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Sarah Scoles, Tuesday, 11-24-15 November 25, 2015

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Sarah Scoles, Tuesday, 11-24-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2592-BWB-2015-11-24.mp3

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Guest:  Sarah Scoles.  Topics: Science and space writing, space news stories, NewSpace, Mojave, commercial space, space science 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.  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 Sarah Scoles to the show.  Check out her website, www.sarahscoles.com.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 54 minute discussion, I first asked Sarah why and how she transitioned from astronomy work to being a science and fiction writer.  She took us through her path which I found to be very interesting.  Next, I asked her about her interest and reporting on various segments of the space industry, starting with NewSpace.  In asking her this, I referenced a recent Popular Science article she wrote (www.popsci.com/what-happens-when-space-industry-collides-with-tiny-town) and the comment made by Mr. Witt  about Interorbital Space Systems “engines that burn up so they can use themselves as fuel.”  We had an interesting discussion about this plus her visit to Mojave which included visits to Virgin Galactic, Stratolauncher, then down the road to Palmdale to see and learn about the NASA SOFIA project.  Sarah shared her interesting experience getting to fly in the SOFIA modified 747.  Don’t miss her telling us about this experience and being in the modified 747 with the SOFIA telescope plus other changes to the jumbo jet.  Sarah also told us about flying in experimental aircraft with test pilots at Mojave.  Sounds like great fun to me!  Later, I asked our guest for her top 2015 stories.  Mojave was a favorite as was the SOFIA reporting and her article re Brian Shiro and Astronauts4Hire. Later, she also mentioned a hard science stories re B-modes.  The scientific work on this project later turned out to be wrong so the paper on it had to be withdrawn.  We talked about the possibility of some kind of life on Mars now or in the past, the same for the possibility of life perhaps elsewhere in our solar system.  Sarah also liked the Dawn Mission which we discussed.  Jack emailed her about one way to Mars trips and Mars One.  We learned that Sarah would consider going to Mars on a one way trip though she did not have much to say about Mars One.

 

In the second segment, we talked about the potential for at least microbial life elsewhere in the universe.  This led us to talking about exoplanets and I mentioned the previous day’s interview with Dr. Crisp regarding climate change on Venus and Mars.  I told Sarah and the listeners that according to Dr. Crisp, even with an advanced scientific and technical population on those planets, they would have been unable to stop or mitigate the processes that allowed both planets to become what they are today.  Sarah spoke about one of her articles in aeon magazine, “Does Earth have a shadow biosphere?”  or “Earth’s aliens.”  You can read this article at https://aeon.co/essays/does-earth-have-a-shadow-biosphere.  Later in this segment, Rhonda asked Sarah if she received pushback on being a science writer from family and friends.  You might be surprised by her reply.  Our guest received several questions asking how to get published in science magazines such as Sky and Telescope among others.  I asked Sarah if she was familiar several science and technology space projects such as the work by Jim Woodward on Mach Thrusters.  Near the end of the program, Doug emailed her and then called in wanting to know if public support for space was essential.  If so, what percentage of the population was needed for this essential support.  10% was suggested and then I suggested it would have be an activist 10% because there would be a strong need for citizen lobbying for the projects.  Just saying that 10% of the population likes space and would support a larger NASA budget is not enough in my opinion.  I believe such a goal would need to be aggressively pursued so if 10% of the population was what was needed, it better be an active and capable 10%.  Another listener asked her for her favorite destination.  She said it was Mars.  Next, Doug called to mention that at the last Mars Society Conference, he computed that only 18% of those present were women.  He asked Sarah how to get more women involved in space.  The two of them had interesting things to say on this topic.  Sarah offered us a good closing with excellent Pearls of Wisdom thoughts.  Be sure you hear them.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Sarah can be reached through her website.

 

Jim Muncy, Monday, 11-17-14 November 18, 2014

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Jim Muncy, Monday, 11-17-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2358-BWB-2014-11-17.mp3

Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

If you rate shows on live365.com, email me your rating reasons to help improve the show

Guest:  Jim Muncy.  Topics:  Virgin Galactic, Antares, space policy, lunar programs, midterm elections & 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 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 Jim Muncy back to the show to discuss the recent Virgin Galactic accident, Antares, commercial space, regulations & more.  During the first segment of our 100 minute program, Jim started off by discussing the Virgin Galactic accident and possible new regulations for the industry or vehicle specific to Virgin.  Jim explained the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 in terms of the regulatory regime which already exists and what might come about once the NTSB issues its final accident report.  This is an excellent discussion as well as clarification of the existing and potential regulatory environment so don’t miss it.  Space attorney Michael Listner emailed & called in to support what Jim was talking about regarding regulatory regime for commercial space with the AST.  Doug Messier sent in an email addressing the issue of there being a difference between having an incentive to fly safely and being able to operate safely with regards to Virgin as our conversation had turned to flight safety for the new spaceplanes.  Regarding flight safety, Jim made the point that safety was ongoing and a continued learning lesson, even after the vehicle was in commercial service. I agreed & pointed to commercial aviation accidents that have happened after thousands of flight hours as some defect shows up that late into commercial operations.  Jim seized the opportunity to talk about the choice of wording regarding space tourism and said it was not a good choice of words.  Listen to what he had to say about this.  We talked about negative press after the accident and here Jim stressed that the spaceflight in question was not taxpayer supported and was between private individuals and companies.  It was not the business of journalists or others.  Cost plus contracting came up with a listener question as did several established Republican senators and the role they might play regarding commercial space in the new congress.  Jim had made several earlier comments about the British press negative articles on Virgin and the industry.  I asked him why that was so and said it was largely Richard Branson driven given he is and has been such a controversial person in the UK.

In the second segment, we talked about some emerging commercial lunar opportunities that Jim has worked on for awhile.  He provided the background to the current situation including fights over SLS, Orion, & other big ticket NASA programs.  This is a very interesting discussion because it shows how one can find areas to agree on and work together and even get funded if the amounts are not too large.  I urge you to pay close attention to this part of our discussion.  As you will hear, the end result is the development of commercial lunar programs such as the NASA Lunar CATALYST Program.  Dr. Doug called from S. California to ask questions about CATALYST, public/private partnerships, & the ULA-Masten lunar lander work.  Listeners also wanted to know if  a ULA second stage would ever fly on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy such as the ULA concept ACES (Advanced Common Evolved Stage).  We talked about the Orbital Sciences plan to fly their cargo on another rocket while they sort their engine problems out and a listener asked Jim if he thought the Falcon Heavy would have a significant and positive impact on the dialog supporting the American space industry.  Near the end of the program, Christine in Chicago asked Jim if he was as excited today about commercial space as he was when he started out 35 years ago.  Do not miss Jim’s most reflective and thoughtful response to this question.  Jerry from Florida got in one more question by asking about Space Florida and a spaceport that could operate outside the realm of the Air Force range rules.  Jim had much to say on this as well as there is a definite need for modern range rules for commercial spaceflight.  As the program drew to a close, Benny in Dallas asked about the space interest of Senator Cruz and Becky asked what was going on with California aerospace and politics.  In his concluding comments, Jim hoped the commercial industry would soon be back on track, that 2015 would be a good and safe year for space.  We look forward to talking to him again on TSS.

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