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Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Monday, 5-13-13 May 14, 2013

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Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Monday, 5-13-13


Guest:  Dr. Buzz Aldrin.  Topics:  Buzz talks about his Unified Space Vision, Mars settlement and his new book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.” Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://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 Buzz Aldrin to discuss his Unified Space Vision (USV) including Martian settlement, plus his new book, “Mission To Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.”  Leonard David was the co-author of the book.  Visit www.buzzaldrin.com for more about the book and new, upcoming projects related to the book and the Aldrin vision. The book is available as hardback and as an e-book. If you use either of these links with Amazon to buy the book, Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/OGLF: (hardback) www.amazon.com/Mission-Mars-Vision-Space-Exploration/dp/1426210175/ref=onegiantlea20 and (Kindle) www.amazon.com/Mission-Mars-Vision-Exploration-ebook/dp/B008EDPMB2/ref=onegiantlea20.  During our 94 minute program in one long segment, Buzz started out by describing his Unified Space Vision (USV) and its five main components, exploration, science, development, commercial, & security.  Buzz also introduced us to the United Strategic Space Enterprise (USSE) which forms a integral part of his Mars vision.  We discussed the role of China, India, Russia, the ISS, and why we should not engage in a Moon race with China.  In fact, part of the USV includes an international lunar post but not publicly funded by American taxpayers.  John in Hawaii asked about PISCES validating INSITU technologies, then Buzz was asked to explain his Mars cycler concept and orbits.  Following this discussion, Dr. Rowe called in to raise specific human factors health concerns regarding dust issues, Moonwalker astronauts EKG results, and down the road genetic modification for long duration spaceflight and settlement.  I then asked Buzz about the role of space tourism in his vision as well as the need for SLS.  Dr. Paul Deer called in from Cambridge in the UK to ask Buzz about risk taking.  Listeners emailed Buzz about the proposed NASA asteroid retrieval mission which Buzz said was a distraction.  Don’t miss his comments on this issue.  Another listener wanted to know why Phobos rather than Mars.  We talked about the ILDC and the concept of the international lunar base as a stepping stone for going on to Mars.  We also talked about more uses for the ISS, including inflatables, to support the USV.  Near the end of the show, John called Buzz to inquire about the space exploration contribution to student7 youth inspiration, STEM, and science development.  Buzz confirmed all of these as beneficiaries of space exploration and development.  I urge you to read this book and check back at the Buzz Aldrin website for updates and book/USV related projects.

If you have comments/questions from this show, please post them on The Space Show blog above.




1. Space-for-All at HobbySpace » Buzz Aldrin on The Space Show - May 14, 2013

[…] Buzz Aldrin was on The Space Show on Monday and discussed his Unified Space Vision, Mars settlement and his  book, Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration, which he just released:  Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Monday, 5-13-13 | Thespaceshow’s Blog. […]

2. Doug Worrall - May 14, 2013

I just finished reading Buzz’s new book… a very interesting read, particularly given his seminal historical perspective on our entire space explorations to date.

Of particular interest are his discussions of “cycler” orbits which would allow a large craft to cycle on a repetitive complex orbit between Earth and Mars with little additional propulsion required. Despite it’s apparent complexity, there are some obvious benefits (e.g. as a reusable craft you can build it big, thereby making shielding and/or artificial gravity possible with potential health benefits for the travellers).

I am troubled, however, (as an interested observer, and not an expert) by the fact that to catch up to this “cycler” craft on it’s flybys of Earth and Mars requires high speeds from the intercept craft on trajectories that allow NO room for error. Further, it is difficult to see how you could perform maintenance on such a cycler craft other than that able to be done by it’s astronaut passengers.

Perhaps of more interest is the “semi-cycler” orbit options, which allow a parking orbit around either Earth or Mars, with a flyby of the other prior to return to where is started from. The time in parking orbit allows easier intercept/boarding and, presumably, maintenance and servicing without the time pressures of the hyperbolic intercept.

Buzz’s ideas of using Phobos as a starting point for Mars colonisation, using that moon as a base for tele-operated robot construction equipment to prepare a permanent base on the Martian surface, are also interesting.

To me, while there are many advantages to this approach, I can’t help feeling that sending humans (almost) all the way to Mars but not putting them on the surface simply does not have the “wow” factor capturing the human imagination. Sure, it has a arguably better long term project design goal, but you have to keep the public enthused and I just don’t know if a Phobos base would do that job.

I’m also not comfortable with the idea of colonists moving to Mars without the opportunity to return (which seems to be one idea proposed in the book). A better model, in my opinion, would be something like our current Antarctic scientific bases where scientist go there for a tour then get to return and enjoy their time in the sun. While, no doubt, there would be volunteers for a one-way mission, again I do not think this will sit well with the population as a whole. Yes, eventually some may stay, but I think we’d be better growing into that level of outpost development.

Despite these comments — which are simply some thoughts provoked by Buzz’s book — there’s some great thinking in the book and it is a worthwhile read. Like I said, I ain’t no expert, just an interested observer.

THANKYOU Buzz Aldrin for sharing your views and remaining a tireless proponent of space exploration/colonisation. Definitely worth a read by anyone interested in the topic and/or in some personal viewpoints from one of the world’s most famous and accomplished pilots.

PS: I note the difference between Kennedy’s “We WILL go to the moon…” and President Obama’s “I BELIEVE we will…” with regard to a presence on Mars by the mid-2030s. This Mars phraseology does not seem to have the same level of commitment…

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