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Ben Haldeman, Monday, 10-19-15 October 20, 2015

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Ben Haldeman, Monday, 10-19-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2568-BWB-2015-10-19.mp3

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Guest: Ben Haldeman.  Topics:  Planet Labs and their Dove satellite imaging program.  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 Ben Haldeman of Planet Labs to the show.  During the first segment of our 87 minute show, Ben introduced us to Planet Labs, told us about the company history, goals, and Dove satellite imaging program wherein they want to image the entire Earth every day.  You can find out more about this at their website, www.planet.com.  Ben described the size and nature of their satellite fleet, how they can cover the entire planet once a day, their agnostic launch  policy, and their cubesat manufacturing process for their 10cm x10cm x by30cm finished product.  He explained the company’s iterative approach, the company employee growth, and their recent payload losses on the Antares and the Falcon 9.  We talked at length about the ISS process of getting the Dove satellites, launching them from the ISS, and the astronaut training needed to carry out the Planet Labs mission.  Also discussed was the orbital decay profile for their satellites at the end of their life, altitudes for their Dove satellites, and plans to use the preferred sun synchronous orbit given the ISS may have a limited remaining life expectancy.  Ground stations were described as was the satellite pointing process.  Listeners asked many email questions including the use of off the shelf GPS and  the range of optical spectrum/wavelengths for the cameras/sensors being able to detect images.  Listeners also wanted to know if Planet Labs had plans to make satellites via 3D printing and if any radiation hardening was being used with their onboard electronics.

 

In the shorter second segment, we talked about Planet Labs hiring and their internship program.  The company mostly hires engineers but about 25% of their hires are from different disciplines.  They also hire a person a day so if you are interested, be sure to check it out.  They are located in a truly exciting and creative part of San Francisco, known as SOMA (South of Market) and this is the area to be in if you like technology, want to be on the leading edge of the cutting edge, and be surrounded by peers that redefine the meaning of the word.  You can find out more about their hiring and intern program by checking their website.  Adrian asked another question about solar sails and CCD cameras.  I asked Ben the question Debra was asked by a Mom on the Friday show regarding her child studying engineering but preferring Apple Computer for example over a space company.  I asked Ben to respond to that Mom’s question.  Don’t miss what he had to say about it as our discussion involved Silicon Valley, being located in the San Francisco Bay Area which is a highly evolved tech market place, including the Bay Area universities, and more.  Ben ad some very interesting observations about this and was able to address what is happening in other parts of the country that are not as tech dominated as Northern California.  Before the show ended, Ben was asked about the future financial plans for the company, plans to work with Bigelow private space stations, and polar launches from Vandenberg.  Don’t miss his concluding comments as he told us what excited him about his work.  Remember, while he liked space, he did not come to Planet Labs from college as a space geek or advocate, thus his perspectives were most interesting and we thanked him for sharing this information with us.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Ben through the Planet Labs website or The Space Show.

 

Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, Sunday, 6-9-13 June 10, 2013

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Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, Sunday, 6-9-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2025-BWB-2013-06-09.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich.  Topics:  Escape Dynamics microwave beam propulsion for launches.  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 Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, CEO & CTO of Escape Dynamics (http://escapedynamics.com) to discuss their work on making microwave beamed propulsion possible for space launch.  During our 1 hour 39 minute discussion, Dr. Tseliakhovich talked about his background and passion for space, including helping to open up commercial space.  His work and experience led him to creating Escape Dynamics in 2010 to find a better and more efficient way to space than by using chemical rockets.  Dmitriy then took us through many of the benefits of external launch, including a higher specific impulse, better payload ratios, and even the ability to use an SSTO frame for the vehicle.  During this segment, we also talked about safety issues and using the possibility of using the technology as a space weapon.  During this discussion, Dmitriy was very focused and precise in saying that their systems had to prove out as being safe on all of the issues we were discussing. Next, we learned that the initial beamed propulsion vehicles would be robotic but at some point in the future, eventually crewed launch vehicles would be possible.  We talked about their step by step incremental development and testing plan, including starting with suborbital launches.  I asked our guest about the probable cost of electricity and support from the existing electrical grid.  Our guest had much to say about the cost of electricity, the use of the grid for their power needs & the capability of existing systems to support their needs.  He also did not rule out partnerships with utility companies.  Listeners sent him emails asking about competition and markets as well as the use of hydrogen for fuel.  Our guest was also asked about their heat exchanger, a key component on the vehicle.

In our second segment, Dmitriy was asked about weather issues for launch & we learned that there were concerns and requirements suggesting launching in dry areas would be best.  Another listener asked about ocean launch possibilities & Charles called in expressing skepticism, to support chemical rockets, and to raise questions about the high g force, boost stations, and the size of the ground array needed for the beam propulsion launch system. Roger emailed us to ask about orbital fuel depots & beamed propulsion.  We then talked about the company timeline & learned about 2015 as a suborbital launch target date.  In response to an email about the main challenges, our guest said the challenges to the system were mostly non-technical.  John was our last caller asking about DARPA, project financing, fuels, and more. In closing we talked about available internships and the hiring opportunities at Escape Dynamics.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact our guest through his website or by using drspace@thespaceshow.com.