All content is by Stephen Ashworth, Oxford, UK,
unless attributed to a different signed author.
(1) Tumlinson’s challenge for NewSpace
As the final Shuttle flight came to an end, Rick Tumlinson threw down the challenge to the NewSpace generation in a Huffington Post op-ed entitled “Apollo’s Children and the NewSpace Revolution”.
“I make the following predictions based not on whimsical fancy but real information and the direction of real companies and projects – many of which are already underway, funded and producing hardware, and some of which have already flown or have test articles in space right now – and all are American-led or based:
“Apollo’s children are alive and well. They are all around you and they need your encouragement, your support and your belief in their dreams – because their dreams are the dreams we gave them. In fact they are many of you, your children, your grandchildren and the legacy we bequeath must not be defeat and denial but glory and the celebration of their genius and ingenuity.”
Can NewSpace make it happen? Will they still be making grandiose claims 10 and 15 years in the future, with only minimal real successes to show, or will commercial manned spaceflight have shouldered Soyuz, Shenzhou, Europe’s ATV and even the ISS aside as irrelevant and obsolete? Are the doubters right that only governments can put people in space and the end of the Shuttle means the end of America in space, or is the entrepreneurial spirit about to blow the gates to the frontier wide open?
For those of us in the UK, it is Reaction Engines above all which needs our encouragement and support. Yes, there are other companies and other innovative space access projects in the UK, and all deserve to succeed. But it is Reaction Engines which at present has political, financial and engineering momentum. If we can keep that momentum going, then other projects, too, have a chance; but if it fails, then everyone loses.
Meanwhile Astronautical Evolution will be keeping a keen eye on developments in years to come to see how they pan out against Tumlinson's ten bold predictions.
(2) Space Renaissance International calls for global Apollo holiday
Press Release by Walter Putnam
SPACE RENAISSANCE INTERNATIONAL SEEKS GLOBAL HOLIDAY
Urges celebration of first Moon landing, future in space
Planet Earth, 24 July 2011
Space Renaissance International is calling for a worldwide holiday to celebrate the first Moon landing and continuing efforts to assure civilization’s advancement into extraterrestrial space.
In a July 24th letter to other organizations, government agencies and groups around the globe that are involved in space exploration and development, SRI urged that July 20-21 be established as a time to recognize mankind’s achievements through the “First Step” onto another celestial body and to promote all endeavors leading humanity into realms beyond Earth. It was on July 20, 1969, in the United States and Europe – July 21 in earlier time zones – that Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong made the historic “giant leap for mankind,” to be joined minutes later by Buzz Aldrin.
There have been other efforts to establish a day celebrating this extraordinary accomplishment, but none have had the reach sought by SRI, an international organization associated with science groups, space commerce advocates and other space enthusiasts around the world. In their letter, President Adriano Autino and Secretary General Gail B. Leatherwood wrote that SRI “does not claim ‘ownership’ of this initiative.” They appealed to others to join in promoting the time of celebration as one way of unifying the space movement “to speak with a single voice.”
They also wrote that the effort was in no way meant to detract from “Yuri’s Night,” a similar event commemorating Yuri Gagarin’s first manned orbital flight, or to focus only on the United States’ achievement in first reaching the Moon.
In the proposal circulated with the letter, SRI said it was calling “for individuals, communities, nations, the United Nations, the space agencies, the governments of all countries, to approve and promote July 20th-21st as a worldwide holiday, to celebrate the first human step on another celestial body – a milestone on the path to fulfill human destiny, creating a solar civilization.”
SRI Executive Committee member Kim Peart, who first proposed the idea, added: “First Step is about silence, reflection, watching, wondering – recapturing a unique moment when the whole world stopped to watch and wonder.”
By Walt Putnam
(3) Space poem celebrates Apollo 11’s 42nd anniversary
Rick Tumlinson writes: Kyle and Ryan, my amazing partners at INSpace Media, and I produced this in honour of our heroes. “Apollo’s Children Vers. 1”. A poem from the future.
It needs a little work and more editing, but it was a bit last minute... Enjoy! (It’s only 2 mins long...) and feel free to share.