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Dr. James (Jim) Hansen, Tuesday, 10-1-13 October 2, 2013

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Dr. James (Jim) Hansen, Tuesday, 10-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2097-BWB-2013-10-01.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. James Hansen.  Topics: Retired astronaut John Young, space history, returning tothe Moon, astronaut safety & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed Dr. James (Jim) Hansen back to the program to discuss the biography of retired astronaut John Young which Dr. Hansen helped in writing.  The book, “Forever Young A Life Of Adventure in Air and Space,” is readily available at bookstores and Amazon. Remember, if you go through The Space Show/OGLF Amazon portal (instructions are on the blog, our website & the OGLF website), Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show.  The first segment of our nearly two hour program, Dr. Hansen and I started out with an early aviation history overview as I asked our guest about the idea that in space we are as advanced today as was the DC-3 to where aviation is today.  This proved to be an interesting discussion, focusing not just on the DC-3 but NACA, the role of government in helping to develop advanced technologies and much more.  We then turned our attention John Young.  As you will hear, the book we are discussing was a biography written in first person and Jim was asked to help make it so.  We talked about Young’s focus on both astronaut safety and the NEO threat to Earth.  We talked about John Young both on Apollo and his shuttle flights.  The subject of space and aviation history came up again and we talked about the Enola Gay and what it took to display it at the Smithsonian as there was lots of opposition to doing so.  Dr. Hansen then returned to the John Young book, he told us about his suggestions to turn Young’s manuscript into a book & he described working with John and his wife on the project.  Space history was also a topic in this segment as we talked about historians and authors often having their work amended by later versions of the history.  Dr. Hansen cited some very famous examples when I said I wanted to rewrite my dissertation and correct my errors.

In the second segment, Jim was asked about John Young and Mars.  Jim said that John’s preference was returning to the Moon, plus his focus on his concern for NEOs hitting Earth.  But he did support being a multi-planet species.  We asked Jim about his preference or comparison of Apollo & the Saturn 5 to the shuttle.  Jim told us that John loved the shuttle and was fortunate to fly two shuttle missions.  Doug called in and wanted to know Jim’s perspective as a historian on the space frontier model common among space enthusiasts.  The frontier metaphor sparked quite the conversation with the three of us.  Dr. Hansen returned to talking about John Young’s interest in returning to the Moon and why.  Much was said in both segments about how shuttle should not have been cancelled nor should Constellation have been cancelled.  Ben emailed us about astronauts and role models and do they have a responsibility to us in being role models.  This also sparked an extensive conversation about astronauts, their role in society, what we make them into. Toward the end, Jim and I digressed into other areas of space, aviation, and political history.  We talked about the Cuban Missile Crisis, I cited memories of B 52′s at the ready at the Tulsa Municipal Airport, the remaining Moon Walker Astronauts, private sector lunar astronauts as a possibility before government astronauts return to the Moon, and digressions about Alabama, Oklahoma, and Jim’s next book about Robert Trent Jones and golf. Also in both segments, Dr. Hansen often referred to Neil Armstrong and his book about Neil which we discussed the last time Jim was our guest.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Hansen can be reached through me or his Auburn University faculty website page.

Open Lines, Sunday, 6-30-13 June 30, 2013

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Open Lines, Sunday, 6-30-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2039-BWB-2013-06-30.mp3

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Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Blue Ridge Nebula Starline, radiation, Skylon, Falcon 9 Vandenberg, NEOs, & Asteroid missions.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.   For those of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.   Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

Our program today was a 2 hour 5 minute Open Line discussion.  I started it out with some Space Show announcements, suggested topics for today’s discussion, then I opened the phone lines for listener participation.  Dr. Doug Haynes was our first caller. Doug is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Blue Ridge Nebula Starline (www.blueridgeairlines.com) and his sister site, www.bluenebula.com.  Dr. Haynes talked about his vehicles, missions, propulsion, AST, orbital, suborbital and all HSF, his issues with zero gravity, green space technology, spaceports with the Front Range Airport as well as Denver International. Follow our discussion about his vehicles and pods via his Blue Nebula website above.  Doug also told us about his books through the 3rd Wave Air Books which is linked to both his websites.  I did mention Doug’s very well known newsletter & how to visit his operation for those in and around the Denver area.  Our next caller was Dr. Doug Plata from Southern California to discuss space radiation and our Monday guest, Dr. Marcelo Vazquez.  Doug took us through several radiation risks and mitigation strategies.  We talked about radiation and the Mars missions plus what might & might not be appropriate regarding taxpayer money or the cash equivalent regarding helping a private company do a HSF to Mars.  Just before the break, questions came up about the upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 Vandenberg launch.

In our second segment, Tim Weaver was our first caller to talk about Skylon.  There has been some recent press suggesting that the UK government my be interested in some funding with Skylon (www.sen.com/news/uk-pledges-fresh-support-for-revolutionary-space-engine.html).  We talked about the UK space interests and program along with the astronaut safety issue mentioned earlier and by Rand Simberg in his recent program.  John Hunt called in to talk about the Zubrin article on NASA’s asteroid retrieval mission, then he said he doubted anything would become of Skylon.  His last point pertained to astronaut safety per the Rand Simberg show and comments.  He suggested that since the government flies astronauts for national prestige, safety would be extreme given the potential prestige damage resulting from an accident.  Before the end, Doug sent in a note saying the Falcon 9 Vandenberg launch is currently set for Sept. 5th.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach any of the guests who called in today via their website or my email address.

Rand Simberg, Tuesday, 6-25-13 June 26, 2013

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Rand Simberg, Tuesday, 6-25-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2036-BWB-2013-06-25.mp3

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Guest:  Rand Simberg.   Topics:  Rand’s new book release, “Safe Is Not An Option,” human spaceflight potential regulation.  Please direct all comments/questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments & questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright & are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.   Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

We welcomed Rand Simberg back to the program for this 1 hour 47 minute discussion regarding his about to be released book, “Safe is Not An Option.”(http://safeisnotanoption.com).  Check out the book summary: http://safeisnotanoption.com/book-summary.  During our first hour, Rand explained the production challenges he has had with the book, the name change from last fall, & delays. He compared similarities with a book printing production run to the launch/flight rate.  With both he said one needs to get the rate way up there for economies of scale.  For the balance of our discussion, we talked about human spaceflight risk taking, the regulatory environment of today, &  potential risks to this regulatory environment down the road after 2015.  Rand supports individual choice & believes that regulation regarding flight safety would be detrimental to this developing industry. The subtitle of the book makes Rand’s case:  “Overcoming The Futile Obsession With Getting Everyone Back Alive That Is Killing Our Expansion Into Space.” Jim emailed to ask Rand to compare the risk taken by Virgin & XCOR flight participants with risky terrestrial ventures.  Rand suggested this would depend on the informed consent documents required under current FAA regulations.  Trent asked about one way trips to Mars & Mars One.  This brought up the discussion of space ethics & the Mars One position of pregnancy & childbirth as an ethical issue, not a personal choice issue as is the decision to do a one way trip to Mars.  Rand stressed that his book has to do with people taking their own risk, not the government, regulators, or policy makers dictating risk taking.

In the second segment, we fielded several questions from Curt on risk taking & Congress, plus he asked Rand about the nomad gene.  Another listener emailed in a question focused on the role of the media in helping to make space important beyond the space community.  Another listener wanted to know if Rand could see a day where to avoid government regulation, private human spaceflight would take place outside the United States.  I asked Rand about feedback he has received regarding his book & thesis, his interest in a Washington, DC media event upon the book’s release, selling the book at the upcoming NewSpace 2013 Conference, & if in his research, he came across papers, books, or other works advocating similar positions to his. During the entire discussion, Rand repeated his understanding that space is not important to the policy makers.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. Rand can be reached through his own blog on the About page at Transterrestrial Musings at www.transterrestrial.com.

Dr. Marcelo Vazquez, Friday, 11-23-12 November 23, 2012

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Dr. Marcelo Vazquez, Friday, 11-23-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1899-BWB-2012-11-23.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Marcelo Vazquez.  Topic: Galactic cosmic radiation & human spaceflight in deep space.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. We welcomed back Dr. Marcelo Vazquez for deep space radiation updates since his last visit to the show on August 22, 2006.  In our first segment, Dr. Vazquez updated us with new information about Martian surface radiation due to the instruments on board Curiosity now roving on Mars. We talked about the meanings of the findings so far and the good news for astronauts visiting Mars as we are learning that being on the surface will likely be doable.  We then talked about transit times to and from Mars and why that presents a different set of radiation challenges.  For our discussion, we only referenced existing, operational propulsion – chemical propulsion.  We did not talk about advanced propulsion travel times or nuclear propulsion travel times as our focus was on what was available today, not what may be available in the near or intermediate term.  The Galactic Cosmic Radiation (GCR) is a problem with lots of unknowns.  A further complication is a solar event but that could probably be shielded for with an onboard shelter. Not so with the GCR.  Dr. Vazquez even pointed out that GCR may cause an incomplete mission as it impacts the central nervous system & that might be a bigger risk than cancer at the end of the mission.  Listeners emailed & called with radiation questions, even asking about the difference in GCR and radiation here on Earth.  Other topics addressed in this segment included the use of older astronauts given they might suffer less radiation damage than a younger person, cell damage and division, timelines for potential solutions, & space settlement/family issues in light of what we know about space radiation today.
       In our second segment, we talked about Cislunar space, EML1, EML2, the lunar surface and NEOs in light of radiation dangers for astronauts.  The ISS was discussed within the context of Martian surface radiation, along with the South Atlantic Anomaly and polar/equatorial radiation on Earth. Listener Bruce emailed about Marcelo “slightly over stating space radiation.”  I read the email on air so do listen to the response given to Bruce.  Dr. Vazquez then talked about the NASA guidelines & the number of safe deep space radiation days for an adult male and an adult female (they differ).  Near the end, a NYC first responder called in about possible radiation incidents in NYC & treatments available, including new medicines.  At the end, I asked out guest for success indicators. We were directed to note the biologic focus given GCR can directly impact a molecule.  We concluded with a short update on radiation used in cancer treatment including proton and carbon ion therapy.  In summary, no show stoppers but lots of challenges that Dr. Vazquez believes will be resolved through future research.
     Please post our comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL.  If you want to reach our guest, you can do so through me.

Open Lines, Sunday, 10-7-12 October 7, 2012

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Open Lines, Sunday, 10-7-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1867-BWB-2012-10-07.mp3

Guest:  Dr. David Livingston.   Topics:  Open Lines discussion on various space topics per the choice of the listeners calling today’s show.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. Welcome to today’s two hour 15 minute Open Lines discussion.  The program was in three segments but as we focused on just a few topics for the entire discussion, this summary will not be divided by segments.  I started the discussion by describing upcoming Space Show programs, then putting out a few discussion topics.  As it turned out, the dominant topic discussed by the listeners had to do with astronaut safety and the recent program with guest Rand Simberg from Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Rand talked about our being too risk averse, the need for more lives to be at risk to do valuable space missions, etc. You can hear his program at http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1863-BWB-2012-10-01.mp3. Several callers took issue with much of what Rand said and for the most part thought that space missions were valued and that human spaceflight was already risky.  Listeners went back and forth on this topic across all segments of the program, talking about shuttle accident rates, proposed accident rates for Constellation, Orion, Dragon, and more.  Some listeners even talked about aviation safety rates, military jets, and the track records of the Atlas 5, Delta IV, and Arianne V rockets.  For part of this discussion, we also talked about the liability limitation laws passed in spaceport states including California which recently signed into law its version of law. We talked about what this might mean for the industry, for spaceflight participants, and even if the would hold up in an accident.

As part of the HSF safety discussions, we also talked about launch abort and escape systems.  We took a call at the first of the second segment from Charles in Oregon who  wanted to talk about the lunar space elevator, SLS and propellant depots, our second most talked about topic for the day.  Charles is a strong proponent of the lunar space elevator and depots, but others called in from the skeptical side of things which was my position.  At times the discussion switched to the space elevator here on Earth but everybody agreed that the lunar space elevator was much more doable. I kept challenging Charles and proponents of this and the depots to show me the complete and thorough financial analysis and trades for these missions with assumptions as that would be the only way to know if these concepts had legs to stand on.  If Charles does get me some of this documentation and its viable, I will use it in a future Space Show program.  Tim in Huntsville wanted to know my thoughts on various alternative launch systems & my preferences for which type of space missions.  There were other topics scattered throughout our program including the 23 mile skydive by Felix Baumgartner with Red Bull scheduled for Oct. 8th, fusion propulsion, and the SpaceX launch going to the ISS later today.

     If you want to email any of the callers to this program, send your note to me and I will forward it for you.  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.
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