Dr. David Lawrence, Friday, 12-28-12 December 29, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " Mercury, Crater naming process., data embargo, Dawn Mission, Dr. David Lawrence, Earth, Gamma Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS), Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, magnetic field, Mars, Mercury craters, Mercury density, Mercury flyby's, Mercury Hollows, Mercury orbital dynamics, Mercury tectonic activity, Messenger, Moon, NASA, NASA budget, NASA Discovery Program, NASA Planetary Portal System, neutron spectroscopy, organic molecules, Venus, Vesta, volatile elements, water ice at the poles
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Dr. David Lawrence, Friday, 12-28-12
Guest: Dr. David Lawrence. Topic: The planet Mercury & the NASA Messenger Mission. 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. We welcomed Dr. David Lawrence to the program to discuss the planet Mercury & the NASA Messenger Mission’s latest finding. For more information, visit the Messenger websites, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/messenger/main/index.html & http://messenger.jhuapl.edu. We started our discussion by describing the Mercury & the Messenger mission. For example, it took over six years to get to Mercury because of the difficulty in slowing the spacecraft down given the close proximity to the sun. Dr. Lawrence explained this process to us & the Venus, Mercury, & Earth flyby program used by the spacecraft to orbit around Mercury. We talked about the spacecraft health, the instruments on board & the problem with the gamma ray spectrometer which worked for about 9,000 hours on an expected life of 8,000 hours. However, data from this instrument is still being analyzed & will be for some time to come. Other instruments on Messenger are fine & the spacecraft has a life expectancy to 2015. Our guest explained mission nominal life & the process for mission extensions with additional NASA funding. We talked about funding issues for Messenger & other planetary missions in light of NASA budget issues & the overall U.S. economy. Dr. Lawrence told us how the missions compete for extension & additional funding, plus the requirements they must meet to be extended. Listeners wanted to know about the application of Messenger & Mercury science to Earth & other solar system missions, our Moon, a NEO, even Mars. Other listeners wanted to know Mercury’s distances from the sun & Earth, as well as more about possible tectonic activity on Mercury. We discussed basic chemical elements found on Mercury as well as volatile elements.
In our second segment, Dr. Lawrence was asked to identify the biggest surprise so far which he said had to do with the composition of the planet & volatile elements with high concentrations of sulfur & sodium, among others. A listener asked about Mercury radiation levels & another listener wanted to know how Mercury crater’s got their names. Dr. Lawrence then took us through the crater naming process which you can also read about on the Messenger websites. We talked about Messenger’s discovery of Hollows (see, http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/24oct_sleepyhollows). One listener asked our guest how one gets on a science team like Messenger. Dr. Lawrence explained the paths to joining these teams. Mercury’s high density came up & our guest talked about most all of the iron on the planet being concentrated in its core. We also talked about data analysis, archives, embargos, & availability. Our guest directed us to the NASA Planetary Portal System for more information. Near the end, we talked about the NASA Discovery Program & other successful Discovery missions including Dawn.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can email Dr. Lawrence through me or the APL Messenger website.
The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 11-7-12 November 8, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: : John Batchelor, Commercial Crew, Dawn Mission, Dr. David Livingston, human spaceflight, ISS, NASA programs, NEOs, Obama Space, Orion, Planetary Resources, SLS, Space.com, Tariq Malik, The John Batchelor Show "Hotel Mars, Vesta
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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 11-7-12
Guests: John Batchelor, Tariq Malik, Dr. David Livingston: Topics: Probable space policy in President Obama’s second term. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. 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, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. During our 11 minute discussion, Tariq Malik of Space.com talked about the probable space policy in the Obama second term. We talked about astronauts going to NEOs, lunar development as a stepping stone, ISS issues, budget risks, and more. John asked about the Dawn Mission and Vesta for a like human spaceflight mission. We asked Tariq how he thought commercial crew programs and COTS would do over the near term, also about SLS and Orion. We also highlighted many of the items that Space.com writer Dr. Mike Wall wrote about in his Space.com article on the subject at www.space.com/18373-presidential-election-obama-nasa-future.html.
If you have questions or comments about this segment, please post them on The Space Show blog above. You can contact Mr. Batchelor or Tariq Malik through me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12 August 29, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " Jet Propulsion Lab, aerobraking, airbags, ” Dr. Anita Sengupta, Curiosity Rover, Dawn Mission, Deimos., depots, descent), EDL (entry, Europa, Europa nano satellite mission, Hall thruster, heavy lift launch vehicle, ion engines, ion thrusters, landing, landing on Mars, landing retro rockets., launch vehicle faring size, lunar propulsion elements, Mars, Mars Science Lab, Martian atmosphere, Martian robotic debris, military parachute, Moon, on orbit manufacturing, orbital transfer vehicle, parachute velocity, Phobos, plasma propulsion, rover alternatives, supersonic parachutes, University of Southern California, Venetian atmosphere, Venus, Vesta, Viking, Xenon
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Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12
Guest: Dr. Anita Sengupta. Topics: Entry, Descent, & Landing for Mars, Venus, propulsion, parachute issues, & more. 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. Anita Sengupta, Senior Systems Engineer at JPL in Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) Advanced Technologies Group to discuss EDL for Mars, other planets, and much more. In our first segment, Dr. Sengupta described conditions relevant to Mars and landing an object on the planet. We talked about the Martian atmosphere and what an EDL team needs to consider and design to land any payload on Mars as well as humans. We also learned that EDL for a different size payload would be different than what was used for Curiosity, probably needing new systems. We talked about supersonic parachutes & parachutes in general, addressing parachute materials, velocity, parachute violent extremes, the speed of sound & much more. Another topic was testing on Earth to make sure the devices work on Mars. Dr. Sengupta explained how such testing & Mars simulation is done on Earth. Other landing techniques such as airbags were mentioned along with retro rockets. During this discussion, our guest did a great job of explaining the various forces and physics involved in landing & how each of these forces must be dealt with for a successful landing. We then talked about landing a payload on Venus and just how different Venus is to Mars. The same for our Moon and the moons of Mars, Phobos & Deimos. Listeners sent in questions about the rover debris being left on Mars as well as wondering if there were other ways to explore Mars than using rovers. John called to inquire about first stage reusability & our guest talked about doing the “trades” (running the numbers to see if reusability is economic or not). Doug called to talk about orbital transfer vehicles, aerobraking, and more. This led us to a discussion about larger launch vehicles, the need to dissipate lots of energy on reentry, and why larger areas with drag are preferable.
In our second segment, I asked about software programs we might use for the basic type of analysis Dr. Sengupta had been discussing. Note her recommendations. We then talked about plasma propulsion and ion thrusters. Dr. Sengupta had much to say on this subject including ion thruster fuel, costs, ISP, and again, the importance of doing trade studies for a mission to determine the best methodology/economics for the mission. Our guest also talked about the lower ISP Hall ion thruster which was also lower in cost but with substantially more ISP than a chemical engine. Also in this segment, we talked about the Dawn mission & Vega, a possible Europa mission & the use of nano satellites for the Europa mission. Doug called back regarding ion propulsion fuel, xenon, iron, lunar fuel, etc. As our program was ending, Anita mentioned the Orion parachute system tests she works on & the new Mars mission InSight. Several times during the program, Dr. Sengupta stressed the need to do the trade studies regarding mission planning to determine the best economics & cost effectiveness for the mission. Many of you have heard on The Space Show that if one does not “run the numbers,” it is impossible to know if what you want to do is economically & mission productive/viable. On Oct. 28, Dr. Jurist is doing a special webinar with his interactive Excel spreadsheet on rocket/mission planning. It is essential to be able to do this in mission planning. Trusting your beliefs, gut, & preferences are not the way to go so watch this webinar if you can.
Please post questions/comments on our blog.