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Bruce Pittman, Monday, 12-16-13 December 16, 2013

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Bruce Pittman, Monday, 12-16-13


Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

Guest:  Bruce Pittman.  Topics:  Commercial space, new technologies, emerging space industries.  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 back to the show Bruce Pittman for a 1 hour 23 minute far ranging discussion on commercial space and related topics.  We started our first segment with the Planetary Sustainability Initiative.  More about this is available on the Sustainable Silicon Valley website, www.sustainablesv.org/ssv2013/index.php.  Bruce shared with us stories from the recent conference, including the fact that California Governor Jerry Brown attended and was involved in the discussions.  From this program, we talked about new technologies that could benefit life support for deep space missions including Mars as well as space technologies that could be used here on Earth.  Another example cited was the Bloom Box by Bloom Energy (www.bloomenergy.com).  Bruce also mentioned the SpaceX Raptor engine designed to use methane for BLEO missions.  In talking about 2013 commercial space, Bruce cited the successful end to the COTS program and we talked about emerging business opportunities on the ISS.  He also mentioned a change toward commercial space investments in the attitude of VC types in Silicon Valley.  In addition, he mentioned the blossoming cubesat and nanosat industry.  The Moon came up, especially in light of the recent Chinese lunar robotic lander and Bruce talked about the developing lunar and commercial space private ventures underway in the U.S. now.  Next, our guest was asked about public/private partnerships and here we had quite the discussion, especially with regards to some saying more government oversight was needed for commercial ventures.  Dave called in to continue the public private partnership discussion in light of the NASA Advisory Council and consideration toward applying such partnerships to heavy lift vehicles.  Bruce brought up the potential game changing technology for launch vehicle reusability.

In our second segment, our guest talked about the excitement ahead for 2014 given the advances with the suborbital companies, the potential start of space tourism, and more.  We talked about the Google Solve For X program focusing on fusion energy.  Bruce mentioned advances with LENR. Doug called to talk about the Space Act Agreement and budgeting issues for space and the private companies.  We concluded our discussion with a preview glance at the 2014 ISDC Conference to be held in Los Angeles in May.  The last listener question dealt with Mars One and Inspiration Mars. Bruce offered a few comments on both program.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Bruce Pittman can be contacted through me.

Dennis Wingo, Monday, 8-6-12 August 7, 2012

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Dennis Wingo, Monday, 8-6-12


Guest:  Dennis Wingo.  Topics:  Economic Development of the Moon.  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 Dennis Wingo back to the program to discuss his July 16, 2012 blog article and concept, “Changing the Conversation about the Economic Development of the Moon.”  You can find his article at http://denniswingo.wordpress.com.  We started our first segment of this nearly two hour program with a shout out to NASA, JPL, & the entire Curiosity team for an outstanding job with landing Curiosity on Mars.  Dennis then pointed out that MSL and Curiosity cost about half of a Nimitz Super Carrier.  Dennis then talked about heavy lift and the fact that modern technology, on orbit fuel depots, orbital dynamics, and ISRU usage all provide reasonable and cost-effective alternatives to the need for heavy lift.  In this discussion, he also included the use of a lunar 3D printer.  Dennis listed several new technologies and applications so don’t miss this section.  Dennis next outlined a plan to eventually have boots on the lunar surface at both poles for water and development.  He would start of with robotics. He noted a preference for the north pole.  We talked about our present day capability to get to either lunar pole.  Doug called in from S. California to talk about telerobotics using telemedicine as an example.  During this discussion, we learned that in the use of robotics, about 90%  represents the robots while 10% represents the people operating, servicing, repairing, and maintaining the robots.
In our second segment, listener Larry asked Dennis about timelines.  Dennis suggested by 2020 we could be back on the Moon.  He broke this down in stages to explain why it would take so long to undertake this mission.  He then said we needed a mindset change to go back to the Moon.  The mindset change enables seeing the Moon first for economic development and then science as a secondary objective.  We talked about the international potential for such a lunar economic mission (private, not government), Another listener asked our guest if a Netscape Moment was essential for developing lunar commerce.  Michael called in to talk about the potential legal & regulatory risks for lunar economic missions.  This too was an interesting & challenging discussion, don’t miss it.  Tim called to ask about the use of space tugs and specific launch vehicles as well as new combinations of rocket fuel. Dennis offered us important closing comments about financing such missions, launch cost issues of concern, and allowing government to dictate our future.  Please post your comments/questions on the blog.
If you want to send an email to Dennis Wingo, you can do so through me & I will forward it to him.

Rusty Schweickart, Tuesday, 5-1-12 May 2, 2012

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Rusty Schweickart, Tuesday, 5-1-12


Guest:  Rusty Schweickart.   Topics:  Planetary Defense, NEO deflection.  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 Rusty Schweickart to update us on the latest with planetary defense and NEO risk assessment.  Rusty started our discussion with an examining of the asteroid 2011 AG5 which if it goes through the keyhole in 2023, would be likely to hit Earth in 2040.  During much of this first segment, our guest explained asteroid orbital issues, the keyhole and why it is so important to understand it, Earth’s gravity impact on NEOs, and the different deflection techniques.  He talked about the need for a dual mission which would include an observer satellite plus the kinetic impact deflector.  The observer satellite would be needed to confirm the hit and if the deflection was sufficient to miss the keyhole.  He estimated the cost for such a mission from $500 million to a billion or more!  We also learned that the keyhole for AG5 is about 300 KM wide and that is a much easier deflection than trying to do it once AG5 goes through the keyhole. Then we would be looking at a deflection roughly equal to the Earth’s diameter of 20,000 km which is a much harder deflection to accomplish requiring significantly more energy and costs.  Other issues talked about in this segment included the state of our existing technology to accomplish a deflection, the risks associated with AG5, the issue of who pays for the cost of such a mission, the role of a heavy lift launcher in deflection, and asteroid finding space telescopes.

In our second segment, we talked about different scenarios for deflection and the cost of deflection compared to the cost of an evacuation of people from the impact zone.  Rusty talked about knowing the impact zone and why we can evaluate this much further in advance of impact than when working with space debris.  A listener asked about using a nuclear bomb in space for mitigation. Rusty took us through the nuclear analysis and when as a last resort, a nuke might be needed.  In this analysis, he again went over the kinetic impact and then talked about the gravity tractor concept which he said was slow but very precise.  In his analysis, he used an interesting analogy to baseball, pitching the fastball, & the point at which the batter must act given the speed of the ball.  Don’t miss it.  We talked more on telescopes and he mentioned the University of Hawaii ATLAS project (www.fallingstar.com). Another important point discussed in this segment was the fact that NASA has no official responsibility to protect us from a hit.  We talked about the consequences of this policy, changing the policy to officially give NASA this responsibility, and funding it through the budget process.  During our discussion, Rust outlined several steps that listeners could take if interested in this issue.  Rusty offered specific recommendations all of us could do that would be beneficial to planetary defense.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to send Rusty a note, please do so through me.