Dr. Matthew Moynihan, Tuesday, 5-26-15 May 27, 2015Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: Convergent Scientific Incorporated, Dr. Matthew Moynihan, fission, fusion energy, medical radioisotopes, molybdenum-99, neutrons, Phoenix Nuclear Labs, Polywell, Shine Medical Technologies, The Fusion Energy League, trapping diamagnetic plasma
Dr. Matthew Moynihan, Tuesday, 5-26-15
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Guest: Dr. Matthew Moynihan. Topics: Polywell fusion and an overview of fusion progress & fusion companies. 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. Matthew Moynihan to the program to discuss the Polywell and the fusion industry and progress. In the first segment of our 1 hour 48 minute discussion, we opened up talking about fusors and the Polywell, plus the work of Dr. Bussard re the Polywell and more. Also, note that Dr. Moynihan mentioned several organizations, individuals and companies during the show for which he will post a blog comment with specific links to those he mentioned. If you are so inclined, do follow up on his list of contacts regarding fusion. Our early discussion of fusors also led to a discussion about amateur fusion and the fact that 13 and 14 year old students have created fusion in their homes. He provided us with the details of these science faire winning experiments, how to get information about doing this, and the criteria used to determine if fusion happened. At various times during our discussion, he mentioned Carl Greninger and his high school fusion program. For more information, visit http://lobby.nwnc.us.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/SitePages/Home.aspx. Dr. Moynihan went into detail about the Polywell but he also mentioned alternative fusion efforts. He did explain the technology behind the Polywell, trapping diamagnetic plasma and much more. Our guest suggested that we might want to view the talk given at Microsoft by Dr. Park which you can find by searching for “Microsoft Hosts The Polywell.” Listeners asked several questions including one that asked him to compare the Polywell and other alternative fusion efforts to the ITER and also to the work being done regarding the large Tokamak reactors. Tim emailed in a question asking about the Skunkworks Compact Fusion Reactor. Other listeners asked about VASIMIR and a potential fusion rocket. Rita asked why fission was supposed to be more dangerous than fusion. Later, a Mom emailed in saying her son was listening and asking about his doing a fusion experiment in their home. She wanted to know how safe it was to do these experiments. Her question was followed by one asking about needing permits and complying with various regulations to do a fusor experiment. Toward the end of the segment, as a result of another listener question, Matt provided us with a timeline of fusion progress & challenges since the 1950s.
In the second segment, Matt talked about solar energy as a result of a set of questions from Tim. As you will hear, using solar or any other type of energy does not have to be an either or proposition. Tim also asked Matt about the Joint European Torus which Matt discussed in some detail. More was said about amateur fusion & students using their own initiative to find out about these projects and to pursue them. Midway in this segment, Matt addressed two companies and their success so far, Phoenix Nuclear Labs and their associated company, Shine Medical Technologies. In the context of these two companies, he talked about using neutron generators to make molybdenum-99 for medical radioisotopes and selling them on the commercial market. In the remaining time, he talked about other companies and commercial efforts regarding the emerging fusion industry. In summarizing his comments, he stressed that the Polywell was a research concept with arguments both against it and in support of it. He repeated that we needed to try & keep trying regarding the Polywell research. Near the end, a listener asked if a crowdfunding venture could finance Polywell or other fusion projects. We talked about the crowdfunding potential and I looked up the largest, most successful crowdfunding ventures to date. You might be surprised by what I found out about the crowdfunding potential. Make sure you visit The Polywell Blog operated by Matt (www.thepolywellblog.com).
Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. Dr. Moynihan can be reached through his blog or me.
Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12 October 10, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: aerospace engineering, Alpha Centauri, boron, Cassini, Dr. Jason Cassibry, fusion energy, fusion propulsion, HE3, INSITU Resource Utilization, interstellar space flight, ISP, ITER, LEO, lithium deuteride fusion fuel, magnetic nozzle, Mars Missions, nuclear fear, nuclear propulsion, public policy, public science funding., thrust, Vasimr, Voyager mission, Z-Pinch
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Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12
Guest: Dr. Jason Cassibry. Topics: A technical description and the potential of fusion propulsion. 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. Jason Cassibry to the program to guide us in our discussion of the potential for fusion propulsion. At times, this was a very technical discussion. To assist in following it, I have uploaded to the blog his published paper delivered at the AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, “The Case and Development Path for Fusion Propulsion.” In addition, below are the URLs for several articles on fusion propulsion that Dr. Cassibry shared with us: www.uah.edu/news/items/10-research/2501-slapshot-to-deep-space#.UDrKn-iPVuY;
www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/rockets/the-big-machine-that-could-lead-to-fusion-powered-spaceships-9450996; http://io9.com/5921673/nuclear-slapshots-could-propel-a-spacecraft-to-mars-in-just-weeks; www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=23442 and http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/10/zpinch-nuclear-fusion-pulse-space.html. Dr. Cassibry started out by providing us with a working definition of fusion propulsion. We talked about nuclear propulsion as well and the overall state of development for fusion energy. I asked Dr. Cassibry if in their economic projections for fusion propulsion, they considered the political and policy impact on fossil fuel pricing and supply availability. As you will hear, generally such factors are not included in their studies though he concurred with me that such policies can strongly skew the economics one way or the other. Several calls came in on a wide ranging group of associated topics. We talked about the main fusion fuel, lithium deuteride, magnetic nozzles, and the use of a nuclear fission reactor to start the fusion propulsion unit. Z-Pinch technologies were defined and discussed. As the segment drew to a close, I asked about funding sources for this research and we learned that most all of the funding is from public sources.
In our second segment, more listeners called in regarding insitu resource usage, nuclear propulsion to start the fusion unit, and the power consumed for all of this. We talked about using fusion propulsion for a Mars mission and what it did for travel times. Jason also put forth a suggested time line and path to follow to operation in perhaps 25 years, depending on funding. More calls came in with fuel questions, vibration impact, G force acceleration, thrust, and more. Another topic discussed was fusion propulsion for the launch vehicle. We then compared some real mission travel times such as Cassini, Voyager, and New Horizons, asking what the transit times would have been like using fusion propulsion. As we were ending the program, I asked about the students entering aerospace engineering at UAH, both the undergrad and graduate level, plus the gender mix of the students. There appears to be strong demand by the students to study these fields at all levels. In conclusion, Jason suggested that we could look for breakeven with fusion in about ten years, maybe less.
If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog. Dr. Cassibry’s faculty page at UAH is www.mae.uah.edu/faculty/cassibry.shtml.
Les Johnson, Sunday, 7-8-12 July 9, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " NASA Advanced Concepts Office, "Going Interstellar: Build Starships Now!, alien life, antimatter, DragonCon, Faster than light travel (FTL), Fission Fragment Rocket, fusion energy, Higgs boson, human spaceflight, interstellar flight, Les Johnson, new physics, nuclear thermal rocket, Orion nuclear propulsion concept, physics, robotic missions, science fiction and space, solar sail technology, tethers
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Les Johnson, Sunday, 7-8-12
Guest: Les Johnson. Topics: “Going Interstellar: Build Starships Now!,” and interstellar propulsion & advanced propulsion concepts. 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 started our discussion by talking about interstellar travel, his new book, “Going Interstellar,” and advanced concepts, both for NASA and outside the NASA mindset. Please remember that if you purchase this book from Amazon using this link, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF: www.amazon.com/Going-Interstellar-Johnson/dp/1451637780/ref=onegiantlea20. Les told us that both he and his co-editor, Jack McDevitt, had very little trouble getting the authors to contribute to the book which consists of a series of short stories from well known science fiction authors plus scientists. There is a focus on the plausible and grounded physics so that the sci-fi is rooted in actual physics. Les took several phone calls wanting to know about advanced concepts and propulsion at NASA and in general outside of NASA. We spoke about many concepts including solar sail technology, nuclear electric propulsion, the fission fragment rocket, faster than light (FTL) travel, antimatter, & the types of possible starships that might be used, plus the time intervals to travel from point A to point B. We talked about the challenges from the laws of physics, political leadership, funding, & timelines. Les said that barring the discovery of new physics which he is not optimistic about at this time, he does not think FTL travel will be possible. When I asked about the discovery of Higgs-boson as an example of discovering new things, he talked about the discovery of that which is predictive as compared to something entirely new and unknown. Other topics in this segment included artistic license in sci-fi writing, the role of physics & the imagination, & even questioning the possible role of ET in contributing to advanced propulsion concepts.
In our second segment, Marshall was our first caller & we talked about the French nuclear program, fusion, & the large ITER reactor program. Les went over many of the fusion energy challenges & we talked about some fuel issues. Les then told us about some of the future books he is working on & then he had more to say about solar sail technology which is his preference at this time for robotic interstellar missions. We took a call about the huge Atlanta, GA sci-fi conference, DragonCon ( http://dragoncon.org) as Les will be a featured speaker there this year. As the program was ending, we talked about HSF NASA infrastructure, the Von Braun model for spaceflight, and more about the specific stories in his book.
If you have questions/comments for our guest, please post them on The Space Show blog. Check out his websites at www.lesjohnsonauthor.com and www.amazon.com/Les-Johnson/e/B002OUOYZQ/ref=onegiantlea20.
Homer Hickam, Friday, 4-13-12 April 13, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " "Paco: The Cat Who Meowed In Space, " The Great Moonbuggy Race, "Crater (A Helium-3 Novel, biocellular, cellular structure spacesuit, Chinese Space Program, commercial space, fusion energy, Gillie, HE3, Homer Hickam, ISS, lunar commerce, lunar cycler, lunar dust, lunar mining, lunar space elevator., Mars, microgravity, slime mold, space regulation, Space X
Homer Hickam, Friday, 4-13-12
Guest: Homer Hickam. Topics: We discussed his new book “Crater” & how he developed the technologies & systems to make living on the Moon credible. You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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 Homer Hickam to the program to discuss his new book “Crater” & his new Kindle book, “Paco: The Cat Who Meowed in Space.” You can buy each book from Amazon using these special URLs & Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF: For “Crater,” use www.amazon.com/Crater-Helium-3-Novel-Homer-Hickam/dp/1595546642/ref=onegiantlea20. For “Paco,” use www.amazon.com/Paco-Meowed-Kindle-Single-ebook/dp/B007K1OC6K/ref=onegiantlea20. Homer explained that Crater (set 120 years in the future) was a teenage orphan working to mine HE3 which was sent back to Earth as Earth desperately needed it for fusion energy. While telling us about his book, we learned that Homer created solutions to many of the challenges to living on the Moon. For example, microgravity & radiation – listen to how he solved the problems. Muscle deterioration? He solved that one too. Transportation back & forth between Earth & the Moon? That one too. Spacesuits, the use of one atmosphere, all sorts of other challenges to our having a lunar settlement have a solution to make the Crater story credible. As you will hear, not only does Homer go into detail about the storyline, but he focused on the solutions & this makes the story both believable & credible. Issues such as lunar dust, children on the Moon, even pregnancy, well, there is a solution. Food & water too. We did go off the topic of his books to ask about space policy. As you will hear, Homer thinks the Moon will be developed by entrepreneurs for commercial value. He sees companies such as Space X changing the game for our space policy & does not see government space programs being what they once were though development of needed infrastructure is part of what government can & should do. The lunar transportation systems he talked about will be private commercial businesses. When asked how he came up with solutions to problems encountered when living on the Moon, he talked about a study he did in the 1990s which is on his website, www.homerhickam.com. Homer was asked why the Moon & not Mars. Don’t miss his response to this listener question. We also talked about the space programs for other countries such as China. Homer then told how he envisioned the world to be 120 years in the future. As you will hear, countries have broken up into smaller, more manageable nations, including the United States. The world is not as we know it today. Toward the end of the first segment, Homer was asked about the difference in times from when he grew up in W. Virginia to today given the listener said his son could not even fly an Estes rocket in their city. Part of his reply stressed the need to join rocket clubs today. Before the break, we talked about insitu resources, water, food, law, & justice on the Moon.
During our short second segment, Homer was asked about strip mining on the Moon & he had much to say about it. Don’t miss this discussion. He was also asked about other uses for the Moon besides HE3 including solar, radio telescopes, & manufacturing. As the show ended, he commented on the need to have better political leadership to lead us forward in space development. He also had more to say about slime mold which plays an important part in his book.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. Mr. Hickam can be contacted through his website.
James (Jim) Bickford, Friday, 2-24-12 February 25, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: antigravity, antimatter, antimatter ISP, antimatter theoretical limit for speed, antiparticles for space missions, antiproton storage and propulsion, Apollo, cosmic rays, dark matter, flux, fundamental science research, fusion energy, galactic cosmic ray flux., James (Jim) Bickford, Jupiter for antimatter, NIAC, nuclear thermal rocket, positrons, radiation belts, Saturn's rings, solar flares, Space Shuttle, Star Trek
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James (Jim) Bickford, Friday, 2-24-12
Guest: James (Jim) Bickford. Topics: Antimatter for space propulsion. 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 Jim Bickford to the program to discuss antimatter for space propulsion. In our first segment, Mr. Bickford started our discussion with an introduction to antimatter basics. While we referenced Star Trek in the discussion, Mr. Bickford was quick to point out that reality was quite different from the sci fi classic though he was a fan of Star Trek. Along with the Apollo program, both played a role in his having his interest in antimatter. In this introduction, I asked Mr. Bickford about antimatter as a weapon but he said it would not be practical. One of the points stressed by Jim during the entire program was just how little antimatter material there is and how long term the R&D program would be.. He said there is very little in nature and the quantities made worldwide were extremely small, measuring in nanograms produced a year. Our guest compared antimatter to chemical propulsion and nuclear thermal rockets (NTR). While the NTR is substantially better than chemical propulsion, antimatter propulsion would be orders of magnitude better than the NTR. We then talked about supplies of antimatter off Earth and he said the most promosing place was in the rings of Saturn. He also mentioned solar flares from the sun in the positrons and back on Earth he talked about cosmic rays as well as some material in thunderstorms & ligtening. Mr. Bickford also discussed what an antimatter spaceship would probably be like. He discussed fuel tank requirements, containment, even plasma fileds around the spaceship using an electromagnetic field extending out around the spaceship as the containment device. We talked about the research needed, the steps involved, and the funding. Our guest repeated many times that antimatter research is high risk in the sense of obtaining success. As the segment was ending, we talked about antimatter research in the medical field against cancer tumors.
In our second segment, we talked more about tax payer funded antimatter research and Jim took us through a value stream analysis which was most interesting. We talked about student interest in antimatter and both the direct and indirect benefits from technology research and development. We then talked about the specifics of antimatter for space development starting with defining the requirements and eventually being able to do a demo. A caller asked if the research had a billion dollars for many years would there be a breakthrough in the 20-30 year time period. You might be surprised by his answer. We also talked about a paper and a Power Point poster that he has used regarding his antimatter research. Both the poster and the paper will be uploaded to The Space Show blog with Mr. Bickford’s permission. We talked about antimatter and Jupiter based on the poster . Another question came in about antimatter propulsion being useful for launch from Earth. This prompted our guest to talk about the antimatter theoretical limit for both ISP and faster than light speed. As we were talking about the antimatter development process, I asked about the role of luck or serendipity in discovering breakthroughs. You might be surprised by this answer as well. In ending our discussion, Jim repeated that antimatter was only at the fundamental research stage and very long term, perhaps even further out than a century but very promosing nonetheless.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL.
The two papers discussed on the show can be found below:
Dr. Edmund Storms, Sunday, 1-8-12 January 8, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: Andrea Rossi, Chemically Assisted Nuclear Reactions (CANR), cold fusion, cold fusion safety, cold fusion skeptics, deuterium fusion, disruptive technology, divided nickel, Dr. Edmund Storms, E-Cat, fusion energy, gamma rays, gas loading, Helium, hydrogen, LENR commercialization, Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR), Martin Fleischmann, NASA and DARPA cold fusion experiments. Piantelli experiments., neutrons, NSF funding, nuclear reaction, nuclear submarines, patents, protons, quantum tunneling, radiation, scientific observation, scientific replication, Stanley Pons, Third World, U.S. approval, U.S. Navy, Widom-Larsen Theory Portal, www.LENR.org
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Dr. Edmund Storms, Sunday, 1-8-12
Guest: Dr. Edmund Storms. Topics: Cold Fusion or Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) today. 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. Edmund Storms to the program for a nearly two comprehensive discussion on LENR or as it is more commonly referred to, cold fusion. Dr. Storms started us out with the history of cold fusion dating back to Pons and Fleischman on through to today. He also explained why there is now a renewed interest in the field. Jumping forward to today, Dr. Storms talked about Andrea Rossi and his E-Cat cold fusion device and demonstration, plus his special reactor units. For more information, check out these sites: www.lenr.org, and the YouTube sites listed here: www.lenr-canr.org/news.htm. While Dr. Storms provided us with the basics, it was his response to listener questions and phone calls that allowed us to dig deeper into the potential of LENR. Our program was devoted to exploring, understanding, and evaluating where the LENR field is today and what risks and challenges lie ahead before the observed phenomena is understood and can be commercialized. Dr. Storm talked about being able to replicate science but often in the early days when the research is not well understood, replication might be challenging. He also talked about the difference with scientific observation of experiments and scientific replication. Several of the listeners and callers went into detail with Dr. Storms. For example, John’s call from Atlanta inquired about quantum tunneling. Charles R. called in a few times with very technical questions, including asking about the Widom-Larsen Theory Portal (http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/WL/WLTheory.shtml#4step). In the second segment, our friend Charles Pooley called in as a skeptic to debate cold fusion as being real, dismissing the observations and research across the board. I know you will find this short “debate” interesting. Throughout the show, listeners wanted to know about the potential application and use of a Rossi device in the U.S., both in our homes or as part of the power supplied by utility companies. We also talked about the broader uses for cold fusion in the less regulated third world. In the second segment, our guest was asked about Andrea Rossi and his track record, plus his effort to commercialize, patent, and sell Rossi devices. Later we talked about funding opportunities for LENR research, the lack of available funding from traditional sources such as NSF, and the paradigm shift required from traditionalists to realize that cold fusion may involve different processes from the well understood nuclear reaction process. In fact, you will hear several listeners resist seeing this in a vastly different light and we talked about this during our program. As you will hear, much research is needed to understand cold fusion and to validate its potential, especially its commercial potential. At this time, there is good research being done by credible scientists. When asked what we should look for, Dr. Storm directed us to follow the reviewed literature and news accounts on www.lenrr.org and the links provided on that site. This brief summary only touches upon what we discussed today. Post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above. You can also follow the contact instructions on http://www.lenr.org.