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Jim Plaxco, Monday, 7-14-15 July 15, 2014

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Jim Plaxco, Monday, 7-14-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2279-BWB-2014-07-14.mp3

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Guest:  Jim Plaxco.  Topics:  The ASS ISS science platform, R&D, commercial space, SLS & 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 Jim Plaxco to the program. During the first segment of our 96 minute discussion, Jim initially talked about the recent American Astronautical Society (ASS) conference which had a focus on ISS research.  Jim provided us with a quality discussion about science in space and aboard the ISS.  We addressed many important issues including ISS crew limitations, the probable life expectancy of the ISS, the type of science done on station, & payload size limitations, including returning to Earth.  We talked about private sector experiments, especially those with NanoRacks.

In the same segment, we talked about suborbital science missions which seem to be just around the corner.  Jim sees much that is positive coming from these suborbital science missions.  Suborbital space tourism was also a topic in this segment.  So was the possibility of Bigelow space stations.  As the segment ended, we honed in on the need to lower the cost of space access.  In our second segment, we started off with SLS as our topic.  Jim said he was pro space and cautious at best regarding SLS.  We talked about markets for space projects and both of us suggested an absence of markets for SLS though Jim did reference the Data Purchase Act.  Bigelow Aerospace habs came up for more discussion.  Doug called in and discussed the idea of a separate NASA for science and HSF.  Jim had much to say about this concept.  Near the end of the program, I asked Jim where he thought HSF would be in five years.  We also talked about the suborbitals going orbital (if possible).  Jim suggested the industry faced three challenges including financing, the economy, and the regulatory risks.  Note that technical challenges were not among his top challenges.  Our final topic addressed international partnership for both public and private space ventures.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Jim Plaxco through me.

Dr. Curt Bilby, Monday, 2-17-14 February 18, 2014

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Dr. Curt Bilby, Monday, 2-17-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2189-BWB-2014-02-17.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Curt Bilby.  Topics:  Update on developing RLIP 76 as a radiation countermeasure drug as we as for possible use in space.  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 back Dr. Curt Bilby, CEO of Terapio ( http://terapio.com), to update us on progress with the radiation countermeasure drug RLIP 76, including its potential use to combat and reduce space radiation risks.  We had a one hour update with Dr. Bilby which started with the basics of RLIP 76 which is a naturally occurring protein in the human body.  Dr. Bilby went through the basics with us, told us that since he was last on the show, they have stabilized the shelf life of the product by being able to store it as a white powder and then when needed mix it with saline.  He described the pathway in the body by which RLIP 76 works which is really a supplement to what the body already produces.  We talked about their experimentation and testing under what is known as the FDA Animal Rule which he explained in detail to us.  He also talked about toxicology studies as well as the type of radiation used in testing the product by the independent testing labs at the University of Indiana and Maryland under the management of the NIH.  We discussed the potential uses for RLIP 76 which are prioritized for first responders and those injured but it does have a potential application for space.  Listeners asked our guest several questions about its potential use in space, on the way to Mars, on the surface of Mars, and even on the lunar surface for a lunar settlement.  At one point later in our discussion, I suggested that being able to use RLIP 76 on a lunar settlement a decade or so out might be the first use of it if we escape a nuclear accident, nuclear terrorist attack, etc.  He said such a first usage would be a dream come through as it would mean there were no nuke accidents or attacks and we had a settlement on the Moon!  We did talk at length about the two types of animals used in the testing, plus moving to human trials and what information is sought from the human trials.  We also talked about production and manufacturing for RLIP 76 and I asked if they had future plans for outsourcing the production to another country.  Near the end of our discussion, Dr. Bilby went through the four phases of testing with us as required by the FDA. We also talked extensively about the FDA Emergency Use Authorization for any drug and a listener wanted to know if a Mars mission could apply & be approved for using RLIP 76 as part of their life support mission planning.  Just as the show ended, Doug sent in an email asking about the probability of NASA increasing the amount of radiation allowed if the crews used RLIP 76.  Dr. Bilby answered him by saying pharmaceuticals might change the profile & exposure levels as current standards are for unmedicated crews.  But it was far from certain & NASA might not be the determining agency on the matter.

Post your comments/questions on TSS Blog.  You can contact Dr. Bilby through me or his website.

James (Jim) Bickford, Friday, 2-24-12 February 25, 2012

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James (Jim) Bickford, Friday, 2-24-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1720-BWB-2012-02-24.mp3

Guest:  James (Jim) Bickford. Topics:  Antimatter for space 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 Jim Bickford to the program to discuss antimatter for space propulsion.  In our first segment, Mr. Bickford started our discussion with an introduction to antimatter basics.  While we referenced Star Trek in the discussion, Mr. Bickford was quick to point out that reality was quite different from the sci fi classic though he was a fan of Star Trek. Along with the Apollo program, both played a role in his having his interest in antimatter. In this introduction, I asked Mr. Bickford about antimatter as a weapon but he said it would not be practical.  One of the points stressed by Jim during the entire program was just how little antimatter material there is and how long term the R&D program would be..  He said there is very little in nature and the quantities made worldwide were extremely small, measuring in nanograms produced a year.  Our guest compared antimatter to chemical propulsion and nuclear thermal rockets (NTR).  While the NTR is substantially better than chemical propulsion, antimatter propulsion would be orders of magnitude better than the NTR.  We then talked about supplies of antimatter off Earth and he said the most promosing place was in the rings of Saturn.  He also mentioned solar flares from the sun in the positrons and back on Earth he talked about cosmic rays as well as some material in thunderstorms & ligtening.  Mr. Bickford also discussed what an antimatter spaceship would probably be like.  He discussed fuel tank requirements, containment, even plasma fileds around the spaceship using an electromagnetic field extending out around the spaceship as the containment device.  We talked about the research needed, the steps involved, and the funding.  Our guest repeated many times that antimatter research is high risk in the sense of obtaining success.  As the segment was ending, we talked about antimatter research in the medical field against cancer tumors. 

In our second segment, we talked more about tax payer funded antimatter research and Jim took us through a value stream analysis which was most interesting.  We talked about student interest in antimatter and both the direct and indirect benefits from technology research and development. We then talked about the specifics of antimatter for space development starting with defining the requirements and eventually being able to do a demo. A caller asked if the research had a billion dollars for many years would there be a breakthrough in the 20-30 year time period.  You might be surprised by his answer.  We also talked about a paper and a Power Point poster that he has used regarding his antimatter research.  Both the poster and the paper will be uploaded to The Space Show blog with Mr. Bickford’s permission.  We talked about antimatter and Jupiter based on the poster .  Another question came in about antimatter propulsion being useful for launch from Earth.  This prompted our guest to talk about the antimatter theoretical limit for both ISP and faster than light speed.  As we were talking about the antimatter development process, I asked about the role of luck or serendipity in discovering breakthroughs.  You might be surprised by this answer as well.  In ending our discussion, Jim repeated that antimatter was only at the fundamental research stage and very long term, perhaps even further out than a century but very promosing nonetheless.

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

The two papers discussed on the show can be found below:

1.  Bickford_NIAC_Phase2Year1Report_Aug07_final2

2. COSPAR2008poster