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Dr. Linda Spilker, Monday, 11-30-15 December 1, 2015

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Dr. Linda Spilker, Monday, 11-30-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2595-BWB-2015-11-30.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Linda Spilker;  Topic: NASA’s CASSINI mission to Saturn and its planned ending.  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 Dr. Linda Spilker to the program to discuss the NASA Cassini mission to Saturn, Cassini Saturn discoveries, and more.  Note that our program was 66 minutes in length in one segment.  We started our discussion with Dr. Spilker doing a quick overview of the Cassini mission.  It took seven years to get to Saturn and has been flying around the Saturn system for11 years since July 1, 2004.  Cassini will run out of fuel with a spectacular final mission in September 2017 which we discussed later in the show.  Dr. Spilker talked about the design and budget compromises made with Cassini, the mission plan or the Cassini “tours,” the protests against Cassini due to the NTG aboard the spacecraft, plus the path it took to get to the Saturn system.  I asked Dr. Spilker for the highlights so far regarding Cassini discoveries so don’t miss what she had to say about this given there have been so many great findings and discoveries.  We also talked orbital dynamics for Saturn orbiting the sun (1 orbit=30 Earth years) and Cassini orbiting Saturn or touring the rings or the moons.  Highlights included the polar geysers discovered on the moon Enceladus, the mysterious red streaks on a smaller moon, Tethys, plus countless discoveries about Saturn’s ring system.  Linda had much to say about Titan and the Huygens Probe and its camera limitation due to a question by Dr. Doug.  We also talked about finding organics in the Saturn system, the possibility of life, &  comparisons to Mars and Europa.  Ben asked if the huge gravity field of somewhat nearby Jupiter had an impact on Saturn.  Sherry wanted to know if NASA, JPL, or members of the Cassini team ever heard from the NTG protestors with apologies given the great success of Cassini.  I bet you can guess what Dr. Spilker said in reply to Ben.  Our guest was also asked if a future mission could be done using solar rather than an NTG.  While Linda was not certain of it, she did say that great advances have been made in solar panel effectiveness, storage, etc. NASA is looking into the possibility of doing a Cassini like mission using solar power.  Karen wanted to know how long it took Cassini to orbit Saturn.  The answer required knowing the specific tour Cassini was undertaking at the time but anywhere from 6-7 days to a few months depending on the tour.  I asked Linda how JPL planned these tours so don’t miss how this is done and how a mission is planned for a spacecraft such as Cassini.  Doug emailed in another question about possible ion propulsion usage and Burton in Montreal wanted to know if a Saturn probe mission might be part of the new NASA New Frontier Mission group being planned.  Many times during the show Linda referenced building on the shoulders of the Voyager spacecraft and its Saturn system information.  Todd talked about the end of Cassini which prompted Linda to describe the final mission plan for this terrific spacecraft. You can read about this final mission at http://news.discovery.com/space/cassini-grand-finale-nasas-saturn-missions-daring-end-140707.htm.  John in Philadelphia was the last to ask a question as he wanted to know the size and shape of Cassini, what it looked like.  Linda did a great job explaining the size and shape, and schematic for Cassini.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Linda can be reached through JPL or The Space Show.

John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 8-26-15 August 27, 2015

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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 8-26-15

Special Guest:  Dr. Curt Niebur

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2542-BWB-2015-08-26.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Curt Niebur, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: The Cassini Saturn mission. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. 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. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. 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. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm). For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.

 

John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. Curt Niebur of NASA HQ to update us on the Cassini mission and to talk about some of the amazing discoveries made so far by the spacecraft. Some of the specifics we talked about included the overall scientific knowledge gained from Cassini, the Saturn moons, the rings, and more. We talked about the Moon Titan, plus shielding the spacecraft when it flies within the rings by using the high gain antenna as a sort of an umbrella to protect the more delicate spacecraft from particle impact. Our guest was asked about the mysterious red arcs recently seen in a close flyby photo of Tethys, then we talked about the final Cassini mission, the Cassini Farewell Tour.

 

You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Curt Niebur through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

 

John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-25-15 February 26, 2015

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John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-25-15

Dr. Linda Spilker, Guest

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2423-BWB-2015-02-25.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor,  Dr. Linda Spilker, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Cassini, Saturn, Titan, Rhea. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. 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. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. 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. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm). For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.

 

John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, to discuss Cassini and specifically the moons Titan and Rhea plus Saturn’s rings. We covered the latest photographic findings regarding Rhea, the solar wind impacting Titan, plus Titan’s atmosphere, the use of Despeckling to remove the radar noise from radar images of Titan, and toward the end, the makeup of the rings of Saturn, water ice and the latest with the Huygens Probe.

 

You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Spilker through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

 

 

James (Jim) Bickford, Friday, 2-24-12 February 25, 2012

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James (Jim) Bickford, Friday, 2-24-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1720-BWB-2012-02-24.mp3

Guest:  James (Jim) Bickford. Topics:  Antimatter for space propulsion.  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 Jim Bickford to the program to discuss antimatter for space propulsion.  In our first segment, Mr. Bickford started our discussion with an introduction to antimatter basics.  While we referenced Star Trek in the discussion, Mr. Bickford was quick to point out that reality was quite different from the sci fi classic though he was a fan of Star Trek. Along with the Apollo program, both played a role in his having his interest in antimatter. In this introduction, I asked Mr. Bickford about antimatter as a weapon but he said it would not be practical.  One of the points stressed by Jim during the entire program was just how little antimatter material there is and how long term the R&D program would be..  He said there is very little in nature and the quantities made worldwide were extremely small, measuring in nanograms produced a year.  Our guest compared antimatter to chemical propulsion and nuclear thermal rockets (NTR).  While the NTR is substantially better than chemical propulsion, antimatter propulsion would be orders of magnitude better than the NTR.  We then talked about supplies of antimatter off Earth and he said the most promosing place was in the rings of Saturn.  He also mentioned solar flares from the sun in the positrons and back on Earth he talked about cosmic rays as well as some material in thunderstorms & ligtening.  Mr. Bickford also discussed what an antimatter spaceship would probably be like.  He discussed fuel tank requirements, containment, even plasma fileds around the spaceship using an electromagnetic field extending out around the spaceship as the containment device.  We talked about the research needed, the steps involved, and the funding.  Our guest repeated many times that antimatter research is high risk in the sense of obtaining success.  As the segment was ending, we talked about antimatter research in the medical field against cancer tumors. 

In our second segment, we talked more about tax payer funded antimatter research and Jim took us through a value stream analysis which was most interesting.  We talked about student interest in antimatter and both the direct and indirect benefits from technology research and development. We then talked about the specifics of antimatter for space development starting with defining the requirements and eventually being able to do a demo. A caller asked if the research had a billion dollars for many years would there be a breakthrough in the 20-30 year time period.  You might be surprised by his answer.  We also talked about a paper and a Power Point poster that he has used regarding his antimatter research.  Both the poster and the paper will be uploaded to The Space Show blog with Mr. Bickford’s permission.  We talked about antimatter and Jupiter based on the poster .  Another question came in about antimatter propulsion being useful for launch from Earth.  This prompted our guest to talk about the antimatter theoretical limit for both ISP and faster than light speed.  As we were talking about the antimatter development process, I asked about the role of luck or serendipity in discovering breakthroughs.  You might be surprised by this answer as well.  In ending our discussion, Jim repeated that antimatter was only at the fundamental research stage and very long term, perhaps even further out than a century but very promosing nonetheless.

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

The two papers discussed on the show can be found below:

1.  Bickford_NIAC_Phase2Year1Report_Aug07_final2

2. COSPAR2008poster