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Sarah Scoles, Tuesday, 11-24-15 November 25, 2015

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Sarah Scoles, Tuesday, 11-24-15


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Guest:  Sarah Scoles.  Topics: Science and space writing, space news stories, NewSpace, Mojave, commercial space, space science missions & more.  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 listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.


We welcomed Sarah Scoles to the show.  Check out her website, www.sarahscoles.com.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 54 minute discussion, I first asked Sarah why and how she transitioned from astronomy work to being a science and fiction writer.  She took us through her path which I found to be very interesting.  Next, I asked her about her interest and reporting on various segments of the space industry, starting with NewSpace.  In asking her this, I referenced a recent Popular Science article she wrote (www.popsci.com/what-happens-when-space-industry-collides-with-tiny-town) and the comment made by Mr. Witt  about Interorbital Space Systems “engines that burn up so they can use themselves as fuel.”  We had an interesting discussion about this plus her visit to Mojave which included visits to Virgin Galactic, Stratolauncher, then down the road to Palmdale to see and learn about the NASA SOFIA project.  Sarah shared her interesting experience getting to fly in the SOFIA modified 747.  Don’t miss her telling us about this experience and being in the modified 747 with the SOFIA telescope plus other changes to the jumbo jet.  Sarah also told us about flying in experimental aircraft with test pilots at Mojave.  Sounds like great fun to me!  Later, I asked our guest for her top 2015 stories.  Mojave was a favorite as was the SOFIA reporting and her article re Brian Shiro and Astronauts4Hire. Later, she also mentioned a hard science stories re B-modes.  The scientific work on this project later turned out to be wrong so the paper on it had to be withdrawn.  We talked about the possibility of some kind of life on Mars now or in the past, the same for the possibility of life perhaps elsewhere in our solar system.  Sarah also liked the Dawn Mission which we discussed.  Jack emailed her about one way to Mars trips and Mars One.  We learned that Sarah would consider going to Mars on a one way trip though she did not have much to say about Mars One.


In the second segment, we talked about the potential for at least microbial life elsewhere in the universe.  This led us to talking about exoplanets and I mentioned the previous day’s interview with Dr. Crisp regarding climate change on Venus and Mars.  I told Sarah and the listeners that according to Dr. Crisp, even with an advanced scientific and technical population on those planets, they would have been unable to stop or mitigate the processes that allowed both planets to become what they are today.  Sarah spoke about one of her articles in aeon magazine, “Does Earth have a shadow biosphere?”  or “Earth’s aliens.”  You can read this article at https://aeon.co/essays/does-earth-have-a-shadow-biosphere.  Later in this segment, Rhonda asked Sarah if she received pushback on being a science writer from family and friends.  You might be surprised by her reply.  Our guest received several questions asking how to get published in science magazines such as Sky and Telescope among others.  I asked Sarah if she was familiar several science and technology space projects such as the work by Jim Woodward on Mach Thrusters.  Near the end of the program, Doug emailed her and then called in wanting to know if public support for space was essential.  If so, what percentage of the population was needed for this essential support.  10% was suggested and then I suggested it would have be an activist 10% because there would be a strong need for citizen lobbying for the projects.  Just saying that 10% of the population likes space and would support a larger NASA budget is not enough in my opinion.  I believe such a goal would need to be aggressively pursued so if 10% of the population was what was needed, it better be an active and capable 10%.  Another listener asked her for her favorite destination.  She said it was Mars.  Next, Doug called to mention that at the last Mars Society Conference, he computed that only 18% of those present were women.  He asked Sarah how to get more women involved in space.  The two of them had interesting things to say on this topic.  Sarah offered us a good closing with excellent Pearls of Wisdom thoughts.  Be sure you hear them.


Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Sarah can be reached through her website.



1. Jim - December 1, 2015

I would like to say something to the anti-men comment/question presented by the caller Doug (who is a man!). Helikes to play on this PC stuff quite often. Honestly, I am tired from it. My opion: There is no need to enforce an artificial high share of women in certain positions. Women should go this way alone if they can. And men shall be not discriminated only because they are male and have (in average) different interests as women. Listen “progressives”, liberals, socialists and other kind of leftist: You shall accept that there are natural differences between men and women, which do itself express in different interests and also strengths. Stop this kind of social engineering and self-hate, which destruct western societies!

2. Mark - November 26, 2015

Dr. Space mentioned what one could see during the trip to the Moon, and here is a document/book http://history.nasa.gov/afj/pdf/clouds-across-the-moon.pdf that details all Apollo missions with reference to Earth views/cloud patterns. It is intended as a refutation to Moon landing hoaxers, but it is great to have all images in one place. Best image seems to be the one of Earth with the lunar surface in the shot. That one is spectacular.

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