We encourage you to attend ISDC, May 27-31, 2010, in Chicago, IL, USA.
29th International Space Development Conference Theme: Four Decades After Apollo: Getting Back to the Future
Details on their site: http://isdc.nss.org/2010/?page=home
We encourage you to attend ISDC, May 28-31, 2009, in Orlando, FL, USA.
The OpenLuna has an affiliation with ISDC. For more info:
28th International Space Development Conference
Dear Friends, The National Space Society's 28th annual International Space Development Conference, ISDC 2009, online registration closes Sunday, May 24. Onsite registration is higher. Register at http://www.isdc2009.org/node/60 today to guarantee your seat at the luncheons and dinners
ISDC has an impressive line-up speakers from NASA to Commercial Space, from Apollo astronauts to Shuttle astronauts. Make sure you check out the growing list of speakers http://www.isdc2009.org/speakers and the program grid http://www.isdc2009.org//programming
REGISTER TODAY today for the citizen space conference of the year!
Online Secondary Meal Registration is also closing SUNDAY! Meal tickets for ISDC 2009 are on sale now at http://www.isdc2009.org/secondary_registration
ISDC registration is a la carte. One low registration rate permits admission into all general sessions. Meals are purchased separately. Professional Rate Registration includes all meals. After Sunday, tickets to meals are strictly limited and may not be available. The only way to guarantee at seat at a meal is to register by SUNDAY. Projected Keynote Speaker Schedule for Meals (subject to change): Thursday Luncheon:
Elon Musk, Co-founder of PayPal and Space Exploration Technologies
Richard Garriott, Sixth private citizen to conduct a space mission
aboard the ISS Friday Luncheon:
Janet Petro, Deputy Director, NASA Kennedy Space Center
Friday Gala Dinner:
Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 Astronaut and Chairman, B612 Foundation
Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut; Founder, ShareSpace
Foundation; NSS Governor Saturday Dinner:
John Mankins, President, Space Power Association
Purchase your tickets now at http://www.isdc2009.org/secondary_registration before it is too late!
Navigaiter attended this convention and wrote an article on it. Here it is for dear OpenLuna pioneers.
Buzz Aldrin in "The Age of Space" by Allen Meece
Growing up on Air Force bases in the nineteen-fifties, I had the Space travel expectations of most post-war kids. We had seen wartime leaps of technology and we logically expected them to jump into the “Conquest of Space” but that conquest became a cruel sham of a show.
Why would kids want and even need, to go to Space? (I capitalize the word Space because it’s a realm of its own.) Because it was the source of great fiction and movies. It offered adventure and discovery on a new frontier where the old rules were passé and where we could make our own rules. We weren’t looking for new materials for earthbound advertisers, we were looking to have fun and enjoy a meaningful, cutting edge lifestyle. And yes, we wanted to escape the surly bonds of conservative earthbound society.
In 1961, President Kennedy said words which started a real Space program and which still excite us space buffs; “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills…” In other words, we choose to go to Space because we think we can. The statement was the precursor to President Obama’s powerful simple motto of hope, “Yes we can.”
The Apollo Program began in 1961. Our dreams began happening. Majestic rockets called Saturns began launching from Cape Canaveral. The miracle happened in 1969: A human being walked on the moon. We could look up at the night sky and say “There’s people on the moon but you can’t see them even with binoculars. They’re a quarter of a million miles away.” A quarter of a million miles beyond all other humans. Space got smaller. Six more lunar flights followed the immortal flight of Apollo 11 and its crew of Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins. (Buzz’s actual first name is Edwin but don’t tell him I told you.)
We're off to the races. We were happy to understand that soon we would enjoy CATS, the acronym for Cheap Access To Space. We assumed that NASA, (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, hereinafter referred to as nasa, since it doesn’t deserve the respect of capital letters and its acronym has evolved into a word which is defined as “1, duping the public on an astronomical scale“, or, “2. altering the course of human destiny without the humans knowing it“), is on our side and therefore space travel will get better and cheaper and will follow a normal trajectory of improvement. Uh oh. You know what happens when one assumes something. It makes an ass out of u and me.
Then, along comes a president called Richard Milhouse Nixon. (“Millstone Nixon,” he could be called). Demonic Politics joins and delays The Quest for Space as President Nixon symbolically kills President Kennedy, again, by killing a space program that was working. “Tricky Dick” slashes nasa’s budget to less than that it was before Apollo moon flights. The manned space flight program is hurt so much that it remains frail into the next century. Two Saturn V rockets were actually abandoned on the assembly line and were given away as Space flight souvenirs. These grounded exhibitions of Nixon’s meanness were sent to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and to the Johnson Space Center near Houston Texas.
Nasa became a political supplicant with one hand outstretched and the other holding its hat as it asked for money and tried to please every political breeze. It started a public relations circus that told us it was the gateway to the stars and told us to be good little boys and girls and study hard so that one day we could become astronauts while it was forced to become The Gatekeeper of Space. Nasa canceled, (or was forced to cancel by hostile congressmen or competitive aerospace conglomerates), good projects such as the X-38 Crew Return Vehicle, a lifting body spacecraft which was sponsored by the European Space Agency as a little twenty-seven-foot, all-around useful and economical space ship. Nasa canceled that little space boat for those reasons but blamed it on the tired alibi of budget constraints. Somebody didn’t want a bunch of civilians running around the “high ground” of outer space. Nasa canceled the SpaceHab, a marvelous inflatable habitation structure where people could live in Space. Somebody didn’t want civilians living in the future battleground of Space. But nasa said otherwise. “It’s the budget, stupid,” went the perennial lie.
The money was there. It just went to other things that wouldn’t lower the cost of Space access. Things like the oxymoronic “space shuttle.” Originally claiming it would “shuttle” off to space every month or better, nasa’s lucky to get off the ground every couple of months. Their orbital ticket to ride costs at least ten thousand dollars a pound and that ain’t CATS, it's more like COPS, COrporate Profit from Space. It's SpaceProfit for two giant quasi-monopolies, MacBoeing and LockMart. It keeps us on the ground.
In 2009, nasa has a “Vision for Space” program with hardware that is similar to that the 1969 Apollo program. Also in 2009, Richard Branson, an adventurous long-distance balloon pilot and brilliant entrepreneur, started an actual spaceline and said on his website; “Virgin Galactic is the world's first spaceline. Giving you the groundbreaking opportunity to become one of the first ever non-professional astronauts. Virgin Galactic will own and operate its privately built spaceships, modeled on the remarkable, history-making SpaceShipOne.”
The mother ship, a fly back booster for the actual SpaceShipTwo, which will take the passengers into space, has been test-flying since July 2008. The man’s for real. At his company’s website you can make a ten percent down payment towards the $200,000 flight to space which could take place within a few years. Don’t laugh, two hundred and fifty people have already laid their money down.
The International Space Development Conference took place on May 28 in Orlando. It’s an annual meeting of the National Space Society, NSS, a non-profit Space activist company I belong to. We moan and wheedle for Cheap Access to Space, CATS. We’re glad that the civilian paceShipOne hopped into Space in 2004 to win the Ansari X-prize but that’s not the same as getting into orbit where Space voyages begin.
Two Space activist war horses, Bob Zubrin, The Mars Society president and Buzz Aldrin, second person on the moon, were speakers at the conference. Referring to two classic science fiction movies, one predicting commercialized cannibalism and the other, endless adventure, Zubrin predicted that “We will either have a ‘Soylent Green‘ future or a ‘Star Trek‘ future.”
Bob‘s reason for settling Mars goes beyond NASA’s wimpy economic justification. (NASA is hereinafter referred to as nasa, since their performance doesn’t warrant capital letters and their acronym has evolved into a noun meaning “a group that fools everybody“). Bob fiercely claimed, “America was settled for hope, not for greed. We’re going to Mars not to give the world more Teflon but to give the world more freedom!”
Buzz Aldrin knows the political nature of the Conquest of Space and has coined a phrase to describe what must occur before nasa can help CATS. He remembers the vast difference between Presidents Jack Kennedy and Dick Nixon. “My ‘Six-P‘ law proclaims that there is a -- Prerequisite Presidential Pathway for Permanent Planetary Presence.”
Luckily, Barak Obama favors a vigorous Space policy.
Buzz uses his renown to inspire others. He quotes T.S. Eliot: “Only those who risk going too far can find out how far one can go.” Buzz’s motto is “Impossible is do-able.”
Buzz loves the moon as much as anyone but he has to disagree with nasa’s short-sighted emphasis on building lunar infrastructure.
“Nasa’s new vision of space access is a dead end,” Buzz says. “The moon is dead. It’s uninhabitable. It may be a way station to Mars but don’t repeat Apollo. Instead, enable a new Space homesteading. Let the next generation make a history of their own.”
Space fans love hardware, the Space enabler. There would be no Star Trek if there were no “Enterprise.” Buzz is still in love with Space travel and he knows the hardware. His wisdom, experience and intelligence, (he holds a doctorate in celestial mechanics from M.I.T.), certifies the truth that we should be making “Fly-back boosters and lifting body spacecraft and fuel tanks that can be taken into space for making habitations.”
Nasa, the Gatekeeper of Space, denies those Space craft to American citizens. Instead, it recycles overpriced Apollo designs which are useless for CATS, proving that nasa works for the military and the big aerospace contractors, not for civilian pioneers.
Buzz confirms another reason for nasa‘s too-expensive hardware. “Stop the competition, use foreign landers and boosters. Become partners with India and China,” the former Lunar Module Pilot implores.
Buzz is exasperated with nasa’s denial of common sense. He half-jests when he says “If they don’t start making the right things, I‘ll just have to move to a Pacific island and watch.” Just then the hotel dishwasher came to the kitchen door behind the speaker’s platform and took a picture of the lunar astronaut’s back. Boy, he was actually that close to a man who had walked on the moon. A moonwalker hero to whom nasa is not allowed to listen. They are too politicized to do the right thing for CATS. And the NSS just keeps on moaning. Save us a place on the island, Buzz.