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Dr. Madhu Thangalevu, Monday, 8-17-15 August 18, 2015

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Dr. Madhu Thangalevu, Monday, 8-17-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2532-BWB-2015-08-17.mp3

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Guests: Dr. Madhu Thangavelu; Tihomir Dimitrov (Tisho); Topics: ISU Summer Session, Planetary Defense, the Moon Studio Class. 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 the Planetary Defense Team and their work at the ISU Summer Session which was held this year at Ohio University. About 20 minutes into the show, he was joined by one of the student participants in the session, Tihomir Dimitrov (Tisho). Madhu explained that he gave the team an impossible scenario to solve. The scenario was that a comet was heading toward Earth and would impact us in two yeas. The students had to come up with a mitigation strategy. The first segment of our program talks about the considerations, the plans, & the mitigation means which included directed energy and modified nuclear weapons. Listeners and I pushed both Dr. Thangalevu and Tisho on these two strategies, plus I challenged them on their goal of changing the world by engaging in planetary defense of the Earth, the Moon, and even Mars. I kept asking them why they don’t improve humanity in Africa and the Middle East because as host, I can play the part of the devil’s advocate to challenge their reasoning and thinking. In the end, it seemed that the solution to the problem was based on how much work was done in the time leading up to the discovery of the incoming comet. Our guests also talked about evacuation strategies and making touch decisions for the good of society and the planet but maybe not so good for the city, town, region or people that get hit by the comet. Its an interesting discussion and I am sure all of us would have enjoyed being in this summer session class. You can read the Executive Summary Report for this class at https://isulibrary.isunet.edu/opac/doc_num.php?explnum_id=719. The Final Report can be found at https://isulibrary.isunet.edu/opac/doc_num.php?explnum_id=722.

In the second segment, Madhu talked about his upcoming design studio class with the theme this year of exploring the role of the Moon in our future space activity. He talked about the role of governments in making the Moon part of our future in space as compared to the role of private companies and entrepreneurs. At one point he said the key would be in how we change the way we look at space. When asked by a listener, Dr. Thangalevu clarified that he was talking about the role of the Moon in human space activity, not just robotic missions. Madhu also directed us to his earlier articles in Mars Daily on this subject which you can read here: (1): www.marsdaily.com/reports/The_Moon_or_Mars_Flawed_Debate_False_Choice___Part_One_999.html; (2): www.marsdaily.com/reports/Flawed_Debates_begets_false_choices_beyond_LEO___Part_Two_999.html.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above. You can reach Dr. Thangalevu through his USC faculty page or through me.

SWF NEO Webinar, Sunday, 8-18-13 August 21, 2013

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SWF NEO Webinar, Sunday, 8-18-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2071-BWB-2013-08-18.mp3 – Audio

http://vimeo.com/72803251  Webinar Video on Vimeo

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Guests:  Dr. Ray Williamson, Dr. Tim Spahr, Dr. Mark Boslough.  Topics:  NEO impacts and what’s being done to deal with the threat.  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. YOU CAN WATCH THE WEBINAR VIDEO VERSION AT http://vimeo.com/72803251.  You can listen to the audio as you would any Space Show program.

We welcomed our three panel members, Dr. Ray Williamson, Dr. Tim Spahr, and Dr. Mark Boslough to this 1 hour 31 minute Secure World Foundation sponsored webinar addressing NEO impacts and what’s being done to deal with the threat.  During our fist segment, we introduced our panel members and each provided us with opening comments about planetary defense and the risk and issues concerned with Near Earth Object (NEO) impacts here on Earth.  Among the many issues discussed were funding priorities, diversion of funds, the recent Chelyabinsk NEO impact in Russia, and they type of damage that can be done by a NEO impact, even a small one.  We also talked about our present day capabilities, what we can detect and the NASA NEO survey.  One of the listener questions led to a discussion on the risk rewards for prioritizing not only budgetary expenses for NEO searches and mitigation, but also the theory behind the strategy of identifying larger NEOs first and why that is the preferred methodology.  Our guests mentioned about 400,000 items had been surveyed and cataloged so far.  Marshall emailed in a question about the best location for placing telescopes for NEO searches.  I also asked about NEO airburst and if they were as predictable as understanding nuclear weapon airburst.  The answer was no because we know so very little about NEO airbursts in contrast to what we know about nuclear weapons.  The segment ended with a short summary of what was happening policy wise in the field with SWF & other international space & policy agencies.

In the second segment, we started off talking about mitigation strategies and potential tools/methods that might be used.  We talked about the time line needed to mitigate a potential NEO impact and learned that if it was within a few years of possible impact, the strategies would likely focus on damage control, evacuation, and such here on Earth.  We discussed more about NEO budgets and priorities, then I asked each of our guests to rate their level of satisfaction with the progress being made in the field.  Each one provided his own satisfaction rating with his reasons for the rating.  I’m sure you will find their comments most interesting. Near the end of our webinar, our panel members were asked for their thoughts on human spaceflight and the possible competition for scarce funds with the planetary science part of NASA and space as well as the planetary defense budget.  While they all liked human spaceflight, you might be surprised by the answers each of our panel members provided us.  Guest closing comments were excellent so don’t miss them.

Please post questions/comments on The Space Show blog URL above.  You can email each guest through me.

Henry Vanderbilt, Monday, 3-4-13 March 5, 2013

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Henry Vanderbilt, Monday, 3-4-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1963-BWB-2013-03-04.mp3

Guest:  Henry Vanderbilt.  Topics: Space Access Conference 2013 & Planetary Defense issues.  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.

We welcomed back Henry Vanderbilt for our annual program in support of the upcoming Space Access Conference to be held in Phoenix, Arizona from April 11-13, 2013.  For detailed conference information, hotel & conference registration, and for speaker and program information, please visit www.space-access.org. During the first hour of our 90 minute program, Henry described the conference, talked about many of the speakers, and the issues facing the general space industry as well as commercial space for 2013.  He also talked about other national space programs and how they were moving forward with their space budgets and plans, even in the commercial space world.  Near the end of the first segment, we covered the conference logistics in some detail, including registration and hotel information.  All of this is available on their website.

In the second segment, Henry spoke about planetary defense issues in their latest newsletter issue. You can read this issue at www.space-access.org/updates/sau130.html.  Henry went over the planetary defense issues based on the observations of Comet 2012-A1 which may be headed for Mars.  He asked the question what if this comet were headed for Earth and we knew about it at least two years before reaching Earth.  Could we do anything about it?  He concluded that we might be able to deflect it and put forth his deflection scenarios in the newsletter and our on air discussion.  For the most part, his concept makes use of hydrogen bombs exploding near the comet before it reaches Earth.  The explosions heat up one side of the comet causing a sort of exhaust from the volatiles slightly changing the course of the comet.  Not only will you find this to be an interesting discussion but I urge you to read his paper on the subject as he goes into detail about the energy needed, how to do it, the launch issue, etc.  He said that the political and leadership issues were probably more challenging than the technical challenges.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above.  You can email Henry about the conference or with other questions using space.access@mindspring.com.  If you want to subscribe to the conference newsletters and the Space Access mailings such as the newsletter, send your request to this email address and Henry will add you to the list.

Dr. Catharine Conley, Monday, 10-8-12 October 9, 2012

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Dr. Catharine Conley, Monday, 10-8-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1868-BWB-2012-10-08.mp3

Guest: Dr. Catharine Conley. Topics: NASA & international planetary protection policy, methodology, & applications. You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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 Dr. Catharine Conley, NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer to the show for a comprehensive discussion on the subject of planetary protection. Planetary Protection is concerned with preventing the transfer of life between planetary bodies. For more information, visit the NASA Planetary Protection website at http://planetaryprotection.nasa.gov. Dr. Conley started our discussion with the definition of planetary protection, followed by a brief history dating back to the Apollo missions & planetary quarantine. Dr. Conley talked extensively about microbes & their survival. One of the points she made in response to a question was just how friendly the very cold temperatures of space could be for microbes.  On the other hand, radiation & the UV light are the enemies of microbial survival. We talked about a Mars sample return mission, what safety precautions would be taken, & then our guest was asked about using the ISS or the Moon as a quarantine lab to protect Earth. You will hear why this is not a good idea & later when asked about using a Bigelow habitat as a planetary protection lab since it would not be a government lab, our guest applied the same reasoning. Dr. Conley talked about the Viking missions as the most stringent ever for planetary protection. In terms of the methodology, we talked about how a mission is prepared for planetary protection, the probability of contamination, & I asked about cost-benefit analysis & the value of added costs & more time for planetary protection if the probability of contamination was so low. As you will hear, building in planetary protection starting with the concept stage is not a significant contributor to costs as its usually less than 1% of mission costs. We also talked about protocols for a NEO mission, the New Horizons mission on the way to Pluto, & missions to other planets & flyby missions. Next, our guest addressed issues with Mars Science Lab & Curiosity. Near the end of the first segment, we talked about international protocols, Article 9 of the OST, & the international COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy. Dr. Conley talked about international space agency adherence to the policy, country by country. Viruses & extra-terrestrial life possibilities brought us to the close of this segment.

In our second segment, Dr. Conley talked about the need for public awareness & educational outreach regarding planetary protection. Listeners asked about human flights to Mars, even one way flights.  Don’t miss this discussion. Did you know that it is very likely that humans will be restricted as to where they can go on Mars based on planetary protection policy? Or, by the time we send humans to Mars, we will have learned enough about Mars so that the human part regarding planetary protection will not prove to be much of a threat or risk. We talked about terreforming, what to do with a crew member death on Mars & being able to bury the body, then we talked about planetary protection policy among the NASA centers. Near the end, our guest was asked about the Phobos-Grunt mission & the Russian adherence to planetary protection policies. We inquired about Mars meteorites here on Earth & future missions being worked on with the planetary protection office including two Mars missions & the concept of a Europa mission.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to contact Dr. Conley, send your note to me & I will forward it to her.

Brent Sherwood, Tuesday, 7-24-12 July 25, 2012

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Brent Sherwood, Tuesday, 7-24-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1821-BWB-2012-07-24.mp3

Guest:  Brent Sherwood.  Topics: Human spaceflight to Mars: Is it on the path or a distraction?  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 Brent Sherwood back to the show to discuss his GLEX paper and ideas regarding human spaceflight (HSF), Mars, and alternative NASA goals/missions regarding HSF.  His GLEX paper, “Mars-On the Path or in the Way” is posted on The Space Show blog following this program summary.  Please read & review his paper as it contains far more detail regarding his proposal, analysis and his conclusion than what we were able to discuss during our program.  In our first segment, Mr. Sherwood provided us with the background and context for his having written this paper and for his conclusion that HSF to Mars is not the right path. He then outlined alternative paths for HSF missions that he believes can better “regain the cultural centrality of human space flight and grow by attracting private capital.” Our guest talked about the value proposition of a HSF mission to Mars, plus the value proposition of the alternatives he describes in his paper & on this program.  The value proposition is understood to refer to the value received by sending humans to Mars (or the alternative HSF missions) as compared to the value of the mission costs, the opportunity costs, risks, etc.  Mr. Sherwood assesses the value proposition for all of his alternative HSF proposals which include the Explore Mars mission, lunar settlement, space passenger travel, and SSP.  For most of this initial segment, Brent outlined his ideas and explained why he has concluded that HSF to Mars does not measure up as a value promise & why SSP is his first choice.  We began taking listener email questions and phone calls after he summarized his position  & as you can imagine, most all the listener questions/comments were of the challenging nature to his conclusion that HSF to Mars was not in the best interest of our space program.  I urge you read his paper and to pay attention to the technical, cost, time line, and historical information shared with us by our guest.

In the second segment of this nearly two hour program, Brent took questions and expanded more as to why he supports other options than HSF to Mars.  He also explained why he is calling for a debate on this issue within the space community.  At the start of this segment, I asked him if he thought discovering life on Mars would change his opinion and the value proposition.  He said no but did say it would expedite the Martian sample return mission, but would not alter the variables & unknowns involved in the magnitude of technology challenges needing resolution before sending humans safely to and from Mars.  Toward the end of our discussion, I asked how he might move forward to implement the industry debate he has called for on this show & in his paper.  Suggestions on how to do this are wanted so if you have any, post them on the blog.

Brent would like your feedback so after listening to this program and reading his paper, please post comments/questions on the blog.  You can email Brent Sherwood by sending your note to me & I will forward it to him.

Brent Sherwood’s GLEX Paper:

Mars-On the Path or In the Way?

 

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 7-11-12 July 12, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 7-11-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1812-BWB-2012-07-11.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Tom Jones, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics: The B 612 Foundation SENTINEL Project, NEOs, planetary defense.  . 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. Written 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. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. During our 11.5 minute discussion, we discussed the newly announced B 612 Foundation’s first privately funded deep space mission, the SENTINEL Project.  This project will launch a specially built infrared 20″ space telescope to orbit 170 million miles from Earth to discover and map near earth asteroids of potential risk and interest to us here on Earth.  Dr. Jones explained the program to us, responded to questions about why infrared, why a loop around Venus and why an orbit so far from Earth around the sun.  We talked about the cost of the program as well as the timelines.  Other topics included mass extinction events, becoming a multi-planet species, and more.  Please post your comments/question on The Space Show blog.

If you have a question for either John Batchelor or Dr. Tom Jones, send it to me and I will forward it to the person of your choice.

Rusty Schweickart, Tuesday, 5-1-12 May 2, 2012

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Rusty Schweickart, Tuesday, 5-1-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1766-BWB-2012-05-01.mp3

Guest:  Rusty Schweickart.   Topics:  Planetary Defense, NEO deflection.  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 back Rusty Schweickart to update us on the latest with planetary defense and NEO risk assessment.  Rusty started our discussion with an examining of the asteroid 2011 AG5 which if it goes through the keyhole in 2023, would be likely to hit Earth in 2040.  During much of this first segment, our guest explained asteroid orbital issues, the keyhole and why it is so important to understand it, Earth’s gravity impact on NEOs, and the different deflection techniques.  He talked about the need for a dual mission which would include an observer satellite plus the kinetic impact deflector.  The observer satellite would be needed to confirm the hit and if the deflection was sufficient to miss the keyhole.  He estimated the cost for such a mission from $500 million to a billion or more!  We also learned that the keyhole for AG5 is about 300 KM wide and that is a much easier deflection than trying to do it once AG5 goes through the keyhole. Then we would be looking at a deflection roughly equal to the Earth’s diameter of 20,000 km which is a much harder deflection to accomplish requiring significantly more energy and costs.  Other issues talked about in this segment included the state of our existing technology to accomplish a deflection, the risks associated with AG5, the issue of who pays for the cost of such a mission, the role of a heavy lift launcher in deflection, and asteroid finding space telescopes.

In our second segment, we talked about different scenarios for deflection and the cost of deflection compared to the cost of an evacuation of people from the impact zone.  Rusty talked about knowing the impact zone and why we can evaluate this much further in advance of impact than when working with space debris.  A listener asked about using a nuclear bomb in space for mitigation. Rusty took us through the nuclear analysis and when as a last resort, a nuke might be needed.  In this analysis, he again went over the kinetic impact and then talked about the gravity tractor concept which he said was slow but very precise.  In his analysis, he used an interesting analogy to baseball, pitching the fastball, & the point at which the batter must act given the speed of the ball.  Don’t miss it.  We talked more on telescopes and he mentioned the University of Hawaii ATLAS project (www.fallingstar.com). Another important point discussed in this segment was the fact that NASA has no official responsibility to protect us from a hit.  We talked about the consequences of this policy, changing the policy to officially give NASA this responsibility, and funding it through the budget process.  During our discussion, Rust outlined several steps that listeners could take if interested in this issue.  Rusty offered specific recommendations all of us could do that would be beneficial to planetary defense.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to send Rusty a note, please do so through me.

John Batchelor “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 3-7-12 March 8, 2012

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John Batchelor “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 3-7-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1729-BWB-2012-03-07.mp3

John Batchelor, Rusty Schweickart, DrSpace

Guests:  John Batchelor, Rusty Schweickart, DrSpace.  Topics: Planetary Defense, asteroid impact, Asteroid 2011AG5.  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.  This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. The topics in this 11 minute plus segment focused on the asteroid 2011AG5, asteroid impacts, the means to intervene to deflect an incoming asteroid threat as well as understanding the force of impact for an asteroid the size of 2011AG5.  During the discussion, we discussed the odds of the asteroid hitting theUS.  Rusty explained the Keyhole and its significance for an asteroid that may be approaching Earth.  Rusty also gave us critical dates to watch as more refined observational information becomes available for 2011AG5.  Finally, we talked about technologies that are available now to deal with an incoming asteroid such as a gravity tractor.  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to contact either John or Rusty, send your note to me and I will forward it to you.