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Matthew (Matt) Wallace, Tuesday, 12-2-14 December 3, 2014

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Matthew (Matt) Wallace, Tuesday, 12-2-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2367-BWB-2014-12-02.mp3

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Guest:  Matthew (Matt) Wallace.  Topics:  Mars science missions, Mars 2020, searching for lie on Mars.  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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Matt Wallace from our Hotel Mars program to his first appearance on The Space Show.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Matt talked about his early mission assignments when he first came to JPL, then his shift to the Mars program.  We also talked about how the science missions and rovers are designed, managed, and eventually flown.  I asked our guest several questions about the science missions such as how a Deimos mission might differ from a mission to the surface of Mars.  Later, a listener asked our guest about a Europa mission and how that would differ. While there are clearly differences in the missions to different destinations, the trade process, planning, team organization and such all work pretty much the same.  We did spend some time talking about a Europa mission as that mission is a favorite for many of us, our guest included Most of the Europa mission discussion was in the second segment.  Matt talked about the new science instruments that will be on board Mars 2020, plus the extensive use of heritage hardware. He also said about 70% of the original MSL & Curiosity team would be working on Mars 2020, an important fact in managing the mission, costs and assuring mission success.  Matt was asked why it was so hard to confirm microbial life on Mars now or in the past & if there was one instrument that could do that.  This proved to be a fascinating and detailed discussion so don’t miss it.  Many listener emails addressed the rover control process.  There is no real time communication with the rover so Matt explained how they send commands to the rover, how the rover processes those commands and the safeguards built into it to protect the rover from accidents, etc.  He also talked about communication windows with Earth, when antennas are pointed toward Mars, and the busy DSN.  Listener Alex asked him about the book “The Martian” and wanted to know that were an astronaut stuck on Mars or needing some sort of emergency gear or something, could a defunct Mars rover be cannibalized for parts and made to work for the purpose needed by the person on Mars.  Matt’s answer might surprise you.  Several listeners wanted to know about a human Mars mission being more efficient for finding life signs than a rover.  Matt explained the trades involved. Doug emailed in a similar question during the second segment.  Matt said its not either or.  Instead, the rovers and a human mission are synergistic with one another.  As the segment ended, our guest was asked if NASA/JPL would consider partnering with a private human mission such as Mars One to use Mars One crew members for science missions.

In the second segment, we talked about other Mars rovers and mission including Maven and Insight.  Next, the question came in about Europa that was mentioned in the earlier segment.  Doug not only asked his robotic vs. human question but he sent in another question regarding the sample return mission and what methods might be used for collecting multiple samples.  He suggested a few different collection methods.  Matt said they discuss these types of options but in the end the trades opt for simpler missions for a variety of reasons.  See what you think of his answer & post your comment on the blog.  John, a high school student, sent in a note about colleges and the best path to be able to work in the space industry.  Barbara sent in a note asking if the EDL would be Seven Minutes of Terror Part 2 since they were using the same system as used for Curiosity or would it be less stressful.  Matt said they would still be nail biting all the way down.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Matt Wallace through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Marcia Smith, Friday, 11-21-14 November 22, 2014

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Marcia Smith, Friday, 11-21-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2360-BWB-2014-11-21.mp3

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Guest:  Marcia Smith.  Topics:  U.S. space policy, budgets, Congress. Civics 101, SLS, Falcon Heavy, policy makers.  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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back Marcia Smith back to the show for a preview of the upcoming 114th Congress & space issues with a focus on budget issues & just how congress works with NASA & space policy.  During our 97 minute discussion, we started out with a short Civics 101 lesson on how Congress works, NASA funding, & Congressional oversight of NASA.  For those of you not that familiar with how the U.S. Congress works and funds space programs with NASA, you will find this short discussion most helpful.  Marcia explained both Senate and House roles and their appropriations and authorization committees.  As you will hear, Congress controls NASA spending and there is very little discretionary spending available to the NASA Administrator.  As for the new Congress that will be taking office in early January, the big focus will be on budget issues because by law, the sequestration returns for Fiscal Year 16.  If Congress keeps the sequestration in place, while hurtful to many government agencies and programs, it is damaging to NASA.  We also talked about a possible renewed interest in the Europa Mission as Texas Representative John Culberson will chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science. His Houston district is close to JSC & he’s very enthusiastic about NASA and a Europa mission.  Marcia mentioned the NASA SOFIA program as an example of Congress wanting the program despite it being eliminated in the budget proposal so it added it back in to the NASA budget.  Listeners asked about long term projects being funded for longer than a year.  Marcia addressed this issue though there is no good answer because Congress has oversight & they can change or modify positions from year to year.  Our guest was asked about Congressional policy impact on the private & entrepreneurial space industry.  Unless a public/private partnership exists or the government is a major customer of the private company, congressional policy does not overlap into the private sector.  It is also important to distinguish between regulatory and budget issues as we are talking budget issues in this program.  Several listeners wanted to know if the media and the public could impact Congress & space policy makers.  Another set of listener & Space Show comments over recent weeks addressed the 2016 presidential election, wanting to know if history bears out a change in president equaling a big change in space policy.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Later, Ralph in Phoenix wanted to know if the Falcon Heavy was very successful, would such a success impact congress & policy makers to move away from the SLS program as unnecessary.  Doug called in to clarify Ralph’s question for a more precise response from our guest.  It was clear that Doug and many other listeners believe that a FH success should and would impact SLS policy, perhaps demonstrating that SLS was not needed in light of a successful Falcon Heavy.  However, Marcia questioned that outcome. Don’t miss this important discussion.  BJohn in Sweden wanted to know if SLS, when operational, would create more space opportunities for congress to consider.  Kelly got the last email question in asking about the Space Act Agreement vs. the FAR (cost plus contracting).  He wanted to know if the changes in congress might result in more big space projects using a Space Act Agreement over the FAR.  Marcia did not think so given the FAR offers congress more oversight.  As the show was ending, I asked Marcia what we should look for as hints about space policy in the new congress.  Our guest pointed to the budget and what happens with the FY 2016 sequestration already on the books.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Marcia Smith through me or her website, http://www.spacepolicyonline.com.

Emily Lakdawalla, Friday, 5-30-14 May 31, 2014

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Emily Lakdawalla, Friday, 5-30-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2252-BWB-2014-05-30.mp3

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Guest:  Emily Lakdawalla.  Topics:  The Planetary Society, space geology, robotic & science missions, science mission budget.  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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Emily Lakdawalla to the program to discuss space science missions, The Planetary Society, space & outer planet geology.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Emily went over her background and how she came to have an interest in space and in particular space science and geology.  Some of our topics included the tectonics of Venus, asteroid mining, her interest in the outer planets of the solar system, and science missions either ongoing or to be conducted in the future.  I mentioned a possible Europa mission which led to a Europa discussion and Emily talking about the ESA JUICE mission (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer).  We talked about being able to cut the travel time to the outer planets for science missions and our guest mentioned the possible use of SLS to do that.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Also in this segment, we talked about upcoming comet and asteroid mission, then we switched gears to discuss robotic challenges.  Here, Emily pointed out the time lag for communications to Mars and beyond makes telerobotic control difficult at best.  We talked about having a Mars orbiter to control surface robots.  Were we doing this, the robots could be simpler as they would not need as much autonomous capabilities as they need now based on Earth communications.  Emily told us about Planetary Society projects and programs, we talked about man in the street interviews regarding space & our guest shared her experiences with us when Shuttle Endeavour came to Los Angeles.  Near the end of this long segment, Kepler came up, questions came up about Earth geology being similar to the geology of the planets, the lack of fossil fuels on other planets, then Doug called with a question about coalition building & the NASA science budget.  As the segment ended, we asked Emily about robotic exploration as compared to having a human geologist on the surface of the planet. BJohn from Sweden sent us emails about Curiosity on Mars and Venus.

In our second segment, we talked about relevant time spans and how missions get prioritized.  Emily went over the Venus challenges.  She was asked if the Planetary Society would try another Phobos-Grunt mission and we talked about their project, the Mars Microphone to bring back to Earth the sounds from Mars.  Toward the end of the program, Emily was asked about the importance of lowering launch costs for science missions and the promotion of space advocacy.

Please post comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Emily through The Planetary Society or me.

Rod Pyle, Sunday, 5-4-14 May 5, 2014

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Rod Pyle, Sunday, 5-4-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2237-BWB-2014-05-04.mp3

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Guest:  Rod Pyle.  Topics:  We discussed our guests new book, “Innovation The NASA Way” plus our space policy, reusability & 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, including “Innovation The NASA Way,” can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Rod Pyle to the show to discuss his new book, “Innovation The NASA Way: Harnessing The Power Of Your Organization For Breakthrough Success,” plus we talked about our space policy, reusability, and other issues.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 52 minute show, Mr. Pyle started by giving us an overview of his background and experiences that led him to writing this book.  Specifically, Rod led leadership training at NASA’s JSC for executives.  From this background, he used the story telling format to illustrate NASA innovation.  Each chapter tells a different story, several of which we highlighted in our discussion.  Rod mentioned innovation at various NASA centers but did say JPL stood out for him.  When asked for the most innovative NASA projects, he talked about some projects that were left on the editor’s computer including the Apollo Guidance Control Computer but he did focus on and highlight the Lunar Module.  We also talked about NASA today and back in the Apollo days. Rod had much to say about this, including how today there seems to be a push for guaranteed results which of course do not exist.  He said NASA was known by three important key words:  Boldness, Daring and Passion.  Listeners asked about reusability and I mentioned a possible reusability moment similar to the previous Apollo moment.

In the second segment, we talked about his Viking chapter & the Viking experiments.  John from Ft. Worth called in regarding a smaller shuttle plan that might have been less ambitious – would it have been better? Questions came about NewSpace and innovating the SpaceX way!  Doug called and did not think that there would be a Reusability Moment like with Apollo but that reusability enhanced prospects for that type of moment, like a manned Mars mission.  Rod was challenged with questions from the perspective that Apollo was the wrong way to go to and develop space.  We talked about his forthcoming book, “Curiosity: The Inside Story” and our excitement over a potential Europa mission.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. For more information & to contact Rod, visit his website http://www.rodpylebooks.com.

Dr. William (Bill) Farrand, Tuesday, 1-21-14 January 22, 2014

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Dr. William (Bill) Farrand, Tuesday, 1-21-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2170-BWB-2014-01-21.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. William (Bill) Farrand.  Opportunity’s tenth anniversary, Mars rovers and science.  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. Farrand back to the show to talk about Opportunity’s 10th anniversary on the surface of Mars, Mars rovers in general and Martian science.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 37 minute discussion, Dr. Farrand was asked about 10 years for Opportunity effective Jan. 24 and to why he thought Opportunity was still going strong after ten years.  He gave credit to the JPL engineers that designed and built the rover and those that keep the systems going.  We talked about the loss of a few of Opportunity’s instruments over the past ten years plus the current science being done by the rover.  We also talked about its path to Endeavour Crater.  In response to one of my questions, Opportunity has traveled about 38 KM since it first landed on Mars ten years ago.  He also said the science was as exciting today as it was when Opportunity first started.  Listen to how he described the rover’s evolution with science and its work over the past decade.  From time to time, other Mars rover science questions and comments came up, especially related to comparing Curiosity to Opportunity.  Our guest was asked about Earth analog sites for Mars, then water on Mars.  Cathy asked how they kept the solar panels clear of dust for maximum solar power to the rover.  He said they rely on Martian winds to dust off the panels.  We also talked about bandwidth communications and the use of the Deep Space Network (DSN).

In the second segment, we talked about our guest’s, www.farrviewconsulting.com plus the pictures posted on the site. We also talked about the special rover exhibit now underway at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.  You can see some photos from the exhibit along with a picture of our guest on the website.  As you will hear, some of the photos in the exhibit were taken by Spirit before it suffered its untimely demise.  Bill was asked several questions about technology advancement from rover to rover and Mars in general.  Later, we talked about humans on Mars, the use of Phobos, and then Doug called in to ask if it was worth the cost to put humans on Mars given how many more rovers we could put on Mars for the cost of just one human mission.  As the program was ending, Dr. Farrand summarized his thoughts on ‘Oppy” and ten years, again giving a shootout to JPL engineers.  He said the outcome of Oppy was paradigm shifting!  The final question was from Sally asking about Martian fossils.  Don’t miss Bill’s final comments regarding this question.

Post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Dr. Farrand can be reached through his website or me.

Dr. Paul Abel, Tuesday, 7-2-13 July 3, 2013

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Dr. Paul Abel, Tuesday, 7-2-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2041-BWB-2013-07-02.mp3

 

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Guest:  Dr. Paul Abel.  Topics:  We discussed the BBC Sky At Night Program, astronomy & telescopes, UK observing and 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.   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 Dr. Paul Abel to the program to discuss the BBC television show, The Sky At Night (www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk7h).  During the first segment of our 1 hour 31 minute program, Dr. Abel introduced us to the Sky At Night show which was started by Sir Patrick Moore in April 1957.  Dr. Abel described the focus and objectives of the program and we talked about some of their projects including the “Battle of the Forces” tug of war video which is on their website, plus their just completed Summer Solstice program which was filmed at Stonehenge.  We came back to talking about Stonehenge, mythology, rituals, and customs many times throughout the discussion.  I asked Dr. Abel about British commercial space companies such as Surrey Satellite but since they are publicly funded, their focus and goals are different as they address mostly space and science topics.  Dr. Abel talked about the many British astronomical societies plus the overall interest in astronomy and these societies within the UK.  We talked some about human spaceflight, including the Mars One venture.  Listeners asked about astronomy and telescopes and we learned that our guest is not in favor of what he called “go to telescopes.”  Instead, he suggested we should learn how to map the night sky and navigate our way around it with an equatorial telescope.  Listeners also wanted to know about observing and dark skies in the UK.  I asked questions about the relationship of astronomy and theoretical physics.  Another listener asked for a definition of Hawking Radiation.  Comets came up along with their mythology, plus the Kepler Space Telescope and Voyager 1.

In our second segment, Ben asked about SETI in the UK.  This started a rather involved and fun discussion about ET and the search for life using radio telescopes as well as by other means.  Also mentioned in this segment was amateur astronomy as compared to professional astronomy, Star Trek & its devices such as the transporter.  Paul received questions about his home observatory and telescopes.  A possible Europa mission was mentioned and we were both excited about that potential.  I asked our guest about STEM issues in the UK & observing in London’s Regis Park.  Sine we had spent some time talking about the search for life and ET, we talked about some ET sci-fi movies including Contact, Alien, & Star Trek.  As we were about to end, Tim called wanting to ask more about Skylon, a possible UK launch site near the equator, and the emerging UK Space Agency.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email our guest through me.

Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke, Monday, 5-20-13 May 21, 2013

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Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke, Monday, 5-20-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2012-BWB-2013-05-20.mp3

Guests:  Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke.  Topics:  Touring our Solar System with our two guests.   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 Kimberly (Kim) Arcand and Megan Watzke to the program to discuss their new book, “Your Ticket To the Universe: A Guide To Exploring The Cosmos” published by Smithsonian Books.  Visit their website for more information our guests and this amazing book, www.yourtickettotheuniverse.com/Index/Home.html.  Also check out this YouTube video for the book, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-KamC0Plro.  If you order the book using this Amazon URL, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show:  www.amazon.com/Your-Ticket-Universe-Exploring-Cosmos/dp/1588343758/ref=onegiantlea20.

During the first part of our 90 minute discussion, our guests explained why they wrote this book and how they came up with its unique structure, format & famous person quote at the beginning of each chapter.  We talked about the pictures used in the book and a few of the items that stood out to me including “Taking an Alien to a Baseball Game” which helps us understand visible light along with all of the other types of light.  A listener with a copy of the book emailed in to ask about the use of the terms light second, light minutes, and light hours when describing objects in our Solar System.  Their discussion of Pluto as a dwarf planet came up in addition to my talking about the book as an excellent teaching tool for school libraries, students of all ages, even adults.  Our authors talked about art and I noticed the inclusion of the famous painting Starry Night in the book.  Don’t miss what Kim and Megan had to say about why Starry Night was used in their book and the overall subject of art, space science, aesthetics, and the night sky abundant with stars.  As our segment was ending, we talked about Mars analogs here on Earth such as Svalbard and Rio Tinto among the many Earth Mars analogs referenced in this book, plus the book’s astrobiology focus.

In our second segment, I asked our guests if space exploration was worth it and why.  Don’t miss what each had to say in answering the question.  We talked about the NASA budget, what is accomplished with the budget, and general population misunderstandings about the actual amount of the NASA budget.  I mentioned a TV documentary on the Dutch East Indies Company and the necessity of human exploration.  I asked our guests what they thought our world would look like had we sent robots out instead of humans in those very early and risky exploration missions.  A listener asked about the description of the book as both a coffee table book and a science book, and we talked about that hybrid description.  Near the end of our discussion, I asked each guest for their favorite place mentioned in the book where they would want to hang out.  You might be surprised by their choices.  Both Kim and Megan signed off with excellent closing comments that you will want to hear and remember.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  You can contact both guests through their website, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as through me.

Dr. William Farrand, Tuesday, 4-16-13 April 17, 2013

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Dr. William Farrand, Tuesday, 4-16-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1994-BWB-2013-04-16.mp3

Guest:  Dr. William Farrand.  Topics:  Mars orbiters and rovers, multispectral & hyperspectral remote sensing data.  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 Dr. William (Bill) Farrand to the program to discuss Martian multispectral & hyperspectral remote sensing data, the same for the Earth and throughout our solar system.  To find out more about Dr. Farrand and his work, please visit his website at http://farrviewconsulting.com.  In the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, we talked about the Mars solar conjunction, what the rover Opportunity is doing during the conjunction, Opportunity’s longevity, and why Spirit quit working.  We also talked about Curiosity, then I asked our guest about both multispectral and hyperspectral remote sensing data for Mars.  Dr. Farrand explained the imaging and the instruments in addition what we learn about Mars and other solar system objects through the remote sensing instruments providing us with this data.  In fact, in response to a listener email, our guest talked about remote sensing data from the Messenger, Cassini, Dawn, and other missions.  I asked our guest about minerals on Mars and throughout the solar system and how they might differ from the same mineral here on Earth.  Doug sent in a question about trades with the science missions as compared to doing a human spaceflight mission.  Our guest expanded the discussion to include very expensive science missions as opposed to more missions but lower in cost.  Dr. Farrand talked about the proposed commercial space missions to the Moon, Mars, and for resource utilization.  He also talked about the prize system as being a good way to further commercial exploration and development.  A listener asked about getting timely data released to the public.  Our guest directed us to the Planetary Data System which houses all the mission data, usually about six months after it was first obtained. 

In our second segment, Doug asked that if Curiosity comes up empty, might that seriously put life on Mars into doubt?  Don’t miss the response, it might surprise you.  We then discussed Curiosity and what it was up to at this time plus more on Opportunity.  As for future Mars missions, we talked about Maven and then our guest was asked if the current Mars science and robotic missions were designed to pave the way for an eventual human spaceflight mission to Mars.  He said they were not so tightly linked but it’s a discussion you will want to hear.  Our questions then changed to NASA economics and sequestration as our guest was asked for his thoughts on cutbacks, sequestration, moral, etc.  I asked about Earth remote sensing and we talked about Landsat satellites and Landsat 8.  Also the commercial World View 2 and the coming World View 3.  We talked about buying commercial data as opposed to using government sourced data, plus AI, real time data acquisition and more.  Near the end, Karen asked about the role the scientist plays in designing & developing the satellites & tools on board it. 

Please post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can email our guest through his website or me using drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

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. Catharine Conley, Monday, 10-8-12 October 9, 2012

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Dr. Catharine Conley, Monday, 10-8-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1868-BWB-2012-10-08.mp3

Guest: Dr. Catharine Conley. Topics: NASA & international planetary protection policy, methodology, & applications. You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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. Catharine Conley, NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer to the show for a comprehensive discussion on the subject of planetary protection. Planetary Protection is concerned with preventing the transfer of life between planetary bodies. For more information, visit the NASA Planetary Protection website at http://planetaryprotection.nasa.gov. Dr. Conley started our discussion with the definition of planetary protection, followed by a brief history dating back to the Apollo missions & planetary quarantine. Dr. Conley talked extensively about microbes & their survival. One of the points she made in response to a question was just how friendly the very cold temperatures of space could be for microbes.  On the other hand, radiation & the UV light are the enemies of microbial survival. We talked about a Mars sample return mission, what safety precautions would be taken, & then our guest was asked about using the ISS or the Moon as a quarantine lab to protect Earth. You will hear why this is not a good idea & later when asked about using a Bigelow habitat as a planetary protection lab since it would not be a government lab, our guest applied the same reasoning. Dr. Conley talked about the Viking missions as the most stringent ever for planetary protection. In terms of the methodology, we talked about how a mission is prepared for planetary protection, the probability of contamination, & I asked about cost-benefit analysis & the value of added costs & more time for planetary protection if the probability of contamination was so low. As you will hear, building in planetary protection starting with the concept stage is not a significant contributor to costs as its usually less than 1% of mission costs. We also talked about protocols for a NEO mission, the New Horizons mission on the way to Pluto, & missions to other planets & flyby missions. Next, our guest addressed issues with Mars Science Lab & Curiosity. Near the end of the first segment, we talked about international protocols, Article 9 of the OST, & the international COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy. Dr. Conley talked about international space agency adherence to the policy, country by country. Viruses & extra-terrestrial life possibilities brought us to the close of this segment.

In our second segment, Dr. Conley talked about the need for public awareness & educational outreach regarding planetary protection. Listeners asked about human flights to Mars, even one way flights.  Don’t miss this discussion. Did you know that it is very likely that humans will be restricted as to where they can go on Mars based on planetary protection policy? Or, by the time we send humans to Mars, we will have learned enough about Mars so that the human part regarding planetary protection will not prove to be much of a threat or risk. We talked about terreforming, what to do with a crew member death on Mars & being able to bury the body, then we talked about planetary protection policy among the NASA centers. Near the end, our guest was asked about the Phobos-Grunt mission & the Russian adherence to planetary protection policies. We inquired about Mars meteorites here on Earth & future missions being worked on with the planetary protection office including two Mars missions & the concept of a Europa mission.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to contact Dr. Conley, send your note to me & I will forward it to her.

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