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Greg Meholic, Friday, 6-5-15 June 6, 2015

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Greg Meholic, Friday, 6-5-15


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Guest:  Greg Meholic.  Topics:  Advanced propulsion concepts 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 to the show Greg Meholic to speak about advanced propulsion concepts, rocket reusability, and much more.  During the first segment of our 84 minute program, Mr. Meholic first defined what he meant by the term advanced propulsion.  Given this definition, we moved forward to discuss various concepts, propulsion methods, and propulsion research. During this segment, we talked about several propulsion technologies and Greg said thumbs up or thumbs down to their being advanced propulsion.  When it came to nuclear, Greg classified it as an alternative propulsion method, not an advanced propulsion.  Again, don’t miss his definition.  We talked near and intermediate term advanced propulsion concepts though it does not appear anything is really close at hand.  His timeline for a possible advanced propulsion technology was around 20 years.  He said not only do we need to understand the physics much better,  but the propulsion method much compete with current systems and produce benefits including cost benefits.  As far as choke points on advanced propulsion, he said understanding the fundamental physics involved was a big one.  We then talked about funding which is now mostly from companies and other private investor oriented sources.  I asked lots of questions about funding, especially how does one know when the point is reached to either kill the project or keep it going.  Don’t miss what he said about this.  Listeners also asked many questions.  In replying to one listener, he said it would be hard to beat chemical rockets to LEO but the door opens up BLEO though the Moon can be done with chemical rockets.  When asked about the anti-nuke movement and the impact on the nuclear rocket, he had some interesting observations, especially regarding the views of younger people.  When asked for leading advanced propulsion people and concepts, he mentioned former Space Show guest Dr. James Woodward and his work with Mach’s Principle several times during our show.  Greg was also asked about the work of Dr. Sonny White at JSC for warp drive and M drive.  Greg had much to say about his work including Q thruster and M drive.  John from Ft. Worth called in to talk about M Drive & Mach’s Principle along with gravity and magnetic frequencies.

In the second segment, Ashley sent in an email asking about going to the Moon and Mars for settlement and sustainability, wondering if advanced propulsion was needed for either location.  You might be surprised by Greg’s response to this question so listen carefully.  He did say there would be different requirements for the Moon and Mars.  With Mars, he also spoke about radiation and travel times.  Greg then had some things to say about artificial gravity.  One of his comments was that if we understood more of the physics, an eventual advanced propulsion system might enable an artificial gravity system without spinning or the need for tethers.  Brad in Tucson sent in a note asking about reusable first stage rocket launch systems.  Greg was delighted with the question as he works on such systems in his day job and he had much to say and offer about reusable first stage rockets.  He went through a brief summary of some of his work plus those attempting to design such systems including SpaceX.  I asked about a payload penalty with reusability.  Don’t miss his answer.  Our next caller was Marshall and he took us back to the artificial gravity discussion.  Marshal was asking questions about the amount of time spent in 1g as opposed to various fractional gravity loads.  As the program was ending, Greg received the final question which dealt with comparing the quality of government research to private sector research.  He reminded the listener that there very little to no government research funding for advanced propulsion, that it was almost all private sector funding.  He said the private funding was investor based so it comes with a commercial profit focus.

Please post your comments on The Space Show blog above.  Greg Meholic can be reached through me using drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Sir Martin Rees, Sunday, 6-17-12 June 18, 2012

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Sir Martin Rees, Sunday, 6-17-12


Guest:  Sir Martin Rees.  Topics:  Science in our society, space development, political leadership, education & more.  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 back Sir Martin Rees to discuss his new book, “From Here To Infinity: A Vision For The Future Of Science.” Please remember that if you order this book from Amazon using www.amazon.com/Here-Infinity-Vision-Future-Science/dp/0393063070/ref=onegiantlea20, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/One Giant Leap Foundation.  Lord Rees started our discussion by talking about the amazing things we have learned about the cosmos in a very short period of time.  He also explained that this new book is based on a series of lectures he did with BBC Radio.  We also talked about science reporting in the media but we focused on teacher issues, both in the UK and the U.S.  Another topic covered in his book was religion and science conflicts. An example cited was creationism.  We also talked about space as a spiritual experience.  We then talked about commercial space development with companies such as SpaceX, the high risk averseness of NASA, and the fact that private companies can take on more risks.  Lord Rees expressed the view that for human spaceflight for sure, we will see more and more of it being done by the private sector. Our guest was asked about science on the ISS & he said it was hard to justify the ISS on the grounds of science.  Jack called in to ask talk about the outstanding history programs on the Royal Society website, http://royalsociety.org/Podcasts-of-Library-events.  He also mentioned famous sci-fi author Neal Stephenson, www.amazon.com/Quicksilver-The-Baroque-Cycle-Vol/dp/0380977427.  Jack’s call was followed by John in Atlanta who talked about spirituality, consciousness, religion and the work of Roger Penrose.  This led to an interesting discussion about the search for the unified theory and the difference in perspective with cosmology and fundamental physics.  Our next topic was in response to a note from Fred about political leadership and space/science issues.  Out last topic of the segment dealt with the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) and the search for extraterrestrial life.  We asked questions about the impact on cultures were life off Earth discovered.  Sir Martin had much to say about this subject.

In our second segment, we started out talking about science fiction.  Sir Martin is fascinated by the ideas in science fiction so don’t miss his comments on this subject.  Harold in Los Angeles asked if we might be slowing down in our rate of discovery of new science & space information.  This is another terrific discussion.  We then talked about the Earth’s population growth and the intellectual shift to Asia away from the west.  Lord Rees talked about the need to balance out science and development in the under developed regions, focusing on Africa for example  Later in the segment, we talked about bringing space resources back to Earth & our guest said the economics of doing this are still up in the air.  Space settlement and returning to the Moon came up as did private missions to Mars and the asteroids.  Our guest suggested that one way Mars missions might be possible in the future, but the probability of doing it near term & funding such a mission remains somewhat low at this time.  Our guest also mentioned genetic modification for those that do settle off Earth but thought the ethics of doing it on Earth would make it unlikely to happen here.

If you have comments/questions for Sir Martin Rees, please post them on The Space Show blog.