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Dr. Judith Curry, Monday, 8-24-15 August 25, 2015

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Dr. Judith Curry, Monday, 8-24-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2540-BWB-2015-08-24.mp3

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Guest: Dr. Judith Curry. Topic: Climate science, policy and politics. 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. Judith Curry to the show to discuss climate science as Dr. Curry is a noted climate scientist from Georgia Institute of Technology. Follow Dr. Curry on her exceptional blog, Climate Etc. @ http://judithcurry.com. Her faculty page website at Georgia Tech is http://curry.eas.gatech.edu .

In the first few minutes of our 55 minute discussion with Dr. Curry, I asked her for a brief history & time line of when the issue of climate science got the attention of the public and started to be highly politicized. Dr. Curry traced it back to the late 90s and then the 2001 UN Assessment. I asked her about the partisanship, the public being confused, and more and she said these were normal states to be in regarding climate science which she said several times during the show was a “wicked mess.” Dr. Curry then gave us a brief history of warming trends going back hundreds of years, their possible causes and then she talked about the complexity of climate data and how hard it was to correlate, make assumptions with, and to draw useful conclusions for sound policy making. We talked about multiple sources of data collection from space resources to climate models. Regarding climate models, she said they run hot, everyone knows it, but it is very hard to fix the problem and then she explained why. Listeners asked about bias in the data, news reports, even with other scientists. Bias and the use of proxies to spread this or that perspective on climate science was all too common and is a problem. Another of Dr. Curry’s points was that given the problems with climate data, there are “deep uncertainties” regarding the state of climate science but that does not mean the risks should be ignored. The balancing act is to understand the data as objectively as possible to manage the risks in the best way possible. When asked by listeners about regulations, she said that a better way to mitigate possible climate problems was through the use of technology and innovation. Don’t miss her comments about this, especially as she applied them to the energy business. She also brought up the risk of serious unintended consequences to whatever we do, whatever policies we put in place, again because there is so much uncertainty with the data and the subject is very complex and not lending itself to simple solutions. Dr. Doug called the show to ask about solar cycles. Doug kept asking the question though our guest did respond. Specifically, I believe Doug was asking her how solar cycle length correlates with global surface temperatures. Listen to the exchange and see what you think about this mini-discussion. Later Doug sent me a graphical image related to his series of questions but our discussion had moved on plus I had no way of getting the graph to Dr. Curry for discussion. Listeners asked Dr. Curry about emissions, CO2, regulatory mandates and policy. Another question for Dr. Curry focused on scientific consensus regarding climate change issues. Don’t miss this discussion. BJohn asked about planetary science & solar system climate studies. Later, she was asked about testifying before Congress. Dr. Curry said there was a difference between testifying in the House as compared to the Senate. I asked if she had ever given a presentation to the UN or elsewhere. In response, she talked about her recent experience speaking before Parliament in the UK to the House of Commons. Compare what she said about the UK experience to her congressional experience. Near the end of our discussion, Dr. Curry spoke about her climate change and science blog, Climate Etc. per the above URL. If you are interested in these subjects, following her blog would be highly beneficial. Before the program ended, I asked if her graduate students came to the classes with a bias or if they were open minded in their climate science studies. I then asked if climate science in the U.S. was dependent on who the president was and what party was in power. Dr. Curry had very interesting comments on this plus she gave us the recent history of what happened to the field over the past several administrations, both Democratic and Republican. Finally, I asked how important it might be for the general public to have a good, bias free understanding of climate issues. Her response might surprise you so make sure you hear what she had to say about this and science education in general. A last minute question was asked about the famous hockey stick graph, then our guest provided us with good, solid closing comments.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can email Dr. Curry through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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.

Dr. Donald Rapp, Monday, 4-20-15 April 21, 2015

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Dr. Donald Rapp, Monday, 4-20-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2457-BWB-2015-04-20.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Donald Rapp.  We discussed using indigenous resources to facilitate HSF to Mars, then the great climate change debate based on facts not agendas.  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 to the show Dr. Donald Rapp to discuss two important topics.  In the first segment we addressed using indigenous resources to facilitate human spaceflight to Mars and the MOXIE experiment on Mars 2020.  In the second segment, Dr. Rapp examined the climate change debate without out preconceived belief systems by an honest examination of the data.  To start our first segment, Dr. Rapp talked about the massive amounts of propellant needed for a human mission to Mars which then led us to discussing using resources on Mars to make propellant for the return to Earth.  Our guest was asked about going to Mars via the Moon and using lunar ice to make propellant for the Mars mission.  This proved to be quite a mini-discussion as Dr. Rapp was skeptical about the use of lunar resources including water ice as an assist for a manned Mars mission.  Many listeners asked him challenging questions about his position and conclusions do don’t miss this important discussion.  Later in the segment a listener asked Dr. Rapp about the potential benefits of using nuclear power and nuclear propulsion.  This too was a fascinating mini-discussion so don’t miss it, especially the call on the subject from listener Kris.  Dr. Rapp was asked about the MOXIE experiment which we talked about at length, then he was asked about the need for heavy lift rockets to Mars.  Our guest supported heavy lift which he defined as a 100-120 tons to LEO.

 

In the second segment, climate change was our main topic.  Here he talked about extreme agendas by both the climate alarmists and the climate skeptics and said a new group was emerging which he called the “lukewarmists” who actually and honestly evaluated the data without a preconceived belief system.  Dr. Rapp went through the known facts, the history of the subject, the warming periods, the CO2 levels and where on Earth warming mostly took place though there has been no warming from 1998-2015.  We talked about sunspots and climate change and the impact of El Nino and La Nina.  He also talked about global energy usage and the projected increases for the 21st century and beyond.  The increasing use of power and pollution by China and India were important factors in this discussion.  Listeners had many questions for him including many wanting a way to deal with excessive, costly and unscientific regulations that are forced on the people by politicians who don’t know the facts and have an agenda to their behavior.  No solutions were offered.  A teacher wrote in about the challenges she has teaching factual climate change to her students because parents on both sides of the issue come in and complain that the “truth” was not being taught in the class.  Dr. Rapp offered us concluding remarks around the basic idea that everything is complicated including sending humans to Mars and dealing with climate change issues.

 

Please post your comments on TSS blog.  You can contact Dr. Rapp through me.

MIT Students Analysis of the Mars One Mission Plan, Tuesday, 11-25-14 November 26, 2014

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MIT Students Analysis of the Mars One Mission Plan, Tuesday, 11-25-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2363-BWB-2014-11-25.mp3

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Guests:  Sydney Do, Koki Ho, Sam Schreiner, Andrew Owens.  Topic:  This program provides a comprehensive discussion of the Mars One Mission Plan by the MIT student team.  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 http://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 the MIT team from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to discuss their paper and work “An Independent Assessment Of The Technical Feasibility Of The Mars One Mission Plan.  Download their study at http://web.mit.edu/sydneydo/Public/Mars%20One%20Feasibility%20Analysis%20IAC14.pdf.  You can also download the Reddit discussion mentioned in the second half of our program at http://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/2irk1u/mit_study_predicts_marsone_colony_will_run_out_of.  In addition, check out the MIT Strategic Research Engineering Group at http://strategic.mit.edu.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 49 minute program, Sydney started with background on why the team undertook the Mars One Mission Plan analysis, told us their goals and objectives for doing the analysis, and the role that each team member played in examining the Mars One Mission Plan.  We addressed most of the issues brought to our attention by the MIT study, many in great detail.  We also asked the team about their feedback from the space community as well as Mars One. So far, they have not been in touch with Mars One though they did ask Mars One for information in doing their analysis but no reply was received.  What they have heard from Mars One to date has been through third party reports.  On the other hand, the public’s response has been both very good and helpful.  You will have a better understanding of this and the open source software the team used when you listen to Kirk’s call at the top of the second segment.  The MIT team did not seek out or interview any of the Mars One mission volunteers, advocates, or supporters.  Much was said about Mars One website claims that their mission could be done with current technology including technology used on the ISS.  The MIT team took a hard look at these claims and then evaluated the claims which fell short.  They explained the technologies, the TRLs, and why they fell short of Mars One claims and needs.  We also talked about the ever increasing launch mass every two years with a new crew, supplies, etc.  They showed how this was not sustainable and why.  We talked about the very high number of launches needed before the first crew ever got to Mars plus the increasing number of launches needed at each two year launch window using the Falcon Heavy and a modified Dragon as suggested by Mars One.  The number of launches and their close-in interval has never been done before, even on a global basis.  We talked about making parts on Mars with 3D printing but noted that was not a current technology but that it would evolve over time with no time line available as to when 3D printing could reduce launch masses on the resupply missions.  Much was said about growing crops on Mars, separating the crop environment from the human environment and why, the need for much larger crop space than suggested by Mars One, plus a host of other critically related issues revolving around CO2 and O2.  As you will hear, the logistics of the Mars One settlement are complicated, costly, and very challenging.  The MIT team also determined that it might prove cheaper to bring food up from Earth rather than trying to grow the needed food supplies on Mars.  The MIT team pointed out that the one way mission not only made the Mars settlement far more complex but significantly more costly given it does not have an ending point.  During both segments, our MIT guests pointed out many of the assumptions in play by Mars One, where they were able to work with Mars One assumptions, and when they had to go to the literature, including NASA, to work the problem.  In this segment, I asked out guests at what point would the Mars One settlement be independent from Earth.  Their answer might surprise you.  As the segment closed, a listener asked if they had read the book “The Martian” and what they thought of it.  A few team members had read it & they liked it.  Listen to what they said about that type of survival on Mars and how missions were plan to avoid such a predicament.

 

In the second segment, Kirk was first up with his call from Trinidad.  He talked about the plant models and open source files and the error the MIT team made which they briefly mentioned in the first segment.  This relates to a flaw in the open source program dealing with CO2 and O2.  It’s a good discussion which also took place offline with Sydney and Kirk.  The MIT team is working this problem and error.  This is important so do pay attention to the discussion with Kirk.  Food systems were talked about again with the team suggesting the colony would be better off bringing food from Earth.  INSITU Resource Usage was talked about as well as sustainability issues to get the settlement up to 12 people over several years.  Tim called in asking about a Mars One analog here on Earth and what drove the costs so high for Mars One.  Again, we heard the one way mission was a huge cost driver.  Tim also asked if the costs would be the same for a lunar settlement.  Surprisingly, our guests said the costs would be similar if the lunar settlement was a one way project as the same type of issues would then have to be dealt with just as is the case for Mars.  Our final call was from John in Montana who applauded the team for their realism.  He mentioned that the health of the crew on Mars was not considered but assuming the crew is healthy when it lands on Mars and can live their, as people age, their medical care and costs rise.  As we heard, no such analysis was made or considered for these issues or their ethical component which the MIT team brought up.  Here we learned that the main assumption was a healthy crew from landing on Mars all the way through the Martian settlement process.  Such an assumption is not realistic but to do the analysis, one has to decide at what level an illness or injury will be treated and at what level crew members will not get treatment.  As the team said, to answer these questions also requires a study of ethics.  In fact, given the extreme financial requirements for the mission plan and its continuation every two years, our guests were asked what would happen and who would pay to keep the Martian settlers alive if Mars One defaulted and could not come up with the needed funds to sustain the mission.  While our guests were familiar with this issue, it was not part of their study.  Nobody knows if governments would come to the rescue or if the Martian settlers would be left to their own survival efforts.  The MIT team said these types of ethical issues would need resolution for any Mars settlement mission. They also questioned if it would be sufficient to just sign informed consent documents that included their knowing there would be no rescue attempts for any reason.  They suggested the UN as the forum that might undertake this type of analysis and policy.  As the show was ending, our team was asked about animal food stocks brought from Earth.  Each of our guests offered us closing comments which you will want to hear.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-17-13 September 18, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-17-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2088-BWB-2013-09-17.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: This was a wide ranging discussion starting with climate change & ending with budget, CR, & commercial crew issues.  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.

We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the show for this one hour 55 minute discussion starting with the announcement regarding climate change and the upcoming IPCC report which has been leaked to the press.  The primary topic for this first segment was climate change, the leaked IPCC report and an analysis of it.  Bob fielded listener comments and questions including Marshall’s who had hands on experience with the very first computer climate model in the early 70’s.  Bob summarized all his comments saying that science needed to be skeptical and he was optimistic that skepticism was coming back to the field of climate science.  We then switched to space and NASA for the balance of this program.  As a transition, Bob talked about solar activity and the solar max.  In response to a listener question, he commented that if Mars or anyplace in space were developed using the Antarctica model, it would doom commercial space activity.  He stated over and over again that the model needed was the profit model for space and planetary development.

In the second segment, we talked about new commercial contracts for Arianne 5 recently announced, and how important these were to Arianne who needs to show a profit for the first time.  I asked Bob about NASA’s Redirect Asteroid Mission given all the attention it got last week at AIAA Space 2013.  Bob had much to say about this mission, most of it not supportive or positive, and then I mentioned the NASA press conference which is archived as part of the Space 2013 taped interviews and the fact that it is to be SLS dependent. This started Bob and others on SLS rants, mostly not supportive of it, and also Orion.  Bob was emphatic that Orion with SLS would not be a deep space mission & at one point he cited comments by Russian that their next generation Soyuz would have bathroom facilities on board and Bob said with Orion, it was strictly diapers for the crew.  We talked about Inspiration Mars and Mars One.  Bob was skeptical about both happening. Listen to the reasons he cited for his perspective.  Bob also talked about Bigelow Aerospace and its potential, listeners asked about Planetary Resources and the Redirect Mission, then we talked about the need to lower the launch costs to LEO.  Bob brought us current with SpaceShip2 & the latest powered demo flight, then John called in to argue about SLS with Bob.  This was an interesting give and take.  As Bob has done on other programs, he continued saying he does not want a space program which is a government program which in his eyes is doomed to failure.  He wants the private sector to prevail.  As the show was ending, I asked Bob for this thoughts on the budget, CR, and future commercial crew funding .

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Check out Bob’s website, www.beyondtheblack.com.  You can email bob through is website or using zimmerman at nasw dot org

Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12 June 20, 2012

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Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1799-BWB-2012-06-19.mp3

Guest:  Walter Cunningham.  Topics:  An inside view of the American space program from Apollo to today.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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 Walt Cunningham to discuss our space program from Apollo through today’s developing commercial space industry.  For more information, visit his website, www.waltercuningham.com.  You can buy “The All-American Boys: An Insider’s Look At The U.S. Space Program” from Amazon & they will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF if you use this URL: www.amazon.com/All-American-Boys-Walter-Cunningham/dp/1876963247/ref=onegiantlea20.  I started the discussion by asking Walt about his perspective on Apollo 7 today, 44 years later.  Walt had some interesting things to say about perspective, especially over the past 10-20 years as compared to when he actually carried out the mission.  A few times during our discussion, questions came up about the so called “mutiny” with the crew & NASA ground control so listen to how Walt described what was mostly a non-event despite media & blog reports to the contrary.  He did talk about Wally Schirra, his head cold & the Actifed commercials, but there was far more to the mission & to the significance of Apollo 7.  Dr. Jurist asked about the ride on a Saturn 1B, professors & experiences while both were at UCLA.  We discussed risk regarding his ride on the Saturn 1B. Walt had much to say about risk during the Apollo era as compared to now.  We extrapolated from this discussion to Columbia’s foam issues. We talked about commercial space.  Walt suggested that today’s commercial space efforts were not purely commercial given government funding & missions. He also said that retiring the shuttle when we did was a big mistake.  He then took us through a cost analysis process to illustrate that space is & always will be costly.  At the end of the first segment, one way trips to Mars & reality TV show funding were mentioned.

In the second segment, Terry called with questions about Von Braun. Walt had high praise & much to say about Von Braun & his experiences with him.  Commercial space came up again & I asked him about asteroid mining.  He did not think it would be a good investment & talked about the need to pay attention to the laws of physics.  We talked about He3 on the Moon, fusion energy possibilities & more.  I read an email from a London listener asking about the Apollo rocket & mission sounds on Apollo 7.  We talked some more about the problems on board Apollo 7, this time regarding Wally & the TV broadcast delay & the wearing of the newly designed helmets during reentry.  Walt talked about climate change & global warming, urging people to do their own research & examine the data rather than believing what people had to say regardless of their position.  John in Atlanta called in about global warming & said that there was no practical mitigation strategy. Our guest shared what he perceived to be the true motivation of global warming extremists.  John also talked about having built a next gen space shuttle from the old space shuttle to avoid retiring it or having to build an entirely new & very costly program.  Walt supported that idea but history proved otherwise.  Toward the end we discussed the pros & cons of international cooperation & competition, Ares 1 as a safe rocket for HSF, & the cost of the ISS being more due to international cooperation.  Our final topic was risk versus reckless behavior & the difference between the two.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.