To be a Space Faring Civilization

Until 2006 our Solar System consisted essentially of a star, planets, moons, and very much smaller bodies known as asteroids and comets. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) Division III Working Committee addressed scientific issues and the Planet Definition Committee address cultural and social issues with regard to planet classifications. They introduced the “pluton” for bodies similar to planets but much smaller.

The IAU set down three rules to differentiate between planets and dwarf planets. First, the object must be in orbit around a star, while not being itself a star. Second, the object must be large enough (or more technically correct, massive enough) for its own gravity to pull it into a nearly spherical shape. The shape of objects with mass above 5×1020 kg and diameter greater than 800 km would normally be determined by self-gravity, but all borderline cases would have to be established by observation.

Third, plutons or dwarf planets, are distinguished from classical planets in that they reside in orbits around the Sun that take longer than 200 years to complete (i.e. they orbit beyond Neptune). Plutons typically have orbits with a large orbital inclination and a large eccentricity (noncircular orbits). A planet should dominate its zone, either gravitationally, or in its size distribution. That is, the definition of “planet” should also include the requirement that it has cleared its orbital zone. Of course this third requirement automatically implies the second. Thus, one notes that planets and plutons are differentiated by the third requirement.

As we are soon to become a space faring civilization, we should rethink these cultural and social issues, differently, by subtraction or addition. By subtraction, if one breaks the other requirements? Comets and asteroids break the second requirement that the object must be large enough. Breaking the first requirement, which the IAU chose not address at the time, would have planet sized bodies not orbiting a star. From a socio-cultural perspective, one could suggest that these be named “darktons” (from dark + plutons). “Dark” because without orbiting a star, these objects would not be easily visible; “tons” because in deep space, without much matter, these bodies could not meet the third requirement of being able to dominate its zone.

Taking this socio-cultural exploration a step further, by addition, a fourth requirement is that of life sustaining planets. The scientific evidence suggest that life sustaining bodies would be planet-sized to facilitate a stable atmosphere. Thus, a life sustaining planet would be named “zoeton” from the Greek zoe for life. For example Earth is a zoeton while Mars may have been.

Again by addition, one could define, from the Latin aurum for gold, “auton”, as a heavenly body, comets, asteroids, plutons and planets, whose primary value is that of mineral or mining interest. Therefore, Jupiter is not a zoeton, but could be an auton if one extracts hydrogen or helium from this planet. Another auton is 55 Cancri e, a planet 40 light years away, for mining diamonds with an estimated worth of $26.9×1030. The Earth is both a zoeton and an auton, as it both, sustains life and has substantial mining interests, respectively. Not all plutons or planets could be autons. For example Pluto would be too cold and frozen for mining to be economical, and therefore, frozen darktons would most likely not be autons.

At that time the IAU also did not address the upper limit for a planet’s mass or size. Not restricting ourselves to planetary science would widen our socio-cultural exploration. A social consideration would be the maximum gravitational pull that a human civilization could survive, sustain and flourish in. For example, for discussion sake, a gravitational pull greater the 2x Earth’s or 2g, could be considered the upper limit. Therefore, planets with larger gravitational pulls than 2g would be named “kytons” from the Antikythera mechanical computer as only machines could survive and sustain such harsh conditions over long periods of time. Jupiter would be an example of such a kyton.

Are there any bodies between the gaseous planet Jupiter and brown dwarfs? Yes, they have been named Y-dwarfs. NASA found one with a surface temperature of only 80 degrees Fahrenheit, just below that of a human. It is possible these Y-dwarfs could be kytons and autons as a relatively safe (compared to stars) source of hydrogen.

Taking a different turn, to complete the space faring vocabulary, one can redefine transportation by their order of magnitudes. Atmospheric transportation, whether for combustion intake or winged flight can be termed, “atmosmax” from “atmosphere”, and Greek “amaxi” for car or vehicle. Any vehicle that is bound by the distances of the solar system but does not require an atmosphere would be a “solarmax”. Any vehicle that is capable of interstellar travel would be a “starship”. And one capable of intergalactic travel would be a “galactica”.

We now have socio-cultural handles to be a space faring civilization. A vocabulary that facilitates a common understanding and usage. Exploration implies discovery. Discovery means new ideas to tackle new environments, new situations and new rules. This can only lead to positive outcomes. Positive outcomes means new wealth, new investments and new jobs. Let’s go forth and add to these cultural handles.

Ben Solomon is a Committee Member of the Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion Technical Committee, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), and author of An Introduction to Gravity Modification and Super Physics for Super Technologies: Replacing Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrödinger & Einstein (Kindle Version)

Building Gravitational Column Launch Engines

Status: Xodus One Foundation is in the process of raising funds for the design, prototype, manufacture of these space propulsion engines.

Engine Design: Engine design is in part based on the research by Solomon and by Podkletnov. Both researchers’ work are accessible through peer reviewed publications.

Theoretical Basis: In classical gravity, gravitational acceleration is dependent upon the mass of the planet or star. The discovery of the new equation g=τc^2 for gravitational acceleration (Physics Essays, Sept. 2011) will lead to new types of propulsion engines as mass is not present in this equation.

Historical Basis: In the 1990s the Finnish-Russian materials scientist, Podkletnov, had shown that a superconducting ceramic disc could shield gravity. A sample held above this device would lose a small amount of weight. Solomon only know of three teams who attempted to reproduce this effect, but either did not get off the ground or had their ceramic disc crack in mid experiment. Solomon believes today we have resolved the whys of Podkletnov’s experimental observations.

The New Technology: Knowing that gravity shielding was observed above Podkletnov’s device, we know anything above this device would lose weight. Therefore, if we laid out a square matrix of these devices, maybe 1,000 x 1,000, several feet under the launch pad, we could generate a gravitationally modified launch column. The launch sequence would be, roll space vehicle over matrix launch pad. Activate matrix. Neutralize gravity to almost zero. Start count down . . . t-minus 3, t-minus 2, t-minus 1, lift off. At lift off the matrix power would be substantially increased to reverse gravity in the launch column. Thus impelling the space vehicle into outer space.

Tesla Versus Chevy Volt, Case Study Part 2

A presentation of the future strategic options available to both Tesla and Chevy Volt, using the Holistic Business Model, as published in the book, Reengineering Strategies & Tactics. Note, correction that GM will be investing an $449 million not $1.4 billion I had stated in the video.

In Part 1, I show the strategic structural positions Tesla & Chevy Volt occupy. In Part 2, I show the future strategic options available to both, and potential mistakes they could be making.

If after reviewing the videos you would like to a similar 1/2 day review of your business, please do contact me.

Tesla Versus Chevy Volt, Case Study Part 1

A presentation of the future strategic options available to both Tesla and Chevy Volt, using the Holistic Business Model, as published in the book, Reengineering Strategies & Tactics. Note, correction that GM will be investing an $449 million not $1.4 billion I had stated in the video.

In Part 1, I show the strategic structural positions Tesla & Chevy Volt occupy. In Part 2, I show the future strategic options available to both, and potential mistakes they could be making.

If after reviewing the videos you would like to a similar 1/2 day review of your business, please do contact me.

Reengineering Strategies & Tactics

I am very pleased to announce the publication of my book “Reengineering Strategies & Tactics”.

The book is based on more than 2 decades in manufacturing & management consulting, and presents the new business model, the Holistic Business Model, that ties together operations, revenue generation and business strategy. It also enables one to do strategy sensitivity analysis, and much more. Watch the video. Buy the book & enjoy rethinking & re-strategizing your company.

I might add that this is much better than anything you can get out of McKinsey, Boston Consulting Group, Booz Allen Hamilton or Bain Capital. See the next two blog posts Part 1 & Part 2 for the Tesla versus Chevy Volt case study.

The book details are:

Book details are:
Title:                     Reengineering Strategies & Tactics
Sub Title:             Know Your Company’s and Your Competitors’ Strategies and Tactics Using Public Information
Publisher:            Universal Publishers
Date:                     July, 2014
Pages:                   315
ISBN-10:               1627340157
ISBN-13:               9781627340151

Publisher’s Link:     

1st 25 pages(free): 


The Holistic Business Model identifies, in a structured manner, the 48 structural positions and 32 strategies your company can effect, resulting in 2 million variations in your company’s strategic environment. This complexity is handled by three layers, consisting of the Operations Layer, the Revenue Transaction Layer and the Business Management Layer.

Strategy is the migration from one structural position to another in the Business Management Layer. Therefore, the Model prevents investors, business owners and corporate managers from making incorrect moves, while both, enabling them to see their future options, and enhancing the quality of their management decisions.

The Operations Layer explains why lean manufacturing (JIT and Kanbans) works when it does, when it does not, and the important considerations when setting up a manufacturing operation using lessons learned from the semiconductor and Fast Moving Consumer Goods industries. The Revenue Transaction Layer identifies how your company generates its revenue.

Based on 20+ years in manufacturing and management consulting in multinational, large, medium & small companies, Solomon invented the Holistic Business Model that only requires public information to determine your company’s and your competitors’ strategies. Four case studies are presented: a manufacturing operation, a home builder, a non-profit and a sea port.


The Gravity Modification Workshop

I am preparing a 1-day The Gravity Modification Workshop (more details here) and expect to conduct this workshop in the August-September 2014 time frame. I would like to gauge interest so if you are interested in attending pleased complete this short QuickSurveys survey informing me of your interest. This survey ends June 22 2014.

Workshop details are as follows:

Title: The Gravity Modification Workshop

Presenter: Benjamin T Solomon

Duration: 1 day

Location: Denver, CO, USA

Materials Provided: DVD of PowerPoint slides & Excel models used to discover the new physics.

Meals: Previous evening Dinner & Networking, with workshop day Breakfast & Lunch will be provided.

PC Requirements: Windows 7 or later notebooks/laptops. Note, Android, iPad & MS tablets not suitable as these won’t execute the Excel Add In

Fee: Approximately $1,000. Workshop fee to be finalized closer to date.

 Brochure Link:




The Navy’s Rail Gun Hides a Secret

The Navy’s Rail Gun technology hides a secret, that the Navy’s projectile accuracy has been substantially increased by about 45x.
But first some history.

The US government brought Prof Eric Laithwaite to help them build a rocket launcher based on linear motor principles. Today we call this the Rail Gun. In terms of its original objectives it was not a success, because astronauts could not survive the accelerations required to launch from a rail gun and cargo required a much longer rail gun than feasible with the then technologies.

The Navy succeeded with ship based rail guns as a means to shoot projectiles. Bloomberg TV has a good video on the Navy’s Rail Gun.

Watching this video I realized that the secret to the Navy’s Rail Gun project was not the rail gun itself, but the substantially increased accuracy attained by the much higher muzzle velocity.

I present two important point. Using quick & dirty theoretical reasoning and real examples showing that the rail gun projectile has an increased accuracy of between 28x to 45x over conventional ship-based guns.

And the real possibility that the rail gun projectile traveling at Mach 7.4 has the ability to shoot down the X-51 traveling at Mach 5 at an altitude of 70,000ft.

PowerPoint is here

The Realistic Cost Of The Next Space Race

Based on the Bloomberg TV program The Next Space Race and other reliable sources, I determine the realistic payload costs goals for the next generation of private space companies.

I review NASA’s Space Shuttle Program costs and compare these with SpaceX costs, and then extrapolate to Planetary Resources, Inc.’s cost structure.

Three important conclusions are derived. And for those viewing this video at my blog postings, the link to the Excel Spreadsheet is here (.xlsx file).

The Next Space Race

Yesterday’s program, The Next Space Race, on Bloomberg TV was an excellent introduction to the commercial aerospace companies, SpaceX, the Sierra Nevada Company (SNC), and Boeing. The following are important points, at the stated times, in the program:

0.33 mins: The cost of space travel has clipped our wings.
5:18 mins: How many people knew Google before they started?
7:40 mins: SpaceX costs, full compliment, 4x per year at $20 million per astronaut.
11:59 mins: Noisy rocket launch, notice also the length of the hot exhaust is several times the length of the rocket.
12:31 mins: One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
12:37 mins: Noisy shuttle launch, notice also the length of the hot exhaust is several times the length of the rocket.
13:47 mins: OPF-3, at one time the largest building in the world at 129 million cubic feet.
16:04 mins: States are luring private companies to start up in their states.
16:32 mins: NASA should be spending its money on exploration and missions and not maintenance and operations.
17:12 mins: The fair market value of OPF-3 is about $13.5 million.
17:19 mins: Maintenance cost is $100,000 per month
17:47 mins: Why Florida?
18:55 mins: International Space Station (ISS) cost $60B and if including the Shuttle program, it cost $150B.
19:17 mins: The size of the commercial space launch business.
21:04 mins: Elon Musk has put $100 million of his own money into SpaceX.
21:23 mins: The goals of NASA and private space do not conflict.

1. Cost of ISS is $60B, total cost including the Shuttle program is $150B.

2. SpaceX cost is $20M per astronaut (for 7 astronauts) or a launch cost of $140 million per launch at $560 million per year for 4 launches per year.

3. The next space race is about money.

4. NASA will give a multi billion dollar contract to private space companies to ferry humans & cargo into space and back.

5. Orbiter Processing Facility 3 (OPF-3) valued at $13.5million, and an estimated area of 207,000 sq ft gives a value of $65.22/sq ft.

6. With a maintenance costs of $100,000 gives a per sq ft maintenance costs of $0.48/sq ft/month or $5.80/sq ft/year.

7. Another reason for the Cape Canaveral NASA launch site is the mandatory no/low population down range for rocket launches. At Cape Canaveral this down range is the Atlantic Ocean.

The Outrageous Questions

The May 2014 Scientific American article, “Super Symmetry, A Crisis in Physics”, got me thinking. If the proton mass is substantially greater that the sum of the masses of the quarks & gluons in the proton then there is an outrageous question regarding the Standard Model.

Before I attempt to answer that question we need to understand the concept of falsifiability.

The reason why I am qualified to ask this outrageous question is because I solved the physics of gravity modification, and falsifiability opens up more avenues for research, more questions and the finally the reasons for the outrageous question.