JBIS Vol 65 No.11-12

Dear Readers

I hope you are enjoying the current 100 Year Starship issues and in a red cover. We have lots more of those coming out but we thought we should occasionally publish a normal issue to ensure you are getting a diversity of content and also so other authors can get their papers published too. The current issue is an excellent one with a real mix bag of subjects. I will briefly introduce them.

We first have a comprehensive review paper from Tabitha Smith on nuclear rocket propulsion. This is her first paper in this journal and we congratulate her on this achievement. We then have an outstanding paper from the NASA scientist Geoffrey Landis on the idea for a landsailing rover for the planet Venus. Landis recently gave a lecture at the London HQ of the BIS which was enjoyed by all. This is followed by a paper from long standing JBIS author Gregory Matloff who examines the use of Graphene as a solar sail material. I am also pleased to announce that Matloff now also joins the JBIS International Advisory Board. We then have two papers on advanced space propulsion. The first by Ronan Keane and Wei-Ming Zhang discusses the use of beamed core antimatter propulsion. The second by Terry Kammash and Brice Cassenti discusses using a fusion based system for Lunar exploration. The final two papers are by Mark Hempsell of Reaction Engines Ltd who examines the application of the Skylon Launch System for the International Space Station (ISS) and also ISS commonality between Low Earth Orbit and Lunar Infrastructures. Last we have included a technical note from the astronomer Alan Hale examining the implications of the Kepler-22B discovery. This is a contribution to the ongoing Project Icarus study which was initiated by the BIS.

Just recently I have returned from a visit to the United States. I attended the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop in Huntsville, Alabama. Over the coming months I will be working with the event organiser Les Johnson to put together an issue for JBIS so we can capture some of the proceedings. I also attended the NASA Marshall Spaceflight Centre (also at Huntsville) and the NASA Glenn Research Centre in Cleveland, Ohio. I was impressed by the reputation of JBIS and the BIS specifically among the NASA staff who clearly held both in high esteem. It is good to know that despite some recent difficulties for the society, we are still noticed by those that matter. I then went onto the International Space University in Strasbourg as a Visiting Lecturer. I am working with four Msc students there and it is hoped that when their projects are complete, they may be able to submit a paper to this journal provided they pass peer review. For most of them this would represent their first publication and it is good to see that JBIS is also facilitating career opportunities for the next generation. Finally, I attended the UK Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS) conference at the University of Bristol. I was enormously impressed by the enthusiasm and knowledge of the young students and this gives me optimism for the future. UKSEDS are now celebrating their 25th anniversary and the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society wishes them our congratulations.

Finally, in case you haven’t noticed, this issue is the November/December 2012 issue. This means that the next issue we publish will be a 2013 issue and in effect we have caught up with our print schedule once the next issue is out. This has been a long journey for some of us and has taken many hours of effort. I would like to acknowledge the earlier efforts of the former Editors Mark Hempsell and Chris Toomer who worked hard as volunteers to try and keep the Journal going. Myself and the production assistant Ben Jones have been working tirelessly over the last year to catch up and get high quality issues out and I hope you agree we have succeeded in that goal. I would also like to thank the Associate Editor team which includes Rob Swinney, Stephen Ashworth, Stephen Gamble, Duncan Law-Green, Paul Gilster and Keith Cooper for the role they are playing in helping to rebuild the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. As the BIS is now celebrating its 80th birthday, we can look forward with positive optimism knowing that JBIS at least, is once again fit for purpose.

Kelvin F. Long, Editor JBIS

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