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Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Sunday, 3-11-12 March 11, 2012

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Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Sunday, 3-11-12


Guest:  Dr. Erik Seedhouse.  Topics:  We discussed his book, “Interplanetary Outpost: The Human and Technological Challenges of Exploring the Outer Planets,” the human factors issues & the technical issues for such 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. 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 back Dr. Seedhouse to discuss his new book on interplanetary missions.  Remember, if you buy the book using the following Amazon URL, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF (www.amazon.com/Interplanetary-Outpost-Technological-Challenges-Exploration/dp/1441997474/ref=onegiantlea20).  Dr. Seedhouse began our discussion by talking about the interplanetary mission research that has been done over the years and is still continuing though in a greatly reduced mode.  In this discussion, he referenced the HOPE Study for mission architecture to travel to Callisto, one of the moon’s of Jupiter.  He also talked about research going on with ESA regarding human hibernation and on this subject, we spend a considerable amount of time. Artificial gravity and radiation were discussed along with vision problems for astronauts having spent at least four months on orbit.

As we started the second segment,Marshall called in and wanted to know about athletic and sports games to pass the time for the crew on long spaceflights.  Dr. Seedhouse thought more of the idea to have some sort of sport or athletic game at the destination rather than on the spaceflight.  We also talked about what it would take to change attitudes and policy to undertake an interplanetary mission.  At one point in the discussion, our guest suggested we might be too soft in modern times to explore and that we were no longer as interested in exploring as we once were.  Make sure you hear this entire conversation.  We fielded more listener questions and calls, talked about humans being able to adapt to the space environment over a long period of time and genetic screening for crew selection.  We covered crew selection in some detail which then took us to the subject of bioethics which do not yet exist in any formal way for an interplanetary mission. Erik did include his version of an Interplanetary Bioethics Manual as Appendix II. We talked about pregnancy, pre-emptive surgery, death of a crew member, death of a family member back on Earth, waivers that would need to be signed by both crew and family members, and much more.  Toward the end of the program, our guest was asked about interplanetary propulsion systems and multigenerational crews.  Erik talked about the VASIMR and we asked lots of questions about the 2nd and 3rd generation members of the multigenerational crew and how to be sure they become doctors, engineers, and other positions needed for the crew’s survival and success.  We also talked about modernizing space suits and Erik told us about Blue Suit Days as a requirement for Canadian astronauts for space outreach support.

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