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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-2-13 January 3, 2013

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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-2-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1922-BWB-2013-01-02.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Our discussion is an overview of current and planned 2013 NASA planetary missions. 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. Written 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. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, http://www.johnbatchelorshow.com.  During our 11 minute plus discussion, John and I provided a short overview of current, operating NASA planetary and science missions plus missions planned for 2013.  We also mentioned a few ESA missions and talked about a future Europa mission.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Mr. Batchelor through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12 October 10, 2012

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Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1869-BWB-2012-10-09.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jason Cassibry.  Topics:  A technical description and the potential of fusion propulsion.  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. We welcomed Dr. Jason Cassibry to the program to guide us in our discussion of the potential for fusion propulsion.  At times, this was a very technical discussion.  To assist in following it, I have uploaded to the blog his published paper delivered at the AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, “The Case and Development Path for Fusion Propulsion.”  In addition, below are the URLs for several articles on fusion propulsion that Dr. Cassibry shared with us: www.uah.edu/news/items/10-research/2501-slapshot-to-deep-space#.UDrKn-iPVuY;
www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/rockets/the-big-machine-that-could-lead-to-fusion-powered-spaceships-9450996; http://io9.com/5921673/nuclear-slapshots-could-propel-a-spacecraft-to-mars-in-just-weeks; www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=23442
and http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/10/zpinch-nuclear-fusion-pulse-space.html.   Dr. Cassibry started out by providing us with a working definition of fusion propulsion.  We talked about nuclear propulsion as well and the overall state of development for fusion energy.  I asked Dr. Cassibry if in their economic projections for fusion propulsion, they considered the political and policy impact on fossil fuel pricing and supply availability.  As you will hear, generally such factors are not included in their studies though he concurred with me that such policies can strongly skew the economics one way or the other.  Several calls came in on a wide ranging group of associated topics.  We talked about the main fusion fuel, lithium deuteride, magnetic nozzles, and the use of a nuclear fission reactor to start the fusion propulsion unit.  Z-Pinch technologies were defined and discussed.  As the segment drew to a close, I asked about funding sources for this research and we learned that most all of the funding is from public sources.

In our second segment, more listeners called in regarding insitu resource usage, nuclear propulsion to start the fusion unit, and the power consumed for all of this.  We talked about using fusion propulsion for a Mars mission and what it did for travel times.  Jason also put forth a suggested time line and path to follow to operation in perhaps 25 years, depending on funding.  More calls came in with fuel questions, vibration impact, G force acceleration, thrust, and more.  Another topic discussed was fusion propulsion for the launch vehicle.  We then compared some real mission travel times such as Cassini, Voyager, and New Horizons, asking what the transit times would have been like using fusion propulsion.  As we were ending the program, I asked about the students entering aerospace engineering at UAH, both the undergrad and graduate level, plus the gender mix of the students.  There appears to be strong demand by the students to study these fields at all levels.  In conclusion, Jason suggested that we could look for breakeven with fusion in about ten years, maybe less.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Cassibry’s faculty page at UAH is www.mae.uah.edu/faculty/cassibry.shtml.

 

Cassibry et al case for fusion 072812

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12 February 14, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1712-BWB-2012-02-13.mp3

Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: NASA FY13 budget & space policy. White Nose Syndrome bat update.  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.  We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the program for his preliminary analysis of the NASA portion of the FY13 budget just released by the White House.  You can obtain more information about Mr. Zimmerman and the issues he writes about at his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.  Bob also provided an analysis of the NASA budget at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/a-transitional-budget. Bob started out by saying the NASA part of the budget was flat.  That said, he also said the Mars and planetary programs faced serious cuts.  He pointed out that missions in progress were still being funded, new missions such as the EuroMars missions were being scrapped though in the case of Mars, a new program was being created, the Mars Next Decade Program.  Bob went on to say the astronomy budget was being squeezed to finish the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which has its own line item in the budget.  The JWST was decimating the astronomy budget. He pointed out that the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) was being zeroed out in another year or so after it has completed its primary mission.  Turning to manned space, Bob described it as contradictory.  Commercial Crew would receive $830 million but of course congress may change that.  Also, SLS and Orion continue getting around $3 billion.  Bob talked about the flight plan for SLS & Orion and like many others, predicted the program would ultimately be cancelled.  Bob received lots of listener questions by email & phone addressing topics including a nuclear rocket, Mars Direct, DOD space funding issues, and the PR value for NASA for the HSF program.  Bob then suggested that history has shown that if the HSF program suffers, all of NASA suffers and pointed out that is happening now. Later, Marshall called to suggest that ESA might not be able to fund their part of the Mars programs due to European economic problems.  Bob speculated that our cutting participation may actually have been in anticipation of this to avoid problems down the road because of the European economic woes.  At the end of this segment, we talked about the successful European Vega rocket launch. 

In segment two, Bob talked about new information regarding sun spots and climate per a recently reviewed paper.  Check out the story at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-link-between-sunspots-and-climate. We also talked about the 2012 plan proposed by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in its search for Higgs boson.  Listeners brought up the nuclear rocket, the Cassini mission in the budget, and more on JWST.  Bob also reported some new developments with LightSquared, the FCC, and GPS issues.  Tim called in with questions about the sun and an electro magnetic pulse (EMP). As the program ended, I asked Bob for another update on the White Nose Syndrome which has killed lots of bats in the northeast.  Bob closed by saying the upcoming Falcon 9 & Dragon launch plus the Orbital Antares launch may prove to be the most important events of the year.  He said they were risky ventures, especially the Antares launch and program.  

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Bob through me or from his website, Behind The Black.

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