Every year the National Space Society (NSS) hosts the International Space Development Conference (ISDC). This conference brings together scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, students, artists and space enthusiasts for several days of engaging discussions, presentations, tours and social events that all focus on the events that are leading rapidly to permanent settlements in space.
This year, it included many well known speakers including Jim Bridenstine (NASA Administrator), Eileen Collins (former NASA Astronaut), Tory Bruno (CEO of ULA), Jeffry Manber (CEO NanoRacks). It included student presentations from approximately 500 students from around the world. And sessions covering the Moon, NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), Bio-Requirements for Space Settlement, Mankind’s Future on Mars, Space Settlement, Achieving Earth Independence, Interstellar, Space Elevators, Space Business, Space Solar Power, Living in Space, Space Transportation, LaunchPad Talks, and the Many Roads to Space.
This year three members of the NSS North Houston Space Society chapter was able to attend. Nathan Price will be giving an overview of what he learned. And encouraging all to attend next year which will be much closer…
All of humanity’s futures can be categorized into two buckets: 1) We stay on Earth Forever. Everything we know or will ever know happens here on this one small mote in the universe. 2) We learn to expand life, civilization and everything beyond Earth. We learn to live everywhere. And while there are no signs of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe, we know that won’t be the case forever. Because people from Earth will spread out into the cosmos.
The National Space Society (NSS) firmly votes for the second future. While it may seem impossible now, we know that if we make steady progress, it will be inevitable. Each month we explore that journey, and we invite everyone, both advocate and skeptic, both novice and expert, to come and explore it with us.
Here is what we covered in the June 1, 2019 meeting. (Thank you Greg Stanley & Doug Hall for putting on a great meeting. Also, thank you C. Stuart Hardwick for taking pictures.)
Greg’s full presentation is available for download.
The International Space Development Conference (ISDC) will be held June 6-9, 2019 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, VA. https://isdc2019.nss.org/ Nathan, Sonia, and Christopher Price will be attending and will share the experience at our next monthly meeting on July 6, 2019.
Other Space Events at the Barbara Bush Library
Moon Men & Rock Stars: True Tales of Apollo Astronauts and Planetary Scientists. Judy Allton: storyteller, also curator of solar wind collectors for JSC at NASA, and previously worked with Apollo lunar soil cores •Includes updates on Apollo samples soon to be opened and analyzed for the first time since collection 50 years ago. 6/14/2019, 4:30 PM, Barbara Bush Library, Earl Elliott Room (Foyer)
Saturday Shorts with CineSpace (http://CineSpace.org) 6/22/2019, 2:00 PM, Barbara Bush Library, Earl Elliott Room (Foyer)
Come learn about space exploration and its impact on our lives here on earth. Join us as we share the latest happenings and discuss our exciting future among the stars. All ages and knowledge levels welcome.
Barbara Bush Library – Saturday, June 1, 2019 – 3PM
We had a great May 4th meeting at the Barbara Bush Library. Herb Baker came and shared highlights of his 40+ year career at NASA. It was fascinating to hear first hand about how the events of the post-Apollo and Shuttle era unfolded. And before he started at NASA, he worked for the TV networks helping with logistics coverage of the Apollo program.
As a token of Thanks, the NSS North Houston Space Society presented Herb Baker with a EcoSphere. Unlike the shrimp who are trapped in their self-contained world, we have people like Herb Baker to help us break free into the universe.
Nathan Price also hosted a conversation on “Why Space?” focusing on how space improves our vision of the earth, the earth within the universe and of our place in the universe. “We go to the moon not because of what we will do to the moon. We go to the moon because of what the moon will do to us.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
“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.
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.)
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.