Chicago Society for Space Studies
Spacewatch - September 2016

The Impact of Space Policy on Space Settlement

The next meeting of Chicago Society for Space Studies will feature the presentation The Impact of Space Policy on Space Settlement, which explores the impact today's space policies have on the future of space settlement and how these policies can either advance or delay the day that permanent human space settlements become a reality. Also discussed will be the relevance of the Space Exploration, Development, and Settlement Act of 2016 (H.R. 4752, aka SEDS Act) and the proposed draft legislation for a gapless transition from ISS to private space stations in LEO. Our speaker will be CSSS President Jim Plaxco.

This event is a registered World Space Week event and is free and open to the public.

When: Sunday, October 09, 2016 at 1:00pm
Where: Adult Classroom (on the 2nd Floor)
Schaumburg Township District Library
130 South Roselle Road
Schaumburg, IL

For additional information, see the CSSS Events page.


Space Art That Supports CSSS

By Jim Plaxco

As you know, CSSS does not charge for either memberships or Spacewatch subscriptions. Instead we have relied on voluntary donations to fund our operations. As an artist selling art on Redbubble, one of the leading print on demand marketplaces, I hit upon the idea of creating a collection of space art that would celebrate space exploration while also providing a source of revenue for CSSS. This revenue is in the form of the commission that Redbubble pays out to its artists for products sold. Popular products include tee shirts, skins for phones and tablets, mugs, and prints.

For all space art in the Support Space Exploration collection, 100 percent of the commissions earned will be turned over to Chicago Society for Space Studies. To see the art in the collection, and the available products (varies by artwork), see the collection description at Support Space Exploration Collection on Redbubble.


Space Settlement and Globalization Newspaper Interview

In July, CSSS President Jim Plaxco spoke at the Gail Borden Public Library of Elgin IL on The Globalization of the Solar System. The program caught the attention of South Elgin Examiner newspaper reporter Magdalena Bromberg. You can read the complete interview and see the resulting newspaper story at Space Settlement and Globalization Newspaper Interview


CSSS on Facebook: Likes and Volunteers Sought

As a part of our social media outreach, CSSS maintains a page on Facebook. While posting to our Facebook page has been only sporadic at best, we have acquired almost 2,500 Likes!

As a CSSS Call to Action, we are seeking:

(1) A volunteer willing to manage our Facebook page and post relevant space news there at least 3-5 times per week. If you are interested, please contact Jim Plaxco.

(2) If you have not already "Liked" the CSSS Facebook page, please do so right now by visiting our page and clicking the Like button: Chicago Society for Space Studies Facebook Page

(3) Share the CSSS Facebook page with your friends and encourage them to like our page.

Thank you for your ongoing support of CSSS.


Space Policy Blitz 2016 Results for SEDS Act and ISS Gapless Transition

In July, Chicago Society for Space Studies issued a call for volunteers to participate in the Alliance for Space Development's 2016 August Home District Blitz. You can read about our results in this year's blitz at Space Policy 2016 Blitz Results for SEDS Act and ISS Gapless Transition.


A New Mobile Friendly Format for Spacewatch

This is the first issue of Spacewatch designed to be mobile friendly as many of our subscribers read Spacewatch on their mobile devices. Recall that the CSSS web site was migrated to a mobile friendly format in May 2016.

If you experience any problems with this format on your tablet or smartphone, please contact Jim Plaxco and, if possible, provide a screenshot of the problem.

For reference and testing purposes, this issue of Spacewatch is being made available on the CSSS web site at Spacewatch September 2016 issue.

Coming Events


Upcoming Skokie Valley Astronomers Meetings

Chicago Society for Space Studies Speakers Bureau members Jim Kovac and Jim Plaxco will be speaking at the September and October meetings of the Skokie Valley Astronomers.

  • On Friday, September 9th at 8:00 pm, CSSS Speaker Jim Kovac will be giving his presentation Mysteries of the Cosmos - Life Beyond Earth: Searching for Alien Life
  • On Friday, October 14 at 8:00pm, CSSS Speaker Jim Plaxco will be giving his presentation Globalization of the Solar System

The Skokie Valley Astronomers meet at the Edward L. Ryerson Conservation Area, 21950 N Riverwoods Road, in Deerfield IL. For more information, see Skokie Valley Astronomers web site.


Oct. 29: Space Art and the Exploration of Space

On Saturday October 29 at 1:00pm CSSS President Jim Plaxco will be giving his presentation Space Art and the Exploration of Space at the Elmhurst Art Museum. The program explores the development and evolution of space art from its beginnings in science fiction to its use as a tool to illustrate and promote space exploration. While there is no cost for the program itself, admission to the museum is $8.00. The Elmhurst Art Museum is located at 150 Cottage Hill Avenue in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Space News


Elon Musk Plan to Colonize Mars

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is slated to announce a Mars mission architecture for the colonization of Mars at the International Astronautical Congress to be held September 23-25 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico. It has been reported that the Mars mission architecture will include a series of missions starting in 2018 resulting in a first crewed mission to Mars in 2024. Stay tuned.

In a related story, on Sept. 1 2016 a Falcon 9 rocket exploded on the launch pad during fueling preparatory to a mission to launch a Spacecom communications satellite. For more, see Rocket explodes on launch pad in blow to Elon Musk's SpaceX

Planet Found in Habitable Zone Around Nearest Star - Proxima Centauri

Last week, astronomers announced that they had found a planet orbiting the star closest to Earth - Proxima Centauri, aka Proxima b, a cool red star. This makes it the exoplanet closest to Earth. The planet completes an orbit of Proxima b every 11 days and is thought to have a surface temperature that is suitable for liquid water. The planet is rocky as opposed to gaseous and is slightly more massive than the Earth. A paper describing the findings can be found in the August 25 2016 issue of the journal Nature.

The press release, images and videos are available at Planet Found in Habitable Zone Around Nearest Star - Proxima Centauri

Space Resources On The Web


Economic Development of Low Earth Orbit eBook

On July 11, 2016, NASA released an ebook titled Economic Development of Low Earth Orbit. This ebook is a collection of essays that identify a number of key policy questions that will be of increasing importance as NASA transitions human space flight in LEO to the private sector. This ebook is available for Kindle readers (MOBI), other ebook readers (EPUB), and as a PDF.

Download: NASA Economic Development of Low Earth Orbit

National Security Space Defense and Protection Report

United States national security is inextricably linked to our access to space and satellite capabilities that range from global positioning to communications to orbital reconnaissance. There is also growing global reliance on space systems for infrastructure in areas of communications, food production, and weather prediction.

At the request of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has produced two classified reports that assess U.S. options for addressing threats to space systems and identify strategies for increasing resiliency. The National Security Space Defense and Protection: Public Report is the unclassified summary that discusses the key background and policy issues featured in the reports.

The report can be downloaded at National Security Space Defense and Protection: Public Report

This Issue's Quotations


"Think about it in terms of miles: we here in Chicago are physically closer to outer space than we are to Washington DC, or even our state capitol in Springfield."
Jim Plaxco in the presentation The newSpace Frontier.


"Mistakes aren't a necessary evil. They aren't evil at all. They are an inevitable consequence of doing something new."
Ed Catmull, computer scientist and president of Pixar Animation Studios and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

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What Do You Think?

If you have comments or suggestions regarding Chicago Society for Space Studies and/or Spacewatch please email Jim Plaxco at (email removed from web version)


Chicago Society for Space Studies is a chapter of
the National Space Society

For questions, contact Jim Plaxco at 847.923.7122 or

via email at (email removed from web version)


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