All Astronautical Evolution posts in 2011:

The battle for the future (Dec.)

The personal satellite / Olaf Stapledon / Europe needs a strategy (Nov.)

100 Year Starship Symposium / BIS newsletter Odyssey (Oct.)

Development Roadmap for the Worldship (Sept.)

Tumlinson’s challenge for NewSpace / SRI calls for global Apollo day / Poem celebrates Apollo (Aug.)

Dear Mr Dordain… / Mat Irvine: From Imagination to Reality (July)

Society between cosmic growth and utopian dreams / UK Space Conference (June)

Available in any colour so long as it’s black / UK Space Conference and Sir Arthur Clarke awards / David Baker slaying the Space Age myths / Getting involved in the BIS / Cartoon: can Spirit come home now? (May)

Mankind in space: the next fifty years / What future for intelligent life in space? (April)

Does evolution progress? The multi-shell model (March)

Social software for a spacefaring civilisation / Best of the blogs / Space cartoon of the month (Feb.)

2010: Manned spaceflight at the crossroads / 2011: Smoke signals from two dragons (Jan.)

New in 2020:

Download science fiction stories here

AE posts:

2022: What’s to do on Mars?…

2021: New space company Planetopolis…

2020: Cruising in Space…

2019: The Doomsday Fallacy, SpaceX successes…

2018: I, Starship, atheism versus religion, the Copernican principle…

2017: Mars, Supercivilisations, METI…

2016: Stragegic goal for manned spaceflight…

2015: The Pluto Controversy, Mars, SETI…

2014: Skylon, the Great Space Debate, exponential growth, the Fermi “paradox”…

2013: Manned spaceflight, sustainability, the Singularity, Voyager 1, philosophy, ET…

2012: Bulgakov vs. Clarke, starships, the Doomsday Argument…

2011: Manned spaceflight, evolution, worldships, battle for the future…

2010: Views on progress, the Great Sociology Dust-Up…

Chronological index

Subject index

General essays:

Index to essaysincluding:

Talk presented to students at the International Space University, May 2016

Basic concepts of Astronautical Evolution

Options for Growth and Sustainability

Mars on the Interstellar Roadmap (2015)

The Great Sociology Debate (2011)

Building Selenopolis (2008)


Issue 69, 1 May 2011 – 42nd Apollo Anniversary Year

  1. Available in any colour so long as it’s black: the Model T of space
  2. A date for your diary: the UK Space Conference and the Sir Arthur Clarke awards
  3. David Baker at the BIS: slaying the Space Age myths
  4. The BIS: getting involved online and by e-mail
  5. Cartoon of the month: can Spirit come home now?

All content is by Stephen Ashworth, Oxford, UK,
unless attributed to a different signed author.

=============== AE ===============

(1) Available in any colour so long as it’s black: the Model T of space

SKYLON is now on sale (well, the 1/250 scale model), and, like the Ford Model T that revolutionised motoring, it’s available in any colour – so long as you want black!

Support the British spaceplane industry by purchasing yours now from the British Interplanetary Society (scroll to bottom of the page).

I’m not an expert on the engineering, but Alan Bond has created a machine of beauty here. Skylon really looks the business: sleek and sharp-pointed and dangerous-looking, with a hint of Batman in the wings and those gigantic engines. Get out of the way, this thing’s in a hurry...

Meanwhile the pink ones with silver stars on them may take a while longer to come...

Skylon model

=============== AE ===============

(2) A date for your diary: the UK Space Conference and the Sir Arthur Clarke awards

Dave Wright reminds me that nominations for the Sir Arthur Clarke awards are open until 13 May. Details on the UKSA website.

The UK Space Conference itself takes place on 4-5 July 2011, at its new venue in the University of Warwick. Confirmed speakers include Jonathan Amos (BBC), Alan Bond (Reaction Engines), Jean-Jacques Dordain (ESA), David Willetts MP (UK government), and many others. Full details here and here.

=============== AE ===============

(3) David Baker at the BIS: slaying the Space Age myths

The British Interplanetary Society marked 12 April with a lecture by well-known space writer David Baker.

He tackled some of the popular myths from the early 1960s, following Yuri Gagarin’s first orbit of the Earth:

Baker noted what an important anniversary year 2011 is:

Note particularly that Soyuz achievement: 40 years of continuous operation without a fatal accident. And launching in conditions of wind and ice that would keep the Shuttle grounded. The West has a lot to learn from them, Baker said. Quite right.

Now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the entire lecture is accessible here (click on “Yuri Gagarin Night Lecture” in panel on right of screen).

Many thanks to Alan Marlow for recording this and putting it online, together with other recent events.

=============== AE ===============

(4) The BIS: getting involved online and by e-mail

The British Interplanetary Society now has an official Facebook group. Please get involved and join in these discussions!

The BIS website has had a major facelift. Do check it out and see if you like it!

Another new venture from the BIS is the monthly Odyssey Newsletter, sent out in PDF format as an e-mail attachment. To ask about it or to subscribe, please contact Mark Stewart.

=============== AE ===============

(5) Cartoon of the month: can Spirit come home now?

Fantastic cartoon about the Spirit Mars rover here.

Thanks to Athena Andreadis for the link. Her blog posting about robots here: “The Souls in Our Machines”.