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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.

 

 

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Dr. Martin Elvis, Monday, 8-11-14 August 12, 2014

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Dr. Martin Elvis, Monday, 8-11-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2294-BWB-2014-08-11.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Martin Elvis.  Topics:  Asteroid mining, commercial space, NASA.  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 Dr. Martin Elvis to the program to discuss asteroid mining, commercial space, NASA & more.  In the fist segment of our 91 minute discussion, after telling us about an asteroid being named after himself, Martin responded to my question about what he sees as our future in space.  Dr. Elvis answered this question throughout both segments of today’s program, making it clear that he sees solutions and development through astronomy & commercial space, not NASA.  He began talking about our great space telescopes and the fact that the budgets are not there for such great tools and instruments to continue and be sustained, even to the tune of not being able to properly support the JWST.  He had much to say on rising costs, budgets and when I asked about priorities, he said how much is the right amount to make space exploration, science, even HSF, a priority?  What is their information worth compared to other worthy causes and uses for federal money?  This analysis has led him to understand the future rests with commercial space to pay for space programs and ventures rather than relying on government funds.  We then jumped into mining asteroids and the commercial potential of this emerging industry.  He talked about initial small markets, maybe 10 worthy asteroids for mining or possibly doubling that number given uncertainties and risks associated with the formula for estimating the number of commercially viable asteroids.  Do not miss this discussion as I am sure we will be referring to it frequently in future Space Show program discussions.  The size and type of asteroid matter as you will hear with mining needing at least a 100 meter wide asteroid in the billion dollar range with Delta V requirements that are cost effective for getting to and from the target.  Primarily we talked about water and PGM re asteroids.  Listeners asked questions about trillion dollar asteroids per press reports, he looked them up and said the Delta V to get there, land, etc., was simply too high, a fact often ignored by articles referencing potential asteroid value.  Doug emailed in about smaller asteroids, say 20 meters.  Dr. Elvis had much to say about the smaller asteroids and their mining potential as well.  Toward the end of the segment, we talked about regulatory and legal-illegal acts including the possibility of a competing company hijacking an asteroid for commercial purposes.  Don’t miss what he said about this.

In the second segment, we started with a call from Doug.  Doug and Martin had a log discussion as Doug wanted to compare mining potentials for asteroids and the Moon.  Later, we talked more about space telescopes and Doug wanted to know if Hubble could be pointed in the direction of the sun for specific reasons.  Later, we talked about Rosetta and P67.  B John in Sweden sent in lots of questions about why not mine the Moon rather than an asteroid.  Martin explained the value of going to an asteroid for mining and getting virgin scientific info over the Moon so listen to this discussion.  Other topics included economics, depressing prices of PGM here on Earth by bringing this material back to Earth, zero G issues, Pluto, Kuiper Belt Objects and more.

Please post comments/questions on TSS Blog above.  You can reach Dr. Elvis through me.

John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 8-7-13 August 8, 2013

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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 8-7-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2064-BWB-2013-08-07.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Alan Hale, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Comet ISON.  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, www.johnbatchelorshow.com.  Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

During our 11 minute plus discussion, John, Dr. Alan Hale, and I talked about the approaching comet ISON.  We talked about the brightness theories representing everything to that of as bright as a full moon to it fizzling out and not being very bright. We talked about the theory on this proposed by Dr. Ferrin, but Alan believed it was still way too early to make accurate predictions about this first time comet from the Ort Cloud.  Alan described the sublimation process, its path and flyby near Mars on or about August 20, then on to pass by Mercury and as a sungrazing comet,  finally be visible on Earth in late November 2013.  Dr. Hale was also asked to describe the tails of a comet, the dust tail and the ion tail.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact any of  us through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

 

Dr. Paul Abel, Tuesday, 7-2-13 July 3, 2013

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Dr. Paul Abel, Tuesday, 7-2-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2041-BWB-2013-07-02.mp3

 

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Guest:  Dr. Paul Abel.  Topics:  We discussed the BBC Sky At Night Program, astronomy & telescopes, UK observing 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 of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.   Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

We welcomed Dr. Paul Abel to the program to discuss the BBC television show, The Sky At Night (www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mk7h).  During the first segment of our 1 hour 31 minute program, Dr. Abel introduced us to the Sky At Night show which was started by Sir Patrick Moore in April 1957.  Dr. Abel described the focus and objectives of the program and we talked about some of their projects including the “Battle of the Forces” tug of war video which is on their website, plus their just completed Summer Solstice program which was filmed at Stonehenge.  We came back to talking about Stonehenge, mythology, rituals, and customs many times throughout the discussion.  I asked Dr. Abel about British commercial space companies such as Surrey Satellite but since they are publicly funded, their focus and goals are different as they address mostly space and science topics.  Dr. Abel talked about the many British astronomical societies plus the overall interest in astronomy and these societies within the UK.  We talked some about human spaceflight, including the Mars One venture.  Listeners asked about astronomy and telescopes and we learned that our guest is not in favor of what he called “go to telescopes.”  Instead, he suggested we should learn how to map the night sky and navigate our way around it with an equatorial telescope.  Listeners also wanted to know about observing and dark skies in the UK.  I asked questions about the relationship of astronomy and theoretical physics.  Another listener asked for a definition of Hawking Radiation.  Comets came up along with their mythology, plus the Kepler Space Telescope and Voyager 1.

In our second segment, Ben asked about SETI in the UK.  This started a rather involved and fun discussion about ET and the search for life using radio telescopes as well as by other means.  Also mentioned in this segment was amateur astronomy as compared to professional astronomy, Star Trek & its devices such as the transporter.  Paul received questions about his home observatory and telescopes.  A possible Europa mission was mentioned and we were both excited about that potential.  I asked our guest about STEM issues in the UK & observing in London’s Regis Park.  Sine we had spent some time talking about the search for life and ET, we talked about some ET sci-fi movies including Contact, Alien, & Star Trek.  As we were about to end, Tim called wanting to ask more about Skylon, a possible UK launch site near the equator, and the emerging UK Space Agency.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email our guest through me.

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 3-27-13 March 28, 2013

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 3-27-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1982-BWB-2013-03-27.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Alan Hale, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Comets approaching Earth, the sun, and Mars.  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, www.johnbatchelorshow.com.

During our 11 minute plus discussion with Dr. Alan Hale, we talked about comets passing by Earth at this time, approaching Earth, the Sun and even Mars. We talked about what made Hale-Bopp such a special comet, the ORT Cloud, the possibility of Comet 2013 A1 actually hitting Mars in October of 2014 and what that might mean for our Mars exploration program with the rovers and orbiting satellites.  We also discussed PANSTARRS which is now leaving its Earth flyby, the approaching comet ISON, and much more.  Comet culture, lore, and mythology was also discussed.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact any of  us through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. John S. Lewis, Wednesday, 2-20-13 February 24, 2013

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Dr. John S. Lewis, Wednesday, 2-20-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1955-BWB-2013-02-20.mp3

Guest:  Dr. John S. Lewis.  Topics:  The Chelyabinsk meteorite, Asteroid 2012 DA14, the Chinese program 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.

We welcomed back Dr. John Lewis to discuss recent meteorite impacts, NEO flybys, asteroid minding, the Chinese space program and more.  In the first segment of our 90 minute program, Dr. Lewis talked briefly about accepting the position of Chief Scientist for the new company, Deep Space Industries.  He also spoke in general terms about this emerging industry.  Our initial caller asked Dr. Lewis about his writing science fiction so you will hear about that as well.  We then turned our attention to the Chelyabinsk meteorite and the flyby of Asteroid 2012 DA14.  Visit www.johnslewis.com for detailed information on these events plus much more.  The Russian meteorite  was estimated to be about 10,000 tons or the mass of a U.S. Navy cruiser.  Dr. Lewis explained why it was not detected before hitting the atmosphere.  We then speculated on what would have happened had it come in over a large city such as London.  Dr. Lurio called in to talk about his joining Deep Space Industries as the Chief Scientist.  Charles also wanted to know about the previous announcements that he would be an advisor for Planetary Resources.  Dr. Lewis explained this and corrected misunderstandings regarding the issues addressed by the question.  Jack sent in an email seeking mining comparisons here on Earth to those in space given his being in mining country in Virginia.  Another listener asked about the potential dollar value of the Chelyabinsk meteorite.  In his response, John suggested the best value for using asteroids in space re ISRU.  Another question came up about hollowing out an asteroid and using it for HSF travel.  Dr. Lewis talked about this idea dating back to 1918 and Robert Goddard.  Kelly asked about moving an asteroid to a low lunar orbit and if a human mission to a NEO was a good stepping stone for a human flight to Mars. John had much to say to us on both of Kelly’s questions.

In the second segment, we opened with my asking John about the Chinese space program and their high launch rate.  Don’t miss John’s comprehensive answer about both the Chinese military space program and their quasi-civil space program.  It was most informative.  Next, John told us about an incident when he was 13 years old living in a Boston suburb with what was probably a meteorite coming in overhead that disturbed his entire neighborhood.  It’s a fascinating story that illustrates events like we just saw in Russia are fairly common throughout history.  Don’t miss this story!  Another topic in this segment was the low quality science and news reporting in this country. Dr. Lewis expressed concern about this with some explanations to help us understand the reality of today’s news reporting services.  Listener Bruce sent in an email asking about nuclear explosions to deflect a larger asteroid and doing such tests in space.  Again, Dr. Lewis had much to say and offer us on this issue.  This led to a discussion on detecting Earth-bound NEOs, what sizes we can and cannot detect today, the amount of warning time we might have and more.  Near the end of our discussion, Emma in NYC sent in a note asking John what the Chelyabinsk meteorite  would have looked like had it come in over a Martian settlement.  John’s response was fascinating and very descriptive.  Pooley sent in an email with the classic NASA NEO website, http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/ca.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach Dr. Lewis through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com or his own blog per above.

Dr. Robert Farquhar, Sunday, 3-25-12 March 26, 2012

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Dr. Robert Farquhar, Sunday, 3-25-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1742-BWB-2012-03-25.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Robert Farquhar.  Topics:  Our discussion centered around his memoirs in his new book and his space involvement over fifty years.  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. Robert Farquhar back to the program to discuss his new book, “Fifty Years On The Space Frontier: Halo Orbits, Comets, Asteroids, and More.”  If you purchase the book using the following Amazon link, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF:  www.amazon.com/Fifty-Years-Space-Frontier-Asteroids/dp/1432759272/ref=onegiantlea20.  Dr. Farquhar started out by talking about his early interest and work in aviation and space, gradually taking us up to and including the missions he has described in his excellent book.  Among some of the points he made included that in the early years, there was much more independent freedom for those working on missions while today things are done by consensus, committees, etc. When asked if the missions were improved and the costs contained by the newer methods, he said he did not think so. Its an interesting discussion you will want to hear.  He highlighted several of the early missions and we talked quite a bit about the halo orbit and Lagrange points.  He also told us stories about plaques he snuck on missions, trying to arrange one mission arrival to coincide with his birthday and more.  Great stories and for sure you will have a smile if not an outright laugh when listening to Dr. Farquhar.  He also said all of the stories he was telling us were in his book.  Later in the longer first segment we talked about human spaceflight and why he supports SLS/Orion.  This discussion took us into a more extensive conversation about L1 and L2 missions in the Earth-Moon system.

In the second segment, listeners asked about L4 with the 2010 TK7 asteroid, New Horizons, Pluto, Mercury, and more.  Bob told us additional stories, including some about the photos used in the book.  The JWST came up as did additional funding for NASA.  Bob did not think more funding was needed but thought the existing money could be used better.  The Kuiper Belt was discussed as were asteroid issues in general along with specific missions.  Neat the end of the show, I asked Bob if his space work & expertise has given him perspectives on the existence of ET.  This is a brief discussion you do not want to miss!

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.