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Development of a space-based economy, space settlement, and space news

Space news

The following are recent presentations on space-related news, made to the North Houston chapter of the National Space Society.  Some of these Powerpoint presentations include gif animations.  To see those, you may need to go into “slide show” mode.

Space News, April, 2020

Space News May, 2020

Space News, June, 2020

Space News, July 2020

Space News, August 2020

Space News, September 2020

Presentations on space-related topics

Presentations on specific topics related to the development of a space-based economy and settling in space are:  

Biosphere 2 and closed ecological systems:  systems biology for sustainable life outside earth

Biosphere 2 was constructed as a demonstration/test site for prototyping sealed life support systems to support future space colonization, and to better model how earth’s ecosystems actually work. When 8 “biospherians” were sealed in the 3.14 acre facility for 2 years starting in 1991, it was (and remains) the world’s largest and longest-running closed environment test.  The facility is still there and open to the public, although it is no longer sealed. This Biosphere 2 presentation (pdf) on May 12, 2018 offers a retrospective on its unique contributions to understanding the complexities of sustaining life outside earth.

Lunar gateway orbit options

The “lunar gateway” has gone through various name changes over time.  If it is built, it will be a small-scale, short term human habitat orbiting the moon (also called “cis-lunar space”).  An overview of the issues in choosing an appropriate orbit is given in this Lunar gateway orbit options presentation (Powerpoint) from January, 2019.  The presentation includes some animations.  To see those, you may need to go into “slide show” mode.

SpaceX’s StarLink and other satellite-based internet services

StarLink is a satellite-based worldwide internet service being built by SpaceX.  It was initially envisioned to be based on up to 12,000 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, although there is now an application to increase this to 30,000 satellites.  By comparison, there were only about 5000 satellites in orbit at the time of the first launch.  There are other competitors who also are launching large numbers of satellites in the race to provide space-based internet service.  This StarLink presentation (Powerpoint) from June, 2019 provides an overview.  The presentation includes some animations.  To see those, you may need to go into “slide show” mode.