NSS Online Report

Issue #1 / March 13, 2000



Welcome to NSS Online Report, a new benefit of your membership
in the National Space Society. This electronic publication is a free
service. Each month NSS Online Report will provide you with short (a)
reports on some of the latest space discoveries and technological
developments that you might not have seen in your local media, (b)
updates on how your Society is working to accelerate space settlement,
(c) information on additional member benefits, and (d) links and
references to further information on those matters that interest you.
I am pleased now to introduce you to the Editor of NSS Online
Report, JOSH POWERS. Josh is an aerospace engineer, 24, living in
Virginia, and a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He served as
Editor-in-Chief of the Notre Dame Technical Review and as Editor of
Shuttle Enthusiast, the newsletter of International Space Link (ISL).
We are very grateful to him for volunteering to serve you and NSS in
this new capacity.


Vice President – Membership



I’d like to add my welcome to that of the NSS Board. In this
first issue of NSS Online Report, I think we have produced an
informative and interesting summary of NSS and space exploration news.
It is our intention to provide enough information to satisfy your
interests without taking up too much of your time. That means keeping
most of our articles relatively short, and not reiterating the details
of stories covered by mainstream news organizations. We hope that the
links and references will provide you with an opportunity to get more
details on the items that interest you most.

One of our goals for NSS Online Report is to help NSS members
become more involved in their Society by opening up new lines of
communication. Those communications flow in two directions, and we
encourage you to ask for more information, especially on NSS matters.
If we report on an interesting activity, we will do our best to help you
get involved upon request.

We hope you enjoy this regular report from your National Space
Society. If you have any questions, comments, or information about NSS
activities or policies to share, please feel free to contact me. Thanks
for your continued support of NSS!





INDEX [Issue #1 / March 1, 2000]


— From the NSS Board

— From Editor

On the Spacefront

— Hotel in Orbit

— President Proposes Increased NASA Budget

NSS in Action

— NSS and “Mission to Mars”

— A Gala Invitation to NSS Members: Apollo 13

— See a Shuttle Launch on April 13

— NSS Reports on Election 2000

— Special Membership Offer for Your Friends

Other News

— “Lunar Bases” Planned in California, Nevada

— Galileo Data Suggests Ocean on Europa as Mission is Extended

News Links

— Scientists Discover Gene for Human Hibernation

— Service Module Launch Date Set, But ISS Future Remains Uncertain

— NEAR Orbits Asteroid 433 Eros



Orbital hotels like the one depicted in the Arthur C. Clarke –
Stanley Kubrick movie “2001” have long been envisioned as a part of the
spacefaring civilization of the future. A recent agreement to lease Mir
could mean that this vision will become a reality sooner than expected.

A new company, MirCorp, reportedly has entered into an
arrangement with the Russian government to use the Mir space station for
a variety of commercial ventures, including manufacturing, promotional
activities, and even space tourism. Costs for pioneering
“astrotourists” will be astronomically high, as much as $20 million.
However, if successful, this new venture could demonstrate that there is
a real market for commercial space endeavors beyond the traditional
communication and remote sensing satellites. New opportunities in orbit
could spur the development of new commercial launch vehicles and other
technologies to exploit them.

A Progress freighter was launched to Mir on February 1 and has
been used to boost the perigee of the station’s orbit from 320 km to 352
km. Tests have also been performed to ensure Mir’s attitude control
computers and gyrodynes are functioning normally. A Soyuz spacecraft is
expected to carry Mir’s next crew to orbit on March 31. Gold & Appel,
one of the Western companies supporting MirCorp, has already invested
$20 million to support the Progress and Soyuz flights. MirCorp will
have to raise as much as $200 million more to complete its planned
renovation of the 14-year-old space station, and an additional $100
million per year to maintain it.

Mir Leased for Commercial Use, Will Stay in Orbit Indefinitely:






Efforts of National Space Society members and other space
advocates to secure increased funding for the nation’s civil space
program may finally yield results later this year. In February,
President Clinton sent Congress a $14.0353 billion NASA budget request
for Fiscal Year 2001, an increase of 3% over FY 2000 levels. The
proposed increase would end a seven-year decline and provide critical
funding for the nation’s space transportation programs and scientific

The budget includes $5.499 billion for human spaceflight, $5.929
billion for science, aeronautics and technology, and $2.584 billion for
mission support. It funds a second-generation Reusable Launch Vehicle
program, an initiative to utilize commercial rockets for human
spaceflight, and provides $256 million for a program to enhance Shuttle
safety. Space Science will receive a 9% boost to $2.4 billion. The new
budget will also allow NASA to hire as many as 2000 personnel over the
next five years, though the net gain will be only about 600 due to

NSS congratulates its members and all those who worked to add
funding for the nation’s civil space agency in the new budget which
takes effect on October 1st. “We are certainly gratified and can take
some satisfaction in the role our members played in bringing the need
for added NASA funding before the White House as well as Congress,” said
PAT DASCH, NSS Executive Director.

Details on the FY2001 NASA Budget:





NSS has teamed with Walt Disney, Touchstone Pictures, and
Lockheed Martin to produce a “Viewers Guide” to the forthcoming movie
“Mission to Mars.” The movie, premiering this month, is directed by
Brian DePalma and stars Gary Sinise, Tim Robbins, Jerry O’Connell and
Don Cheadle.

The Guide describes the movie as “the inspirational story of the
second hurried Mars Recovery Mission, the almost insurmountable dangers
that confront the brave crew on their journey through space, and the
amazing discovery they make when they finally reach the Red Planet.”

In addition to movie information, the Guide contains details
about the planet Mars and the means of exploring it, including possible
mission profiles, analyses of Martian dust storms, problems with living
conditions, comparisons of Earth and Mars, and a Mars Milestones

More than a million copies were printed and are being
distributed through inserts in major newspapers nationwide. Thousands
more have been distributed to all NSS chapters for use with chapter
educational and space promotional activities. Each NSS member will
receive a copy with the next issue of AD ASTRA.

Additional copies for bulk use in promoting space in your area
are available from NSS while supplies last. If you have a need, please
contact ANNE PIERCE at NSS Headquarters alpnss@aol.com.


“Houston, we have a problem.” Few of us can forget that famous
quotation, which became one of the most recognizable from our Space
program. Those words also entered the popular lexicon with the success
of Ron Howard’s movie, “Apollo 13”.

NSS has been selected as one of the two organizations to host a
celebration of the 30th anniversary of that perilous and heroic
mission. ROY DISNEY will serve as the Co-Chairman of the Apollo 13
“Diamond” Anniversary Gala Dinner. Join NSS Governors BUZZ ALDRIN, TOM
HANKS, and JIM LOVELL as they greet Hollywood and space stars April 29,
2000 in the Museum of Flying at the Santa Monica (California)

Proceeds from the Gala will benefit the NATIONAL SPACE SOCIETY
and the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (created by the Original
Mercury 7 Astronauts), two worthy causes that help to promote public
awareness of the benefits of Space exploration and provide support for

To join the celebration, please use the Registration Form below.
Individual members are welcome, but you also may wish to ask your
employer about reserving a table, especially if that company has offices
in California.

--------- Registration Form ----------

Apollo 13 Diamond Anniversary Gala Dinner
Museum of Flying -- Santa Monica, California -- April  29, 2000

_____  $10,000 "Mission Sponsor" Includes:  (1) table of 10 with
seating; (2) 10 invitations to VIP Reception; (3) full-page ad in
Tribute Book

_____  $5,000 "Mission Controller" Includes:  (1) table of 10;
(2) 10 invitations to VIP Reception; (2) half-page ad in Tribute Book

_____  Check here if your firm wishes to be invoiced and indicate the
address below.

_____  $300 "Mission Specialist" Includes:  (1) single dinner seating;
(2) listing of name in Tribute Book  (Please indicate number attending.)

Name:  ___________________________ Firm:  ___________________

Address:  ___________________________________________________


Telephone Number:  _________________ E-mail:  ___________________

__ Visa    __ MasterCard    __ American Express

Credit Card Number:  __________________________________

Signature: ____________________________________________

Expiration Date:  _______________

Please fax Registration Form to 202-546-4189 to ensure reservation.
If paying by check, please send payment to the address below and be sure
to indicate the name of the person or company listed on the faxed
Registration Form.
Make checks payable to National Space Society:
600 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Suite 201, Washington, DC 20003.

---------- End of Registration Form ----------


NSS is gearing up for its next Space Shuttle launch tour to see
the April 13 launch of STS-101. This mission will carry supplies to the
International Space Station. The launch is currently scheduled to be at
night (8:44 p.m.), so it should be amazing!

The April launch tour is open to all NSS members. For more
information, please contact NANCY ROSENBERG, Membership Manager at NSS
HQ, telephone 202-543-1900 or e-mail: nfrnss@aol.com.

For more information on the shuttle launch schedule, check out
the Kennedy Space Center’s Space Shuttle Manifest at


Find out who the pro-space candidates are in Election 2000 by
visiting the NSS web site! We are busy building a voter’s guide
regarding the Presidential candidate’s positions on space related
issues. Through member efforts we have an idea of where Governor Bush,
Senator Bradley, and Vice President Gore stand on the issue of a human
mission to Mars.

Many members are contributing to this effort, and you can too!
If you have a chance to meet one of the Presidential candidates at a
campaign appearance, ask about his opinion on space-related issues and
share the answer with NSS. An email address is listed on the Campaign
2000 web site at http://www.nss.org/camp2000/home.html. New postings
will appear regularly as the November election draws near.


The NSS chapters’ “Campaign for the Future” membership drive is
drawing to a close, but we are extending a special opportunity to
individual members to join this effort. Started in April 1999,
“Campaign for the Future” offers an introductory discount to new members
and rewards for the Chapters that successfully recruit them. Special
dues for new members recruited in this campaign are just $25. For those
who want to contribute more, the regular rates of $35 (Individual
Member), $50 (Contributor), and $100 (Pathfinder) are available.

Until April 15, you can buy a gift membership for a friend at
that same reduced $25 rate. If you would like to bring the magic of
space to your friend and help NSS at the same time, just email NSS
Director LARRY AHEARN, who has volunteered to coordinate this effort.

Send to Larry your name, address, and email address along with
your friend’s name (or names!) and address – at LDAhearn@aol.com.

NSS Membership Web Page — http://www.nss.org/html/membership.html


Two private organizations have recently announced plans to build
prototype Lunar bases in the California and Nevada deserts. Both
projects aim to, in the relatively benign environment of Earth, perfect
techniques which could be used by astronauts establishing settlements on
the Moon, Mars, or beyond.

One of the construction projects will take place in Hesperia,
California, about 50 miles Northeast of Los Angeles. Organized by the
CalEarth Institute, this project will test construction methods that
could make use of Lunar materials and Solar energy to create a wide
variety of structures.

The techniques to be employed were originally developed by
CalEarth founder Nader Khalili to provide earthquake and weather
resistant housing for the poor. Both the use of heat to strengthen the
earthen structures and the use of solar energy to produce that heat have
already been tested individually. The Hesperia settlement will provide
a large-scale laboratory where development of Khalili’s techniques,
which are described in more detail on the CalEarth web site, can

CalEarth – http://www.calearth.org
Hesperia article —

The second of these Lunar outposts on Earth will be built
outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Called Project Leto, the facility will
include a habitat, farm, visitors center, and even a fake landing pad.
The project’s sponsor, the Artemis Society International (ASI), hopes to
draw tourists from Las Vegas, but the project’s goal is more than just
another spectacle. The Project Leto complex will include a habitat,
composed of three Spacehab modules, where six to twelve month tests of a
regenerative life support system will be conducted. Crews of six to ten
will use that time to conduct tests with a fleet of robots that will
perform tasks similar to those required on Lunar or planetary missions.
The Artemis Foundation hopes to use profits from tourism at the site to
help fund a real Lunar settlement, which is described in detail on the
project’s web site.

ASI — http://www.asi.org


Data from a recent flyby of Europa by the Galileo Jupiter probe
has provided further evidence that an ocean of liquid water may lie
beneath that moon’s icy crust. During the flyby on January 3, Galileo
detected a change in the orientation of Europa’s magnetic field. This
change is most easily explained by the presence of a conducting liquid,
like salt water, in a layer up to 60 miles beneath the moon’s surface.
The presence of water would dramatically enhance the possibility of life
on Europa. It will be at least 8 years before another spacecraft, the
Europa Orbiter, arrives to continue the investigation. Details on that
mission can be found at the project web site —

Galileo’s mission is far from over, however. NASA has decided
to extend it until at least the end of 2000. Along with additional
flybys of Jupiter’s other moons, the extension will allow joint
observations with the Cassini spacecraft when it passes through the
Jovian system on December 30, 2000 enroute to Saturn. To find the
latest news on Galileo’s extended mission, visit the Galileo web site —

SpaceRef Articles on Europa Encounter





Scientists Discover Gene for Human Hibernation



Service Module Launch Date Set, But ISS Future Remains Uncertain



NEAR Orbits Asteroid 433 Eros




NSS Online Report

Issue #1 / March 1, 2000

Editor: Joshua Powers (powers1@geocities.com)

National Space Society

600 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E.

Suite 201

Washington, DC 20003

(202) 543-1900



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