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Dr. Philip Metzger, Monday, 4-8-13 April 9, 2013

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Dr. Philip Metzger, Monday, 4-8-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1991-BWB-2013-04-08.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Philip Metzger.  Topics: Starting industry in space for the coming space resource revolution re space mining robotics & 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.

We welcomed Dr. Philip Metzger to the program to discuss the topic of a coming space resource revolution because of the prospects for a rapid advancement of robotic industry in space.  Please visit his website at www.philipmetzger.com. During our first segment of this two hour five minute program, Dr. Metzger explained the need for space resource usage as a result of a growing Earth population, increasing energy demands, industrialization & an overall feeling of being “squeezed” regarding future demand and resource usage.  From this point, he took us through the technologies, advancements and some visionary plans for setting up a commercial industry in space for space mining robotics and ISRU technologies which are available today.  Dr. Metzger was clear in telling us that the NASA charter was about exploration, not starting up space industry.  We then talked about the ways that industry can access the advance technology created by the NASA exploration and science programs.  Our guest provided us with several robotic examples, including the possibility of making heat shields from Phobos materials which could go a long way toward making a Mars mission affordable.  We talked about technology readiness levels, TRL 1-9.  Phil explained what the various levels meant & how the technology development is passed on to the next development group as the level advances.  I asked our guest to describe a typical day in his lab.  Starting at 6:45AM, Dr. Metzger described his duties and functions and those of the rest of the lab workers.  As you will hear, it’s a mixture of administrative, design, computer work, testing, retesting, & equipment manufacturing.  3D Printing was discussed in some detail and was actually a discussion topic throughout the entire program.  We talked about our being able to repair robotics as compared to building the robotics to avoid needing repair.  Listener Mike sent in an email to inquire about 3D printing, teleoperated & AI robotics for self sustaining lunar/asteroid economies. He also wanted to know how human space exploration fit into the robotic model.  Phil had much to say in response to Mike so don’t miss this discussion. Near the end of this segment, we talked about robotics & the communications time delay, even for the Moon, and what this means for HSF & robotic development. Another concept introduced to us was that of self-sustaining robots that do not need to continue being launched to their destination! Near the end of this segment, Phil introduced us to Lizard Scale Robotics & the different categories going up the scale of robotic development to the top level human scale.

In our second segment, Doug called in from S. California to inquire about starting an affordable industry, financing, and the use of lunar propellant ice.  This took us to a discussion of setting up profitable ventures for space industry development. Phil talked about a new spaceport concept starting with spaceports here on the ground, then in LEO, on the Moon, & then moving out to Phobos.  For a profitable venture, he did say the time line was still too long for capital investment so we discussed public/private partnerships. Also in this segment, we talked hardware designs, the need to start with low technology, even clumsy robots and evolve upward, but avoiding launches & most everything being made in space. We talked about launch capabilities, heavy lift, & getting a specific mass to where it needed to go.  Closing the business case came up & our guest talked about the old “impoverished view” as compared to a new, expanded, multi-potential global view. Don’t miss this discussion.  Mike sent in another note about what it might mean to be second & the value of the exponential potential.  Phil took us through this discussion which made it crystal clear why maintaining our space leadership or being part of it on an international partnership level was so important for our future.  In this context, Dr. Metzger talked about widespread participation in space development for multiple co-owners.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach Dr. Phil Metzger through his website or me using drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. Edythe Weeks, Tuesday, 11-20-12 November 21, 2012

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Dr. Edythe Weeks, Tuesday, 11-20-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1897-BWB-2012-11-20.mp3

Guest:  Dr Edythe (Edy) Weeks.  Topics: We discussed her book, various commercial space development models, benefit sharing & 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. We welcomed Dr. Edythe (Edy) Weeks to the program to discuss her book, “Outer Space Development, International Relations and Space Law: A Method for Elucidating Seeds.” You can buy her book on Amazon & if you use the following URL, Amazon will contribute to The Space Show/OGLF: www.amazon.com/Outer-Space-Development-International-Relations/dp/1443839655/ref=onegiantlea20.  During our first segment of this 2.5 hour discussion, Dr. Weeks introduced us to her book and the need to understand space development from an international relations perspective.  We talked about how the industry has evolved over the last 20+ years, innovations such as citizen science suborbital missions, new commercial players, & innovative business ideas such as asteroid mining.  Dr. Weeks talked extensively about the need for an ideological shift toward space throughout the non-space population & within our global educational systems.  When Todd from San Diego emailed Edy as to how to create the ideological shift, that opened a discussion on how such shifts are created.  It was very interesting that one of the major examples cited by our guest included the growth & popularity of tattoos.  This sparked quite a conversation, some of it laced with humor, lots of fun, but also relevant points to our discussion.  As our segment was ending, our guest talked about the need to include other perspectives in the space benefits, those coming from outside the STEM fields.
     In our second & very long segment, I opened up asking Edy about the ideas in her book in support of benefit sharing & the Common Heritage of Mankind concepts found in some of the U.N. space treaties.  This discussion prevailed for the balance of our program as our guest is looking for new and different business & social models for space to be more inclusive which she believes will lead to more space commerce.  I took a challenging & argumentative position throughout most of the discussion in explaining why most in the NewSpace and commercial space industries do not support benefit sharing and why. We talked about the need for property rights & why such rights would facilitate commercial development.  Dr. Weeks was not supportive of the property rights positions, looking more for space development to accomplish much needed social change and reform around the world. Also, she made the case that property rights were not needed nor supported by the treaties & their working papers. Dr. Weeks did clarify her position regarding capitalism, the U.S., commercial space companies & benefit sharing ideas so don’t miss her clarification. Let us know your thoughts on our blog. Tax revenues were discussed but as you will hear, our guest focuses on actual benefit sharing beyond tax payments to help create wealth for everyone, including those that would be the recipient of the benefit sharing programs & the commercial space business.  We talked about voluntary charitable giving as compared to mandatory or government required giving through benefit sharing.  I cited Microsoft & Google models for why private sector giving with the pursuit of business unfettered by government induced benefit sharing is better.  Tim called in to express his very strong views in support of the private sector & his opposition to reallocation of resources regardless of how it is termed by either government or the UN.  Edy referenced the OST & the Moon Treaty in making her points, making the case that outer space resources belong to everyone, not just the developer.  While we did use an outrageously successful multi-trillion dollar model for our discussion of the space mining example, the idea was made that the company could easily afford to “give” a percentage to the benefit sharing process, over & above taxes, assuming the company was profitable, even at more realistic levels.  Our guest was very articulate in presenting her views & ideas, plus her book does a very good job of comprehensively dealing with what we just barely had time to scratch during our program.  For more information, check out Edy’s blog and YouTube video:  www.youtube.com/watch?v=okyVWJglxow & http://blogs.webster.edu/globalthinking/blog/2012/07/16/outer-space-development-is-subject-of-new-book-by-hpirs-edythe-weeks/#more-2802.
     Please post all comments/questions about this discussion on The Space Show blog.  I will bring all comments to the attention of Dr. Weeks on a regular basis.

Dr. Friedmann Freund & Brian Shiro, Tuesday, 6-5-12 June 6, 2012

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Dr. Friedmann Freund & Brian Shiro, Tuesday, 6-5-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1788-BWB-2012-06-05.mp3

Guests:  Dr. Friedmann Freund, Brian Shiro.  Topics:  Earthquake forecasting & space resources.  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. Friedmann Freund & the return of Brian Shiro to the program to discuss earthquake forecasting & analysis using space based resources.  During our first segment, Dr. Freund & Mr. Shiro outlined the basis of their research & we talked about the use of both terrestrial & space based tools to aid the process.  We talked about satellite detection of the Ion currents & changes in the ionosphere & how this data is correlated with terrestrial data.  We talked about the direction earthquake prediction was heading & were told why the use of “prediction” was not preferable. Instead, the more accurate & useful term is forecasting.  Also mentioned was a private company with a series of ground stations, QuakeFinder (www.quakefinder.com).  Our guest talked about how this private sector commercial data gets integrated into the public sector data base & why their information is both valuable & important.  Questions were asked about the importance of the ionosphere but we also learned that the currents & waves start deep in the Earth, work their way to the surface & then can be detected as they move upward through the various atmospheric layers to the ionosphere.  Our guests explained how our space resources actually track & monitor this information.  Another point made was that we do not have real time information in advance of an event though if we had swarms of satellites or a satellite network designed to monitor areas 24/7, we would be able to be present with “eyes” before & when an event happened.  Funding issues were discussed & we heard that much of the research discussed on our program is considered “out of the box” & difficult to fund by the traditional process along with getting projects peer reviewed.  I asked about the potential of the philanthropic model for this research as it has come up on several Space Show programs.  Our guests had much to say about this potential source of funding.

In our second segment, we talked about progress being made between traditional geophysical researchers & those doing the out of the box work such as our guests.  As it turns out, there is progress on this front & Dr. Freund updated us on it.  We switched to the suborbital field as I met Dr. Freund at the recently held suborbital conference & our discussions over lunch formed the basis for this program. There does appear to be sufficient commercial suborbital research opportunities with this developing seismic research field. Next, we talked about animal behavior for earthquake forecasting & both our guests told us anecdotal stories. We learned how Dr. Freund is correlating animal behavior earthquake research with the scientific research. Toward the end of the program, Emma in NYC who asked several questions, wanted to know about Mars quakes & Moon quakes.  Our guests talked about earthquake research throughout the solar system & what we know & don’t know.  We learned that there are no geophysical research instruments providing direct information to us from Mars or anywhere in space because of the high cost of the hardware, the quantity of research tools needed, & the complex & costly operating expenses.  Other discussion topics included the possibility of mitigating an earthquake, various research projects such as the USGS Parkfield Earthquake Experiment & the EarthScope Project.  Please post your comments/questions on the blog.

If you want to email either of our guests, do so through me & I will forward your note.

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