In the same vein as my June 29th, 2011 post on "Summer Reading for Space Geeks" here are some interesting articles, websites, movies and publications which provide a bit of context to the current space debates happening here and elsewhere:
- The Atomic Rockets of the Space Patrol website - Inspired by Heinlein, Clarke and Pournelle to provide everything you need to know about building spaceships. The site is especially useful for its discussions on engines, realistic spacecraft designs and a standalone section on "Rocketpunk and MacGuffinite."
- The Chapman Report – Canada is today an international leader in the fields of communications and remote sensing because of John Chapman (1921-1979) who was senior author of a report entitled “Upper Atmosphere and Space Programs in Canada.” The document, written in 1967 and now known simply as the “Chapman Report,” recommended using Canadian satellite and space technology for commercial activities such as communications and resource management instead of focusing only on scientific research. Over time, the report became “Canada’s Original Blueprint” for space activities.
- Presentations from the Future In-Space Operations (FISO) Working Group - These are archived and peer reviewed studies (some with audio visual and power-points) for a variety of NASA approved concepts related to future in-space operations and activities.This site includes Dan King's presentation on the MacDonald Dettwiler (MDA) on-orbit satellite servicing proposal (under the title, Space Servicing: The Future is Now) and a variety of presentations on asteroid mining techniques and tools. The site provide a fascinating overview of what could be accomplished today with the proper budget.
- ISRU Info: The Home of the Space Resources Roundtable - These are presentations from an annual conference promoting the development of space resources under a model most often advocated by companies like asteroid mining firm Planetary Resources. Recent meetings have been held in conjunction with the Planetary & Terrestrial Mining Sciences Symposium (PTMSS), which bills itself as "the future of space mining."
- LEO on the Cheap - By Lt. Col. John R. London III. A fascinating read about methods to achieve drastic reductions in launch costs. It's part of the Dunn Engineering website and serves as a useful companion piece to the 1993 John Walker article "a Rocket a Day Keeps the High Costs Away."
- The Microsat Way in Canada – A paper written by Peter Stibrany and Kieran A. Carroll discussing how micro-satellite manufacturing methodologies will change the economics of space applications and reduce the barriers to entry for new companies. This is the basis for the techniques used today at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) Space Flight Laboratory (SFL).
- The Orbital Express Project of Bristol Aerospace and Microsat Launch Systems - An important Canadian case study for those wishing to study the technology and business development issues surrounding a small satellite launch vehicle.
- A Short History of Private Space Development - Useful historical context from Clark S. Lindsey, who writes, curates and edits the HobbySpace.com website.
- The Space Report – The “authoritative guide to international space activities” published by the Space Foundation, one of the world’s premier nonprofit organizations supporting space activities, space professionals and education. The Space Foundation Introduction to Space Activities is also worth taking a look at.
- Vision Restoration - Fascinating reading on NASA, ESA and America's past and future in space. Focused around the February 2004 NASA Vision for Space Exploration but full of lessons related to the current Space Launch System (SLS) debate and large, government funded space programs in general.
Unfortunately, this movie is not currently scheduled for release in Canada anytime soon. Anyone who'd like to change that is encouraged to link to the official Iron Sky website.