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Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 9-16-14 September 17, 2014

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Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 9-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2317-BWB-2014-09-16.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Mike Griffin.  Topics: Human spaceflight policy, political choices, space technology, Mars, Moon, Asteroids 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 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 back to the program Dr. Mike Griffin.  During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Mike talked about human spaceflight (HSF) and the commercial space market.  He said exploration would be a government project or at least with government in the lead, especially if the commercial market was not there.  He threw water on the argument that our space policy was budget driven.  Instead, he talked about it being based on choices we make. It was not and is not about the money.  His comments throughout or discussion on this topic supported his argument.  He even said the cost of space for the U.S. taxpayer was around 15 cents/day.  This discussion evolved to one on the importance of leadership which we agreed was in short supply today.  Included in this discussion was Mike’s vision for our space policy & program, plus he explained its importance and value to our nation both today and for the future.  He spoke to the issue of what society wants and the choices it makes that shape our future.  Space should be part of our national policy debate and hopefully such a debate would enable quality choices to be made that keep us on the leadership edge with all nations.   Mike was asked who he thought would be next on the Moon and he said China.  We also talked about the private sector taking us back to the Moon with HSF.  He said that the private sector could do this, capital was not an issue, but for the private sector to do it there needs to be a closing of the business case which he did not see at this time.  SLS John called in & asked about space advocacy diversity which he said seemed to be at war with NASA & whatever the program of record might be.  Mike had much to say about this, especially about inefficiencies in government organizations and projects.  He also said if the private venture or industry cannot make money, then it should be a federal project. Many times during our discussion he said that there are things that a society should do just because they are hard & they don’t have to look good on the balance sheet.  John also asked about the RD-180 engine, Mike offered us his conclusion as to why we should be a new version of the RD-180 so that we do not continue being dependent on Russia for space related hardware, etc.  Later, he was asked about cislunar space development which he said should be a public enterprise.  He cited many examples and models supporting the public development of this important space infrastructure.  SLS was discussed.  Mike very clearly articulated the case for SLS today and again repeated that SLS future missions are about choices, not the budget.  Don’t miss his comments.  As the segment ended, Randy emailed a question asking for the rational & silver bullet for HSF.  In my opinion, Mike gave an excellent response to this question so don’t miss it.

In the second segment, Mike got some questions about NASA doing more R&D and even forming a NACA-like division or program.  We talked about NASA R&D, the need for a NACA-like program and more.  Dave, our caller, commented on leadership, then Bill in Denver emailed in a question about using fuel depots and smaller launch vehicles rather than heavy lift vehicles like SLS.  Again, Mike had much to say about heavy lift, including that while possible to do smaller vehicle launches., the numbers don’t pan out for efficiency.  You need to listen to this full discussion which also addressed some bogus assumptions regarding inefficient heavy lift decision making.  Nuclear propulsion and Vasimr came up, , then we again focused on vision that takes on big challenges because we can!  More was said on lunar colonies evolving to longer BLEO missions plus cislunar commerce, especially cislunar cargo missions.  Another listener asked about being dependent on the Russians for HSF to the ISS and if shuttle was retired too early.  Mike talked about having wanted to fly shuttle at a minimum rate annually until a new vehicle was operational.  We talked about the role of the congress and White House as compared to the role of the NASA Administrator.  Later, we talked about the role of public support and individuals petitioning congress on space policy.  Listen to his story about the Hubble repair mission.  I even asked if poorly written and fantasy driven letters to informed staffers helped or hurt the cause.  Listen for Mike’s response. In summary, Mike said his wish was that people would share is view that there are important things for society to do but that don’t look good on a balance sheet.  In the end, he said he was optimistic that his positive views on space would prevail and that when policy makers realized that China was going to put people on the Moon and what that would mean for the US, it would not be allowed to happen.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.

Classroom with Drs. John Jurist & Jim Logan, Tuesday, 12-17-13 December 16, 2013

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Classroom with Drs. John Jurist & Jim Logan, Tuesday, 12-17-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2145-BWB-2013-12-17.mp3

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Guests:  Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics: This was a Classroom show on radiation issues for deep space travel, Mars and Moon settlements.  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 Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. John Jurist to this special 2.5 hour Space Show classroom in-depth discussion on space radiation. We focused our discussion on deep space, Mars, the Moon and BLEO missions. Note that on both The Space Show blog (see above) and The Space Show Classroom blog (http://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com),  Dr. Jurist has a Power Point presentation on radiation.  During the program, our guests referred to specific slides that you will want to check out.  In our first segment, Dr. Logan started out by telling us about his interest in the subject, why he has been writing a paper on the subject for publication, and how this Classroom show came about.  He cited our short duration spaceflight experience, the Apollo missions, Space Shuttle flights, and then how things started to change when we had six month ISS visits.  Dr. Logan also made it clear that space was not a benign emptiness type of environment.  He said the reality was that interplanetary space was a sea of disruptive ionizing radiation wrecking havoc on biologic systems.  We moved forward in our discussion from that point.  We talked about the findings of the MSL RAD instrument regarding radiation on the way to Mars and on the surface of Mars.  Both John and Jim spent some time putting the RAD numbers through analysis to let us know what this means for human missions to Mars.  We talked shielding, possible materials, passive and active.  We talked extensively about water and the use of hydrogen as well for shielding.  Our guests addressed the two types of radiation, the GCR (galactic cosmic rays) and the CME/solar flare.  Here, John suggested listeners look at his slide 13 as we talked about protons and neutrons.  Jim said there was no magic bullet and talked about shielding effects of Earth’s atmosphere.  Pay attention here as Jim introduced us to the  RP scale.  For being on the surface, he said nothing less than RP100 would suffice.  For the vehicle, an RP5 was required.  John introduced us to career limits for radiation for men and women astronauts of different age but the career limits are for LEO and not BLEO.  BLEO limits are expected to be more restrictive when made public in April 2014.  Earth Mars transit times were discussed, especially in the context of Brian’s email that suggested a 180 day transit time.  Both our guests said that was unlikely with chemical propulsion and all of us again stressed the need for nuclear thermal propulsion.  Microgravity was talked about, especially in the context of side effects due to the radiation environment.  Jim then brought up the EVA subject and spacesuits.  Briefly, Jim said that quite possibly the ISS construction represented the zenith of EVAs which may become a thing of the past.  Don’t miss why he said this plus his description of serious spacesuit limitations.  We talked about life support to Mars and here Jim suggested we should use Open Loop! Again, listen to the rational behind this recommendation.  Don’t miss what our guests said about theories & movies making it sound easy to go to Mars and that the radiation would be nothing more than just a few more cigarette packs a year.  Our last topic addressed informed consent issues.

In the second segment, I asked our guests for a readiness timetable were there sufficient funding and technology advancements.  I also inquired if Russia, China, and others assessed the radiation risks in a similar way to the U.S.  We then talked about radiation and space pregnancy, fetus development, birth, and informed consent for the fetus, a baby, and a child under 18.  Ethical issues regarding child birth and space pregnancy were talked about as well.  Curt had sent in email questions which our guests answered, especially about drinking irradiated water and microgravity DNA damage & what this may mean for radiation effects.  Next, I asked Jim and John to tell us their 2-5 steps for the start of designing a Mars human mission.  Jim went first and listed Day 1 and Day 2 activities, John listed his top three priorities which were different than those suggested by Jim.  Don’t miss this discussion as its very instructive as to how to do or at least start mission planning for a human mission BLEO.  Roger sent in a question asking if the crew should be senior citizens since they have more resistance to radiation.  Don’t miss what our guests said about this idea.  It may surprise you.  Our next topic was would going to Deimos be easier.  Yes, it would but it would be a very different kind of human  mission.  Jim had some great comments about Mars gravity.  Briefly, he said it was the “best.” Later, when asked to compare the Moon and Mars, our guests said lunar radiation was worse than Mars.  Also, the Mars atmosphere does provide limited shielding while there is no such thing on the Moon.  Jim had earlier talked about a sphere being the perfect shape for an interplanetary spaceship.  Shelia emailed in wanting to know if heavy lift made a difference and if the sphere was so good, why were capsules being used? Don’t miss the response.  We then talked about the complexities of rendezvous and docking, especially in the context of fewer launches (heavy lift) as compared to many more launches (smaller rockets).  Near the end, I asked our guests if either thought our nation, the public, NASA, our leaders and politicians were sufficiently motivated to do a human Mars mission.  Jim did not think so and had much more to say in reply to this question.  John was more pessimistic.  Both thought it was more likely that the private sector would mount a human Mars mission rather than our seeing a government mission, but raising the needed capital might turn out to be a show stopper.  The three of us then talked about what it was like growing up in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s as compared to today.  John and I (John is a bit more than 2 years older than me) were probably more harsh than Jim in our assessment of today, but we all realize that the younger generations will be taking us to space, building the next smartphone and more. I talked about my visits to Google, Apple, SpaceX, etc. and the excitement in the air in belonging in their work forces which does not seem to exist with NASA. This opened the door for Jim to put it on the line about his NASA experiences and the potential opportunities providing NASA can somehow reorganize.  He did not think the type of reorganization he was talking about would happen.  Both our guests left us with excellent takeaway points and concluding pearls of wisdom.

Please post your comments/questions on the blogs. You can reach either of our guests through me.

                                                  Radiation Biophysics and Human Spaceflight