The highlight of Friday, October 11 at the World Space Congress was a talk by Marc Cohen, Architect with NASA Ames, on an historical overview of lunar base concepts and designs. He had found our website and asked us if he could use a picture he found there in his talk. Turns out, he used two, one from our Young Astronaut days and another of an active lavatube in Hawaii that our colleague Gus Frederick found. In his talk, he mentioned our scheme of using lavatubes as natural shelter. After complaining about the radiation, the temperature extremes, the meteoroids, and the dust on the Moon, he made the lavatubes sound pretty good. The biggest problem is that we aren't really ready for them yet, technically, which puts them out a bit into the future. See photo enclosed of him pointing to our slide, where young Grif Owen is sitting on the lip of the Skylight Entrance to Young's Cave. Underneath is Gus' active lavatube ("Be damned sure the volcano is dead!" Marc said).
When we introduced ourselves after his talk, his face lit up in a big grin and he said, "Why didn't you tell me you were coming?" We shook hands, and he seemed genuinely delighted. I think he's been warming up to our lavatube work.
After lunch we met up with Paul van Susante, on the committee for our section, a student at Colorado School of Mines. He had given his talk on a lunar infrared telescope facility. He's also a big player in the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) (something like that, I don't have the name in front of me). We first made his acquaintance when we served with him on the "Moon" side of the "Moon vs. Asteroids for resource recovery" debate at Space and Robotics 2002. He already knew about our work then, so I guess word is getting around.
Saturday we took the day off, not much of interest was happening at WSC, so we explored a bit to find restaurants near our hotel, and I polished up our paper to turn in that goes with our poster. If it can pass five tough reviewers, it might get published in Advances in Space Research, the official journal for COSPAR (COmmittee on SPAce Research). BTW, for those of you familiar with the issue, I was delighted to see in the paper on Mars Cartography co-authored by Brent Archinal (that our Bob McGown got from Brent last summer), it is now official that Mars longitude will increase eastward (planetocentric), flying in the face of previous declarations -- largely because that's the way Malin Space Systems is doing the data from Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Observer. Our desire to have that system on the Moon, despite currently preferred standards, has been given new support.
Guess that's it from here. Thanks, Gus, for posting the stuff under "New Info" on our website. Thanks to all who wrote. More later!
Bryce and Cheryl