|The Philadelphia Area Space Alliance (PASA) is an umbrella organization of area space these
American Institute of Architects (AIA)
The Mars Homestead Project
Philadelphia Science Fiction Society (PSFS)
Space Frontier Society
Space Studies Institute (SSI)
World Future Society (WFS)
PASA's history dates back to the 1970s, when it was originally formed as the Space Future
This society later became known as L5 Philadelphia, a chapter of the L5 Society. (The 'L5'
referred to a reference point in space near the Moon well suited for a space colony.)
When the L5 Society merged with the National Space Institute, the National Space Society
was born, and the local space chapter became NSS Philadelphia. To facilitate networking
between space groups, NSS Philadelphia expanded to form the Philadelphia Area Space
Alliance in 1995.
At PASA, its goals are to:
Generate broad, visible public support for a vigorous space movement; encourage private
enterprise efforts in space research and development, invigorating the economy with the
benefits which result;
Support educational efforts related to space research and development;
Create opportunities for public involvement in space development and research
Members of PASA believe that the best ways to be sure we can solve our problems on Earth
are: to develop cheap sources of solar power, instead of using fossil fuels; mine the
asteroids, instead of the Earth; take our manufacturing processes to the Moon and beyond,
instead of polluting the Earth; and provide new living spaces for humanity.
We believe that the government-funded Space Program should evolve into a
free-economy-funded Space Movement. Human destiny is too important to be left to
Our mailing address: PASA, 928 Clinton St. #6, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Earl Bennett (President), Phone: (856) 261-8032 (H), E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mitch Gordon (Public Relations POC), Phone: (215) 625-0670, E-mail:
Philadelphia Area Space Alliance
| NASA Telescopes Help Identify Most Distant Galaxy Cluster
WASHINGTON -- Astronomers have uncovered a burgeoning galactic
metropolis, the most distant known in the early universe. This ancient
collection of galaxies presumably grew into a modern galaxy cluster
similar to the massive ones seen today.
The developing cluster, named COSMOS-AzTEC3, was discovered
and characterized by multi-wavelength telescopes, including NASA's
Spitzer, Chandra and Hubble space telescopes, and the ground-based
W.M. Keck Observatory and Japan's Subaru Telescope.
"This exciting discovery showcases the exceptional science made
possible through collaboration among NASA projects and our
international partners," said Jon Morse, NASA's Astrophysics Division
director at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
Scientists refer to this growing lump of galaxies as a proto-cluster.
COSMOS-AzTEC3 is the most distant massive proto-cluster known,
and also one of the youngest, because it is being seen when the
universe itself was young. The cluster is roughly 12.6 billion light-years
away from Earth. Our universe is estimated to be 13.7 billion years old.
Previously, more mature versions of these clusters had been spotted
at 10 billion light-years away.
The astronomers also found that this cluster is buzzing with extreme
bursts of star formation and one enormous feeding black hole.
"We think the starbursts and black holes are the seeds of the cluster,"
said Peter Capak of NASA's Spitzer Science Center at the California
Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "These seeds will eventually grow
into a giant, central galaxy that will dominate the cluster -- a trait found
in modern-day galaxy clusters." Capak is first author of a paper
appearing in the Jan. 13 issue of the journal Nature.
Most galaxies in our universe are bound together into clusters that dot
the cosmic landscape like urban sprawls, usually centered around one
old, monstrous galaxy containing a massive black hole. Astronomers
thought that primitive versions of these clusters, still forming and
clumping together, should exist in the early universe. But locating one
proved difficult -- until now.
Capak and his colleagues first used the Chandra X-ray Observatory
and the United Kingdom's James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Mauna
Kea, Hawaii, to search for the black holes and bursts of star formation
needed to form the massive galaxies at the centers of modern galaxy
cities. The astronomers then used Hubble and the Subaru telescopes
to estimate the distances to these objects, and look for higher
densities of galaxies around them. Finally, the Keck telescope was
used to confirm that these galaxies were at the same distance and part
of the same galactic sprawl.
Once the scientists found this lumping of galaxies, they measured the
combined mass with the help of Spitzer. At this distance the optical
light from stars is shifted, or stretched, to infrared wavelengths that can
only be observed in outer space by Spitzer. The lump sum of the mass
turned out to be a minimum of 400 billion suns -- enough to indicate
that the astronomers had indeed uncovered a massive proto-cluster.
The Spitzer observations also helped confirm a massive galaxy at the
center of the cluster was forming stars at an impressive rate. Chandra
X-ray observations were used to find and characterize the whopping
black hole with a mass of more than 30 million suns. Massive black
holes are common in present-day galaxy clusters, but this is the first
time a feeding black hole of this heft has been linked to a cluster that is
Finally, the Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique's interferometer
telescope in France and 30-meter telescope in Spain, along with the
National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Very Large Array telescope
in New Mexico, measured the amount of gas, or fuel for future star
formation, in the cluster. The results indicate the cluster will keep
growing into a modern city of galaxies.
"It really did take a village of telescopes to nail this cluster," said
Capak. "Observations across the electromagnetic spectrum, from
X-ray to millimeter wavelengths, were all critical in providing a
comprehensive view of the cluster's many facets."
COSMOS-AzTEC3, located in the constellation Sextans, is named
after the region where it was found, called COSMOS after the Cosmic
Evolution Survey. AzTEC is the name of the camera used on the
James Clerk Maxwell Telescope -- this camera is now on its way to the
Large Millimeter Telescope located in Mexico's Puebla state.
International Space Development Conference 2011
Call for Speaker/Paper has been extended to Feb. 28, 2011. If you are
interested in talk, please submit your abstract now! We will be starting
reviewing and approving abstracts that we have received. If you have
submitted your abstract, stay tuned.
The National Space Society's International Space Development
Conference (ISDC) is only place where astronauts, scientists,
entrepreneurs, government officials, activists and citizens of this planet
who look forward to the opening of the "final frontier" gather each year
to discover the future of space exploration. The 30th ISDC (ISDC
2011) will take place in Huntsville Alabama's Von Braun Center and at
our host / conference hotel Embassy Suite Hotel and Spa.
Huntsville is the birth place of U.S. Space Program. Once known only
as the "Watercress Capital of the World," since 1957, Huntsville has
been known as "Rocket City" thanks to the presence of Redstone
Arsenal and Dr. Wernhr von Braun's team of scientists developed
America's ballistic missiles, which were eventually transformed to
launch America's first satellite, first man into space, first man in orbit,
first men on the Moon, and first reusable Space Shuttle. The Huntsville
area has the third-highest concentration of Ph.D.s in the nation.
Home to the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center since
1960, Huntsville is the base of operations for the NASA Space
Shuttle's propulsion systems, the scientific experiments of the
International Space Station, and the Constellation Program's new Ares
launch vehicles. The city is the location of Redstone Arsenal, where the
United States' Missile Defense Agency and Marshall Space Flight
Center are situated. Huntsville is also home to several universities and
colleges, telecommunications and biotechnology companies, including
the Hudson-Alpha Institute, as well as Cummings Research Park, the
nation's third-largest and one of the world's leading science and
technology business parks.
The conference will be hosted by the National Space Society (NSS)
and the Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5), Huntsville chapter of
the NSS. This is the second time HAL5 has hosted an ISDC. The last
time being 1993, which was a resounding success. The conference will
focus on Huntsville and Northern Alabama's high concentration of
experts in multiple fields of space, including human space exploration,
space science, and new technologies, as well as "new space"
entrepreneurs, Earth-based space applications, and biotechnology. The
conference will also provide a venue for showcasing various space
related activities from around the country and around the world.
|More than 13,904 days have gone by since the last American man
(Eugene Cernan with his companion Harrison Schmidt) walked on
the Moon in 1972! Since then, space enthusiasts awaited with
much anticipation new programs designed to get us back to the
Moon and beyond. Unfortunately, for the past 40 years our political
leaders have spoken with a forked tongue when it came to
manned missions beyond Low Earth Orbit. As it happened, for one
reason or the other, manned programs designed to take us back to
the Moon were constantly re-designed by every successive
occupant of the White House since Richard Nixon... And of course,
the most recent program in development, George W. Bush's
Constellation systems Program which had promised return to the
Moon as early as 2020 has seemingly suffered the same fate.
Which caused former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin to
lament: "If Obama does cancel the Constellation program, it leaves
NASA and the nation with no program, no plan and no commitment
to any human spaceflight program beyond that of today.
|Deep Impact flew past small,
active comet Hartley 2 on
November 4. 2010
|Opportunity from Orbit
A view of Opportunity from
orbit on sol 2,153 (February 13,
2010) as it sat on the north rim
of the 10-meter-diameter crater
Concepción. The rover is
visible at the one o'clock
position, as are its dark tracks,
coming from the north, and the
fresh, blocky rays of the crater.
Credit: NASA / JPL / UA
|As the new Chairman of the NSS Chapters Assembly I
am in agreement with the above image
|Washington, DC -- December 26, 2010)
From February 27–March 1, 2011, the National Space Society (NSS)
and the Space Exploration Alliance (SEA) will be holding their
annual Legislative Blitz in Washington, D.C. The 2011 Blitz comes
at a crucial moment. In September 2010, Congress passed the
NASA Authorization Act of 2010. It is now time for Congress to
enact legislation that appropriates the required funding in
compliance with the Authorization Act.
In the current economic climate, however, it is uncertain which path
our nation’s leaders will now take. More than ever before, it is
absolutely critical that the voices of the space advocacy community
be heard in the debate over the future of our nation’s space
Come join space advocates from around the country to let
Congress know that there is strong constituent support for an
ambitious space program. Please REGISTER here for the
Legislative Blitz. For more information, please contact Rick Zucker
at email@example.com or 508-651-9936.
|Washington, DC -- December 23, 2010)
The House of Representatives and the Senate passed, and the
President has signed a short term continuing resolution that will fund
all government operations including NASA until March 4, 2011 in
accordance with the Fiscal Year 2010 Appropriations. Since the
funding bill contained no anomolies with respect to NASA funding
required to reconcile the differences between the prior appropriations
and the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 which is the current law of
the land, expenditures which are construed to conflict are suspended
until further legislative action is taken.
The implications of this are still being worked out by all concerned.
All the more reason that the space community needs everyone that
can join them for its legislative blitz February 27 - March 1, 2011.
|U.S. President Barack Obama on Oct. 11, 2010 signed into law a
three-year NASA authorization bill that sets a new course for
American human spaceflight. Hours before Obama put his signature
on the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 (S. 3729) top NASA officials
and U.S. lawmakers told reporters they welcomed the bill’s
enactment but warned partisan pushback could threaten funding
for the $58 billion measure when Congress reconvened following
mid-term elections in November.
|SpaceX launched its Dragon spacecraft into low-Earth orbit atop a
Falcon 9 rocket at 10:43 AM EST from Launch Complex 40 at the Air
Force Station at Cape Canaveral.
The Dragon spacecraft orbited the Earth at speeds greater than 17,000
miles per hour, reentered the Earth’s atmosphere, and landed in the
Pacific Ocean shortly after 2:00 PM EST.
This marks the first time a commercial company has successfully
recovered a spacecraft reentering from low-Earth orbit. It is a feat
performed by only six nations or government agencies: the United
States, Russia, China, Japan, India, and the European Space Agency.
It is also the first flight under NASA’s COTS program to develop
commercial supply services to the International Space Station. After the
Space Shuttle retires, SpaceX will fly at least 12 missions to carry cargo
to and from the International Space Station as part of the Commercial
Resupply Services contract for NASA. The Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon
spacecraft were designed to one day carry astronauts; both the COTS
and CRS missions will yield valuable flight experience toward this goal.
congratulation to SpaceX on the successful Falcon 9/Dragon Orbital
This successful completion of this milestone hastens the day when
Commerical Orbital Transportation Services to the International
Space Station will transition from concept to operational reality.
|On March 16, 1926, Dr. Robert H. Goddard successfully launched
the first liquid fueled rocket. The launch took place at Auburn,
Massachusetts, and is regarded by flight historians to be as
significant as the Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk.
If you love the idea of space exploration...track the latest
innovations...study the accomplishments of Space Age luminaries
and legends and share in the thrill of their discoveries...then you are
part of the SPACE FRONTIER
The Space Frontier is a community of people who advocate the
creation of a spacefaring civilization; understand the benefits that
space exploration; promote further probing of the next frontier; and
encourage commercial space enterprise, research, and
|Space Based Solar Energy
The Problem - As stated by Ralph Nansen in "Energy Crisis ---
Solution from Space " is that we must develop an energy system:
that can replace oil and the other fossil fuels as the primary source
of energy: that will eliminate the pollution of our atmosphere; that
will free us of dependency of foreign oil; and that which would
provide the ample low-cost clean energy that the developing nation
and undeveloped nations need to emerge to a better standard of
The Solution - This energy is solar power satellites. Solar energy
generated in space on giant satellites that will deliver electricity to
the earth 24 hours a day to any nation on the earth.
The fact is, our scientific and engineering community is well aware
of this technology. What is lacking at the moment is that politically
the will in the U.S to pursue it; and clearly, if the U.S does not take
a lead in this endeavor, and lets another nation develop the next
energy source. We will no longer be the strongest nation on earth.
Nansen maintains that oil is a finite item that will be depleted
worldwide at some point. That recoverable oil production in the
United States is beyond the point of peak production according to
a Shell Oil geologist. That the discovery of oil in Alaska and the
Gulf of Mexico has eased the decline of recoverable oil production
somewhat. But is not enough in the long term to change the U.S
trend for recoverable oil production. And predicts that when the
peak recoverable oil production worldwide occurs it will be
followed by a traumatic economic dislocation as permanent energy
prices rise to unbelievable levels when people and nations
compete for available oil.
Unfortunately, alternative energy systems cannot be developed
fast enough to prevent economic dislocation from happening. It
may take 30 to 40 years to bring this technology to common day
use. So the time is now for the United States to get downright
serious and move on our future... And our solution will come from
space in the fourth energy era of man.
|THE SILVER TREAD
Just above the Moon was a slender silver thread. Together they
watched as the tread, seemingly keeping time with the majestic
music (music from Holst's The Planets), rotated slowly in its lunar
orbit like a brilliantly illuminated spoke on an otherwise invisible,
gigantic Ferris Wheel rolling along the lunar surface.
"Watching the moon rise is sure a lot more interesting than it used
to be a few years ago," said Rose
"Wait until my Rotovator Division gets the next two Lunarvators
installed in their oblique orbits." replied Randy. "Then one of them
should always be visible in the sunlight, even during a new moon."
The above a passage from Robert L. Forward's Science fiction
book called the Timemaster
One of the most interesting chapters in the book details a U.S
Congressional Hearing where Randy, the designer, describes the
new futuristic low-cost earth to space transportation system
called the Terravator would work.... A system whose potential for
low-cost access to space is dozens of times greater than other
systems... But Instead of a bring it on that a boy greeting from
Congress, Randy is challenged by a senator named Oscar who
won't accept the responsibility for letting what he calls a whirlygig
threaten the United States without protecting the populace... A
bullheaded Oscar told Randy: "I will inform the Secretary for the
Environment that Congress insists on a full environmental-impact
report on the effects of the operation of the Terravator on all parts
of the United States and the territories." A report if required, Oscar
knew would effectively delay construction and could increase
potential costs to the detriment of the project. To which Randy
responded, that his project wouldn't need a full
environmental-impact report because his company will now use a
different constellation of ports which at no time does any portion
of the Terravator touch the atmosphere above the United States
or its Territories and what is more Havana Airport will be one of
our gateway airports to our operations not Honolulu . An irritated
Randy said that if the Congress of the United States was not
willing to take risks in order to expand our last frontier this is what
would happen. Which brought out a shout of disbelief from Dusty
Miller, also a U.S. Senator and some finger pointing aimed at
Oscar... He said that Castro's nephew would be chortling rum
over this. He'll want diplomatic relations, relaxation of sanctions,
probably, even aid, before he opened up his airports to U.S.
Forward's Book is science fiction, but it serves as a reminder that
it is the responsibility of government to promote and encourage
commerce... It is not the responsibility of Congress to tear down
our industrial base and deny new technologies a chance to secede.
A 6 month moratorium on oil production in the Gulf of Mexico may
not sound very devastating... But businessmen being
businessmen still seek to make money and will move the rigs to
places where they still can make money... The Gulf Coast's loss
may be Brazil's gain and if the Conservative hosts are right...
George Soros will be making money in the bank... The commercial
fishermen of New Foundland and Labrador know full well the
effects of what was supposed to be a short-term moratorium on
Cod fished out of the North Atlantic's Great Banks... Commercial
Cod fishing has never recovered in Canada as there still is a
moratorium and many of these former fishermen are now working
in the shale oil fields of Alberta... The type of Petroleum Obama
does not want to import... So if he shuts down our operations in
the Gulf of Mexico and his good buddy Hugo Chavez makes true
to stop sending oil to America.... Where are we heading...
What Obama should do in Space is encourage the electric utility
industry to build a nationwide electrical grid big enough to handle
the microwaves beaming down to earth from the space based
solar energy satellites in geocentic orbits we must build,
encourage private industry to expand its operations in low-earth
orbit for communication, navigation and tourism , and charge
NASA to go to the Moon, Mars and the Asteroids as fast as they
could do it safely.
|Dennis Pearson poses
with Apollo 17
|Google Lunar X Prize --- The total purse of the Google Lunar X PRIZE is
$30 million (USD). It ges to a team who successfully lands a privately
funded craft on the lunar surface which survives long enough to roam the
lunar surface for 500 meters and send a defined data package
(“Mooncast”) back to Earth
Google Lunar Prize Video
| A Honeymoon Cruise to the Moon
(A Near-Term Fiction,)
by Ronnie Lajoie, edited by Dennis L. Pearson
| A Honeymoon Cruise to the Moon
(A Near-Term Fiction,)
by Ronnie Lajoie, edited and expanded by Dennis L. Pearson
Picture this ... You have just gotten married and you and your new spouse
begin your honeymoon by boarding a commercial space shuttle to take you
into Low Earth Orbit. The US Federal Aviation Administration had given the
green light for the world's first commercial spaceport in New Mexico in
December 2008. And since then, a number of other commercial spaceport's
developed as the industry became viable and prosperous. The present year is
After performing a maneuver or two, your shuttle accelerates to rendezvous
with a passing space cruise liner, a giant rotating space hotel with all the luxury
accommodations of the best hotels and Casinos on Earth.
The next step would be for the shuttle to dock with and join the space cruise
liner (this one named the Burt Ratan) on its week-long journey to the Moon and
back ... This journey in a more basic way was taken by U.S. Government
employees at least 8 times between 1968 and 1972. Six of these trips resulted
in 12 U.S Citizens setting foot on the Moon and 6 others sightseeing above in
Low Moon Orbit , Two of these trips involving six other individuals were Moon
swing-rounds - one intentional and one unintended.
Concerning the intentional swing-round, our most seasoned citizens remember
the inspirational Christmas reading of the Genesis Story while on board
cameras transmitted lunar and earth pictures back to Earth . Concerning the
unintentional swing-round, a trip that should had landed 2 additional Americans
on the Moon, but instead held Americans and the world in suspense as an on
board explosion canceled the Moon landing and made those fellow human
beings on planet Earth wonder whether the Apollo 13 astronauts would get
The married couple ( husband and wife , spouse and spouse) disembarks the
Shuttle and immediately follow other passengers to the nearest observation
window to watch their home planet Earth slowly recede. After several hours of
planet-gazing and cuddling, the two them finally pull themselves away from the
window long enough today to check into their room. An unique room that can
automatically expand from its original dimensions and detract to its original
dimensions to accommodate the amount of people that enter it or leave it.
The Reservation Clerk told the Couple that they had a reservation for a room
on the "Sands of Mars Level," where centripetal acceleration from the rotating
ship equaled the gravity of the planet Mars -- and where there was a beach
party held there every other night! Then the Clerk added that the Couple ( Mr.
& Mrs Louis D'Amore( still had not decided on what level to consummate their
marriage: "Earth," "Mars," "Moon," or "Zero-G" --- Perhaps all four! Why not,
the Couple had all week to enjoy these experiences or sensations.
Of course, being adventurous, the couple decided to have their first dinner on
the "Zero-G-Level... What a big mistake that was ... Oh well! ... At least the
folks at the other table forgave them and laughed about it.... And the staff
assured them that the wine stain could be removed.... Has anyone seen how
the waiters and waitresses working for the 1950's style Sonic restaurant serve
their orders while skating on roller skates, well up here in the Zero-G-Level it
was fun to see the waiters literally swim in a waterless environment to and
from each table. But of course, by the end of the trip, the couple is really glad
that they can have a nice "normal" morning cup of coffee on the good old
That's just the way it is ... Even on Earth a group of American and Canadian
Tourists visiting China welcomed the menu choice of a genuine hamburger
after eating for days on end the same Chinese Menu choice. The inflexible
Chinese Tour Guide had planned yet another repetitive Chinese Menu choice
when faced with a mini-revolt , suddenly had to become flexible to avoid losing
control of their clients. But at the same time warned his clients to be back on
the bus at the planned time or else.
What next for the couple on the Cruise liner? Why not give a go at bowling on
the "Lunar Level." In 1/6th Gravity how wacky can these games be? And boy,
You should see how far these pins fly! Perhaps not as far as Alan Shepard's
unauthorized Golf Shot on the Moon. But what is obvious they split and fly
much further then what they would do on Earth. Then afterwards, the Couple
will find an observation window pointing at the Moon to do more gazing and of
course, more cuddling. Then its on to Beach Party # 1 back on "Mars Level."
On Day 2, the passengers of the Rutan were required to participate in an
Evacuation Drill, so that everyone on board would know how to get to the
nearest lifeboats in case of a serious emergency. This is no different then
what ocean going cruise liners put their passengers through. Except lifeboats
on the space cruise liner must be prepared to deal with issues that are quite
different then issues that must be dealt with by ocean liners.
Each lifeboat must have enough fuel and supplies on board to sustain life all
the way back to Earth; however, the nominal plan is to dock one at a time with
one of the larger Earth return shuttles, like the one that brought the current
passenger including the newly married couple here.
As the days progress, more and more time is spent by all passengers
watching the Moon as it grows larger and larger in the observation windows.
Then on the day of the closest approach , there is a final briefing on the Close
Pass Thrill Ride which includes the usual warning for children and people with
weak hearts, The married couple and the other passengers are asked at this
briefing whether any of them would change their mind about going. Mr and Mrs
D'Amore say:" No way, We're going for it!"
According to the schedule, Mr & Mrs D'Amore climb aboard a smaller lunar
shuttle - this one would have no wings and would look like two fat sausage
links: a passenger compartment and a separate fuel tank and engine section. A
second shuttle just like the one being used is on standby in case of an
emergency. Then your shuttle leaves the cruise liner and performs an orbital
maneuver to head closer to the lunar surface. Meanwhile, the cruise liner
passes the Moon at its optimum distance for a free return to Earth as the tiny
lunar shuttle descends closer to the Moon and takes the adventure seekers on
board on a trill ride of one's life.
The large, thick lunar glass window, held firm by strong metal straps, gives the
group a wide field of view that only astronauts have while space-walking. Your
lunar shuttle pilot identified craters, industrial and educational sites which could
be seen on your way towards the surface - including the Gary Larsen Far Side
Observatory and the University of Tranquility School of Economics and
Technology at Steelworkers Bay - but eventually becomes quiet to focus on
piloting, Since the moon has no atmosphere, your lunar shuttle is going to get
Really close with no resistance, and it would be moving so fast that at its
closest approach the landscape may become a blur...What does a cowboy
say on a bucking horse? ... Yee-Hah ... That is what Louis D'Amore said in an
very excited voice as his shuttle reached its closest approach to the Lunar
As it happened, the Orbital arc of the lunar shuttle took it back up from the
surface, and after another orbital maneuver it rendezvous and docks back with
the space cruise liner. Said Mrs,, the daughter of Mike Slossenberg said
Over dinner at the Lunar Lagoon Polynesian restaurant, the D'Amore's meet
an elderly couple who stayed on board the cruise liner during the closest
approach and who had a lovely view of the far side of the Moon. The couples
share experiences and agree to exchange photographs back on Earth ... Oh
did I tell you that the D'Amore's had the privilege of speaking to and sitting with
former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle. As president, Obama
had canceled the government's effort to get back to the Moon to stay and then
go on to Mars. His new direction for NASA was more robotic, but he
promoted an effort to go to Mars and the Asteroids. As far as the Moon, his
attitude was that we did that, done that... Never the less, he hoped that the
new Commercial space business would pick up the slack in Low Earth Orbit
and beyond... Eventually the Commercial Space Business developed the
capacity to go to Low Earth Orbit and to the Moon. However, this
development occurred for other reasons then Obama's approach.
After some Zero-G dancing under some major moonlight, the D'Amore's then
venture over to the Crater Copernicus Casino on the Lunar Level where you
could have fun with low gravity Craps and Roulette.
With the Moon now receding and the Earth growing every hour, it was time to
return to the observation windows frequently. Of course the main reason for
people taking this cruise would be to see for themselves what once only the
Apollo astronauts saw. Video recordings and virtual reality just cannot
compare with the intense feelings that all this is actually happening in real time.
On Departure day, it is time to say good-bye to newly met friends and take
one last look out of an observation window at the rapidly approaching
blue-green and swirly-white marble called Earth. Then all passengers climb
aboard the same Earth space shuttle that brought them here. The D'Amore's
notice that some of the passengers are returning cruise liner staff. One of
them tells the D'Amore's that the shuttle is carrying some non-recycable waste
products from the cruise liner that will be jettisoned and burned up in the
atmosphere during reentry.
Once the shuttle undocks from the cruise liner, all eyes watch as it sails away
to once again journey around the Moon. And then too, all eyes strain to see
the space shuttle that is taking the next batch of guests as the space liner, but
that won't happen until the cruise liner has rounded the planet. All eyes strain
for a glimpse of an orbiting space station, but space is big, even in Low Earth
Orbit, and the shuttles return trajectory is designed to stay well away from
orbiting satellites and stations.
Certainly, reentry is fun, once one can get over the nervousness of seeing
orange plasma engulf the shuttle. The reentry loads are not as high as launch,
and since all returning guests had spent their last two hours on the cruise liner
on the Earth level, they are less uncomfortable during reentry. Landing is made
at a Spaceport ( this case, the Queen City Space Port in Allentown
Pennsylvania without incident , and all passengers get a quick check up while
waiting for their luggage. Out in the parking, the D'Amores both seek the car
with the just marries foam logo still on the windshield. .... There it is ... No,
that's someone else's. After the D"Amore's find their car, they spot more just
married logos on other parked cars. In amazement, the D'Amore's said :Gee,
quite a number of newlyweds must be taking the honeymore cruise to the