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Dr. Jens Biele, Friday, 8-28-15 August 29, 2015

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Dr. Jens Biele, Friday, 8-28-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2543-BWB-2015-08-28.mp3

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Guest: Dr. Jens Biele. Topics: The Philae Lander & Rosetta Mission, DLR & ESA 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 to the show Dr. Jens Biele of the DLR to discuss the Philae Lander as part of the Rosetta Mission to Comet 67P. During the first segment of our 1 hour 27 minute discussion, Dr. Biele summarized the Rosetta mission going back to its planning and development days, the flight to Comet 67PM and the Philae Lander’s anchor landing failure which he talked about at length. He also talked about communications from the lander to the orbiter and the narrow window for successful communications. We talked about solar and battery power, the type of data it can still transmit and related issues. Later, he was asked about other forms of propulsion including ion thrusters and advanced propulsion, plus he was asked if it would have been better to power the spacecraft by an RTG. He summarized some of the trades involved in making these types of decisions so don’t miss the discussion. BJohn asked about other DLR missions so MASCOT was discussed and later he discussed AIDA and AIM. As part of this discussion flyby missions were detailed and trojan asteroids were discussed. The subject of searching for life came up along with the discovery of organic molecules. Near the end of the segment, Roger from Rutgers asked if they considered Philae a success. Don’t miss his answer to this one. Other topics in this segment including drill samples, mission operating cost considerations, launcher choices and the shape of 67P which was a puzzle yet to be explained.

In the second segment, I asked our guest about the extremely long mission planning and design times coupled with the very long flight time and how that impacted people wanting to work space projects. As you will hear, it is not much different in Europe than here in the States with the same issues with NASA missions here. BJohn asked additional questions about future DLR missions and robotic exploration. This is the discussion that talked about both the AIDA and AIM European missions. Listener Helen asked about general European public support of ESA and space. You might be surprised by what our guest had to say in response to Helen so don’t miss it. In this context, Dr. Biele talked about ESA PR and its limitations and constraints. Toward the end of our program, he talked about human spaceflight, referenced Mars and going to Phobos as an initial part of human Mars exploration. When I asked our guest for closing comments, he said “If you dare you win. Take Some risks.” His final comments were ” Landers are cool!”

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Biele through me or his DLR website.

 

Dr. David Lawrence, Friday, 12-28-12 December 29, 2012

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Dr. David Lawrence, Friday, 12-28-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1919-BWB-2012-12-28.mp3

Guest:  Dr. David Lawrence.  Topic:  The planet Mercury & the NASA Messenger Mission.  Please direct all comments & questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments & questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright & 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.   We welcomed Dr. David Lawrence to the program to discuss the planet Mercury & the NASA Messenger Mission’s latest finding.  For more information, visit the Messenger websites, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/messenger/main/index.html & http://messenger.jhuapl.edu.  We started our discussion by describing the Mercury & the Messenger mission.  For example, it took over six years to get to Mercury because of the difficulty in slowing the spacecraft down given the close proximity to the sun.  Dr. Lawrence explained this process to us & the Venus, Mercury, & Earth flyby program used by the spacecraft to orbit around Mercury.  We talked about the spacecraft health, the instruments on board & the problem with the gamma ray spectrometer which worked for about 9,000 hours on an expected life of 8,000 hours.  However, data from this instrument is still being analyzed & will be for some time to come.  Other instruments on Messenger are fine & the spacecraft has a life expectancy to 2015.  Our guest explained mission nominal life & the process for mission extensions with additional NASA funding. We talked about funding issues for Messenger & other planetary missions in light of NASA budget issues & the overall U.S. economy.  Dr. Lawrence told us how the missions compete for extension & additional funding, plus the requirements they must meet to be extended.  Listeners wanted to know about the application of Messenger & Mercury science to Earth & other solar system missions, our Moon, a NEO, even Mars.  Other listeners wanted to know Mercury’s distances from the sun & Earth, as well as more about possible tectonic activity on Mercury.  We discussed basic chemical elements found on Mercury as well as volatile elements.

In our second segment, Dr. Lawrence was asked to identify the biggest surprise so far which he said had to do with the composition of the planet & volatile elements with high concentrations of sulfur & sodium, among others.  A listener asked about Mercury radiation levels & another listener wanted to know how Mercury crater’s got their names.  Dr. Lawrence then took us through the crater naming process which you can also read about on the Messenger websites.  We talked about Messenger’s discovery of Hollows (see, http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/24oct_sleepyhollows).  One listener asked our guest how one gets on a science team like Messenger. Dr. Lawrence explained the paths to joining these teams.  Mercury’s high density came up & our guest talked about most all of the iron on the planet being concentrated in its core.  We also talked about data analysis, archives, embargos, & availability.  Our guest directed us to the NASA Planetary Portal System for more information.  Near the end, we talked about the NASA Discovery Program & other successful Discovery missions including Dawn.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Dr. Lawrence through me or the APL Messenger website.

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