Dr. Madhu Thangavelu, Jake Dodd, Monday, 11-26-12 November 27, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: breeder reactor, Dr. Madhu Thangavelu, EML1, fissile material, gamma emitter, Jake Dodd, NERVA, nuclear fuel in space, nuclear weapons proliferation, SNAP-X, Space Exploration Architectures Concept and Synthesis Studio, Space Nuclear Activation Plant, Thorium, U-233, USC Dept. of Astronautical Engineering, USC School of Architecture
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Dr. Madhu Thangavelu, Jake Dodd, Monday, 11-26-12
Guests: Dr. Madhu Thangavelu, Jake Dodd. Topics: This program discusses Jake’s concept of placing a nuclear fuel plant in space in support of nuclear propulsion/space needs. 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 Dr. Madhu Thangalevu and his student Jake Dodd to discuss the concept of SNAP-X: The Space Nuclear Activation Plant. I have uploaded his AIAA paper by the same title and his Power Point slide presentation to The Space Show blog which should provide you with more specific information about Jake’s concept. Essentially, the plan calls for putting a breeder reactor in space to supply nuclear fuel for space needs safely rather than launching from Earth all the time. During our first segment, both Professor Thangavelu and Mr. Dodd explained the concept in detail. We talked about weapons proliferation in the process, the breeder reactor and why that was the chosen technology, the safety in place for this technology, and the use of it in the EML1 location and why. Part of our conversation focused in on projected time lines and development costs as I tried to get an idea of what would be involved in bringing this project to at least an Earth-based demo status. Listeners emailed and called in about the problems given the amount of fear within the public and parts of the government every time the word nuclear is mentioned, then saying that the use of a breeder reactor heightens that societal fear level. We discussed ways of dealing with this during our discussion. In addition, listeners questioned the safety of a breeder reactor and the use of Thorium as a non-weapon nuclear fuel.
In our second segment, we talked more about tight budgets, private and public partnerships, and international cooperation to bring this project to at least demo status. Charles called in to challenge our guests on their Thorium comments regarding conversion to U-233 which he said was an effective fuel for weapons as was U-235. I believe you will find this exchange most useful in understanding many of the issues regarding this project. Our guests brought up the nuclear rocket history and the NERVA project, plus we asked Jake for his plan of attack in getting his project going. As our program was ending, Madhu talked about his next Design Studio Class which culminates with new student projects on Dec. 18th.
I look forward to talking about many of these projects on The Space Show in 2013. Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to email either of our guests, please do so through me.
Here are the two documents we talked about during the show regarding Jake’s concept.
Dr. Madhu Thangalevu, Frankie Sharpe, Friday, 6-15-12 June 16, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: Apollo landing site buffer zones, augmented reality, civil space., cosmopolitanism, Dr. Madhu Thangalevu, Engineering Space Concepts Studio., Frankie Sharpe, global space projects, holographic lunar landings, Lunar landing historical sites, lunar tourism, Moon Studio, NASA, private sector space development, space and spirituality, space national prestige programs, Space Studio, U.S. Department of Space, USC Dept. of Astronautical Engineering
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Dr. Madhu Thangalevu, Frankie Sharpe, Friday, 6-15-12
Guests: Dr. Madhu Thangalevu, Frankie Sharpe. Topics: USC Moon Studio space & architectural project planning and design. 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 Professor Madhu Thangalevu who was joined by Frankie Sharpe, one of the architectural graduate students in the USC Moon Studio program that just ended. Dr. Thangalevu started out by telling us about the USC School of Architecture program and their space studio classes including the Moon Studio, Space Studio, and the program with the engineering department for the Engineering Space Concepts Studio. Madhu then introduced us to Frankie Sharpe who talked about his lunar tourism project he did for the Moon Studio graduate class. You can see some of his slides for his project at http://cargocollective.com/frankiesharpedesign/Tour-the-Moon and http://uscmoonstudio.blogspot.com. In the process of Frankie telling us about his lunar tourism model, he talked about the learning process, the need to address engineering, cost, and human factors for his project, the solutions he developed for dealing with the new NASA guidelines for protecting and visiting the historical Apollo landing sites and more. You will see how he creatively used holographs for the visitor to experience the actual lunar landings, how radiation issues were resolved, and much more. I asked Frankie a series of questions about interest in his space work in the regular architectural firms has and is working for & you might be surprised by what he had to say. You will also find it interesting that prior to being given the opportunity to enroll in the Moon Studio, space was not on his graduate school agenda.
In our second segment, Dr. Thangalevu talked about other USC space studio workshops and then we talked about space policy and the proper role for space in policy and our lives. Professor Thangalevu talked about large global space projects that involve people everywhere such as planetary defense and climate change research. We also talked aboutU.S. leadership in global space projects. One of his suggestions was to consider that it might be time for a U.S. Department of Space to deal with these issues but he did say a paradigm shift had to take place for space to be fully realized. He then introduced us to the cosmopolitanism concept. This led us to an interesting discussion about the space “elders” passing the torch to the younger generations for their leadership forward. During this discussion, we talked about the need to fail, to push to the design & function limits to failure so that something new & better comes from the lessons learned in the failure. Our last topics included suborbital space, producing nuclear fuel for propulsion on orbit, hydrogen from algae on orbit, a lunar super computer connected to the aging Deep Space Network, and space & spirituality.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to email our guests, do so through me & I will forward your email.