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Open Lines, Sunday, 10-7-12 October 7, 2012

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Open Lines, Sunday, 10-7-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1867-BWB-2012-10-07.mp3

Guest:  Dr. David Livingston.   Topics:  Open Lines discussion on various space topics per the choice of the listeners calling today’s show.  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. Welcome to today’s two hour 15 minute Open Lines discussion.  The program was in three segments but as we focused on just a few topics for the entire discussion, this summary will not be divided by segments.  I started the discussion by describing upcoming Space Show programs, then putting out a few discussion topics.  As it turned out, the dominant topic discussed by the listeners had to do with astronaut safety and the recent program with guest Rand Simberg from Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Rand talked about our being too risk averse, the need for more lives to be at risk to do valuable space missions, etc. You can hear his program at http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1863-BWB-2012-10-01.mp3. Several callers took issue with much of what Rand said and for the most part thought that space missions were valued and that human spaceflight was already risky.  Listeners went back and forth on this topic across all segments of the program, talking about shuttle accident rates, proposed accident rates for Constellation, Orion, Dragon, and more.  Some listeners even talked about aviation safety rates, military jets, and the track records of the Atlas 5, Delta IV, and Arianne V rockets.  For part of this discussion, we also talked about the liability limitation laws passed in spaceport states including California which recently signed into law its version of law. We talked about what this might mean for the industry, for spaceflight participants, and even if the would hold up in an accident.

As part of the HSF safety discussions, we also talked about launch abort and escape systems.  We took a call at the first of the second segment from Charles in Oregon who  wanted to talk about the lunar space elevator, SLS and propellant depots, our second most talked about topic for the day.  Charles is a strong proponent of the lunar space elevator and depots, but others called in from the skeptical side of things which was my position.  At times the discussion switched to the space elevator here on Earth but everybody agreed that the lunar space elevator was much more doable. I kept challenging Charles and proponents of this and the depots to show me the complete and thorough financial analysis and trades for these missions with assumptions as that would be the only way to know if these concepts had legs to stand on.  If Charles does get me some of this documentation and its viable, I will use it in a future Space Show program.  Tim in Huntsville wanted to know my thoughts on various alternative launch systems & my preferences for which type of space missions.  There were other topics scattered throughout our program including the 23 mile skydive by Felix Baumgartner with Red Bull scheduled for Oct. 8th, fusion propulsion, and the SpaceX launch going to the ISS later today.

     If you want to email any of the callers to this program, send your note to me and I will forward it for you.  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.
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Dr. John Jurist, Sunday, 4-29-12 April 30, 2012

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Dr. John Jurist, Sunday, 4-29-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1763-BWB-2012-04-29.mp3

Guest:  Dr. John Jurist.  Topics:  High altitude sky diving, space vehicle crew escape, free fall from space.  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 Dr. John Jurist back to the program to discuss his latest research dealing with high altitude bail out, space vehicle crew escape, free fall from space, and more.  Dr. Jurist introduced us to the subject by talking about the history of experiments and research in the 50’s and the 60’s for high altitude bail out and the possibility of orbital speed crew escape.  He discussed many technical issues and jump/escape parameters so do listen carefully to our entire discussion.  Issues we addressed included aerodynamic stability, acceleration, deceleration, turbulence, spinning, heat dissipation, and the need to trust one’s equipment.  For example, he cited the famous Capt. Joe Kittinger jump as well as the latest effort to surpass the Kittinger jump by Red Bull and Felix Baumgartner.  Dr. Jurist discussed the differences in suborbital and orbital bailouts and we discussed the generic escape scenarios for upcoming suborbital flights.  John talked about the old Air Force Project Moose program and a listener asked about a free fall from orbital flight, perhaps from the ISS.  Dr. Jurist explained how this might happen and what would be needed for the person to deorbit, free fall, return to the atmosphere, and to survive the experience.  We also talked about the possibility of entering the atmosphere at too steep an angle and skipping off it with the potential of not ever returning.  He said this would not happen.  Don’t miss this fascinating discussion.

In our second segment, Carl asked Dr. Jurist to explain the SR-71 accident that he mentioned in the first segment. This is an amazing story.  You can read about the SR-71 incident described by Dr. Jurist at www.916-starfighter.de/SR-71_Waever.htm.  When asked for lessons learned, John said always trust your equipment and your training.  We talked about cabin pressurization in this segment and John got lots of questions comparing aircraft pressurization systems to those of a space vehicle.  This brought up the use of pressure suits, space suits, and possible shirt sleeve environments for space vehicles.  Later in this segment, John talked about spinoffs, specifically accident improvement with results showing up in the auto industry with safer cars.  Later, he was asked if he thought we were on the right track with HSF crew safety and escape issues and he said we were and that it was an evolutionary process.  Near the end of the program in response to a question, he said the most likely failures would take place in the boost phase of the flight.  Informed consent was mentioned as an issue to be aware of, then he concluded by saying that people are tough and can survive accidents and catastrophic events with the proper equipment and training.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.