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Dr. Chris Impey, Monday, 12-14-15 December 15, 2015

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Dr. Chris Impey, Monday, 12-14-15


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Guest: Dr. Chris Impey. Topics: We talked about Dr. Impey’s latest books on planetary missions & commercial + HSF in addition to astronomy & cosmology. 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. Chris Impey for a one hour one segment discussion about his two recent books, “Dreams of Other Worlds: The Amazing Story of Unmanned Space Exploration,” and his newer book “Beyond: Our Future in Space.” We started our discussion with Dr. Impey describing “Dreams of Other Worlds” which describes 11 unmanned space missions that have made a difference in our understanding of distant worlds. We focused on a few of the 11 missions including Viking, Cassini, Voyager, & the WMAP mission. I asked Dr. Impey what would have been included had the book been written later. The Dawn Mission would have made it, so would the Kepler Space Telescope, New Horizons, Curiosity, and probably others. We then switched to the use of ground based telescopes and here Dr. Impey talked about how many of the telescopes are being repurposed for a new life doing different types of observation astronomy. Dr. Impey was asked about his favorite missions. He mentioned Viking and the WMAP microwave telescope mission and this led to his talking about The Big Bang, dark matter, and dark energy. I asked Chris about the recent article in The Economist about the two Chicago area scientists proposing a new theory on dark matter. Chris had read the article and had some interesting commentary on it and the proposed theory. Robert sent in an email asking our guest why there have been no life detection experiments on the NASA and other planetary missions. This sparked a good conversation on the subject which you do not want to miss. Chris proposed a very plausible reason why no suck experiments have been carried out but let us know what you think by posting on the blog. Another topic discussed was planetary protection. Linda from Austin asked our guest about the UofA astronomy and cosmology programs and students, then Bill asked our guest if he had read “The Martian” or seen the movie. Chris had both read the book and seen the movie which we discussed for several minutes. Don’t miss this discussion as Dr. Impey made some interesting points about both the book and the movie and the plausibility of the story line including the initial dust storm which caused the problems for The Martian. Before the end of the program, Chris fielded some questions about future missions. We addressed the Europa Clipper mission but he said many may be disappointed for what was not being included on the mission so again listen to what he had to say. He suggested a Titan mission would be interesting. In his book “Beyond” Our Future In Space,” Dr. Impey addressed the new commercial missions & human spaceflight. Chris guided us through all sorts of possibilities for future human spaceflight. Nuclear propulsion came up with Dr. Impey having much to say about how beneficial it would be if we had it though it was still futuristic. We spoke of advanced technology & the Decadal Survey and its impact on the type of science projects that get undertaken due to funding. Will sent in a note asking about the recent article about Elon Musk wanting to get to Mars in 10-15 years given the various risks Earth faced, including extremism. Dr. Impey also said it was probably unrealistic to think that one could have a $500k ticket price for Mars, another part of the Elon Musk article. Dr. Impey offered us good summary comments so don’t miss them. The last question dealt with a possible science backlash and referenced the following Huffington Post article: www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/solar-farm-suck-up-the-sun_566e9aeee4b0e292150e5d66.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Impey through me or his University of Arizona faculty page.

Jay Barbree, Monday, 3-5-12 March 5, 2012

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Jay Barbree, Monday, 3-5-12


Guest:  Jay Barbree.  Topics:  Overview of the space program today, SLS, presidential politics and NASA.  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 NBC veteran space reporter Jay Barbree back to The Space Show for a conversation that focused on our best options for today’s space program.  Our discussion was one hour forty minutes without a break.  We started out discussing Jay’s thoughts when he reported on the last shuttle flight given he had reported on every shuttle flight ever made.  He also told us he had updated and reissued his best selling book “Moonshot” which he co-authored with Alan Shepherd and Deke Slayton.  Remember, if you buy it from Amazon with this specific URL, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show: www.amazon.com/Moon-Shot-Alan-Shepard/dp/1453211977/ref=onegiantlea20.  Other topics discussed included a comparison of the original astronauts to astronauts today and the need to return to the Moon.  In fact, Jay told us about ideas being discussed to use the ISS to do a figure 8 loop to and from the Moon rather than crashing it into the ocean at the end of its life.  To do this, he said nuclear propulsion was needed and this led him to discuss the overall need for the nuclear rocket, especially for going to Mars.  A listener asked him if he favored a one way trip to Mars and he said yes.  Don’t miss his complete answer.  Next, we started talking about the Space Launch System which ended up as the main discussion topic for the balance of the program.  Jay strongly supports SLS and is concerned that it might be cancelled.  We talked about what the Obama administration would likely be doing with space and then he talked about his conversations with the Republican candidates and his impressions of each one and their interest in space.  He talked at length about Newt’s Florida primary comments and returning to the Moon in general. He also talked about the need for space settlement given the vulnerability of Earth.  Later, a listener asked Jay if he was familiar with the accusations being made against NASA for how they dealt with the chimps in the early space program and their idea to get KSC to donate space for a chimp museum documenting abuse during their NASA days and dedicating to stopping lab research.  Jay was not familiar with the story but listener Tim found the story on the PETA website:  http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/02/29/peta-to-launch-memorial-at-space-center.aspx.   Jay talked more about the SLS but also about Falcon 9, Dragon, the Boeing CTS 100, and the Atlas 5.  He expressed his concerns many times that the politicians might actually mess up NASA and our future, specifically by cancelling SLS, Orion, or both.  At the end, he told us about his MSNBC.com series “Getting to Mars” which is already underway.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.