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To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Legal Standing.

With respect to space exploration, the first person I know of who pushed the limits of the law is Mr. Gregory W. Nemitz of The Eros Project. He started this project in March 2000. As a US taxpayer, Nemitz made the claim that he is the Owner of Asteroid 433, Eros, and published his claim about 11 months prior to NASA landing its “NEAR Shoemaker” spacecraft on this asteroid.

Within a few days of the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft landing on his property, Nemitz sent an invoice for twenty dollars to NASA, for parking and storage fees at twenty cents per year, payable in one century installments.

Citing faulty interpretation of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, NASA refused to pay the fees required by Nemitz. This issue then proceeded to court. Unfortunately, on April 26, 2004 U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben Ordered the case to be dismissed.

The moral of this real story is that you don’t have to be a high flying physicist, planetary geologist, astrobiologist or propulsion engineer to advocate &/or sponsor interstellar travel initiatives. You could even be a retired coastguard, and miraculous things might happen.

Congratulations Gregory Nemitz for trying something nobody else dared to do in the spirit of the Kline Directive.

Planetary Resources, Inc. whose founders are Eric Anderson and Peter H. Diamandis could possibly provide the second challenge to space law. How? The “treaty also states that the exploration of outer space shall be done to benefit all countries” … you see where I’m going with asteroid mining?

I’m not an attorney, but these are things we need to watch for. In the light of Planetary Resources objectives and activities Nemitz’s parking fee case poses some dilemmas. First, if the US Government will not stand up for its citizens or entities, what is to stop other governments from imposing taxes for mining what is “to benefit all countries”?

Unfriendly governments will be quick to realize that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by pursuing such claims in international courts, and through UN organizations.

Second, the judicial system could not intervene because, were it to agree, then everyone would have a claim to outer space property without investing in their claim. That would be like saying John Doe, during the gold rush of the 1840s & 1850s, could claim half of California but had no intention to exercise his mining rights.

Everything hinges on what one could consider an ‘investing’. The Homestead Acts of 1862 to 1909 would be a useful analog. These Acts gave an applicant ownership at no cost of farmland called a “homestead” to anyone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government, had to be 21 or older or the head of a family, live on the land for five years, and show evidence of having made improvements.

So what would an interplanetary equivalent be? You, the reader could propose your version. Here is a first pass at it. There are two parts:

1. Asteroids: An applicant may claim ownership to an asteroid, provided the claimant had never taken up arms against the U.S. government, and can exercise the claim by placing a token of claimant’s ownership on the claimed asteroid within 1,000 Earth days or equivalent, of submitting the claim. Upon placing the token on the asteroid, the claimant is then given 2,000 Earth days or equivalent, to show evidence of having developed the commercial value of the asteroid.

Failure to comply will cause the claim to be null & void and return the asteroid to the public for future applicants to claim the property.

2. Planetary Resources: An applicant may claim ownership of up to 25 km2 of planetary surface, and the mineral & water rights within the area, provided the claimant had never taken up arms against the U.S. government, and can exercise the claim by placing a token of claimant’s ownership on the claimed planetary surface within 1,000 Earth days or equivalent, of submitting the claim. Upon placing the token on the planetary surface, the claimant is then given 2,000 Earth days or equivalent, to show evidence of having developed the commercial value of this planetary surface.

Failure to comply will cause the claim to be null & void and return the planetary surface to the public for future applicants to claim the property.

In the case of gaseous planets like Jupiter, the claim shall be limited to 25 km3 at specified altitudes, longitudes, and latitutes.

Planetary Resources, Inc. I wish you the best.

Previous post in the Kline Directive series.

Next post in the Kline Directive series.


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.

Science and engineering are hard to do. If it wasn’t we would have a space bridge from here to the Moon by now. If you don’t have the real world practical experience doing either science or engineering you won’t understand this, or the effort and resources companies like Boeing, Lockheed, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corp, Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic, and the Ad Astra Rocket Company have put into their innovations and products to get to where they are, today.

If we are to achieve interstellar travel, we have to be bold.
We have to explore what others have not.
We have to seek what others will not.
We have to change what others dare not.

The dictionary definition of a directive is, an instruction or order, tending to direct or directing, and indicating direction.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, US Department of Defense 2005, provides three similar meanings,

1. A military communication in which policy is established or a specific action is ordered.
2. A plan issued with a view to putting it into effect when so directed, or in the event that a stated contingency arises.
3. Broadly speaking, any communication which initiates or governs action, conduct, or procedure.

In honor of the late Prof. Morris Kline who authored Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty, I have named what we need to do to ensure the success of our endeavors for interstellar space travel, as the Kline Directive.

His book could be summarized into a single statement, that mathematics has become so sophisticated and so very successful that it can now be used to prove anything and everything, and therefore, the loss of certainty that mathematics will provide reasonability in guidance and correctness in answers to our questions in the sciences.

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not.

To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing.
2. Safety Awareness.
3. Economic Viability.
4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship.
5. Technological Feasibility.

I will explore each of these 5 fronts on how we can push the envelop to reach the stars sooner rather than later.

Next post in the Kline Directive series


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.

Previous posting in this Debunking Series.

In this post we will look at the last three types of engines. Can these engine technologies be debunked?

Start with the boring stuff. Nuclear/plasma engines. For more information look up Franklin Chang-Diaz’s Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). Real. Cannot be debunked.

Now for the more interesting stuff. The second is Pulse Detonation Engines (PDE). This type of engine uses detonation waves to combust fuel and oxidizer mixture. “The engine is pulsed because the mixture must be renewed in the combustion chamber between each detonation wave initiated by an ignition source.” Theoretically this type of engine is capable of speeds from subsonic to Mach 5.

Here is an UT Arlington Feb 2008 YouTube video that shows how elegantly simple, a workable engineering concept is. According to the posting this engine was built and tested in 2005.

Here is a link to Mojave Skies blog posting which shows photographs of an Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) subsonic pulsed detonation engine trials (about May 2008), made from off-the-shelf automotive parts. Impressive!

Some history regarding the Mojave Skies blog posting. Scaled Composites is led by Burt Rutan, whose team won the Ansari X-Prize in 2004. Scaled Composites is now owned by Northrup Grumman a defense contractor. What a small world. Everyone is interconnected to everyone else.

What about supersonic trials?

Here is a link to Military, Aviation & Space forum where the jet plumes appeared to be pulsed. The date of this posting is Feb 2008, while the AFRL’s press release is dated May 2008. Here is the AboveTopSecret’s link to a Jun 2008 discussion about what appears to be PDE aircrafts in action. The writers appear to be experienced and leaning toward the PDE aircrafts in the video being real.

My guess is that conventional fuel pulse detonation engines are a reality in experimental supersonic aircrafts, and that the May 2008 AFRL’s press release is about making PDEs cheaper. These engines are real and cannot be debunked.

Now for the third type of engine technology, atomic bomb or nuclear pulse engines. It is quite obvious from the Medusa design that the nuclear energy released by such a device that is used to propel this starship is only 1/6th of the useful energy. Note, useful energy is less than total energy released. Therefore this is an inefficient design.

Further, as the Wikipedia article on nuclear pulse engines points out, there is the Partial Test Ban Treaty that makes such engines illegal. Debunked.

Therefore, nuclear or atomic bomb pulsed engines are debunked, and people who support such ideas are out of touch with reality. Let me quote Billy Currington “God is great, beer is good, people are crazy”.


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.

Louis Crane and Shawn Westmoreland co-authored the paper Are Black Hole Starships Possible? ( that suggested that one could use Small Black Holes to propel starships close to the velocity of light for interstellar travel. To give them credit, they stated that this is at the “edge of possibility” and would only be possible in the very distant future:

“The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether it is possible to build artificial BHs of the appropriate size, and to employ them in powerplants and starships. The conclusion we reach is that it is just on the edge of possibility to do so, but that quantum gravity effects, as yet unknown, could change the picture either way… Many questions which arise in this program lead to calculations in general relativity which have not been done. Whatever the other merits of our proposal, we are confident it will pose many interesting problems for classical and quantum relativity.”

Note, BH = Black Holes

That is it. Crane & Westmoreland were presenting an academic exercise to pose “many interesting problems for classical and quantum relativity”.

However, others like James Messig and Paul Gilster and Marcus Chown have taken this to mean a real engineering problem that can be solved . . . Read their articles.

I only found out about Marcus Chown because Paul Gilster says “Chown does a good job with this material” quotes him, and I reproduce here,

“The resulting million-tonne black hole would be about the size of an atomic nucleus. The next step would be to manoeuvre it into the focal range of a parabolic mirror attached to the back of the crew quarters of a starship. Hawking radiation consists of all sorts of species of subatomic particles, but the most common will be gamma ray photons. Collimated into a parallel beam by the parabolic mirror, these would be the starship’s exhaust and would push it forward.”

What a parabolic mirror … with black holes in the same paragraph? This I must see. I traced Marcus Chown comments to his article Riding a black hole to reach the stars. Chown actually states this paragraph above.

Here are the problems with Marcus Chown statement & Paul Gilster’s unquestioning nod of authority to Chown’s statement.

1. How do you control a black how?
Small Black Hole radius = 0.6 x 10-18 m, in comparison assuming a spherical shape (Illinois University), the typical space between particles in the gas is 2×10-9 m, and the average distance between two bonded atoms in water is 2X10-10 m, and generally speaking the space between two bonded atoms is around 10-10 m. That is one can fit 108 or 100 million Small Black Holes between two atoms in an average chemical compound.

So how does one control a 1,000,000 ton black hole that is more than million times smaller than an atom?

James Messig had suggested “Now imagine that a 1,000 metric ton rest mass ship could be coupled to the black hole via electrically charging the black hole or otherwise setting up a coupling field between the ship and the black hole”

Funny, James Messig contradicts Crane & Westmoreland. Crane & Westmoreland write “Note that if an isolated SBH is initially endowed with an electric charge, then it will quickly, and almost completely, radiate this charge away”.

But wait, there is another problem. Even if you could somehow electrify this black hole contraption the electric field breaks down into a discharge in air at 3kV/mm or about 1kV/mm in vacuum. So you cannot hold an black hole in a container with an electric field.

If you try, one whiff of the electron cloud on the atom and the electron cloud is gone. Another whiff. Another whiff… and before you know it there are millions of naked nuclei without their electron clouds, and an electric force based explosion, because the black hole (BH) of this size could whiz past matter striking down electron clouds in its path without ‘colliding’ with their nuclei.

Crane & Westmoreland write “As to confinement, a BH confines itself. We would need to avoid colliding with it or losing it, but it won’t explode.” They weren’t thinking about massively ionized matter because they had already stated “need to avoid colliding with it”. In their paper they were comparing black hole with antimatter.

Never mind the naked nuclei explosion that is a small matter. The real problem is that the black hole gets lost (because it is 0.6 x 10-18 m small) and it sucks out the air or the Earth, maybe the Sun. Don’t forget black holes love a good meal and will consume anything in their path and get bigger, and bigger … Need a black hole in our neighborhood? No thanks.

2. How do you maneuver the spacecraft?
Remember you are lugging around at least 1,000,000 tons of black hole matter to your 1 ton. Oops, I misspoke, the laws of physics require that it is actually the other way around. 1 ton of spacecraft is lugged around by 1,000,000 tons of black hole matter.

So how does one alter the direction of the Hawking Radiation that this 1,000,000 ton black hole is producing? Archimedes is reported to have said that if you give him a fulcrum long enough he could move the Earth. So what would be the equivalent of a “large enough fulcrum”? Hmmm. I know! Another black hole!

3. How do you collimated gamma rays with a parabolic mirror?
Really? Gamma radiation passes through everything we know of, if the material is not thick enough. Maybe Chown was reporting science fiction? Remember this was 2009. What do you think?

In all fairness I think the gamma ray problem is a more realistic problem than the black hole control & maneuvering problem.

No wonder, Prof. Adam Franks stated in his July 24, 2012 New York Times Op-Ed, Alone in the Void, “Short of a scientific miracle of the kind that has never occurred, our future history for millenniums will be played out on Earth”.

Done. Black hole interstellar drive debunked.

The next blog post in this debunking series.


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.

iPhone 5 Hyper-Anticipation: It Didn’t Mean What You Think it Meant (AGAIN)

Okay, now — bear with me on this — and check it out:
For now and for better or worse, The United States is home to a plurality of the world’s techiest technology, investment capital, productive creativity, and cutting edge research. As such, hiccups in those technology-driven economies of real currency and ideas can ripple around the entire planet.

Amid considerable anti-intellectualism and various public & private R&D funding issues, American tech leadership and innovation is stuttering and sputtering and might be in danger of faltering. While we’re not at that point just yet, there is an interesting harbinger with a peculiar manifestation: New iPhone Anticipation Loopiness. As I said, bear with me.


This is a repost & redux from an October 5, 2011 piece — published a day before the suspected-to-be-iPhone 5 was released as the iPhone 4S. While the fanboy drool and mainstream gee-whiz was considerably dialed down this time around (in part due to lots of leaking), the sentiment of this piece remains relevant and largely unchanged. Now, we did have the Nuclear-Powered Science Robot Dune Buggy with Lasers (AKA the rover Curiosity) this year, and that was very big, but on a societal level we still have a sad hole in our technology heart.

Of course any hand-wringing about the underlying catalyst for weird iPhone fervor is a so-called first-world luxury, but to that I say “Shhhh, Trickle Down Technonomics©® is real.“

The Great Want
I was half-seriously saying to my friend Jason last night that waiting for the iPhone 5’s release is like waiting for Christmas morning when we were 10. Except that the reveal of this present will be more like “Here’s what we got you, but you can’t actually have it for another two to four weeks.“ That part’s kinda cruel. He’s at 3G, I’m at 3GS — upgrade is ferociously justified (and cheap here in Japan). So, like lots and lots of Americans and other people around the world, we’ve been not so patiently waiting for Tuesday morning; we have also been part of this peculiar intensity.

Troubling Telecommunication Technolust
Now, is there any other product, across any and all areas of industry, for which a pending release has been the subject of such anticipation, such broad media coverage, and so much conjecture? And how is it that the key marketing strategy for a company’s flagship revenue source is their absolute refusal to talk about the product until after its launch? Do we consumers really want the new hotness that badly? How are all these strings being pulled? How can so many otherwise reasonable adults have so much longing for this device?

Even if one’s not an iPhone user and has no plans to convert, chances are one is at least curious about what Apple’s got. I mean, be honest, even if you’ve got only a very general interest in technology, you’re going to be paying attention to the announcement. And if you’re not actively following the story, you’ll hear about it passively — it will be everywhere for a few days or a week or so.

So… what’s this all about?
It’s just a pretty new phone, right?

We know that a phone hasn’t been just a phone for several years now — a lot of us hardly use the telephone part of the device at all. And, they’ve become, well, you know — smart. This guy (Mike Elgan) and this woman (Amber Case) have developed theories suggesting that smartphones are actually highly personalized digital information prosthetics, and we users are already cybernetic organisms ( nods in agreement). Smartphones connect us as individuals to the vast stream of human communication; they non-invasively enable the RAM & ROM of all recorded human history into the palm of our hands, and devices’ elegantly rapid penetration into everyday life has been… (drama pause) profound. Ask organizers and participants in the Arab Spring. Ask villagers in developing countries who lack roads and electricity — but do have respectable data plans. And ask again, if you like.

Mobile phones have become much more than the name implies, and as a practical tool, the iPhone 5 in particular will be an exciting addition to comms and gaming and entertainment blah blah blah. As per usual, Apple will probably introduce hardware and software features that will shape mobile technology on a global scale — that’s what Apple does.

And all that’s awesome whoo-hoo way to go, but still, it’s #5, just the latest iteration.
Not really THAT big of a deal, so why the hell do we care so much?

Deep-Seated Social-Psychological Phenomena Available in Red, White, & Blue
It seems to me that shallow, mindless American consumerism, certainly a well-documented species, is not the primary force driving our overblown iPhone 5 excitement and anticipation and media coverage and hyperbole. You’d think so, but…

Listen for the thud — here drops a cheesy armchaired macro-diagnosis:
Subconsciously — in my country — the rabid anticipation for the iPhone 5 is actually about hope, inasmuch as it’s about the American Dream. In a way.
Or, more accurately, the corpsification thereof. In a way.

And that is because we the people have almost nothing else to be excited about.
(except: The Nuclear-Powered Science Robot Dune Buggy with Lasers)

We of the Uninspiring Slump
Over at, fundamental to my silly-ass take on tech is the primary tenet of the 51%+ Positive Technological Utopianism Movement (that I totally just invented), which is:

Technology is the fundamental precursor to civilization and is therefore the most powerful social force in the universe, yo. Srsly.

Humanity is in the midst of a rapid upswing in almost all facets of human development. Things are just getting better, all across the board. BUT, there are still some crappy little downward notches in the larger upward curve. We’re in one of those — the American Dream has lost coherence - and we are desperate for something big, something to inspire and unite us, something more than, oh I don’t know, the impotent & mentally retarded discourse of America’s pathetic political charade, for example.

A leap too far? Overgeneralizing? Pandering to the Dumb? Just dumb?
Well, I suppose it’s possible that the population of the U.S. who find themselves anywhere on the mildly-curious-to-completely-rapt scale of interest in the iPhone 5’s pending release are a poor sample from which to gauge the attitude of a nation. But for that to be the case it would have to be in another universe with different rules. Because A: There are around 310 million people in the U.S., and about 100 million are smartphone users, and I’d guess (and read survey data reporting) that a strong percentage of them are pretty interested in learning about or buying the iPhone 5 — so if you think such a massive population block that is engaged and ready to take action on an issue provides a poor statistical sample, well then, you can’t count. And because B: those 100 million people have nothing else to give a shit about.

The iPhone 5, Insidiously Alluring in a Vacuum!
So what the hell am I saying here? Well, The iPhone is an incredible device that quite literally represents a truckload of previously impossible mobile functionality. Think about it — just 4.5 years ago it didn’t exist, and the App Store (which has been copied by, ummm… everyone) is barely over 3 years old. It’s a beautifully designed tool, elegantly powerful in so many ways. But, it’s no revelation, it’s just a very precedented technological creation of late 2011; it’s a consumer product — and in another year, we’ll want the next version, and the next, and so on.

Physical artifacts are usually outshined by big ideas, but the thing is this: while we’re lousy with the former, we’re fresh out of the latter.

Now this isn’t about dorks like myself and those inhabiting this higher ranks of sciencyness and geekdom — we’ve got plenty to excite us. But everyday humans in the U.S., where traditional notions of culture are diffuse and diluted, tend to unite around ideas and ideals — and very often those drive and/or are a product of scientific or technological advancement of some kind — and sometimes, that can inspire others around the world. The mass-production of automobiles and human flight inspired notions of the freedom of movement, TV launched and inspired vast visual creativity, and following the Soviet advances, the Apollo missions united the nation, gave new appreciation for the Pale Blue Dot, ROI-ed ten$ of billion$, and inspired the rest of the world to continue pushing into the frontier of space. And, American computer technology, much of it pioneered by Apple, jumpstarted what will probably be the single largest paradigm shift in the history of our species. It’s become natural for us to see great positivity and opportunity in our technological achievements.

Americans fundamentally appreciate and embrace innovation, and we want look to the future with hope, longing for new ideas and new developments that create new economies and new possibilities. But for the time being now, our American Dream is stuck in neutral and we have no common rallying point. Our nation’s greatest point of unity and excitement and anticipation is for the release of another mobile telecommunications device — the best thing we have to look forward to is Tim Cook, 10:00am, PST.

Well That’s not so Uplifting Now, is it?
We desperately want good news, we desperately want a new great project stabbing toward some awesome goal — and there’s just… nothing there. The economy is crap, there is no great leader to inspire us, and there is no great undertaking for the betterment of all humankind. That’s where the iPhone 5 anticipation energy comes from. Americans want what is new, we want to push forward, we want profound ideas to inspire us now and for decades to come — it’s in the fabric of the nation. If we were about to launch a manned mission to Mars, or a Manhattan Project-style energy initiative, or building hotels on the moon, this announcement would be but a spark.

Myself and millions will soon have a state of the art, super cool new phone. And the Dream will stay on break. Such is life. But it’s not gone, and do check back later — we might have space tourism and near-infinite fusion energy pretty soon!

It’s Tuesday night here in Japan — going to sleep.
I’ll check the morning news straight away, and I’ll be excited about the phone I will own in a few short weeks. It’ll be awesome, I’m sure. And the world’s most valuable company will get more valuable, I’m sure.

Aside from the next-next iPhone and a new figurehead, will another year bring anything new? Not so sure.

(The Nuclear-Powered Science Robot Dune Buggy with Lasers came close, didn’t it?)


Thanks for reading!

-Reno at


Whilst I was checking up on C.O.R.E. (Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment) this weekend, I read of latest plans to ship plutonium MOX fuel assemblies from Sellafield to the small German port of Nordenham near Bremerhaven on the NDA’s (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) ageing ship Atlantic Osprey.

The Atlantic Osprey, built in 1986, is a roll-on roll-off ferry purchased third hand by British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL) in 2001 and converted to carry radioactive materials. It is the only ship not to be custom-built of the UK’s designated nuclear cargo ships, and so is not double-hulled, and has only a single engine, among other short-comings.

According to CORE it has a chequered history as a nuclear carrier that includes an engine-room fire and breakdowns at sea, and equivalent sister ships have historically been retired at or before a standard 25 years of service. Whilst the ship is soon to finally brought to the scrapyard, it is due to be replaced by a 25-year old ship Oceanic Pintail recently saved from the scrap yard itself — and one would get the impression that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are cutting corners on safety to save on expenditure.

CORE spokesman Martin Forwood has pointed out that INS (International Nuclear Services — a subsidiary of the NDA) appears hell-bent on shipping this MOX fuel to Germany on a third-hand ship with second class safety and kept afloat on first class INS PR alone” and on learning about the current state of affairs, one would be inclined to agree.

“The shipment of such highly dangerous nuclear material should never be entrusted to a ship not only past its sell-by date but also described recently in the press as a rust-bucket. Given its known safety and security weaknesses which now include the apparent lack of the vital sonardyne sunken vessel location system, using the Atlantic Osprey for the German MOX is a prime example of the nuclear industry putting business before safety. Common sense dictates that these plans should be abandoned immediately”.

Although the CORE concern is quite specific in this case, it raises the broader question — on what are acceptable safety standards for the nuclear industry as a whole — and to what extent such businesses cut corners for financial reasons — at the expense of public safety.

Learn about C.O.R.E:

I do not regret voting for this President and I would and will do it again. However.……I am not happy about our space program. Not at all. One would think there would be more resistance concerning the privatization of space and the inferior launch vehicles being tested or proposed. Indeed there would be objections except for a great deception being perpetrated on a nation ignorant of the basic facts about space flight. The private space gang has dominated public discourse with very little answering criticism of their promises and plans.
This writer is very critical of the flexible path.

It is a path to nowhere.

Compared to the accomplishments of NASA’s glory days, there is little to recommend the players in the commercial crew game. The most fabulous is Space X, fielding a cheap rocket promising cheap lift. There is so little transparency concerning the true cost of their launches that one space-faring nation has called the bluff and stated SpaceX launch prices are impossible. The Falcon 9, contrary to stellar advertising, is a poor design in so many ways it is difficult to know where to begin the list. The engines are too small and too many, the kerosene propellant is inferior to hydrogen in the upper stage, and promising to reuse spent hardware verges on the ridiculous. Whenever the truth about the flexible path is revealed, the sycophants begin to wail and gnash their teeth.

The latest craze is the Falcon “heavy.” The space shuttle hardware lifted far more, though most of the lift was wasted on the orbiter. With 27 engines the faux heavy is a throwback to half a century ago when clusters of small engines were required due to nothing larger being available. The true heavy rocket of the last century had five engines and the number of Falcon engines it would take to match the Saturn V proves just how far the mighty have fallen.

Long, long posts, doubling as SpaceX advertisements, swamp any forum where the deception is exposed. The most popular and endlessly repeated dogma concerns fuel depots. Refueling in space is hyped as the answer to all problems. Unfortunately the chances of making it work with the selected propellant- liquid hydrogen- are not good. This kind of blasphemy is sure to bring howls of protest on any forum where it appears. The sad truth is the American people are being conned into throwing away the Heavy Lift Infrastructure that is the only path to Beyond Earth Orbit Human Space Flight. SpaceX is more of an exploitation company to charge the taxpayer twice than aerospace company. Everything they are pushing- from the engine design to friction stir welded stages, to the heat shield on the capsule has all been developed by NASA on the taxpayers dime. They use NASA labs and engineers for token payment and then advertise low prices. It is a scam. Worse than a scam, it is a distraction from and drain on funds from the only real possibility for space travel on the horizon; the Space Launch System (SLS).

LEO is not space exploration. It is not space travel. It may have qualified as space flight at one time but not anymore. It is endless circles at very high altitude. If any achievement deserves the “been there” scoff it is Low Earth Orbit.

Human beings left Earth at 24,200 mph (38,938 km/hr) in December of 1968. In December of 1972 we returned and have not gone back. We did continue Heavy Lift launches after Apollo with the Space Shuttle- but the STS did not launch humans beyond earth orbit. Due to lack of funding the Shuttle regrettably launched a hundred tons of wings, landing gear, and never full cargo bay over one hundred times so they could come right back. What little stayed up there at very high altitude going in circles is that higher price tag people cry about.

To expand the human race into the solar system requires nuclear energy. We will not be assembling, testing, and lighting off any nuclear systems in LEO. We do however have a human rated capsule with a powerful escape system almost ready that is suitable for transporting fissionables directly to the Moon- where we can assemble, test, and light off nukes. To send that capsule directly to the moon, and the human beings to construct a base that can support a nuclear mission, we need an HLV with hydrogen upper stages. The hydrogen upper stages are what made Apollo successful by making a heavy payload go fast. That vehicle is a few years away and sooner with more money. The DOD has vast resources it expends on weapons that do not protect us from two clear and present dangers; impacts and plagues. I often give examples on this site of “cold war toys” that are “hideously expensive” and do not seem to work right or do anything magical. That big rocket is the magic that will open the solar system to human colonization. Private space efforts are not capable of making any of it happen. This is why I consider the whole “new space” movement as being essentially rich hobbyists selling tourist trips. My thoughts on this “narrow and inflexible path” are based largely on the work of Freeman Dyson and Eugene Parker- and the discovery of millions of tons of water on the Moon.

Despite having “been there,” the Moon is the next step in opening up the solar system to human exploration and colonization. Low Earth Orbit is being sold as space travel even though to travel, you have to go somewhere. The battle cry of “cheap lift” is promoting the equivalent of the “liar loans” that wrecked the housing market. Falling for this something for nothing too good to be true rip-off will leave the U.S. trapped. Decades more of nothing but more endless circles at very high altitude. Mars is used as a marketing gimmick but is really just a rock with a deep gravity well. Everyone seems to think it is “just close enough” for chemical propulsion. It is not. If you are going to build the necessary Atomic Spaceship (and we would have to have a moonbase to launch a nuclear mission) you might as well go someplace really interesting.

All those places are in the outer solar system.
To establish a moonbase requires the Space Launch System to be put into service. There is no substitute for a Heavy Lift Vehicle with hydrogen upper stages.

The 130 ton lift of the proposed SLS is also at this time slated to be used as a crew vehicle. This was one of the worst mistakes of the shuttle program. The crew capsules being tested and built by SpaceX and Boeing pack seven astronauts into a vehicle without a proper escape system and, in the case of SpaceX, doubling as a cargo vehicle. Both of these vehicles have an escape-system-that-is-not-an-escape-system. These underpowered hypergolic systems are not very good at saving a crew but will work great raising the orbit of tourist space stations. This is another one of those worst mistakes being repeated.

Infomercial hype aside, the falcon “heavy” and Delta IV are not HLV’s. This misinformation deceives the public and makes the average citizen think the SpaceX hobby rocket is a Saturn V. At a thrust of around 100,000 pounds each it would take 72 merlins to equal the thrust of the SRB’s on SLS, not counting what the 4 liquid hydrogen engines also produce- with much greater efficiency than Kerosene.

The real problem with the U.S. space program is obvious to anyone looking at how much money is spent by the DOD. It is always interesting to hear sermons about how critical surveillance satellites are to fighting illiterate mountain tribesman. Any DOD contractor hearing complaints about NASA wasting money breaks down in maniacal laughter. One of my favorite talking points is that we can train our young people to clear buildings with automatic weapons or we can train them to build spaceships; either way the money will get spent.

Take a look at military spending increases and it is obvious funding for spaceflight can go up. And there IS a valid DOD mission BEO and BELO (Beyond Earth and Lunar Orbit). The valid military mission is impact defense and establishing outposts in the outer system- but this is hard money the aerospace industry wants nothing to do with. Unlike so many easy money weapon systems, spaceships have to actually work.

It is a race against time- will this knowledge save us or destroy us? Genetic modification may eventually reverse aging and bring about a new age but it is more likely the end of the world is coming.

The Fermi Paradox informs us that intelligent life may not be intelligent enough to keep from destroying itself. Nothing will destroy us faster or more certainly than an engineered pathogen (except possibly an asteroid or comet impact). The only answer to this threat is an off world survival colony. Ceres would be perfect.

Part 2 Here

Need For New Experiments To Test Quantum Mechanics & Relativity
We now have a new physics, without adding additional dimensions, that challenge the foundations of contemporary theories. Note very carefully, this is not about the ability of quantum mechanics or relativity to provide exact answers. That they do extremely well. With Ni fields, can we test for which is better or best?

A better nomenclature is a ‘single-structure test’, a test to validate the structure proposed by a hypothesis or theory. For example, Mercury’s precession is an excellent single-structure test for relativity, but it does not say how this compares to say, quantum gravity. On the other hand, a ‘dual-structure’ test would compare any two different competing theories. The recent three photon observation would be an example of a dual-structure test. Relativity requires that spacetime is smooth and continuous but quantum gravity requires spacetime to be “comprised of discrete, invisibly small building blocks”. This three photon observation showed that spacetime was smooth and continuous down to distances smaller than predicted by quantum gravity. Therefore, suggesting that both quantum foam and quantum gravity maybe in part or whole invalidated, while upholding relativity.

Therefore, the new tests would authenticate or invalidate Ni fields as opposed to quantum mechanics or relativity. That is, it is about testing for structure or principles not for exactness. Of course both competing theories must first pass the single-structure test for exactness, before they can be considered for a dual-structure test.

Is it possible to design a single-structure test that will either prove or disprove that virtual particles are the carrier of force? Up to today that I know of, this test has not been done. Maybe this is not possible. Things are different now. We have an alternate hypothesis, Ni fields, that force is expressed by the spatial gradient of time dilation. These are two very different principles. A dual-structure test could be developed that considers these differences.

Except for the three photon observation, it does not make sense to conduct a dual-structure test on relativity versus quantum mechanics as alternate hypotheses, because they operate in different domains, galactic versus Planck distances. Inserting a third alternative, Ni fields, could provide a means of developing more dual-structure tests for relativity and quantum mechanics with the Ni field as an alternate hypothesis.

Could we conduct a single-structure test on Ni fields? On a problem where all other physicist-engineers (i.e. quantum mechanics, relativity or classical) have failed to solve? Prof. Eric Laithwaite’s Big Wheel experiment would be such a problem. Until now no one has solved it. Not with classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, relativity or string theories. The Big Wheel experiment is basically this. Pivot a wheel to the end of a 3-ft (1 m) rod. Spin this wheel to 3,000 rpm or more. Then rotate this rod with the spinning wheel at the other end. The technical description is, rotate the spin vector.

It turns out that the solution to the Big Wheel experiment is that acceleration a=ωrωs√h is governed by the rotation ωr, spin ωs, and the physical structure √h, and produces weight loss and gain. This is the second big win for Ni fields. The first is the unification of gravitational, electromagnetic and mechanical forces.

How interesting. We have a mechanical construction that does not change its mass, but is able to produce force. If the spin and rotation are of like sense to the observer, the force is toward the observer. If unlike then the force is away from the observer. Going back to the Ω function, we note that in the Ω function, mass has been replaced by spin and rotation, and more importantly the change in the rotation and spin appears to be equivalent to a change in mass. Further work is required to develop an Ω function into a theoretical model.

The next step in challenging the foundations of physics is to replace the mass based Ω function with an electromagnetic function. The contemporary work to unify electromagnetism with gravity is focused on the tensor side. This essay, however, suggests that this may not be the case. If we can do this – which we should be able to do, as Ni fields explain electron motion in a magnetic field — the new physics will enable us to use electrical circuits to create force, and will one day replace all combustion engines.

Imagine getting to Mars in 2 hours.

The How Of Interstellar Travel
But gravity modification is not the means for interstellar travel because mass cannot be accelerated past the velocity of light. To develop interstellar propulsion technology requires thinking outside the box. One possibility is, how do we ‘arrive’ without ‘travelling’. Surprisingly, Nature shows us that this is possible. Both photons and particles with mass (electrons, protons & neutrons) have probabilistic natures. If these particles pass through a slit they ‘arrive’ at either sides of the slit, not just straight ahead! This ‘arrival’ is governed by probabilities. Therefore, interstellar travel technology requires an understanding of how probability is implemented in Nature, and we need to figure out how to control the ‘arrival’ event, somewhat like the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s ‘infinite improbability drive’.

Neither relativity nor quantum mechanics can or has attempted to explain probabilities. So what is probability? And, in the single slit experiment why does it decrease as one moves orthogonally away from the slit? I proposed that probabilities are a property of subspace and the way to interstellar travel. Subspace co-exists with spacetime but does not have the time dimension. So how do we test for subspace? If it is associated with probability, then can we determine tests that can confirm subspace? I have suggested one in my book. More interestingly, for starters, can we alter the probability of arrivals in the single slit experiments?

To challenge the foundations of pshyics, there are other questions we can ask. Why is the Doppler Effect not a special case of Gravitational Red/Blue shift? Why is the Hubble parameter not a constant? Can we find the answers? Will seeking these answers keep us awake at night at the possibility of new unthinkable inventions that will take man where no man has gone before?

R.L. Amoroso, G. Hunter, M. Kafatos, and Vigier, Gravitation and Cosmology: From the Hubble Radius to the Plank Scale, Proceedings of a Symposium in Honour of the 80th Birthday of Jean-Pierre Vigier, Edited by Amoroso, R.L., Hunter, G., Kafatos, M., and Vigier, J-P., (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, USA, 2002).

H. Bondi, Reviews of Modern Physics, 29–3, 423 (1957). G. Hooft, Found Phys 38, 733 (2008).

B.T. Solomon, “An Approach to Gravity Modification as a Propulsion Technology”, Space, Propulsion and Energy Sciences International Forum (SPESIF 2009), edited by Glen Robertson, AIP Conference Proceedings, 1103, 317 (2009).

B.T. Solomon, Phys. Essays 24, 327 (2011)

R. V. Wagoner, 26th SLAC Summer Institute on Particle Physics, SSI 98, 1 (1998).


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.

Part 1 of this Essay is here

The Missing Link, The Ω Function
General Relativity is based on separation vectors. Splitting this separation vector into two equations, gives one part a function of mass and the other a vector-tensor function. This gives rise to the question, can the mass part be replaced by something else say an Ω function, where Ω is as yet undefined but not a function of mass? Maybe the Ω function should be a description of quark interaction, and not mass?

Now it becomes obvious that the theoretical physics community has focused on the vector-tensor part to the complete omission of the Ω function. That is, there is definitely the opportunity to question the foundations of physics.

Looking at the massless equation for gravitational acceleration g = τc2, change in time dilation divided by the change in distance is what describes a gravitational field. A small body orbiting the Earth has a certain velocity which can be converted to time dilation. Change the orbital radius of the small body by a small amount, less or more, gives a new orbital velocity and a new time dilation. Therefore, divide this change in time dilation by the change in height and multiply by the velocity of light squared, gives the gravitational acceleration present. The same is with a centripetal motion. Use the velocity along the radius at any two points. Determine the change in time dilation then divide this change in time dilation by the change in radius, the distance between the two points. Then multiply by the velocity of light squared, gives the acceleration present.

The same is true for an electron traveling in a magnetic field, but this cannot be explained without the use of equations. See Solomon 2011 for a detailed explanation. Further, this approach now explains why force is orthogonal to both electron motion and magnetic field. Contemporary electromagnetism cannot explain why other than stating it has to be a vector cross product. Which raises the question, what is the electron doing in the magnetic field? In addition to the arched motion of the electron, does the electron experience rotation? That is, is it rotating with respect to the magnetic field i.e. is the electron orientation locked with respect to the radius of the arch? Or is the electron orientation rotating with respect to the radius of the arch i.e. is the electron orientation locked with respect to the magnetic field? Or is some other orientation function present?

It is important to note that time dilation as a spatial gradient is the key to acceleration and is termed Non Inertia or Ni Field. The Ni field concept is the first major challenge to quantum mechanics in a hundred years. Quantum mechanics states that force is transmitted by the exchange of virtual particles, whereas the Ni field states that it is the spatial gradient of time dilation. Unlike quantum mechanics, the Ni field is able to unify gravity, electromagnetism and mechanical forces.

My Philosophy Behind the New Propulsion Physics
How did I arrive at these discoveries? Let us back up a little. If a 100,000 of the brightest scientist & engineers, over the last 100 years could not solve the gravity modification problem, then the problem is not with the tool users but with the tools. Along this note has an article Have Three Little Photons Broken Theoretical Physics?, that suggests that some if not all of quantum gravity may be invalidated.

Niels Bohr (I could not find the reference) is reputed to have said that the mathematical equation is all we need to describe the Universe, and explains why theoretical physics has become very abstract (not a judgement). Einstein on the other hand said use your imagination. Both had different approaches to discovery. Both used mathematics as a tool to describe the Universe. But as Prof. Morris Kline describes in his book “Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty”, mathematics has become so sophisticated that it can now be used to prove anything, and therefore the loss of certainty. Ironically it was Einstein who started the search for a unified theory of everything.

How did I avoid trying to prove ‘anything’? By staying close to the experimental data.

One arrives at new hypotheses by breaking old axioms. Some of the axioms are explicit and some are implicit. Two explicit axioms are, a charged particle moving in a magnetic field is equivalent to a point, and all the laws of physics in this Universe are consistent with each other. An implicit axiom would be that the Lorentz-Fitzgerald transformation somehow does not operate on a particle falling in a gravitational field. I show that this is incorrect in my Physics Essays paper.

In my research I chose to explore physical properties that contemporary physics had not, that particles are real physical three dimensional objects. Therefore to answer questions like what would happen to the shape of a particle falling in a gravitational field? Or how would the shape of an electron affect its motion in a magnetic field, if at all? Or how would the distribution of mass within an elementary particle affect its motion in a gravitational field?

To be continued … Part 3 Here


Benjamin T Solomon is the author & principal investigator of the 12-year study into the theoretical & technological feasibility of gravitation modification, titled An Introduction to Gravity Modification, to achieve interstellar travel in our lifetimes. For more information visit iSETI LLC, Interstellar Space Exploration Technology Initiative.

Solomon is inviting all serious participants to his LinkedIn Group Interstellar Travel & Gravity Modification.