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Lehigh Valley Space Frontier
The Public Voice on
the Cutting Edge of
the Future.
March 28, 2011
We welcome you all to the web page
of the Lehigh Valley Space Frontier
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
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 accrue from
space exploration; promote further probing of the next frontier; and
encourage commercial space enterprise, research, and development.
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)
Planetary Society
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
governments alone.

Our mailing address: PASA, 928 Clinton St. #6, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Earl Bennett (President), Phone: (856) 261-8032 (H), E-mail:
Mitch Gordon (Public Relations POC), Phone: (215) 625-0670, E-mail:
Back to the Moon ?
More than 13,979 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.

But the premier Space Advocate group, The National Space Society is
more optimistic in a statement made by the society the day after
President Obama spoke at a Space Summit held at the Kennedy Space
Center in Florida April 15, 2010:

(Washington, DC -- April 15, 2010) (Updated April 16, 2010)

" The National Space Society applauds President Obama for his
expression of firm commitment for human spaceflight, and for moving
forward in refining the administration's plan for space exploration.

Following the announcement of the President's FY2011 budget proposal
for NASA, the Society advocated for the inclusion of more detailed goals.  
NSS is gratified to see President Obama take another step in that
direction to secure America's position as a global leader in space. This
will foster a new space economy servicing the needs of America and

The President's speech of April 15, 2010 stated emphatically his, and his
administration's, commitment to the mission of NASA and its role in
providing for the future. He stressed a focus on future accomplishments
and laid out a plan for

•dramatically increased robotic exploration and scouting missions,
•an advanced replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope,
•an array of expanded Earth/climate sensing work,
•extension of the life of the International Space Station and provision of
funds to use it to the fullest,
•support for the commercial transportation initiatives for cargo and crew,
•development of the Orion spacecraft to serve as a Space Station Crew
Emergency Vehicle and its evolution to a Beyond Earth Orbit exploration
•design completion for a Heavy Lift Launch capability no later than 2015
followed by the production of the vehicle,
•investment in the Technology Research and Development to enable the
use of the material resources and energy in space and to address the
challenges of the Beyond Earth Orbit space environment (such as
radiation shielding, advanced propulsion, etc.), and
•human Beyond Earth Orbit missions to asteroids within the next two
decades, Mars orbit by the mid-2030s, and the Martian surface in his

The President stressed the importance of a transformative agenda for
NASA, and the critical role of breakthrough technologies in enabling
NASA and our nation to create the future we wish to see come to pass.

The Society congratulates the president for refining his vision to include
such incremental goals as the design of a Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle by
2015, and a preliminary timetable for human exploration destinations.

The National Space Society has and continues to be a staunch advocate
of a balanced, comprehensive, sustainable, and personally engaging
mosaic of space programs that will transform our tomorrows.

The President has committed his administration to making it so.

The National Space Society looks forward to working with the executive
branch, congress, industry, the space advocacy community, and the
general public to foster, achieve, and sustain the consensus needed to
see it come to fruition."

From my standpoint, I take a more reserved or wait and see attitude... As
I view it... Obama is only offering space advocates hope that great
advances in space technology and exploration will happen by virtue of  
the new direction he has mandated for NASA Operations. The promise
that the ISS years of operation will be  extended beyond what was
originally planned is good and makes sense economically. Everything
else is simply a wish list, a call for action for NASA and the emerging
Start-up space industry to proceed following the hit and miss approach to
develop technologies which would get us beyond low earth orbit and the
Moon and to Mars in Obama's life-time.

Perhaps this approach is better than no approach at all... We will see in
time whether Obama's words are only political rhetoric or historic vision...
As is, the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet in September 2010
presents a not so fun scenario for United States space interests... At that
time the premier space power will no longer have the capability to use its
own rockets to send its astronauts to low Earth Orbit for the first time
since the year of Obama's birth... Amazingly the Russians using the well
traveled Soyuz still possesses that capability and will be paid a relatively
a large sum of money by the United States to ferry our astronauts to the
International Space Station. Then too, it is more mind-boggling that the
Chinese in its incipient way will have the capability to send its Astronauts
to Low Earth

On June 9, 20l0 Space X  launched its Falcon 9 Rocket from Kennedy as
. seemingly this successful launch seems to be  good start to
Obama's approach but there still remain doubters... And hopefully Space
X's companion Dragon space craft would be able to bring American
astronauts to the International Space Station sooner rather then later.
Philadelphia Area Space Alliance
A curious dark hole in the moon's Marius Hills region—spotted on May 20, 2008, by
Japan's Kaguya probe—could be the entrance to an underground cavern, scientists
announced in October 2009.

This first known moon "skylight" could provide access to a cozy underground shelter
for future moon dwellers, the scientists say.

On Earth, lava tubes form after volcanic eruptions, when underground "rivers" of
flowing lava run out and leave behind empty channels in the rock.

When a section of the tube's roof erodes or otherwise collapses, a "skylight" hole may
be created.

This skylight is approximately 60 meters wide and it provides a tantalizing glimpse into
what could be a future target for manned lunar exploration.

Lava tubes would not only protect us from radiation, but also from meteoroid impacts
and the extreme temperature changes over the lunar day. Near the equator, the lunar
night is very cold (about -150 °C), and the lunar day, it is very hot (about 110 °C). A
lava tube has a constant temperature, about -20 °C -- just like caves on the Earth have
very even temperatures.

Photograph courtesy ISAS, JAXA, Junichi Haruyama et al...
Above is a opening or skylight of a Lava Tube visited
in Iceland in 2008... People tenously walk on surface
On a limited basis hikers are allowed to explore the
interior of these lava tubes which can run some distance
under ground... Rocks sitting on the bottom of the cavern
once were situated on the ceilings of the lava tube before
"Too many years have passed for me to still be the last man to
have left his footprints on the Moon. I believe with all my heart that
somewhere out there is a young boy or girl with indomitable will
and courage who will lift that dubious distinction from my shoulders
and take us back where we belong. Let us give that dream a
- Captain Eugene A. Cernan
Lunar Module Pilot
Dr. Harrison Hagen (Jack)
Schmitt, Ph.D. Civilian
Crew of APOLLO 17
Mission Commander
Eugene Andrew Cernan,
Commander USN
Command Module Pilot
Ronald Ellwin Evans,
Commander USN
Dr. Zubrin's Take on the Obama Program

*  President Obama laid out his vision for America's space program. Under the Obama
plan, NASA will spend $100 billion on human spaceflight over the next 10 years in
order to accomplish nothing

* In 2004, the Bush administration launched a program called Constellation to develop
a set of flight systems, including the Orion crew capsule and the Ares 1 and Ares 5
medium and heavy lift boosters, that together would allow astronauts to return to the
Moon by 2020, and then fly to destinations beyond.

* The only thing preserved by Obama out of the past six years and $9 billion worth of
effort will be a version of the Orion capsule - but one so purposely stripped down that
it will only be useful as a lifeboat for bringing astronauts down from the space station,
not as a craft capable of providing a ride up to orbit

* With the Space Shuttle program set to sunset in the near future,  The only way
Americans will be able even to reach low Earth orbit will be as passengers on Russian
launchers, with tickets priced at the Kremlin's discretion

* The President desperately tried to spin the abandonment of the Moon program not
as a retreat, but as a daring advance. We've been to the Moon before, he declared,
and so we have. There's a lot more of space to explore; we should set our sights on
points beyond, to the near Earth asteroids, and reach for Mars. Indeed, we can and
should... But the President's plan makes no provision for actually doing so. Instead, he
proposes to simply stall.

* The bottom line: Under the Obama plan, NASA will be able to send astronauts
anywhere it likes, provided that its effort to do so begins after he leaves office.

A link to the article may be found

Daily News Zubrin article

                                                     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 living.

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

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

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

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.
Link to
Canadian Space Society
Solar Energy Video
             International Space Development Conference 2011
                                     Huntsville, Alabama

                                     From the Ground Up!

The International Space Development Conference (ISDC) covers several
broad areas of study related to building a spacefaring civilization,
including transportation to and through space, technology needed to live
and work in space, and Earth-based activities to advocate for or educate
others about space development. The overall theme for ISDC 2011 is
"From the Ground Up," emphasizing the tools, resources, and social
activities that must be accomplished to make a spacefaring civilization a
reality. Participants are encouraged not just to describe an ideal "future
state," but to think about the technical, economic, or advocacy steps that
must be accomplished to achieve a specific goal.

             Call for Speakers and Abstracts Deadline Extended

The due date has been extended to April 1, 2011. If you are interested in
presenting and speaking, please submit your abstract soon. Space is
limited, and we will close the call the for speakers and papers once the
space is filled. The abstract review has been started for the abstracts that
were submitted by the original due dates. All future abstracts will be
reviewed based on the date it was received. A formal conference paper
is optional. Any formal paper received will be published in the conference
proceeding coming out later this year
     The George Washington Carver Science Fair in Philadelphia

Dr. Bernard Anthony Harris, Jr. (born June 26, 1956 in Temple, Texas) is a former NASA
astronaut. On February 9, 1995, Harris became the first African American to perform an
extra-vehicular activity (spacewalk), during the second of his two Space Shuttle flights.
On Friday, March 11, 2011, Dr. Harris was presented the 2011 George Washington
Carver Award  at the Awards ceremony of the George Washington Carver Science Fair
held in the auditorium of the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA
George Washington Carver (1864-1943) was an agricultural chemist, botanist, and
scientist, humanitarian and outstanding American ...Despite the many obstacles which
confronted him in his native Alabama at the time, Carver managed to gain an education.
His creative genius, which blossomed at the Tuskegee Institute, allowed him to discover
over 300 products which he derived from the peanut and the sweet potato. His scientific
work aided both the agriculture and economy of the South.
The George Washington Carver Science Fair in Philadelphia Pennsylvania is named in
honor of the late Dr. George Washington Carver.
The Science Fair founded by a group of educators and business persons in 1979,
encourages urban youth to pursue academic achievement and careers in science... And
that was the message Dr. Harris the 32nd recipient of the George Washington Carver
Award sought to convey to an audience consisting primary of science fair entrants and
award presenters. Dr. Harris said that he grew up in the suburbs of Houston believing that
he was an infinite being having an infinite purpose. That no one could stop him from
achieving his god-given infinite purpose. And then he suggested to the Science Fair
participants that they too were infinite being having an infinite purpose. That like him they
should not allow anyone stop them from achieving their god-driven purpose. Therefore, he
advised these impressionable young people to study hard to learn as much as they can to
achieve their infinite purpose in life.
Stating the same case in a different manner, Sister Esther Hat, IHM, coordinator, math and
science, office of catholic education of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia also tried to
impress on the students the need to study hard and imply themselves to their chosen fields
to achieve success in life.
The Science Fair is jointly sponsored by Temple University, The Academy of Natural
Sciences, The School District of Philadelphia, and The Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The
Carver Fair is open to all students in grades four through twelve who attend Philadelphia
County public, charter, parochial, and private schools, as well as to home schooled
students residing in the county. Since its inception, over 30,000 students have participated
in the Fair and have, in many cases, moved on to compete in the Delaware Valley
Regional and Intel international Science Fairs.
The George Washington Carver Science Fair  is administered by a group of volunteers
representing universities, school districts, corporations, foundations, and other
organizations, It is funded by grants, donations, in-kind support, and individual gifts.
People can Becoming a member of the George Washington Carver Science Fair
•        Becoming a member of the George Washington Carver Science Fair Committee;
•        Underwriting the award medals, program printing; judges’ meals and parking, or
other Carver Fair expenses;
•        Making a mometary donation to the George Washington Carver Science Fair; and
•        Offering a Special Award at the Elementary or Secondary Fair.
The Philadelphia Area Space Alliance is one of the many organizations that contribute to
the success of the Science Fair by offering the James A. Chestek Award on the
Elementary and the Oscar Harris Award on the Secondary Level …Special Judges for
PASA are charged to look for projects that will promote the space science and technology
that can lead to the goal of human habitation of space and the bodies in it. Up to this year
PASA limited itself to giving one project entrant an award on the elementary and
secondary level. But Special Judge Dennis Pearson impressed with the quality of the
entrants provided the funding to award an additional prize on both the Elementary and
PASA is an umbrella organization of area space activists who want to open up the space
frontier to everyone. PASA's history dates back to the 1970s, when it was originally formed
as the Space Future Society. 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
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.
This year, PASA remembers the 50th anniversary year of the first men in space: 1961-
2011:Yuri Gagarin  April 12, 1961  One orbit; Alan Shepard  May 5, 1961     Sub orbit.
Judging for PASA’s James H. Chestek Award  took place February 25, 2011 at the
Academy of Natural Science . PASA members Mike Fischer and Dennis Pearson served
as the Special Judges for the group to award the prize to the student or students that in
the opinion of the Special Judges made the best application of space science and
technology in their projects ... 1st Place went to a boy whose project name was Model
Rockets: Big versus small ... 2nd Place was awarded to a girl whose project was named:
How can I Demonstrate Materials that are protected by a Magnetic force field... There
were a over 500 Science Projects judged... Out of those we selected seven students to
interview .... One very nice project was thrown out because the student obviously received
excessive help from a tutor or his parents ... Now there is nothing wrong with the student
receiving help but unfortunately the student was not briefed on how to explain his project
... In fact, he performed very poorly in explaining what the project was about ... Fact is,
only the 1st place prize was on topic of the Award's purpose ... But some of the other
projects we looked at might have space science applications and we asked that very fact
... What applications did their projects have if applied to space science and technology.
And if an entrant was able to think out of the box to make the connection they received
high marks for that connection.
Judging for PASA’s Oscar Harris took place March 8, 2011 at the Student Pavilion on the
grounds of Temple University near Broad Street … PASA member Dennis Pearson from
the Lehigh Valley served as the lone Special Judge for PASA as the other scheduled
Special Judge became ill and could not get to the event. This was the first year that
Pearson had served as a Special Judge for PASA. Pearson for the National Space Society
on May 20, 2011 will serve as Chair of the NSS Chapter Assembly at the International
Space Development Conference in Huntsville Alabama. He also has assumed the role of
Region Coordinator for all NSS Chapters in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey,
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia and the City of Washington D.C. Science
Fair Projects on the Secondary level that best met the criteria for the award were: 1) A
11th grad girl completed a project on How to become anAlien ... She speculated through
researched theory what star systems would have planets similar to earth that would be
capable of supporting ... She did not mention the Kepler results in her written presentation
but did mention it in her oral presentation .. 2) An Eighth grade girl in a project called
Ready, Set, Go Green built a solar paneled buggy which could operate on sun light or
artificial light ... When asked she knew she could apply her project to our Mars Rovers and
other Rovers... If there was an honorable mention it would have gone to a 10th grade boy
who produced a good project entitled Growing Oak Trees on Mars …. Then there was a
good project by a Middle School Student which explored the solar winds relationship with
the earth’s magnetic poles and the shield that protects us from these solar winds from the