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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 7-11-12 July 12, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 7-11-12


Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Tom Jones, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics: The B 612 Foundation SENTINEL Project, NEOs, planetary defense.  . You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://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. 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 11.5 minute discussion, we discussed the newly announced B 612 Foundation’s first privately funded deep space mission, the SENTINEL Project.  This project will launch a specially built infrared 20″ space telescope to orbit 170 million miles from Earth to discover and map near earth asteroids of potential risk and interest to us here on Earth.  Dr. Jones explained the program to us, responded to questions about why infrared, why a loop around Venus and why an orbit so far from Earth around the sun.  We talked about the cost of the program as well as the timelines.  Other topics included mass extinction events, becoming a multi-planet species, and more.  Please post your comments/question on The Space Show blog.

If you have a question for either John Batchelor or Dr. Tom Jones, send it to me and I will forward it to the person of your choice.


1. SpaceDude - July 13, 2012

I agree with Jase’s comment.

But David, I want to strongly encourage you to realize that an asteroid threat to humanity is so much smaller than the threat that we pose to ourselves by our own self-replicating technology. Tom Jones pointed out that an asteroid killing-sized asteroid doesn’t exist because our telescopes are big enough to have discovered it. Others have pointed out that the dinosaurs would be alive today if they had our space program. The point is that there is probably no asteroid existential threat.

But an engineered virus is a different matter entirely. That could spread everywhere that the wind blows. Setting up planetary defenses against asteroids does no good against this much more likely threat. It is the logical, rational (I wish common sense) solution to establish an off-Earth colony ASAP.

2. Jase - July 12, 2012

David, thanks for covering this topic on the John Batchelor Show. SENTINEL deserves to be funded ASAP. This should be a higher priority than any robotic planetary science mission.

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