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Dr. John Hunter, Monday, 2-18-13 February 19, 2013

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Dr. John Hunter, Monday, 2-18-13


Guest:  Dr. John Hunter.  Topics:  Hydrogen gas gun technology and capability, microwave propulsion for delivering cargo.  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 back Dr. John Hunter for a fresh look at hydrogen gas gun propulsion technology and capability, microwave propulsion for delivering propellant and delicate cargo, cubesat launchers, and more.  During the first segment of our 85 minute program, Dr. Hunter briefly explained his departure from QuickLaunch and the viability of impulse launch with the hydrogen gas gun.  He explained how the hydrogen gas gun works which as you will hear is very simple.  Dr. Hunter say that with the gas gun, there could be very high payload fractions into the 20’s.  Our guest was asked about total costs for the hydrogen gas gun which he referred to as installed costs.  Listeners asked him to describe the physical characteristics of the gun and we talked about how many times it could be used without needing refurbishing of some kind.  Dr. Hunter also talked about the high pressures and we compared the gun to the old U.S. Navy battleship 18 inch gun from the WWII era.  A listener asked if the gun would make a good weapon.  The answer was no.  John was asked where the gun might be located and talked about Adak & Kodiak, Alaska plus other possible sites in the Lower 48.  Listeners then asked if the Alaskan heavier cold air was a factor in using the gun.  We learned that the differences between cold air and warm air were minor.

     In our second segment, Dr. Hunter introduced us to microwave propulsion launch.  He spent some time describing how microwave launch would work and even talked about using consumer quality magnetrons from microwave ovens.  In response to listener questions, he talked about demo launches and a Cal Tech student’s PhD thesis on the subject.  Later in the segment, our guest was asked about using an impulse launch system as a cubesat launcher given the rise in popularity along with growing demand for cubesats.  Our last discussion topic was the use of Kickstarter for funding emerging and startup space projects.  Dr. Hunter said it offered real possibilities and advantages for regular people to participate in space companies and projects, but he also issued a warning for people to be alert to not be taken given the lack of oversight with crowd sourcing funding projects in general.

     Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Dr. Hunter through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.