Saturday, October 3, 2020 – Monthly Meeting – 2 PM US Central – ONLINE – Featured Speaker: Richard D. Easton – GPS Declassified

Join us for our Monthly NSS North Houston Space Society ( meeting. Come join others who are excited about exploring the cosmos, learning how to use the resources of space to improve human life, and who want to go and spread humanity to the rest of the universe.

The meeting will be on Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2PM (CDT) ONLINE Via ZOOM:

Tentative Agenda:
2:00 PM – Opening Remarks – Nathan Price
2:10 PM – Space Communicator Speech
2:20 PM – Recent Space News – Greg Stanley
2:45 PM – “GPS Declassified” – Richard D. Easton
3:30 PM – Q&A
3:45 PM -Share your personal space experiences since the last meeting. Rocket Launches, Other Meetings, Research, etc.
4:00 PM – End of Meeting

About GPS Declassified – Richard D. Easton

Richard Easton is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and works for an insurance operation in Irving, Tx. He has degrees from Brown University and the University of Chicago.

He has written and spoken widely on the history of GPS. He is the co-author of GPS Declassified: From Smart Bombs to Smartphones. It was selected for the 2016 Professional Recommended Reading List by the National Security Space Institute and was used in 2019 as a textbook by the Air Power School.

He gave a plenary address in 2009 to the Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference of the AIAA. He spoke in 2012 to the British Interplanetary Society and the National Maritime Museum. He has also talked at the Explorers Club and Air Force Space Command where Gen John Hyten, then its commander and now Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, introduced the talk. He has been on the John Batchelor Show and the Milt Rosenberg Show where he appeared with Paul Spudis.

Richard grew up with the space program. His father Roger Easton co-wrote the proposal for Project Vanguard and designed Vanguard 1 which is the oldest satellite still in orbit. He later played a major role in inventing GPS. In 2006, he received the National Medal of Technology from President Bush.

About GPS Declassified

GPS Declassified examines the development of GPS from its secret, Cold War military roots to its emergence as a worldwide consumer industry. Drawing on previously unexplored documents, the authors examine how military rivalries influenced the creation of GPS and shaped public perceptions about its origin. Since the United States’ first program to launch a satellite in the late 1950s, the nation has pursued dual paths into space—one military and secret, the other scientific and public. Among the many commercial spinoffs this approach has produced, GPS arguably boasts the greatest impact on our daily lives.

Told by the son of a navy insider—whose work helped lay the foundations for the system—and a science and technology journalist, the story chronicles the research and technological advances required for the development of GPS. The authors peek behind the scenes at pivotal events in GPS history. They note how the technology moved from the laboratory to the battlefield to the dashboard and the smartphone, and they raise the specter of how this technology and its surrounding industry affect public policy. Insights into how the system works and how it fits into a long history of advances in navigation tie into discussions of the myriad applications for GPS.

About the Meeting

Meetings are open to all age groups and interest levels. Come explore with us the potential that developing and exploring space has to better life here on earth and to open up new frontiers creating new perspectives that can help enrich the human experience.

The Vision of NSS is people living and working in thriving communities beyond the Earth, and the use of the vast resources of space for the dramatic betterment of humanity.

The Mission of NSS is to promote social, economic, technological, and political change in order to expand civilization beyond Earth, to settle space and to use the resulting resources to build a hopeful and prosperous future for humanity. Accordingly, we support steps toward this goal, including human spaceflight, commercial space development, space exploration, space applications, space resource utilization, robotic precursors, defense against asteroids, relevant science, and space settlement oriented education.

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SUMMARY of Saturday, September 5, 2020 – Monthly Meeting – Dr. Moriba Jah (University Texas at Austin)

Opening Comments – Nathan Price

Nathan Price, NSS North Houston Space Society President, opened with a few remarks to set the stage of why we have these meetings and what the point of it is. Our future can be an amazing thing. We can address all resource issues, have unlimited opportunity and adventure for all. This is the promise of space exploration. There is more off of the earth than on it.

Imagine a future where energy is limitless, all metals and resources are cheap, and we are constantly pushing the boundaries of what we know and what we can do.

The alternative is that we need to stick with what we have. And we need to get as much of it for ourselves as possible. Because in order for us to have something, some believe, we must take it from others.

But this is a false choice. What is more limited than land? “Invest in land, because they are not making any more of it.” was investment advice I once heard. But yet, the crops produced from land has change radically overtime. Because we learned better ways to grow crops. And the amount of labor to grow those crops have plummeted overtime.

Every brain that we put towards solving the actual physical problems of humanity, the better it is for everyone. And sometimes that person with the key insight that opens doors for all of us, comes from the most unexpected place.

High School Aerospace Scholars – Sashreek Bhagavatula

Sashreek Bhagavatula had participated in the High School Aerospace Scholars program. This program is available to Texas high school juniors that are US Citizen. It is a year long virtual relationship with NASA includes Interactive lessons on NASA activities related to space exploration, earth science, technology and aeronautics, Design challenges such as 3D drawing, video creation and interactive poster design, and Virtual chats with NASA engineers and scientists.

The highest achieving students get to go to an one week workshop at the Johnson Space Center. There they get to participate on Team projects and briefings directed by NASA engineers and scientists. And perform a Hands-on design challenge and engineering activities planning an Artemis-themed mission. And get tours of NASA facilities.

If you are interested in applying, then check out their website:

Important dates:

Application OpensTuesday, September 8, 2020
Information SessionWednesday, September 23, 2020 from 6 to 7 p.m. CDT Click Here for info session.
Information SessionTuesday, October 6, 2020 from 5 to 6 p.m. CDT Click Here for info session.
Information SessionWednesday, October 14, 2020 from 4 to 5 p.m. CDT Click Here for info session.
Application ClosesWednesday, October 21, 2020, 2 p.m. CDT
Online SessionNovember 2020 – February 2021
Student SelectionsApril 2021
Onsite WorkshopsTBD

Recent Space News – Greg Stanley

There is an increasing amount of space exploration and development activity between each of the meetings that we could easily devote the entire meeting just reviewing what has happened in the past month. Greg Stanley did a wonderful job of sifting through all the bits of news and bringing out some of the key points.

“Monitoring, Quantifying, and Assessing the Near-Earth Anthropogenic Space Object Population: The Foundation to Space Traffic Management” – Moriba Jah – Astrodynamicist – UT Austin

Dr. Moriba Jah described the challenges with observing, tracking, and predicting orbital debris in the near earth environment. He has been working with colleagues and students to create a set of tools that help to combine information from multiple sources and to create a common way of sharing the data and communicating about it.