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Bas Lansdorp of Mars One, Friday, 8-31-12 August 31, 2012

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Bas Lansdorp of Mars One, Friday, 8-31-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1845-BWB-2012-08-31.mp3

Guest:  Bas Lansdorp.  Topics:  The Mars One program from a business, financial, engineering, technical, & human factors perspective for Martian settlement.  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 Bas Lansdorp, founder of Mars One to the program to tell us about the program and respond to a wide array of questions pertaining to the Mars One plan.  For more information, visit their website at www.mars-one.com.  Also, check out their FAQ at http://mars-one.com/en/faq-en. If you want to ask Bas & his team questions, use info@mars-one.com.  Dr. John Jurist joined us as co-host regarding many of the human factors, technical, and media financing discussion topics.  Since our topic addressed many of the same issues with crossover for both segments, I have summarized the program without regard to segments.  We started by asking Bas about the Curiosity landing per the European media and the interest in Holland which is his home.  It was clear that Curiosity fever was strong and exciting across the pond just as it was here.  I then asked Bas to tell us about Mars One.  For the next half hour, Bas talked with us about why he started Mars One, plus he went over in some detail the Mars One plan, including financing, technical, engineering, human factors, and research issues.  After our introduction to Mars One, Dr. Jurist and I began asking questions about the Mars One media financing plan, human factors, micro and partial gravity issues, life support issues, and more.  We covered a broad range of issues including launches, launch state liability, family settlement on Mars, children on Mars, pregnancy, before the launch medical procedures, astronaut selection, etc.  We received several listener emails which we discussed with Bas throughout our 90 minute discussion.  After our initial introduction to the Mars One program, our discussion revolved around Bas responding to our questions and those asked by our listeners.  Some other issues discussed included time line, mission delays, the loss of a resupply mission & its impact on the overall Mars One timeline, RX medications on Mars, solar power as compared to nuclear power for Mars One missions, Mars EDL plans for both cargo and humans, outsourcing components for Mars One and payload integration services & needs, plus settlement sustainability issues with possible timelines.

Please tell us what you think by posting comments and questions on The Space Show blog.  For specific questions for Bas or his team, use the Mars One email address but also do post on the blog for the benefit of all listeners.

Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12 August 29, 2012

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Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1843-BWB-2012-08-28.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Anita Sengupta.  Topics:  Entry, Descent, & Landing for Mars, Venus, propulsion, parachute issues, & more.  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. Anita Sengupta, Senior Systems Engineer at JPL in Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) Advanced Technologies Group to discuss EDL for Mars, other planets, and much more.  In our first segment, Dr. Sengupta described conditions relevant to Mars and landing an object on the planet. We talked about the Martian atmosphere and what an EDL team needs to consider and design to land any payload on Mars as well as humans. We also learned that EDL for a different size payload would be different than what was used for Curiosity, probably needing new systems.  We talked about supersonic parachutes & parachutes in general, addressing parachute materials, velocity, parachute violent extremes, the speed of sound & much more.  Another topic was testing on Earth to make sure the devices work on Mars.  Dr. Sengupta explained how such testing & Mars simulation is done on Earth.  Other landing techniques such as airbags were mentioned along with retro rockets.  During this discussion, our guest did a great job of explaining the various forces and physics involved in landing & how each of these forces must be dealt with for a successful landing.  We then talked about landing a payload on Venus and just how different Venus is to Mars.  The same for our Moon and the moons of Mars, Phobos & Deimos.  Listeners sent in questions about the rover debris being left on Mars as well as wondering if there were other ways to explore Mars than using rovers.  John called to inquire about first stage reusability & our guest talked about doing the “trades” (running the numbers to see if reusability is economic or not). Doug called to talk about orbital transfer vehicles, aerobraking, and more.  This led us to a discussion about larger launch vehicles, the need to dissipate lots of energy on reentry, and why larger areas with drag are preferable.

In our second segment, I asked about software programs we might use for the basic type of analysis Dr. Sengupta had been discussing. Note her recommendations.  We then talked about plasma propulsion and ion thrusters.  Dr. Sengupta had much to say on this subject including ion thruster fuel, costs, ISP, and again, the importance of doing trade studies for a mission to determine the best methodology/economics for the mission. Our guest also talked about the lower ISP Hall ion thruster which was also lower in cost but with substantially more ISP than a chemical engine.  Also in this segment, we talked about the Dawn mission & Vega, a possible Europa mission & the use of nano satellites for the Europa mission.  Doug called back regarding ion propulsion fuel, xenon, iron, lunar fuel, etc.  As our program was ending, Anita mentioned the Orion parachute system tests she works on & the new Mars mission InSight.  Several times during the program, Dr. Sengupta stressed the need to do the trade studies regarding mission planning to determine the best economics & cost effectiveness for the mission.  Many of you have heard on The Space Show that if one does not “run the numbers,” it is impossible to know if what you want to do is economically & mission productive/viable.  On Oct. 28, Dr. Jurist is doing a special webinar with his interactive Excel spreadsheet on rocket/mission planning.  It is essential to be able to do this in mission planning.  Trusting your beliefs, gut, & preferences are not the way to go so watch this webinar if you can.

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