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  /  Sessions   /  Space Settlement

Space Settlement

This session will address the key engineering and design challenges of constructing Space Settlements. While current thinking regarding the expansion of humanity into space is focused on exploration with eventual outposts on planetary surfaces (i.e. the moon and Mars), in 1974 physicist Gerry O’Neill proposed tapping the mineral and energy resources of near-earth space to enable large scale human settlement at the Lagrange Points of the Earth-Moon system. O’Neill concluded that planetary surfaces, because of their location at the bottom of “gravity wells,” are not be the ideal location for technological civilizations to thrive. This session will review the current state of thought by NASA experts and the space community on space settlement design, construction and location, and review the path forward to get to permanent communities with many thousands of inhabitants in orbit.

Co-Chair: Anita Gale, Co-Founder, Aerospace Education Competition

Anita Gale’s professional career started on the Space Shuttle program in 1974, for Rockwell International in Downey, California. Most recently she was a Senior Project Engineer in Space Shuttle Payload & Cargo Integration, for The Boeing Company in Houston where she provided conceptual designs for cargo integration on future launch vehicles, contributes to R&D for Shuttle upgrades and future missions of both reusable and expendable launch vehicles, and develops and fosters process improvements. She holds three U.S. patents on launch vehicle payload interface standardization and containerization, which are essential technologies for reducing future vehicle processing costs and schedules.

In 1984, Anita co-founded Space Settlement Design Competitions, industry simulation games that engage high school students in designing future space settlements. These events are complementary to the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest co-sponsored by NSS. The Competitions have evolved into an International activity involving over 1000 students each year on six continents. Anita’s work with Space Settlement Design Competitions was recognized by NSS in 2008 with presentation of a Space Pioneer Award, in the Category of Educator.

Anita has been a member of NSS and both precursor organizations, since the L5 Los Angeles Chapter (OASIS) was founded in the late 1970s. She is a member of the NSS Space Settlement Advocacy Committee, and chaired Space Settlement Sessions for ISDC in 2007 and 2008.

Anita is an active member of two professional engineering organizations, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She is a member of the AIAA Space Colonization Technical Committee, regularly chairs technical conference sessions on space settlements, and has written technical papers about space settlement requirements, designs, and the triggering events that will cause space settlements to be built.

Co-Chair: Al Globus, Senior Research Associate, San Jose State University

In 1978 Al’s life was changed when a roommate brought home a copy of CoEvolution Quarterly’s issue on space colonization. He was electrified, and immediately went to work at NASA Ames Research Center.

At Ames he co-founded the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest for 6-12th grade students. He also co-founded the NASA Ames Nanotechnology Group, which, at first, worked on materials for space elevators and diamondoid machine phase matter to build Rs6,901,049.98 personal spacecraft. Using genetic algorithm software he developed, he designed an antenna for TDRS-C and compared algorithms for Earth-observing satellite fleet scheduling. He did QA work on the Hubble Space Telescope and developed an operations simulator for space stations. He was able to show that operators on Earth can easily teleoperate simulated mining machinery on the Moon with a three second delay. NASA has awarded him 11 group and individual awards.

He has designed two orbital space settlements and published over 45 papers in technical conferences and journals, won a Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology, a NASA Software of the Year award, and a NASA Public Service Medal. He has discussed space colonization and nanotechnology on the History Channel, Danish radio, a French magazine, on a European Commission video, and elsewhere.

He is editor in chief of the NSS Space Settlement Journal and wrote a paper for the 2006 ISDC outlining a space program designed to help the private sector develop orbital space settlements, without any increase in NASA’s funding.

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