The space elevator “games” of yore seem to have petered out, but here’s a new Japanese experiment that may lead to something more permanent.
“The ISS experiment, dubbed Space Tethered Autonomous Robotic Satellite–Mini elevator, or STARS-Me, was devised by physicists from Japan’s Shizuoka University. It will simulate on a small scale the conditions that the components of such a system would encounter. Cameras will examine the movement of a pair of tiny “cubesats” along a 10-meter tether in a weightless environment.”
Environmentalists probably would kill any American attempt to build one, but some other country (like Japan) might get it done.
This report says it’s the first time ever, but I have trouble believing that. There were the early booms and World War II ramped up production as well.
“Meanwhile, however, Texas is on track to become the biggest oil producer after Russia and Saudi Arabia, according to production estimates by HSBC, quoted by CNN.”
“In “Not Close Enough,“ a team consisting of NASA and international astronauts sits in orbit around Mars but doesn’t get to go to the surface. NASA has decided it’s too risky.”
The story is from a good new book Blue Collar Space by Martin Shoemaker. Wherein NASA’s fear of losing astronaut lives is explored. That fear has crippled our space program, space lawyer Laura Montgomery argues. And it makes sense. Such that our only hope to ever land on Mars or do anything else except at great expense is with commercial space, and blowhards like Elon Musk.
Via Ground Based Space Matters
…was actually today, Greenwich Mean Time, though to Americans it will always be July 20th. Me, I was patrolling in Viet Nam during the landing and so was too preoccupied to notice until the the next day.
Revulsion over the war and Watergate killed lunar exploration before its time. We keep hearing presidential promises to go back at some later date but we never have.
For oxygen and water and rocket fuel.
“We’re at the tipping point of a new era in space commerce, where private industry, NASA and international collaborators are joining together to realize the dream of launching humanity into the solar system,” said Hunter Williams, a Colorado School of Mines researcher. “There has never been a more exciting time for furthering science, turning a profit or promoting international cooperation than right now.”
It’s ten years out, but that’s shorter than previous lunar exploration plans.
Via Space dot com
This collection of short stories recommended by novelist Sarah Hoyt looks good so far. The theme and characters remind me of Allen Steele’s novels of men living and working in orbit. Also the rough and tumble Belters of the Expanse.
The future, as the author says, won’t just happen. Someone has to build it.
UPDATE: The author, Martin Shoemaker, wrote Today I Am Paul, a good short story about a sophisticated android who cares for the dying. It’s free here.