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Thread: The Space Economy and Space Politics: News and Developments

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    Default Re: The Space Economy and Space Politics: News and Developments

    Quote Posted by Jayke (here)
    I think it was in Joseph Farrells book Babylon’s Banksters, where he mentioned that once a country reaches homeostasis between its population size and it’s natural resources, then the elite controlling that country have two options for maintaining economic growth.
    1. Expand the borders of the country through conquest
    2. Depopulate the country through war and attrition
    By opening humanity up to space, it indicates to me that the depopulation agenda may have been taken off the table for now, as the elites seek capital growth through these other means.
    Thanks Jayke. This is a great insight! Thank you!
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    Default Re: The Space Economy and Space Politics: News and Developments

    This is all well and good until we end up annoying or intruding upon other space faring races that may not have any hesitation to put us in our place.

    IF we have a secret space program and "solar wardens" and a few allies we may not totally be in the Wild Wild West and indeed it would be nice to have spacecraft and travel...I'd be gone exploring in an instant if it were an option but I'm not entirely convinced we're prepared to deal with agressors.

    I'll just trust to hope we can at least explore this Solar System without disturbing anyone.

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    Default Re: The Space Economy and Space Politics: News and Developments

    @CurEus, it may well be that there will be problems and the space activity will be interdicted or inhibited in some way by terrestrial or space politics. Or it may be that some kind of agreement among the parties involved and affected has been reached and that there is some kind of “understanding” in place.

    ==========

    So India has been pushing ahead with its space programme too and has achieved its own satellite communication system.

    Quote India now proud owner of indigenous navigation satellite system

    SRIHARIKOTA: India’s long cherished dream of owning an indigenous navigation satellite system, officially known as NavIC (navigation with Indian constellation), has been accomplished as ‘workhorse’ Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C41) successfully launched IRNSS-1I, eighth and the last satellite of the IRNSS constellation into the targeted Sub-Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit on Thursday. Within a month from now, the space agency will start rolling out a slew of navigation applications.

    In a pre-dawn operation, the rocket measuring 44.4 m in height and weighing 321 tonnes lifted off from the first launch pad at 4.04 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) SHAR, Sriharikota. Within 20 minutes, IRNSS-1I was placed in the desired orbit.

    It is a culmination of 17 years of rigorous work by Indian space scientists. India took a firm decision on IRNSS in 1999 after the US government refused to share GPS data that would provide vital information on Pakistani troops position during Kargil war. As in the previous launches of the IRNSS satellites, PSLV-C41 has also used ‘XL’ version of PSLV equipped with six strap-ons, each carrying 12 tonnes of propellant.

    IRNSS-1I is a back-up navigation satellite for IRNSS-1A. The Rs 1,420-crore NavIC suffered setback in January last year, when three rubidium atomic clocks of IRNSS-1A put into orbit on July 1, 2013, stopped working. Each satellite has three clocks and a total of 27 clocks for the navigation satellite system were supplied by the same vendor from Europe. The clocks are important to provide precise data.

    ...

    ISRO Satellite Centre Director Mylswamy Annadurai said the solar arrays onboard IRNSS-1I have been successfully deployed and it would take about one month for the satellite to join its siblings after necessary orbit raising manoeuvres.

    However, Sivan said the wait for NavIC applications was over. “Within a month from now, various NavIC application will be rolled out. I request the industry and institutions to come forward to take these (navigation) applications to the user community,” he said.

    ...


    Further, ISRO officials said the crucial miniaturisation of chipsets that go into the wireless devices such as cell phones and wi-fi receivers has been achieved. Initially, the ISRO had invited industry to design and develop the chipsets.

    However, little interest was shown due to high investment costs. “Market did not want to take the first step. So we took it on ourselves. Our Semiconductor Laboratory in Chandigarh has developed the digital chips and for manufacturing prototypes of RF Front End hardware, we gave the order to Tower Jazz, which is a US-based firm specialising in silicon germanium technology suited for increasing bandwidth. We are planning to set up a fabrication facility with silicon germanium processing technology in the SCL,” a senior scientist told Express.

    Meanwhile, as reported by Express, the ISRO indicated that the phase two of IRNSS programme was on with advanced navigation satellites. Significantly, ISRO chief said the forthcoming navigation satellites will have rubidium atomic clocks developed by Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre, instead of imported clocks.

    ...

    No fund crunch

    ISRO chief has downplayed reports that the space agency was facing a fund crunch for its ongoing activities. “There is no fund crunch. We will ensure that the ongoing activities are not affected. What happened was the budgetary approval was based on previous year’s performance. We have to utilise the funds allotted fully, otherwise there will be a slight reduction. We can always propose a revised budgetary estimate. Getting funds is not a problem. It has been wrongly reported that the ISRO was facing funds crunch,” he clarified.

    The total allocation for the Department of Space for next fiscal in the Union Budget for 2018-19 is around Rs 10,783 crore (including the Rs 8,936.97 crore for various space related projects), up from Rs 9,155.52 crore allocated for 2017-18 net of recoveries and receipts.

    Nine launches in next eight months

    Listing out the space mission for 2018, Sivan said the agency would launch 5.7-tonne GSAT-11, a high throughput satellite using Ariane rocket followed by GSAT 29 launch using GSLV Mk III rocket. There are also launch missions for remote sensing satellites and NavIC satellite onboard PSLV. The Chandrayaan-2/moon mission is planned by the year-end

    RLV programme progressing steadily

    Another ambitious programme Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) is progressing steadily. S Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, said the next phase will be to test ground landing. ‘”In the previous RLV mission, we made simulated landing on the sea. Now, we will land on the wheels. It will be a helicopter drop test.

    The next step will be to take it to an orbit, put in the orbit and do some useful tests and make a ground landing. The first step will be realised in the near future and the next one will be carried out after getting approval from the government. It is in engineering phase,” Somanath said.
    From here: http://www.newindianexpress.com/nati...m-1800948.html
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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    Default Re: The Space Economy and Space Politics: News and Developments

    Geez, looks like India is really moving fast. Check out what they’re going to be looking for during their moon mission. First ever moon mission to the South Pole of the moon, too.

    Quote Posted by https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chandrayaan-2
    Orbiter payload

    Large Area Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS) from ISRO Satellite Centre (ISAC),

    Bangalore and Solar X-ray monitor (XSM) from Physical Research Laboratory (PRL),
    Ahmedabad for mapping major elements present on the lunar surface.[19]

    L and S band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) from Space Applications Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad for probing the first few tens of metres of the lunar surface for the presence of different constituents, including water ice. SAR is expected to provide further evidence confirming the presence of water ice below the shadowed regions of the Moon.[19]

    Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) from SAC, Ahmedabad for mapping of lunar surface over a wide wavelength range for the study of minerals, water molecules and hydroxyl present.[19]

    Neutral Mass Spectrometer (ChACE-2) from Space Physics Laboratory (SPL), Thiruvananthapuram to carry out a detailed study of the lunar exosphere.[19]

    Terrain Mapping Camera-2 (TMC-2) from SAC, Ahmedabad for preparing a three-dimensional map essential for studying the lunar mineralogy and geology.[19]


    Lander payload

    Seismometer for studying Moon-quakes near the landing site[30][2][34]

    Thermal probe for estimating the thermal properties of the lunar surface[2]

    Langmuir probe for measuring the density and variation of lunar surface plasma[30][2]

    Radio occultation experiment for measuring the total electron content[2]


    Rover payload

    Laser induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) from Laboratory for Electro Optic Systems (LEOS), Bangalore.[19]

    Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Spectroscope (APIXS) from PRL, Ahmedabad.

    Lunar surface plasma measurement, X-rays, moon quakes, minerals, hydroxyl, water, surface temps, and terrain mapping?

    Sounds like they have some plans for the moon. They’re spending a ton of money on this project.
    Last edited by JoefromtheCarolinas; Yesterday at 04:03.

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    Default Re: The Space Economy and Space Politics: News and Developments

    Thanks Joe. They certainly have been busy in India with their space programme. Joseph Farrell had a blog post not too long ago on their Moon plans which he tied into some “high, octane speculation”:

    https://gizadeathstar.com/2018/02/in...ar-south-pole/
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
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    Default Re: The Space Economy and Space Politics: News and Developments

    Small snippet in the ongoing story of space commercialisation:

    Quote Winners and losers from Jim Bridenstine’s confirmation as NASA administrator

    The vote along party lines to confirm Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) brought to a conclusion a drama...

    ...

    The commercial space sector was another winner, as suggested by the accolades on Twitter that poured in from such organizations as Moon Express and Bigelow Space Ops. Bridenstine has long been a champion of partnerships between NASA and commercial companies to fulfill its space exploration mission. Now, space entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Bob Richards know that they have a friend and ally at the head of the space agency. Bill Nye (no slouch where it comes to climate change) of the Planetary Society and Robert Zubrin of the Mars Society, two important space advocacy organizations, also lent their good wishes.

    ...
    From here: http://thehill.com/opinion/technolog...-administrator
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
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    Default Re: The Space Economy and Space Politics: News and Developments

    And when NASA receives press coverage in the Harvard Business Review, “leading light” of business ideas and thinkers for the corporate world, then you are well into the commercialisation zone:

    Quote The Reinvention of NASA
    Loizos HeracleousDouglas TerrierSteven Gonzalez April 23, 2018



    NASA today is a very different beast from the NASA of the 1960s. Though many would call that decade NASA’s golden age, we’d argue that NASA’s innovation and influence (https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/c...0180001756.pdf) is even greater today.

    Since the Apollo program, NASA has faced funding cuts, competition from other nations for space leadership, and a radical restructuring of its operating environment due to the emergence of commercial space – all of which have forced the organization to change its ways of thinking and operating.

    Over the past few decades, not only has NASA delivered crucial technologies (https://spinoff.nasa.gov/pdf/STHOF_flyer.pdf) for society, such as water filtration systems, satellite-based search-and-rescue, and UV coating on eyeglasses, it has also evolved its dominant logic and business model. NASA has moved from being a hierarchical, closed system that develops its technologies internally, to an open network organization that embraces open innovation, agility, and collaboration.

    This reinvention demonstrates that substantial organizational change is possible, even amid barriers such as regulations and politics. It offers an example of what we call “strategic agility,” or the ability to effectively (and continually) adapt how a firm operates and competes. This is not driven by a single leader, but by a multitude of champions scattered around the organization who push forward initiatives that slowly create change.

    The challenges facing NASA

    During the Apollo program NASA’s funding peaked at 4.5% of the federal budget (https://www.lpi.usra.edu/exploration...getHistory.pdf) (US$5,250 million) in 1966 (https://aerospace.csis.org/data/history-nasa-budget/). But shortly after the first moon landing in 1969, their budget plummeted. It is currently at less than o.5% of the federal budget (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...et-Federal.svg).

    Meanwhile, the organization’s mission aspirations grew bolder. The Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984 (and amendments in 1988 and 2004) called for government agencies such as NASA to support the development and growth of commercial space. This not only necessitated a more collaborative way of operating, but it also called for the agency to differentiate its missions. As commercial space organizations began to drive more low-earth orbit (up to 2,000 km from earth) activities, NASA has had to shift its efforts toward exploring deep space, accomplishing further manned missions, and setting up permanent facilities on the moon as a gateway for missions to Mars and beyond.

    The emergence of commercial space has also gone hand in hand with an accelerating pace of technology development. This means that the technologies necessary for successful space-faring, particularly human space travel beyond low earth orbit, cannot all be developed by a single organization. NASA has had to become more outward-looking and network-oriented to develop and acquire the technologies it needs.

    Competing nations have also been expanding their space exploration efforts. The space industry is now a global, multi-faceted, multi-stakeholder endeavor, where commercial activity accounts for the lion’s share of value. (Over three quarters of the $350 billion global space industry revenues (https://www.morganstanley.com/ideas/investing-in-space) are driven by commercial products, services, infrastructure, and support industries.) Sustaining NASA’s and the USA’s space leadership has called for a new way of organizing and competing.

    Adapting to change

    The reinvention of NASA has been an evolution spanning three phases, each focused on achieving different goals and characterized by particular technology strategies, cultural values, and ways of working with external parties.

    The traditional model (from 1960s to 1990s): In its early days NASA served as both the prime contractor and the exclusive customer of space technologies. This model made sense for a few reasons. First, the frontier technologies that NASA needed were not already available on the market; they had to be developed from scratch by specialized contractors. Second, the Cold War and the space race meant that NASA needed to have control of the resulting technology rather than the technology being made available on the market by contractors after development. Third, NASA’s military heritage, and more broadly the procurement processes of government agencies at the time, meant it operated by issuing cost-plus contracts and owning the resulting technology.

    Think of the Apollo program in the 1960s. NASA gave detailed specifications to contractors (such as North American Aviation, which built the command/service module of the Apollo spacecraft, and Ford Aerospace, which built the mission control), defining what should be done and how. NASA, purely funded by government, incurred the total costs and became the owner of the resulting technology.

    In this model, the relational approach was one of positional authority and hierarchy. NASA focused on developing and monitoring precise engineering specifications. NASA engineers had large amounts of control over what the contractors were doing. The technology strategy focused on agency-driven investments and strict control over the internally developed technologies. there was a sense of technological superiority and exceptionalism that developed from the government’s efforts to attract the brightest scientists.

    The transitional model (from 1993 – 2006): This phase kicked off with the International Space Station project. In 1993 NASA was directed by the White House to collaborate with other nations on the design and construction of the International Space Station. The agencies involved were the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and Roscosmos.

    The ISS was a necessary step in the grand goal of launching human missions in deep space, such as to Mars, a key NASA aspiration for decades. A round-trip human journey to Mars would take around 21 months (https://image.gsfc.nasa.gov/poetry/venus/q2811.html), depending on a variety of factors. NASA needed to understand what would happen to the human body during extended missions in space, and the ISS would provide a way to gather this knowledge by stationing astronauts on the space station for long periods. But ISS would be too expensive for any one country to build alone.

    During this transitional phase, NASA learned how to function within a cluster of partners, as opposed to being the dominant party in a supplier/buyer relationship. This demanded shifts in cultural values, relational approaches, and technology strategy.

    Culturally, the sense of technological superiority developed during the Apollo program was still present, but now there were more players with their own cultures, technology, and operating models. NASA had to learn how to collaborate. Further, greater cost consciousness developed, as the American public and politicians began questioning the amount of resources needed by the agency. Unlike the Apollo era, when funds were no barrier in the effort to win the space race, NASA now had to accomplish its missions as efficiently as possible and be more explicit about its added value to society. It invested more in external communication.

    Relationally, the hierarchical pecking order of the traditional model had to accommodate a cluster of international governmental organizations. NASA negotiated with, coordinated, and led the network of international space agencies to accomplish one of the most complex undertakings of humanity, designing and building the ISS. The work was distributed: NASA ISS program managers led the effort at the operational level and worked with international counterparts to implement the program. There were 15 centers around the world (http://www.nss.org/resources/library...Operations.pdf) focused on ISS; in the U.S., much of ISS training and program management took place at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.

    NASA’s technology strategy also evolved to leverage the investments of state partners and share technical responsibility. The agency worked with its partners on developing shared technical interfaces, standards, and protocols, learning how to operate within public-public partnerships.

    The network model (from 2006 to present): The network model began with the Commercial Resupply Services (https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/s.../overview.html) program that launched in 2006 to carry cargo to the International Space Station after the space shuttle was retired. The space shuttle’s retirement meant that NASA had to find other ways to resupply the ISS that would not only be reliable but also require fewer resources than the space shuttle. This and a number of different factors — budget pressures, government interest in promoting commercial space, and rapidly growing commercial expertise in space — led NASA to seek suitable commercial partners.

    NASA wanted to use part of its budget not only to buy services it needed, such as to resupply the ISS with cargo, but also to spur the growth of commercial space. NASA looked for outside partners because it recognized that the expertise was now available in the open market to deliver frontier capabilities, at lower cost compared to what NASA could develop them for. In 2008 NASA awarded contracts to Space X and Orbital Sciences to transport cargo to the ISS. Space X carried out its first resupply mission in 2012 and Orbital Sciences in 2013.

    This model has changed NASA’s technology strategy. It now involves fixed-price contracts within public-private partnerships, where NASA does not exclusively own the resulting technology. Commercial partners can sell their services and technology to other customers. Costs are shared, and NASA pays for milestones reached. Rather than providing detailed specifications for the what and the how, NASA specifies high level goals (the what), leaving the how to the commercial partners. The innovators can then exploit these technologies commercially as they see fit, further fuelling the development of space technology and enhancing the value of the industry overall.

    The commercial resupply program has taught NASA how to work effectively with the commercial sector and to manage ongoing public-private partnerships. Culturally this has led to a more outward-looking agency that recognizes the innovative capacity of the market. Dealing with commercial actors has also taught NASA greater commercial awareness, that is, a focus on accomplishing things as efficiently as possible and being conscious about the costs of any given activity – a far cry from what was seen as unlimited resources of the Apollo program.

    New offices such as the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program (https://www.nasa.gov/offices/c3po/home/) were set up within NASA to manage and promote commercial partnerships. Leaders managing these partnerships adopted the mindset that NASA is one of several parties involved in space technology development, and favor an open engineering architecture that can facilitate commercial collaborations (https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/203082main_...20Nov_2007.pdf).

    In this networked model, NASA has also embraced open innovation (https://www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/openinnovation/aboutus). The agency now poses innovation challenges online in open competitions, crowdsourcing solutions and ideas as a complement to internal innovation efforts. Successful open innovation challenges have included competitions on the design of pressurized yet flexible astronaut gloves, ways to accurately measure the strain on materials used in space such as Kevlar straps, and better forecasting of potentially destructive solar flares.

    Given the recent directive (https://www.whitehouse.gov/president...ation-program/) the U.S. government requiring NASA to return to manned missions to the moon and beyond, the organization’s new capabilities and structure are becoming even more important. NASA is now able to use innovations wherever they emerge within its networks, so that it can accomplish goals such as deep space exploration, the search for extra-terrestrial life, and a manned journey to Mars.
    From here: https://hbr.org/2018/04/the-reinvention-of-nasa

    My 15,000 foot view of the essential idea is this: NASA is becoming a state owned enterprise (rather like publically owned utilities and transport used to be and still are in many countries).... rather than a public / government research/public interest programme.
    The dogs bark, but the caravan goes on.
    (= History moves ahead, no matter the criticism it may attract. The saying is found in many languages from the Middle East to India.)

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