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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 8-19-15 August 20, 2015

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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 8-19-15

Special Guest:  Dr. Robert Pappalardo, JPL

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2535-BWB-2015-08-19.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Robert Pappalardo, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: NASA JPL Europa Mission. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written 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 do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm). For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.

 

John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. Robert Pappalardo, the NASA JPL Mission Director for the upcoming Europa Mission. John started out by asking our guest why the need to go to Europa. Dr. Pappalardo explained the significance of going to Europa, the science that will be done as a result of this mission, the search for life which may exist in the subsurface oceans and more. I asked our guest about the mission’s instruments which Dr. Pappalardo then briefly discussed. He also spoke about the need to learn more about the oxygen cycle regarding the possibility of organic molecules. We talked about the Europa mission orbiting around Europa 45 times or so, coming very close to the surface, as it orbits Jupiter since the mission does not have a lander. Bob also spoke to high degree of sensitivity of the sensors and what they can do when they fly very low over the Europa surface. As for travel time to Europa, it depends on the launch vehicle used. Using the new SLS which is under design would take about 3.5 years. Something like an Atlas 5 might take up to 9 years.

 

Please post comments/questions about this program on TSS blog above. You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Pappalardo through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

 

Dr. Robert Pappalardo, Monday, 7-27-15 July 28, 2015

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Dr. Robert Pappalardo, Monday, 7-27-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2514-BWB-2015-07-27.mp3

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Guest: Dr. Robert Pappalardo. Topics: The Europa Mission Development Plan plus information on this moon. 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. Robert Pappalardo to the show to discuss Europa and the upcoming Europa Mission by JPL which is now in the development phase. During the first segment of our 1 hour 27 minute program, Dr. Pappalardo talked about the origins of the NASA JPL Europa mission now in the development phase. He briefly described the experiments & instruments planned for the mission, then answered questions about the mission such as will the mission search for life. In response to this question, he said it would search for simple life through an indirect means which he described more fully in the second segment of the show. Our guest talked about having learned lots from the earlier Galileo spacecraft, especially about the Europa magnetic field and the likelihood of the oceans consisting of saltwater. Dr. Pappalardo also talked about the structure of Europa with the icy surface, oceans under the ice ad then a rocky base under the oceans. Dr. Pappalardo brought up the tidal heating of Europa and spoke to that quite a bit during the show. He talked about chemical energy and nutrients which may support simple life in the Europa oceans. Listener Joe asked how Europa could be in a habitable zone, even for simple life, given its cold temperatures. Our guest said Europa was expanding the definition of habitable zone & that the tidal heating was crucial to the possibility of finding simple life molecules. Don’t miss his complete response to this question. We talked mission timeline which was from about 2022 to the mid-2020s. We also learned that the Europa launch window was every 13 months. Our guest was asked about transit time to Europa. He said it depended on the rocket. With SLS it would be less than 3 years. Another rocket would take at least 3.5 years or longer. We also discussed bandwidth issues for getting data, images, and video back to Earth. I asked about the possibility of using cubesats as part of the Europa mission, then Bob talked about the radiation challenge which he said was significant because Jupiter acts as a giant particle accelerator. Don’t miss this discussion, especially the part abbot how much ice would be needed for effective shielding. Also, the Europa satellite will come as close as 25KM to the surface of Europa.

In the second segment, Bob went into detail about the scientific instruments that will comprise the Europa mission. He took us through each one in detail so don’t miss it. The radar pushes the technology envelope. So does the mass spectrometer. Harry wanted to know if a plutonium RTG would be used for power and if they were anticipating Cassini like protests. Bob said that they would be using solar power. Again, don’t miss the discussion. Cindy asked Bob about the length of the Europa day and year, another listener asked about Europa volcanoes and we learned that Europa has icy volcanoes. Amber wanted to know if the ice on Europa was the same as ice here on Earth. A UK listener wanted to know why Europa was not sucked into Jupiter by the planet’s huge gravity field. Don’t miss Bob’s explanation of this. Toward the end of the segment, he talked about the significance and importance of the search for simple life molecules/organics. Final questions concerned specific Europa classes at the college level & more on the European JUICE Mission and its plans for Europa. We agreed to stay in touch with one another regarding Europa and the upcoming mission so Dr. Pappalardo will be returning to The Space Show.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Pappalardo through me or JPL.

Brent Sherwood, Friday, 5-1-15 May 2, 2015

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Brent Sherwood, Friday, 5-1-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2465-BWB-2015-05-01.mp3

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Guest:  Brent Sherwood.  Topics:  Human spaceflight, The year of the dwarf planets, Pluto, Ceres, budget math for space.  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 Brent Sherwood for updates to his human spaceflight analysis work previously presented on The Space Show.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 48 minute discussion, Brent started out with a brief discussion on scientific missions and the year 2015 being the Year of the Dwarf Planet.  He talked about the Dawn Mission and Ceres, New Horizons and Pluto, and the oceans on the outer planet moons.  Exoplanets and the habitable zone were also part of this discussion which included an assessment of just how our knowledge has changed regarding the compositing of the solar system.  To redirect the conversation to the purpose of today’s show, human spaceflight (HSF), I asked Brent when we would see HSF beyond LEO (BLEO). I asked about what seemed to be a new space advocacy push for space settlement. Brent then examined why HSF and referred us to his earlier work and the four reasons for HSF which were explore, exploit resources, to experience space, and settlement.  He said settlement was clearly part of the debate, talked about earlier workshops which would avoid the topic and then spoke to the recent Pioneering Space meeting held in Washington, DC where there was a consensus reach for space settlement.  He had good things to say about the meeting and the consensus resolution and talked about the broad space industry representation at the meeting as it was not just NewSpace.  Don’t miss what he had to say about it and space settlement.  Brent was also asked if our National Space Policy Act needed to be amended to reflect space settlement as the official goal of NASA.  Later, he was asked about the stepping stone or incremental approach to HSF development.  He supported this approach, spoke to the challenges for HSF such as life support and more.  As we were closing out the first segment, he offered us valuable insights on this topic so don’t miss what he had to say.

In the second segment, John from Florida called in to ask about grand space visions like an O’Neill orbital colony.  Brent proceeded to discuss grandiose visions in the context of how challenging they were plus their replacement cost.  Here, he used the replacement cost for Manhattan as an example of what he was talking about.  He cited a different type of example, the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest that had nearly a thousand entries this year from 21 countries with the winner writing a 247 page grand space vision report.  Brent also spoke to the inspiration factor when talking about this contest.  A variety of listener emails were read on air for Brent to respond to, then I asked him if he thought Mars was the Holy Grail for HSF.  He said no so don’t miss why he said that.  He was asked about nuclear propulsion, then we talked about returning to the Moon , cislunar development, and then back to Martian settlement.  He was asked about going to the moons of Mars and he said there were two ways to settle Deimos.  Don’t miss his comments here either.  Near the end of the program, he said the physics of HSF were good but the problem was centered in being grounded in what he called program or budget math.  The budget math for HSF simply does not work, especially for a commercial venture.  He closed on the reality check of being grounded in budget math and the difficulty in going to Mars with humans.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Brent Sherwood through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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

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Lee Billings, Sunday, 10-13-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2104-BWB-2013-10-13.mp3

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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.

The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars with William Borucki, Wednesday, 4-24-13 April 27, 2013

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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars with William Borucki, Wednesday, 4-24-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1995-BWB-2013-04-24.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, William Borucki, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Kepler Space Telescope and the search for Earth like planets.  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. Written 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 do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com.

During our 11 minute plus discussion with William (Bill) Borucki, Space Scientist, Astrobiology and Space Research Directorate, Ames Research Center and the principal investigator of the Kepler Mission, we talked about the latest Kepler discoveries on the cusp of the habitable zone of their system, the difference due to a planet being larger than Earth, the search criteria and how it is now being extended outward, and the status of the Kepler mission in terms of achieving its mission goal of determining how many Earth twins  might be out there just waiting for discovery.  It’s a fascinating and information packed discussion which I believe you will enjoy, learn from, and appreciate.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact any of  us through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. David Kipping, Friday, 2-10-12 February 10, 2012

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Dr. David Kipping, Friday, 2-10-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1709-BWB-2012-02-10.mp3

Guest:  Dr. David Kipping.  Topics:  Searching for Exomoons and Exoplanets with Kepler Space Telescope (KST).  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. David Kipping to the program to discuss the search for Exomoons and Exoplanets.  The primary tool for these searches is the Kepler Space Telescope (KST).  We talked about the methods used to search for the exomoons, mainly planet transits.  Later in our discussion we talked about the other methods including detecting wobbles and using pulsars.  Another discussion issue was the fixed field of view for the KST (about 10 degrees) and the benefit of having multiple KSTs to look at different and broader fields of view of the sky.  Dr. Kipping was asked several questions about finding exomoons in the habitable zone (Goldilocks zone). We also discussed the randomness of targets and the small number that are actually in the field of view from Earth.  Charles in an email brought up spectroscopy in the searches. 

In the second segment, we started out discussing pulsars and their role in these searches.  Dr. Kipping went into some detail to explain to us the radiation pulses and how they can be interpreted in the exoplanet/moon searches.  As you will hear, pulsars are not likely to be located in the Goldilocks zone but Dr. Kipping did give us an idea of the best targets for a visit were we to have interstellar space travel.  Later we talked about the JWST and infrared searches along with the potential the JWST brings to astronomy.  This discussion took into account the NASA budget, competition with the science missions and human spaceflight, and making hard choices for this or that funding.  Our guest took some listener questions about nanosatellites and swarms of mini-KSTs.  Dr. Kipping had much to say about this idea, including that it was a good one.  Another issue covered was the international effort in these searches.  I asked our guest about amateurs and planet searches. He told us about an interactive website, www.planethunters.org plus other programs that involved non-professionals in the searches.  Near the end of the program, Dr. Kipping discussed the differences with the KST public data and private data. 

Please post your comments on The Space Show blog.  If you want to send a note to Dr. Kipping, please do so through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

Dr. Peter Shaver, Monday, 1-23-12 January 23, 2012

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Dr. Peter Shaver, Monday, 1-23-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1696-BWB-2012-01-23.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Peter Shaver.  Topics:  Dr. Shaver’s boo, “Cosmic Heritage,” the universe, cosmology, consciousness, cognition.  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. Peter Shaver to the show to discuss his new book, “Cosmic Heritage: Evolution from the Big Bang to Conscious Life.  Dr. Shaver started our discussion by telling us what motivated him to write this book as well as the search for answers to the Big Three questions:  (1) What are the origins of life; (2) What is the nature of life; (2) To understand consciousness.  We talked about the big bang, the microwave background and the early phases of the universe.  We also discussed cosmology & the inter-disciplinary nature of his book, including the fields of psychology, consciousness, and biology.  We talked about the age of the universe at 13.7 billion years.  Dr. Shaver then described the timeline by referencing the Sagan Calendar. I asked him about a section of his book, “Are There Questions That Science Can Never Address?” starting on page 238.  Dr. Shaver talked about taboos and the limits of science. Recurring events or experiences in the natural world can be subject to the scientific method.  A once-only event may not be due the inability to repeat the experiment.  Also, if something is outside the natural world, the paranormal for example, science would not likely be able to address that issue or question. Later, Dr. Shaver was asked what came before the Big Bang.  Here, he introduced us to multiverse theories.  He mentioned the work being done with the Large Hadron Collider and the search for the search for the Higgs-boson particle. Another project he mentioned was the European Space Agency Planck Satellite designed to observe the anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background.  A listener asked about the political nature of science, especially science funding.  Dr. Shaver had much to say in response to this question, including the use of peer review.  Other listener questions asked him about big science projects and their value compared to cost such as the James Webb Space Telescope.  Cognition and consciousness were discussed in the context of his book which addresses the field of neuroscience.  Terry called to ask we will see in telescopes as we get closer to the big bang. Will we still see stars, planets, or just matter in chaos?  Dr. Shaver then guided us through gazing through the dark sky at night and slowly removing from our view the sources of light until we reach the edge of the universe which he referred to as the Near Side of Dark Ages.  Another listener asked if we could actually see the big bang and he talked about the microwave background and fog that we cannot see through.  This brought up the Hubble Deep Field, then Andrew asked if we could use a telescope to see the first light from Earth when it was formed. As our discussion was drawing to a close, we talked about the rate of advancements in science, finding planets in the habitable zone and the future for those wanting to study science or have a science related profession.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above. You can order the book from Amazon using www.amazon.com/Cosmic-Heritage-Evolution-Bang-Conscious/dp/3642202608/ref=onegialeafou-20. Remember, when using this Amazon URL, Amazon contributes to The Space Show/OGLF.  Dr. Shaver can be reached at p4shaver@gmail.com.   

The John Batchelor Show, Hotel Mars Segment, Wednesday, 1-18-12 January 19, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show, Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-18-12

Kepler Space Telescoe and Exomoons

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1693-BWB-2012-01-18.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. David Kipping Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Kepler Space Telescope and the search for Exomoons.  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. Written 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. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com.  The topics in this 11 minute plus segment focused on the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) and the search for Exomoons.  Our guest was Dr. David Kipping, an astronomer based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA).  Dr. Kipping has written extensively on the subject of exomoons and you can read one of his articles at www.time.com/printout/0,8816,2104376,00.html.  During our segment, Dr. Kipping talked about transits, the role of exomoons in computer the mass of a planet and its makeup, size, speed, and more.  We talked about how far out the KST can see and what it might take to discover Earth size moons.  Toward the end of the segment, Mr. Batchelor brought up the role of red dwarfs in this discussion.  If you have comments or questions, please post them on the blog URL above.  Dr. Kipping has been invited to be a regular guest on an upcoming Space Show program.

The John Batchelor Show, Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-11-12 January 12, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show, Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-11-12

Featuring John Batchelor, Dr. Seth Shostak & Dr. David Livingston

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1688-BWB-2012-01-11.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Seth Shostak, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Kepler Space Telescope and SETI.   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. Written 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. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor.  Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, http://www.johnbatchelorshow.com. The topics in this 11 minute plus segment focused on the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) and the search for life supporting planets as an enhancement to SETI.  Dr. Shostak explained several of the recent KST discoveries in the context of SETI and answered many related SETI questions posed by John and me.  For example, I asked Seth if KST was changing the odds and the number of potential targets per the Drake Equation.  Don’t miss this segment which helps us all understand the added value of KST and SETI.  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog for everyone to see and read.  You can learn more about Seti at www.seti.org.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Wednesday, 12-21-11 December 22, 2011

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Wednesday, 12-21-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1676-BWB-2011-12-21.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space Act Agreement, private compared to government space, Kepler planet discovery, bats.  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. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  Merry Christmas to all of you from The Space Show.  We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the show for policy, news, and bat updates.  Make sure you visit his blog for interesting and timely news and posts, http://behindtheblack.com. We started our two hour discussion with Bob saying that NASA reverting back to using the SAA instead of the FAR was perhaps the most significant moment in space since the Apollo landings. Listen to his explanation which he talked about multiple times during the program. Do you agree?  In talking about the SAA, we also talked about the new NASA budget of $406 million for crew, including the amounts already allocated, leaving about $100 million less for the companies.  We talked about the need to have launch competition with at least two companies.  In addition, since NASA will “certify” the private HSF vehicles, we talked about what that might be like and the continued control over the companies by NASA.  As you will hear over and over again, Bob does not look favorably on government space programs and believes the future is to be found within the private sector.  Do you agree with Bob?  Another point Bob made in discussing the SAA was that it probably sounded the death knell for SLS.  Again, listen to what he had to say on this subject.  Kelly called in and sent us information about another effort to commercialize the remaining two space shuttles.  We talked about this and similar plans in detail.  The new Stratolaunch concept came up and Bob got a few questions about air launch and the performance gain from doing an air launch. Our discussion closed in the management team involved in the project as being a “dream team.”  In the second segment, we talked about the new Earth-like planet discoveries by the Kepler Space Telescope, including two in the habitable zone.  Later, we talked about human rating the Atlas and Delta rockets, and the DOD-ULA deal which may not happen.  Listeners asked Bob about the Russian space program in light of Phobos-Grunt, about SETI, and even possible one way missions to Mars.  Alistair asked about the possible impact on US policy makers if China was about to go to the Moon & establish a lunar base.  Later we talked about Telstar, ATT, airmail, and space politics..  We concluded with a bat update on White Nose Syndrome.  Bob suggested three areas to look for in 2012: the Falcon 9 launch, the test flight of Antares, and Virgin Galactic SS2 engine tests and flights.  Please post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.