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Tom Olson, Tuesday, 12-29-15 December 30, 2015

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Tom Olson, Tuesday, 12-29-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2613-BWB-2015-12-29.mp3

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Guest: Thomas (Tom) Olson. Topics: 2015 in review, 2016 space events, best and worst space events of the year. 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 Tom Olson for his traditional annual year in review show, this time for the year 2015. During the first segment of our 1 hour 45 minute discussion, I asked Tom to start off with the worst space event for 2015 rather than the best. Interestingly, he said it was the fact that another year has gone by without our flying people to space, either orbital or suborbital. This opened up a discussion about disappointments in the suborbital industry other than for Blue Origin which got the best grade along with SpaceX for their landing their rocket back on the pad after making it to space. As for the best, Tom mentioned several “bests” during the show but started out with the new commercial space legislation recently signed into law, specifically the part about funding commercial crew and U.S citizens being able to extract resources from asteroids. He spoke about the launch industry in general saying this was a near record year with 87 total launches. He talked about the ISS extension to 2024, commercial projects on the station and he said it would be better to design a commercial station properly than to try and commercialize the ISS. Tom then mentioned several entrepreneurial companies worth noting and watching including Planet Labs, Spire, Made In Space, also Sierra Nevada with the continuation of its Dream Chaser space vehicle. Listener Robert asked if his views on space solar power had changed in 2015. Tom said no but listen to his explanation. I asked Tom for the top space leaders of 2015. He had trouble naming a few other than Bezos and Musk. He said there were no heroes. All of the space men and women were heroes. Jeff from Denver asked Tom if he changed his mind on SLS/Orion from previous years. Again, Tom said no but listen to his full explanation. Another listener asked him if he thought 2016 presidential politics would influence space policy. Again, he answered with a no. Ft. Worth John called to talk about artificial gravity experiments that were needed, Falcon 9 landing the 1st stage successfully, plus he asked when the Falcon Heavy would fly.

In the second segment, Luis from Venezuela asked Tom about small scale laser beaming of power from powersats to landers and assets on the lunar surface. Next up was Dr. Lurio who put in a plug for Made In Space for a 2015 outstanding company award, then he talked about XCOR, responding to some of the recent management changes in the company plus the comments Tom was making about the company. Tom further addressed Made In Space and mentioned a 3D bioprinter. Here is the link to the story he mentioned about the bioprinter, http://medcitynews.com/2015/08/watch-out-organovo-biobots-launching-new-line-of-low-cost-3d-bioprinters. Tom spoke more about the Bigelow ISS BEAM Module experiment for later in 2016, then talked about the success of deep space exploration, JPL, and more. He mentioned running water on Mars, Cassini and Titan photos, New Horizons and Pluto and the Dawn Mission to Ceres. He also gave credit to Rosetta and the Comet 67P mission , then commented on the disappointment about the delay in the Insight Mars mission. Tom mentioned Putin’s reorganization of the Russian space industry to just Roscosmos, then he said the weirdest event of the year was the exoplanet discovery of the mysterious dimming in light value with some in the media reporting the possible discovery of alien ruins (see http://news.discovery.com/space/alien-life-exoplanets/has-kepler-discovered-an-alien-megastructure-151014.htm). Near the end of the program, Tom talked at length about important changes in the New Space Business Plan Competition. A listener then asked him about space films for 2015 and Tom commented on The Martian and television science fiction programming. He also mentioned the twins study on the ISS was nearing its end and Scott Kelly had set a record for the most time spent in space by an American astronaut. Before the show ended we talked about one way trips to Mars, Mars One and then Tom predicted that Mr. Musk will get to Mars before NASA. He concluded by saying that 2015 was an inspiring year for space on all fronts.

Please post your comments/Questions on TSS blog above. Happy New Year to all of you. Keep it safe, have a great celebration and I wish you all a terrific 2016! Thank you again for your Space Show support.

 

Dr. Linda Spilker, Monday, 11-30-15 December 1, 2015

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Dr. Linda Spilker, Monday, 11-30-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2595-BWB-2015-11-30.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Linda Spilker;  Topic: NASA’s CASSINI mission to Saturn and its planned ending.  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. Linda Spilker to the program to discuss the NASA Cassini mission to Saturn, Cassini Saturn discoveries, and more.  Note that our program was 66 minutes in length in one segment.  We started our discussion with Dr. Spilker doing a quick overview of the Cassini mission.  It took seven years to get to Saturn and has been flying around the Saturn system for11 years since July 1, 2004.  Cassini will run out of fuel with a spectacular final mission in September 2017 which we discussed later in the show.  Dr. Spilker talked about the design and budget compromises made with Cassini, the mission plan or the Cassini “tours,” the protests against Cassini due to the NTG aboard the spacecraft, plus the path it took to get to the Saturn system.  I asked Dr. Spilker for the highlights so far regarding Cassini discoveries so don’t miss what she had to say about this given there have been so many great findings and discoveries.  We also talked orbital dynamics for Saturn orbiting the sun (1 orbit=30 Earth years) and Cassini orbiting Saturn or touring the rings or the moons.  Highlights included the polar geysers discovered on the moon Enceladus, the mysterious red streaks on a smaller moon, Tethys, plus countless discoveries about Saturn’s ring system.  Linda had much to say about Titan and the Huygens Probe and its camera limitation due to a question by Dr. Doug.  We also talked about finding organics in the Saturn system, the possibility of life, &  comparisons to Mars and Europa.  Ben asked if the huge gravity field of somewhat nearby Jupiter had an impact on Saturn.  Sherry wanted to know if NASA, JPL, or members of the Cassini team ever heard from the NTG protestors with apologies given the great success of Cassini.  I bet you can guess what Dr. Spilker said in reply to Ben.  Our guest was also asked if a future mission could be done using solar rather than an NTG.  While Linda was not certain of it, she did say that great advances have been made in solar panel effectiveness, storage, etc. NASA is looking into the possibility of doing a Cassini like mission using solar power.  Karen wanted to know how long it took Cassini to orbit Saturn.  The answer required knowing the specific tour Cassini was undertaking at the time but anywhere from 6-7 days to a few months depending on the tour.  I asked Linda how JPL planned these tours so don’t miss how this is done and how a mission is planned for a spacecraft such as Cassini.  Doug emailed in another question about possible ion propulsion usage and Burton in Montreal wanted to know if a Saturn probe mission might be part of the new NASA New Frontier Mission group being planned.  Many times during the show Linda referenced building on the shoulders of the Voyager spacecraft and its Saturn system information.  Todd talked about the end of Cassini which prompted Linda to describe the final mission plan for this terrific spacecraft. You can read about this final mission at http://news.discovery.com/space/cassini-grand-finale-nasas-saturn-missions-daring-end-140707.htm.  John in Philadelphia was the last to ask a question as he wanted to know the size and shape of Cassini, what it looked like.  Linda did a great job explaining the size and shape, and schematic for Cassini.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Linda can be reached through JPL or The Space Show.

John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 10-28-15 October 29, 2015

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John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 10-28-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2574-BWB-2015-10-28.mp3

Special Guest:  Dr. Curt Niebur

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Cassini flyby of Enceladus. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written 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 do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm). For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.

 

John Batchelor and I welcomed back Dr. Curt Niebur, NASAs program scientist for Cassini, to update us on the close flyby of Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons. The flyby was 30 miles above the moon’s surface and took place approximately 10AM PDT Oct. 28, 2015. Cassini flew through the south pole plumes or seafloor vents of expelled water given that it is believed that Enceladus has an under the ice ocean. The flyby will be able to tell the nature and content of ocean plus much more, including the possible detection of organics. Dr. Niebur also described the north pole area since it was viewed for the first time in recent weeks, revealing a very cracked and crevice filled area. Our guest was asked about the Cassini instruments used to gather the information as it flew through the plumes and we learned that two instruments had to be recalculated to do this mission. Another topic briefly discussed was the use of nuclear power for this mission and why solar power would not have worked. Don’t miss what our guest had to say about this and more regarding Cassini and this strange moon of Saturn.

 

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Niebur through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

Emily Lakdawalla, Tuesday, 3-10-15 March 11, 2015

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 Emily Lakdawalla, Tuesday, 3-10-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2431-BWB-2015-03-10.mp3

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Guest:  Emily Lakdawalla.  Topics:  We discussed planetary science missions, the outer and inner planets, Ceres, icy moons, 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 back Emily Lakdawalla for a far ranging planetary science and mission discussion.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Emily was asked questions about the Planetary Society’s solar sail mission, LightSail.  Look forward to a special Space Show program about this project in the near future.  I asked her about her Cassini Icy Moons article on her Planetary Society blog which can be found at http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla.  We talked about the photo mosaics and Emily told us about the software and how any of could easily do similar mosaics.  As you will hear, we talked about icy moons throughout our program.  The Dawn mission with its approach to Ceres was an important discussion topic as was New Horizons on the way to Pluto.  As all of you have heard before, this is the year of the Dwarf Planet!  Dan called with questions about Mars 2020 and the sample return mission.  We touched on human spaceflight and addressed the NASA planetary budget.  Roy called to ask about the Thursday press conference about Ganymede, then before the break we got a question about the Rosetta mission and the Ceres bright spot.

In the second segment, Emily had more to say about New Horizons, how photos and data would be sent back to Earth, and the upcoming cliff hanging moments with New Horizons and why they are considered cliff hanging.  Don’t miss our New Horizons discussion.  Callers and questions came in about Europa, the overall cost of planetary missions for the American taxpayer, the Dawn orbit around Ceres and limitations due to hydrazine.  One listener even asked if there would be public events around New Horizons arriving at Pluto.  Near the end of the segment, Doug sent in several emails asking about Uranus and Neptune and here Emily had much to say in support of such missions.  I asked our guest about her preference between inner and outer planets.  We also talked about returning to the Moon.  Near the end of the program, Carl wanted to know what was going to happen with planetary science after New Horizons.  A series of lunar questions came in with one asking about a lunar sample return.  I asked Emily if a lunar sample return was needed given the quantity of Moon Rocks that we have from the Apollo era.  Don’t miss her most interesting reply with a focus on possible contamination from the lunar Imbrium event.  As our program was ending, Barry wanted to know why we were using radio communications from the outer planets rather than light.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Emily Lakdawalla can be reached through her blog or me.

John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-25-15 February 26, 2015

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John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-25-15

Dr. Linda Spilker, Guest

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2423-BWB-2015-02-25.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor,  Dr. Linda Spilker, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Cassini, Saturn, Titan, Rhea. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written 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 do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm). For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.

 

John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, to discuss Cassini and specifically the moons Titan and Rhea plus Saturn’s rings. We covered the latest photographic findings regarding Rhea, the solar wind impacting Titan, plus Titan’s atmosphere, the use of Despeckling to remove the radar noise from radar images of Titan, and toward the end, the makeup of the rings of Saturn, water ice and the latest with the Huygens Probe.

 

You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Spilker through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

 

 

The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-2-13 January 3, 2013

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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-2-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1922-BWB-2013-01-02.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Our discussion is an overview of current and planned 2013 NASA planetary missions. 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. Written 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 do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, http://www.johnbatchelorshow.com.  During our 11 minute plus discussion, John and I provided a short overview of current, operating NASA planetary and science missions plus missions planned for 2013.  We also mentioned a few ESA missions and talked about a future Europa mission.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Mr. Batchelor through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12 October 10, 2012

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Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1869-BWB-2012-10-09.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jason Cassibry.  Topics:  A technical description and the potential of fusion propulsion.  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. Jason Cassibry to the program to guide us in our discussion of the potential for fusion propulsion.  At times, this was a very technical discussion.  To assist in following it, I have uploaded to the blog his published paper delivered at the AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, “The Case and Development Path for Fusion Propulsion.”  In addition, below are the URLs for several articles on fusion propulsion that Dr. Cassibry shared with us: www.uah.edu/news/items/10-research/2501-slapshot-to-deep-space#.UDrKn-iPVuY;
www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/rockets/the-big-machine-that-could-lead-to-fusion-powered-spaceships-9450996; http://io9.com/5921673/nuclear-slapshots-could-propel-a-spacecraft-to-mars-in-just-weeks; www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=23442
and http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/10/zpinch-nuclear-fusion-pulse-space.html.   Dr. Cassibry started out by providing us with a working definition of fusion propulsion.  We talked about nuclear propulsion as well and the overall state of development for fusion energy.  I asked Dr. Cassibry if in their economic projections for fusion propulsion, they considered the political and policy impact on fossil fuel pricing and supply availability.  As you will hear, generally such factors are not included in their studies though he concurred with me that such policies can strongly skew the economics one way or the other.  Several calls came in on a wide ranging group of associated topics.  We talked about the main fusion fuel, lithium deuteride, magnetic nozzles, and the use of a nuclear fission reactor to start the fusion propulsion unit.  Z-Pinch technologies were defined and discussed.  As the segment drew to a close, I asked about funding sources for this research and we learned that most all of the funding is from public sources.

In our second segment, more listeners called in regarding insitu resource usage, nuclear propulsion to start the fusion unit, and the power consumed for all of this.  We talked about using fusion propulsion for a Mars mission and what it did for travel times.  Jason also put forth a suggested time line and path to follow to operation in perhaps 25 years, depending on funding.  More calls came in with fuel questions, vibration impact, G force acceleration, thrust, and more.  Another topic discussed was fusion propulsion for the launch vehicle.  We then compared some real mission travel times such as Cassini, Voyager, and New Horizons, asking what the transit times would have been like using fusion propulsion.  As we were ending the program, I asked about the students entering aerospace engineering at UAH, both the undergrad and graduate level, plus the gender mix of the students.  There appears to be strong demand by the students to study these fields at all levels.  In conclusion, Jason suggested that we could look for breakeven with fusion in about ten years, maybe less.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Cassibry’s faculty page at UAH is www.mae.uah.edu/faculty/cassibry.shtml.

 

Cassibry et al case for fusion 072812

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12 February 14, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1712-BWB-2012-02-13.mp3

Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: NASA FY13 budget & space policy. White Nose Syndrome bat update.  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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program for his preliminary analysis of the NASA portion of the FY13 budget just released by the White House.  You can obtain more information about Mr. Zimmerman and the issues he writes about at his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.  Bob also provided an analysis of the NASA budget at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/a-transitional-budget. Bob started out by saying the NASA part of the budget was flat.  That said, he also said the Mars and planetary programs faced serious cuts.  He pointed out that missions in progress were still being funded, new missions such as the EuroMars missions were being scrapped though in the case of Mars, a new program was being created, the Mars Next Decade Program.  Bob went on to say the astronomy budget was being squeezed to finish the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which has its own line item in the budget.  The JWST was decimating the astronomy budget. He pointed out that the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) was being zeroed out in another year or so after it has completed its primary mission.  Turning to manned space, Bob described it as contradictory.  Commercial Crew would receive $830 million but of course congress may change that.  Also, SLS and Orion continue getting around $3 billion.  Bob talked about the flight plan for SLS & Orion and like many others, predicted the program would ultimately be cancelled.  Bob received lots of listener questions by email & phone addressing topics including a nuclear rocket, Mars Direct, DOD space funding issues, and the PR value for NASA for the HSF program.  Bob then suggested that history has shown that if the HSF program suffers, all of NASA suffers and pointed out that is happening now. Later, Marshall called to suggest that ESA might not be able to fund their part of the Mars programs due to European economic problems.  Bob speculated that our cutting participation may actually have been in anticipation of this to avoid problems down the road because of the European economic woes.  At the end of this segment, we talked about the successful European Vega rocket launch. 

In segment two, Bob talked about new information regarding sun spots and climate per a recently reviewed paper.  Check out the story at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-link-between-sunspots-and-climate. We also talked about the 2012 plan proposed by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in its search for Higgs boson.  Listeners brought up the nuclear rocket, the Cassini mission in the budget, and more on JWST.  Bob also reported some new developments with LightSquared, the FCC, and GPS issues.  Tim called in with questions about the sun and an electro magnetic pulse (EMP). As the program ended, I asked Bob for another update on the White Nose Syndrome which has killed lots of bats in the northeast.  Bob closed by saying the upcoming Falcon 9 & Dragon launch plus the Orbital Antares launch may prove to be the most important events of the year.  He said they were risky ventures, especially the Antares launch and program.  

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Bob through me or from his website, Behind The Black.

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