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Dr. Anita Sengupta, Friday, 11-1-13 November 2, 2013

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Dr. Anita Sengupta, Friday, 11-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2113-BWB-2013-11-01.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Anita Sengupta.  Topics:  Cold Atom Lab (CAL) project, human spaceflight EDL & 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. Anita Sengupta to discuss the Cold Atom Lab (CAL) project for which Dr. Sengupta is the project manager.  CAL is to launch to the ISS in early 2016, probably aboard the SpaceX Dragon though that has yet to be confirmed but the project needs a ride on a pressurized spacecraft.  For more information on the CAL project and mission, check out these websites: http://coldatomlab.jpl.nasa.gov; http://coldatomlab.jpl.nasa.gov/news/FunPhysicsResearch. During this 64 minute discussion, Dr. Sengupta explained the CAL project to us, ultra cool quantum gasses in absolute zero and in zero gravity to establish a Force Free Environment which means no gravity pull.  We talked about laser cooling and the series of experiments likely to be done on the ISS with CAL based on the NASA Research Announcement which has a submittal date of Nov. 5, 2013.  We talked about atomic physics and many related topics, including the mechanics of the project, the need to place CAL in a rack as close to the center of gravity on the ISS as possible for the closest point to zero gravity. Listeners asked lots of questions about CAL, but they also had questions for Anita  regarding her expertise in entry, descent, and landing (EDL) from her recent work with Curiosity and the super sonic parachute.  In talking about human spaceflight, at one point Anita remarked that CAL was a hybrid project as it is definitely a robotic science mission but they interface with the ISS astronauts so CAL and the team have feet in both worlds.  In talking about the CAL hardware, we learned it was designed as an ORU, an orbital replacement unit.  Doug called in regarding EDL on Mars from Phobos and the use of strategically placed propellant depots in orbit around Mars and how that might simply a Martian EDL.  Anita provided much technical information on this subject and we learned that the actual EDL is driven by the entry mass and the need to dissipate energy. She talked about the difference in  a human EDL protocol and a robotic mission EDL protocol and said the human EDL has not yet been devised or worked out.  Near the end of the program, Anita explained more about laser cooling, including photons pushing atoms which slows them down and makes them cooler.  This enables more accurate laser tuning for the research. Susan asked her if she learned about the engineering for her project from grad school or from OJT.  As you will hear, the basics from grad school and the specifics OTJ.  Near the end of our program, we talked about the role of a project manager and auditing Anita’s USC class which might be possible when she teaches an upcoming graduate class online. We also talked about career choices and would one rather work on a humans to Mars flight or robotic missions.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  Dr. Sengupta provided her contact information on air at the end of the program or you can email her through me if you prefer.

Dave Ketchledge, Sunday, 7-13-13 July 8, 2013

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Dave Ketchledge, Sunday, 7-13-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2043-BWB-2013-07-07.mp3

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Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

Guest:  Dave Ketchledge.  Topics:  Mars Lander Choices.  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 of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.   Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

We welcomed Dave Ketchledge back to the program to discuss Mars precision human spaceflight lander choices.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 13 minute discussion, we covered Dave’s basic thesis and analysis regarding landing large payloads on Mars and the need for very accurate and precise landings for the human spacecraft.  While at times the first segment was technical and perhaps complicated, it provided the necessary groundwork and foundation for our discussion during the second half of the program. During the first part, Dave explained the need for a precision human landing on Mars, the difficulties in doing that, the pros and cons of the various shapes to use for the human spacecraft, and why the Pershing 2 missile nosecone offered the best shape and design.  Dave cited his references for his analysis and conclusions.

In the second segment, we started with a listener question about the origin of the DC-X vehicle design as it was related to the analysis, conclusions, and explanations Dave provided earlier in the discussion.  Dave continued his comparison and analysis of the three potential vehicle designs, then I asked a series of questions sent in by listener Curt from the recently held Humans to Mars conference regarding issues in landing a large payload on Mars.  Dave also spoke about heavy lift and the need for an SLS type vehicle, speaking to the additional needs for using smaller launches. These needs include planning on replacement launches and payloads which must be figured into the costs as all the advance launches of supplies & materials to Mars will be mission critical launches.  The crew should be the last launch to the planet. Listeners both emailed in questions for Dave and additional listener phone calls were received.  Dave continued to reference the NASA Mars Design Study, work done by JPL, Dr. Robert Manning, and others. We talked about the Mars One program & how it might land its human crew on Mars.  We also talked about HSF to Mars policy &the absence of political leadership for a human mission to Mars.  Dave addressed media issues but largely stayed with the shape of the human spaceflight spaceship, the need for a precision landing, and what might work best.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can email Dave at the address he provided on air at the end of the show.