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Rand Simberg, Friday, 9-11-15 September 12, 2015

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 9-11-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2550-BWB-2015-09-11.mp3

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Guest: Rand Simberg. Topics: The Roadblock to Mars and Rand’s recent Kickstarter campaign success. 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 Rand Simberg back to the show to discuss his recent successful Kickstarter campaign, “Clearing The Roadblock To Mars.” Check it out at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1960236542/clearing-the-roadblock-to-mars. During the first segment of our 1 hour 32 minute show, Rand introduced us to the purpose of this campaign which was to show how much better and wiser NASA could use the funds now being spent on SLS. Or as Rand said throughout our discussion, to get more bang for the buck. Of course this assumes NASA would use the savings wisely. In this segment, Rand spent considerable time addressing the lack of SLS missions, the types of missions SLS might be used for but so far no such SLS missions have been settled on, plus he talked about having more efficiency by using smaller rockets, more launches and fuel depots. He also said we were not serious about space as evidence by the SLS program. Several listeners asked him about the trades between heavy lift and a smaller rocket, the risks involved, costs and more as this is a common debate topic in the industry. Rand said the debate would eventually be settled by market forces. I added in that the characteristics and performance of the rockets being used to settle the heavy lift or not question will also factor into any conclusions reached on this subject. Rand then talked about the Aerojet Rocketdyne announcement that they wanted to acquire ULA for $2 billion. This led to an additional discussion about the Atlas rocket, Russian rocket engines, Vulcan, and Blue Origin. He also answered specific questions about his Kickstarter project which he said was to show how much more could be done wit h the SLS money rather than spending it on SLS. In response to listener questions wanting him to compare SLS to Falcon Heavy, he said about three Falcon Heavy launches would equal one SLS launch. He advocated SpaceX do an Apollo 8 type of flight with the Falcon and Dragon but then said it probably would not happen because of their relationship with NASA.

As we started the second segment, Dr. Doug called from S. California to inquire about the technical capability of SLS and Falcon Heavy plus the ULA Vulcan medium to heavy lift rocket. In addition, Rand discussed the reusable Vulcan concept as compared to the SpaceX concept of landing on a barge. Rand was asked about the need for heavy lift for Mars. He made it clear he was not interested in Mars per se, instead, he wanted to lower the cost of space access to make it possible for anyone to go anywhere in the solar system, including Mars. Rand said over and over again that he was destination agnostic. He continued getting questions about heavy life vs. many smaller rocket launches. Rand said things like it was too risky to put all your eggs in one basket, i.e. the one big heavy lift launcher. Several listeners wanted to know the best path to try to influence the direction of space policy. Rand focused on congress and suggested visiting local congressional offices. Other listeners asked him about a possible increase in the NASA budget. He said money was not the issue for NASA. The issue was using the money wisely to do more with it than we are doing now. He repeated many times during the program that we were not going to have a replay of the Apollo program. Don’t miss his comments on this as they are scattered throughout our discussion. Near the end of the show, Rand was asked about the 2016 elections and space policy, rocket staging, even SSTO rocketry. When offering us concluding comments, he repeated we would not be repeating Apollo, that it was never that popular and much about it is a myth. Don’t miss what he had to say about the Apollo program and missions.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Rand can be reached through me or his blog, www.Transterrestrial.com.

 

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Hannah Kerner, Tuesday, 8-4-15 August 5, 2015

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Hannah Kerner, Tuesday, 8-4-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2520-BWB-2015-08-04.mp3

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Guest: Hannah Kerner; Topics: Hannah’s op-ed “The Space Destination Debate Gets Us Nowhere…Literally,” NewSpace movement. 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 to the show Hannah Kerner for this 61 minute discussion about here recent space.com op-ed, “The Space Destination Debate Gets Us Nowhere…Literally.” You can read her op-ed at www.space.com/29659-debating-space-destination-is-grounding-exploration.html. Hannah is also the incoming new Executive Director of The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) so we talked with about her ideas on space advocacy as well as SFF. We started out with a focus on the space destination debate which Hannah said was frustrating, not productive, and helped to create the situation where nobody goes anyplace. She also suggested that regardless of the destination, all space destinations benefit one another. The Stepping Stone Approach was discussed, especially in terms of what makes most sense from both the TRL and economic perspectives. Later in the segment, Hannah talked about the impact of the current go nowhere human spaceflight program on young people or millennials in school and entering the job market. This was a very interesting discussion from the millennial perspective so don’t miss it. As an example, our guest compared career options with NASA to those with companies such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and other tech giants. We talked about their quick turnaround time with projects as compared to really long space projects, maybe up to a decade or more, with the risk of delays and even cancellation. Using the Europa mission as an example, I asked her how that would be viewed by a person in school wanting to do something important but seeing how long it would take plus the risks of delays or even project cancellation. She talked about devoting one’s career to a life long project like that and how that might be viewed by today’s students and graduates. For the balance of the program, we turned to The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) and space advocacy in general. Hannah told us about an informal survey SFF conducted at the recent NewSpace Conference asking people how they viewed space players like Russia, China, India, the US, etc., either in terms of tension or innovation. She said 70% of those responding viewed participation by these players as spurring innovation, not adding to national or global tensions. The Linda Billings Scientific American article came up and Hannah gave us a different perspective than we have been hearing. She did not think it was an attack on SFF but rather the author was not that well informed about the Foundation or NewSpace. We then talked about the changes in the Foundation and space advocacy in general, diversity which is improving, the increase of women in the movement, having access to advocacy organizations, ideas, and information. Hannah said the new breed of space entrepreneurs and advocates are not promoting space settlement and issues the way it was promoted in years past which is what Linda was describing. We talked about the diversity among the NewSpace attendees which is vastly improved from the past, especially with women and Asians. In this context, we discussed technology, space settlement, Manifest Destiny, and much more. Hannah indicated that this new group of advocates was looking to establish more collaborative space eco-systems. Listeners emailed Hannah about diversity issues and finding ways to involve more minorities in space advocacy. Space attorney Michael Listner called to talk about advocacy and related issues from his perspective which was different than what Hannah was describing. Don’t miss this discussion. Hannah left us with closing comments you will certainly want to hear.

 

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

 

 

Dr. Bruce Damer, Friday, 6-12-15 June 12, 2015

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Dr. Bruce Damer, Friday, 6-12-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2492-BWB-2015-06-12.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Bruce Damer.  Topics:  Sustainable space exploration to Mars & elsewhere per his two TEDxSantaCruz talks.  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 Dr. Bruce Damer back to the show to discuss his two new TEDxSantaCruz talks regarding sustainable space exploration and new theories on the origins of life.  Watch the first of his two TEDx talks on sustainable space exploration at www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLMHcUg36yc.  His second TEDx talk addressing new theories on the origins of life can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qiW4aUqtvA.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 28 minute discussion, Dr. Damer introduced us to his concept for sustainable space exploration, including round trips to Mars.  His spacecraft is the S.H.E.P.E.R.D   which he fully explained with great animation in the TEDx talk.  This is a method for capturing and enclosing a small but valuable asteroid between Mars and Jupiter, using a chemical process to mine it for volatiles and to fill special tanks with the volatiles and return the cargo to where it is needed, Mars, the moons of Mars, cislunar space, the Moon, or an orbiting space station.  Bruce spent the first segment of our program discussing this technology and the concept, plus explaining how it can be used to facilitate and enhance human spaceflight including human exploration of the solar system.  The YouTube video is just under 10 minutes so be sure to watch it.  Listeners asked him many questions to fully understand the concept so the YouTube talk and his Space Show discussion go hand in hand with one another.

 

In the second segment, Bruce as asked about the cost to develop, launch, and operate S.H.E.P.E.R.D for a humans to Mars mission.  Bruce did not have costs available but used the Rosetta Mission as an approximate guideline for estimating costs. Also in this segment, he noted the use of inflatables in space and the long history of success in using them back to the early days of the space age and the Echo communication satellites.  He also referenced Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 on orbit through Bigelow Aerospace.  He then said that inflatables would be safer for humans due to less radiation.  Don’t miss his comment on this issue.  Bruce then talked about water and shielding.  As the program was nearing its end, Dr. Damer discussed the second TEDx talk regarding new theories on the origins of life.  He also connected the dots for us with both talks so don’t miss what he had to say. By the way, the sustainable space exploration talk opened the TEDx session and his origins of life talk was the closing talk at the event.  Toward the end, he talked about outreach with his new idea and said he would be giving a FISO talk on S.H.E.P.E.R.D June 24 so those of you who listen to FISO talks be sure to catch this one live or on archives.  Before the show ended, Bill emailed in a question asking him if he had a compelling rational for Martian HSF.  Don’t miss what he said about this.  A Phoenix listener asked Dr. Damer if his concept would help Mars One.  Then a series of questions came in asking Bruce about the use of his idea for going to the Moon, cislunar development, the moons of Mars or someplace else in the solar system.  Bruce said it would support all of these missions and explained why.  Jim asked Bruce to explain why he thought mining an asteroid would be so difficult and far out yet he was mining volatiles from the asteroids he covers up with his plan.  Bruce explained that he was using a chemical process to free up the volatiles, not mining them.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.

 

 

Dr. Robert Zubrin, Tuesday, 6-2-15 June 3, 2015

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Dr. Robert Zubrin, Tuesday, 6-2-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2485-BWB-2015-06-02.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin.  Topics:  Mars Society Convention 2015, Convention debate topics, HSF to Mars issues & concerns.  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 Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin to discuss the upcoming Mars Society Convention in Washington, DC from August 13-16, 2015 (see www.marssociety.org/a/marssociety.org/www/conventions/18th-annual-international-mars-society-convention). During our 1 hour 45 minute program without a break, Dr. Zubrin not only told us about the upcoming Mars Society Convention for 2015, but talked about Human Spaceflight (HSF) to Mars by addressing many specific issues, concerns, and topics.  Starting off with the Convention, it is August 13-16, 2015 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  Special hotel prices are available at the Phoenix Park Hotel (see www.marssociety.org/conventions/18th-annual-international-mars-society-convention/hotel-and-transportation for reservation details).  Bob told us about the keynote speakers but also the special format this year for debates. Several topics will be debated including Moon vs. Mars, Mars One feasibility with the MIT team and Bas from Mars One, how best to achieve commercial space plus other topics.  Bob then started getting questions from listeners & myself on a wide variety of Mars HSF mission topics.  To start with, I asked Bob to comment on what several recent Space Show guests have said about our not being ready for HSF to Mars for a variety of reasons including radiation, other human factors, the costs, and the trip risk which would turn it into a survival mission and nothing more.  Before Bob responded to my specific question, he commented on the recent radiation paper, “How a trip to Mars would mess with your brain.”  Bob was very critical of this paper and spent time going through it and showing where he believed it to be bogus.  You can read Bob’s critique at www.marssociety.org/home/press/announcements/invalidclaimsmadeforwhathappenstoyourbrainonthewaytomarspublication.  Bob spent a good amount of time debunking the original article so don’t miss his comments.  Before moving on, I again asked Bob to respond specifically to what my guests had said as none of them mentioned the paper in question.  We had an interesting discussion on risk taking and the role of government as part of our discussion.  John in Florida called to ask about the concept of a nuclear explosion on Mars per Space Show guest Dr. John Brandenberg.  This led to questions about shortages of PU238, space policy & political leadership. Doug had questions about an Earth Return Mission and later he eventually called in to get a more precise answer to what he was asking.  We talked about one way missions, how best to explore Mars, and the responsible way to tackle the eventual settlement on Mars.  Emmet from NY called in to ask about Elon Musk Mars and NASA plans and why they seem to ignore going for artificial gravity.  Again, Bob had much to say about this issue which he said was different for Musk and NASA.  He felt Musk would address it as the challenge became more real for him.  As far as NASA goes, he said it was criminal to have avoided the issue for decades.  Don’t miss his comments.  Jackie emailed in a question about character in the book “The Martian,” wanting to know if crew were stranded on Mars could they actually do some of the things the character in the book did to survive.  You might be surprised by Bob’s answer.  Matt in Germany asked a question about Mars via the Moon, BJohn asked about the use of a cycler for Mars transportation & Kirk called to talk about an article he had read about fossil ice at Valles Marineris.  Kirk will post a comment about this on the blog after the show is archived.  Next up was the subject of terraforming Mars. Bob had much to say about this plus he offered a possible terraforming timeline. Doug then wanted to know if Bob was referring to paraterraforming when he mentioned the use of Domes on the Martian surface but Bob said no.  Tim called to talk about the radiation paper discussed earlier and mentioned a second experiment saying that antioxidants negated the radiation effects. Bob was not familiar with the second study but summarized his comments about the paper.

BJohn emailed in about rocket advances from the Saturn V for a Mars mission, we talked about what it would mean to use a Falcon Heavy for Mars missions, then Marshall called to inquire about sources of power on Mars, particularly nuclear and getting a large enough nuclear reactor to Mars.  Marshall and Bob talked about a Topaz like reactor.  Another question came up about using the Martian moons for the early human missions rather than Mars.  Bob explained why in his mind this was not a good idea.  He then compared the radiation dosage of long term ISS usage for ISS astronauts to the transit time and radiation dosage for a Martian crew.  Don’t miss what Bob had to say about this.  In Bob’s concluding comments, we focused on the upcoming convention but also on the importance NASA and a HSF mission to Mars in the context of the world today.  This is an important part of our program so don’t miss it.  In concluding, Bob said “It is time again for NASA to astound the world to show what free men can do.”  You will likely hear me use Bob’s closing statement on many future Space Show programs.

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

Sonia Van Meter, Sunday, 4-12-15 April 13, 2015

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Sonia Van Meter, Sunday, 4-12-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2451-BWB-2015-04-12.mp3

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Guest: Sonia Van Meter. Topics: The Mars 100, going to & living on Mars, human spaceflight, space exploration, STEM. 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 Sonia Van Meter to the show to discuss Mars One and the Mars 100 as Sonia was selected to be part of the Mars 100. During the first segment of our 100 minute program, Sonia was asked when she first knew she wanted to go to Mars. Though she has always been interested in space and related topics, it was not until she discovered Mars One that she became interested in going to Mars. During the early part of this discussion, Sonia puts forth why she wants to go to Mars & why she thinks it is important to go there. These themes were repeated throughout our discussion. Sonia got many questions about how difficult it might to leave family and friends plus listeners wanted to know if she was a skeptic about the Mars One mission. Sonia explained the importance of looking forward and focusing on the future, not on being skeptical. She was asked how she got her Mars information. She does due diligence on her own as well as receiving some information from Mars One. Sonia said she was in touch with many of the other Mars 100 finalists and they also due their own due diligence and discuss topics among themselves on a frequent basis. Listener questions by emailed were coming in rapidly asking everything from her backup plan if she did not go to Mars to what she would do for healthcare on the Mars One mission. Many listeners asked her about the risks including human spaceflight medical issues, launch risks, and more. She said the mission would need to be vetted by scientists and medical types and if she did not think it was safe, she would pull out of it. Other listeners wanted to know her perception of living conditions and the Martian environment. I asked if spacesuits would be used and if she did any rough camping, backpacking, etc. as a kid that might have helped her prepare her for tough living conditions on Mars. The MIT Study came up and was discussed as well as growth for the Mars One settlement coming either from Earth, the settlers, or both. She said there would be no childbirth for years as it was not safe so for the time being, the settlement would be growing by subsequent Mars One missions. Doug called to make the case for going to the Moon first. Sonia explained to him that she had no opportunities for going to the Moon though she would take them if offered. The only opportunity she had was Mars One. Sonia was looking at the picture from the vantage point of her own objectives while Doug had the big picture of lunar return and development in mind.

In the second segment, Bill from Virginia asked if Bas or other Mars One executives were planning to go on the mission to Mars. Don’t miss her answer. Todd wanted to know about a possible rescue mission and Andrew sent in a note about Mars One simulations & developing the infrastructure to live off world. I asked our guest if she had factored in launch risks & Randy in Boston asked if she had done a cost benefit analysis on the value of the mission versus the costs of it. Sonia said the educational outreach PR was a large part of the value for her. Privacy issues came up plus she was asked if Mars One went to a moon of Mars would she be disappointed. Don’t miss her answer to this question. Near the end of the show, I asked Sonia for her thoughts should American government regulations make her Mars One trip impossible. I also asked if she had considered or would consider pre-emptive surgery to have her appendix or gall bladder removed before going to Mars. Kris in Denver wanted to know if Mars one went under and the people on Mars were stranded, was it the responsibility of nations and their public sectors to attempt a rescue mission for the stranded “Martians.” Sonia was asked if she would be OK with nuclear propulsion if it shortened her transit time to Mars and then at the end, I asked her about planetary protection and the limits on landing humans on Mars. I directed her to the NASA Office of Planetary Protection for more information.

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

Chris Carberry, Tuesday, 4-7-15 April 8, 2015

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Chris Carberry, Tuesday, 4-7-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2448-BWB-2015-04-07.mp3

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Guest: Chris Carberry. Topics: Explore Mars Humans2Mars Summit, Mars and moon discussion, affordable space policy, NASA budgets, private sector & 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 Chris Carberry back to the show to discuss Explore Mars events & activities. During the first segment of our 96 minute program, Chris started out by telling us about the upcoming Humans2Mars Summit planned for May 5-7 in Washington, DC. All the conference and registration information is available at http://h2m.exploremars.org. This discussion led me to asking him why we should go to Mars and why now. As part of this discussion, I challenged Chris on using tax payer money for a Mars mission rather than letting the private sector do it. In fact, he did get a listener question about this, suggesting that either Mars One or SpaceX take us to Mars, not the government. Eric sent in a note asking who we thought might be the next NASA administrator or at least who the candidates might be. He also wanted Chris to advise how best to influence officials, policy makers, members of congress, etc. to go to Mars. Chris offered several suggestions to this part of Eric’s two question email. Chris responded to emails about the Affordable Mars Workshop architecture for Mars that we have been hearing about over the past week, plus the recent NSS-SFF meeting where settlement seemed to be the agreed upon goal. Don’t miss what Chris had to say about these events as he attended both. Doug called from S. California to make the case for going back to the Moon on its own, not just as a stepping stone to Mars. Doug suggested that the lunar return folks team with the Mars folks to find the best way to do both missions as it should not be one or the other. He also wanted to make sure going back to the Moon did not delay going to Mars and that going to Mars did not delay or destroy the opportunities for returning to the Moon. Chris and Doug had a vibrant exchange on this subject, especially given this era of tight budgets & constraints.

In the second segment, John from Ft. Worth called to express a concern that going to Mars might end up like Apollo and after a few Martian visits, we quit that too. Chris explained why he did not think that would happen. Later, Dr. Lurio called and said that “these guys are ALL living in fantasy land, one version or another.” His call was to pick up from the email he sent us and to elaborate on his position which was hotly debated and challenged by Chris. One thing Chris and Charles agreed upon was that there would be no repeat of a so-called “Kennedy Moment.” As the show was ending, Chris went over the Humans2Mars Summit again and we talked about the need to start working on Mars plans rather than always just talking and “planning” about them.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Chris through the Explore Mars website or me.

Dr. Gil Levin, Friday, 1-23-15 January 24, 2015

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Dr. Gil Levin, Friday, 1-23-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2399-BWB-2015-01-23.mp3

Guest: Dr. Gil Levin. Topics: Searching for life on Mars, 1976 Viking Labeled Release Experiments 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 Dr. Gil Levin to discuss searching for and finding microbial life on Mars. During the first segment of our 86 minute program, Dr. Levin first responded to an email question about the type of science equipment needed to find life on Mars & why was it missing from Curiosity. He also wanted to know if it could be added to the Mars 2020 mission. As Dr. Levin pointed out, MSL and Curiosity were not equipped with any life detection instrumentation. As for Mars 2020, it will collect samples and store them for a future sample return mission to Earth. Dr. Levin had much to say about a sample return mission as part of this discussion. Dr. Levin then went over his Label Release Experiments (LRE) from the 1976 Viking Landers and said many times during the show that not only was it suitable for detecting life, it did detect life. Gil then spent the better part of the first segment talking about life detection on Mars, the need to convene an expert panel to look at all the data available today to come to scientific conclusions about microbial life on Mars and more. Listeners emailed many questions to Dr. Levin asking about bacteria that could survive in the Mars environment, perchlorates, & XE-129. Doug from S. California phoned in and wanted to know if NASA had made a choice not to detect life on Mars as he thought they were avoiding doing so. Doug had several additional questions for Dr. Levin.

In the second segment, Kirk called to ask about the chiro experiment, LRE, and the use of fresh samples. Following up on what I asked our guest as the earlier segment ended, I asked Gil what was wrong with the step by step methodology NASA was using regarding Mars life research. Later he talked about the LRE being an effective tool for today, its use of Carbon 14, then he talked about putting a microscope on Mars and why that would be beneficial. I asked Gil if he had anticipated the controversy surrounding the LRE and he said no. Another listener asked about first going to one of the Martian moons. Gil explained why he thought that was a bad idea. He was also asked about Europa instead of Mars 2020. We talked about the high interest level in finding life on Mars and Gil said he believed that their was microbial life on Mars today. Another listener wanted to know if the results of the Viking experiments were only valid for the two Viking locations or most likely widespread on Mars. Gil explained why the findings were most likely applicable across Mars. We discussed Mars and our space policy & he was asked about both RNA and DNA. Don’t miss his final comment about Occam’s razor and Martian DNA.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can email Dr. Gil Levin 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.

 

Dr. Frank Martin, Tuesday, 9-23-14 September 24, 2014

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Dr. Frank Martin, Tuesday, 9-23-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2323-BWB-2014-09-23.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Frank Martin.  Topic:  The NRC “Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration” report.  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 Dr. Frank Martin to the program to discus the NRC human spaceflight study along with all aspects of human spaceflight including various destinations and missions.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 39 minute show, Dr. Martin introduced us to the NRC Pathways study which you can download for free by using Google.  He suggested it was a dose of reality as well as optimism.  He said the study was very clear in saying “show me the money” for those wanting to do humans to Mars missions now or fairly soon and then explained some of the high costs and trades involved in these missions.  One of his overriding themes throughout our discussion was the need to manage a very large mass in LEO in order to accomplish the goals of long duration human space mission.  During our segment, we kept coming back to the need to manage a large mass in LEO and how this translated to costs as well as the need for technology advancement.  Both myself and listeners asked our guest about doing human missions cheaper by using the private sector.  This subject kept coming up during both segments of the program.  We also addressed the rational for human spaceflight.  In addition, the issue of walking away from HSF was looked at for the US as a nation as that is an option. The report attempted to address this and related issues.   Joe sent in an email about the mice on the ISS and using them to determine the gravity RX for HSF.  He sent us several additional emails on this subject as well.  This prompted comments about the need to use the ISS for research in support of long duration HSF missions.  Dr. Martin said Mars was an horizon goal.  In this context, he talked about only a few other possible destinations near us, either the Moon or an asteroid.  He then proceeded to address the issue of managing the risk for a Mars mission.  Beverly asked a budget question and taking the lead from the most recent Mike Griffin interview, she asked Frank if it really was just a choice to be constrained by budget issues.  While Frank agreed it was a choice, he said there were very good ways and choices to spend taxpayer money so he did not see significantly more money for space in the future.  Another listener talked about nuclear propulsion which also crossed into the second segment.  Near the end of the first segment, we got a call from a New Zealand listener.  During his call, the idea of the Buzz Aldrin Mars cycler came up and there was a question or two about fuel depots.

In the second segment, I asked Dr. Martin why the study took 18 months, then SLS John called the program.  John wanted to talk nuclear propulsion thinking it would be a cost saver but what was not known was the accurate cost of the R&D program or the cost for jumping through political hurdles.  John suggested a new administration would make a difference and I challenged that.  I asked Frank given all his years of space industry experience if it was reasonable to expect big changes in space policy due to a change in administrations.  Don’t miss Frank’s reply.  Dwayne called back to question the HSF rational. One of the points made by Dwayne was that cooperation with the Russians on the ISS does not modify Russia’s behavior other than for space.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Dr. Frank Martin through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.