2018-April- Yuri Gagarin, Skylon, Space Exploration Jeopardy

We had a fantastic April 2018 meeting of the NSS North Houston Space Society.  We started out with a mixer activity.  Each person was handed a set of 12 cards all describing a space first.  The attendees had to exchange their cards with others to get a complete set.  The entire set was posted for reference. 

I gave a presentation on Yuri Gagarin since April 12 is Yuri’s night.  Yuri’s night is a celebration of April 12, 1961 when Yuri Gagarin achieved the feat of being the first man to circle the earth.  I tried to put the event into the context of world history.  World war 2 had just finished.  The cold war and the 3 world state of global politics, and the competition between the USSR and the West represented by the USA.  I ran through the list of firsts.  And it amazing how quickly we were making progress in space in the 50s and 60s.  (Take a look at the Time of the Space Race on Wikipedia).  Some of the high school students mentioned they were just talking about Sputnik in class.  And some of the older members relayed their memories from those days.  The radio announcements that would tell you when it was flying overhead and ham radio operators were able to hear the “beep….beep…” of Sputnik directly.  And apparently, the second stage was trailing behind it and was big enough to be spotted from earth.    We talked about the enthusiasm in space unto the moon landing when it sort of petered out.  One observation was that since the US did not claim the moon that a lot of people in the US thought what was the point.  I wonder where we would be if we did claim the moon and kept the fires of the space race going.

Doug gave a great presentation on Skylon and Sabre.  It was interesting to learn about the advances

and history with air-breathing rockets.    And the challenges of cooling the compressed air fast enough to keep the system working.

 We played “Space Exploration” jeopardy which was a big hit.  We had categories for “Space Firsts”, “Moonwalkers”, “Private Space Explorers” and “Yuri”.  We, of course, had pizza.    And I passed out an agenda with upcoming space events in the area.

Our next meeting is going to be the second Saturday in May (which is not our normal meeting day).  Be sure and join us on May 12, 2018.

 

 

Upcoming Events

Planned Falcon 9 SpaceX launches: 4/16 – TESS; 4/24 -Bangadbandhu-1; 5/10 (w/reused 1st stage): Iridium NEXT 6 (5x) / GRACE-FO (2X)

 

April meeting of the Clear Lake Area National Space Society & Moon Society Chapter – keep an eye on http://nss-houston-moon.org/ for details

April 12, 2018 6:30 PM – Burke Baker Planetarium – Houston Museum of Natural Science as part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) Distinguished Lecture Series Dr. David Kring presents “From the Earth to the Moon – What Does It Take?” This evening’s presentation will celebrate the launch of the first human in space, the flight of Yuri Gagarin on this day in 1961. Dr.

 

David Kring will recount the history of human travel to the Moon and discuss our future travel. What will it take to return to the Moon? Kring will address the interfaces between science, exploration and operations that are required to ensure our nation’s return to the Moon maximizes productivity while enhancing safety and efficiencies during robotic and crew operations.  Dr. David A. Kring is the head of the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration at the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Dr. Kring is instrumental in academic-industry-NASA joint projects working on robotic lunar lander and rover systems that can be deployed anywhere on the lunar surface – http://store.hmns.org/DateSelection.aspx?item=3925

 

April 19, 2018 (7-8:15PM) (Space Center Houston) – Thought Leader Series: ESA Director General Johann-Dietrich Woerner – How are NASA and the European Space Agency working together? Learn all about this partnership and more at the next installment of Space Center Houston’s Thought Leader Series featuring ESA Director General – https://spacecenter.org/special-events/

April 19, 2018 (Reception: 6:30PM; Lecture: 7PM) (Rice University – Keck Hall – 100) “Inside the Bubble: Earthly Lessons from Life in a Martian Analog” – Brian Ramos, NASA Johnson Space Center, HI-SEAS (Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) mission crewmember – http://rsi.rice.edu/

 

May 4, 2018 – (Novice: 7PM; General Meeting: 8PM – University of Houston) – Houston Astronomical Society – Monthly meeting https://www.astronomyhouston.org

May 12, 2018 (6-8PM) – Monthly NSS North Houston Space Society meeting (Will be the second Saturday in May) (9327 Swansea Bay Dr. Spring, TX 77379) – http://www.NssNorthHoustonSpaceSociety.org

May 24-27, 2018 (Los Angeles, CA) – National Space Society (NSS) 

 

International Space Development Conference (ISDC)http://isdc2018.nss.org/

May 25-27, 2018 (George R. Brown Convention Center, Houston, TX) – Comicpalooza – NASA usually has a big presence, and we might do a panel on the High School Astronaut program – https://www.comicpalooza.com/

2018-March-Humans to Mars and the ZERO-G Experience

The March NSS North Houston Space Society meeting covered the Humans to Mars conference, several members shared their ZERO-G Experience® (two from this past weekend, and one from the first flight in 2004.  There was much discussion before and after the presentation about the Falcon Heavy Launch, Sabre Rocket engines, the idea of shooting a nanosat out of a tube, and much more.

The replay of the Falcon Heavy Launch was playing on a TV.

The Falcon Heavy Launch continues to make me believe that we are really on the cusp of opening up the rest of the solar system.  We have felt that we were on the cusp of this for the past 50 years.  But with the private development, it feels more real than ever before.

We had pizza.

Gary Stephenson spoke about his visit to the first Humans to Mars summit back in 2013.  And we discussed what has changed since then.  And what we have to look forward to.

201305-24 ISDC H2M Recap

Gary Stephenson is a Lead Systems Engineer at United Technologies Aerospace Systems (UTAS) providing systems engineering support for EVA Mobility Unit (EMU) on ESOC program, spacesuit upgrades, new spacesuit product development, and other life support systems development (ECLSS) for NASA, NASA prime contractors, and commercial customers.  Duties include certification of spaceflight hardware, including airlock equipment such as UIAs, FPUs, and IEUs (umbilicals).

The Humans to Mars Summit (H2M) is the most comprehensive Mars exploration conference to address the major technical, scientific, and policy challenges of getting humans to Mars, as well as how such missions can have positive impacts on STEM education, American competitiveness and other important collateral issues. This conference serves as the authoritative and diverse Mars exploration event, involving leading technical and policy experts from NASA, industry, the science community, and academia. There is now a clear consensus among NASA, the aerospace industry and policymakers that a human mission to Mars by the 2030s is not just feasible, but achievable as well, once the proper measures are taken. H2M is an important part of Explore Mars’s ongoing programming to help advance policy and excite the public regarding human Mars missions.

http://www.ExploreMars.org May 8-10, 2018 – George Washington University, Washington D.C.

Nathan & Christopher shared a little of their ZERO-G Experience® last weekend out of Houston Hobby.  ZERO-G will be returning to Houston on September 22, 2018.

 

 

Our next meeting will be Saturday, April 7, 2018.  We are planning to talk about Asteroid mining.   Sign up on our meetup site if you can come:  https://www.meetup.com/Future-North-Houston-National-Space-Society-Chapter/

Here are a few key resources to check out ahead of the next meeting:

Database of asteroids:

http://www.Asterank.com

Space Mining Companies:

http://www.PlanetaryResources.com

http://www.DeepSpaceIndustries.com

 

2018-February – Space Tourism

We had a great February meeting where we had a number of new people attend.  The focus was on Space Tourism – Private citizens paying to go to space.
The Economist predicts that 2018 will be a transformational year for Space Tourism.  There are seven people that have paid to travel to the International Space Station, all facilitated by Space Adventures.

  1. Dennis Tito
  2. Mark Shuttleworth
  3. Gregory Olsen
  4. Anousheh Ansari
  5. Charles Simonyi
  6. Richard Garriott
  7. Guy Laliberté

Attendees were given several questions to answer:

  1. How many private citizens have gone to the international space station?
  2. Who was the first one?
  3. Who was the last one?
  4. Who went twice?
  5. Which ones live in Texas?
  6. How many were men? How many women?
  7. How many Americans?

There was a description of each space tourist around the meeting area to help answer these questions.

We also had pizza.  (Papa John’s this time 🙂 )

We had a brief presentation on space tourism:

We also discussed how Space for Humanity (http://www.SpaceForHumanity.org) is offering the opportunity for 18+ every-day citizens to go on such flights.

We talked about the High School Astronaut program to sponsor one high school student to go on a zero g flight in September:

Read the latest news stories on Space.com: https://www.space.com/topics/space-tourism

Wikipedia has a great article about Space Tourism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_tourism

SpaceX plans to send two tourist around the moon: http://www.spacex.com/news/2017/02/27/spacex-send-privately-crewed-dragon-spacecraft-beyond-moon-next-year

 

2018-January Meeting – Looking back at 2017 and Looking forward to 2018

The NSS North Houston Space Society had our first meeting January 6, 2018 night.  Sixteen people attended.
We started out with a mixer activity.  Each participant was handed a stack of cards containing one of the 12 moonwalkers.  Each person had to trade with others until they got a complete set.
We reviewed a presentation about 2017 space events and the things to look forward to in the coming year.