15,682 days as of this date have gone by since the last
American man (Eugene Cernan with his companion Harison
Schmidt) walked on the Moon in 1972! Since then, space
enthusiasts awaited with much anticipation new programs
designed to get us back to the Moon and beyond.

Unfortunately,  for the past 40 years our political leaders have
spoken with a forked tongue when it came to manned missions
beyond Low Earth Orbit. As it happened, for one reason or the
other, manned programs designed to take us back to the Moon
were constantly re-designed by every successive occupant of
the White House since Richard Nixon... And of course, the most
recent program in development, George W. Bush's Constellation
systems Program which had promised return to the Moon as
early as 2020 has seemingly suffered the same fate.

Which caused former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin to
lament:  "If Obama does cancel the Constellation program, it
leaves NASA and the nation with no program, no plan and no
commitment to any human spaceflight program beyond that of

The original Bush plan, of course, was to return to the moon by
2020; unfortunately,  the project was underfunded to the point
where this might not have happened until 2030. And what’s
more, decision-makers said there wasn't enough money to do
both the moon and keep the ISS project going. It had to be one
or the other, and let’s face it: the advantage was to the ISS
because it was already out there in space, working like a charm,
and the moon R&D was still working on a rocket to replace the
one we used in the 60s.

Consequently, the Obama Administration decided putting $6
billion into extending the life of the ISS and at the same time
encouraging private spaceflight to develop a new support
system for the ISS ...But until these private spaceflight
companies developed this new support system NASA needed to
purchase an additional $753 Million in transportation services
from the Russian Federal Space agency or $63 million per seat
to and from the International Space Station on the Soyuz...

As we stand now in 2014 private spaceflight Company SpaceX
has been successful in developing its Falcon Rocket system
which carries its Dragon Cargo Vehicle to the ISS and has
completed successfully a number of missions to the ISS the
same goes for private spaceflight Company Orbital Sciences
which also has been successful in developing its Antaries
Rocket System which carried its Cygnus Cargo Vehicle to the
ISS and has also completed successfully a number of missions
to the ISS.

But neither company has at this  point in its development of its
rocket systems attempted to send human beings to the space

And as far as the Obama policy on this, the President on April
15, 2010 committed to increasing NASA funding by $6 billion
over five years and completing the design of a new heavy-lift
launch vehicle by 2015 and to begin construction thereafter. He
also predicted a U.S.-crewed orbital Mars mission by the mid-
2030s, preceded by an asteroid mission by 2025..

Please note -- When Neil Armstrong the first man on the moon
died, President Barack Obama tweeted: "Neil Armstrong was a
hero not just of his time, but of all time." But, Armstrong’s final
comment on Obama, on the other hand, was that the president’s
policy on manned space flight was “devastating,” and
condemned the United States to “a long downhill slide to

That was over three years ago, when three Americans who had
walked on the moon, Armstrong, James Lovell, commander of
Apollo 13, and Eugene Cernan, commander of Apollo 17,
published an open letter to Obama pointing out that his new
space policy effectively ended American participation in the
human exploration of deep space.

Stated Armstrong; “We will have wasted our current $10-billion-
plus investment in Constellation,” he said, “and equally
importantly, we will have lost the many years required to
recreate the equivalent of what we will have discarded. For the
United States … to be without carriage to low Earth orbit and
with no human exploration capability to go beyond Earth orbit …
destines our nation to become one of second or even third rate

According to Gywnee Dyer in a special report to BDN Maine,
"Obama was never a politician with a big international vision. He
had experts to do that stuff for him, and of course they were all
part of the “Washington consensus,” which is just as parochial
as he was. So he canceled the big Ares rockets that would have
taken American astronauts back to the moon and onwards to
Mars and the asteroids. Some other spending program just
yelled louder.

So as a consequence states Dyer.   If NASA (the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration) wants to put an
American into space now, it has to buy passage on a Russian
rocket, which is currently over $50 million per seat. By 2015 the
Chinese will probably be offering an alternative service (which
may bring the price down), and before long India may be in the
business as well. But the United States won’t.

There is a built in  gap of between five and ten years between
the retirement of the Space Shuttle fleet a few years ago and
the first new American vehicles capable of putting a human
being into space. Even then it will only be into low Earth orbit:
none of the commercial vehicles now being developed will be
able to do what the Saturn rockets did 41 years ago when they
sent Neil Armstrong and his colleagues to the moon."

Armstrong was very blunt about Obama’s assurances that the
United States was not really giving up on deep space: “While the
president’s plan envisages humans traveling away from Earth
and perhaps toward Mars at some time in the future, the lack of
developed rockets and spacecraft will assure that ability will not
be available for many years.” Not the return to the moon by
2020 planned by the Constellation program, but pie in the sky
when you die.

This is not a global defeat for manned exploration of the solar
system. The Russians are talking seriously about building a
permanent base on the moon, and all the major Asian
contenders are working on heavy-lift rockets that would enable
them to go beyond Earth orbit. It’s just an American loss of will,
shared equally by Obama and former Republican presidential
candidate Mitt Romney.

“I know China is headed to the moon,” Romney told a town hall
audience in Michigan in February. “They’re planning on going to
the moon, and some people say, oh, we’ve got to get to the
moon, we’ve got to get there in a hurry to prove we can get
there before China. It’s like, guys, we were there a long time
ago, all right? And when you get there would you bring back
some of the stuff we left?” Arrogant, complacent, and wrong.
Lehigh Valley Space Frontier
December 22, 2015
The Public Voice on the
Cutting Edge of the Future
A View of Earth at Night
Lehigh Valley Space Frontier past issues
Space Frontier 9/18/2010
Space Frontier 3/28/2011
Space Frontier 11/7/2012
Videos produced by Dennis Pearson for
Living in a Bernal Sphere
Make it So
Do Not Retreat From Our Journey
A Honeymoon Cruise to the Moon
(A Near-Term Fiction,)
by Ronnie Lajoie, edited and expanded by Dennis L. Pearson

Picture this ... You have just gotten married and you  and your
new spouse begin your honeymoon by boarding a commercial  
space shuttle owned and operated by Virgin Galactic to take
them into Low Earth Orbit.

Virgin Galactic started as company within Richard Branson's
Virgin Group which planed to provide suborbital spaceflights to
space tourists, suborbital launches for space science missions,
and orbital launches of small satellites.  And further in the
future, Virgin Galactic hoped to offer orbital human spaceflights
as well. The future being the present for our young honey
moon couple.

For many year's Virgin Galactic's spacecraft was launched from
a large aeroplane, giving the spacecraft more initial speed and
altitude than if it were launched from the ground. But for this
orbital trip Virgin Galactic utilizes a single stage to orbit vehicle
with vertical take-off and horizontal landing.
The US Federal Aviation Administration had given the
green light for the world's first commercial spaceport in New
Mexico in December 2008. And since then, a number of other
commercial spaceport's developed as the industry became
viable and prosperous.

The present year is 2031 and the following non-federal FIAA
licensed Launch Sites operate in the United States:

1) Spaceport America in New Mexico
2) Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida
3) Cecil Field Spaceport in Florida
4) Oklahoma Spaceport on Oklahoma
5) Mojave Air and Spaceport in California
6) California Spaceport in California
7) Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska
and 8) Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport (Mars) Virginia
but other spaceports or either in the process of construction or
debate in Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Texas
(multiple locations) Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

Then too, In 2031 the U.S. Government still operates launch
sites at Edward's Air Force Base in California, Vandenberg Air
Force Base in California, White Sands Missile Range in New
Mexico, Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force
station in Florida and finally, Wallops' Island in Virginia.
Uniquely, the Blue Origin Launch Site in Texas is operated by
one provider  
And the Poker Flat Research Range is owned by the University
of Alaska Geophysical Institute
Penn State University too is in the suborbital, orbital and trans
orbital business as its successful Lunar Lion X  team reached
the Moon in 2015 and stayed in business with the prestige it
won as a Lunar X Prize winner.
Located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic
Regional Spaceport (MARS) is situated on the NASA Wallops
Island Flight Facility and enjoys an idea location. Nearby
Chincoteague Island and neighboring Assateague Island offer
resent amenities, including the Chincoteague National Wildlife
Refuge and the Assateague Island National Seashore.
Our newly married couple for convenience has chosen the
Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport which is operated under the
auspices of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority to
be the launch point of their journey. The couple were born and
raised and still live in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania
and have a relatively short airplane flight or train trip or
automobile ride to get to the MARS Launch site.
Wouldn't it be something if their Single Launch to Orbit Rocket
could land at either the Queen City or Lehigh Valley
International Airports'
Let it be understood that the launch of a spacecraft comprises a
period of powered flight during which the vehicle rises above
the Earth's atmosphere and accelerates at least to orbit
velocity. Powered flight ends when the rocket's last stage burns
out , and the spacecraft separates and continues free fall. If the
spacecraft achieved escape from Earth's gravitation, rather than
entering Earth Orbit, its flight path then will be a solar orbit of
some description (since the launch pad was also in solar orbit)
In this case, the total mass of the single launch to total rocket
will comprise a period of powered flight during which the vehicle
rises above the Earth's atmosphere and after performing a
maneuver or two, the couple's  shuttle accelerates to
rendezvous with a passing space cruise liner accelerates to a
destination point in Earth Orbit to achieve rendezvous with a
passing space cruise liner.  a giant rotating space hotel with all
the luxury accommodations of the best hotels and Casinos on
Earth.. The Space Cruise liner a joint venture between Bigelow
Aerospace, Virgin Galactic, Hilton Hotels and the Walt Disney

The next step would be for the shuttle to dock with and join the
space cruise liner (this one named the Burt Ratan) on its
week-long journey to the Moon and back ... This journey in a
more basic way was taken by U.S. Government
employees at least 8 times between 1968 and 1972. Six of
these trips resulted in 12 U.S Citizens setting foot on the Moon
and 6 others sightseeing above in Low Moon Orbit , Two of
these trips involving six other individuals were Moon
swing-rounds - one intentional and one unintended.

Concerning the intentional swing-round, our most seasoned
citizens remember the inspirational Christmas reading of the
Genesis Story while on board cameras transmitted lunar and
earth pictures back to Earth  . Concerning the unintentional
swing-round, a trip that should had landed 2 additional
Americans on the Moon, but instead held Americans and the
world in suspense as an on board explosion canceled the Moon
landing and made those fellow human beings on planet Earth
wonder whether the Apollo 13 astronauts would get
home safely.

The married couple ( husband and wife , spouse and spouse)
disembarks  the Shuttle and immediately follow other
passengers to the nearest observation window to watch  their
home planet Earth slowly recede. After several hours of
planet-gazing and cuddling, the two of them finally pull
themselves away from the window long enough today to check
into their room. An unique room that can  automatically expand
from its original dimensions and detract to its original
dimensions to accommodate the amount of people that enter it
or leave it.

The Reservation Clerk told the Couple that they had a
reservation for a room on the "Sands of Mars Level," where
centripetal acceleration from the rotating ship equaled the
gravity of the planet Mars -- and where there was a beach
party held there every other night!  Then the Clerk added that
the Couple ( Mr. & Mrs (What name do you want to put here?)
still had not decided on what level to consummate their
marriage: "Earth," "Mars," "Moon," or "Zero-G" --- Perhaps all
four! Why not, the Couple had all week to enjoy these
experiences or sensations.

Of course, being adventurous, the couple decided to have their
first dinner on the "Zero-G-Level...  What a big mistake that was
... Oh well! ... At least the folks at the other table forgave them
and laughed about it.... And the staff assured them that the
wine stain could be removed.... Has anyone seen how
the waiters and waitresses working for the 1950's style Sonic
restaurant serve their orders while skating on roller skates, well
up here in the Zero-G-Level it was fun to see the waiters literally
swim in a waterless environment to and from each table. But of
course, by the end of the trip, the couple is really glad
that they can have a nice "normal" morning cup of coffee on the
good old "Earth Level".

That's just the way it is ... Even on Earth a group of American
and Canadian Tourists visiting China welcomed the menu
choice of a genuine hamburger  after eating for days on end
the same Chinese Menu choice. The inflexible Chinese Tour
Guide had planned yet another repetitive Chinese Menu choice
when faced with a mini-revolt , suddenly had to become flexible
to avoid losing control of their clients. But at the same time
warned his clients to be back on the bus at the planned time or

What next for the couple on the Cruise liner? Why not give a go
at bowling on the "Lunar Level."  In 1/6th Gravity how wacky
can these games be? And boy, You should see how far these
pins fly! Perhaps not as far as Alan Shepard's unauthorized
Golf Shot on the Moon. But what is obvious they split and fly
much further then what they would do on Earth. Then
afterwards, the Couple will find an observation window pointing
at the Moon to do more gazing and of course, more cuddling.
Then it's on to Beach Party # 1 back on "Mars Level."

On Day 2, the passengers of the Rutan were required to
participate in an Evacuation Drill, so that everyone on board
would know how to get to the nearest lifeboats in case of a
serious emergency. This is no different then what ocean going
cruise liners put their passengers through. Except lifeboats
on the space cruise liner must be prepared to deal with issues
that are quite different then issues that must be dealt with by
ocean liners.

Each lifeboat must have enough fuel and supplies on board to
sustain life all the way back to Earth; however, the nominal plan
is to dock one at a time with one of the larger Earth return
shuttles, like the one that brought the current passenger
including the newly married couple here.

As the days progress, more and more time is spent by all
passengers watching the Moon as it grows larger and larger in
the observation windows. Then on the day of the closest
approach , there is a final briefing on the Close Pass Thrill Ride
which includes the usual warning for children and people with
weak hearts, The married couple and the other passengers are
asked at this briefing whether any of them would change their
mind about going. Mr and Mrs ________ say:" No way, We're
going for it!"

According to the schedule, Mr & Mrs _______ climb aboard a
smaller lunar shuttle - this one would have no wings and would
look like two fat sausage links: a passenger compartment and a
separate fuel tank and engine section. A second shuttle just
like the one being used is on standby in case of an emergency.
Then your shuttle leaves the cruise liner and performs an orbital
maneuver to head closer to the lunar surface. Meanwhile, the
cruise liner passes the Moon at its optimum distance for a free
return to Earth as the tiny lunar shuttle descends closer to the
Moon and takes the adventure seekers on board on a thrill ride
of one's life.

The large, thick lunar glass window, held firm by strong metal
straps, gives the group a wide field of view that only astronauts
have while space-walking. Your lunar shuttle pilot identified
craters, industrial and educational  sites which could
be seen on your way towards the surface - including the Gary
Larsen Far Side Observatory and the University of Tranquility
School of Economics and Technology  at Steelworkers Bay -
but eventually becomes quiet to focus on piloting, Since the
moon has no atmosphere, your lunar shuttle is going to get
Really close with no resistance, and it would be moving so fast
that at its  closest approach the landscape may become a
blur...What does a cowboy say on a bucking horse? ...
Yee-Hah ... That is what ____________ said in an very excited
voice as his shuttle reached its closest approach to the Lunar

As it happened, the Orbital arc of the lunar shuttle took it back
up from the surface, and after another orbital maneuver it
rendezvous and docks back with the space cruise liner. Said
Mrs,, the daughter of ____________ said

Over dinner at the Lunar Lagoon Polynesian restaurant, the
_________ meet an elderly couple who stayed on board the
cruise liner during the closest approach  and who had a lovely
view of the far side of the Moon. The couples
share experiences and agree to exchange photographs back on
Earth ... Oh did I tell you that the _________________ had the
privilege of speaking to and sitting with former President Barack
Obama and his wife Michelle. As president, Obama
had canceled the government's effort to get back to the Moon
to stay and then go on to Mars. His new direction for NASA was
more robotic, but he promoted an effort to go to Mars and the
Asteroids. As far as the Moon, his attitude was that we did that,
done that... Never the less,  he hoped that the new Commercial
space business would pick up the slack in Low Earth Orbit
and beyond... Eventually the Commercial Space Business
developed the capacity to go to Low Earth Orbit and to the
Moon. However, this development occurred for other reasons
then Obama's approach.

After some Zero-G dancing under some major moonlight, the
_____  then venture over to the Crater Copernicus Casino on
the Lunar Level where you could have fun with low gravity
Craps and Roulette.

With the Moon now receding and the Earth growing every hour,
it was time to return to the observation windows frequently. Of
course the main reason for people  taking this cruise would be
to see for themselves what once only the Apollo astronauts
saw. Video recordings and virtual reality just cannot
compare with the intense feelings that all this is actually
happening in real time.

On Departure day, it is time to say good-bye to newly met
friends and take one last look out of an observation window at
the rapidly approaching blue-green and swirly-white marble
called Earth. Then all passengers climb aboard the same Earth
space shuttle that brought them here. The _______
notice that some of the passengers are returning cruise liner
staff. One of them tells the __________ that the shuttle is
carrying some non-recyclable waste products from the cruise
liner that will be jettisoned and burned up in the atmosphere
during reentry.

Once the shuttle undocks from the cruise liner, all eyes watch
as it sails away once again on a journey around the Moon. And
then too, all eyes strain to see the space shuttle that is taking
the next batch of guests to the space liner, but that won't
happen until the cruise liner has rounded the planet. All eyes
strain for a glimpse of an orbiting space station, but space is
big, even in Low Earth Orbit, and the shuttles return trajectory
is designed to stay well away from orbiting satellites and

Certainly, reentry is fun, once one can get over the
nervousness of seeing orange plasma engulf the shuttle. The
reentry loads are not as high as launch, and since all returning
guests had spent their last two hours on the cruise liner on the
Earth level, they are less uncomfortable during reentry. Landing
is made
at a Spaceport ( this case, to one's surprise the new Queen City
Space Port in Allentown Pennsylvania  without incident , and all
passengers get a quick check up while waiting for their
luggage. Out in the parking, the __________ both seek the car
with the just married foam logo  still on the windshield. ....
There it is ... No, that's someone else's. After the ________ find
their car, they spot more just married logos on other parked
cars. In amazement, the _______ said :Gee,
quite a number of newlyweds must be taking the honeymoon
cruise to the Moon.... "It may become more popular than going
to Niagara Falls, Disney World or Las Vegas."
Moon Energy Systems

On the Use of Solar power as a means of powering a Moon
Base through the lunar night

Sacremento L5 et al --- April 23, 2015
Last Humans on the Moon - UTube
Space Frontier 6/9/2015
                    Welcome Back Baby

          Space X's Falcon 9 has Re-landed

Imagine a re-usable rocket - space plane taking off from the
Lehigh Valley  International Airport destined for an orbiting
space hotel or a shuttle destined to the Moon or Mars or a
space taxi to some far off earth destination ... It is his far
more possible now that Elon Musk's private company SpaceX
has successfully re-landed the 1st stage of its Falcon 9
rocket. Meanwhile the remaining stages of the rocket
delivered communication satellites into orbit
Buzz Aldrin Space Institute to Promote the
Settlement of Mars  ----

he Florida Institute of Technology has established the Buzz Aldrin
Space Institute at the university, and it will be promoting the
settlement of Mars.

Buzz Aldrin, part of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, said that he is
"thrilled to be partnering with FIT," adding that "FIT will play a key role
in my ongoing legacy and Cycling Pathways to Occupy Mars. You ain't
seeing nothing yet!"

The Buzz Aldrin Space Institute will be supporting "commercial and
international development of lunar resources to support an eventual
Mars settlement," according to Florida Tech's website. Cycling
Pathways to Occupy Mars is a concept of progressive missions to
cis-lunar space (the sphere within the Moon's orbit), asteroids,
Phobos (one of Mars' moons), and eventually to Mars itself.

Aldrin has been planning missions to Mars since 1985, with a concept
known as the Aldrin Mars Cycler, a "spacecraft system with perpetual
cycling orbits between Earth and Mars."
H.R. 2262 — Spurring Private Aerospace
Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship (SPACE) Act
of 2015 (Rep. McCarthy, R-CA, and 12 cosponsors)

The Obama Administration strongly supports the
development of a commercial space sector that
pushes the boundaries of space exploration while
creating jobs and strengthening the American
economy. The American commercial launch industry is
the most competitive in the world. Over the past
several years, the industry has rapidly increased its
share of the global market for sending satellites and
other payloads into space. The Administration agrees
with the goal of H.R. 2262 to bring more stability and
certainty to this growing market. While the
Administration does not oppose House passage of the
bill, it has serious concerns with certain provisions of
the bill.

For example, the Administration believes that the
“learning period” restricting Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) regulation of spacecraft should
be extended for a shorter period than the ten-year
extension through 2025 included in the bill. Over the
next few years, several American companies are
expected to bring commercial orbital and sub-orbital
vehicles into service. A safety framework that relies on
performance-based regulations which could be
satisfied by voluntary industry consensus standards
would provide for a flexible approach that enhances
the overall safety of the industry.

FAA rulemaking activity prior to 2025 may promote,
rather than hinder, the development of the commercial
spaceflight industry, depending on the pace at which
the market for private spaceflight services grows.

With respect to space resource utilization, the
Administration recognizes that steps have been taken
to ensure that the bill itself is consistent with the
United States' international obligations. While the
Administration strongly supports the bill's efforts to
facilitate innovative new space activities by U.S.
companies, such as the commercial exploration and
utilization of space resources to meet national needs,
the Administration is concerned about the ability of U.
S. companies to move forward with these initiatives
absent additional authority to ensure continuing
supervision of these initiatives by the U.S. Government
as required by the Outer Space Treaty.

The Administration looks forward to working with the
Congress to address these and other concerns as the
bill moves through the legislative process.

Despite these concerns on November 25, 2015,
President Obama signed the landmark Commercial
Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA).Which
caused the  National Space Socirty  to congratulate
President Obama and the Senate and House
leadership for their hard work in hammering out a
compromise between the previously passed House
and Senate versions.

“It is hard to over-emphasize the importance of the
CSLCA,” said Dale Skran, NSS Executive Vice
President. Perhaps the most historically significant
part of the CSLCA calls for the establishment of a
legal right for U.S. citizens to mine asteroids in a
fashion consistent with international law, including the
Outer Space Treaty.
New Horizons visits Pluto