Archive for 2011

Ara Syndicate Direction: New Space, Nasa, Art

I don't post too often here, and I am not certain how many viewers there are, but thank you in advance for visiting. When I first started this I was fresh off a college project off of the NASA/MICI undergraduate program.  As time has unwound I am finding myself wondering what direction to take the blog in; at the nexus of high quality content, space art, private space, and new discoveries. 

I have learned a great deal but for clarity's sake I would like to define Ara Syndicate by what I won't do:

1. I do not cover the politics of space flight or take sides- I am interested in all new advancements as each one brings the species closer to space as a whole. (Neil Armstrong quote goes here)

2. I do not post maybes when I can help it. I know there is usually more hype and fluff in this industry than there is actual hardware. I will not post vaporware; when a hardware system or technology is demonstrated by its creators or owning company I will post whatever related materials here- no speculative ventures or pipe dreams until they are ready for testing, as I believe that testing is the true crucible for any improvement.

3. I will try to obtain first hand information whenever possible and will minimize re-posting material from other sites; I will also insure that all due credit is given. If you would like something taken down, please contact me at; and I will remove content as soon as possible. 

Right now I am excited about the exoplanet discoveries, and am following them very closely.
Any artwork that is not space art will be posted at

NASA's Kepler Confirms Its First Planet in Habitable Zone of Sun-Like Star


"MOFFET FIELD, Calif. -- NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet’s surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets.

The newly confirmed planet, Kepler-22b, is the smallest yet found to orbit in the middle of the habitable zone of a star similar to our sun. The planet is about 2.4 times the radius of Earth. Scientists don't yet know if Kepler-22b has a predominantly rocky, gaseous or liquid composition, but its discovery is a step closer to finding Earth-like planets. 

Previous research hinted at the existence of near-Earth-size planets in habitable zones, but clear confirmation proved elusive. Two other small planets orbiting stars smaller and cooler than our sun recently were confirmed on the very edges of the habitable zone, with orbits more closely resembling those of Venus and Mars. 

"This is a major milestone on the road to finding Earth's twin," said Douglas Hudgins, Kepler program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Kepler's results continue to demonstrate the importance of NASA's science missions, which aim to answer some of the biggest questions about our place in the universe."

Kepler discovers planets and planet candidates by measuring dips in the brightness of more than 150,000 stars to search for planets that cross in front, or "transit," the stars. Kepler requires at least three transits to verify a signal as a planet.

"Fortune smiled upon us with the detection of this planet," said William Borucki, Kepler principal investigator at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif., who led the team that discovered Kepler-22b. "The first transit was captured just three days after we declared the spacecraft operationally ready. We witnessed the defining third transit over the 2010 holiday season."

The Kepler science team uses ground-based telescopes and the Spitzer Space Telescope to review observations on planet candidates the spacecraft finds. The star field that Kepler observes in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra can only be seen from ground-based observatories in spring through early fall. The data from these other observations help determine which candidates can be validated as planets. 

Kepler-22b is located 600 light-years away. While the planet is larger than Earth, its orbit of 290 days around a sun-like star resembles that of our world. The planet's host star belongs to the same class as our sun, called G-type, although it is slightly smaller and cooler. 

Of the 54 habitable zone planet candidates reported in February 2011, Kepler-22b is the first to be confirmed. This milestone will be published in The Astrophysical Journal.

The Kepler team is hosting its inaugural science conference at Ames Dec. 5-9, announcing 1,094 new planet candidate discoveries. Since the last catalog was released in February, the number of planet candidates identified by Kepler has increased by 89 percent and now totals 2,326. Of these, 207 are approximately Earth-size, 680 are super Earth-size, 1,181 are Neptune-size, 203 are Jupiter-size and 55 are larger than Jupiter.

The findings, based on observations conducted May 2009 to September 2010, show a dramatic increase in the numbers of smaller-size planet candidates. 

Kepler observed many large planets in small orbits early in its mission, which were reflected in the February data release. Having had more time to observe three transits of planets with longer orbital periods, the new data suggest that planets one to four times the size of Earth may be abundant in the galaxy. 

The number of Earth-size and super Earth-size candidates has increased by more than 200 and 140 percent since February, respectively. 

There are 48 planet candidates in their star's habitable zone. While this is a decrease from the 54 reported in February, the Kepler team has applied a stricter definition of what constitutes a habitable zone in the new catalog, to account for the warming effect of atmospheres, which would move the zone away from the star, out to longer orbital periods. 

"The tremendous growth in the number of Earth-size candidates tells us that we're honing in on the planets Kepler was designed to detect: those that are not only Earth-size, but also are potentially habitable," said Natalie Batalha, Kepler deputy science team lead at San Jose State University in California. "The more data we collect, the keener our eye for finding the smallest planets out at longer orbital periods." 

For more information about the Kepler mission and to view the digital press kit, visit:"

Trent J. Perrotto
Headquarters, Washington 

Michele Johnson
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. 



The Waters of Mars?


"'PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has found bright veins of a mineral, apparently gypsum, deposited by water. Analysis of the vein will help improve understanding of the history of wet environments on Mars.
"This tells a slam-dunk story that water flowed through underground fractures in the rock," said Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., principal investigator for Opportunity. "This stuff is a fairly pure chemical deposit that formed in place right where we see it. That can't be said for other gypsum seen on Mars or for other water-related minerals Opportunity has found. It's not uncommon on Earth, but on Mars, it's the kind of thing that makes geologists jump out of their chairs."
The latest findings by Opportunity were presented Wednesday at the American Geophysical Union's conference in San Francisco.
The vein examined most closely by Opportunity is about the width of a human thumb (0.4 to 0.8 inch, or 1 to 2 centimeters), 16 to 20 inches (40 to 50 centimeters) long, and protrudes slightly higher than the bedrock on either side of it. Observations by the durable rover reveal this vein and others like it within an apron surrounding a segment of the rim of Endeavour Crater. None like it were seen in the 20 miles (33 kilometers) of crater-pocked plains that Opportunity explored for 90 months before it reached Endeavour, nor in the higher ground of the rim.
Last month, researchers used the Microscopic Imager and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer on the rover's arm and multiple filters of the Panoramic Camera on the rover's mast to examine the vein, which is informally named "Homestake." The spectrometer identified plentiful calcium and sulfur, in a ratio pointing to relatively pure calcium sulfate.
Calcium sulfate can exist in many forms, varying by how much water is bound into the minerals' crystalline structure. The multi-filter data from the camera suggest gypsum, a hydrated calcium sulfate. On Earth, gypsum is used for making drywall and plaster of Paris. Observations from orbit had detected gypsum on Mars previously. A dune field of windblown gypsum on far northern Mars resembles the glistening gypsum dunes in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico.
"It is a mystery where the gypsum sand on northern Mars comes from," said Opportunity science-team member Benton Clark of the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. "At Homestake, we see the mineral right where it formed. It will be important to see if there are deposits like this in other areas of Mars."
The Homestake deposit, whether gypsum or another form of calcium sulfate, likely formed from water dissolving calcium out of volcanic rocks. The calcium combined with sulfur that was either leached from the rocks or introduced as volcanic gas, and it was deposited as calcium sulfate into an underground fracture that later became exposed at the surface.
Throughout Opportunity's long traverse across Mars' Meridiani plain, the rover has driven over bedrock composed of magnesium, iron and calcium sulfate minerals that also indicate a wet environment billions of years ago. The highly concentrated calcium sulfate at Homestake could have been produced in conditions more neutral than the harshly acidic conditions indicated by the other sulfate deposits observed by Opportunity.
"It could have formed in a different type of water environment, one more hospitable for a larger variety of living organisms," Clark said.
Homestake and similar-looking veins appear in a zone where the sulfate-rich sedimentary bedrock of the plains meets older, volcanic bedrock exposed at the rim of Endeavour. That location may offer a clue about their origin.
Opportunity and its rover twin, Spirit, completed their three-month prime missions on Mars in April 2004. Both rovers continued for years of extended missions and made important discoveries about wet environments on ancient Mars that may have been favorable for supporting microbial life. Spirit stopped communicating in 2010. Opportunity continues exploring, currently heading to a sun-facing slope on the northern end of the Endeavour rim fragment called "Cape York" to keep its solar panels at a favorable angle during the mission's fifth Martian winter.
"We want to understand why these veins are in the apron but not out on the plains," said the mission's deputy principal investigator, Ray Arvidson, of Washington University in St. Louis. "The answer may be that rising groundwater coming from the ancient crust moved through material adjacent to Cape York and deposited gypsum, because this material would be relatively insoluble compared with either magnesium or iron sulfates."
NASA launched the next-generation Mars rover, the car-sized Curiosity, on Nov. 26. It is slated for arrival at the planet's Gale Crater in August 2012. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate in Washington. For more information about the rovers, visit and . You can follow the project on Twitter at and on Facebook at'"
I'm excited, but not only because Spirit and Opportunity continue to perform science long after their life expectancy, but because Curiosity will join them on the Martian surface in August of next year.

Windows 8 and apologies

I apologize for the lack of  posts recently artistic, new space or otherwise. I've been playing with the Windows 8 developers preview on my asus slate ep 121 tablet along with the long anticipated alpha version of blue stacks.

NOTE: the following is mostly my opinions and impressions of Windows 8 and Blue Stacks, I am not yet a professional software developer, just a lucky guy with smart friends.

So apparently Windows tablets aren't too popular, and honestly Microsoft has no one but Microsoft to blame. Windows 7 is a far superior operating system to vista ( as i write this i am having a fight with vista home premium over Starcaft 2 on my desktop pc). However, 7 still falls short in its usability on touch based devices. Much of the interface still requires more precision in a cursor to manipulate than all but the most dainty of oriental fingers can muster. Although my tablet came with a stylus, using it as the primary input method misses much of the fun and the popularity of this generation of touchscreens.

Enter windows 8. Before I preach the wonders of my magical experience with the latest iteration of windows, I must ask; is it too little too late? While Apple spent the decade familiarizing the public with its brand and adapting them to a now ubiquitous user experience across its products; Microsoft seemed to have the reaction time of a drunk lashing out at a sobriety test proctor. All that is to say that windows tablets are nothing new, so the implementations I found in my developers preview seem a couple years too late.

The welcome screen has a large finger friendly icon with the user name and the familiar photo frame. Inside the user is greeted with a green screen full of large bright icons for apps and suites, including a revamped windows Internet Explorer 10. Potential security vulnerabilities aside, IE snaps open and takes up the screen real estate on the way we are accustomed to on newer smart phones. Pulling at the left of the screen switches applications, tugging from the bottom brings up the address bar, and the top holds multiple tabs. None of the more intrusive toolbars are onscreen to obscure the experience of the web.  The start menu appears to have been replaced by the splash screen after login, although there is a desktop icon which brings up the standard windows taskbar and desktop. from any screen pulling from the right brings up a sparse menu bar which feels incomplete, but this is not a release candidate and far from finished. I hope that the promise and progress made in the user interface will be reflected in navigating the folders on the hard drive, as currently it is the same as 7 an unfriendly to touch. To truly capture a fun and hassle free touch experience, every aspect of using windows must be revamped to be accessible without the use of a mouse or stylus. The onscreen keyboard is not yet complete but is responsive, if too large. only IE will change formats to accommodate the keyboard and all windows apps should do the same without maze of fixed boxes cluttering up the screen.

Blue Stacks does what I expected, however I am not able to fully use the multi touch of my tablet in the virtual machine like software on windows 8. Expect a full review after I reinstall 7.

Asus EEE 121 Slate Review

I got the Asus EEE 121 Slate in March of 2011. Of all the tablets released this year (and those released in the prior decade that have long been forgotten) this release from Asus is the closest to my idealized machine. While  tablets such as the Asus Transformer, the Apple Ipad, and the Motorola Xoom focused on the new world of Apps and content consumption; the Asus 121 Slate is the only tablet I found to emphasize content creation.

Technical Specifications:

Operating System:  Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Edition
Bundled with Bluetooth keyboard
Type 12.1 in AFFS TFT active matrix - LED backlight
Display Resolution 1280 x 800
Flash Memory 64 GB
Supported Flash Memory Cards SD Memory Card,
SDHC Memory Card,
SDXC Memory Card
Processor Intel Core i5 i5-470UM
Processor Clock Speed 1.33 GHz
Multi-Core Technology Dual-Core
Front-facing Camera 2 Megapixel
Wireless Connectivity Bluetooth 3.0,
Audio Microphone , Stereo speakers
Input Device
Type Digital pen,
Expansion and Connectivity
Expansion Slot(s) 1 x SD Memory Card
Interfaces 1 x Audio - Headphones/microphone - Mini-phone 3.5 mm,
2 x Hi-Speed USB - 4 pin USB Type A,
1 x Audio / video - HDMI - 19 pin mini HDMI Type C
USB Host Yes
Installed Qty (Max Supported) 1
Technology / Form Factor Lithium polymer
Capacity 34 Wh
Run Time (Up To) 4.5 hour(s)
Run Time Details Video playback - up to 2.4 hour(s)
Color White
Included Accessories Power adapter , Cleaning cloth,
Carrying case
Voltage Required AC 120/230 V
Dimensions & Weight
Width 12.3 in
Depth 0.7 in
Height 8.1 in
Weight2.6 lbs

- taken from

In other words this isn't your kid sister's tablet, its a beastly device running a full copy of Windows 7.

The Slate has given me an enormous boost in productivity and lightened my load a the amazon Kindle App as well as Foxit Reader work extremely well on it for reading digital textbooks. Microsoft One Note in particular really shines on this device as it is well suited for hand written notes, and I have heard that writing increases retention over typed text (but don't quote me on that).

I purchased the tablet with the hopes of installing and running Adobe Photoshop and reducing the amount of paper and art supplies I needed to carry on the go.

My initial dealings with the tablet were soured when I discovered that the tablet's Wacom drivers were not pressure sensitive in Photoshop out of the box. What a waste of a niche. After several months of browsing forums and trying different third party pen drivers, I finally found one compatible with my tablet in Photoshop and was off on my way.

I found the Bluetooth keyboard lack luster, often losing the connection with the computer  intermittently and at random. I have not found a solution to this problem and bought a usb keyboard for typing research papers; however the onscreen touch keyboard works well enough for typing web addresses and quick emails. It is not however very comfortable for long drawn out conversations or dissertations (so switching to Skype with the built in camera is a good idea).

The leather carrying case feels cheap and much like an afterthought on the part of Asus not just in terms of the quality but also because the hardware in the device tends to warm the same way that most laptops with similar specs will; especially when set on fabric such as a pillow or cloth. Use a laptop for long enough on a cloth surface and one finds the machine working harder to dispel its heat and continue to operate. The leather case has a fuzzy, cloth interior which is bad for the heat issue all robust mobile devices have.

The battery life is terrible. I have found I may get an hour or more on the Balanced setting, and two to two and a half on power saver. Unlike most notebooks however, there is no service or docking station for the battery and it is not yet known what will happen to a device if and when it develops problems fully charging as many laptop batteries do.

Another gripe is the pen; it is light, comfortable and easy to use, however the version originally presented at the Electronics Show 2011 in January boasted two side buttons that are absent from the shipped product. These buttons can typically be set to behave as mouse buttons and are an asset when working with Photoshop and other digital art programs such as Painter (which did not run well on with the Intel Integrated graphics chipset). One is inclined to purchase a ModBook Pen which still fits into the pen dock and works with the Slate.

Finally as for the Operating System; Windows 7 is light years beyond the headache inducing nightmare that was Vista. It is snappy, responsive and unencumbered even on the tablet.   The greatest failing of the tablet, especially when compared with an Ipad, is Microsoft's repeated inability to produce a purely tablet friendly Graphic User Interface, and thus many icons and buttons on screen require still too exacting cursors for stubby human fingers. This can lead to irritation, and although the wacom pen is more than capable of manipulating on screen objects like a mouse it defeats much of the purpose of having a capacitive touch friendly interface. Microsoft isn't alone in this shortcoming, the people at Adobe (although there is a Photoshop App with less capability available for Ipad 2) and many other software distrubtors have yet to optimize their full software suites for touch screen interaction. I suspect that this will change along with the App trend which is a good thing, and I begrudgingly applaud Apple's vanguard in advancing this consumer demand.

Despite these shortcomings, I have not replaced and have no intention of selling my slate, as it is the most well suited for my artistic and collegiate needs out of any tablet available capable of running many full blown windows applications instead of their lighter but less powerful droid or apple app alternatives. I love my tablet and enjoy using it.

My grade is a B-

Who may benefit from this device:

College students who want a more robust machine or who have an axe to grind against Apple
Digital artists who want to be able to produce content on the go
Business types
Children will love the pre-installed art program Art Rage

Not Recommended:

Anyone with extremely long papers or blogs to write as the tablet is quite large and it is difficult even with my  hands to use the keyboard with both thumbs

Non artists

Apple Fans ( go get a ModBook, or Ipad instead)

To purchase the Asus Slate:

Kepler 16B

Decided to make my own render of the newly discovered Kepler 16B; the first known occurance of a planet within a binary system.
Since this is in honor of the discovery freely take this and use it wherever- and feedback is always nice (

Kepler 16b: An Exoplanet with twin Suns

Scientists announced 9/15/2011 the discovery of the first planet known to orbit a binary star system, now named Kepler B at NASA Ames Research Center. The world is thought to be composed of half gas and half rock. 

How to find Exoplanets: When there are two stars orbiting each other  They orbit around a common center of gravity (much like the intertwined hands of two figure skaters as they circle each other) If this dance is seen edge on (line of sight) from earth, telescopes can detect subtle shifts in the light coming from the binary system as one star passes in front of the other based on our vantage. In Kepler B's case, another set of shifts in the light received was detected and it was slightly out of sync with the first set(A third skater circling the other two). This means that while the stars orbit each other, a third object is orbiting around both of them. The variation of light received is used to calculate the Mass (volume not weight) of the object. Because the difference was extremely small it is confirmed to be a planet.  
It is easier to find larger bodies using this method because of the greater change they make in the observations.

NASA's Official News Release:

Press Conference: 

My Thoughts:
I used the discovery of Gliese 581 C as a presentation for public speaking class because of the excitement around its orbit in the Goldilocks zone of Gliese 581, however discoveries about its atmosphere have lead scientists to believe Gliese 581 G is a better candidate for habitability. The context of my speech was that it wasn't too long ago that extra solar planets were only theoretical, and now we seemed to be discovering them all the time. With each discover advances are made, methods and tools refined, which in turn leads to better and more discoveries. 

* Note the Goldilocks or Habitable Zone is the range of orbits around a star or stars that is temperate enough for liquid water to exist on a planets surface; being that each time liquid water is found on Earth, life is also found. 

Interesting People: Irene Schneider

Recently posted a two part interview with Irene Schneider, one of the word's foremost authorities on space radiation and its hazards.

What is most interesting about Irene Schneider is that she is a Spanish immigrant woman, quite different from the normal profile of a New Space Entrepreneur. She is also heavily invested in an issue that seems to be glossed over by many plans and initiatives to reach the Moon, Mars and  beyond. Her company Ihrene's Space Enterprises is a consulting firm that specializes in helping companies minimize the risk posed by deep space radiation on long term space missions. Interview:

Part 1:

Part 2:

There is also another interview from July at

Ihrene's Space Enterprises Corporate Website:

My Thoughts: This woman is extremely bright and full of enthusiasm for man in space. Although it could appear to some that she and other scientists are trying to through a wet blanket over the fledgling private space program, I think this is an error. It is clear that it is in the best interests of all involved parties to have the best sorts of safety precautions a mission will allow, which will grant greater success and higher chances of profitability.

Repost: NewSpace To The Rescue For The Space Station


NewSpace To The Rescue For The Space Station

28 august 2011
by rick tumlinson
"Last week, Russia’s Progress cargo vehicle, bound for the International Space Station (ISS) and carrying a load of supplies for several months to the astronauts waiting in orbit, was destroyed   during launch. The vehicle, once attached to the station, was designed to also be able to fire its motors and help keep the station from losing altitude.
Russia uses essentially the same system to fly its Soyuz capsules, which carry cosmonauts (and our astronauts) to space. Since the end of the shuttle, the US is now almost totally dependent on this system to carry supplies and completely dependent on it to ferry our astronauts to and from space.
Following the loss of another Russian vehicle just a few weeks ago, and coming just as the US ended the space shuttle program, this disaster highlights the glaring mistake the US made by not planning ahead and enabling our own US companies to take up the slack once the shuttle was canceled, and offers us a chance to correct a major mistake we are about to make, unless we change our course immediately in space.
Admittedly, the Russians have run an amazing program to date, and their launch and space vehicles have a stellar record, with an almost unbroken chain of successful flights going back 30 years or more. Thus, in the absence of our own means of getting payloads and astronauts to and from space, they offer us a usually dependable means of doing so — although at a premium rate for cargo and $60 million per astronaut, not exactly at a bargain price. (I signed up the world’s first “space tourist,” Dennis Tito, over a decade ago. His ticket cost a little over $15 million. One would have assumed costs should drop over time, as is the case with other exotic technologies… not the opposite. This price is more a testament to their ability to out deal our guys than anything else…)
These things happen. Space is dangerous and risks high.
Regardless of how we ended up in this sad position, the fact these failures are happening right now, just as we have almost abandoned our human spaceflight program and shifted to complete dependence on theirs, is almost the work of providence. It gives us the chance to change our course before we completely shoot our feet out from under us, or rather, before Congress does.
We need to fix a couple of things right now.
First, it is absurd that more then 50 years into the age of human spaceflight the entire world depends on one launch system to get people to and from space. This is not only depressing but dangerous, as there are no backup systems in case this sort of thing or worse happens.
Second, it is even more absurd that the United States, who largely funded and built the $100 billion plus space station, is having to pay another country to carry vital supplies and even our own astronauts to a facility you and I paid for.
The Russians will of course find the problem and fix it — this time. But we will still be left with one type of vehicle operated by another country that has had a sometimes “interesting” relationship with our government as the only way for our people and payloads to get to space. Not good. This situation also brought back thoughts in my mind of what happened with the Columbia space shuttle. At the time, had we accepted the military’s offer to use its high power telescopes to look beneath it and spot the holes that would later kill our people, there were only two ways to get them down, the shuttle (none of which were ready) and Soyuz (a long shot and also none ready to fly.)
There is an easy solution. In fact, we could have up to five potential and different spacecraft flying to space — if Congress (once again) will simply get out of the way.
NASA is already trying to create a new commercial spaceflight industry that will be able to do all of these tasks, do them cheaply, do them safely and do them using different vehicles flying on different rockets. This means huge savings for the US taxpayers, more opportunities for NASA to explore for less cost and helps assure that next time one system fails there are other, different technologies and systems that can take up the slack — or if needed — save the day.
Sierra Nevada in Colorado, SpaceX in California and Texas, orbital Sciences in Virginia, even Boeing with its partner space station builder Bigelow Aerospace in Nevada, are building new systems capable of carrying up to seven astronauts or some serious payloads to the station. Problem is Congress is trying to kill them.
You see Congress, in particular Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, and Florida Senator Bill Nelson (with some quiet support from Senators Hatch and Mikulski) are intent on gutting the Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDEV) and putting all the money into yet another giant, never to be built temp job creator popularly called the Senate Launch System.
Ripping over $600 million out of the already measly $800 the White House had planned to spend on CCDEV rocketships, which could be flying by 2015, these visionary Washington spacecraft designers have instead proposed we spend over $38 billion on a giant rocket that will fly astronauts around the moon in 2021 — repeating the achievement of Apollo 8 only 53 or so years later and only ten years too late to help in this emergency.
Luckily, at least one Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher of California, has stood up against this “Lunacy” and called for some of the money now planned for SLS to be spent on accelerating the CCDEV program. An ironic and yet elegant jiu jitsu move against the forces of pork to be sure.
One can only hope that others on the Hill can put aside their own attachment to near term aerospace campaign contributions and partisan politics (as he has) long enough to join this call to do the right thing. After all, when it comes to saving the day, and who builds what with our money, I would rather the heroes who fly to ISS be funded by money spent in America, on riding on rockets built using innovative American technology and that they leave behind a new growth producing industry rather than prop up a dying one.
This isn’t about the Russians, nor should it be. They are a great space-faring nation with their own agenda and plans. It is about us, and the failure of our leaders to plan ahead, and now their failure to step up and support an American solution to an American problem.
In an ironic twist on the old feared words “I am the government and I am here to help…” perhaps, if we can get NewSpace rocket builders some cash soon enough, what will be heard in a few months through the airlock of the International Space Station will be: “Hi, I’m with the private sector, and I’m here to help you…” in American English of course."
My Thoughts:
I like the optimism in this post, and this really isn't about snubbing the Russians. It is our own fault we are without a contingency, but the failure of the Russian system does provide American companies some leverage for CCDev.