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Jon Goff, Friday, 7-24-15 July 25, 2015

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Jon Goff, Friday, 7-24-15


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Guest: Jon Goff; Topics: Altius Space-Machines updates, new projects, commercial space, fuel depots & 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 Jon Goff back to the show for Altius Space-Machine updates and more. Make sure you follow along with us at his website, www.altius-space.com. During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Jon brought us up on Altius activities since his last time as a guest on the show in March 2013. We discussed the projects listed on his website home page, Prospector, Lisa, the Robotic Manipulator, and EMBARC-2. I asked him for updates on Sticky Boom and how the new projects related to Sticky Boom. As you will hear, Jon and his team are engaged in several innovative projects. Listeners wanted to ask Jon about fuel depots so that topic contributed to both our first and second segments. Later in the first segment, Doug called to compare the Falcon Heavy with the use of depots, suggesting the Falcon Heavy would be more cost effective to LEO than using depots. This was an interesting discussion on this topic so don’t miss it. ISRU was discussed as was aerobraking coming back from the Moon.

In the second segment, Joe had the lead off question asking Jon if they were planning to engage in cubesats and Earth-imaging. Jon’s reply included a discussion of his Big Vision concept for his company and how he wants to contribute to the space industry. Carl in Tucson asked Jon about using Sticky Boom or one of other concepts to get rid of LEO space debris. Following that discussion, Jon told us about his Private Placement plans for his MAGE (Mechanical Assistant for Glovebox Experiments) project, where Altius is trying to adapt some COTS robotics and 3d vision solutions for use inside the Microgravity Science Glovebox on the ISS, and on the 3DOF STEM Arm testbed that they wanted to use for testing various Sticky Boom capture mechanisms on an air-bearing table. Another listener asked Jon about building launch vehicles for cubesats. Wayne asked about SBIRs, exceptions for those from outside the U.S. and foreign government funds for companies like Altius. As we were nearing an end to our program, I asked Jon for his five year forecast for the cubesat industry, then the same for his company. Jon had much to say on this topic, including talking about ADS-B ground stations, SpaceX, One Web, smallsats beyond LEO into MEO and GEO. As we were ending, Harry asked how independent Jon was from NASA policy, the administrator, etc. We concluded our discussion with Jon mentioning possible future hiring needs and his thoughts on having started up his own business five years ago.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Jon through his website, me, or the private placement address he gave out on air.

Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12 August 29, 2012

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Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12


Guest:  Dr. Anita Sengupta.  Topics:  Entry, Descent, & Landing for Mars, Venus, propulsion, parachute issues, & more.  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.  We welcomed Dr. Anita Sengupta, Senior Systems Engineer at JPL in Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) Advanced Technologies Group to discuss EDL for Mars, other planets, and much more.  In our first segment, Dr. Sengupta described conditions relevant to Mars and landing an object on the planet. We talked about the Martian atmosphere and what an EDL team needs to consider and design to land any payload on Mars as well as humans. We also learned that EDL for a different size payload would be different than what was used for Curiosity, probably needing new systems.  We talked about supersonic parachutes & parachutes in general, addressing parachute materials, velocity, parachute violent extremes, the speed of sound & much more.  Another topic was testing on Earth to make sure the devices work on Mars.  Dr. Sengupta explained how such testing & Mars simulation is done on Earth.  Other landing techniques such as airbags were mentioned along with retro rockets.  During this discussion, our guest did a great job of explaining the various forces and physics involved in landing & how each of these forces must be dealt with for a successful landing.  We then talked about landing a payload on Venus and just how different Venus is to Mars.  The same for our Moon and the moons of Mars, Phobos & Deimos.  Listeners sent in questions about the rover debris being left on Mars as well as wondering if there were other ways to explore Mars than using rovers.  John called to inquire about first stage reusability & our guest talked about doing the “trades” (running the numbers to see if reusability is economic or not). Doug called to talk about orbital transfer vehicles, aerobraking, and more.  This led us to a discussion about larger launch vehicles, the need to dissipate lots of energy on reentry, and why larger areas with drag are preferable.

In our second segment, I asked about software programs we might use for the basic type of analysis Dr. Sengupta had been discussing. Note her recommendations.  We then talked about plasma propulsion and ion thrusters.  Dr. Sengupta had much to say on this subject including ion thruster fuel, costs, ISP, and again, the importance of doing trade studies for a mission to determine the best methodology/economics for the mission. Our guest also talked about the lower ISP Hall ion thruster which was also lower in cost but with substantially more ISP than a chemical engine.  Also in this segment, we talked about the Dawn mission & Vega, a possible Europa mission & the use of nano satellites for the Europa mission.  Doug called back regarding ion propulsion fuel, xenon, iron, lunar fuel, etc.  As our program was ending, Anita mentioned the Orion parachute system tests she works on & the new Mars mission InSight.  Several times during the program, Dr. Sengupta stressed the need to do the trade studies regarding mission planning to determine the best economics & cost effectiveness for the mission.  Many of you have heard on The Space Show that if one does not “run the numbers,” it is impossible to know if what you want to do is economically & mission productive/viable.  On Oct. 28, Dr. Jurist is doing a special webinar with his interactive Excel spreadsheet on rocket/mission planning.  It is essential to be able to do this in mission planning.  Trusting your beliefs, gut, & preferences are not the way to go so watch this webinar if you can.

Please post questions/comments on our blog.