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:

 

 

 

Next Meeting December 1, 2018

Join us our next meeting of the NSS North Houston Space Society  Saturday (December 1, 2018) at 6PM at my house (9327 Swansea Bay Dr.; Spring, TX 77379).  I’ll send out more details as we get closer and  we have several sites to keep you updated:

We will have a guest speaker in December:

Suzi Bianco is a space architect with a strong background in architecture and urban planning. For 8 years she worked in the engineering company Promon Engenharia, developing large scale industrial and infrastructure projects such as ports, factories, subway systems and power plants. Recently she shifted her career towards space exploration by pursuing a Masters degree in Space Architecture at the University of Houston, from which she graduated in May 2018. Suzi joined Space Cooperative in 2017, and helped found Space Decentral, an autonomous, decentralized space agency. She currently leads operations, community and the Space Mission Activation Process, and is currently working on a number of projects such as Coral, Nasa’s 3D-printed habitat challenge, and Galaktika Orbital City

November 3, 2018 – Monthly Meeting Details – Space Law

Join us our next meeting of the NSS North Houston Space Society  Saturday (November 3, 2018) at 6PM at my house (9327 Swansea Bay Dr.; Spring, TX 77379).  I’ll send out more details as we get closer and  we have several sites to keep you updated:

We will have a guest speaker in November:

Nathan Johnson is a space law attorney licensed in Washington, DC, and 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.

Nathan Johnson will discuss the history of space law, including the context of when it was created, the structure and principals of the major Outer Space Treaties, and the application of it on an international and domestic level throughout the past 50 years. He will talk about how space law has affected exploration and discovery, and how it will apply to the future of mankind’s endeavors in space.

Recap of our October 6, 2018 Meeting – BFR/BFS

Announcements:

If you are not already a National Space Society (NSS) member, please sign up.  It is only $20.  And if you join through this link, half of that comes back to our chapter to help pay for food, supplies, and anything else that will help us in our mission to keep up on advances in Space Exploration and sharing that with others.

Next month (November), the New Worlds Conference is happing in Austin, TX on November 9-10, 2018.  Find more information and sign up at http://newworlds2018.space/.  There are many great guest speakers and people to meet there.  While I won’t go into them all, there are a few to point out Richard Garriott one of the private space explorers who has spent a week on the ISS will be there.   Dr. Philip Metzger from the UCF Florida Space Institute gave a great presentation covering the moon mining contests that he oversees.  Last years presentation was amazing seeing the variety of approaches to this problem, his analysis of commonality of certain design characteristics of successful designs.  Rick Tumlinson is the main guy behind the conference.  He has been a very successful advocate for space.  Holly Melear who runs STEAMSPACE will be hosting the cities in space contest.  It is amazing to see the creativity of these students.  Bill Gerstenmaier the NASA Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations.  Last year I got to speak to him for a bit before the conference started.  And there are many, many more.  I definitely recommend going!  http://newworlds2018.space/

There are some local events on drones, space talks, and some other related topics that STEM-E, Youth Career Development Program will be hosting.  Check out the events page at https://www.steme.org/events.

BFR/BFS

Did you see the big announcement about DearMoon?  check out this video:

This was announced on Sept 17, 2018 at SpaceX headquarters.  The plans to send a handful of artists around the moon, a group of people that might be able to take that experience and share it in such a way that the billions back here can feel like they were on it too.

More details about the current iteration of the BFR/BFS system can be seen at the announcement:

We seem to be getting BFR/BFS announcements about once a year.  Sept 29, 2017 at  IAC in Adelaide, Australia:

And then the original announcement Sept 27, 2016 at IAC in Guadalajara, Mexico:

My younger son, wife, and I attend this.  We were able to sit in the VIP section because the efforts of the great people over at the reddit SpaceX group

You can see that we are about 4-5 rows from Elon presenting on the stage.  And had a phenomenal view:

The BFR/BFS will open up space in amazing ways:

But how to pay for it?  Use it for point to point transportation here on earth:

Next Meeting:

Join us our next meeting of the NSS North Houston Space Society  Saturday (November 3, 2018) at 6PM at my house (9327 Swansea Bay Dr.; Spring, TX 77379).  I’ll send out more details as we get closer and  we have several sites to keep you updated:

NSS North Houston Space Society – October Meeting – SpaceX BFR

Join us for the October meeting of the NSS North Houston Space Society this Saturday (October 6, 2018) at 6PM at my house (9327 Swansea Bay Dr.; Spring, TX 77379).  We will be having pizza.  Below is the agenda of the meeting. (Feel free to forward and invite others.)
Also, we have several sites to keep you updated:

 

Focus of the meeting will be SpaceX’s BFR

SpaceX has announced the latest design for their BFR Rocket which will allow for global travel to be completed in 30 minutes instead of 12 hours on a plane. It will have the greatest capability and the lowest operational cost of any rocket ever produced. And in 2023 it is planned to send a group of artists around the moon. (The first time that humans have left low earth orbit this century.)
See more:
https://www.spacex.com/mars

Check out: http://dearMoon.earth