Dr. William (Bill) Farrand, Tuesday, 1-21-14 January 22, 2014Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: bandwidth, Curiosity, Dr. William Farrand, DSN, Earth Mars analog sites, Endeavour Crater, Europa, human Mars exploration, JPL engineering, lunar geology, Mars budget issues, Mars historical preservation sites & equipment, Mars mysterious rock, Mars orbiters, Mars rovers., Mars technology advancement, Martian blueberries, Martian fossils, Martian radiation, Martian rock morphology., Martian water, National Air And Space Museum, Opportunity's 10th anniversary, PANCAM, Phobos, robotic instruments, Spirit
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Dr. William (Bill) Farrand, Tuesday, 1-21-14
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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, 2013Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " mapping the night sky, "go to telescopes, Apollo 11, astronomy, BBC The Sky At Night, black holes, Comets, Dr. Paul Abel, ETs, Europa, Hawking radiation, human spaceflight, Kepler Space Telescope, Mars one, science fiction, SETI, Sir Patrick Moore, Skylon, space science., Star Trek, Stonehenge, UK dark skies, UK Space Agency, Voyager 1
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Dr. Paul Abel, Tuesday, 7-2-13
Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)
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, 2013Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " Smithsonian Books, "Your Ticket To the Universe: A Guide To Exploring The Cosmos, art and space science, astrobiology, astronomy, Chandra X-Ray Observatory, cosmology, Europa, Exomoons, Exoplanets, field guide to the universe, galaxies, human spaceflight exploration, International Year of Astronomy, Kepler Space Telescope, Kimberly Arcand, light minutes, Mars analogs, Megan Watzke, Milky Way, NASA budget, Pluto, robotic exploration, solar system, speed of light, Starry Night, Svalbard, telescopes
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Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke, Monday, 5-20-13
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, 2013Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: AI, CRISM, Curiosity, Dr. William Farrand, Earth imaging, Earth science, Europa, human spaceflight, hyperspectral remote sensing data, life on Mars, Mars, Mars atmospheric science, Mars colors., Maven, minerals, MRO, multispectral remote sensing data, NASA program oversight, Opportunity, Planetary Data System, robotics, sequestration, solar conjunction, Spirit, World View 2, World View 3
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Dr. William Farrand, Tuesday, 4-16-13
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-2-13 January 3, 2013Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " Mercury, : John Batchelor, Cassini, Curiosity, Dawn, Dr. David Livingston, ESA, Europa, Iris, Jupiter, LADEE, Mars, Maven, Messenger, Moon, NASA Planetary Missions, New Horizons, Saturn, science missions, solar system, Venus Express, Vesta
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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-2-13
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 email@example.com.
Dr. Catharine Conley, Monday, 10-8-12 October 9, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " Phobos Grunt Mission, Bigelow Aerospace habitats, COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy, Curiosity, Dr. Catharine Conley, Europa, flyby missions, Gale Crater, HSF to Mars, human settlement on Mars, ISS, JPL, Mars, Mars meteorites, Mars Oasis, Mars sample return mission, Moon, MSL, NASA Planetary Protection Office, NEOs, New Horizons Mission, Outer Space Treaty, Planetary Defense, Planetary Protection Mission Categories, planetary quarantine, terreforming, UV Light, Venus, Viking, Voyager missions
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Dr. Catharine Conley, Monday, 10-8-12
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.
Open Lines, Tuesday, 9-4-12 September 5, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " microbial life, " SpaceX, "Open Air" by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, "Question Answered, Art Association of Philadelphia, Atlas 5, Boeing CST 100, Cis-lunar tug., Commercial Crew, Dark Skies, Dragon, Dream Chaser, ET life, Europa, Falcon 9. , ion propulsion, life outside the solar system, light pollution, NewSpace, Open Lines, Philadelphia public art project, Republican Party Platform space policy, solar system oceans, U.S. economy & NASA
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Open Lines, Tuesday, 9-4-12
Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Life outside the solar system, Philadelphia light pollution, ion propulsion, U.S. economy, NASA, space program funding. 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. As Open Lines started, I put two discussion topics on the table. These two topics focused on the Republican party platform & its space policy plus the reaction to it by various sectors of the space community, specifically NewSpace. The second topic I mentioned was the state of the U.S. economy & how it impacts NASA & space funding. My theory was & is that it does impact the state of NASA funding & what happens in the private sector but I asked others who have economic experience & knowledge to tell me why so many talk space policy without factoring in our domestic as well as economic condition. When I opened up the phone line, the first caller was Wade Hobbs who talked about life having developed elsewhere in the solar system, mainly in the oceans of Europa. He said his theory offered statistical proof of life in Jupiter’s moon Europa & he pointed us toward his Kindle book, “Question Answered.” If you purchase his book using this URL, Amazon will donate to The Space Show/OGLF: www.amazon.com/Question-Answered-ebook/dp/B008ZFZ05W/ref=onegiantlea20. He explained his theory & invited comments & questions. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Our second caller was Ed Murray who called our attention to a light pollution public art project scheduled soon for Philadelphia. The project, Open Air” by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer of Canada & approved by the Art Association of Philadelphia is described here: www.knightarts.org/community/philadelphia/preparing-for-open-air-in-philadelphia. Many in the astronomy & Dark Skies fields are objecting to the project which will last nearly two months & probably blot out most of the Philadelphia night sky. Ed & others are seeking ideas & help to minimize the project or cancel it. They have sought help from the International Dark Skies organization & others. If this project interests you, follow up on the suggestions offered on the blog by Ed & others which detail their concerns about the project.
In our second segment, John from Atlanta called in to discuss ion propulsion & fuel plus he wanted to address the economic issues I raised in the introduction to tonight’s program. Regarding the economic issues, John suggested we were still not so bad where the economy would start to impact NASA funding but if thing worsen, it is likely that NASA & all space funding will be impacted. John & I went back & forth for several minutes discussing the economic situation, the national debt, space & more, both from the U.S. domestic perspective as well as the global perspective. We talked about the total budget going to NASA being so small as a factor. John & I talked about the Republican platform suggestion that despite the language, commercial crew to the ISS would continue. John suggested an early down select to SpaceX but I advocated for at least another round of competition with Sierra Nevada & Boeing, possibly others too. Our final call was from Tim who talked about ion propulsion & space nuclear propulsion. He introduced the idea of carbon nano tubes for use in rocket materials & I suggested that was way out in the future. Tim also suggested the private sector bypass NASA & do its “own thing.”
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. If you want to email any of the callers, send your note to me & I will forward it.
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.