Space Access Update #80  2/28/99 
               Copyright 1999 by Space Access Society 

1998 was a year of transition for the space industry, a year of the 
slow build of a number of trends, good and bad.  Now that we're well 
into 1999, some of these trends have reached or passed the point where 
we think attention is required.  We're back. 

But we're also waaaaay behind.  Look for stories in an upcoming 
Update on X-33's growing problems, the revived Breaux Bill (just 
reintroduced as S.469), NASA Future-X's first major flight vehicle 
project, Military Spaceplane's continuing survival, the latest in 
the commercial expendable and reusable launch fields, and FAA AST's 
progress toward new operating regulations for commercial RLV's. 

But before that, coming in SAU #81, SAS's four key policy priorities 
for 1999: Fixing the Breaux Bill, funding a new Future-X reusable 
rocket operations demonstrator, funding some growth in MSP, and what to 
do about X-33.  That Update awaits only some final tweaks. 

Space Access Society Notes 

    - Space Access '99 Conference Set For April 23-24 in Phoenix 

    - A Word From SAS's Executive Director (On Our Low '98 Profile) 

Just a quick note - Rotary Rocket Company will officially roll out 
their ATV (Atmosphere Test Vehicle landing-mode demonstrator) 
tomorrow, Monday March 1st, at 11 am pacific time (2 pm eastern). 
Catch the live webcast at, check for details. 

    - Space Access '99 Conference Set For April 23-24 in Phoenix 

We're off to a late start organizing and publicizing SA'99 this 
year, due to our old hotel being redeveloped and due to health 
problems over the winter.  But there are still two months to go - 
plenty of time to book flights, reserve rooms, and sign up! 

Space Access '99 hospitality and registration open at 6 pm Thursday 
April 22nd 1999, rooms 100 and 102 (off the pool deck) at the 
Quality Inn South Mountain, 5121 E LaPuente Ave - go about ten miles 
east on I-10 from the Phoenix Airport, turn right off the Elliot 
Road exit, take your first right onto 51st Ave, then the next right 
to the hotel (just past the Wells Fargo branch.) 

Intro sessions will run from 8 pm to 10 pm Thursday.  Main sessions 
will run all day Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th, with post-
dinner sessions both days.  Registration and SA'99 Hospitality will be 
open by 8 am Friday and Saturday.   

The speakers list is starting to shape up - some fine "yes's", 
including Max Hunter, Rotary Rocket, Pioneer Rocketplane, Universal 
Space Lines, and Space Access LLC, plus strong "maybe's" from a 
whole bunch more who we intend to pin down in the next week or two, 
plus some interesting surprise long shots we're working.  It'll once 
again be a cross-section of who's who in the emerging low-cost 
launch industry, presenting an informal snapshot of where things are 
this spring of 1999.  (Be there or miss out - part of our relaxed 
atmosphere and up-to-the-second inside information is that we don't 
ask for formal papers and we don't do proceedings.) 

Our new hotel is the Quality Inn South Mountain, about ten miles 
from the Phoenix Airport via "Super Shuttle" van, in a quiet tree-
lined suburban neighborhood, with a half-dozen restaurants within 
easy walking distance, within a mile of the world-class Pointe South 
Mountain's resort golf and riding stables.  We were able to work out 
a good deal with the Quality Inn, with room rates of $59/$69/$79 
plus a location for our famous Space Access Hospitality Suite (yes, 
Eileen and the gang will be back) right across the pool deck walkway 
from our presentation hall. 

The $59/$69/$79 gets you a "standard", "deluxe", or "business class" 
room - "standard" is pretty nice, "deluxe" is similar but very recently 
redone, "business class" has some extras.  Call (602) 893-3900 for 
reservations and mention "Space Access" for the rate.  Book right away 
if you can - this is a new hotel for us, and the more rooms we have 
booked early, the easier it is to wheedle favors from the hotel to make 
it a better conference. 

Space Access '99 registration is $100 if received by Wednesday April 
21st, $120 at the door, $10 off for SAS members ($30 for one year's 
membership), mail checks to SAS, 4855 E Warner Rd #24-150, Phoenix 
AZ 85044.  See you there! 


RE SAS's low profile last year, a short personal note from yr obdt 
servant the Executive Director... 

   I began 1998 just a little burnt burnt out after a decade in the 
   trenches of the cheap access wars, unable to summon much energy 
   for anything short of major priorities.  That passed, between 
   rest and the increasingly obvious fact that we hadn't won this 
   battle of ideas yet after all - our spacefaring future is still 
   very much in doubt. 

   By autumn of last year, I was ready to charge back into the fray, 
   except for one minor problem  - I was totally unable to summon 
   the concentration needed to write clearly about this complex 
   scene.  I could see no reason for this; I thought I was going nuts. 

   To make a long story short, last month I was diagnosed with 
   Lyme disease, a nasty tick-borne bug that gradually, stealthily 
   makes you feel like forty-two going on ninety-two.  The good news 
   is, a lot of the symptoms clear up fast once treatment begins - 
   it was like someone turned on the lights again.  I still tire 
   easily and likely will limit travel for a while, but I'm back at 
   work.  And not a moment too soon; things are getting interesting 
   once again... 

   To those of you who went on supporting SAS this last year 
   despite our low profile, my heartfelt thanks.  

                                        Henry Vanderbilt 


Space Access Society's sole purpose is to promote radical reductions 
in the cost of reaching space.  You may redistribute this Update in 
any medium you choose, as long as you do it unedited in its entirety.

 Space Access Society 

 "Reach low orbit and you're halfway to anywhere in the Solar System" 
                                        - Robert Anson Heinlein