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Open Lines, Sunday, 6-30-13 June 30, 2013

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Open Lines, Sunday, 6-30-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2039-BWB-2013-06-30.mp3

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Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Blue Ridge Nebula Starline, radiation, Skylon, Falcon 9 Vandenberg, NEOs, & Asteroid missions.  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. 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, please 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).

Our program today was a 2 hour 5 minute Open Line discussion.  I started it out with some Space Show announcements, suggested topics for today’s discussion, then I opened the phone lines for listener participation.  Dr. Doug Haynes was our first caller. Doug is celebrating the tenth anniversary of Blue Ridge Nebula Starline (www.blueridgeairlines.com) and his sister site, www.bluenebula.com.  Dr. Haynes talked about his vehicles, missions, propulsion, AST, orbital, suborbital and all HSF, his issues with zero gravity, green space technology, spaceports with the Front Range Airport as well as Denver International. Follow our discussion about his vehicles and pods via his Blue Nebula website above.  Doug also told us about his books through the 3rd Wave Air Books which is linked to both his websites.  I did mention Doug’s very well known newsletter & how to visit his operation for those in and around the Denver area.  Our next caller was Dr. Doug Plata from Southern California to discuss space radiation and our Monday guest, Dr. Marcelo Vazquez.  Doug took us through several radiation risks and mitigation strategies.  We talked about radiation and the Mars missions plus what might & might not be appropriate regarding taxpayer money or the cash equivalent regarding helping a private company do a HSF to Mars.  Just before the break, questions came up about the upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 Vandenberg launch.

In our second segment, Tim Weaver was our first caller to talk about Skylon.  There has been some recent press suggesting that the UK government my be interested in some funding with Skylon (www.sen.com/news/uk-pledges-fresh-support-for-revolutionary-space-engine.html).  We talked about the UK space interests and program along with the astronaut safety issue mentioned earlier and by Rand Simberg in his recent program.  John Hunt called in to talk about the Zubrin article on NASA’s asteroid retrieval mission, then he said he doubted anything would become of Skylon.  His last point pertained to astronaut safety per the Rand Simberg show and comments.  He suggested that since the government flies astronauts for national prestige, safety would be extreme given the potential prestige damage resulting from an accident.  Before the end, Doug sent in a note saying the Falcon 9 Vandenberg launch is currently set for Sept. 5th.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach any of the guests who called in today via their website or my email address.

Comments»

1. Dwayne - July 1, 2013

Regarding Doug Plata’s comments, I’d like to mention two things:

-He said that solar eruptions are less of an issue on Mars because you can see them coming in order to take shelter. I think that in general this is true, but that there is a situation that you have to plan for, which involves where you put the detectors to warn about the eruptions. There can be times when Mars, Earth and the Sun are all in a position where an eruption might not be seen on Earth, but would hit Mars. So you’d need a monitoring spacecraft on that side of the Sun in addition to the ones that are nearer Earth. It might require adding a robotic spacecraft to the mission. This is something that was discussed in an NRC workshop report on space radiation issues around 2007 or so. (And is probably also discussed in the “Safe on Mars” study of astronaut safety issues for Mars exploration.)

-I believe (not sure) that the idea of an electromagnetic shield is something that sounds good in theory but cannot work in practice. Most radiation shielding on Earth is mass–the heavy mass of the atmosphere above our heads. The Earth’s magnetic field provides much less protection than you would think. In space the electromagnetic shield could work, but it has some severe drawbacks. One is that it would have very high power requirements, probably far more than everything else on your spacecraft combined. So it would not be practical. Another problem is that a shield powerful enough to protect you would also be powerful enough to harm you. So in the end this doesn’t work.

I’m going on distant memory on both of these issues, so anybody who wants to know more should do their own research on it.


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