jump to navigation

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 3-28-12 March 29, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 3-28-12

Joh Batchelor, Dr. Darren McKnight, DrSpace on space debris & the ISS

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1745-BWB-2012-03-28.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Darren McKnight, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The ISS and space debris avoidance, space debris mitigation. 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. 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. The topics in this 20 minute plus segment focused on recent news reports regarding the risk to the ISS by incoming space junk.  The six crew members got into their Soyuz lifeboats, sealed the hatch and in the worst case scenario of a hit and damage to the ISS, they were ready for an emergency return to Earth.  You can read about this incident from many sources on the web or you can check out the story here:  www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/13/space-junk-nasa.  Mr. Batchelor started out by asking Dr. McKnight if NASA had Plan B ready given the high number of debris objects in space.  Dr. McKnight talked about the debris that is cataloged and not cataloged, and the risk factor the ISS astronauts accept by going to the space station.  Darren then spent a few minutes talking with us on how solar cycles impact the quantity of space debris in the lower orbits. We also talked about liability issues should debris do damage.  In the latter part of our discussion, John asked Darren about remedies. We talked about them for both the LEO orbits and the higher GEO orbits.  Tumbling Russian rocket bodies were mentioned and I asked how the tumbling is stopped so the rocket body can be mitigated as a piece of debris.  Our discussion ended when John asked Darren if there were space debris cops to enforce debris mitigation efforts on launching companies and countries.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above. If you want to email either John Batchelor or Dr. McKnight, please send your note to me and I will forward it.

Don Kessler, Dr. Darren McKnight, Tuesday, 2-7-12 February 8, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Don Kessler, Dr. Darren McKnight, Tuesday, 2-7-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1707-BWB-2012-02-07.mp3

Guests:  Donald J. Kessler, Dr. Darren McKnight.  Topics:  The National Research Council  report: Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft: An Assessment of NASA’s Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13244). 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 Donald (Don) Kessler and Dr. Darren McKnight to the program to discuss the above mentioned NRC orbital debris report.  Mr. Kessler started us out with the background and reasons for the current NRC study.  He directed us to the list of goals on P. 3 of the report, a list that we talked about during the entire program.  In this introductory discussion, he talked about space policy and the need to clean the space environment, saying mitigation was insufficient on its own.  In talking about the structure, organization and work of the committee doing the study, our guests provided us with a comprehensive description of the space debris problem, the types of technologies being considered for use in addressing the problem, and time lines for LEO, MEO, & GEO intervention.  Listeners asked about behavior in response to comments made by our guests for rules of the road and we took a hard look at intentional acts as compared to behavior out of ignorance or not understanding the problem.  Insurance rates and our decades long history of space activity was made part of the analysis  Some debris technologies and counter measures were talked about such as tethers, satellite drag devices, radar and its issues, and more. I asked both our guests if we were at a point where commercial/entrepreneurial businesses could take hold regarding debris cleanups.  As you will hear, we are getting close but not quite there yet.  Our guests gave us many examples to illustrate the points they were making in this discussion.  As related to the comments on behavior, caller Jon brought up Game Theory along with the Tragedy of the Commons.  One of the main points made throughout the program was that there were lots of variables and uncertainties in how best to deal with debris issues.  The uncertainties make it far more difficult for companies to take action and for policy to be made.  This is a discussion you do not want to miss.  Later, Alistair called in with concern for MEO debris and collisions.  One of his questions concerned potential damage to SSP materials from debris impact.  Our guests had much to say about this issue which might just be an SSP show stopper!  Throughout the first segment, we talked about the need for a NASA & other agency budget increase for cleaning up the space environment, space cleanup expenses, who might pay for them and also the Kessler Syndrome and that even if there were no new launches, the debris issue would continue escalating. 

In our second segment, John called in wondering if down the road using RLVs would help the problem given there would be less space junk hardware left in obit.  As you will hear, it helps but it is not a solution to the debris problem.  During this shorter segment, other ideas were mentioned in the context of their applicability to LEO or another location.  Near the end of the program, Darren said it comes down to paying now or paying much more later. 

Please post your comments/questions for our guests on The Space Show blog.