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Erik Seedhouse, Monday, 9-15-14 September 16, 2014

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Erik Seedhouse, Monday, 9-15-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2316-BWB-2014-09-15.mp3

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Guest:  Erik Seedhouse.  Topics:  Erik’s latest book, “Beyond Human: Engineering Our Future Evolution,” & human modification for long duration spaceflight.  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 Erik Seedhouse back to the program to discuss his latest book “Beyond Human: Engineering Our Future Evolution.”  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Erik talked about long duration spaceflight and critical issues in radiation and microgravity that he believes may force changes or modifications in humans in order to survive the trips and live on Mars or another celestial location.  He also talked about changes here on Earth such as advances in bioprinting, especially for organs.  Our guest spent lots of time on the radiation challenges, shielding, and the need for possible genetic modification.  Another point he made was for nuclear propulsion to cut the travel time to Mars and other locals down and make the voyage safer.  His favorite advanced propulsion system was Vasimr.  Dr. Rowe called in and brought up his concerns with the cardiovascular  (CV) system in space, a subject Bill has talked about on many Space Show programs.  Erik’s research did not focus on the CV system so he was unable to comment on what Dr. Rowe was discussing.  Next, Erik spoke about muscle atrophy and other microgravity challenges and suggested human modification would address those areas as well.  He also talked about animal and human cloning, then a listener brought up a subject from our recent open lines program re pregnancy, childbirth, and kids in space.  Erik suggested there might be sterilization as a requirement or abortive medication on board.  I commented that this would cause a firestorm with the public, especially on publicly financed missions.

In our second segment, our lead off topic was a Posthuman/Transhuman future.  Erik cited examples and also used the classic movie Gattaca as an example.  Listener Paul sent in an email about the ethics behind what Erik was talking about.  Erik was asked about the lifespan of humans that might live on Mars or the Moon, then Ben asked if long duration spaceflight and humans in space were an economic driver for human genetic engineering.  Erik said no, that it was a very small part of the industry with organ printing as one of the major drivers.  Todd inquired about exercise and this led Erik to talk about genetic screening to select the most qualified people for the spaceflight missions.  As we neared the end of the show, Erik told us about his next book about expeditions, then he talked about Virgin Galactic and XCOR.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Erik through me. Also, when buying the book, use the Amazon OGLF portal so Amazon will contribute to The Space Show.

Dr. Scott Hubbard, Sunday, 9-2-12 September 3, 2012

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Dr. Scott Hubbard, Sunday, 9-2-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1846-BWB-2012-09-02.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Scott Hubbard.  Topics:  Our Mars mission projects from the perspective of our first NASA Mars Czar.  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. Welcomed Dr. Scott Hubbard to the program to discuss his new book, “Exploring Mars: Chronicles From A Decade Of Discovery.”  If your buy the book using the following Amazon URL, Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/OGLF:  www.amazon.com/Exploring-Mars-Chronicles-Decade-Discovery/dp/0816528969/ref=onegiantlea20.  In our first segment, Dr. Hubbard talked about being selected as the first Mars Program Director after we lost both the MarsClimate Orbiter (MCO) and the Mars Polar Lander (MPL).  He also told us the story of how he got dubbed the first Mars Czar.  His story is fascinating, from how he was asked to do this by then NASA Administrator Dan Goldin to what the Blue Ribbon Panels said about why we lost both MCO and MPL.  We talked at length about the lessons learned from these losses, the review panels, and from the Faster, Better, Cheaper program strategy.  Given Dr. Hubbard’s experience as the program director, I asked lots of questions about getting program approval and keeping that approval over time with Congress.  Dr. Hubbard was most insightful about this process.  Other related topics discussed in this segment included risk, planetary science budgets, private sector companies such as SpaceX, and mission oversight and its cost.  We talked about private missions to Mars and what is referred to as the Holy Grail for Mars missions, a sample return mission.  We went into some detail regarding the sample return mission and Dr. Hubbard let us know why it was so important as well as to outlining a three part strategy for doing a Mars sample return mission.  As our segment ended, we talked about internationalization of our Mars mission programs.
In our second segment, Dr. Jurist asked our guest for some comparisons with the robots versus humans to Mars missions.  You do not want to miss what Dr. Hubbard said in reply to this set of questions.  Doug called in to inquire about cost comparisons for more robots over one human mission.  Doug also raised some interesting points about the sample return mission planning.  I then asked our guest about advocate lobbying for Mars and space policy and if it was effective given his experience with Congress, staffers, and the legislative process.  The value proposition issue came up in this segment regarding both robotic and human missions.  A listener then asked about the focus on space settlement by several advocate organizations and many in the NewSpace community.  Don’t miss what Dr. Hubbard had to say about settlement as a goal, especially when compared to exploration as a NASA goal.  Toward the end, I asked about the follow the water theme throughout his book and why that was so important for the Mars missions to date.  As we learned, the next phase of Mars missions will likely focus on the fingerprints of life, following the signs that may lead to discovering organics or even more. As our discussion was ending, we did talk about finding life on Mars & educational outreach.
Please post your comments/questions on the blog.  If you want to email Dr. Hubbard, send your note to me for forwarding.