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Dr. Stuart Robbins, Sunday, 9-27-15 September 28, 2015

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Dr. Stuart Robbins, Sunday, 9-27-15


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Guest: Dr. Stuart Robbins. Topics: Craters throughout the solar system, Mars, lunar science, pseudo astronomy, education & public outreach. 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 Dr. Stuart Robbins to the show to discuss craters throughout the solar system, life experiments for Mars, thresholds for evidence, his PseudoAstronomy blog and podcasts, and education plus public outreach. In the first segment of our 1 hour 37 minute program, Dr. Robbins started out by sharing with us how he got interested in Mars as part of his thesis project. We then discussed his crater analysis work on Mars, Mercury, our Moon, and Saturn’s moons. This detailed crater discussion was most interesting so don’t miss it. Additional topics included why study craters, dating, Carbon14 and other radio metric ways to date objects & zones off Earth. You will learn about the significance of crater size per planetary body, determining age, impacts and more. We even compared impact craters on Earth to those elsewhere in the solar system. Also discussed were Canyon Diablo Meteorites regarding Meteor Crater in Arizona, and the use of craters as a poor man’s drill. Listeners asked about asteroid impacts and the impact on possible life or past life traces in an impact crater. Prior to the segment ending, he talked about the high bar needed for confirming evidence of life off Earth.

In the second segment, Dr. Doug called in to talk about a way to do an experiment, possibly no costlier than Curiosity, to search for life on Mars. This involved the use of a tethered rover which our caller explained. More than technology issues, our guest pointed out the policy and economic challenges that are today governing space policy & projects which made him skeptical about doing something like Doug suggested. Dr. Robbins was asked several times during our discussion if NASA wanted to discover and disclose life on Mars. When this discussion comes up on programs, planetary protection is brought up and with Dr. Robbins, this is also what happened. Note how Dr. Robbins described planetary protection during our discussion. I switched topics and asked him to talk about his blog and podcast, Exposing PseudoAstronomy. You can read his blog @ https://pseudoastro.wordpress.com. You can hear his podcasts @ http://podcast.sjrdesign.net. More questions came in applicable to life on Mars, the threshold necessary for convincing evidence of Martian life, then I asked him about some of the popular paranormal and UFO topics that often pass off as real science. We talked about what makes so many of these stories believable to so many people. I wondered if it was our collective poor science education but Stuart suggested other reasons which you will hear him discuss. Adrian sent in a great email question about the expectation to find DNA off Earth which Adrian pointed was a bogus expectation. I read his note in full, Dr. Robbins agreed completely with him as do I so again, don’t miss what Adrian had to say. Stuart also talked about some of the famous UFO cases, image faking, CGI, and more. Near the end of the show, I asked if we could expect new big announcements from our Mars studies or would it be a much slower evolving process. He said the big things had probably been studied so he expected a type of evolutionary process for new Mars information. On the other hand, because we know so little about Pluto, New Horizons was providing us with giant leaps forward with our Pluto knowledge. The last question came in from Randy who wanted to zero out costs and risks and then find out if humans produced better research or was it robots. The answer was humans but when you add in risk and costs, the answer goes to robots. Listen to how Stuart explained this. Don’t miss Stuart’s closing comments.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Robbins through his website, http://about.sjrdesign.net, or me.