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Alan Boyle, Tuesday, 2-25-14 February 26, 2014

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Alan Boyle, Tuesday, 2-25-14


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Guest:  Alan Boyle.  Topics:  Alan discussed a wide range of topics including HSF, suborbital flights, science, Mars & 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.  Note that there was scattered phone line noise from time to time during our discussion.

We welcomed Alan Boyle back to the show for this 1 hour 42 minute discussion on numerous space news items & topics.  During our first segment, Alan talked about the “two year rule” which suggests space tourism & suborbital commercial flights are just two years away.  Throughout the program Alan kept suggesting that 2014 might be the end of the two year rule!   Alan gave us an overview of the spaceflight companies building vehicles.  Our next topic was the Yamato Meteorite, a Mars meteorite that may indicate past life on Mars.  He compared this to the 1996 meteorite announcement and said that some of the Yamato team members were the same as those addressing the 1996 “discovery” (www.nbcnews.com/#/science/space/tiny-blobs-tunnels-meteorite-revive-debate-over-life-mars-n38431).  In talking about Mars, I brought up the Viking experiments by Dr. Gil Levin , then a listener emailed in a question about the UK Tom Bower book on Branson, “Behind the Mask.”  Georgia followed with a question about the forthcoming NASA commercial crew down select, then I asked Alan for his view of SLS.  Alan said it definitely had a role to play.  Allison called from her car to inquire about private space stations & microgravity issues.

In the second segment, we discussed Planet Labs & their recent launch of cubesats from the ISS.  Alan also explained how the cubesats were launched from the station, plus since he had seen some of their images, we got a report on image quality.  Todd emailed in a additional question about cislunar transportation/lunar settlements.  Alan had several questions pertaining to what would actually be done in a lunar settlement.  Elon Musk & his Mars plans came up and we spent a few minutes talking about that subject.  Alan said the biggest dud story of 2013 in his opinion was Comet Ison.  John called from Ft. Worth & I queried him again on SLS but he actually wanted to discuss Mars & present day capabilities.  He then talked about the need for advanced propulsion for Mars flights.  He said he would back off his SLS support had there been plans for a second generation shuttle, depots or something that would be a real program.  He said SLS was a real program & any program was better than no program.  Alan then said he was looking forward to 2015 with New Horizons, Dawn, & SpaceShip2.  He also mentioned the ESA Rosetta mission,  then as the show was ending, he was asked about the Chinese lunar rover.  The final question from Sara was about the value & importance of human spaceflight.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Follow Alan on www.facebook.com/NBCNewsScience and www.nbcnews.com/id/3033063.

Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin, Tuesday, 2-21-12 February 22, 2012

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Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin, Tuesday, 2-21-12


Guest:  Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin. Topics:  NASA, the Mars Program, Dr. Zubrin’s new book, “Merchants of Despair.” 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.   Some important websites applicable to this program are as follows:  Dr. Zubrin’s recent article in the National Review Online, www.nationalreview.com/articles/291099/obama-wrecks-mars-program-robert-zubrin.  Dr. Zubrin’s new book, Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists,  Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism:

www.amazon.com/Merchants-Despair-Environmentalists-Pseudo-Scientists-Antihumanism/dp/1594034761/ref=onegiantlea20.  Please remember that if you buy the book from Amazon using this link, Amazon will contribute part of the purchase price to OGLF/The Space Show.  During our hour long first segment, Dr. Zubrin talked about the NASA part of the President’s Proposed FY 13 budget for NASA.  He  referred to his National Review Online article in addition to providing us with financial and economic analysis, the importance of the Mars program, and the consequences of cancelling it and other proposed uses of NASA funding that do not accomplish much. This is a comprehensive and hard hitting discussion which addresses how to make our space program, NASA, private space, and Mars more relevant to the nation.  He also explains why it is so important to see humans as creators, not destroyers, and to see space as a significant and important path forward for us all.  He fielded many listener emails and caller questions on lots of subjects, including prizes and a  recent MSN poll regarding those wanting to go to the Moon, Mars, or stay at home.

During the second segment which was close to 90 minutes, Dr. Zubrin continued discussing the FY 13 budget and its consequences for NASA and the country, but he also talked about his new book in detail, even linking it to the space program. Many issues came up as Bob’s book uses history and scientific arguments to refute the claims of those movements and efforts to limit growth, space development, distort science for a political agenda, and more.  These issues take up most of the discussion, along with listener questions on both NASA and Mars along with the book topics he laid out for us.  For example, questions about the use of the nuclear rocket came up.  Limiting resources and commercial growth came up as opposed to expanding resources and robustly developing space by both NASA and the private sector were extensively discussed.  Listeners asked many questions about Space X and rocket alternatives to SLS and the issue of global warming.  Bob told us stories from the book going back in history to  the days of Rev. Thomas Malthus and his population theories as written during the period of 1798 to 1826 through to modern times with the Club of Rome, Paul Ehrlich, and Dr. Holdren. He used the banning of DDT as one example given in his new book.  Bob’s closing comments addressed the crisis in our space program and the choice we have to make regarding a devastating vision for our future or a creative and positive future vision that includes space. His final comments were about the 15th Annual Mars Society Conference which will be inPasadena,CA in early August this year, set to coincide with the likely timing of the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars.

Please post your comments/questions regarding this program on the Space Show blog URL above.

Alan Boyle, Monday, 1-30-12 January 31, 2012

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Alan Boyle, Monday, 1-30-12


Guest:  Alan Boyle.  Topics:  Space news, space policy, budgets and insights.  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.  We welcomed Alan Boyle to the program.  I recommend you follow and subscribe to his blog Cosmic Log at http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com.  In our first segment, Alan shared his views on space policy and the presidential candidates, developments and issues with commercial space and crew efforts, and the space vision for BEO.  Specifically, we talked about Newt’s proposed policy, American statehood for a lunar colony, the Outer Space Treaty (OST) and Alan’s view that he thought overall Newt’s comments were not that helpful to his campaign.  To a lesser degree, we talked about the Romney space policy.  Also on the discussion table were large government projects and he referenced a few that seemed better than most such as the Large Hadron Collider and ITER.  We also talked about the fact that in the previous administration, having a lunar outpost that eventually was to become commercial was our national space policy up until the new administration cancelled the program.  Alan was asked several questions about commercial crew and he referenced comments made by Boeing that the business case for now does not close without government support.  We also talked about the gap and the readiness of commercial crew to the ISS.  During this discussion, I mentioned what I had heard about Space X and its schedule for flights prior to 2017.  During the show, I contacted Space X, got a clarification of what I had heard and read it on air near the end of the program.  I appreciate the timeliness of Space X in getting back to me with accurate information so make sure you hear their statement in the last segment.  Another topic Alan brought up was international cooperation with costly missions.  I asked him about Stratolaunch as he was at the initial press conference.  He said “it was like The Band got back together.”  Don’t miss his full comments on this project.  A listener wanted to know about human rating the Atlas V, Blue Origin, and NASA budget issues.  In this context, we mentioned Intrade and Alan told us about the Iowa Electronic Market. 

In the second segment, we talked about orbital fuel depots, SLS again, and the politics of these projects.  Listeners asked questions about Space X and their projects, and then he had much to say on NASA robotic missions.  Toward the end of the program, Alan talked about space leadership & in response to my questions said it has historically come from The White House.  We got a call from Andrew of the Tea Party In Space to advocate Newt’s space policy.  We addressed additional issues for JWST, its cost, its science value, and its possible crowding out Mars robotic missions planned for the future.  Alan referenced Jim Oberg regarding the problems with Russian space hardware and Dave sent in a note about the JWST budget concerns for future astronomy missions and wondered if we were risking too much on one rocket launch.

Please post your comments/questions for Alan Boyle on The Space Show blog URL above.  He can be reached through Cosmic Log.