 8 modules and would be manufactured by a host of countries.   This would result in agreements between the countries that would make the Gateway “cancellation proof” once it got underway.

David Cheuvront also attended and was able to provide some background of the Gateway back from the Vision for Exploration (VSE) days where the Gateway would also serve as a fuel depot (which is not in the current plans).   In the JSC concept, propellant supplied from terrestrial sources for re-fueling in Low Earth Orbit would facilitate lunar resource development, both of which would precede the development of an L1 Propellant Depot/Gateway.


Dr. Greg Stanley gave a presentation of various orbital parameters, orbit families, and key considerations of each.  He explained the difference between the Low Lunar Orbits, Prograde Circular Orbits, Frozen Lunar Orbits, Elliptical Lunar Orbits, Near Rectilinear Halo Orbits, Earth-Moon L2 Halo Orbits, and Distant Retrograde Orbits.  We looked at the feasibility of reaching each from Earth using Orion, ability to access the surface of the moon, the amount of propellant needed for station keeping, the ability to communicate with Earth, and the ability to cool the station in each orbit with radiators.  After looking at this analysis, it became clear why NASA is interested in the Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO or shortened to NRO). (see the full presentation: Lunar Gateway Orbit Options Presentation)

Dr. Feng Hsu also visited our club.  He is the chair of the NSS Space Solar Power (SSP) Committee and is the NSS Director for our region.  He has worked as a Senior System Engineer at Lockheed Martin and as a Sr. Engineer, Manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.   He pointed out that China has big plans to develop space.  This week they landed a rover on the far side of the moon, and China plans to have manned missions to the moon by 2035 with a permanent lunar base on the south pole.  And with the non-interference provisions of the Outer Space Treaty, the group that gets there first effectively has control.  This will lead to a space race between China and other countries including the US.

Dr. Hsu talked about Space Solar Power (SSP).  China has plans to develop this important energy resource.  And there needs to be an American response.  He proposes the MAGA Project on Energy & Space which would be a concerted effort by the US to ensure that we are able to generate power in space 24/7 and beam it anywhere we need it.  Space Solar Power is an example of space activities improving life here on earth.

Our three speakers were presented with framed pictures from the Falcon Heavy launch back in February 2018.  Thank you Dr. Feng Hsu, Doug Hill, and Dr. Greg Stanley for sharing your knowledge and leading the discussions about these exciting topics.

Before and after the meeting, there were lively discussions.  Several people said that it was the best meeting yet.

Our next meeting will be on February 2, 2019 and Anita Gale will be speaking on Large Space Infrastructure Development.

Description:

When Gerard O’Neil popularized space settlements decades ago, we believed that people would be living in space by 2019.  The L5 Society and NSS kept the idea alive, and Space Settlement Design Competitions started in 1984 to get high school students interested in living in space.  Now, presentations in technical conferences are showing that serious progress is finally being made to enable space settlements to happen, and part of the path to make it happen was predicted by the high school Competitions.

About the Speaker:

Anita Gale is a member of the NSS Executive Committee and a member of the NSS Space Settlement Advocacy Committee. She has chaired or co-chaired the Space Settlement Sessions for ISDC since 2007.

In 1984, Anita co-founded Space Settlement Design Competitions, industry simulation games that engage high school students in designing future space settlements. The Competitions have evolved into an International activity involving over 1000 students each year on six continents. Anita’s work with Space Settlement Design Competitions was recognized by NSS in 2008 with the presentation of a Space Pioneer Award, in the Category of Educator.

She has worked as a Senior Project Engineer in Space Shuttle Payload & Cargo Integration, for The Boeing Company in Houston. Her professional career started on the Space Shuttle program in 1974, for Rockwell International in Downey, California. She provided conceptual designs for cargo integration on future launch vehicles, contributed to R&D for Shuttle upgrades and future missions of both reusable and expendable launch vehicles, and developed process improvements. She holds three US patents on launch vehicle payload interface standardization and containerization, which are essential technologies for reducing future vehicle processing costs and schedules.  After the end of the Space Shuttle Program, Anita developed cargo integration processes for the Boeing Commercial Crew program.  She retired from Boeing in 2016.

Next Meeting January 5, 2019 – NASA Gateway Presentations and Discussions

Join us at our next meeting of the NSS North Houston Space Society Saturday (January 5, 2019) at 6 PM at my house (9327 Swansea Bay Dr.; Spring, TX 77379).  (Everyone is welcomed, feel free to invite others.)
Topic:  NASA’s planned Gateway – Space Station around the moon
Agenda:
6:00 – Pizza/Open discussions
6:20 – NASA’s Gateway – Overview
6:40 – Choosing a Lunar Orbit for the Gateway – Dr. Greg Stanley
7:00 – Alternative Approach – Moon Direct – Keith Dauzat
7:20 – Discussion and Wrap Up

This meeting will feature several small presentations about topics related to the NASA Gateway, an orbital outpost around the moon.

What is it?  What is the history of the idea?  What are the plans?  What alternatives are there?  Is it something that we should support, oppose, or just accept/observe?

Here are some articles that will help you come up to speed about the Gateway.  (Reading them is not required to enjoy the meeting)

Official

Overview Material/Articles

Technical

Opinion and Other Points of View

Summary Infographics: