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Golden Oldie Tom Olson Space Year 2011 in Review, Sunday, 12-29-13 December 29, 2013

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Golden Oldie Tom Olson Space Year 2011 in Review, Sunday, 12-29-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2153-BWB-2013-12-29.mp3

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Guest: Tom Olson. Topics: The year 2011 in review regarding all space issues. 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.

Welcome to our Golden Oldie Decade of Review, this year with the space year 2011. Tom Olson was our reviewer for this 2011 review, aired live on Dec. 27, 2011.  We had much to cover in this 105 minute program. Tom started out reminding us that 2011 was the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight. He told us about the banner year for Yuri’s Night parties around the globe celebrating this important milestone and specifically about the even he attended in New Your City. Next, he pointed out the recent National Press Club talk given by Elon Musk on going to Mars and building the rockets to take us there, plus his recent New Scientist interview which you can read in full on the Mars Society website. Tom commented that the sky was actually falling in 2011 with two large junk satellites coming back to Earth. We also talked about the return of Phobos Grunt to earth probably in early to mid-January 2012. One of the big events we discussed for 2011 was the retirement of the shuttle. This led us to discussing the recent Chinese space rendezvous and the fact that China is now the number two launching country behind Russia having overtaken the U.S. this year. Planetary missions were part of our year in review with Vesta and Dawn, the Kepler Space Telescope, MSL with Curiosity. New Horizons continued its journey to Pluto and Explorer 1 continued beyond our solar system. Tom talked about SLS and the ORION MPC Vehicle, plus the James Webb Space Telescope and its cost issues in the context of its impact on the NASA budget. Soyuz rocket problems along with all the Russian rocket failures this year were fair game for our discussion. I asked Tom what he thought of the idea of SLS as a place holder for skill sets and technology until our space program improves. Don’t miss his answer. He brought up Virgin Galactic’s drop tests this year, especially the last one where trouble showed up. Making news for 2011 were NASA and space industry workforce layoffs and the successful Falcon 9 and Dragon launch. At the end of the first segment, Bigelow Aerospace was in our spotlight. In segment two, Tom led off with XCOR news, Terry called wondering about CCDEV3 and Tom suggested program winners! Don’t miss his prediction. He also was asked to predict the cancellation year for SLS. Don’t miss this prediction as well. We talked about the upcoming New Space Business Plan Competition for 2012, the prizes which are the largest ever, and the timing. If this interests you, make sure to stay tuned for more information. Later in the segment we began a summary of our discussion and 2011. Tom was asked about the space elevator and the Lunar Space Elevator. We wrapped up our discussion talking about growth in the space conferences even in the tough economic year of 2011.

Post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.  You can email Tom through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

Dr. Anita Sengupta, Friday, 11-1-13 November 2, 2013

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Dr. Anita Sengupta, Friday, 11-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2113-BWB-2013-11-01.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Anita Sengupta.  Topics:  Cold Atom Lab (CAL) project, human spaceflight EDL & 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.

We welcomed back Dr. Anita Sengupta to discuss the Cold Atom Lab (CAL) project for which Dr. Sengupta is the project manager.  CAL is to launch to the ISS in early 2016, probably aboard the SpaceX Dragon though that has yet to be confirmed but the project needs a ride on a pressurized spacecraft.  For more information on the CAL project and mission, check out these websites: http://coldatomlab.jpl.nasa.gov; http://coldatomlab.jpl.nasa.gov/news/FunPhysicsResearch. During this 64 minute discussion, Dr. Sengupta explained the CAL project to us, ultra cool quantum gasses in absolute zero and in zero gravity to establish a Force Free Environment which means no gravity pull.  We talked about laser cooling and the series of experiments likely to be done on the ISS with CAL based on the NASA Research Announcement which has a submittal date of Nov. 5, 2013.  We talked about atomic physics and many related topics, including the mechanics of the project, the need to place CAL in a rack as close to the center of gravity on the ISS as possible for the closest point to zero gravity. Listeners asked lots of questions about CAL, but they also had questions for Anita  regarding her expertise in entry, descent, and landing (EDL) from her recent work with Curiosity and the super sonic parachute.  In talking about human spaceflight, at one point Anita remarked that CAL was a hybrid project as it is definitely a robotic science mission but they interface with the ISS astronauts so CAL and the team have feet in both worlds.  In talking about the CAL hardware, we learned it was designed as an ORU, an orbital replacement unit.  Doug called in regarding EDL on Mars from Phobos and the use of strategically placed propellant depots in orbit around Mars and how that might simply a Martian EDL.  Anita provided much technical information on this subject and we learned that the actual EDL is driven by the entry mass and the need to dissipate energy. She talked about the difference in  a human EDL protocol and a robotic mission EDL protocol and said the human EDL has not yet been devised or worked out.  Near the end of the program, Anita explained more about laser cooling, including photons pushing atoms which slows them down and makes them cooler.  This enables more accurate laser tuning for the research. Susan asked her if she learned about the engineering for her project from grad school or from OJT.  As you will hear, the basics from grad school and the specifics OTJ.  Near the end of our program, we talked about the role of a project manager and auditing Anita’s USC class which might be possible when she teaches an upcoming graduate class online. We also talked about career choices and would one rather work on a humans to Mars flight or robotic missions.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  Dr. Sengupta provided her contact information on air at the end of the program or you can email her through me if you prefer.

Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Monday, 10-7-13 October 8, 2013

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Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Monday, 10-7-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2101-BWB-2013-10-07.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Gil Levin.  Topics:  Life on Mars, Viking 1 and 2, Labeled Release Experiments, NASA & 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.

We welcomed back Dr. Gil Levin to continue our discussion about Viking 1 and 2, the possibility of finding life on Mars, and the Viking Labeled Release Experiment.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 21 minute discussion, Dr. Levin explained why the name “Labeled Release Experiment” was used rather than his first choice, Gulliver.  Dr. Levin talked about liquid water on Mars with the findings that there is probably 2% liquid water in the surface area.  He compared that to the amounts of water found in in dry soils on Earth which supports microbial life.  He also talked about complex organics which he says has not yet been confirmed though he questions why certain Curiosity experiments which he believes have been done have yet to release their findings.  Rick was our first caller with questions about water, NASA policy, and green spots found on rock and what that might mean.  Gil also spoke about his presentation at the SPIE Conference recently held in San Diego and the panel he was part of with a NASA representative.

In the second segment, Gil took a question about the meaning of perchlorates on Mars, he addressed additional questions on liquid water and discussed the recent press releases from NASA and others that there was no methane on Mars and what this might mean for looking for life on the Red Planet.  Regarding methane, our guest had much to say and that the findings were not conclusive for all of Mars nor does there have to be methane for organics.  I asked him about the timelines involved in Viking 1 and 2 and you might be surprised to learn it was a 20 year process.  A listener asked about the odds of finding intelligent life on Mars and our guest said pretty slim.  He was also asked about searching for life elsewhere in the solar system and he said Mars was the best choice and listed the reasons why, including the economics of space exploration.  A listener asked if Curiosity & other missions were shut down due to the government budget crisis. Doug emailed us that Curiosity was still up and running.  Later, Doug called at the end of the show to inquire about possible organic detection using the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) from Spirit and Opportunity. We concluded with Dr. Levin suggesting we contact NASA to release information about the green spots on Mars and liquid organic analysis of the surface. Also during this segment and not related to Mars, a listener asked Gil a few questions about his WW2 experience in the Merchant Marine in the N. Atlantic and the Pacific.  It was an interesting digression and I still found a way to connect it to space and Mars!

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Dr. Levin through his website, www.gillevin.com.

Dr. Jeff Foust, Monday, 8-5-13 August 6, 2013

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Dr. Jeff Foust, Monday, 8-5-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2062-BWB-2013-08-05.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Jeff Foust.  Topics:  Space news, space policy, NewSpace, budgets, Mars, & you name it! It’s all here today.  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 back Dr. Jeff Foust for this comprehensive space policy, news, and budget discussion.  During the first segment of this1 hour 49 minute show, Jeff brought us up to date with Armadillo Aerospace and the decision by John Carmack to put the company into “hibernation.”  Jeff’s report was comprehensive and we hope that John is able to raise additional capital to resume his work.  Our next topic focused on the partisan budget fight regarding the 2013 NASA Authorization.  Jeff reported on this in the current issue of The Space Review (see www.thespacereview.com/article/2342/1).  Again, this was a very comprehensive discussion on the NASA 2013 Authorization and Appropriation bills, and the partisanship in congress. Among listener questions were those wanting to know if NASA was being signaled out for special budgetary treatment or getting the same treatment as other parts/branches of the government.  You don’t want to miss this discussion.  Also discussed was the potential impact of NASA and civil space issues on commercial space and the NewSpace industry.  Jeff then received some questions about the NewSpace 2013 Conference which he attended.  Before going to break, I asked Jeff to go over the criteria for submitting an article to The Space Review.  He suggested contacting him with your idea at jeff@thespacereview.com, plus he went over the main article requirements.

In the second segment, Dr. Foust was asked about SLS, then we talked about crowd funding.  A listener asked him if there was any research showing how many crowd funding success stories actually used the money raised as intended in their offer.  Neither Jeff nor I had that information but we would welcome it if any of you know those stats. Ron emailed us about the potential economic boom from NewSpace & commercial space, a possible Netscape moment, and would such an economic boom be noticed & well received by congress.  Our guest had much to say about the Netscape Moment theory for NewSpace which led to a discussion on how government can both enable and hinder space development.  We then discussed Curiosity one year after landing on Mars (see his Space Review article on this at www.thespacereview.com/article/2344/1).  From here, we talked about HSF and Mars, specifically Mars One and Inspiration Mars.  Jeff told us about attending the recently held Mars One event at GWU last week, plus he had much to say about the proposed mission.  We talked about the idea of going to Mars rather than the first to the Moon, then to Mars.  As the program was ending, Jeff mentioned the upcoming DC-X 20th anniversary celebration in New Mexico (www.dc-xspacequest.org).

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Dr. Jeff Foust at the email address listed above for The Space Review.

The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 7-17-13 July 18, 2013

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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 7-17-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2051-BWB-2013-07-17.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics: Mars 2020 JPL Mission.  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.  Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

During our 11 minute plus discussion, John and I talked about the planned Mars 2020 advanced robotic mission to search for past and possibly current life on Mars. For full mission information, visit the JPL Mars 2020 website,   http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/m2020/mission/overview.  John talked about life evolving here on Earth over millions of years and extrapolated to possible similar patterns on Mars.  We talked about the planned mission science, the search for fossils showing ancient microbial life on Mars, plus we talked about mission funding issues and costs.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact any of  us through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

Tom Olson, Monday, 12-31-12 January 1, 2013

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Tom Olson, Monday, 12-31-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1921-BWB-2012-12-31.mp3

2012 Year End Review & Analysis for Space Development

Guest:  Tom Olson.   Topics: The year 2012 is reviewed from the space perspective and we look forward to space development in 2013.  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 Tom Olson for his annual Space Show year in review analysis with a look forward to 2013 for space development.  We started our discussion by remembering those in our space community that are no longer with us. We specifically mentioned three dear friends though we know that others have also left us.  Our program was dedicated to Neil Armstrong, Jesco von Puttkamer, and Reda Anderson.  We certainly miss our friends but space development marches on like everything else in life.  A few of the early issues Tom brought up in the 2012 annual overview of space included the Falcon 9 launches and Dragon missions.  He also talked about ISDC and birthing of Dragon during the keynote by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden.  While on the subject of SpaceX and its mission to the ISS, Paul sent in a question asking if SpaceX dropping out of the Stratolauncher project indicated that perhaps they had “bitten off more than they could chew.”  Tom and I have no inside information about SpaceX and Stratolaunch but we both thought that Paul’s comment was reasonable as SpaceX is certainly busy enough with game changing projects & technology.  Cubesats were discussed given their rise in popularity and importance in 2012. It seems as if their potential is more than on the rise!  Cubesat growth also cuts across many diverse space industry segments and niche markets.  Bev asked about the future of 3-D printing and its potential impact on future human spaceflight (HSF). 3-D printing is certainly experiencing space industry growth & there will soon be a small 3-D printer on the ISS.  Heavy lift came up and much was said about the Falcon Heavy and SLS, both looking back over 2012 & forward to 2013.

In our second segment, I asked if fuel depots would evolve from the Power Point & rhetoric stage to something more tangible in 2013.  We talked about depots as many of the projects announced in 2012 use depot technology to enable their plan.  Tom talked about warp drive becoming more possible due to the 2012 work of Dr. Sonny White.  Dr. White will be a guest on The Space Show Friday, January 4, 2013.  Tom next brought up NASA budget issues & possible cuts.  He talked about science mission cuts, the JWST, and on the HSF side, SLS eating up much of the budget with commercial crew still needing funding.  I asked Tom how he thought space advocacy made out during 2012.  Mixed was a one word summary of this discussion.  Next, we talked about space settlement being made part of the U.S. space policy in 2013.  Tom went over the pros & cons surrounding this effort. Doug called in about space settlement & I referred him to earlier programs with Steve Wolfe who authored the Space Settlement Act of 1988 which is part of public law.  Tom said space settlement was SLS dependent & that makes the potential policy controversial to many space enthusiasts since many oppose SLS.  Tom said 2012 was a good year for new commercial space grandiose missions such as Golden Spike, Planetary Resources, Mars One, a lunar base, Shackleton Energy, even EML2 missions.  He kept asking the questions regarding objectives, who pays, the reasons for the missions, and more. He said most of these missions rely on some form of large launcher, either the Falcon Heavy SLS.  Tom talked about ITAR reform that has been signed by both houses of Congress & is applicable to the U.S. satellite industry.  Human rating of the Atlas came up for a 2012 progress report, then Dave in San Antonio inquired about cyber warfare & the space industry in 2012 & the future.  2012 marked the year the space shuttles went on display in museums & Tom talked about the Russian space program investments for modernization over the coming decade. He also talked about other national space programs.  Near the end of our program, we brought up the Spaceport America liability issue & the risks facing the New Mexico spaceport.  Tom updated us for 2013 on the NewSpace Business Plan Competition & his work with the Exodus Group for space business consulting.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Tom through 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, 4-18-12 April 19, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 4-18-12

John Batchelor, Dr. Chris Impey, Dr. David Livingston

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1755-BWB-2012-04-18.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Chris Impey, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The origins of our Moon, life on Mars, Earth analogs to 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. 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. The topics in this 11 minute segment focused on the origins of our Moon and finding microbial life on Mars.  We talked about the lunar impact theory and why it is still preferable to competing theories for the origins of our Moon.  After exploring the lunar origin theories, we focused on finding microbial life on Mars and talked about Earth analogs including asteroid craters, the Antarctic dry valleys, methane plus a few others.  Toward the end of the segment, John asked Chris about our technology for finding life, comparing what robots of today and the near future can do versus what humans can do at this time.  Chris provided a most interesting response, including a brief analysis of the cost benefits of each type of mission.  If you have questions or comments, please post them on The Space Show blog.  If you would like to send an email to either Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Impey, do so through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com and I will forward it for you.

 

Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 2-20-12 February 21, 2012

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 2-20-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1717-BWB-2012-02-20.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Dr. Bell’s assessment of NASA, the science missions, human spaceflight, the Russian space problems, & Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories.  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. Jeff Bell back to the program for his assessment of space today in theUnited States, along with the problems facing the Russian space industry and the Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories as to why the mission failed.  Those familiar with Dr. Bell and his Space Show programs will not be disappointed as this two hour plus discussion is vintage Jeff Bell.  Dr. Bell started with an assessment of the problems over the last year and half or so with the Russian space industry and its management.  Jeff does a good job of summarizing their history of manufacturing, technology, and engineering problems going back to the time of Sergei Korolev.  He also shares with us his experiences working with the Russians on the Phobos 88 mission.  He said typical characteristics of Russian missions leading to problems include being too ambitious, costly for their budgets, and the labor allocated to the projects.  He suggested that we in theU.S. do the same thing and cited MSL and Curiosity as an example.  He had much to say about the early Soviet Venus probes and how their data was widely discounted outside of theSoviet Union. He then said Space X might be overextending and he cited several ongoing Space X projects which might distract from their primary mission at hand which is to get Falcon and Dragon operational.  Listeners asked about the Russian problems driving customers away from doing business withRussia in favor of ULA in theU.S. Here, Dr. Bell had much to say about ULA pricing, overhead costs without NASA sharing them, and more.  He also mentioned what was happening to Delta 2 given the GPS system needing larger rockets as an example of the impact of government policy/spending in space industries.  Dr. Bell turned to the latest Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories for the mission failure.  At the end of this segment, Dr. Bell talked about the JWST & Curiosity in terms of overly complex and costly missions.

In the second segment, Jeff talked about the Newt space policy suggestions and the idea of the Moon as the 51st state.  He had much to say about the ridicule in the media and was not surprised by it.  He used this as an example to say reality “conflicts with the space cadet world view.”   In talking about Mars missions, he said people had been conned by the Mars theory of life stories and promoters.  He said that Mars and HSF were not worth it.  Several listeners called in to debate Jeff on these comments but Jeff took no prisoners.  He then talked about the ISS and its less than full utilization and that the entire idea of HSF had come and gone.  At one point in response to a listener question/comment, Dr. Bell said that all Zubrin offered was a 60’s program!  Jeff did have good things to say about the science and robotic missions, said our planet exploration would be with robots, not humans, and that we needed more missions like the Kepler Space Telescope.  He repeated throughout the discussion that nothing useful has come form HSF nor would it.  He offered that the basic technology was from the70’s and had not changed.  He said overall interest in space had declined since Apollo.  In his closing comments, he said he was still hopeful that NewSpace would decrease the launch costs as that would be a game changer.

If you have questions/comments for Dr. Jeff Bell, post them on The Space Show blog URL above.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12 February 14, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1712-BWB-2012-02-13.mp3

Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: NASA FY13 budget & space policy. White Nose Syndrome bat update.  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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program for his preliminary analysis of the NASA portion of the FY13 budget just released by the White House.  You can obtain more information about Mr. Zimmerman and the issues he writes about at his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.  Bob also provided an analysis of the NASA budget at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/a-transitional-budget. Bob started out by saying the NASA part of the budget was flat.  That said, he also said the Mars and planetary programs faced serious cuts.  He pointed out that missions in progress were still being funded, new missions such as the EuroMars missions were being scrapped though in the case of Mars, a new program was being created, the Mars Next Decade Program.  Bob went on to say the astronomy budget was being squeezed to finish the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which has its own line item in the budget.  The JWST was decimating the astronomy budget. He pointed out that the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) was being zeroed out in another year or so after it has completed its primary mission.  Turning to manned space, Bob described it as contradictory.  Commercial Crew would receive $830 million but of course congress may change that.  Also, SLS and Orion continue getting around $3 billion.  Bob talked about the flight plan for SLS & Orion and like many others, predicted the program would ultimately be cancelled.  Bob received lots of listener questions by email & phone addressing topics including a nuclear rocket, Mars Direct, DOD space funding issues, and the PR value for NASA for the HSF program.  Bob then suggested that history has shown that if the HSF program suffers, all of NASA suffers and pointed out that is happening now. Later, Marshall called to suggest that ESA might not be able to fund their part of the Mars programs due to European economic problems.  Bob speculated that our cutting participation may actually have been in anticipation of this to avoid problems down the road because of the European economic woes.  At the end of this segment, we talked about the successful European Vega rocket launch. 

In segment two, Bob talked about new information regarding sun spots and climate per a recently reviewed paper.  Check out the story at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-link-between-sunspots-and-climate. We also talked about the 2012 plan proposed by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in its search for Higgs boson.  Listeners brought up the nuclear rocket, the Cassini mission in the budget, and more on JWST.  Bob also reported some new developments with LightSquared, the FCC, and GPS issues.  Tim called in with questions about the sun and an electro magnetic pulse (EMP). As the program ended, I asked Bob for another update on the White Nose Syndrome which has killed lots of bats in the northeast.  Bob closed by saying the upcoming Falcon 9 & Dragon launch plus the Orbital Antares launch may prove to be the most important events of the year.  He said they were risky ventures, especially the Antares launch and program.  

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Bob through me or from his website, Behind The Black.

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