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Brent Sherwood, Monday, 8-3-15 August 4, 2015

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Brent Sherwood, Monday, 8-3-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2519-BWB-2015-08-03.mp3

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Guest: Brent Sherwood. Topics: Space Solar Power (SSP), climate change, SSP demos, SSP economics. 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 Brent Sherwood back to the show to discuss the rational, potential, and economics for the use of space solar power (SSP). During the first segment of our 1 hour 27 minute discussion, Brent first introduced us to Dr. David MacKay from Cambridge University who in 2009 was appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. Brent talked about Dr. MacKay’s book during our discussion, “Sustainable Energy-Without The Hot Air” which is available for free on the internet. You should follow along in the book with Brent’s discussion, especially in the first segment, as our guest referred to pages and visuals frequently. Check it out at http://withouthotair.com. Most of the first segment was spent using information from Professor MacKay’s book to explain the current energy and climate situation on Earth and to justifying moving away from petroleum, eventually to SSP. Brent talked about CO2, energy disruption, the transition to something other than fossil fuels, and how to develop SSP. Dr. MacKay used modeling for the UK which Brent referenced, especially from page 215 with the UK map. Brent then talked economics, again referring to the work by Dr. MacKay suggesting an SSP system costing $1.4 trillion! Spread out over a number of years, that price was not much different from what is spent on several government departments and policies, including NASA at this time. Brent listed several examples of this so don’t miss this discussion. Brent then suggested the least path of disruption would focus on the key which would have to be electricity. This took us to our next topic which addressed how to generate the amount of electricity needed, including his identifying several newer technologies that could lower some industry costs. He talked about some of the main challenges including transportation, storage, transmission, & operations. Later in the segment, Brent delved into the cost per kWh for electricity. Marshal called to talk about key new technologies including advancements in related and applicable photo voltaics and more.

 

In the much shorter second segment, Brent talked about macro engineering projects and huge platforms in GEO space. He said that such SSP GEO platforms would be around 7,000 sq. km. or three times the size of the paved U.S. national highway surface. Brent then addressed why none of this ever happens and he pointed to this not being a purpose of NASA as an example. To counter this, he advocated for a serious demo project, even suggesting the use of the ISS for the demo. Our guest talked about the challenge in attracting private capital to this because it is so futuristic right now. However, private capital has flowed to the futuristic industry of asteroid mining. We both asked why to one and not to the other? The last email question of the day was from Carol who pointed out that government policy to regulate coal and CO2 over 30 years is off point. Instead, government policy should produce a serious demo project that confirms the technology and the potential market, then let the markets and industry self-regulate and invest for the future.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Brent can be reached through me if you want to contact him.

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Brent Sherwood, Monday, 6-29-15 June 30, 2015

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Brent Sherwood, Monday, 6-29-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2499-BWB-2015-06-29.mp3

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Guest:  Brent Sherwood;  Topics:  NASA Discovery Missions, planetary exploration and 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 Brent Sherwood back to the show to discuss NASA planetary science missions and in particular the Discovery class missions.  During our nearly two hour discussion without a break, Brent started out by telling us how NASA selects Discovery class missions.  He talked about the two kinds of science but focused on the Discovery missions which have a $500 million budget not including launch or operating costs.  He said it was open season on the solar system other than the sun or Earth as they were covered by other NASA programs.  In speaking about the history of Discovery missions, he named a few that we are all familiar with such as Kepler, Grail, Deep Impact, Stardust, the Phoenix Mission, Dawn and the upcoming Insight Mission to Mars.  Brent then explained the proposed missions under the auspices of his team.  These proposed missions include VERITAS, BASiX, CORE, Pandora, Proteus, Psyche, Kuiper, and ELF.  Brent explained each proposed mission to us, talked about the P.I. for each mission, and the science to be gained from the mission.  Listeners had many questions for him including how the principal investigator (PI) was selected.  Brent explained the process, where the PIs come from, how a mission is proposed, is it coming from a university or academic setting, has it been proposed before, or is it coming from JPL or another NASA center or the Applied Physics Lab (APL).  Brent was clear that Discovery missions, given their limited resources, were not about developing and proving out new technology so in answer to my question about the TRL of completing these missions, he said they were all coming in with very high TRLs though the missions sound very futuristic, even bordering on science fiction.  As for timelines, Discovery missions approved now would fly in 2021 so they have about a six year time frame to be developed and flown.  In response to questions, our guest addressed this six year time line in some detail.  All of these missions sounded very exciting but as Brent said, it is a very competitive process and only one or two if any of them may be selected as other teams are proposing their Discovery projects as well and they are equally exciting.  Later in the segment, Brent was asked about the choice of launch vehicle for each project.  This was a very interesting discussion, don’t miss it as our guest explained in detail the role of the PI regarding the launch vehicle and how NASA actually selects a rocket for the mission.  In response to BJohn’s question about launch costs, they certainly factor into the mission planning. Doug asked a question about the Photos-Deimos mission and if the mission could identify a favorable small crater which could later be the site for a covered habitat and if it could identify frozen volatiles in the polar craters of those moons if they exist.  Brent said it might have such capabilities but that these missions only do the work specific to their actual project.  He had more to say on this so don’t miss all his comments.  BJohn asked why not a Uranus mission.  Brent said Uranus was too far out and too costly for a Discovery class project.  Near the end of the segment, BJohn also asked about the importance of miniaturization now and for the future with NASA and these missions.  Brent said it was very important and then updated us on all the cubesat opportunities and uses being integrated into NASA missions.  He spoke about the significance of cubesats for several minutes so don’t miss what he had to say about them.  Doug asked a question about realizing economic value from these missions or at least what was the rationalization behind these purely science missions.  Brent provided an excellent answer to Doug’s questions so don’t miss it.  We ended the show after Brent’s response.  See what you think of it and post your comments on TSS blog.  Doug sent in a final note saying “I agree with his answer re: the value of science.  I believe that it is worth a certain amount of our money to increase our knowledge for its own value.”

 

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Brent Sherwood through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

 

Brent Sherwood, Friday, 5-1-15 May 2, 2015

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Brent Sherwood, Friday, 5-1-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2465-BWB-2015-05-01.mp3

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Guest:  Brent Sherwood.  Topics:  Human spaceflight, The year of the dwarf planets, Pluto, Ceres, budget math for space.  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 back Brent Sherwood for updates to his human spaceflight analysis work previously presented on The Space Show.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 48 minute discussion, Brent started out with a brief discussion on scientific missions and the year 2015 being the Year of the Dwarf Planet.  He talked about the Dawn Mission and Ceres, New Horizons and Pluto, and the oceans on the outer planet moons.  Exoplanets and the habitable zone were also part of this discussion which included an assessment of just how our knowledge has changed regarding the compositing of the solar system.  To redirect the conversation to the purpose of today’s show, human spaceflight (HSF), I asked Brent when we would see HSF beyond LEO (BLEO). I asked about what seemed to be a new space advocacy push for space settlement. Brent then examined why HSF and referred us to his earlier work and the four reasons for HSF which were explore, exploit resources, to experience space, and settlement.  He said settlement was clearly part of the debate, talked about earlier workshops which would avoid the topic and then spoke to the recent Pioneering Space meeting held in Washington, DC where there was a consensus reach for space settlement.  He had good things to say about the meeting and the consensus resolution and talked about the broad space industry representation at the meeting as it was not just NewSpace.  Don’t miss what he had to say about it and space settlement.  Brent was also asked if our National Space Policy Act needed to be amended to reflect space settlement as the official goal of NASA.  Later, he was asked about the stepping stone or incremental approach to HSF development.  He supported this approach, spoke to the challenges for HSF such as life support and more.  As we were closing out the first segment, he offered us valuable insights on this topic so don’t miss what he had to say.

In the second segment, John from Florida called in to ask about grand space visions like an O’Neill orbital colony.  Brent proceeded to discuss grandiose visions in the context of how challenging they were plus their replacement cost.  Here, he used the replacement cost for Manhattan as an example of what he was talking about.  He cited a different type of example, the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest that had nearly a thousand entries this year from 21 countries with the winner writing a 247 page grand space vision report.  Brent also spoke to the inspiration factor when talking about this contest.  A variety of listener emails were read on air for Brent to respond to, then I asked him if he thought Mars was the Holy Grail for HSF.  He said no so don’t miss why he said that.  He was asked about nuclear propulsion, then we talked about returning to the Moon , cislunar development, and then back to Martian settlement.  He was asked about going to the moons of Mars and he said there were two ways to settle Deimos.  Don’t miss his comments here either.  Near the end of the program, he said the physics of HSF were good but the problem was centered in being grounded in what he called program or budget math.  The budget math for HSF simply does not work, especially for a commercial venture.  He closed on the reality check of being grounded in budget math and the difficulty in going to Mars with humans.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Brent Sherwood through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Brent Sherwood, Tuesday, 7-24-12 July 25, 2012

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Brent Sherwood, Tuesday, 7-24-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1821-BWB-2012-07-24.mp3

Guest:  Brent Sherwood.  Topics: Human spaceflight to Mars: Is it on the path or a distraction?  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 Brent Sherwood back to the show to discuss his GLEX paper and ideas regarding human spaceflight (HSF), Mars, and alternative NASA goals/missions regarding HSF.  His GLEX paper, “Mars-On the Path or in the Way” is posted on The Space Show blog following this program summary.  Please read & review his paper as it contains far more detail regarding his proposal, analysis and his conclusion than what we were able to discuss during our program.  In our first segment, Mr. Sherwood provided us with the background and context for his having written this paper and for his conclusion that HSF to Mars is not the right path. He then outlined alternative paths for HSF missions that he believes can better “regain the cultural centrality of human space flight and grow by attracting private capital.” Our guest talked about the value proposition of a HSF mission to Mars, plus the value proposition of the alternatives he describes in his paper & on this program.  The value proposition is understood to refer to the value received by sending humans to Mars (or the alternative HSF missions) as compared to the value of the mission costs, the opportunity costs, risks, etc.  Mr. Sherwood assesses the value proposition for all of his alternative HSF proposals which include the Explore Mars mission, lunar settlement, space passenger travel, and SSP.  For most of this initial segment, Brent outlined his ideas and explained why he has concluded that HSF to Mars does not measure up as a value promise & why SSP is his first choice.  We began taking listener email questions and phone calls after he summarized his position  & as you can imagine, most all the listener questions/comments were of the challenging nature to his conclusion that HSF to Mars was not in the best interest of our space program.  I urge you read his paper and to pay attention to the technical, cost, time line, and historical information shared with us by our guest.

In the second segment of this nearly two hour program, Brent took questions and expanded more as to why he supports other options than HSF to Mars.  He also explained why he is calling for a debate on this issue within the space community.  At the start of this segment, I asked him if he thought discovering life on Mars would change his opinion and the value proposition.  He said no but did say it would expedite the Martian sample return mission, but would not alter the variables & unknowns involved in the magnitude of technology challenges needing resolution before sending humans safely to and from Mars.  Toward the end of our discussion, I asked how he might move forward to implement the industry debate he has called for on this show & in his paper.  Suggestions on how to do this are wanted so if you have any, post them on the blog.

Brent would like your feedback so after listening to this program and reading his paper, please post comments/questions on the blog.  You can email Brent Sherwood by sending your note to me & I will forward it to him.

Brent Sherwood’s GLEX Paper:

Mars-On the Path or In the Way?