Steve Sansweet, LFL Director of Content Management and Head of Fan Relations, posted this message to fans on Facebook.
A NOTE FROM STEVE: In lieu of my “Pick of the Week” I’d like to take this space to express my deepest thanks to all of you as I start my final week as a salaried employee of Lucasfilm. The last 15 years have been an amazing journey, and by far the best part has been meeting wonderful people worldwide and becoming fast friends with so many of you. You have been my inspiration, during 70+ hour work weeks leading up to Celebrations; while pushing hard to get the best possible material to share with you at panels; coming up with “unusual” costumes to make us all laugh; and watching the 501st and then the Rebel Legion grow from a couple of guys encased in plastic to worldwide organizations that have fun while doing good.
Star Wars fans are simply the best! As I’ve said before, I will continue to be a part of fandom and attend conventions, hopefully including many I haven’t had the chance to go to before. I promise a major update on my future within the week. Until then, May the Force be with You…always
Steve is leaving LFL after fifteen years. We wish him all the best.
Posted by Synlah
Tags: kevin j. anderson
Roqoo Depot wishes author Kevin J. Anderson a very happy birthday as he turns 49 today. Kevin was an early contributor to the Star Wars extended universe. He wrote the classic Jedi Academy trilogy, and contributed to the anthology books: Tales from The Mos Eisley Cantina, Tales from Jabba’s Palace, and Tales of the Bounty Hunters. With his wife Rebecca Moesta, he co-authored the popular Young Jedi Knights series. He has also written for Dark Horse comics, collaborating with Tom Veitch on Tales of the Jedi.
Kevin’s work introduced the classic characters of Kyp Durron and Admiral Daala to Star Wars.
You can read an exclusive KJA interview right here on RD.
Posted by Synlah
Tags: nasa, Propulsion, Space.com, Spaceship
Sounds absurd, right? The very idea of using a steam engine to reach the stars hearkens back to an age when science fiction was in its infancy and modern methods of rocket propulsion had yet to be conceived of by mankind. Today with the advances in liquid fossil fuels, xenon propulsion, microwave propulsion technology, and the commonly used cryogenic fuels, the idea of a steam powered spaceship actually seems silly. Or does it? (Be a lousy premise for an article if I didn’t have something up my sleeve, eh?)
It turns out that in order to bring us to the future NASA scientists and engineers are looking to technologies from the past. Specifically they are developing a water powered “Space Coach” designed for use in manned missions to Mars.
As fantastic as it sounds these water powered vehicles would use large solar panels to super-heat water into steam that could be channeled through a nozzle. In the weightlessness of space the steam nozzles would then be used to direct a manned module to any point in the solar system.
The fact is that while we still envision travel beyond the Earth and our moon to be under constant propulsion in our minds most of the real movement of a spacecraft is still accomplished using gravity assisted “sling shot” maneuvers using whatever sources of gravity the craft encounters on route. In most cases there is only the need for initial propulsion and then maneuvering thrusters as the craft journeys toward its intended target. Newton’s Laws of Motion tells us that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. In a case where small course corrections are needed, steam power is as good as any other source.
To be specific the idea is to use the solar panels to create electricity that will be stored in batteries. When it is time to execute a maneuver such as a course correction or to achieve an orbit the water would be heated electrically and the resulting steam directed through a thruster.
The vessels equipped with these steam propulsion rigs would be permanently based in space. While steam power is more than ample to direct a vehicle in the void of space it clearly isn’t powerful enough to break free of Earth’s gravity or one would assume the Greeks, Romans, or Chinese might have done so a millennium or two ago. Traditional rockets would be used to bring the vessels to space initially where they would take up residence in orbit around Earth, the moon, and presumably Mars where they would be used to shuttle crew and materials.
This approach is not only innovative but is highly cost effective. The cost of a journey to Mars and back would be roughly the same as a single Space Shuttle launch due to the lower fuel costs and the ability to reuse the craft many times. It is estimated that it would cost roughly 1/30TH the amount of money to send a steam powered module to Mars than it would if we used traditional rockets such as the Orion rockets I wrote about in an earlier article. To read more on this remarkable spacecraft and its potential for furthering our efforts to explore our solar system, you can read an excellent article on it at Space.com by clicking here.
I am also including a video below on some of the other forms of propulsion and exploration that NASA is working with. Enjoy.