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Dr. Dava Newman, Friday, 1-31-14 February 1, 2014

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Dr. Dava Newman, Friday, 1-31-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2177-BWB-2014-01-31.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Dava Newman.  Topic:  Dr. Newman’s BioSuit positive pressure space suit project.  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. Dava Newman to the program to discuss her positive pressure BioSuit spacesuit project at MIT.  During our 1 hour 1 minute single segment program, Dr. Newman took us through a brief history of positive pressure spacesuits up to and including her BioSuit version 4 project. For more information, please visit these and other websites: http://web.mit.edu/aeroastro/www/people/dnewman/bio.html; www.bostonmagazine.com/news/blog/2013/12/10/mit-biosuit-system-dava-newman;   http://mvl.mit.edu/EVA/biosuit and http://esd.mit.edu/Faculty_Pages/newman/newman.htm. We covered many topics, fielded numerous listener email questions, and learned much about the BioSuit as well as traditional spacesuits.  The history started with Dr. Paul Webb and his efforts from the early 70’s (Dr. Webb was a guest on TSS on Sep.t. 17, 2006), then we talked about the progress in materials, designs, and engineering leading up to the BioSuit.  Dr. Newman explained how flexibility and movement were possible in the BioSuit, how this reduced the amount of energy expended by the astronaut, and even reduced some of the thermal needs.  We also talked about repairs of the suit, then we spent much time talking about the life support and EVA pack plus the helmet.  As we learned, joints and concave parts of the body like the back of the knee do present problems but they believe they have solutions to these challenges by using special materials to fill in the void spaces.  At one point, Professor Newman was asked about needing different suits for orbit, the Moon, and Mars.  As we learned, the basic suit is the same for everything but depending on the mission, different life support and EVA packs would be available.  Then we talked about a suit for inside the vehicle or the ISS, the Variable Vector Suit.  Questions came in about how the suit works, closes up, and suit economics compared to the costs of traditional spacesuits and EVA suits.  Questions about radiation protection, lunar dust protection and more was asked, plus we talked about the possibility of using the basic BioSuit for space tourism flights providing the tourist is not outside the spaceship.  During our discussion, Professor Newman went over many of the pressure issues and requirements plus other technical issues for this suit.  We also learned that it could be made operational within 2-3 years of full up funding.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.

Dr. Sara Seager, Friday, 1-24-14 January 25, 2014

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Dr. Sara Seager, Friday, 1-24-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2172-BWB-2014-01-24.mp3

Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

Guest:  Professor Sara Seager.  Topics:  Exoplanets, searching techniques, ET life & much 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 Professor Sara Seager of MIT to the program to discuss exoplanets and the science behind finding them along with the search for life and Earth-like planets.  For more information, visit her website, http://seagerexoplanets.mit.edu.  In addition, Professor Seager has a free ebook available for download on her website, “Is There Life Out There.”  You can download this ebook at http://seagerexoplanets.mit.edu/ProfSeagerEbook.pdf.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 27 minute discussion, Professor Seager started with a working definition for exoplanets and the techniques used to find exoplanets.  We also talked about planet habitability, the habitable zone, Kepler planets, ground based telescopes, direct imaging, the Gemini Planet Imager, and the potential involvement of amateurs & their telescopes in the search for exoplanets.  Many listener questions came in by email. One focused on SETI which led to an interesting discussion with our guest.  Professor Seager provided us with comparison statistics for various planets and their size and characteristics, and we talked more about the best exoplanet finding methods.  Our guest told us about “ExoplanetSat,” a 3U CubeSat capable of high precision pointing with a goal of detecting small transiting exoplanets orbiting bright, sun-like stars.  We then discussed CubeSat photography & cameras and more about the need for precision pointing.  Professor Seager received several questions about budget and NASA issues, then Doug called in with excellent questions about exoplanets that you do not want to miss.

In the second segment, we talked about Professor Seager’s ebook on her website, “Is There Life Out There,” plus our guest responded to an email question from Nathan about the “Rare Earth” hypothesis.  We then talked about the KST problems and the new mission for the space telescope referred to as K2.  John form Ft. Worth called to ask about conceptual and technological advancement & breakthroughs in the field.  I asked our guest what she thought the field might look like in ten years plus I asked her why rocky planets were important for finding exoplanets.  Charles Pooley called to ask about photometry, LEO, & related issues.  As our program was ending, I asked Professor Seager to share with us some of her media experience and thoughts about the quality of science reporting.

Please post comments/questions on TSS blog.  I will be happy to pass on your emails to her if you send them to me.