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Dr. Doug Plata, Sunday, 2-24-13 February 25, 2013

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Dr. Doug Plata, Sunday, 2-24-13


Guest:  Dr. Doug Plata.  Topics:  Taking action on one’s space advocacy ideas.  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 Dr. Doug Plata to the program to discuss taking action on one’s space advocacy ideas and plans.  For examples of this, visit Dr. Plata’s  www.lunarcots.com for more information on his Lunar Cots idea and to sign his Lunar Cots petition which he talked about throughout our two hour program.  Dr. Plata said he was not around in the Apollo era plus he only started getting interested in space about 3 years ago.  I commented that he did not bring to the table disappointment and unrealized, perhaps even foolish expectations that many of us who were around during Apollo have experienced, including an expectation of lunar colonies and trips to Mars by now.  Doug had a clean slate to build upon, no legacy issues or unrealized expectations or anything like that.  Doug said his interests are to go BLEO but how?  Based on his analysis, he decided lunar development was first, researched Cislunar development, and developed his Lunar Cots idea based on successes for NASA public/private partnerships such as COTS.  From there, he developed the idea of the Lunar Cots Petition for people to sign and to eventually give NASA and other key policy makers.  He also mentioned that were he to advocate something, he felt it was his responsibility to technically know about the issues so he could accurately represent them to people.  He also said that one person, even with very small steps, could make a difference and he clearly walks that talk.  Part of his Lunar Cots idea addresses the need for a Cislunar Transportation System.  The first John called (from Atlanta) and raised the question about there being sufficient water ice on the Moon.  In his response, Doug referenced the LCROSS mission.

In our second segment, Doug took calls and listener emails.  The discussion about there being sufficient lunar water ice on the Moon continued.  He also talked about automatic equipment for lunar mining as compared to telerobotics.  Doug was asked who he talks with about Lunar Cots and the petition. We heard everyone, from the general public to space enthusiasts.  In talking about space advocacy in general, he said there were many paths and people had to find a path that made sense to them & then figure out a way to act upon their individual advocacy.  John called from Florida and asked about heavy lift and fuel depots.  Another Jon called from New Jersey to ask about doing something, anything, and the use of prizes. Even Charles Pooley got in on the discussion to talk about starting small and his Microlaunchers concept.  Toward the end, Doug was asked by a medical school student why he was not doing aerospace and human factors space medicine.  Also during this segment, both Doug and I talked extensively about finding something to do regarding one’s advocacy, even if it involved stepping out of one’s comfort zone and seemed to be too small an effort.  The reality is that to make a difference, even a small effort can be and is usually beneficial.

Please post your comments/questions on the Space Show blog.  You can email Doug through the address he provided on air or through me.

AIAA Space 2012/CASE Taped Interviews, Part One, Friday, 9-14-12 September 14, 2012

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AIAA Space 2012/CASE Taped Interviews, Part 1, Friday, 9-14-12


Guests:  John Elbon; John Mulholland; Dr. Robert O’Brien.  Topics:  Boeing Commercial Space programs and nuclear thermal propulsion updates.  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. Welcome to Part One of taped interviews made while I was attending the AIAA Space 2012/CASE Conference in Pasadena, CA.  I was assisted in these interviews by Space Show supporter and listener, Dr. Doug Plata.  Part One has three interviews. First is Boeing’s John Elbon who talks about the Boeing commercial space programs.  The next interview is with John Mulholland, also of Boeing, regarding the Space Shuttle, human spaceflight, lessons learned, and the CST 100.  We talked with both Boeing guests about many topics from contracting types to safety, crew abort, launch vehicles, etc.  The final interview is an update on nuclear thermal propulsion and new fuel development with Dr. Robert C. O’Brien of the Center For Space Nuclear Research in Idaho Falls, ID.  Earlier this year, Dr. Howe of the same organization was with us and introduced us to their organization and their nuclear propulsion work.  Dr. O’Brien updated us on their work regarding fuel development, launch characteristics, applications, commercial uses, and more.  Included in our discussion was a detailed segment on why this propulsion is safe, why it is completely different from nuclear weapons as well as nuclear power plants. 

Please post your comments about these three interviews on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you would like to contact either of these guests including our co-host Dr. Plata, send your note to me and I will forward it to them.