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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.

 

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John Batchelor “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 10-31-12 November 1, 2012

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John Batchelor “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 10-31-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1885-BWB-2012-10-31.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Allan Treiman, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  MSL Curiosity CheMin X-ray diffraction findings.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. 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. 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. During our 11 minute discussion, Dr. Treiman, John Batchelor, and I talked about the CheMin X-Ray diffraction results for Martian soil in Gale Crater and what it means in terms of our having a better and more complete understanding of Mars.  Not only did our guest describe how the instrument was compacted for MSL, he explained how it works and why it is so important for Mars exploration.  Dr. Treiman discussed the mineral composition regarding the samples and similarities between the Earth and Mars.

If you have questions or comments about this segment, please post them on The Space Show blog above.  You can contact Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Treiman through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 9-26-12 September 27, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 9-26-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1860-BWB-2012-09-26.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Robert Anderson, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Mars Curiosity and Martian geology/exploration.  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. 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. 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. During our 11.5 minute discussion, Dr. Anderson, John, and I talked about Curiosity and its Mars exploration to date. We talked about Martian geology, methane, the Martian climate, certain features within Gale Crater, and more.  Robert went into detail on some of the issues and he also talked about the future exploration plans for Curiosity. Martian methane came up as did specific land features.

Please post any comments/questions you might have about this discussion on The Space Show blog.  If you want to contact John Batchelor or Dr. Robert Anderson about this program, please do so through me.

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.

Please post questions/comments on our blog.

Dennis Wingo, Monday, 8-6-12 August 7, 2012

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Dennis Wingo, Monday, 8-6-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1830-BWB-2012-08-06.mp3

Guest:  Dennis Wingo.  Topics:  Economic Development of the Moon.  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 Dennis Wingo back to the program to discuss his July 16, 2012 blog article and concept, “Changing the Conversation about the Economic Development of the Moon.”  You can find his article at http://denniswingo.wordpress.com.  We started our first segment of this nearly two hour program with a shout out to NASA, JPL, & the entire Curiosity team for an outstanding job with landing Curiosity on Mars.  Dennis then pointed out that MSL and Curiosity cost about half of a Nimitz Super Carrier.  Dennis then talked about heavy lift and the fact that modern technology, on orbit fuel depots, orbital dynamics, and ISRU usage all provide reasonable and cost-effective alternatives to the need for heavy lift.  In this discussion, he also included the use of a lunar 3D printer.  Dennis listed several new technologies and applications so don’t miss this section.  Dennis next outlined a plan to eventually have boots on the lunar surface at both poles for water and development.  He would start of with robotics. He noted a preference for the north pole.  We talked about our present day capability to get to either lunar pole.  Doug called in from S. California to talk about telerobotics using telemedicine as an example.  During this discussion, we learned that in the use of robotics, about 90%  represents the robots while 10% represents the people operating, servicing, repairing, and maintaining the robots.
In our second segment, listener Larry asked Dennis about timelines.  Dennis suggested by 2020 we could be back on the Moon.  He broke this down in stages to explain why it would take so long to undertake this mission.  He then said we needed a mindset change to go back to the Moon.  The mindset change enables seeing the Moon first for economic development and then science as a secondary objective.  We talked about the international potential for such a lunar economic mission (private, not government), Another listener asked our guest if a Netscape Moment was essential for developing lunar commerce.  Michael called in to talk about the potential legal & regulatory risks for lunar economic missions.  This too was an interesting & challenging discussion, don’t miss it.  Tim called to ask about the use of space tugs and specific launch vehicles as well as new combinations of rocket fuel. Dennis offered us important closing comments about financing such missions, launch cost issues of concern, and allowing government to dictate our future.  Please post your comments/questions on the blog.
If you want to send an email to Dennis Wingo, you can do so through me & I will forward it to him.

Susan Holden Martin, Monday, 7-30-12 July 31, 2012

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Susan Holden Martin, Monday, 7-30-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1824-BWB-2012-07-30.mp3

Guest:  Susan Holden Martin.  Topics:  Mars Society 2012 Conference, MSL & Curiosity landing, JPL.  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 Susan Holden Martin, the new Executive Director of The Mars Society, to the program to discuss this year’s conference, the MSL mission & landing, and more. You can follow along with us regarding the conference program at www.marssociety.org/convention2012. The conference is being held in Pasadena, CA from August 3-5 at the Pasadena Convention Center. As our program was an ongoing conference and JPL-Mars Science Lab discussion, I am summarizing our discussion without regard to segments.  Note the discussion on conference registration and hotels in the area given the conference begins in just a few days and online registration is now closed.  We summarized most of the agenda, highlighted the special programs, panels, and guests, and talked conference logistics.  Listeners asked about the Curiosity landing, putting heavy payloads on the surface of Mars, and the Sky Crane which will be used in the landing process.  Later in the program, Susan discussed the arrangements with The Planetary Society & their program at the Pasadena Convention Center, Planetfest 2012 which is going on at the same time.  We also talked about the Conference banquet, the award to Elon Musk, Falcon 9 models on Amazon (use the OGLF code if you buy one so that Amazon will donate to The Space Show, www.amazon.com/SpaceX-Falcon-Dragon-Flying-Rocket/dp/B006GX14R8/ref=onegiantlea20).  Another key part of the conference is direct feed from JPL to see the Curiosity landing Sunday evening, August 5, 10:30 PM PDT.  During the last few minutes of the
program, Susan updated us on other Mars Society programs including MDRS, the University Rover Competition, the Musk Observatory, the Mars Society in the UK, and more.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you have conference questions or want to be in touch with Ms. Martin, you can email her at susanm@marssociety.org.

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars”, Wednesday, 7-18-12 July 19, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars”, Wednesday, 7-18-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1817-BWB-2012-07-18.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Irene Klotz, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The upcoming landing for Mars Science Lab’s Curiosity Rover.  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. 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. 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. Note that do to a phone line glitch, I was unable to participate in most of this program.  During our 11.5 minute discussion, John and Irene talked about the upcoming landing set for 10:30 PM PDT on August 5th of the Mars Science Lab Curiosity Rover.  We talked about the problems with Mars Odyssey which if it can be repositioned with all systems working will provide real time information on the Curiosity landing.  If Odyssey cannot be repositioned for the landing, our information about the landing will be delayed.  Other resources will be able to provide information including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ESA’s Mars Express but not on a real time basis.  We also talked about the landing process and I urge all of you to see the excellent JPL animation of the complete landing known as “Seven Minutes Of Terror” at www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2I8AoB1xgU.  Also discussed in detail was the Curiosity Sky Crane and the communication time back to Earth which is 14 minutes given the current distance between Earth and Mars.  Please post your comments/question on The Space Show blog.

If you have a question for either John Batchelor or Irene Klotz, send it to me and I will forward it to the person of your choice.

Todd Halvorson, Friday, 5-18-12 May 18, 2012

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Todd Halvorson, Friday, 5-18-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1777-BWB-2012-05-18.mp3

Guest:  Todd Halvorson.  Topics:  Upcoming Falcon 9 & Dragon launch, Floridaspace policy, NASA & 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 Todd Halvorson, senior aerospace reporter for FLORIDA TODAY & USA TODAY to the show.  During our first segment, we mostly discussed the upcoming Falcon 9 launch scheduled for Saturday early morning, May 19 2012.  Note that Florida Today is having special coverage and programming starting at 3:30 AM EDT.  To tune in, visit www.floridatoday.com.  Todd detailed the coverage at the start of our next segment. Also in the initial segment, we talked about Congress, commercial crew, down selecting, the Space Act Agreement, and theU.S. human spaceflight program, such that it is a program.  Also mentioned was the SLS program along with Orion, then I asked about the space coast economy per the recent 60 Minutes segment last month.  Todd had much to say about the 60 Minutes Segment, especially the visuals they used.  Don’t miss it.  Listener Jane asked about the differences in policy ideas between NewSpace and the old space crowd, especially the very well known astronauts who are most vocal in support of a more traditional NASA program.  Todd had much to say about this and we talked about the future NASA as either a space tax service or an organization that explores BLEO.  Another topic of interest dealt with the Chinese space program and going to the Moon.  Our listener asked if Chinese space plans might start a space competition with theU.S.  We then talked about the FY 13 budget for NASA and the possibility of doubling NASA’s budget as proposed by Dr. Tyson.  As the segment ended, we discussed Planetary Resources and sought Todd’s perspective on what has been made public so far.

In the second segment, Todd went into detail about the Florida Today broadcast for the Falcon 9 launch.  Terry called in to ask about the ISS GPS issue and then we asked Todd to describe what happens when Dragon gets to the vicinity of the ISS.  The process goes on through Wednesday morning.  Another listener asked for Todd’s analysis of the space program over his 25 year history of reporting space news.  Our next topic honed in so the suborbital companies in Mojave, space tourism, and suborbital research.  This discussion included spaceports inFlorida,California,Virginia,New Mexico and elsewhere.  As our program was nearing its end, we talked about Constellation, Ares 1, SRBs, Dr. Mike Griffin, SLS, and civility.  In his closing comments, Todd again said we should have a space program that explores and is not a space taxi service.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Todd through the Florida Today website.

Dr. Jeff Bell, Friday, 12-9-11 December 9, 2011

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Friday, 12-9-11

(Note: This interview aired live on 11/30/11)

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1669-BWB-2011-12-09.mp3

GuestSearch:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Phobos Grunt mission, space policy, commercial crew, rocket reusability & 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. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign . Please note that this program was recorded live on Nov. 30, 2011 and is being archived today, Dec. 9, 2011.  We welcomed Dr. Jeff Bell back to the show for a wide ranging discussion on multiple topics starting with the troubled Russian Phobos Grunt Mission.  This Space Show  program is vintage Jeff Bell with something to say about most everything, hard hitting, critical, take no prisoners, and of course, thought provoking. Dr. Bell started our discussion talking about the Phobos-Grunt Mission.  To put it in context with Russian lunar & planetary missions, he gave us a brief history of the Russian exploration program starting in 1958.  This is an interesting history lesson you do not want to miss. In bringing the history current to Phobos Grunt, the problems faced by the Russian program seem a bit clearer.  We then talked about some of the many space blog comments with suggestions for rescuing or saving the mission and he totally debunked them.  Jeff mentioned shuttle rescues, X-37B rescues, even Virgin suborbital rescues.  He also mentioned some of the conspiracy theories out there (he spent more time on them later in our discussion),  finger pointing the blame for the mission problems.  Next, Dr. Bell addressed the recent SpaceShipTwo drop test that was a problem and he wasted no time in stating what is wrong with the SS2 design as well as what he said was a problematic track record for the project.  He also had much to say about the use of composites and fundamental design flaws.  Space debris issues came up and Dr. Bell referenced USA 193.  Terry called in to ask about the hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) or nitric acid on board Phobos Grunt. When we started the second segment, Dr. Bell again went over the conspiracy theories re Phobos Grunt that appeared in some news articles.  One he mentioned was the HARP theory which he debunked as well as the biological warfare theory.  We then talked about commercial crew and Dr. Bell said Congress does not want it to be successful and he explained why.  Near the end of this discussion, Trent called in from Australia.  He wanted to know at what point Jeff thought commercial crew was changing from maybe working out to going down for the count.  What was the turning point for our guest?  During their exchange, Jeff said that space travel was not politically important anymore, instead political pork was the priority.  Trent mentioned his blog, QuantumG, http://quantumg.blogspot.com.  Check it out for his comments on Space X, Commercial Crew and more.  Jeff read his Space X comments and then started discussing the Space X reusability plan.  As the program ended, we talked about the JWST and I asked Dr. Bell what part of the space program he liked, if any.  He did have something he liked, the science and robotic missions.  If you have a comment/question for Dr. Bell, please post it on the blog URL and I will make sure he sees it.