NASA 3rd space exploration conference: Day 2 continued

by | Feb 27, 2008 | Seradata News | 0 comments

Day two

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to the session outlined below and the following session (the last of the day) is about engaging young people in space; and I haven’t got the time to attend that. But in the extended entry for this blog post you can read my notes from the NASA commercial development that took place this morning. All the presentations from this conference are eventually finding their way to this NASA webpage

1345 – 1515
Plenary Panel—Human and Robotics Collaboration to Further Space Exploration

Moderator: Mr. Carl Walz, Advanced Capability Division Director, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, NASA

Humans and robots have to work in tandem to support sustainable exploration missions. Research and technology development to optimize the roles and humans in exploration tasks will increase the fidelity of these missions. Currently there are on-going efforts to understand various aspects of human and robotic exploration missions. This session will elucidate some of these efforts, beginning with devising low-cost innovative missions of opportunity. The other talks will also feature human-robotic interactions in the context of remote operations, the challenges associated with conducting extra-vehicular activity in lunar environment and innovative approaches for habitat construction.

Mr. Daniel Andrews, Project Manager LCROSS Mission, NASA ARC
Dr. Michael Gernhardt, Manager of Environmental Physiology Laboratory, NASA JSC
Mr. Phil Spampinato, Manager for Space Systems, ILC Dover
Dr. Robert O. Ambrose, Robonaut Project Lead, NASA JSC

The Exploration commercial development session notes can be reached by clicking this linkExploration commercial development session

I had to stop blogging live at about 1100h as I had a battery power failure. Here are my notes from the rest of this ESMD commercial development policy/commercial development session

George Neild
Acting FAA commercial spaceflight office administrator
We are planning for aircraft and spacecraft to share next generation national air system
We like NASA’s commercial development work
Armadillo demonstrated very quick turn around for a rocket vehicle
NASA/FAA co-op possible in areas of;
COTS resupply
Sharing of biomedical data from commercial suborbital flights
Commercial suborbital flights for training, subsystem testing and micro-gravity science
Spoke positively about new players such as Virgin Galactic, Bigelow Aerospace and others

Paul Eckert
Boeing commercial strategist
Promoting space commerce is a multidimensional challenge
Markets could be energy, platforms, services, information
Investment capital will flow into space commerce if its risk, reward ratio is better than terrestrial alternatives
Government’s can help with PPP
Expects a positive reaction from industry for ESMD commercial policy
ESMD policy must be comprehensive, applied to all projects, consistently over time to allow industry planning, flexible in whether its fixed or cost-plus and applied fairly to all company types, SME or large

Burton Lee
managing director, Space Angels Network
Seeing important networks emerging
Investment in Mojave company Xcor example of how investors can see opportunities
“Advance market commitments” by governments, not only at NASA but USAID and others, creates financing for companies before market exists
ESMD policy needs to ask, what after ISS resupply?
Need attractive deal for investors
Rocketplane Kistler could not overcome obstacle of “ongoing market” [beyond ISS resupply] risk

Q what are criteria for new company/concept to be of interest to the Space Angels Network
Burton Lee said:
Viable management team
IP position
Companies need to have raised some financing
Concepts such as space elevator too far out

Q Will ITAR stop necessary worldwide commercial space market growth?
Paul Eckert said:
ITAR represents a challenge
Companies who are successful in international space market have learnt to cope with ITAR

QDoes Orbital choice mean are new space too risky?
Alan Lindemoyer said:
This is an investment for NASA so we have to learn to think about an investor and we evaluate proposals on technical and business plan and there was no preference for size of company or management experience.

session ended 1200h

Blogging live now

Alan Lindenmoyer, commercial crew and cargo programme manager
Griffin recognised that 50 years after Sputnik space has not seen the growth aviation saw in its first 50 years
established commercial crew and cargo programme to manage NASA’s investment to stimulate new commercial space industry
in the next few days will release RFP to procure ISS resupply services
Talked about Orbital Sciences winning COTS plan using the new Taurus II launcher

1030h (there abouts)
Ken Davidian
moderator and developer of NASA’s new ESMD commercial development policy
NASA decided it needs to approach a new and growing space market sector and engage with that chan
The policy developed at ESMD level and will be taken next to “NASA level”
Last year plus Davidian has worked with many people to develop policy
Now wants industry input

Ken is using a weird Old McDonald/NASA farmer metaphor but essentialy he is saying that the agency has seen a whole range of companies developing systems, for example, Armadillo Aerospace, Virgin Galactic and has decided that it could benefit from working with these companies and others in its exploration work
The new players have high financial risk level, have a high technological acheivement level and high reliance on non-government customers and are very sensitive to launch costs
we want to achieve higher economic performance of space, to use fixed price contracts to meet NASA goals
for example, fuel depot is not in the exploration strategy but it would be useful
NASA has a seed fund programme with Armadillo Aerospace to test future space technology on Armadillo vehicles

Day two; first session; International collaboration*

John Logsdon, session moderator and director of the George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute

People involved in the US have no idea what is going no internationally
I was involved in the Stanford university vision for space exploration conference
Of the 45 people in room but only 2 or 3 who knew what was going on internationally but these were supposed to be a high level group of expertise
I was surprised by the lack of information
There weren’t to many discussions about international aspect in the first year
November 2006 Griffin said now is the time to start substantive discussions with international partners

*I decided to stay with this session and not go into the concurrent Shuttle, Constellation transition session

Logsdon continued;

Since 2006 there has been ongoing discussions
There has been agreement on global exploration strategy and international mechanism
International partners still to be convinced we’re serious about going back to the Moon
Decision will be made by the next president as she or he decides what to do with the money freed up by the retirement of the shuttle, we are probably two
Fiscal 2011 budget February of 2010 and until then the level of activity is the appropriate level of activity, lots of discussions about what could be done together
There has been a sea change in the past two years where there was scepticism about whether the US wanted international partners but now they know US needs and wants international participation to make the vision sustainable

Neal Newman
Office of external relations, responsible for exploration programme and international dimensions
NASA’s international engagement strategy
National priority to have own strategic objectives, such as transportation
We welcome redundancy for a robust programme
Developed open lunar architecture to foster international participation
Two pronged approach, multi and bilateral
April 2006 saw NASA sponsored conference and invited 13 agencies
Since then created GES framework for coordination document
Have Russia instruments on LED and MSL missions
Have NASA instrument on Chandrayaan probe
NASA helping JAXA with Kaguya probe with NASA deep space network
Korea, sleep stuffy with KARI
ESA joint comparative architecture assessment started in January to identify by May 2008 future NASA collaboration, including modified Ariane 5 and human transportation capabilities. Then early 2009 could take that forward
UK has had a joint study with NASA
Germany signed agreement on collaboration
Various other bilateral talks

India is talking openly about developing their own human transportation capability

Sylvie Espinasse
Observation of the universe dept
Italian space agency
Italy involved in DAWN mission providing instrument
To be involved in JUNO mission with instrument provision
Italy has been involved in Russian Mars96 mission and ESA’s Mars Express, as well as many other ESA science missions
Italy provided shallow radar for NASA’s Mars Recon Orbiter
Talked more about past Italian missions and some more recent Moon related science
Now has a phase a study for a lunar mission called MAGIA
Italy working on inflatable module technology for possible planetary expl and possible future demonstration
Working on ECLSS with ESA partners
Next Italian national space plan is for 2009 to 2011
Half our budget is devoted to ESA programmes so ESA ministerial meeting this November is important
To be determined – inflatable module development and Mars telecom orbiter or aerobraking technologies
We need these technologies to be partner with NASA for MSR

Fuyuyo Terui
JAXA space exploration center senior research associate
JAXA Space Exploration Center founded April 2007
Talked about existing missions such as Hayabbusa, Kaguya/Selene and BepiColombo and future projects such as lunar lander/rover called Selene-2 and ESA joint venture Marco Polo, a sample return mission

Ju Jin
Science and technology counsellor, Chinese embassy
Talked about past space missions and Chang’e-1 and Shenzhou flights
I think China is 20 years behind American technology
Next step is for space walk
17,000 engineers and scientists involved in Chang’e-1
China has signed many agreements with many countries
We tried to attend the ISS but failed
Since Reagan visited China both countries talked about joint manned flight since early 1980s
Chinese isolation on space has had a positive effect, the country has developed its own capabilities
We are very enthusiastic to find opportunity with US counterpart in Earth science, climate change, data sharing

Yevgeny Zvedre
Senior counsellor science and technology attaché, Russian embassy
Russia is working on space policy extending out to 2040
Have space industry strategy up to 2015
Today Russian space budget is $1.2 billion
Talked about existing cooperation and manned Kliper spacecraft non-start and expects a final choice on new manned spacecraft soon
From 2016 Russia will look for potential landing sites
Russia’s plans very similar to NASA to place lunar outpost on Moon in 2020s
“The ISS will be exploited for another 15 years, maybe more, maybe less”

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