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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.

Chris Carberry, Monday, 8-20-12 August 21, 2012

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Chris Carberry, Monday, 8-20-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1837-BWB-2012-08-20.mp3

Guest:  Chris Carberry.  Topics: Explore Mars programs, space policy & presidential campaigns, HSF to Mars.  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 Chris Carberry back to the show to update us on new Explore Mars programs and also to talk about space policy & issues as part of a presidential campaign. You can follow along on their website, www.exploremars.org.  In our first segment, Chris started out talking about the Curiosity rover on Mars and its impact on policy and programming back here on Earth.  He also told us about a website created by Explore Mars, www.getcurious.com.  This additional site focused on Curiosity, but also as you will hear, described their Mars boulder program, what happened and where the thousand pound boulders went after Curiosity landed.  During this segment, we had a lengthy discussion about space as a political priority in presidential campaigns and Chris told us why in his experience space policy does not typically enter a presidential campaign.  Later we both said that the biggest issue facing our space program and HSF to Mars is the lack of political will.  Chris went on to tell us about their upcoming Space Blitz on Capitol Hill on Sept. 12, 2012, a joint program and effort with the NSS.  Chris concluded the first segment by telling us about an Explore Mars upcoming conference on Mars education scheduled for May 6-8, 2013.

In the second segment, a listener asked Chris why Explore Mars targeted women in its programming. Don’t miss the explanation offered by Mr. Carberry.  By the way, as far as I know, Explore Mars is one of only a few, maybe the only organization, that does programming specifically for women in space and for Mars activities.  Chris returned to Mars and space policy in political campaigns as well as political agendas, both in Congress and among the nation’s general population.  Since Chris is from Massachusetts, he got a few questions asking about congressional races in the state and the space policy/positions of the candidates competing for house and senate seats.  Chris was unsure of the various space/Mars candidate positions but noted that neither space or Mars had been or would likely be a discussion topic in anyone’s campaign this year.  I then asked Chris if he could design a space policy for a political candidate and he said yes though he would have to be very careful about how the policy was put forth and debated.  Don’t miss this discussion! I did encourage him to create such a campaign and post it on a blog or website for general information available to any candidate of any party who actually is interested in space or Mars.  Later in the segment, we talked about the importance of a Mars sample return mission, the potential for the private sector to fund an HSF program to Mars, and what he thought the Mars program in particular would look like in five years.  As the show was ending, he was asked about a Martian moon mission to either Phobos or Deimos.  In his concluding comments, he mentioned the upcoming 50th anniversary of our leaving the Moon and not returning.  He said we can certainly do better than that.

Please post your comments/questions on the blog.  You can email Chris through the Explore Mars website.