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Dr. Chris Impey, Friday, 4-17-15 April 18, 2015

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Dr. Chris Impey, Friday, 4-17-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2455-BWB-2015-04-17.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Chris Impey.  Topics:  “Beyond: Our Future In Space” plus many space policy issues and our future in space.  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. Chris Impey to the program for this 63 minute program discussing his latest book “Beyond: Our Future In Space” and related policy, economic, and technical space questions.  Visit his website, www.chrisimpey.com for more information.  Please remember if you buy his book through TSS/OGLF Amazon portal, Amazon will donate a percentage of the sales price to The Space Show.  Instructions are on the website and all archived show summaries.  We began our discussion with Dr. Impey providing us with the background to his latest book in that many people believe that our space program is in the doldrums, that NASA is beset with many problems and for some, they wonder why even bother with space.  Dr. Impey wanted to show the audience that this was not the case so he wrote his latest book to show the benefits of space development and why we must have a future in space.  The book mostly focuses on the human spaceflight potential but we discussed science missions and a space program that would be much broader than just human spaceflight.  He also said the new industry was ready to go viral but had not done so yet.  He suggested some dramatic events might be the turning point in changing the momentum so don’t miss what he had to say about this.  We talked about NASA and NewSpace and he said it was no longer either or and that NASA was now partnering with NewSpace companies and the private sector.  Dr. Impey highlighted the growth in the cubesat industry as an example of things changing.  We talked about international space missions and he mentioned both Russia and China.  With regards to China, ITAR was discussed as was the potential militarization of space.  A listener asked our guest about an economic model and he said that was still troubling.  He thought mining asteroids would not be viable if at all for a very long time.  Listen to his explanation behind this conclusion.  On the other hand, he thought space tourism was shaping up to have a robust market and was optimistic that the companies would soon be flying.  I asked him for his five year timeline for big events.  He listed operations with SpaceShip2 and Virgin and that SpaceX will commercialize reusability.  He also expected to see fleets of commercially operating nano and microsats.  Next,, he said the Moon or Mars was harder with people and that would take place over the next 10-15 years.  He suggested China would visit the Moon with taikonauts in about a 15 year time frame.  He said the Moon would happen when we have a new generation of talent and innovative people pushing it at the ground floor level.  Listener Larry asked him about the regulatory risk.  He thought it would be relatively stable as it is now.  BJohn asked him about planetary science, astrobiology, geology, and biology along with the Big Bang Theory.  Next, we discussed astronomy, including Earth astronomy but also exoplanets and the habitable zone.  A listener asked him about finding life on Mars, either past or present and how that might impact the public with supporting space.  Chris had very interesting comments about this so don’t miss them.  Another listener asked him for his preference in destinations, the Moon or Mars.  He said the Moon.  Listen for the why.  Space settlement was discussed, more on the NASA budget and a question came up about the use of nuclear propulsion.  Near the end of the show he was asked about efforts in pursuing Faster Than Light Travel (FTL) and warp drive.  He was not optimistic in this area.  As the program was ending, I asked our guest how university teaching had changed over the course of his career.  This led us to talking about student loans and university funding from the state and federal government.

 

Please post your comments on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Impey through me or his blog.

Sir Martin Rees, Monday, 9-2-13 September 3, 2013

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Sir Martin Rees, Monday, 9-2-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2079-BWB-2013-09-02.mp3

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Guest:  Sir Martin Rees.  Topics: Interstellar travel, the future of space &science, quasars, life extension, Mars missions & 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.

We welcomed back Sir Martin Rees to discuss his chapter in the new book Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon, edited by James & Gregory Benford.  Sir Martin’s chapter, titled “To the Ends of the Universe,” looks forward through time and centuries to address human spaceflight, eventual interstellar travel, life extension & more.  In looking forward, he levies criticism on the past. We talked about several of his comments regarding our past & current space program. Dr. Rees mentioned the need for life extension though for Mars he said we could do that without life extension but we should not fool ourselves as it will prove far less comfortable than Mt. Everest or the South Pole.  We talked about finding planets & the possibilities for life, then we switched to the discovery of quasars soon to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Listeners asked our guest about his comments that the political impetus for current & future space work seems to have been lost, especially in contrast to the Apollo era.  In his response, our guest suggested we need low cost and reusable launch vehicles given how costly everything is today.  He commented that mining asteroids did not make sense other than for ISRU purposes. Before going to break, he was asked about the UK government investment in Skylon which he supported.

In the second segment, we spoke about changes in the UK space activity over the past decade.  Sir Martin made comparisons with the UK, ESA & NASA, especially regarding long term planning & our very short one year budgets.  He suggested our budget process makes us unreliable partners in many respects.  Quasars were again a discussion topic, plus Sir Martin fielded a question from a high school student wanting to know how we know the laws of physics are the same throughout the universe.  Another listener wanted to know about science fiction as a leading indicator for science.  Dr. Rees suggested some excellent books for those interested in reading specific science fiction works. James Benford, editor Starship Century called to point out the excellent reading list in the back of the book, plus he offered us important comments about the book & authors. Near the end, Sir Martin was asked to look forward 10-15 years & tell us his thoughts.  His response focused on finding even more planets around the stars, identifying more threatening NEOs, & even more attention given to life extension issues.  The last two questions asked our guest dealt with the ISS living beyond 2020 asking if that was valuable and also the recent podcast by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson that SpaceX would not be able to go to Mars.  Throughout the discussion, he mentioned the private sector doing things government could not, especially due to less risk averseness.

Please post your comments/questions for Sir Martin Rees on The Space Show blog.  You can reach him through me or his Cambridge website, www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~mjr.