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Dr. Doug Plata, Monday, 7-13-15 July 14, 2015

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Dr. Doug Plata, Monday, 7-13-15


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Guest:  Dr. Doug Plata.  Topics:  Achieving Early Earth Independence with space settlements.  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. Doug Plata back as our guest to discuss his paper which is on TSS blog for your perusal, “Achieving Early Earth Independence Through ISRU and Sufficient Supply.  During the first segment of our 1 hou 45 minute program, Doug told us the genesis of his ideas and concepts culminating in his submitting his paper to the NASA Challenge InnoCentive Challenge (www.innocentive.com/ar/challenge/9933746).  After referencing the NASA Challenge, Doug started describing his ideas in detail.  Much of what he described he said was summarized in the Introduction of his paper.  We talked about both the Moon and Mars but Doug explained that the competition was focused on Mars so he also focused on Mars though he still supports the Moon and cislunar development as the rational and initial starting points.   Issues he discussed included supplies, types of potential habitats, the definition of and clarifications for mass independence including defining both self-sufficient and self-sustaining.  He also brought up the earth return option and more.  BJohn sent in several questions but his initial one asking about becoming 90% Earth independent led to a most interesting discussion.  While Doug’s paper does not have page numbers, check out Table 3, “Estimated Equivalent Mass Independence.  Doug took us through the critical numbers and his analysis so don’t miss this important discussion.


In the second segment, Doug suggested three rationales for the settlement.  One was to push technologies needed for sustainable living in space.  The second was the big one according to his perspective and focused on reducing the resupply costs for the settlement.  The third one was also big and focused on assuring survival of the human species.  He discussed each rational in detail.  As part of the discussion, he referenced a space settlement as an insurance policy for humans, he talked about the earth return option, radiation, GCRs,  and more.  He also showed that by leaving the crew on Mars for an extra year, the mission would be less costly.  Listen to his discussion about this and see if you concur with him.  Doug was asked about the previous program with Al Globus and LEO settlements, especially over the equator.  He said that such settlements, while potentially interesting, cannot be self-sufficient or Earth independent and his focus was on gaining Earth independence.  Again, don’t miss this discussion.  Gravity, artificial gravity and spin rates were discussed as was the concept of self-sustaining versus self-sufficient for a colony.   Doug advocated for using the word colony rather than settlement but I took issue with that, especially if one hopes to communicate with people including Congress outside the space industry.  As the show was ending, Paula asked Doug about the fact that space settlers may not want to achieve Earth independence and it seemed his work was formulated around the assumption that everyone wanted Earth independence ASAP.  This was a great last question and discussion.  Doug provided a good summary of today’s discussion as we closed the show.


Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Dr. Plata through his websites or me.