jump to navigation

Dr. Henry Lambright, Monday, 7-7-14 July 8, 2014

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Dr. Henry Lambright, Monday, 7-7-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2274-BWB-2014-07-07.mp3

Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

 

If you rate shows on live365.com, email me your rating reasons to help improve the show

Guest:  Dr. Henry Lambright.   Topics: Dr. Lambright’s book “Why Mars” & the politics, policy, history, & methodology of our Mars program.  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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Professor Henry Lambright of Syracuse University to the show to discuss his excellent book “Why Mars: NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration.”  During the first segment of this 1 hour 33 minute program, Dr. Lambright introduced us to his book and what prompted him to write it.  Dr. Lambright then described three main motivating factors for having our Mars program starting with before NASA with the belief and cultural components suggesting some sort of life on Mars.  Next as a motivating factor dating back from the Von Braun time frame of humans going to Mars.  His third motivating factor had to do with political issues and competition.  Since we were talking about the possibilities of life on Mars, I asked our guest about Viking and the more recent pronouncements by Dr. Gil Levin who has been on TSS several times over the past few years.  Later, Dr. Lambright had many good things to say about our science and robotic program but said our human spaceflight program was in disarray.  Dr. Lambright got several listener emails & phone calls.  He was asked for the WHY behind human spaceflight and that led to a discussion about Big Science. I asked him to define Big Science which he did.  We talked about the NRC Pathways HSF study, then our guest talked about triggers leading to big events and progress, plus the more typical method of moving forward which he called slow evolution.

Jumping forward to our second segment, we talked about the Clinton years in the 90s for policy, Mars Observer & how that loss was turned into a plus for our Mars policy.  Other topics included astronaut risk taking, the void in leadership for space, Mars, and things in general.  Doug called to consolidate all the motivating factors and issues to just one, the need for more money.  He made a good case for this consolidation.  We also talked about the challenges for getting alternative theories seriously considered by NASA, Congress, and policy makers.  The NASA to NACA suggestion came up, we talked about the privates taking over LEO with NASA focusing on BLEO & advanced technologies.  As the program was ending, I asked our guest about the Syracuse student interest in space and Mars, plus our guest left us with an important closing comment.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. If you want to reach Dr. Lambright, you can do so through me.  Finally, if you buy his book from Amazon, do so through the OGLF Amazon portal so that Amazon will contribute to The Space Show.  Instructions are in each archive write up and on the blog, plus both The Space Show and OGLF websites.

Rod Pyle, Sunday, 5-4-14 May 5, 2014

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Rod Pyle, Sunday, 5-4-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2237-BWB-2014-05-04.mp3

Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

If you are listening to archives & rating programs on live365.com, email me the reasons for your rating to help improve the show

Guest:  Rod Pyle.  Topics:  We discussed our guests new book, “Innovation The NASA Way” plus our space policy, reusability & 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, including “Innovation The NASA Way,” can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Rod Pyle to the show to discuss his new book, “Innovation The NASA Way: Harnessing The Power Of Your Organization For Breakthrough Success,” plus we talked about our space policy, reusability, and other issues.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 52 minute show, Mr. Pyle started by giving us an overview of his background and experiences that led him to writing this book.  Specifically, Rod led leadership training at NASA’s JSC for executives.  From this background, he used the story telling format to illustrate NASA innovation.  Each chapter tells a different story, several of which we highlighted in our discussion.  Rod mentioned innovation at various NASA centers but did say JPL stood out for him.  When asked for the most innovative NASA projects, he talked about some projects that were left on the editor’s computer including the Apollo Guidance Control Computer but he did focus on and highlight the Lunar Module.  We also talked about NASA today and back in the Apollo days. Rod had much to say about this, including how today there seems to be a push for guaranteed results which of course do not exist.  He said NASA was known by three important key words:  Boldness, Daring and Passion.  Listeners asked about reusability and I mentioned a possible reusability moment similar to the previous Apollo moment.

In the second segment, we talked about his Viking chapter & the Viking experiments.  John from Ft. Worth called in regarding a smaller shuttle plan that might have been less ambitious – would it have been better? Questions came about NewSpace and innovating the SpaceX way!  Doug called and did not think that there would be a Reusability Moment like with Apollo but that reusability enhanced prospects for that type of moment, like a manned Mars mission.  Rod was challenged with questions from the perspective that Apollo was the wrong way to go to and develop space.  We talked about his forthcoming book, “Curiosity: The Inside Story” and our excitement over a potential Europa mission.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. For more information & to contact Rod, visit his website http://www.rodpylebooks.com.

Alan Boyle, Tuesday, 2-25-14 February 26, 2014

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

Alan Boyle, Tuesday, 2-25-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2199-BWB-2014-02-25.mp3

Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

If you are listening to archives & rating programs on live365.com,  email me the reasons for your rating to help improve the show.

Guest:  Alan Boyle.  Topics:  Alan discussed a wide range of topics including HSF, suborbital flights, science, Mars & 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.   For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.  Note that there was scattered phone line noise from time to time during our discussion.

We welcomed Alan Boyle back to the show for this 1 hour 42 minute discussion on numerous space news items & topics.  During our first segment, Alan talked about the “two year rule” which suggests space tourism & suborbital commercial flights are just two years away.  Throughout the program Alan kept suggesting that 2014 might be the end of the two year rule!   Alan gave us an overview of the spaceflight companies building vehicles.  Our next topic was the Yamato Meteorite, a Mars meteorite that may indicate past life on Mars.  He compared this to the 1996 meteorite announcement and said that some of the Yamato team members were the same as those addressing the 1996 “discovery” (www.nbcnews.com/#/science/space/tiny-blobs-tunnels-meteorite-revive-debate-over-life-mars-n38431).  In talking about Mars, I brought up the Viking experiments by Dr. Gil Levin , then a listener emailed in a question about the UK Tom Bower book on Branson, “Behind the Mask.”  Georgia followed with a question about the forthcoming NASA commercial crew down select, then I asked Alan for his view of SLS.  Alan said it definitely had a role to play.  Allison called from her car to inquire about private space stations & microgravity issues.

In the second segment, we discussed Planet Labs & their recent launch of cubesats from the ISS.  Alan also explained how the cubesats were launched from the station, plus since he had seen some of their images, we got a report on image quality.  Todd emailed in a additional question about cislunar transportation/lunar settlements.  Alan had several questions pertaining to what would actually be done in a lunar settlement.  Elon Musk & his Mars plans came up and we spent a few minutes talking about that subject.  Alan said the biggest dud story of 2013 in his opinion was Comet Ison.  John called from Ft. Worth & I queried him again on SLS but he actually wanted to discuss Mars & present day capabilities.  He then talked about the need for advanced propulsion for Mars flights.  He said he would back off his SLS support had there been plans for a second generation shuttle, depots or something that would be a real program.  He said SLS was a real program & any program was better than no program.  Alan then said he was looking forward to 2015 with New Horizons, Dawn, & SpaceShip2.  He also mentioned the ESA Rosetta mission,  then as the show was ending, he was asked about the Chinese lunar rover.  The final question from Sara was about the value & importance of human spaceflight.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Follow Alan on www.facebook.com/NBCNewsScience and www.nbcnews.com/id/3033063.

Dr. Paul Davies, Monday, 9-16-13 September 16, 2013

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Dr. Paul Davies, Monday, 9-16-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2087-BWB-2013-09-16.mp3

Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

Guest:  Dr. Paul Davies.  Topics:  Interstellar travel, microbiology, cosmology, Mars, and much 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 Dr. Paul Davies to this 65 minute discussion about his contribution to the excellent book, “Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon.” Other topics included interstellar travel, microbiology, human spaceflight, Mars, ET and much more.  We started our discussion with his Afterword in the “Starship Century” book and I asked him about his comments regarding microbes.  One quickly learns from reading his Afterword that it is not the propulsion and engineering that presents the greatest challenge to interstellar travel but what happens to essential microbes needed for life in microgravity and the space environment.  We learned that even in LEO such microbes can transform and become toxic to life.  This is a fascinating microbiology discussion regarding deep space missions to Mars, the Moon, and long interstellar travel. Don’t miss what Dr. Davies said about microbes as it opens up an entirely new study in human factors for human spaceflight.  Other issues we talked about included planetary contamination, microbial ecosystems, figuring out the minimal needed for sustainability regarding the good microbial environment.  Also, what microbes are crucial and those that might be irrelevant for the spaceflight passengers as well as for animals and plants needed for sustaining the mission.  Dr. Davies was asked that given microbiology being a bigger challenge than propulsion and engineering, were we close to having propulsion and engineering for interstellar travel.  You will appreciate his very “witty” answer to this listener’s question.  Faster than light travel came up and so did the work being done around the Alcubierre Drive.  Dr. Davies had much to say about faster than light travel, the speed of light, physics, and related disciplines.  In this discussion, we also talked about both black holes and worm holes.  Later, we talked about the possibility of life in the solar system other than on Earth.  You might be surprised by some of what Dr. Davies said, including the probabilities that Earth might have been visited over 100 million years ago.  Don’t jump to conclusions, listen to the discussion first.  Helen of Atlanta asked why bother with interstellar travel when we can’t even return to the Moon. Again, another terrific response by our guest.  More came up on the Fermi Paradox, the need to stay grounded in fundamental science but to have a vision and healthy skepticism.  Viking and Gil Levin came up regarding the possibility of life on Mars and the reluctance of NASA to do biological experiments regarding the possibility of life on Mars.  A listener asked our guest about ET conspiracy theories and government cover-ups.  In closing, Dr. Davies reminded us to have and conduct healthy speculation which means always staying in tune with fundamental science.  That is what separates speculation from fantasy, Kool Aid, and La La thinking.  As the program was ending, we talked some about his work in cancer research. Make sure you visit his website, http://cosmos.asu.edu.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach Dr. Davies through his website or me.

Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Sunday, 6-23-13 June 24, 2013

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Sunday, 6-23-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2034-BWB-2013-06-23.mp3

Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

Guest:  Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin.  Topics:  Mars Viking lander, search for Martian life, organics, & needed experiments.  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.  For those of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.  Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).  Note that about 1 hour six minutes 20 seconds into this program, we had a power fluctuation for about 30 seconds.  Please excuse the interruptions in our recording as a result of the brief outage.

We welcomed Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin to the program for this 1 hour 25 minute broadcast.  For more information, please visit Dr. Levin’s website, www.gillevin.com.  We started our interview with a question from Leonard David asking “why is NASA running away from answering the life on Mars question?”  Dr. Levin said he had been asking the same question for 37 years and suggested several reasons including no organics, thus no life, religion, a conspiracy theory, and the most likely scenario in that such an announcement would delay or possibly prohibit human flights to Mars.  Dr. Levin went into more detail on each of these reasons, then later in the discussion Doug called in and suggested another reason, the fear of failure.  Dr. Levin talked about his experiments during this segment, the results so far, and the meaning.  He was asked many listener questions including one about perchlorates on Mars, liquid water, and searching for life via other Mars instruments including Curiosity.  Sandra emailed in a question about the religious paradigm he had mentioned earlier and Curt asked a series of questions including the subject of radiation. We talked about the private sector taking on more and more of the Mars searching for life missions, then Dr. Levin talked about the need for a fresh look at the Viking data by a truly objective panel.  He said all of the data was online and accessible.  John called with a series of questions/comments just before our break.

In the second segment, we talked about Complexity Analysis & the Wave Guide Theory.  Several questions came in regarding the Viking Labeled Release Experiments, then Gil was asked if initially he had anticipated the level of controversy resulting from Viking.   A listener asked about detecting DNA like molecules on Mars and Gil explained why DNA would not work.  Many other topics & issues were discussed including his patents & other research so don’t miss this interview. We also talked about using Kickstarter to fund a fresh, objective look at the Viking data.

Post your comments/questions on TSS blog per above. You can email Dr. Levin at the address he provided at the end of the program.  You can also see his Mars papers and work on his website.

 

John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-12-12 December 13, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-12-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1913-BWB-2012-12-12.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Paul Mahaffy, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Mars soil samples with Curiosity.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. 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. During our 11 minute plus discussion, we specifically talked with Dr. Mahaffy, the PI of SAM, about Curiosity, the first Mars rover able to scoop soil into analytical instruments. The specific soil sample we discussed came from a drift of windblown dust and sand called “Rocknest.” The site lies in a relatively flat part of Gale Crater still miles away from the rover’s main destination on the slope of a mountain called Mount Sharp. The rover’s laboratory includes the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite and the Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) instrument. SAM used three methods to analyze gases given off from the dusty sand when it was heated in a tiny oven. One class of substances SAM checks for is organic compounds — carbon-containing chemicals that can be ingredients for life. No definitive detection of Martian organics has so far been detected but as you will hear, it is way too early in the Curiosity exploration to rule out the possibility of organics on Mars. Dr. Mahaffy did say that perchlorics had been found based on questions by John, Paul talked about findings from Viking, Oppy, and Phoenix.  In looking for organics, Paul told us that they needed to make absolutely sure that nothing being measuring came from Earth.  Our guest of honor then explained the procedures being used to make sure there is no Earth contamination.  Dr. Mahaffy had much more to say in this short segment so don’t miss it.

You can contact Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Paul Mahaffy through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

Dr. Catharine Conley, Monday, 10-8-12 October 9, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

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.

Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12 August 29, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1843-BWB-2012-08-28.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Anita Sengupta.  Topics:  Entry, Descent, & Landing for Mars, Venus, propulsion, parachute issues, & more.  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. Anita Sengupta, Senior Systems Engineer at JPL in Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) Advanced Technologies Group to discuss EDL for Mars, other planets, and much more.  In our first segment, Dr. Sengupta described conditions relevant to Mars and landing an object on the planet. We talked about the Martian atmosphere and what an EDL team needs to consider and design to land any payload on Mars as well as humans. We also learned that EDL for a different size payload would be different than what was used for Curiosity, probably needing new systems.  We talked about supersonic parachutes & parachutes in general, addressing parachute materials, velocity, parachute violent extremes, the speed of sound & much more.  Another topic was testing on Earth to make sure the devices work on Mars.  Dr. Sengupta explained how such testing & Mars simulation is done on Earth.  Other landing techniques such as airbags were mentioned along with retro rockets.  During this discussion, our guest did a great job of explaining the various forces and physics involved in landing & how each of these forces must be dealt with for a successful landing.  We then talked about landing a payload on Venus and just how different Venus is to Mars.  The same for our Moon and the moons of Mars, Phobos & Deimos.  Listeners sent in questions about the rover debris being left on Mars as well as wondering if there were other ways to explore Mars than using rovers.  John called to inquire about first stage reusability & our guest talked about doing the “trades” (running the numbers to see if reusability is economic or not). Doug called to talk about orbital transfer vehicles, aerobraking, and more.  This led us to a discussion about larger launch vehicles, the need to dissipate lots of energy on reentry, and why larger areas with drag are preferable.

In our second segment, I asked about software programs we might use for the basic type of analysis Dr. Sengupta had been discussing. Note her recommendations.  We then talked about plasma propulsion and ion thrusters.  Dr. Sengupta had much to say on this subject including ion thruster fuel, costs, ISP, and again, the importance of doing trade studies for a mission to determine the best methodology/economics for the mission. Our guest also talked about the lower ISP Hall ion thruster which was also lower in cost but with substantially more ISP than a chemical engine.  Also in this segment, we talked about the Dawn mission & Vega, a possible Europa mission & the use of nano satellites for the Europa mission.  Doug called back regarding ion propulsion fuel, xenon, iron, lunar fuel, etc.  As our program was ending, Anita mentioned the Orion parachute system tests she works on & the new Mars mission InSight.  Several times during the program, Dr. Sengupta stressed the need to do the trade studies regarding mission planning to determine the best economics & cost effectiveness for the mission.  Many of you have heard on The Space Show that if one does not “run the numbers,” it is impossible to know if what you want to do is economically & mission productive/viable.  On Oct. 28, Dr. Jurist is doing a special webinar with his interactive Excel spreadsheet on rocket/mission planning.  It is essential to be able to do this in mission planning.  Trusting your beliefs, gut, & preferences are not the way to go so watch this webinar if you can.

Please post questions/comments on our blog.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 72 other followers