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Sarah Scoles, Tuesday, 11-24-15 November 25, 2015

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Sarah Scoles, Tuesday, 11-24-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2592-BWB-2015-11-24.mp3

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Guest:  Sarah Scoles.  Topics: Science and space writing, space news stories, NewSpace, Mojave, commercial space, space science missions & more.  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 Sarah Scoles to the show.  Check out her website, www.sarahscoles.com.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 54 minute discussion, I first asked Sarah why and how she transitioned from astronomy work to being a science and fiction writer.  She took us through her path which I found to be very interesting.  Next, I asked her about her interest and reporting on various segments of the space industry, starting with NewSpace.  In asking her this, I referenced a recent Popular Science article she wrote (www.popsci.com/what-happens-when-space-industry-collides-with-tiny-town) and the comment made by Mr. Witt  about Interorbital Space Systems “engines that burn up so they can use themselves as fuel.”  We had an interesting discussion about this plus her visit to Mojave which included visits to Virgin Galactic, Stratolauncher, then down the road to Palmdale to see and learn about the NASA SOFIA project.  Sarah shared her interesting experience getting to fly in the SOFIA modified 747.  Don’t miss her telling us about this experience and being in the modified 747 with the SOFIA telescope plus other changes to the jumbo jet.  Sarah also told us about flying in experimental aircraft with test pilots at Mojave.  Sounds like great fun to me!  Later, I asked our guest for her top 2015 stories.  Mojave was a favorite as was the SOFIA reporting and her article re Brian Shiro and Astronauts4Hire. Later, she also mentioned a hard science stories re B-modes.  The scientific work on this project later turned out to be wrong so the paper on it had to be withdrawn.  We talked about the possibility of some kind of life on Mars now or in the past, the same for the possibility of life perhaps elsewhere in our solar system.  Sarah also liked the Dawn Mission which we discussed.  Jack emailed her about one way to Mars trips and Mars One.  We learned that Sarah would consider going to Mars on a one way trip though she did not have much to say about Mars One.

 

In the second segment, we talked about the potential for at least microbial life elsewhere in the universe.  This led us to talking about exoplanets and I mentioned the previous day’s interview with Dr. Crisp regarding climate change on Venus and Mars.  I told Sarah and the listeners that according to Dr. Crisp, even with an advanced scientific and technical population on those planets, they would have been unable to stop or mitigate the processes that allowed both planets to become what they are today.  Sarah spoke about one of her articles in aeon magazine, “Does Earth have a shadow biosphere?”  or “Earth’s aliens.”  You can read this article at https://aeon.co/essays/does-earth-have-a-shadow-biosphere.  Later in this segment, Rhonda asked Sarah if she received pushback on being a science writer from family and friends.  You might be surprised by her reply.  Our guest received several questions asking how to get published in science magazines such as Sky and Telescope among others.  I asked Sarah if she was familiar several science and technology space projects such as the work by Jim Woodward on Mach Thrusters.  Near the end of the program, Doug emailed her and then called in wanting to know if public support for space was essential.  If so, what percentage of the population was needed for this essential support.  10% was suggested and then I suggested it would have be an activist 10% because there would be a strong need for citizen lobbying for the projects.  Just saying that 10% of the population likes space and would support a larger NASA budget is not enough in my opinion.  I believe such a goal would need to be aggressively pursued so if 10% of the population was what was needed, it better be an active and capable 10%.  Another listener asked her for her favorite destination.  She said it was Mars.  Next, Doug called to mention that at the last Mars Society Conference, he computed that only 18% of those present were women.  He asked Sarah how to get more women involved in space.  The two of them had interesting things to say on this topic.  Sarah offered us a good closing with excellent Pearls of Wisdom thoughts.  Be sure you hear them.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Sarah can be reached through her website.

 

Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Monday, 10-7-13 October 8, 2013

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Dr. Gilbert (Gil) Levin, Monday, 10-7-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2101-BWB-2013-10-07.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Gil Levin.  Topics:  Life on Mars, Viking 1 and 2, Labeled Release Experiments, NASA & more.  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 Dr. Gil Levin to continue our discussion about Viking 1 and 2, the possibility of finding life on Mars, and the Viking Labeled Release Experiment.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 21 minute discussion, Dr. Levin explained why the name “Labeled Release Experiment” was used rather than his first choice, Gulliver.  Dr. Levin talked about liquid water on Mars with the findings that there is probably 2% liquid water in the surface area.  He compared that to the amounts of water found in in dry soils on Earth which supports microbial life.  He also talked about complex organics which he says has not yet been confirmed though he questions why certain Curiosity experiments which he believes have been done have yet to release their findings.  Rick was our first caller with questions about water, NASA policy, and green spots found on rock and what that might mean.  Gil also spoke about his presentation at the SPIE Conference recently held in San Diego and the panel he was part of with a NASA representative.

In the second segment, Gil took a question about the meaning of perchlorates on Mars, he addressed additional questions on liquid water and discussed the recent press releases from NASA and others that there was no methane on Mars and what this might mean for looking for life on the Red Planet.  Regarding methane, our guest had much to say and that the findings were not conclusive for all of Mars nor does there have to be methane for organics.  I asked him about the timelines involved in Viking 1 and 2 and you might be surprised to learn it was a 20 year process.  A listener asked about the odds of finding intelligent life on Mars and our guest said pretty slim.  He was also asked about searching for life elsewhere in the solar system and he said Mars was the best choice and listed the reasons why, including the economics of space exploration.  A listener asked if Curiosity & other missions were shut down due to the government budget crisis. Doug emailed us that Curiosity was still up and running.  Later, Doug called at the end of the show to inquire about possible organic detection using the Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) from Spirit and Opportunity. We concluded with Dr. Levin suggesting we contact NASA to release information about the green spots on Mars and liquid organic analysis of the surface. Also during this segment and not related to Mars, a listener asked Gil a few questions about his WW2 experience in the Merchant Marine in the N. Atlantic and the Pacific.  It was an interesting digression and I still found a way to connect it to space and Mars!

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Dr. Levin through his website, www.gillevin.com.

Dr. Paul Davies, Monday, 9-16-13 September 16, 2013

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Dr. Paul Davies, Monday, 9-16-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2087-BWB-2013-09-16.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Paul Davies.  Topics:  Interstellar travel, microbiology, cosmology, Mars, and much more.  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 Dr. Paul Davies to this 65 minute discussion about his contribution to the excellent book, “Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon.” Other topics included interstellar travel, microbiology, human spaceflight, Mars, ET and much more.  We started our discussion with his Afterword in the “Starship Century” book and I asked him about his comments regarding microbes.  One quickly learns from reading his Afterword that it is not the propulsion and engineering that presents the greatest challenge to interstellar travel but what happens to essential microbes needed for life in microgravity and the space environment.  We learned that even in LEO such microbes can transform and become toxic to life.  This is a fascinating microbiology discussion regarding deep space missions to Mars, the Moon, and long interstellar travel. Don’t miss what Dr. Davies said about microbes as it opens up an entirely new study in human factors for human spaceflight.  Other issues we talked about included planetary contamination, microbial ecosystems, figuring out the minimal needed for sustainability regarding the good microbial environment.  Also, what microbes are crucial and those that might be irrelevant for the spaceflight passengers as well as for animals and plants needed for sustaining the mission.  Dr. Davies was asked that given microbiology being a bigger challenge than propulsion and engineering, were we close to having propulsion and engineering for interstellar travel.  You will appreciate his very “witty” answer to this listener’s question.  Faster than light travel came up and so did the work being done around the Alcubierre Drive.  Dr. Davies had much to say about faster than light travel, the speed of light, physics, and related disciplines.  In this discussion, we also talked about both black holes and worm holes.  Later, we talked about the possibility of life in the solar system other than on Earth.  You might be surprised by some of what Dr. Davies said, including the probabilities that Earth might have been visited over 100 million years ago.  Don’t jump to conclusions, listen to the discussion first.  Helen of Atlanta asked why bother with interstellar travel when we can’t even return to the Moon. Again, another terrific response by our guest.  More came up on the Fermi Paradox, the need to stay grounded in fundamental science but to have a vision and healthy skepticism.  Viking and Gil Levin came up regarding the possibility of life on Mars and the reluctance of NASA to do biological experiments regarding the possibility of life on Mars.  A listener asked our guest about ET conspiracy theories and government cover-ups.  In closing, Dr. Davies reminded us to have and conduct healthy speculation which means always staying in tune with fundamental science.  That is what separates speculation from fantasy, Kool Aid, and La La thinking.  As the program was ending, we talked some about his work in cancer research. Make sure you visit his website, http://cosmos.asu.edu.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach Dr. Davies through his website or me.