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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-12-12 December 13, 2012

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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-12-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1913-BWB-2012-12-12.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Paul Mahaffy, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Mars soil samples with Curiosity.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. During our 11 minute plus discussion, we specifically talked with Dr. Mahaffy, the PI of SAM, about Curiosity, the first Mars rover able to scoop soil into analytical instruments. The specific soil sample we discussed came from a drift of windblown dust and sand called “Rocknest.” The site lies in a relatively flat part of Gale Crater still miles away from the rover’s main destination on the slope of a mountain called Mount Sharp. The rover’s laboratory includes the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite and the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. SAM used three methods to analyze gases given off from the dusty sand when it was heated in a tiny oven. One class of substances SAM checks for is organic compounds — carbon-containing chemicals that can be ingredients for life. No definitive detection of Martian organics has so far been detected but as you will hear, it is way too early in the Curiosity exploration to rule out the possibility of organics on Mars. Dr. Mahaffy did say that perchlorics had been found based on questions by John, Paul talked about findings from Viking, Oppy, and Phoenix.  In looking for organics, Paul told us that they needed to make absolutely sure that nothing being measuring came from Earth.  Our guest of honor then explained the procedures being used to make sure there is no Earth contamination.  Dr. Mahaffy had much more to say in this short segment so don’t miss it.

You can contact Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Paul Mahaffy through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

John Batchelor “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 10-31-12 November 1, 2012

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John Batchelor “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 10-31-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1885-BWB-2012-10-31.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Allan Treiman, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  MSL Curiosity CheMin X-ray diffraction findings.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. During our 11 minute discussion, Dr. Treiman, John Batchelor, and I talked about the CheMin X-Ray diffraction results for Martian soil in Gale Crater and what it means in terms of our having a better and more complete understanding of Mars.  Not only did our guest describe how the instrument was compacted for MSL, he explained how it works and why it is so important for Mars exploration.  Dr. Treiman discussed the mineral composition regarding the samples and similarities between the Earth and Mars.

If you have questions or comments about this segment, please post them on The Space Show blog above.  You can contact Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Treiman 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.

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 10-3-12 October 4, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 10-3-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1865-BWB-2012-10-03.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Dorothy Oehler, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Mars Curiosity, Mars water & sediments, Gale Crater.  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. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. During our 11.5 minute discussion, Dr. Oehler, John, and I talked about the recent NASA announcement confirming an ancient streambed in Gale Crater and the high probability of flowing water in ancient Martian time.  We talked about the possibility of competing theories to the ancient streambed conclusion, the absence of plate tectonics on Mars, rounded Martian pebbles, possible habitation, and much more.
     Please post any comments/questions you might have about this discussion on The Space Show blog.  If you want to contact John Batchelor or Dr. Dorothy Oehler about this program, please do so through me.

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 9-26-12 September 27, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 9-26-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1860-BWB-2012-09-26.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Robert Anderson, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Mars Curiosity and Martian geology/exploration.  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. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. During our 11.5 minute discussion, Dr. Anderson, John, and I talked about Curiosity and its Mars exploration to date. We talked about Martian geology, methane, the Martian climate, certain features within Gale Crater, and more.  Robert went into detail on some of the issues and he also talked about the future exploration plans for Curiosity. Martian methane came up as did specific land features.

Please post any comments/questions you might have about this discussion on The Space Show blog.  If you want to contact John Batchelor or Dr. Robert Anderson about this program, please do so through me.

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 8-1-12 August 2, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 8-1-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1826-BWB-2012-08-01.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Anita Sengupta, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Mars Science Lab (MSL) and the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars. 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. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. During our 11.5 minute discussion, Dr. Sengupta explained in detail the planned landing process for the Curiosity Rover at 10:31 PM PDT Sunday, August 5th.  We discussed the parachutes, entry speed, G-forces, both supersonic speed and slowing down to subsonic, the heat shield, tether, Sky Crane and more.  We also talked about landing in Gale Crater.  Dr. Sengupta took us through the process from start to finish.  We addressed issues with the time delay of 14 minutes back to Earth and how we will get information back regarding the success of the landing.  Please post your comments/question on The Space Show blog.

If you have a question for either John Batchelor or Dr. Sengupta, please send it to me and I will forward it to the person of your choice.

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