Archive for September, 2007

Pentagon study says Space Solar Power viable / Frontier Spaceport launched

September 7, 2007 3 comments

Big news from “Opening” Day at Frontier Spaceport was the talk by Coyote Watanabe, avatar of Col. M.V. “Coyote” Smith, leader of the National Security Space Office study on feasibility of space-based solar power.

Coyote previewed the summary findings he’ll present later today in Colorado at the NSSO/Air Force Academy conference on space solar power.

Headline — Instead of ending the study September 15 as originally planned, the Pentagon Chief of Future Concepts said the study findings were so compelling that he’ll deliver an interim report October 11, in concert with a press event in Washington D.C., and the study will continue.

He spoke eloquently of the need for fleets of spaceplanes and reusable rockets to accomplish the baseline goals of the study, which envisions 40 powersats in geosynchronous orbit producing 10 percent of U.S. energy needs by the year 2050. (Hey, isn’t that the year Gerard O’Neill predicted way back in the 1970s? it sounded so far away then…)

A first demonstrator project in, say, the year 2015 might power a military base, be capable of sending power to disaster areas, or transmit energy to troops abroad. The cost of petroleum fuel, not only money but lives lost in wars fought over oil, is a big driver of the Pentagon’s interest in space solar power. Coyote has gone from skeptic to enthusiast since the study began.

As a futurist who launched a study with no budget using free internet tools and donated brain power, he naturally came into Second Life to see what he could see about the potential of online 3D virtual reality. That inspired Space Studies Institute to get busy on modeling a small-scale model solar power satellite and rectenna, and set up small base of operations for National Space Security Office’s public discussion blog hosted by Space Frontier Foundation, Space Solar Power .

It was a great honor to have the exciting news about the Pentagon’s thumbs-up for space solar power delivered first to the small audience at Frontier Spaceport’s eXtremely casual and eXperimental opening day.

But if news happens on Voice in Second Life and the lone space reporter on the beat is not Voice-enabled, is it news yet?

It’s a beta virtual world and every day is an experiment. How to use this place? What can it be? Could it really be the future of how we communicate, collaborate, explore, learn, do science, conduct business…?

Opening day events for Frontier Spaceport used a mix of Voice Chat and classic typed Chat. The good thing about classic chat is that it’s heard/read by residents who don’t want to use voice, can’t figure out how to enable it, don’t have the bandwidth or system to handle it, or happen to be Linux users. At least one Voice-resister changed stripes in order to listen to Coyote’s talk, but some got nothing out of it. Streaming on audio channel might be better for now for talks. I guess this is pushing the envelope a bit. We still don’t use Voice over at NASA CoLab ~

It was a really long day.

Remind me never to plan 6 hours of events in Second Life on one day ever again.

More about the rest of opening day later –

were you there? what did you think?


Frontier Spaceport “Opens” in Second Life

September 5, 2007 Leave a comment

Opening Day* at Frontier Spaceport – Thursday September 6, 2007
3 PM until 9 PM Second Life Time (PDT)
** Special Event at 6 PM **
Exclusive preview of summary report by Coyote Watanabe about National Security Space Office study on Space-Based Solar Power. Coyote Watanabe is Colonel M.V. “Coyote” Smith, leader of the NSSO study.

*Note: Frontier Spaceport has been open under construction since it came online. Opening Day is strictly a formality, and does not mean the place is finished. It’s a work in progress — change is good!

Event Schedule:

3 PM — Welcome to Frontier Spaceport
Launch Pad, Space Studies Institute (191, 183, 27)

Rocket Sellers (Robin Snelson, Space Studies Institute Senior Advisor and Space Frontier Foundation Advocate) reveals the purpose and goals of Frontier Spaceport — a joint research and outreach project in development for SFF and SSI. Thanks to Frontier Spaceport’s core development team, supporters and participants.

4 PM — Oregon L5 on the Moon
Launch Pad, Space Studies Institute (191, 183, 27)

Good neighbors Ariel Miranda, Prng Flagstaff and Sine Arrow talk about Oregon L5 Society’s research into using lava tubes on the Moon and Mars for habitats, and how it led them to model their work in Second Life, first on NASA CoLab project plot and now on National Space Society’s new island.

5 PM — The Rocketeers
Rocket Class at Space Frontier, Space Frontier (60, 193, 27)

Rocket Class with instructor Jimbo Perhaps (Jim Botaitis) returns as Rocket Workshop, a community project to solve Second Life’s rocketry challenges: spaceplanes, reusable rockets, vertical takeoff vertical landers, multiple rocket engines, staged rockets, advanced propulsion — sharing expertise on building, texturing and scripting real rockets of today and the very near future.

6 PM — Space Solar Power
Launch Pad, Space Studies Institute (191, 183, 27)

Exclusive preview of summary report by Coyote Watanabe about National Security Space Office study on Space-Based Solar Power. Coyote Watanabe is Colonel M.V. “Coyote” Smith, leader of the NSSO study.

7 PM — Space Cynic and Rocket Revolutionary

Launch Pad, Space Studies Institute (191, 183, 27)
Rsquared Pye (Space Cynic Shubber Ali) and Swenson Oh (Space Studies Institute vice president Lee Valentine) on the biggest challenge to becoming spacefaring — the cost of launch to orbit.

8 PM — Social
Launch Pad, Space Studies Institute (191, 183, 27)

For later, places of Interest on and over Frontier Spaceport ~
Rocket Travel is encouraged when going to space, and free rockets can be found around the spaceport — but in a pinch, a landmark will get you there.

Welcome Space Pioneers!, Space Frontier (201, 54, 23)
Find helpful freebies in the Tool Shed, free rockets, and a seat around the campfire where you can listen to The Space Show live or archived.

Armadillo Tour to Orbit U, Space Studies Institute (137, 178, 28)
Take the scenic ride on a prototype Armadillo modular rocket to Orbit U in space above SSI.

Frontier Spaceport, Space Studies Institute (67, 155, 28)
Headquarters building with roof deck, view of spaceport.

Orbit U, Space Studies Institute (217, 179, 670)

Campus in space for seminars, classes and conferences.

Mir Space Station, Space Studies Institute (166, 151, 685)

Space Power Project, Space Studies Institute (137, 178, 28)
National Security Space Office study on space-based solar power. Ignore warning signs, jump the fence and find out what’s going on inside the hangar.

Sun Tower satellite, Space Studies Institute (174, 72, 477)

One design for a solar power satellite.

Jimbo Perhaps Rocket Garden, Space Frontier (53, 16, 601)
Mad Rocket Scientist sky workshop.

Adluna Lander Challenge, Space Frontier (207, 193, 26)
Adluna Dagger’s Lunar Lander Challengers get ready for the X Prize Cup.

Space Frontier Sandbox, Space Frontier (187, 89, 26)

You too can build real rockets and space projects for the 21st century ~