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Marcia Smith, Friday, 3-13-15 March 14, 2015

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Marcia Smith, Friday, 3-13-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2433-BWB-2015-03-13.mp3

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Guest:  Marcia Smith.  Topics:  NASA budgets and their process, specific NASA programs, U.S. congress and 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 Marcia Smith back to the program to discuss the proposed NASA FY 16 budget and process, sequestration, specific NASA projects and more.  During our one segment 69 minute discussion, Ms. Smith started out by stating that the proposed 2016 FY NASA budget was bigger than the 2015 NASA budget by about $500 million!  Ms. Smith continued saying the trend was upward with continued strong support for SLS, Orion, and even Europa.  Also, NASA remains largely bipartisan in its congressional support.  I asked our guest about the coming sequestration for 2016-2021 and here, uncertainty prevails.  We also learned that there would be more flexibility for targeted sequestration cuts than there were the first time.  Sequestration has a focus towards two categories, security and non-security projects and expenditures.  Bob in Tucson sent in our first email to inquire about a possible “war” within the NASA planetary science and human spaceflight directorates.  A question came in regarding congressional motivators with a focus on SLS motivators.  Among the SLS motivators mentioned by our guest were national prestige, global leadership, preserving and growing our industrial base, and keeping people employed.  Jerry emailed in asking about NASA educational outreach and support in the proposed FY 16 budget.  Our first caller was Michael Listner who wanted to expand on earlier comments about the private sector and NASA, specifically government programs.  Marcia and Michael had an interesting discussion focusing on these issues.  Both cited examples including ULA, the EELV program, and the concept of “skin in the game plus the opportunity for a private sector company to fail and maybe needing a government bailout if all our eggs were in that one private sector basket. The new Lockheed Jupiter commercial cargo space tug program was mentioned and Michael said it might be useful for removal of some space debris.  The subject of building LEO infrastructure came up multiple times during our discussion, especially the issue of who or what entity would pay for its development. Government or the private sector?  BJohn asked Marcia email questions about reusability thus providing NASA with more “bang for the buck” so to speak.  I asked Marcia several questions about the discretionary part of our budget, we talked more about the Europa mission and the best way to influence congressional space policy makers.  Our guest had some very interesting things to say about this so don’t miss the discussion.  Near the end of the program, I asked if there was any serious effort to move to ten year funding for space and other very long projects given the likelihood of a program not lasting ten years due to congressional changes and program cuts.  Marcia did mention that the shuttle and ISS programs survived so it was possible for a program to last a long time. She also did not think there would be ten year funding as congress would not give up its continue oversight responsibilities for such a long term obligation.  Peter in San Diego asked about the 2016 elections and if we were likely to see a radical shift in space policy.  Donald in Los Angeles asked if the one party congress would get the budget done or if we were likely to see a CR at the end of September.  BJohn sent in another email asking about possible congressional motivators to be even more supportive of space than they have been given their $500 million budget increase.  Beverly asked Marcia about international cooperation with space projects.  Marcia said she was a strong supporter of international cooperation.  She also provided us with a few of her excellent reasons for supporting international cooperation.  Before the program ended, we came back to the issue of LEO infrastructure and cislunar development.  Given the private sector’s reluctance to invest in these areas so far, a natural conclusion would be that the private or commercial markets are not yet developed.

Please post your comments on TSS blog above.  Visit Marcia’s site, www.spacepolicyonline.com for the latest in space new and policy developments.  You can reach Ms. Smith through her website or me.

 

Emily Lakdawalla, Tuesday, 3-10-15 March 11, 2015

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 Emily Lakdawalla, Tuesday, 3-10-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2431-BWB-2015-03-10.mp3

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Guest:  Emily Lakdawalla.  Topics:  We discussed planetary science missions, the outer and inner planets, Ceres, icy moons, and 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 back Emily Lakdawalla for a far ranging planetary science and mission discussion.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Emily was asked questions about the Planetary Society’s solar sail mission, LightSail.  Look forward to a special Space Show program about this project in the near future.  I asked her about her Cassini Icy Moons article on her Planetary Society blog which can be found at http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-lakdawalla.  We talked about the photo mosaics and Emily told us about the software and how any of could easily do similar mosaics.  As you will hear, we talked about icy moons throughout our program.  The Dawn mission with its approach to Ceres was an important discussion topic as was New Horizons on the way to Pluto.  As all of you have heard before, this is the year of the Dwarf Planet!  Dan called with questions about Mars 2020 and the sample return mission.  We touched on human spaceflight and addressed the NASA planetary budget.  Roy called to ask about the Thursday press conference about Ganymede, then before the break we got a question about the Rosetta mission and the Ceres bright spot.

In the second segment, Emily had more to say about New Horizons, how photos and data would be sent back to Earth, and the upcoming cliff hanging moments with New Horizons and why they are considered cliff hanging.  Don’t miss our New Horizons discussion.  Callers and questions came in about Europa, the overall cost of planetary missions for the American taxpayer, the Dawn orbit around Ceres and limitations due to hydrazine.  One listener even asked if there would be public events around New Horizons arriving at Pluto.  Near the end of the segment, Doug sent in several emails asking about Uranus and Neptune and here Emily had much to say in support of such missions.  I asked our guest about her preference between inner and outer planets.  We also talked about returning to the Moon.  Near the end of the program, Carl wanted to know what was going to happen with planetary science after New Horizons.  A series of lunar questions came in with one asking about a lunar sample return.  I asked Emily if a lunar sample return was needed given the quantity of Moon Rocks that we have from the Apollo era.  Don’t miss her most interesting reply with a focus on possible contamination from the lunar Imbrium event.  As our program was ending, Barry wanted to know why we were using radio communications from the outer planets rather than light.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Emily Lakdawalla can be reached through her blog or me.

Matthew (Matt) Wallace, Tuesday, 12-2-14 December 3, 2014

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Matthew (Matt) Wallace, Tuesday, 12-2-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2367-BWB-2014-12-02.mp3

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Guest:  Matthew (Matt) Wallace.  Topics:  Mars science missions, Mars 2020, searching for lie on Mars.  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 http://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 Matt Wallace from our Hotel Mars program to his first appearance on The Space Show.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Matt talked about his early mission assignments when he first came to JPL, then his shift to the Mars program.  We also talked about how the science missions and rovers are designed, managed, and eventually flown.  I asked our guest several questions about the science missions such as how a Deimos mission might differ from a mission to the surface of Mars.  Later, a listener asked our guest about a Europa mission and how that would differ. While there are clearly differences in the missions to different destinations, the trade process, planning, team organization and such all work pretty much the same.  We did spend some time talking about a Europa mission as that mission is a favorite for many of us, our guest included Most of the Europa mission discussion was in the second segment.  Matt talked about the new science instruments that will be on board Mars 2020, plus the extensive use of heritage hardware. He also said about 70% of the original MSL & Curiosity team would be working on Mars 2020, an important fact in managing the mission, costs and assuring mission success.  Matt was asked why it was so hard to confirm microbial life on Mars now or in the past & if there was one instrument that could do that.  This proved to be a fascinating and detailed discussion so don’t miss it.  Many listener emails addressed the rover control process.  There is no real time communication with the rover so Matt explained how they send commands to the rover, how the rover processes those commands and the safeguards built into it to protect the rover from accidents, etc.  He also talked about communication windows with Earth, when antennas are pointed toward Mars, and the busy DSN.  Listener Alex asked him about the book “The Martian” and wanted to know that were an astronaut stuck on Mars or needing some sort of emergency gear or something, could a defunct Mars rover be cannibalized for parts and made to work for the purpose needed by the person on Mars.  Matt’s answer might surprise you.  Several listeners wanted to know about a human Mars mission being more efficient for finding life signs than a rover.  Matt explained the trades involved. Doug emailed in a similar question during the second segment.  Matt said its not either or.  Instead, the rovers and a human mission are synergistic with one another.  As the segment ended, our guest was asked if NASA/JPL would consider partnering with a private human mission such as Mars One to use Mars One crew members for science missions.

In the second segment, we talked about other Mars rovers and mission including Maven and Insight.  Next, the question came in about Europa that was mentioned in the earlier segment.  Doug not only asked his robotic vs. human question but he sent in another question regarding the sample return mission and what methods might be used for collecting multiple samples.  He suggested a few different collection methods.  Matt said they discuss these types of options but in the end the trades opt for simpler missions for a variety of reasons.  See what you think of his answer & post your comment on the blog.  John, a high school student, sent in a note about colleges and the best path to be able to work in the space industry.  Barbara sent in a note asking if the EDL would be Seven Minutes of Terror Part 2 since they were using the same system as used for Curiosity or would it be less stressful.  Matt said they would still be nail biting all the way down.

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

Rob Manning, Friday, 11-7-14 November 8, 2014

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Rob Manning, Friday, 11-7-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2351-BWB-2014-11-07.mp3

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Guest:  Rob Manning.  Topic:  Mars Science Lab Curiosity and Rob’s new book, “Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer.”  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 http://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 Rob Manning back to the program to discuss Mars Science Lab and the Curiosity rover plus his new book,  “Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer.”  Please remember to purchase this book through The Space Show/OGLF Amazon portal as Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show for each purchase.  Instructions can be found on every blog and website archived program or you can email me.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, we started talking about landing on Mars given Rob was last on the show in November 2009 regarding his paper on the challenges in landing large payloads on Mars.  We discussed Martian EDL, the MSL landing approach, the sky crane, and more.  I asked Rob about engineering errors & what they do at JPL to not make them as opposed to car engineers where there are usually multiple car recalls from most all brands. Don’t miss what Rob said about this, it might surprise you.  Rob then mentioned several errors & mistakes that they made, including incorrectly estimating the Martian gravity at the bottom of Gale Crater which ended up impacting their landing & of course the Curiosity wheels.  I also asked Rob for his thoughts on private Mars missions being able to land a big  payload or crew on Mars.  Listen carefully, his response may again surprise you.  Later, a listener asked Rob why Mars and if we were Mars obsessed.  Rob talked about our Mars culture and the good scientific reasons for our focus on Mars.  We also talked about other solar system targets plus radiation issues for the outer planets that were not as severe for Mars.  We talked about doing more, Titan, Europa, & the NASA budget.

In the second segment, listener Claudia asked about the biggest challenges in designing Curiosity, launching it, getting it to Mars. and Martian operations.  Rob said their concerns were born out, he talked about EDL, the sky crane.  Ben wanted to know if his concerns expressed in his paper referenced earlier turned out to be valid when actually designing EDL for Curiosity. B John emailed in several questions pertaining to Earth-Mars telerobotics & a Mars sample return mission back to Earth.  Near the end of our discussion, we talked about the new Mars 2020 project and finding life on Mars.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Rob Manning through me.

 

Rod Pyle, Friday, 9-26-14 September 27, 2014

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Rod Pyle, Friday, 9-26-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2325-BWB-2014-09-26.mp3

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Guest:  Rod Pyle.  Topic:  We discussed Rod’s latest book, “Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen.” 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 http://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 author Rod Pyle back to the show to discuss his current book, “Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen.”  Find out more about Rod and his books at his websites, http://www.rodpylebooks.net and http://www.rodpylemedia.com.  During the first segment of this 1 hour 27 minute program, Rod explained his long time interest in Mars and why he decided to write this excellent book.  I asked if NASA & JPL were cooperative with him in writing it and he said yes.  I asked him what impressed him the most about the Curiosity project and he said the Sky Crane to which he has devoted a full chapter in his book.  Rod then told us about the NASA Curiosity Mission Review Panel headed by Clive Neal at Notre Dame which suggested that mission management had enabled problems including getting a poor science return for the money and its lack of scientific focus and detail.  You can read about this review panel by visiting http://astronomyaggregator.com/exploration/nasa-panel-curiosity-planning-lacks-scientific-focus or simply Google Notre Dame Curiosity Mission Review Panel for additional panel commentary on Curiosity.  Listeners asked Rod about HSF to Mars and if after researching the mission, did he think the money spent on the project was worth it.  Rod provided some interesting budgetary comparisons and did say that he thought it was a good investment & program. He talked about the Curiosity mission goals, sedimentary rocks and Martian geology.  Future missions based on Curiosity were brought up, especially Mars 2020.  Another listener asked about using humans for Martian exploration instead of rovers.  He cited compelling financial facts between rovers and HSF which supported the use of Rovers, at least for now.  Another listener asked if he thought Curiosity was the best ever Mars mission.  His response might surprise you.  Prior to the break, he addressed a question about missions to the Martian moons.

In the second segment, Paula asked about ongoing mission operating costs and wanted to know if they were roughly equal for all the robotic missions.  Later, I asked if JPL had reviewed his manuscript. He said he sent it to them for fact checking but not content editing.  He also mentioned JPL reviewed it from an ITAR compliance perspective but did not “muzzle” anything.  A listener asked about the life expectancy of a rover team at JPL before moving on to another project or even leaving JPL.  Questions came in about SpaceX and its Mars plans, the both the SLS and F1 engine project came up for discussion.  Later, Rod said based on website hits, Pathfinder was probably the most popular of the Mars rover missions.  Another listener asked Rod to compare rovers from other nations to those built by JPL and NASA. As we were ending, he was asked about the Indian MOM mission and Maven.  His book “Curiosity” is packed with information such as we discussed plus much more in 32 chapters.  Remember, if you buy the book on Amazon, use the OGLF Amazon Portal so that Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show. Instructions are on all website & blog archives plus both websites or just email me.

Please post questions/comments on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Rod through his websites or me.

 

John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 9-10-14 September 11, 2014

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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 9-10-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2313-BWB-2014-09-10.mp3

Featuring Matt Wallace, Mars 2020 Deputy Program Manager

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Guests: John Batchelor, Matt Wallace, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Mars 2020 Rover program.   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.

 

We welcomed Matthew (Matt) Wallace, the Deputy Project Manager for Mars 2020, to discuss the Mars 2020 Rover Project and future Mars rover missions. We talked about similarities and improvements from the Curiosity rover including wheel changes.  The landing site selection process was talked about as the team now has over 50 possible landing sites to consider.  Mars 2020 will carry with it tools to search for organics and signs of past life and more.  The Mars Sample Return Mission was talked about, including a short brief on how Mars 2020 will capture and save possible sample return items.  Our guest also described in brief detail the rover’s capabilities to look for organics & signs of life with the use of a laser tool

 

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