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Josh Hopkins, Friday, 11-2-12 November 3, 2012

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Josh Hopkins, Friday, 11-2-12


Guest:  Josh Hopkins.  Topics:  Stepping Stones for affordable human exploration missions & lunar far side exploration at Earth-Moon L2.  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 Josh Hopkins back to the show to discuss his Stepping Stones approach to affordable human spaceflight from Earth orbit to the Martian moons.  We also discussed exploring the lunar far side from the Earth-Moon L2 point.  In our first segment, Mr. Hopkins introduced us to a potential list of missions in sequence from LEO to the Moon and beyond.  We zeroed in on the lunar farside, both from the L2 Earth-Moon point and from the lunar surface.  Our guest focused our attention on the Aitken Crater Impact Basin and rock sampling for lunar and solar system science regarding different theories about the age and origins of the universe, all of which can tell us much about the Earth, the possibility for life elsewhere, and provide valuable science to further our understanding of the universe.  Mr. Hopkins was both detailed and comprehensive in this discussion, then we switched to robotic as compared to human missions, orbiting missions as compared to lunar surface missions.  Callers inquired about how such missions would be paid for and from which part of the NASA budget.  For example, does the NASA science budget fund the mission, does the cost come from the human spaceflight side if humans are involved, how would they share costs, & is there international cooperation.  One of the important issues brought up in this discussion dealt with the fact that in the science part of NASA, missions are competed for against one another, a process that seems to work well. Inquiring about mission competition with human spaceflight involvement is yet to be determined. Telerobotic missions were discussed and communication latency concerns were brought to our attention.  Josh talked about planned ISS telerobotic demos back on Earth at NASA Ames & with ESA.
      In our second segment, Josh talked about orbital telerobotic cost issues as compared to being on the lunar surface. A listener wanted to know about traversing the Moon from a habitat to the farside & Josh explained the challenges in doing that.  Josh talked in some detail about a radio astronomy observatory at the L2 point & on the lunar surface.  He talked about noise issues at each location & the advantages each brings to the table. Josh was asked about lunar tourism & its potential impact on a radio telescope observatory on the farside. A listener asked about the Google Lunar X Prize for sample return, another inquired about the lunar space elevator, and yet another called in to ask about Stepping Stones as part of the Flexible Path. ISRU lunar development was also a discussion topic.
     Please direct your comments/questions to The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to email Josh, you can do so through me.  Visit www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed/data/space/documents/orion/SteppingStones.pdf for more information on the Stepping Stones concept.

Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 6-24-12 June 24, 2012

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Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 6-24-12


Guest:  Dr. Paul Spudis. Topics:  Return to the Moon, lunar ice & water, space policy, NASA space program.  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 Dr. Paul Spudis back to the program.  Visit his website and blog for additional information, www.spudislunarresources.com & http://globs.airspacemag.com/moon. We started out by discussing a new report claiming that there is a low amount of water ice at Shackleton crater on the Moon.  Dr. Spudis explained this study/report and introduced other data points indicating the low amount of water theory is not a valid conclusion.  This discussion led to questions about science & media reporting and how best for the public to follow up on a story to not be mislead.  I asked Paul about the influence of such articles on policy makers and congressional staffers as well as those outside the U.S., citing the Chinese space program as an example.  I also asked our guest if we were in a space race with China. Dr. Spudis had much to say about this issue.  We talked about why American space leadership on the space frontier is important.  See if you agree with what our guest had to say on this important subject.  Dr. Spudis then talked about the difference with a PR stunt type of mission as compared to a mission which developed & enabled capabilities to move us forward in space development, exploration, and economics.  This brought up a June 20, 2012 Space News op-ed (http://spacenews.com/commentaries/120618-administration-legacy-nasa.html) by Frank Van Rensselaer, What Will Be This Administration’s Legacy for NASA?  This then led to a discussion about our not having a space vision direction or strategy for our civil space policy.  Much was said about this with callers and email questions during the balance of the first segment and throughout the second segment.  Our guest made a point of saying we need to ask what the purpose of the mission is, what are the goals, and what is the value of the mission?  These are important questions to always ask about what we are doing with our civil space missions.  This is an important discussion so do listen closely to what Dr. Spudis had to say.  NASA budget issues were part of this discussion with Dr. Spudis making the case that money was and is not really the issue.  Instead, its the politics of how we choose to spend tax payer money.

In the second segment, Marshall called to ask about lunar lava tubes and water, along with the need for lunar rovers.  Don’t miss what Paul had to say about these topics.  Paul was asked about his cislunar economic plans and he talked about NewSpace given the question he received from Wayne in Las Vegas asking him if he was in conflict with NewSpace.  Later, Crystal from Tulsa emailed Paul with a question about space property rights. Paul said this was extremely important so do listen to the complete discussion on this topic.  More was said about NASA budget issues & making sure taxpayers get something back for what they spend on space.  Andrew sent in an email addressing the technology development problems going back decades with military airplanes & large engineering projects.  Near the end of our two hour program, Dr. Spudis mentioned the tyranny of the rocket equation and what this means for space access and costs.  We also talked about on orbit fuel depots.  Reaching a critical mass for making a difference in space policy was our last discussion topic.

If you have a comment/question for Dr. Spudis, please post it on The Space Show blog.