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Dr. Richard Obousy, Dr. Eric Davis, Dr. Harold Sonny White, Friday, 1-4-13 January 5, 2013

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Dr. Richard Obousy, Dr. Eric Davis, Dr. Harold Sonny White, Friday, 1-4-13



Guests: Dr. Richard Obousy, Dr. Eric Davis, Dr. Harold Sonny White.  Topics:  Faster Than Light (FTL) Travel, Warp Drive, Interstellar Travel. 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 our three guests, Drs. Obousy, Davis, and White to the program to discuss FTL travel, warp drive, and interstellar flight.  More information is available at the Icarus Interstellar website, http://www.icarusinterstellar.org.  We did not take a break during our program.  Also, at times our discussion was technical and scientific. I looked up many terms & used my search engine frequently during the discussion given the advanced nature of the subject and our discussion.  Don’t be shy about looking up that which you may not understand or know about. I promise, if you do it will be well worth your time.  We started with an introduction to Icarus Interstellar, FTL travel, and why interstellar propulsion & travel is important.  Our guests then suggested the two most common approaches to FTL travel included warp drive and worm holes.  For most of the program, we focused on the characteristics and research around warp drive.  Our guests explained their research, including how they were able to develop the theories that reduced the amount of energy needed for warp drive from Jupiter size energy requirements to energy requirements representing the approximate mass of Voyager 1.  Our discussion addressed the Miguel Alcubierre warp drive in light of the advanced work by Dr. White and others.  The concept of the McMonigal Fatal Flaw was addressed with our guests explaining why it was not applicable.  The workings of the warp drive were explained and though the discussion was heavy in physics, I urge you to take the time and embrace & learn about the advanced theoretical physics subjects discussed by our guests.  Later, a listener asked about the use of a sun gravitational lens telescope at a specific AU from the sun as perhaps an alternative to interstellar flight.  As you will hear, such a device would likely be a good tool enhancing FTL travel, not replacing it.  As our discussion progressed, or guests rebutted many of the warp drive criticisms. Near the end of the program, we talked about what was needed to go from the lab and theory to small scale demo experiments to prove out the concepts.  Our guests referenced to the Chicago Pile-1(CP-1) 1942 nuclear experiment & the subsequent step by step evolution of nuclear technology.  Our guests talked about starting small with a demo proof and evolving upwards with more and more discovery, technology, and engineering.  Another example cited for the typical development path included the discovery of the electron in 1897 followed by the discovery of the proton in 1917, and the discovery of the neutron in 1932. Throughout our discussion, our guests put forth compelling reasons why we should be developing FTL travel and interstellar spaceflight.  Their respective concluding comments reinforced the importance and why of our being interested in FTL and exotic concepts.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above.  If you want to email our guests, you can do so through me.

Les Johnson, Sunday, 7-8-12 July 9, 2012

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Les Johnson, Sunday, 7-8-12


Guest:  Les Johnson.  Topics:  “Going Interstellar: Build Starships Now!,” and interstellar propulsion & advanced propulsion concepts.  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 started our discussion by talking about interstellar travel, his new book, “Going Interstellar,” and advanced concepts, both for NASA and outside the NASA mindset.  Please remember that if you purchase this book from Amazon using this link, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF:  www.amazon.com/Going-Interstellar-Johnson/dp/1451637780/ref=onegiantlea20. Les told us that both he and his co-editor, Jack McDevitt, had very little trouble getting the authors to contribute to the book which consists of a series of short stories from well known science fiction authors plus scientists.  There is a focus on the plausible and grounded physics so that the sci-fi is rooted in actual physics.  Les took several phone calls wanting to know about advanced concepts and propulsion at NASA and in general outside of NASA. We spoke about many concepts including solar sail technology, nuclear electric propulsion, the fission fragment rocket, faster than light (FTL) travel, antimatter, & the types of possible starships that might be used, plus the time intervals to travel from point A to point B.  We talked about the challenges from the laws of physics, political leadership, funding, & timelines. Les said that barring the discovery of new physics which he is not optimistic about at this time, he does not think FTL travel will be possible. When I asked about the discovery of Higgs-boson as an example of discovering new things, he talked about the discovery of that which is predictive as compared to something entirely new and unknown.  Other topics in this segment included artistic license in sci-fi writing, the role of physics & the imagination, & even questioning the possible role of ET in contributing to advanced propulsion concepts.

In our second segment, Marshall was our first caller & we talked about the French nuclear program, fusion, & the large ITER reactor program.  Les went over many of the fusion energy challenges & we talked about some fuel issues.  Les then told us about some of the future books he is working on & then he had more to say about solar sail technology which is his preference at this time for robotic interstellar missions.  We took a call about the huge Atlanta, GA sci-fi conference, DragonCon ( http://dragoncon.org) as Les will be a featured speaker there this year. As the program was ending, we talked about HSF NASA infrastructure, the Von Braun model for spaceflight, and more about the specific stories in his book.

If you have questions/comments for our guest, please post them on The Space Show blog.  Check out his websites at www.lesjohnsonauthor.com and www.amazon.com/Les-Johnson/e/B002OUOYZQ/ref=onegiantlea20.


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