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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-16-14 December 17, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2377-BWB-2014-12-16.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: Space news projects and updates, end of the year review, looking to 2015.  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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program for a wide ranging discussion of space news, space companies, projects, programs and more.  During the first segment of our two hour seven minute show, Bob started off promoting his book on Apollo 8, “Genesis” as we are coming up on the anniversary of this famous flight orbiting the Moon on Christmas eve at a distant time in our past.  After Bob’s infomercial was complete, he did have much to say about the everlasting importance of the Apollo 8 mission.  I asked Bob for end of the year space events to keep our eyes on so we talked about the upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 launch and the attempt to recover the first stage on a barge as part of the SpaceX reusability plan.  We also talked about the Russian Angara rocket test flight.  A listener asked Bob for updates on the NTSB accident investigation for Virgin Galactic.  Bob also talked about SLS (it was yet another recurrent theme throughout the program) and as predicted, he had nothing good to say about it or Orion.  BJohn emailed us to ask about nuclear propulsion.  Both Bob and I responded and while we support it, there does not seem to be a business case for it or demand for it so there is no significant push to make it happen.  Marshall called to talk about the impact of falling oil prices on the space economy.  I had much to say about this as did Bob who in the end talked about trusting capitalism, freedom, and private enterprise to do the right thing.  We also talked about the impact of falling oil prices on the Russian economy, specifically their space program.  I then brought up the interest rate risk which is a huge potential danger for the US economy.  Luis emailed in about Falcon 9 prices of $5-7 million per a January 2014 Parabolic Arc article.  Note that this was clarified early in the next segment.

In segment two, Dr. Charles Lurio called to explain more about the SpaceX launch cost referenced by Luis in the previous segment.  Charles also talked about the Orbital effort to replace the Antares  rocket motor with another Russian motor, the RD 181.  Joe emailed in a note about the compact fusion plans for Lockheed.  Bob used the opportunity to criticize the large companies, their projects, pork, you name it.  Doug emailed in about some Boeing YouTube videos which Bob completely dismissed as having zero relevancy on anything.  Bob also took some slams at Orion and the recent test flight.  Next, we talked about the new announcement about Curiosity finding methane on Mars.  Bob added more to the story and said it was a wait and see situation but ultimately we would have to there to really answer questions about it.  SLS John called and said the program of record was going forward and made the point that for private enterprise to do something in space as Bob kept talking about, there needed to be a profit motive and he doubted that existed other than for some orbital and comsat missions.  Bob disagreed leaving the door open for a private company to pursue something not previously considered, again saying he trusted in the ingenuity of the private sector.  John reported that he had modeled the Falcon Heavy and could show it would take 53 metric tons to LEO.   Bob then talked about Falcon Heavy being cheaper than SLS (planned that is) so there really was no need for SLS.  Henry emailed a question about a possible Europa mission & Bob suggested if they would kill SLS, money could be directed to the planetary science department for things like a Europa mission plus they could still reduce the NASA budget.  In his concluding comments, Bob said he was skeptical about the suborbital industry and that its time had come and gone given the emerging orbital capsules and flight plans.  He concluded saying he was looking forward to the upcoming SpaceX launch abort tests.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Bob through his website http://www.behindtheblack.com or me.

Dr. Gil Levin, Sunday, 3-9-14 March 10, 2014

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Dr. Gil Levin, Sunday, 3-9-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2203-BWB-2014-03-09.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Gil Levin.   Topics:  Possible life on Mars, Viking Labeled Release Experiments, Chiral Labeled Release Experiments.  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.

Dr. Gil Levin returned as our guest to continue his discussion about the Viking Landers and the search for life through the labeled release experiments.  In the first segment of our 95 minute show, Dr. Levin explained the labeled release experiment plus he went through the analysis and conclusions which point to Viking having found molecular life on Mars.  He talked at length about the refusal of NASA to confirm these findings though in private many scientists, including several from NASA, have told him that his conclusions are likely correct.  Gil also talked about several recent television appearances he has had regarding the Viking landers and his experiment.  Listeners asked him many questions, including what NASA is doing to continue the search for life on Mars.  He said nothing and then talked about Curiosity & some of the other rovers and orbiting satellites and what they are focused on doing.  He also talked scheduled experiments but have yet to be done.  It is worth noting that the Viking 1 and Viking 2 landers sat down 4,000 miles from one another yet their labeled release experiments produced similar results.  Gil mentioned some concern for the durability of the Curiosity rover, specifically its wheels as well as the quality of scientific journalism and the press.  He is hoping key experiments are done prior to the end of Curiosity.

In the second segment, we talked about a Mars sample return mission.  Gil was not supportive of such a mission due to the risk of the samples being toxic to us here on Earth.  We had quite the discussion on this subject.  John from Ft. Worth called wondering about the impact life on Mars would have on us here on Earth.  Next, Gil was asked what experiments should be done to confirm life on Mars.  Gil talked about doing a chiral labeled release experiment.  Don’t miss our detailed discussion on this experiment and why it would be so important to do it on Mars.  Toward the end, we talked about Dr. Levin’s current work, his teaching, and his perseverance for confirming the findings of the Viking 1 and 2 labeled release experiments.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Dr. Levin through my address, drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. David Brain, Friday, 12-13-13 December 14, 2013

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Dr. David Brain, Friday, 12-13-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2142-BWB-2013-12-13.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. David Brain.  Topics: Mars MAVEN Mission, Mars science.  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. David Brain of the NASA MAVEN Mission team to the program for a discussion about MAVEN and Mars science.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 22 minute program, Dr. Brain provided us with an overview of the MAVEN Mission which was launched on Nov. 18.  As we heard, it is on track for its orbital insertion around Mars on Sept. 22, 2014.  I asked Dr. Brain if he thought Mars orbits were getting crowded and also if he knew if there were traffic management issues in orbiting Mars.  We also talked about the Indian Mars mission, Mangalyaan, as it was launched a few days before MAVEN and will arrive shortly after MAVEN arrives at Mars.  Dr. Brain, in describing MAVEN, said it was going to answer two questions:  1) What happened to the atmosphere of Mars and 2) What happened to the water and where did it go?  We then talked about the absence of a Martian magnetic field but we learned that there are strongly magnetized rocks along the edges and such rocks are 10-20 times the magnetic strength of similar rocks on Earth.  Dr. Brain provided us with theories on this.  We extrapolated that it was possible for something similar to happen on Earth.  He also talked about magnetic fields, how one might generate a magnetic field on Mars & more.  This latter point was in reply to a listener question asking if terraforming included creating a Martian magnetic field.  Our next topic dealt with how these types of missions are developed, the hardware and scientific tool risk issues, the use of heritage hardware and instruments, program funding, and review panels.  Marshall called and talked about instrument redundancy, electronic improvements from mission to mission and more.  We also talked about sending data back to Earth using the Deep Space Network (DSN).  This brought up questions about private Mars missions using the DSN for their communications.

In the second segment, Doug called to ask how MAVEN was impacted by the government shutdown. Dave relayed the shutdown stories to us which were most interesting, especially since it went right up to the minute for possible mission delays of 18-24 months.  In fact, MAVEN did get an exemption from the shutdown but not because of its science.  It was exempted because of its function as a communications relay satellite.  Also in this segment, Dave responded to listener questions asking how the instruments are designed, tested, and protected for their trip to Mars so they would be sure to work.  Dave took us through the entire process for planning, designing, developing and testing hardware & operating components  over and over again.    This is a fascinating inside look at what is involved in a successful Mars, lunar, or planetary mission.  Doug then asked about methane on Mars and here Dave had much to say about competing methane theories and the latest findings from instruments on Mars including Curiosity.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  Dr. Brain can be contacted through me.

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.

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 4-18-12 April 19, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 4-18-12

John Batchelor, Dr. Chris Impey, Dr. David Livingston

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1755-BWB-2012-04-18.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Chris Impey, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The origins of our Moon, life on Mars, Earth analogs 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. 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. The topics in this 11 minute segment focused on the origins of our Moon and finding microbial life on Mars.  We talked about the lunar impact theory and why it is still preferable to competing theories for the origins of our Moon.  After exploring the lunar origin theories, we focused on finding microbial life on Mars and talked about Earth analogs including asteroid craters, the Antarctic dry valleys, methane plus a few others.  Toward the end of the segment, John asked Chris about our technology for finding life, comparing what robots of today and the near future can do versus what humans can do at this time.  Chris provided a most interesting response, including a brief analysis of the cost benefits of each type of mission.  If you have questions or comments, please post them on The Space Show blog.  If you would like to send an email to either Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Impey, do so through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com and I will forward it for you.