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The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Saturday, November 13, 2010

McDonnell Planetarium Director and X-Prize Board Member Gregg Maryniak Speaks About Energy From Space

First Slide Illustrates Mr. Maryniak's Various Responsibilities 
Mr. Gregg Maryniak, Director of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium (St. Louis Science Center), X-Prize Board Member, Vice Chairman of the Lindbergh Foundation and veteran pilot addressed students and faculty at the University of MO-St. Louis Friday, November 12.  In his presentation, "Can Space Save the Earth," Mr. Maryniak presented conventional and experimental methods of addressing current and future human earthly energy needs.  He expertly addressed ways of using technology to obtain the additional resources needed for projected increased energy production. 

The U.S. space program, Mr. Maryniak explained, began with the four words, "To Beat the Russians."  It now can be summed up with the phrase, "To Save the Earth."  The point here is that the needs of the earthly population need to be cooperatively addressed, and energy production from space is one area in which many nations can contribute.  The earth-moon system is the key to future space exploration, and the moon, with its lower gravitational forces and oxygenated soil, offers a logical base of operations, such as moving toward mineral-rich asteroids. 

Mr. Maryniak Demonstrates Earth/Moon Distance Relationship

Energy generation using large solar array satellites is an emerging technology that can directly impact life on earth.  The generation of energy for developing countries will eventually consume so much fossil fuel that real impacts on the biosphere will make life difficult for human existence.  Using large solar arrays that transfer energy through microwaves to collectors on earth is a feasible alternative, provided that the hardware will eventually be developed and positioned in high earth orbit. 

Mr. Maryniak has been instrumental in encouraging private industry to develop the technology to achieve such lofty goals.  As a member of the X-Prize Foundation, he has worked to establish several competitions to produce private suborbital space flight, lunar robotic exploration and  high efficiency cars.  The key to success in the development of new methods of addressing global issues is risk management, he said, and the blending of private investment with governmental support is the best way of encouraging additional participants.  Future X-Prizes will continue to encourage this activity.

Additional information on these and related topics may be obtained from these sites:

The X-Prize Foundation:

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