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  What Noah saw at the Space Conference in Washington on Thursday

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Author Topic:   What Noah saw at the Space Conference in Washington on Thursday

Posts: 961
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-19-2003 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tell us Noah (Mensax) what you saw at the space conference in Washington besides 4 moonwalkers, 5 other astronauts, and a great lunch table guest, Bo Bobko.

Suggested by tablemate Garry.

Good meeting you, Noah.


Posts: 861
From: Virginia
Registered: Apr 2002

posted 12-19-2003 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mensax   Click Here to Email mensax     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LOL! You guys! It was great to see you all.

I was a country boy in the middle of a gathering of some of the greatest minds in Space. I was the only pair of blue jeans at a suit and tie event. I was overwhelmed and outclassed everywhere I looked. I had a great time!

This was not an astronaut encounter session although I did get the chance to briefly speak a few words with Buzz Aldrin and Gene Cernan. I did also have two great conversations with Charlie Duke and his lovely wife Dotty. They are just the nicest people you’ll ever meet (but then they are from the South)!

It was a day of one dynamic speaker after another in rapid succession. One powerful chess game being played out in front of my eyes.

I was most impressed with...

Buzz Aldrin’s comment about having recently applied for a patent for a rocket design that would launch several crew vehicles at one time. Did I hear that correctly? I sure would have liked to learned more about that one!

Alvin Tofler’s predictions for the our future...

Bob Thompson. He summarized Kennedy’s space challenge as “Anything you can do, I can do better” He said our priorities ought to be 1)get the shuttle working again 2)finish the space station 3)then go on to deep space explorations

Neil Tyson. “Never once has mankind undertaken a big project for the sake of exploration.” It’s always been for either defense, the promise of economic return, or for the praise of a higher power. The Great Wall, the Manhattan Project, and Apollo were for defense. Columbus, Magellan, and the TVA were for economic returns. And the pyramids and cathedrals were for higher powers. His conclusion.... which one of these do we claim for going back to the Moon or on to Mars?

Tom Rogers gave his three priorities for space. 1) space generated electricity... sure it’s expensive, but it would be cheaper to supply Korea with this form of power than deal with them having nuclear power. 2) space tourism 3) Hydrogen and Oxygen on the Moon... a valuable resource available for one tenth the launch cost that it would be from Earth.

Paul Spudis gave the most convincing speech on going to the Moon as I have ever heard. Just amazing. I think he could have convinced Mondale!

Dr. Robert Zubrin. The only person not convinced the Moon should be next! What a wild fellow! Always on the ready to argue his points. I couldn’t help but be reminded of ......... who argued for lunar orbit rendezvous for many years, until finally people started paying attention.

And then Musk. Builder of the Falcon. A very sharp young man who very well might change rocketry in our time. We could use more like him.

I understand that the whole lecture series will be available to view on Cspan and at and at


New Member


posted 12-19-2003 07:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for 072069   Click Here to Email 072069     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hey Noah!

That was you in the NASA hat, eh? You seemed to be really enjoying yourself.

Outside of meeting, shaking hands and sharing a few words with some of my biggest heroes I also got to meet our very own man-about-space, Robert Pearlman.

My eternal thanks to him and this website for first informing me about the conference. It seemed to be mostly attended by NASA officials and contractors, so the atmosphere was as loose as can be. Everytime they'd announce a break I'd head back for a refill of my diet coke or for another cookie and there'd be Buzz, Gene Cernan, Charlie Duke or Dick Gordon. Sometimes standing side-by-side.

I wasn't much interested in bothering them with autograph requests since I have multiple pieces already signed, but I did see each of them freely signing here and there. Gene was particular about what he signed his name to as I did see him refuse to sign a Space Shots card. When I approached him for the first time, he looked at me a little suspiciously asking, "What can I do for you?" When I replied that I was just looking for a handshake, a huge smile appeared on his face as he said, "Well, that's an easy one!" He held out his hand, looked at my name tag, and said, "Hi Bernie."

Now, tell me...what's cooler than that?



Posts: 4803
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jan 2001

posted 12-20-2003 05:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Philip   Click Here to Email Philip     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great that comparison of Dr Robert Zubrin with Dr John C Houbolt ...


Posts: 961
Registered: Aug 2002

posted 12-20-2003 08:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I felt the tremendous flow of ideas by the presenters, and they each only had 8-12 minutes. The side chats I had with the scientists and astronauts will be fondly remembered by me for a long time. It was a day well spent by a school teacher.

All times are CT (US)

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