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Dr. Jordin Kare, Sunday, 5-20-12 May 20, 2012

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Dr. Jordin Kare, Sunday, 5-20-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1778-BWB-2012-05-20.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jordin Kare. Topics:  Beamed energy propulsion updates.  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. Jordin Kare back to the program for beamed energy propulsion (BEP) industry updates.  Be sure to visit his website for more information, www.lasermotive.com.  Our discussion started out by referencing two recent BEP studies involving NASA. The first, the Beamed Energy Propulsion Study was completed last year and was a joint study with DARPA.  The newer study which is still being finalized is the NASA Ride The Light Project.  As you will hear, these studies suggest technical feasibility but call into question basic economic questions such as is BEP worth it and who will pay for it.  Dr. Kare and I then engaged in an interesting discussion about the NASA cost estimation compared to Dr. Kare’s cost estimation.  I urge you to listen carefully to this discussion.  You may find as I and others did that it explains a lot regarding economic challenges to our current space programs. A listener as Jordin about the costs for a laser demo project.  Jordin then estimated costs depending on the type of demo project involved.  Also, Jordin was quick to point out that the economic conclusions of the studies were not the kiss of death as I suggested so again, listen attentively to what he has to say about this matter.  Ben emails us wanting to know how laser beamed energy works.  Jordin then described the basics of BEP, requirements for the beam to always be hitting the rocket all the way to space, and many factors related to laser launch.  We talked about the hydrogen fuel, the need to be in a cloud free location, and the theoretical limits to a BEP system.  Basic ISP was discussed and Jordin compared to BEP to traditional chemical rockets and different fuels.  BEP is about twice the ISP of a typical chemical rocket.  Dr. Kare described the three schools of thought and approaches to BEP, and as the segment ended, he responded to a question about the space elevator concept.

In our second segment,Alice asked about the ease in getting federal grant money for BEP projects and we learned its not easy.  A listener asked for a basic explanation of power beaming so Jordin took us through the power beaming and wireless power transmission concepts.  We talked about near term commercial projects using lasers and here, Jordin directed us to his company, LaserMotive, as they are involved in several commercial projects unrelated to space.  This is another interesting discussion, don’t miss it.  A caller asked how the laser beam is kept aligned with the rocket as it accelerates to orbit.  He also asked about problems resulting from the wobble.  I asked about laser launch for HSF, launch abort issues, and a listener asked about the laser frequencies used.  Other subjects included the military use of lasers, migratory birds, & thin film solar panels. As our program ended, Jordin was asked look at laser launch over the near and intermediate term plus if it could be used for sea launch.

Please post your comments/questions for Dr. Jordin Kare on The Space Show blog above.

 

Josh Neubert, Friday, 12-16-11 December 16, 2011

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Josh Neubert, Friday, 12-16-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1673-BWB-2011-12-16.mp3

 Guest:  Josh Neubert.  Topics:  Night Rover Challenge, NASA Centennial Challenges, educational outreach.  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.  The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  We welcomed Josh Neubert back to the program to discuss the  NASA Centennial Challenge, The Night Rover Challenge.  Please visit these websites for more information and email alerts:  www.nightrover.org and www.nasa.gov/offices/oct/early_stage_innovation/centennial_challenges/night_rover/index.html.  This was a one hour discussion without a break.  Josh started out by describing the Night Rover Challenge which is to develop mobile systems to collect solar energy, store that energy, and later use it productively.  The innovation will consolidate in a contest for simulated lunar rovers maximizing energy to run for two weeks day and night and survive the cold lunar night.  Josh told us about the Challenge time line and the sole focus on solar power and storage.  As you will hear, the prize is $1.5 million with first, second, and third place winners.  Terry asked technical questions about the potential battery packs and the maximum size of the rovers.  We learned that the biggest size would probably be in the range of the Curiosity rover on the way to Mars with a much smaller size on the other end of the measurements.  Michael asked if the power sources would be required to meet the legal standards required under international law to preserve the environment of outer space in regards to potential hazardous materials that may contaminate the outer space environment. Josh said yes, those standards would be part of the requirements for the competition.  Several listeners asked if non-U.S. citizens could participate in the Challenge and if there were ITAR considerations.  We learned that non-U.S. citizens could participate but were not eligible to win the prize money.  I asked who was most likely to participate in the challenge. Josh suggested students of all ages and grades, plus the do it yourself community, entrepreneurs, smaller businesses, etc.  We also talked about sponsorship opportunities as NASA does not cover operating expenses.  Another listener asked about the use of social media for the Night Rover outreach program.  As you will hear, this Challenge will make use of both social media and collaboration in getting the message out and participants in the challenge.  Near the end of the program, we discussed the proximity ofSilicon Valley, NASA Ames, and the significance of these communities to all the contestants involved in the challenge.  Josh closed by stressing how this program inspires, excites, and jump starts the best and the brightest to innovate, be creative, and to produce!  If you have questions about the Night Rover Challenge, there is a contact link on their website.  Please post your Space Show comments/questions on the blog URL above.