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Dr. Gil Levin, Friday, 9-25-15 September 26, 2015

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Dr. Gil Levin, Friday, 9-25-15

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Guest: Dr. Gil Levin. Topics: Live on Mars per the Viking Labeled Release experiments plus modern research analysis. 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. 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 Dr. Gil Levin back to the show to discuss Mars new updates, the possibility of life on Mars, and news based on his Viking Labeled Release life detection experiments from the two Viking missions to Mars in 1976. During the first segment of our 93 minute show, Dr. Levin told us about three important announcements that have either happened or will happen. The first was is by the ISRO in India saying they would release their methane experiment data from their Mars orbiter on Oct. 1. We discussed the implications of Martian methane later in the program. The second announcement which will take place on Monday, Sept. 27 with an afternoon NASA press conference is expected to announce the confirmation of flowing water on Mars. All NASA will say is they are going to finally disclose answers about a significant Mars mystery that has finally been answered. The speculation all points to water. The third news announcement was that the Viking 1 landing site from 1976 has been selected by the appropriate NASA team as the first landing site for the Mars human mission. Dr. Levin spent most of the rest of the first segment talking about the Viking Labeled Release experiments, why the science continues to be rejected today and some theories behind the rejection. Some of this discussion followed us into the second segment. I asked Gil to describe what a modern life detection experiment would consist of and he went into that in some detail. Gil was asked if he believed in conspiracy theories. He did not want to go there but we did talk about them from time to time during the show. BJohn for example suggested NASA did not want to announce life on Mars for fear of planetary protection rules and policies stopping their humans to Mars program. We also talked about that being a possible stumbling bloc for wealthy private sector space entrepreneurs to launch their own life detection experiment because planetary protection rules would impact their plans just as they would NASA. The 25 year NASA Roadmap to Mars program came up and like many others, Dr. Levin did not think it was credible. We spent mor time discussing wealthy private sector people possibly funding their own Mars science and eventual human missions. Gil addressed methane on Mars in some detail and what finding it on Mars may mean for life detection. He was also asked if he could propose experiments for missions from other national space agencies. He said he could but then told how he was doing that for Russia in 1996 & then the mission was cancelled because the US blocked him from exporting and talking about Carbon 14. As the first segment ended, Gil identified scientists that had published credible research in support of life on Mars. Don’t miss what he had to say about the scientists, their work, and what happened when it was published.

In the second segment, Gil suggested that possibly his work was dismissed because he was an engineer, not a scientist. He talked about this possibility in some detail. I asked him to support his contention that life existed on Mars now. For a significant part of this segment, he listed experiment after experiment, solid evidence, some solid theory, all in support of and to back up his claims. It was a convincing impressive list so don’t miss this part of the discussion. Ben from Chicago challenged Gill with a few hard hitting questions about his work being dismissed. Essentially he asked Gil if he might just be dismissed because he is seen as an old, angry guy, fighting for his decades old experiment to be valid so his claims and efforts are pretty much dismissed for those reasons. Gil agreed with part of it and said he was looking and hoping for younger, more open minded researchers to take a fresh look at the data. We talked about open minded researchers, their organizations, and institutions for a good portion of this segment. As the show was nearing its end, we talked about NASA life detection experiments that flirted with detecting past or present live as compared to experiments designed to confirm once and for all life or no life. As the show was ending, BJohn asked why everyone was in such a hurry to do the life detection experiments given Mars was not going anywhere. I thought Gil gave a terrific answer to this question which also served as his conclusion to our discussion. Don’t miss his response to BJohn. Let us know what you think by posting your thoughts on the blog.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Gil Levin through me.

Dr. Gil Levin, Friday, 1-23-15 January 24, 2015

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Dr. Gil Levin, Friday, 1-23-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2399-BWB-2015-01-23.mp3

Guest: Dr. Gil Levin. Topics: Searching for life on Mars, 1976 Viking Labeled Release Experiments 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 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 Dr. Gil Levin to discuss searching for and finding microbial life on Mars. During the first segment of our 86 minute program, Dr. Levin first responded to an email question about the type of science equipment needed to find life on Mars & why was it missing from Curiosity. He also wanted to know if it could be added to the Mars 2020 mission. As Dr. Levin pointed out, MSL and Curiosity were not equipped with any life detection instrumentation. As for Mars 2020, it will collect samples and store them for a future sample return mission to Earth. Dr. Levin had much to say about a sample return mission as part of this discussion. Dr. Levin then went over his Label Release Experiments (LRE) from the 1976 Viking Landers and said many times during the show that not only was it suitable for detecting life, it did detect life. Gil then spent the better part of the first segment talking about life detection on Mars, the need to convene an expert panel to look at all the data available today to come to scientific conclusions about microbial life on Mars and more. Listeners emailed many questions to Dr. Levin asking about bacteria that could survive in the Mars environment, perchlorates, & XE-129. Doug from S. California phoned in and wanted to know if NASA had made a choice not to detect life on Mars as he thought they were avoiding doing so. Doug had several additional questions for Dr. Levin.

In the second segment, Kirk called to ask about the chiro experiment, LRE, and the use of fresh samples. Following up on what I asked our guest as the earlier segment ended, I asked Gil what was wrong with the step by step methodology NASA was using regarding Mars life research. Later he talked about the LRE being an effective tool for today, its use of Carbon 14, then he talked about putting a microscope on Mars and why that would be beneficial. I asked Gil if he had anticipated the controversy surrounding the LRE and he said no. Another listener asked about first going to one of the Martian moons. Gil explained why he thought that was a bad idea. He was also asked about Europa instead of Mars 2020. We talked about the high interest level in finding life on Mars and Gil said he believed that their was microbial life on Mars today. Another listener wanted to know if the results of the Viking experiments were only valid for the two Viking locations or most likely widespread on Mars. Gil explained why the findings were most likely applicable across Mars. We discussed Mars and our space policy & he was asked about both RNA and DNA. Don’t miss his final comment about Occam’s razor and Martian DNA.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can email Dr. Gil Levin through me.

Dr. Henry Lambright, Monday, 7-7-14 July 8, 2014

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Dr. Henry Lambright, Monday, 7-7-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2274-BWB-2014-07-07.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Henry Lambright.   Topics: Dr. Lambright’s book “Why Mars” & the politics, policy, history, & methodology of our Mars program.  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 Professor Henry Lambright of Syracuse University to the show to discuss his excellent book “Why Mars: NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration.”  During the first segment of this 1 hour 33 minute program, Dr. Lambright introduced us to his book and what prompted him to write it.  Dr. Lambright then described three main motivating factors for having our Mars program starting with before NASA with the belief and cultural components suggesting some sort of life on Mars.  Next as a motivating factor dating back from the Von Braun time frame of humans going to Mars.  His third motivating factor had to do with political issues and competition.  Since we were talking about the possibilities of life on Mars, I asked our guest about Viking and the more recent pronouncements by Dr. Gil Levin who has been on TSS several times over the past few years.  Later, Dr. Lambright had many good things to say about our science and robotic program but said our human spaceflight program was in disarray.  Dr. Lambright got several listener emails & phone calls.  He was asked for the WHY behind human spaceflight and that led to a discussion about Big Science. I asked him to define Big Science which he did.  We talked about the NRC Pathways HSF study, then our guest talked about triggers leading to big events and progress, plus the more typical method of moving forward which he called slow evolution.

Jumping forward to our second segment, we talked about the Clinton years in the 90s for policy, Mars Observer & how that loss was turned into a plus for our Mars policy.  Other topics included astronaut risk taking, the void in leadership for space, Mars, and things in general.  Doug called to consolidate all the motivating factors and issues to just one, the need for more money.  He made a good case for this consolidation.  We also talked about the challenges for getting alternative theories seriously considered by NASA, Congress, and policy makers.  The NASA to NACA suggestion came up, we talked about the privates taking over LEO with NASA focusing on BLEO & advanced technologies.  As the program was ending, I asked our guest about the Syracuse student interest in space and Mars, plus our guest left us with an important closing comment.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. If you want to reach Dr. Lambright, you can do so through me.  Finally, if you buy his book from Amazon, do so through the OGLF Amazon portal so that Amazon will contribute to The Space Show.  Instructions are in each archive write up and on the blog, plus both The Space Show and OGLF websites.

Robert Walker, Friday, 3-14-14 March 15, 2014

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Robert Walker, Friday, 3-14-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2207-BWB-2014-03-14.mp3

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Guest:  Robert Walker.  Topics:  Artificial gravity, Earth gravity, life on Mars, 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 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 Robert Walker from the UK to discuss artificial gravity with us given our recent Space Show programs on the subject.  There was an audio issue with this program so listen carefully so you don’t miss anything.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Robert went over some of the basics such as the Coriolis effect, the gravity gradient, tethers, centrifuges, the vestibular effect, and more.  He also went over linear acceleration, spin rates, Russian experiments, issues facing space tourists, and spinning a Dragon capsule.  Robert has written many articles on artificial gravity which can be found at www.science20.com/space.  One such article was discussed yesterday. See  www.science20.com/robert_inventor/blog/ingeious_idea_soyuz_crew_tether_spin_way_iss_artificial_gravity_almost_no_extra_fuel-131278.  Also, check out www.science20.com/print/131279; www.science20.com/print/131278 & www.science20.com/print/129424.

In our second segment, Robert talked about both Inspiration Mars and Mars One as it relates to spinning to create artificial gravity, the number of revolutions per minute, simulate programs, and his favorite, a 2-3 year precursor mission at Earth L2.  He wants the mission designed to be a comprehensive test bed for artificial gravity.  Later in the segment while discussing Mars, he suggested we orbit Mars and not land on the planet.  Listen to his reasoning for this type of human Mars mission.  For one thing, he said its much safer to be in orbit.  We then focused on the possibility of microbial life on Mars, we talked about the Viking Labeled Release experiments.  Robert was asked a question about the sleeping centrifuge (you sleep horizontal as one does on Earth).  Partial gravity was discussed as well.  Robert said many times that we must find out what is going on with Mars. He mentioned the Phoenix mission which Mars One is planning to copy to some degree with its robotic mission to Mars in 2018.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Robert via his articles or through me.

Dr. Gil Levin, Sunday, 3-9-14 March 10, 2014

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Dr. Gil Levin, Sunday, 3-9-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2203-BWB-2014-03-09.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Gil Levin.   Topics:  Possible life on Mars, Viking Labeled Release Experiments, Chiral Labeled Release Experiments.  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.  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.

Dr. Gil Levin returned as our guest to continue his discussion about the Viking Landers and the search for life through the labeled release experiments.  In the first segment of our 95 minute show, Dr. Levin explained the labeled release experiment plus he went through the analysis and conclusions which point to Viking having found molecular life on Mars.  He talked at length about the refusal of NASA to confirm these findings though in private many scientists, including several from NASA, have told him that his conclusions are likely correct.  Gil also talked about several recent television appearances he has had regarding the Viking landers and his experiment.  Listeners asked him many questions, including what NASA is doing to continue the search for life on Mars.  He said nothing and then talked about Curiosity & some of the other rovers and orbiting satellites and what they are focused on doing.  He also talked scheduled experiments but have yet to be done.  It is worth noting that the Viking 1 and Viking 2 landers sat down 4,000 miles from one another yet their labeled release experiments produced similar results.  Gil mentioned some concern for the durability of the Curiosity rover, specifically its wheels as well as the quality of scientific journalism and the press.  He is hoping key experiments are done prior to the end of Curiosity.

In the second segment, we talked about a Mars sample return mission.  Gil was not supportive of such a mission due to the risk of the samples being toxic to us here on Earth.  We had quite the discussion on this subject.  John from Ft. Worth called wondering about the impact life on Mars would have on us here on Earth.  Next, Gil was asked what experiments should be done to confirm life on Mars.  Gil talked about doing a chiral labeled release experiment.  Don’t miss our detailed discussion on this experiment and why it would be so important to do it on Mars.  Toward the end, we talked about Dr. Levin’s current work, his teaching, and his perseverance for confirming the findings of the Viking 1 and 2 labeled release experiments.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Dr. Levin through my address, drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Alan Boyle, Tuesday, 2-25-14 February 26, 2014

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Alan Boyle, Tuesday, 2-25-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2199-BWB-2014-02-25.mp3

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Guest:  Alan Boyle.  Topics:  Alan discussed a wide range of topics including HSF, suborbital flights, science, Mars & 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 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.  Note that there was scattered phone line noise from time to time during our discussion.

We welcomed Alan Boyle back to the show for this 1 hour 42 minute discussion on numerous space news items & topics.  During our first segment, Alan talked about the “two year rule” which suggests space tourism & suborbital commercial flights are just two years away.  Throughout the program Alan kept suggesting that 2014 might be the end of the two year rule!   Alan gave us an overview of the spaceflight companies building vehicles.  Our next topic was the Yamato Meteorite, a Mars meteorite that may indicate past life on Mars.  He compared this to the 1996 meteorite announcement and said that some of the Yamato team members were the same as those addressing the 1996 “discovery” (www.nbcnews.com/#/science/space/tiny-blobs-tunnels-meteorite-revive-debate-over-life-mars-n38431).  In talking about Mars, I brought up the Viking experiments by Dr. Gil Levin , then a listener emailed in a question about the UK Tom Bower book on Branson, “Behind the Mask.”  Georgia followed with a question about the forthcoming NASA commercial crew down select, then I asked Alan for his view of SLS.  Alan said it definitely had a role to play.  Allison called from her car to inquire about private space stations & microgravity issues.

In the second segment, we discussed Planet Labs & their recent launch of cubesats from the ISS.  Alan also explained how the cubesats were launched from the station, plus since he had seen some of their images, we got a report on image quality.  Todd emailed in a additional question about cislunar transportation/lunar settlements.  Alan had several questions pertaining to what would actually be done in a lunar settlement.  Elon Musk & his Mars plans came up and we spent a few minutes talking about that subject.  Alan said the biggest dud story of 2013 in his opinion was Comet Ison.  John called from Ft. Worth & I queried him again on SLS but he actually wanted to discuss Mars & present day capabilities.  He then talked about the need for advanced propulsion for Mars flights.  He said he would back off his SLS support had there been plans for a second generation shuttle, depots or something that would be a real program.  He said SLS was a real program & any program was better than no program.  Alan then said he was looking forward to 2015 with New Horizons, Dawn, & SpaceShip2.  He also mentioned the ESA Rosetta mission,  then as the show was ending, he was asked about the Chinese lunar rover.  The final question from Sara was about the value & importance of human spaceflight.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Follow Alan on www.facebook.com/NBCNewsScience and www.nbcnews.com/id/3033063.

Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Monday, 10-7-13 October 8, 2013

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Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Monday, 10-7-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2101-BWB-2013-10-07.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Gil Levin.  Topics:  Life on Mars, Viking 1 and 2, Labeled Release Experiments, NASA & 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed back Dr. Gil Levin to continue our discussion about Viking 1 and 2, the possibility of finding life on Mars, and the Viking Labeled Release Experiment.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 21 minute discussion, Dr. Levin explained why the name “Labeled Release Experiment” was used rather than his first choice, Gulliver.  Dr. Levin talked about liquid water on Mars with the findings that there is probably 2% liquid water in the surface area.  He compared that to the amounts of water found in in dry soils on Earth which supports microbial life.  He also talked about complex organics which he says has not yet been confirmed though he questions why certain Curiosity experiments which he believes have been done have yet to release their findings.  Rick was our first caller with questions about water, NASA policy, and green spots found on rock and what that might mean.  Gil also spoke about his presentation at the SPIE Conference recently held in San Diego and the panel he was part of with a NASA representative.

In the second segment, Gil took a question about the meaning of perchlorates on Mars, he addressed additional questions on liquid water and discussed the recent press releases from NASA and others that there was no methane on Mars and what this might mean for looking for life on the Red Planet.  Regarding methane, our guest had much to say and that the findings were not conclusive for all of Mars nor does there have to be methane for organics.  I asked him about the timelines involved in Viking 1 and 2 and you might be surprised to learn it was a 20 year process.  A listener asked about the odds of finding intelligent life on Mars and our guest said pretty slim.  He was also asked about searching for life elsewhere in the solar system and he said Mars was the best choice and listed the reasons why, including the economics of space exploration.  A listener asked if Curiosity & other missions were shut down due to the government budget crisis. Doug emailed us that Curiosity was still up and running.  Later, Doug called at the end of the show to inquire about possible organic detection using the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) from Spirit and Opportunity. We concluded with Dr. Levin suggesting we contact NASA to release information about the green spots on Mars and liquid organic analysis of the surface. Also during this segment and not related to Mars, a listener asked Gil a few questions about his WW2 experience in the Merchant Marine in the N. Atlantic and the Pacific.  It was an interesting digression and I still found a way to connect it to space and Mars!

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Dr. Levin through his website, www.gillevin.com.