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Dr. Scott Hubbard, Sunday, 9-2-12 September 3, 2012

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Dr. Scott Hubbard, Sunday, 9-2-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1846-BWB-2012-09-02.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Scott Hubbard.  Topics:  Our Mars mission projects from the perspective of our first NASA Mars Czar.  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. 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. Welcomed Dr. Scott Hubbard to the program to discuss his new book, “Exploring Mars: Chronicles From A Decade Of Discovery.”  If your buy the book using the following Amazon URL, Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/OGLF:  www.amazon.com/Exploring-Mars-Chronicles-Decade-Discovery/dp/0816528969/ref=onegiantlea20.  In our first segment, Dr. Hubbard talked about being selected as the first Mars Program Director after we lost both the MarsClimate Orbiter (MCO) and the Mars Polar Lander (MPL).  He also told us the story of how he got dubbed the first Mars Czar.  His story is fascinating, from how he was asked to do this by then NASA Administrator Dan Goldin to what the Blue Ribbon Panels said about why we lost both MCO and MPL.  We talked at length about the lessons learned from these losses, the review panels, and from the Faster, Better, Cheaper program strategy.  Given Dr. Hubbard’s experience as the program director, I asked lots of questions about getting program approval and keeping that approval over time with Congress.  Dr. Hubbard was most insightful about this process.  Other related topics discussed in this segment included risk, planetary science budgets, private sector companies such as SpaceX, and mission oversight and its cost.  We talked about private missions to Mars and what is referred to as the Holy Grail for Mars missions, a sample return mission.  We went into some detail regarding the sample return mission and Dr. Hubbard let us know why it was so important as well as to outlining a three part strategy for doing a Mars sample return mission.  As our segment ended, we talked about internationalization of our Mars mission programs.
In our second segment, Dr. Jurist asked our guest for some comparisons with the robots versus humans to Mars missions.  You do not want to miss what Dr. Hubbard said in reply to this set of questions.  Doug called in to inquire about cost comparisons for more robots over one human mission.  Doug also raised some interesting points about the sample return mission planning.  I then asked our guest about advocate lobbying for Mars and space policy and if it was effective given his experience with Congress, staffers, and the legislative process.  The value proposition issue came up in this segment regarding both robotic and human missions.  A listener then asked about the focus on space settlement by several advocate organizations and many in the NewSpace community.  Don’t miss what Dr. Hubbard had to say about settlement as a goal, especially when compared to exploration as a NASA goal.  Toward the end, I asked about the follow the water theme throughout his book and why that was so important for the Mars missions to date.  As we learned, the next phase of Mars missions will likely focus on the fingerprints of life, following the signs that may lead to discovering organics or even more. As our discussion was ending, we did talk about finding life on Mars & educational outreach.
Please post your comments/questions on the blog.  If you want to email Dr. Hubbard, send your note to me for forwarding.

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