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Lee Billings, Sunday, 10-13-13 October 14, 2013

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Lee Billings, Sunday, 10-13-13


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Guest:  Lee Billings.  Topic:  Lee’s book and the topic, “Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search For Life Among The Stars.”  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 Lee Billings to discuss his new book, “Five Billion Years of Solitude: The Search For Life Among The Stars.”  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Lee introduced us to the book and its main topic, plus he told us why he wanted to write this book.  He talked about his interest in the subject dating back to his childhood.  He also wanted to ask and explore questions like what makes exoplanets have a habitable zone, what about parallel universes, the multi-verse, and more.  He talked about finding O2 in the atmosphere and wondering if it would be replenished and does that mean life?  He talked about the need for big telescopes, in space on and Earth.  Listeners asked him several email questions about the Drake Equation, the Fermi Paradox and the Allen Telescope Array in N. California which is part of SETI.  Near the end of the first segment, Lee talked about competition in searching for exoplanets.  Also, we talked about the American public and policy makers under valuing space and the specific topics of today’s show.  Right before the break we took a call from John in Ft. Worth who put the search for life in the context of the laws of physics and the limits of technology.  John also brought up human factors, asking how that might impact the search for life.

In our second segment, Lee talked more about the Drake Equation and the old TPF program (terrestrial planet finder).  We talked about different possible pathways and the work of ESA and JAXTA,  Other topics in this segment included cross cultural analysis of who supports space and why, viewpoints other than the NASA viewpoint, then I asked him for his favorite interview in the book.  Lee mentioned several people included in the book but settled on Jim Kasting.  Listen as to why this person was his favorite.  Karen emailed in to ask if he asked his subjects how they thought confirmation of life other than on Earth might impact us here on Earth.  He was also asked for his view of progress ten years from now.  Our guest had much to say about this time line.  In his concluding comments, the question was asked about our being special or privileged.  Also, we need better opportunities for better stewardship of our planet.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can contact Lee Billings through me.