Firstly some good news. We would like to congratulate one of the members of the International Advisory Board, Terry Kammash, who recently received the 2012 Pioneer Award from the AIAA Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion Technical Committee. Professor Kammash is a member of the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences at the University of Michigan. The citation of the award read: “For outstanding achievements, exemplary leadership and sustained contributions to the field of aerospace engineering in advanced nuclear fusion propulsion”. The JBIS team are proud to have such an outstanding talent among our team.
We start off this issue with an excellent invited commentary from Professor Alex Ellery of Carleton University, Canada. Alex has been a long-time supporter of JBIS and in his article he gives a rather thoughtful perspective on recent space initiatives and the role of robotics in the exploration of the solar system.
One of the other long-time members of the JBIS Advisory board is Dr Chris Welch, who is now a Director of Masters Programs at the International Space University. Previously, Chris was at Kingston University and it was within that capacity that the papers of this issue came about. A description of the research given at Kingston University is described in the Foreword to this issue. The various papers demonstrate the exciting talent that Kingston University has fostered over the years and the important research they are doing. There are papers on the development of hybrid rocket motors for the use of classroom demonstrations as well as on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities. There is a discussion on the potential of Aluminium metal powder as a fuel for propulsion systems, the design of mobility systems for Mars exploration. There is a paper on satellite surveying to identify resources for industry. All of these papers should make for interesting reading. Dr Chris Welch and Dr Barnaby Osborne, now at the University of New South Wales, Australia, are thanked for their assistance in bringing these papers to print.
In other news, JBIS is now sponsoring several conferences in 2013, in both the United Kingdom and the United States. This will ensure a steady stream of diverse papers coming into our system over the next year. More details on these conferences will be given in a future issue.
Readers may have noticed the web address for the journal on the front cover (www.jbis.org.uk). We encourage you to visit our web site where you can now purchase papers for electronic download, including the latest issues. This is due to the excellent efforts of Deputy Editor Duncan Law-Green. We are also working to scan some of the older issues, but there are many and this takes time. We hope you agree that JBIS is making progress towards being modernised. Please enjoy the current issue of your journal.
Kelvin F. Long, Editor JBIS