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Greg Meholic, Friday, 6-5-15 June 6, 2015

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Greg Meholic, Friday, 6-5-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2487-BWB-2015-06-05.mp3

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Guest:  Greg Meholic.  Topics:  Advanced propulsion concepts 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 to the show Greg Meholic to speak about advanced propulsion concepts, rocket reusability, and much more.  During the first segment of our 84 minute program, Mr. Meholic first defined what he meant by the term advanced propulsion.  Given this definition, we moved forward to discuss various concepts, propulsion methods, and propulsion research. During this segment, we talked about several propulsion technologies and Greg said thumbs up or thumbs down to their being advanced propulsion.  When it came to nuclear, Greg classified it as an alternative propulsion method, not an advanced propulsion.  Again, don’t miss his definition.  We talked near and intermediate term advanced propulsion concepts though it does not appear anything is really close at hand.  His timeline for a possible advanced propulsion technology was around 20 years.  He said not only do we need to understand the physics much better,  but the propulsion method much compete with current systems and produce benefits including cost benefits.  As far as choke points on advanced propulsion, he said understanding the fundamental physics involved was a big one.  We then talked about funding which is now mostly from companies and other private investor oriented sources.  I asked lots of questions about funding, especially how does one know when the point is reached to either kill the project or keep it going.  Don’t miss what he said about this.  Listeners also asked many questions.  In replying to one listener, he said it would be hard to beat chemical rockets to LEO but the door opens up BLEO though the Moon can be done with chemical rockets.  When asked about the anti-nuke movement and the impact on the nuclear rocket, he had some interesting observations, especially regarding the views of younger people.  When asked for leading advanced propulsion people and concepts, he mentioned former Space Show guest Dr. James Woodward and his work with Mach’s Principle several times during our show.  Greg was also asked about the work of Dr. Sonny White at JSC for warp drive and M drive.  Greg had much to say about his work including Q thruster and M drive.  John from Ft. Worth called in to talk about M Drive & Mach’s Principle along with gravity and magnetic frequencies.

In the second segment, Ashley sent in an email asking about going to the Moon and Mars for settlement and sustainability, wondering if advanced propulsion was needed for either location.  You might be surprised by Greg’s response to this question so listen carefully.  He did say there would be different requirements for the Moon and Mars.  With Mars, he also spoke about radiation and travel times.  Greg then had some things to say about artificial gravity.  One of his comments was that if we understood more of the physics, an eventual advanced propulsion system might enable an artificial gravity system without spinning or the need for tethers.  Brad in Tucson sent in a note asking about reusable first stage rocket launch systems.  Greg was delighted with the question as he works on such systems in his day job and he had much to say and offer about reusable first stage rockets.  He went through a brief summary of some of his work plus those attempting to design such systems including SpaceX.  I asked about a payload penalty with reusability.  Don’t miss his answer.  Our next caller was Marshall and he took us back to the artificial gravity discussion.  Marshal was asking questions about the amount of time spent in 1g as opposed to various fractional gravity loads.  As the program was ending, Greg received the final question which dealt with comparing the quality of government research to private sector research.  He reminded the listener that there very little to no government research funding for advanced propulsion, that it was almost all private sector funding.  He said the private funding was investor based so it comes with a commercial profit focus.

Please post your comments on The Space Show blog above.  Greg Meholic can be reached through me using drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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.

Erik Seedhouse, Monday, 11-24-14 November 25, 2014

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Erik Seedhouse, Monday, 11-24-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2362-BWB-2014-11-24.mp3

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Guest:  Erik Seedhouse.  Topics:  Erik’s new book, “Bigelow Aerospace: Colonizing Space One Module at a Time” & 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 Erik Seedhouse back to the show to discuss his new book, “Bigelow Aerospace: Colonizing Space One Module at a Time.”  Remember, if you buy it on Amazon, use the OGLF/Space Show portal so Amazon will donate part of the purchase price to The Space Show.  Instructions are on all program archives on the website, the blog, and at http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 52 minute discussion, Erik started out with a short summary of the recently concluded Next Giant Leap space conference held in Hawaii.  He concluded that it was an excellent conference with a focus on returning to the Moon and lunar missions.  Next, Erik turned his attention to his new book on Bigelow Aerospace by talking about the inflatable technology being used by Bigelow modules, especially the BA 330.  Erik was asked about station keeping with the BA 330 and suggested both a docking capability and propulsion mode.  I asked Erik what impressed him the most and also concerned him the most.  Regarding his concerns, he suggested the lunar landing capability of Bigelow, even citing Buzz Aldrin in support of his concerns.  Given Erik has now written books on both SpaceX and Bigelow, a listener asked him for comparisons with the two which Erik would not do.  Under pressure, he did say it might be easier to work at SpaceX than Bigelow.  Throughout the show, Erik mentioned that we need advanced propulsion to go to Mars and that it was unsafe to use chemical rockets.  When I challenged him on this, he held his ground citing radiation and other human factors risks as reasons why going to Mars with chemical rockets was too risky.

In the second segment, we talked about the Vectran material per Tony’s email.  Vectran is the material used for the Bigelow expandables (inflatables).  Dr. Doug from S. California called with multiple questions for Erik.  He inquired about a possible Bigelow inflatable greenhouse and wanted to know if Bigelow had identified a landing location on the Moon.  Doug also brought up a potential return to the Moon policy with the next president to be elected in the 2016 presidential election.  Neither Erik or I thought it was likely that a new president would focus on a return to the Moon space policy.  Doug commented on our comments later in the segment with an email which I read in full on air.  Let us know what you think with a comment on TSS blog.  Listeners asked about going to Mars rather than the Moon and Erik talked about going to the Moon as part of a Mars mission.  During the program, I asked Erik what it would take to move policy makers to establishing  a return to the Moon policy.  Erik talked about the need to sell the program and suggested it was as much PR as it was engineering.  Later in this segment, I told Erik I was appointing him the lunar space commander and what would he do to sell a return to the Moon policy with a new president.  He said he would probably play the scare card regarding China and their policy.  Later, he talked more about a scare policy over both Chinese and Russian space programs.  He cited examples for why we should be concerned about China.  Michael Listner emailed in to remind listeners that it was not a given that a private lunar mission would be approved & get the necessary launch and other licenses required for the mission.  Erik suggested using a foreign launcher but I reminded Erik that the American law requires a launch license and more regardless of where in the world the launch takes place if you are an American citizen or resident.  George and other listeners sent Erik email questions about the Chinese threat.  Near the end of the show, I asked Erick to give us an update on the Canadian space program.  In summary, we concluded that Mr. Bigelow is a space visionary and pioneer.  We are excited about the potential offered us by Bigelow Aerospace with private space stations, a lunar hab, and more.

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

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

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Alan Boyle, Tuesday, 2-25-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2199-BWB-2014-02-25.mp3

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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. Madhu Thangavelu, Monday, 2-24-14 February 25, 2014

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Dr. Madhu Thangavelu, Monday, 2-24-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2194-BWB-2014-02-24.mp3

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If you are listening to archives & rating programs on live365.com,  email me the reasons for your rating to help improve the show.

Guest:  Dr. Madhu Thangavelu.  Topics:  NEO student intervention & surveillance design projects, advanced technology.  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. Madhu Thangavelu to discuss current graduate student design projects from his most recent USC class which had a theme dealing with NEOs and mitigation strategies.  During the first segment of this 1 hour 41 minute show, Dr. Thangavelu focused on the future of the ISS, lunar exploration and settlements, a bit on Mars but mostly on NEO issue and surveillance of dangerous items.  He summarized several of the student projects for us including one referred to as “Trojan” asteroids and another referred to as “space rocks to take care of rocks.”  Also in this segment we talked about nuclear rocket technology and propulsion, asteroid mining, and Directed Energy devices.  For the latter, we spoke about the ease of using the technology as a space weapon.  Toward the end of the segment we discussed how to enroll in Madhu ‘s class, especially if you are not a USC graduate engineering student.  Our guest summarized the segment saying that planetary defense will happen and his class helps to train and condition creative minds to deal with the problems.

In the second segment, Professor Thangavelu received a listener question about Earthship Houses and the Cal-Earth Institute.  Madhu also spoke about the recent NASA NIAC Conference held at Stanford University.  Regarding the conference, he spoke about many of the keynote addresses and speakers, plus extremely innovative projects.  One such project was Contour Crafting which he said was now in Phase 2 (see www.contourcrafting.org).  Another listener went into more detail with him on the USC application process to attend his class, then Madhu went back to sharing more with us regarding the NASA conference.  He said keynote speakers were from MythBusters, Google, SETI, SSI, and Dr. Pete Worden of NASA Ames.  Later in this segment, he talked about the space business model with Elon Musk, Stratolaunch, and more.  He fielded a few specific questions on asteroid mining which he did not think was ripe for investor action at this time.  He was asked about green technologies & the student design projects, then about his upcoming article in the Journal of Space Philosophy.  One of the last topics was the introduction to us of co-robotics, suggesting we check it out at the National Robotics Initiative ( Google co-robotics for more information).

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Dr. Thangavelu can be reached through me using drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

Chris Carberry, Sunday, 4-7-13 April 8, 2013

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Chris Carberry, Sunday, 4-7-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1990-BWB-2013-04-07.mp3

Guest:  Chris Carberry.  Topics:  Exploremars.org and their upcoming Humans2Mars Summit, the Mars Generation Opinion Poll.  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 the first segment of this 1 hour 46 minute program, we welcomed back Chris Carberry, Executive Director of Explore Mars (www.exploremars.org) to discuss their upcoming Humans 2 Mars Summit (H2M) from May 6-8 at GWU in Washington, DC (see http://h2m.exploremars.org).  Chris talked about the purpose of this conference, the logistics, registration, and the speakers.  We also went into some detail regarding the panels, their topics, and panel members, all of which are detailed on the H2M website.  We specifically talked about Inspiration Mars in both segments, risk taking, government regulation, and the level of the public’s interest in human spaceflight missions to Mars.  Financing HSF missions to Mars was another topic near the end of the first segment.

In the second segment, we focused on the Mars Generation Opinion Poll which can be found at www.exploremars.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Mars-Generation-Survey-full-report-March-7-2013.pdf.  Here, we went over several of the survey questions and the results, including questions pertaining to human spaceflight and Mars in light of our current budget constraints, why go to Mars in the first place, should we increase NASA’s budget to at least 1% of the federal budget, what are the biggest barriers to sending crews to Mars, the value of returning to the Moon as compared to going to Mars, and more.  I urge all of you to check out the opinion poll as it had some interesting and surprising results, at least from my perspective.  Later in this segment, a listener asked Chris about both the Mars One mission and the Inspiration Mars flyby mission.  Don’t miss what Chris had to say about both proposed missions.  Another listener asked if Explore Mars thought human spaceflight to Mars was near term, hence the H2M Summit.  Don’t miss what Chris said in response to this question and his idea of a time line for a human mission to Mars.  We also talked about the public’s view that any HSF Mars Mission would involve the public sector, preferably with the private sector.  We concluded our discussion by again referencing the upcoming Humans 2 Mars Summit.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Chris Carberry or get more information about the upcoming conference by visiting the Explore Mars website.