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Dr. Jason Reimuller, Tuesday, 10-22-13 October 23, 2013

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Dr. Jason Reimuller, Tuesday, 10-22-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2109-BWB-2013-10-22.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Jason Reimuller.  Topics:  Project PoSSUM, manned suborbital polar research flights, noctilucent clouds, rescue & recovery.  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.

We welcomed Dr. Jason Reimuller to the program to discuss Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere).  For more information, please visit their website, www.projectpossum.org. In the first segment of this 1 hour 29 minute discussion, Dr. Reimuller started off by telling us the history of Project PoSSUM and its focus on noctilucent clouds.  Jason described noctilucent clouds and their importance.  I also suggest you read about them on their website at http://projectpossum.org/2015-possum-nlc-campaign/about-noctilucent-clouds.  We talked about the high latitudes, the short window for observing these clouds, and the interest in using the XCOR Lynx vehicle as the RLV of choice though other suborbital RLVs are also being considered.  We talked about funding as a NASA Flight Opportunities Program and down the road a specialized Kickstarter program.  Jason also described the payloads, missions and the Aeronomy Lab, the PoSSUM observatory and much more.  He described the types of experiments the scientists want to do during the suborbital flight. Jason also pointed out the use of a general aviation turbo-Mooney aircraft for noctilucent cloud observation, plus the rocket flight profile for maximum viewing and studying during the science mission.

In the second segment, we talked about how Project PoSSUM can enable and influence science globally plus the international interest in science missions to study these clouds.  Here, Jason pointed out that their choice vehicle was actually the Lynx Mark II.  A listener asked if the clouds were also present in the deep southern latitudes and they are during the southern hemisphere summer as they are in the northern hemisphere summer.  Given that Jason had worked on the NASA Constellation program, I asked him questions about Constellation of which he had much to say.  He also expressed a concern regarding the private rocket companies and their astronaut rescue and recover programs. He talked about the Constellation rescue and recovery program, the trades they had to consider, plus all the variables that had the potential to impact a crew rescue & recovery attempt. He also described the infrastructure in place to aid in rescue and recovery for government missions but that this infrastructure may not be applicable or available to private launch vehicles and commercial astronauts.  Connie wanted to know if there was any difference in the noctilucent clouds over land as compared to the oceans.  We also talked about science mission conclusions regarding climate change issues.

For more information, Dr. Reimuller can be reached through the PoSSUM website plus each of the Project PoSSUM programs has contact info on the website. Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

Comments»

1. rocketscirick - October 26, 2013

I became aware of Project PoSSUM a few months ago. It was the first I had ever heard of a Lynx possibly taking off from something other than a standard spaceport. Interestingly, this is a kind of mission that a fixed stationery launch pad cannot support. While I initially thought about sounding rockets, the fixed launch pad makes them nearly impossible to use for this application.

This points out an intriguing aspect of observational science. Basically, you need to go where the science is when the science is happening. This time, it is noctilucent clouds. I suspect mesospheric measurements when the Earth is subjected to a solar storm would be another case.

Aside from Lynx, I don’t know if any of the other air-launch vehicles are flexible enough to have their ground support move to different launch locations.

An interesting thing I learned from an astronomer friend: water exists up to about 280,000 feet as hydroxyl and hydrogen. If you want to look for water on other worlds, your instrument has to get above the hydroxyl layer so that you’re not looking at the Earth’s water. If you can get enough observation time and are able to point your instrument, suborbital flights might provide a way to do this more cheaply than orbiting satellites.

2. Alan M - October 24, 2013

I apologize in advance if I sound like a jerk, but….. This started out really boring. The website has a great explanation. Interesting research! BUT….. Really getting sick of the MAN-MADE global warming junk. It is really sad if the only research getting funding is that related to that junk. If it is such proven science why are we still studying it, if not then 30 years of trying and failing is proof enough.

And then the Lynx vehicle talk. Really! This thing doesn’t exist. Why do we keep talking like it does. No flights yet! I give people some room on future SpaceX vehicles because they have vehicles flying and constantly innovating . All the rest are almost a joke until they actually fly. This guy sounds like he is scheduling flights, but then has no answers for real questions about operations, really. Obviously, this stuff urks me.

Good luck with your research!

3. Space-for-All at HobbySpace » Recent spacecasts with Bob Zimmerman and David Livingston - October 23, 2013

[…] Dr. Jason Reimuller, Tuesday, 10-22-13 – science on reusable suborbital space vehicles […]


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