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Dr. Marc Rayman, Monday, 12-7-15 December 8, 2015

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Dr. Marc Rayman, Monday, 12-7-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2599-BWB-2015-12-07.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Marc Rayman.  Topics:  The Dawn Mission spacecraft, Ceres news & updates, plus 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 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. Marc Rayman to the show to discuss the Dawn Mission and Ceres updates.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 25 minute discussion, Dr. Rayman said that Dawn was as close to Ceres as it would ever be & that it was in a stable orbit that would last a very long time as they need to avoid having the spacecraft crash into the surface of Ceres.  Dawn is approximately 240 miles above Ceres and its orbital velocity to maintain this orbit is around 600 mph. It takes about 30 minutes for a radio signal to travel one way between Ceres and Earth for a one hour round trip time.  He discussed this Ceres stable orbit in some detail.  We talked about the mission end for Dawn which will likely happen sometime in 2016 as the thruster hydrazine fuel runs out.  He described the failure to us and why they cannot predict with certainty the end date an time.  Marc also talked about the reaction wheels (gyros), the fact they lost two but had one spare to use. He explained how they have been operating the spacecraft with just two gyros instead of the required three.  We talked about some of the new information coming back, exciting findings by Dawn and of course the mysterious bright spots.  Marc commented about the mountain Ahuna Mans which rises to about 20,000 feet above the surface.  Doug called to ask about the water ice and the dark cracks he saw in the photos of the bright spots.  He also inquired about a human mission to Ceres.  Listeners brought up private human missions, including the possibility of a private human mission to Mars.  Don’t miss what Dr. Rayman said about these potential missions.  In response to a question about what would humans do on Ceres, our guest said EXPLORE! BJohn wanted to know if Vesta and Ceres had a special alignment making the mission possible or if we could pretty much visit any two asteroids as we did with these two (dwarf planets).  Doug emailed in asking how the astronauts would actually get around on the surface of Ceres, a question which led to discussing Ceres gravity.

In the second segment, I asked Marc how he and the others associated with these very long term planetary missions develop the patience to wait years and years for the spacecraft to arrive at the destination and start doing what it was designed to do. Marc had some interesting comments and observations about this.  Jerry asked if nuclear propulsion would benefit missions such as Dawn and planetary science in general.  Helen wanted to know what was the most disappointing thing about Dawn.  The reaction wheel failure was a big item but Marc had interesting things to say about defining something related to a mission as a disappointment.  Another listener asked if JPL tracked the general population popularity of its planetary missions.  Later in the segment we discussed robots vs. humans for some missions, then Jane asked about public school text books containing this cutting edge planetary science information.  Both Marc and I offered comments on this subject.  Marc also suggested we visit www.spaceplace.nasa.gov.  Another listener asked for the best school study path to pursue to be able to do what Marc does today at JPL.  Marc had lots of interesting things to say about this so if you want to do planetary science, note what he said. There are multiple study paths to take that can lead you to this kind of work at JPL & other centers/institutions.  He also noted that JPL has lots of non-technical people doing key things in the planetary science department with missions so the path is not always science and engineering.  Paul offered up the last question inquiring about the volume of data to be studied from Dawn.  Marc directed our attention the JPL Planetary Data System Repository which is where this information ends up and anyone can access and research it.  There are years if not decades of research awaiting for the Dawn Mission data.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Rayman through JPL or me.

 

Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke, Monday, 5-20-13 May 21, 2013

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Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke, Monday, 5-20-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2012-BWB-2013-05-20.mp3

Guests:  Kimberly Arcand, Megan Watzke.  Topics:  Touring our Solar System with our two guests.   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 Kimberly (Kim) Arcand and Megan Watzke to the program to discuss their new book, “Your Ticket To the Universe: A Guide To Exploring The Cosmos” published by Smithsonian Books.  Visit their website for more information our guests and this amazing book, www.yourtickettotheuniverse.com/Index/Home.html.  Also check out this YouTube video for the book, www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-KamC0Plro.  If you order the book using this Amazon URL, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show:  www.amazon.com/Your-Ticket-Universe-Exploring-Cosmos/dp/1588343758/ref=onegiantlea20.

During the first part of our 90 minute discussion, our guests explained why they wrote this book and how they came up with its unique structure, format & famous person quote at the beginning of each chapter.  We talked about the pictures used in the book and a few of the items that stood out to me including “Taking an Alien to a Baseball Game” which helps us understand visible light along with all of the other types of light.  A listener with a copy of the book emailed in to ask about the use of the terms light second, light minutes, and light hours when describing objects in our Solar System.  Their discussion of Pluto as a dwarf planet came up in addition to my talking about the book as an excellent teaching tool for school libraries, students of all ages, even adults.  Our authors talked about art and I noticed the inclusion of the famous painting Starry Night in the book.  Don’t miss what Kim and Megan had to say about why Starry Night was used in their book and the overall subject of art, space science, aesthetics, and the night sky abundant with stars.  As our segment was ending, we talked about Mars analogs here on Earth such as Svalbard and Rio Tinto among the many Earth Mars analogs referenced in this book, plus the book’s astrobiology focus.

In our second segment, I asked our guests if space exploration was worth it and why.  Don’t miss what each had to say in answering the question.  We talked about the NASA budget, what is accomplished with the budget, and general population misunderstandings about the actual amount of the NASA budget.  I mentioned a TV documentary on the Dutch East Indies Company and the necessity of human exploration.  I asked our guests what they thought our world would look like had we sent robots out instead of humans in those very early and risky exploration missions.  A listener asked about the description of the book as both a coffee table book and a science book, and we talked about that hybrid description.  Near the end of our discussion, I asked each guest for their favorite place mentioned in the book where they would want to hang out.  You might be surprised by their choices.  Both Kim and Megan signed off with excellent closing comments that you will want to hear and remember.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  You can contact both guests through their website, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as through me.

Global Space Exploration Conference, Tuesday, 5-1-12 May 1, 2012

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Global Space Exploration Conference, Tuesday, 5-1-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1765-BWB-2012-05-01.mp3

Guests:  Bob Dickman, AIAA and Dr. Christian Feichtinger, IAF.  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. Please note that there were telephone line audio problems during this program.  We welcomed both General Dickman and Dr. Feichtinger to the program to discuss this important conference, The Global Space Exploration Conference sponsored by both the AIAA and IAF.  For full conference information, visit their website, http://glex2012.org.  Here, you can register, make hotel reservations and plan which programs, tracks, and special events interest you.  The conference is May 22-24, 2012 in Washington, DC at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel.  Our two guests started our discussion with an overview of the conference and the roles of both the AIAA and IAF in sponsoring the event.  We then focused in on the conference theme which is global space exploration and we discussed the Keynote/Plenary speakers and panels.  These are listed on the website but a few received special attention.  First, there was the discussion with the Heads of the national space agencies for a global perspective on space exploration.  We then talked about human exploration, Mars and other destinations in terms of global exploration, plus the panel entitled “Enabling A Political Consensus.”  Other conference topics we focused on during this hour long program dealt with commercial space, NewSpace, public/private partnerships, and conference logistics.  Our guests made sure to point out the Masters with Masters session followed by the Young Professional Reception, both of which are Monday evening.  The Masters session is for young professionals, 35 or younger, and is a superb networking event designed for the young space leaders who will go on to be our space leaders in the near future.  You can read about this event at http://glex2012.org/social-events.  Our guests pointed out the two general events open to everyone, the Tuesday Welcome Reception and Poster Session plus the Wednesday Off-Site Reception at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum.  The conference is multi-track so you will need to choose which programs and discussions you want to hear.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you have conference specific questions, you can use the Contact page on their website, http://glex2012.org/contact.