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Classroom with Drs. John Jurist & Jim Logan, Tuesday, 12-17-13 December 16, 2013

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Classroom with Drs. John Jurist & Jim Logan, Tuesday, 12-17-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2145-BWB-2013-12-17.mp3

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Guests:  Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics: This was a Classroom show on radiation issues for deep space travel, Mars and Moon settlements.  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. Jim Logan and Dr. John Jurist to this special 2.5 hour Space Show classroom in-depth discussion on space radiation. We focused our discussion on deep space, Mars, the Moon and BLEO missions. Note that on both The Space Show blog (see above) and The Space Show Classroom blog (http://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com),  Dr. Jurist has a Power Point presentation on radiation.  During the program, our guests referred to specific slides that you will want to check out.  In our first segment, Dr. Logan started out by telling us about his interest in the subject, why he has been writing a paper on the subject for publication, and how this Classroom show came about.  He cited our short duration spaceflight experience, the Apollo missions, Space Shuttle flights, and then how things started to change when we had six month ISS visits.  Dr. Logan also made it clear that space was not a benign emptiness type of environment.  He said the reality was that interplanetary space was a sea of disruptive ionizing radiation wrecking havoc on biologic systems.  We moved forward in our discussion from that point.  We talked about the findings of the MSL RAD instrument regarding radiation on the way to Mars and on the surface of Mars.  Both John and Jim spent some time putting the RAD numbers through analysis to let us know what this means for human missions to Mars.  We talked shielding, possible materials, passive and active.  We talked extensively about water and the use of hydrogen as well for shielding.  Our guests addressed the two types of radiation, the GCR (galactic cosmic rays) and the CME/solar flare.  Here, John suggested listeners look at his slide 13 as we talked about protons and neutrons.  Jim said there was no magic bullet and talked about shielding effects of Earth’s atmosphere.  Pay attention here as Jim introduced us to the  RP scale.  For being on the surface, he said nothing less than RP100 would suffice.  For the vehicle, an RP5 was required.  John introduced us to career limits for radiation for men and women astronauts of different age but the career limits are for LEO and not BLEO.  BLEO limits are expected to be more restrictive when made public in April 2014.  Earth Mars transit times were discussed, especially in the context of Brian’s email that suggested a 180 day transit time.  Both our guests said that was unlikely with chemical propulsion and all of us again stressed the need for nuclear thermal propulsion.  Microgravity was talked about, especially in the context of side effects due to the radiation environment.  Jim then brought up the EVA subject and spacesuits.  Briefly, Jim said that quite possibly the ISS construction represented the zenith of EVAs which may become a thing of the past.  Don’t miss why he said this plus his description of serious spacesuit limitations.  We talked about life support to Mars and here Jim suggested we should use Open Loop! Again, listen to the rational behind this recommendation.  Don’t miss what our guests said about theories & movies making it sound easy to go to Mars and that the radiation would be nothing more than just a few more cigarette packs a year.  Our last topic addressed informed consent issues.

In the second segment, I asked our guests for a readiness timetable were there sufficient funding and technology advancements.  I also inquired if Russia, China, and others assessed the radiation risks in a similar way to the U.S.  We then talked about radiation and space pregnancy, fetus development, birth, and informed consent for the fetus, a baby, and a child under 18.  Ethical issues regarding child birth and space pregnancy were talked about as well.  Curt had sent in email questions which our guests answered, especially about drinking irradiated water and microgravity DNA damage & what this may mean for radiation effects.  Next, I asked Jim and John to tell us their 2-5 steps for the start of designing a Mars human mission.  Jim went first and listed Day 1 and Day 2 activities, John listed his top three priorities which were different than those suggested by Jim.  Don’t miss this discussion as its very instructive as to how to do or at least start mission planning for a human mission BLEO.  Roger sent in a question asking if the crew should be senior citizens since they have more resistance to radiation.  Don’t miss what our guests said about this idea.  It may surprise you.  Our next topic was would going to Deimos be easier.  Yes, it would but it would be a very different kind of human  mission.  Jim had some great comments about Mars gravity.  Briefly, he said it was the “best.” Later, when asked to compare the Moon and Mars, our guests said lunar radiation was worse than Mars.  Also, the Mars atmosphere does provide limited shielding while there is no such thing on the Moon.  Jim had earlier talked about a sphere being the perfect shape for an interplanetary spaceship.  Shelia emailed in wanting to know if heavy lift made a difference and if the sphere was so good, why were capsules being used? Don’t miss the response.  We then talked about the complexities of rendezvous and docking, especially in the context of fewer launches (heavy lift) as compared to many more launches (smaller rockets).  Near the end, I asked our guests if either thought our nation, the public, NASA, our leaders and politicians were sufficiently motivated to do a human Mars mission.  Jim did not think so and had much more to say in reply to this question.  John was more pessimistic.  Both thought it was more likely that the private sector would mount a human Mars mission rather than our seeing a government mission, but raising the needed capital might turn out to be a show stopper.  The three of us then talked about what it was like growing up in the 40′s, 50′s, and 60′s as compared to today.  John and I (John is a bit more than 2 years older than me) were probably more harsh than Jim in our assessment of today, but we all realize that the younger generations will be taking us to space, building the next smartphone and more. I talked about my visits to Google, Apple, SpaceX, etc. and the excitement in the air in belonging in their work forces which does not seem to exist with NASA. This opened the door for Jim to put it on the line about his NASA experiences and the potential opportunities providing NASA can somehow reorganize.  He did not think the type of reorganization he was talking about would happen.  Both our guests left us with excellent takeaway points and concluding pearls of wisdom.

Please post your comments/questions on the blogs. You can reach either of our guests through me.

                                                  Radiation Biophysics and Human Spaceflight

Dr. Joan Vernikos, Friday, 4-5-13 April 5, 2013

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Dr. Joan Vernikos, Friday, 4-5-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1989-BWB-2013-04-05.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Joan Vernikos.  Topics: Inspiration Mars flyby mission, human factors, counter measures, mitigation strategies.  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. Joan Vernikos back to the program, this time to discuss the proposed Inspiration Mars flyby mission.  In the first half of our two hour program, Dr. Vernikos said it was a doable mission but that new ideas and solutions needed to be developed for the human factors.  When asked about the biggest problem, our guest said it would be the ability of the two person crew to get along and work together for the full mission.  This issue came up several more times during the program so you will hear more about it over the two hour discussion.  We took an early question from Dwayne about the overall air quality in the spacecraft and issues with bacteria and the air filtration.  Dr. Joan had much to say about this as it could be a problem depending on lots of factors including the ability to repair a damaged system during the mission.  Dr. Joan talked about life support and psychological issues along with the human factors.  Microgravity and radiation issues came up but again, there was a focus on the risk of destructive & irritating behavior with the crew members.  One of the recurrent themes was to look for alternative ways to develop tools and counter measures rather than doing much the same year after year which has been our history in developing human spaceflight protocols.  Dr. Rowe called in to strongly suggest that such a flyby mission should be delayed until 2032, putting forth his best arguments for the delay and why it should not be attempted in 2018.  Bill listed lots of medical events that could happen and which we cannot treat in space, all in support of delaying the flight until human spaceflight is better developed & we know more about it.

In the second segment, Doug called & talked about regulators possibly saying the crew was intentionally attempting to commit suicide. He talked about the medical code 5150 regarding intentional suicide. We also talked about possible regulatory issues around the issuance of a launch license.  Doug also talked about radiation, both within the Van Allen Belts and on the way to deep space.  Next, Dr. Dilip Sarkar from Norfolk called in to discuss alternative human factor countermeasures such as yoga.  Check our Dr. Sarkar’s website, https://sites.google.com/site/dilipsarkar/home.  The discussion of yoga for pre-flight training and to help with countermeasures was most interesting. Dr. Rowe called in several more times to challenge Dr. Joan and Dr. Sarkar on their yoga theories regarding spaceflight.  I believe you will find the discussions and calls very informative.  As the program was ending, Dr. Joan was again asked about the biggest challenge and she said it would be the human interaction with the crew. We also talked about the mental issue of withdrawal from Earth which will be pronounced on a Mars flight.

If you have comments/questions, post them on the blog.  You can email Dr. Joan through her website, www.joanvernikos.com.  I also recommend you sign up for her newsletter.

Dr. Duane Graveline, Friday, 1-25-13 January 24, 2013

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Dr. Duane Graveline, Friday, 1-25-13

Co-Host Heather Archuletta

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1936-BWB-2013-01-25.mp3

Guests: Dr. Duane Graveline, Heather Archuletta.  Topics: Bed rest microgravity simulation studies. Dr. Graveline is the father of this research. 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. Duane Graveline to the program to discuss bed rest simulation microgravity studies, the early days of pioneering of his having pioneered this research, aerospace medicine and much more in our 1 hour 23 minute discussion. Dr. Graveline is the father of this research dating back to the late 1950s.  Please visit his website, www.spacedoc.com.  Heather Archuletta, the Pillownaut Astronaut, returned to co-host with me for this important discussion.  Check out Heather’s blog posts about Dr. Graveline and his work at http://pillownaut.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-bed-pilot-pioneer.html.  Dr. Graveline has allowed us to use two specific pictures referring to his pioneering work and both are on The Space Show blog per the above URL.  Picture 1 is Dr. Graveline’s water immersion tank and Picture 2 is the LBNP device. He discusses both of these in the program’s first segment.  Dr. Graveline started out with an overview of his early work, how he got into the field, his decision to join the Air Force and why this area of medicine interested him.  He explained his early bed rest tests and talked about the challenges with the test subjects. Heather and Dr. Graveline compared those early tests to those of today that Heather has participated in.  It was a fascinating compare and contrast, especially regarding the discipline of test subjects then and now. Dr. Graveline talked about water immersion, the aerospace lab he used, and his water immersion tank.  Don’t forget to check out the picture of it on the blog.  Dr. Graveline is looking through the window at the floating test subject.  Would you like to float as Dr. Graveline explained for one full week nonstop?  Throughout our discussion, Dr. Graveline told us many interesting and sometimes funny stories from his past like his visit to the Today Show and their wanting him to wear “flippers!”  Our guest described the low body negative pressure device (LBNP) which you can see in the second photo on the blog.  He talked about it, the old Soviet program, Mir and tilt table tests.  Dr. Graveline talked extensively about the Soviet program, how he was able to monitor much of their data, & he told us about Alexi Leonov when he had serious problems when caught outside his spaceship.  Many questions were asked about early animal studies, Laika, and more.  He told us how they were able to do blood pressure readings on dogs & the Soviets bragged about it since Dr. Graveline was able to figure out, copy, & improve the Soviet system.  Mice and centrifuge studies were discussed in some detail & Heather and Dr. Graveline had comprehensive discussions about exercise in the bed rest studies of today as compared to none in the early days of the studies. Dr. Graveline talked with Heather about his idea to abandon exercise in space so the astronauts could concentrate on their work, then return in a hydropod and rehab completely back on Earth for a few months.  You don’t want to miss this discussion or explanation from Dr. Graveline as to why this approach should be considered and tested by NASA.

     In the second segment, we talked about bone density issues and the applicability of space research and findings to terrestrial medical issues for people with this medical problem.  He was asked about a long duration HSF to Mars and he said the bigger problem was galactic radiation which he talked about in some detail.  He said that as of today, there are no mitigation tools for this problem.  The discussion went back and forth about water immersion and the use of the hydropod for returning astronauts & Heather talked about prohibitive costs & that immersion is not used today.  One of our UK listeners asked Dr. Graveline about his being part of Group 4 – The Scientists.  As this was the first astronaut group that was not composed of test pilots, our listener wanted to know about the selection process & getting more scientists to the Moon & on missions.  Dr. Graveline had much to say about this subject & shared with us some terrific & historical stories from the past.  He talked about Spacelab, astronaut Bill Pogue, & shared science stories with us.  During our program, Heather, with her bed rest study experience & her recruiting work (listen to her Space Show program on the studies she has recent completed at http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1926-BWB-2013-01-08.mp3 from Jan. 8, 2013), contributed greatly to the discussion and Dr. Graveline was equally interested in talking with her about the program today as compared to the program he started decades ago.  Dr. Graveline’s book, “From Laika With Love: Secret Soviet Gifts to Apollo,” is still available. If you order it from Amazon using this link, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF:  http://www.amazon.com/From-Laika-With-Duane-Graveline/dp/1424338700/ref=onegiantlea20.  Dr. Graveline was also asked about the use of his research today and if young scientists & researchers interested in the field still study his early work.  He said yes and talked about how much easier it was to do that today due to the internet.

     If you have questions/ comments for Dr. Duane Graveline or Heather Archuletta, post them on The Space Show blog per the URL above.  If you want to email Dr. Graveline or Heather, you can do so through me.  You can also comment and contact Heather through her blog which is mentioned earlier in this summary.

Here are Dr. Graveline’s photos discussed above:

Graveline Immersion Tank

Graveline Immersion Tank

 

Graveline LBNP Device

Graveline LBNP Device

 

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

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

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

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