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Matthew (Matt) Wallace, Tuesday, 12-2-14 December 3, 2014

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Matthew (Matt) Wallace, Tuesday, 12-2-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2367-BWB-2014-12-02.mp3

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Guest:  Matthew (Matt) Wallace.  Topics:  Mars science missions, Mars 2020, searching for lie on Mars.  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 http://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 Matt Wallace from our Hotel Mars program to his first appearance on The Space Show.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Matt talked about his early mission assignments when he first came to JPL, then his shift to the Mars program.  We also talked about how the science missions and rovers are designed, managed, and eventually flown.  I asked our guest several questions about the science missions such as how a Deimos mission might differ from a mission to the surface of Mars.  Later, a listener asked our guest about a Europa mission and how that would differ. While there are clearly differences in the missions to different destinations, the trade process, planning, team organization and such all work pretty much the same.  We did spend some time talking about a Europa mission as that mission is a favorite for many of us, our guest included Most of the Europa mission discussion was in the second segment.  Matt talked about the new science instruments that will be on board Mars 2020, plus the extensive use of heritage hardware. He also said about 70% of the original MSL & Curiosity team would be working on Mars 2020, an important fact in managing the mission, costs and assuring mission success.  Matt was asked why it was so hard to confirm microbial life on Mars now or in the past & if there was one instrument that could do that.  This proved to be a fascinating and detailed discussion so don’t miss it.  Many listener emails addressed the rover control process.  There is no real time communication with the rover so Matt explained how they send commands to the rover, how the rover processes those commands and the safeguards built into it to protect the rover from accidents, etc.  He also talked about communication windows with Earth, when antennas are pointed toward Mars, and the busy DSN.  Listener Alex asked him about the book “The Martian” and wanted to know that were an astronaut stuck on Mars or needing some sort of emergency gear or something, could a defunct Mars rover be cannibalized for parts and made to work for the purpose needed by the person on Mars.  Matt’s answer might surprise you.  Several listeners wanted to know about a human Mars mission being more efficient for finding life signs than a rover.  Matt explained the trades involved. Doug emailed in a similar question during the second segment.  Matt said its not either or.  Instead, the rovers and a human mission are synergistic with one another.  As the segment ended, our guest was asked if NASA/JPL would consider partnering with a private human mission such as Mars One to use Mars One crew members for science missions.

In the second segment, we talked about other Mars rovers and mission including Maven and Insight.  Next, the question came in about Europa that was mentioned in the earlier segment.  Doug not only asked his robotic vs. human question but he sent in another question regarding the sample return mission and what methods might be used for collecting multiple samples.  He suggested a few different collection methods.  Matt said they discuss these types of options but in the end the trades opt for simpler missions for a variety of reasons.  See what you think of his answer & post your comment on the blog.  John, a high school student, sent in a note about colleges and the best path to be able to work in the space industry.  Barbara sent in a note asking if the EDL would be Seven Minutes of Terror Part 2 since they were using the same system as used for Curiosity or would it be less stressful.  Matt said they would still be nail biting all the way down.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Matt Wallace through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Rob Manning, Friday, 11-7-14 November 8, 2014

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Rob Manning, Friday, 11-7-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2351-BWB-2014-11-07.mp3

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Guest:  Rob Manning.  Topic:  Mars Science Lab Curiosity and Rob’s new book, “Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer.”  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 http://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 Rob Manning back to the program to discuss Mars Science Lab and the Curiosity rover plus his new book,  “Mars Rover Curiosity: An Inside Account from Curiosity’s Chief Engineer.”  Please remember to purchase this book through The Space Show/OGLF Amazon portal as Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show for each purchase.  Instructions can be found on every blog and website archived program or you can email me.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, we started talking about landing on Mars given Rob was last on the show in November 2009 regarding his paper on the challenges in landing large payloads on Mars.  We discussed Martian EDL, the MSL landing approach, the sky crane, and more.  I asked Rob about engineering errors & what they do at JPL to not make them as opposed to car engineers where there are usually multiple car recalls from most all brands. Don’t miss what Rob said about this, it might surprise you.  Rob then mentioned several errors & mistakes that they made, including incorrectly estimating the Martian gravity at the bottom of Gale Crater which ended up impacting their landing & of course the Curiosity wheels.  I also asked Rob for his thoughts on private Mars missions being able to land a big  payload or crew on Mars.  Listen carefully, his response may again surprise you.  Later, a listener asked Rob why Mars and if we were Mars obsessed.  Rob talked about our Mars culture and the good scientific reasons for our focus on Mars.  We also talked about other solar system targets plus radiation issues for the outer planets that were not as severe for Mars.  We talked about doing more, Titan, Europa, & the NASA budget.

In the second segment, listener Claudia asked about the biggest challenges in designing Curiosity, launching it, getting it to Mars. and Martian operations.  Rob said their concerns were born out, he talked about EDL, the sky crane.  Ben wanted to know if his concerns expressed in his paper referenced earlier turned out to be valid when actually designing EDL for Curiosity. B John emailed in several questions pertaining to Earth-Mars telerobotics & a Mars sample return mission back to Earth.  Near the end of our discussion, we talked about the new Mars 2020 project and finding life on Mars.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Rob Manning through me.

 

Rod Pyle, Friday, 9-26-14 September 27, 2014

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Rod Pyle, Friday, 9-26-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2325-BWB-2014-09-26.mp3

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Guest:  Rod Pyle.  Topic:  We discussed Rod’s latest book, “Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen.” 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 http://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 author Rod Pyle back to the show to discuss his current book, “Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen.”  Find out more about Rod and his books at his websites, http://www.rodpylebooks.net and http://www.rodpylemedia.com.  During the first segment of this 1 hour 27 minute program, Rod explained his long time interest in Mars and why he decided to write this excellent book.  I asked if NASA & JPL were cooperative with him in writing it and he said yes.  I asked him what impressed him the most about the Curiosity project and he said the Sky Crane to which he has devoted a full chapter in his book.  Rod then told us about the NASA Curiosity Mission Review Panel headed by Clive Neal at Notre Dame which suggested that mission management had enabled problems including getting a poor science return for the money and its lack of scientific focus and detail.  You can read about this review panel by visiting http://astronomyaggregator.com/exploration/nasa-panel-curiosity-planning-lacks-scientific-focus or simply Google Notre Dame Curiosity Mission Review Panel for additional panel commentary on Curiosity.  Listeners asked Rod about HSF to Mars and if after researching the mission, did he think the money spent on the project was worth it.  Rod provided some interesting budgetary comparisons and did say that he thought it was a good investment & program. He talked about the Curiosity mission goals, sedimentary rocks and Martian geology.  Future missions based on Curiosity were brought up, especially Mars 2020.  Another listener asked about using humans for Martian exploration instead of rovers.  He cited compelling financial facts between rovers and HSF which supported the use of Rovers, at least for now.  Another listener asked if he thought Curiosity was the best ever Mars mission.  His response might surprise you.  Prior to the break, he addressed a question about missions to the Martian moons.

In the second segment, Paula asked about ongoing mission operating costs and wanted to know if they were roughly equal for all the robotic missions.  Later, I asked if JPL had reviewed his manuscript. He said he sent it to them for fact checking but not content editing.  He also mentioned JPL reviewed it from an ITAR compliance perspective but did not “muzzle” anything.  A listener asked about the life expectancy of a rover team at JPL before moving on to another project or even leaving JPL.  Questions came in about SpaceX and its Mars plans, the both the SLS and F1 engine project came up for discussion.  Later, Rod said based on website hits, Pathfinder was probably the most popular of the Mars rover missions.  Another listener asked Rod to compare rovers from other nations to those built by JPL and NASA. As we were ending, he was asked about the Indian MOM mission and Maven.  His book “Curiosity” is packed with information such as we discussed plus much more in 32 chapters.  Remember, if you buy the book on Amazon, use the OGLF Amazon Portal so that Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show. Instructions are on all website & blog archives plus both websites or just email me.

Please post questions/comments on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Rod through his websites or me.

 

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 8-1-12 August 2, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 8-1-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1826-BWB-2012-08-01.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Anita Sengupta, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Mars Science Lab (MSL) and the landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars. 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. 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. 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. During our 11.5 minute discussion, Dr. Sengupta explained in detail the planned landing process for the Curiosity Rover at 10:31 PM PDT Sunday, August 5th.  We discussed the parachutes, entry speed, G-forces, both supersonic speed and slowing down to subsonic, the heat shield, tether, Sky Crane and more.  We also talked about landing in Gale Crater.  Dr. Sengupta took us through the process from start to finish.  We addressed issues with the time delay of 14 minutes back to Earth and how we will get information back regarding the success of the landing.  Please post your comments/question on The Space Show blog.

If you have a question for either John Batchelor or Dr. Sengupta, please send it to me and I will forward it to the person of your choice.

Susan Holden Martin, Monday, 7-30-12 July 31, 2012

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Susan Holden Martin, Monday, 7-30-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1824-BWB-2012-07-30.mp3

Guest:  Susan Holden Martin.  Topics:  Mars Society 2012 Conference, MSL & Curiosity landing, JPL.  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 Susan Holden Martin, the new Executive Director of The Mars Society, to the program to discuss this year’s conference, the MSL mission & landing, and more. You can follow along with us regarding the conference program at www.marssociety.org/convention2012. The conference is being held in Pasadena, CA from August 3-5 at the Pasadena Convention Center. As our program was an ongoing conference and JPL-Mars Science Lab discussion, I am summarizing our discussion without regard to segments.  Note the discussion on conference registration and hotels in the area given the conference begins in just a few days and online registration is now closed.  We summarized most of the agenda, highlighted the special programs, panels, and guests, and talked conference logistics.  Listeners asked about the Curiosity landing, putting heavy payloads on the surface of Mars, and the Sky Crane which will be used in the landing process.  Later in the program, Susan discussed the arrangements with The Planetary Society & their program at the Pasadena Convention Center, Planetfest 2012 which is going on at the same time.  We also talked about the Conference banquet, the award to Elon Musk, Falcon 9 models on Amazon (use the OGLF code if you buy one so that Amazon will donate to The Space Show, www.amazon.com/SpaceX-Falcon-Dragon-Flying-Rocket/dp/B006GX14R8/ref=onegiantlea20).  Another key part of the conference is direct feed from JPL to see the Curiosity landing Sunday evening, August 5, 10:30 PM PDT.  During the last few minutes of the
program, Susan updated us on other Mars Society programs including MDRS, the University Rover Competition, the Musk Observatory, the Mars Society in the UK, and more.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you have conference questions or want to be in touch with Ms. Martin, you can email her at susanm@marssociety.org.

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars”, Wednesday, 7-18-12 July 19, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars”, Wednesday, 7-18-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1817-BWB-2012-07-18.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Irene Klotz, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The upcoming landing for Mars Science Lab’s Curiosity Rover.  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. 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. 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. Note that do to a phone line glitch, I was unable to participate in most of this program.  During our 11.5 minute discussion, John and Irene talked about the upcoming landing set for 10:30 PM PDT on August 5th of the Mars Science Lab Curiosity Rover.  We talked about the problems with Mars Odyssey which if it can be repositioned with all systems working will provide real time information on the Curiosity landing.  If Odyssey cannot be repositioned for the landing, our information about the landing will be delayed.  Other resources will be able to provide information including the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and ESA’s Mars Express but not on a real time basis.  We also talked about the landing process and I urge all of you to see the excellent JPL animation of the complete landing known as “Seven Minutes Of Terror” at www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2I8AoB1xgU.  Also discussed in detail was the Curiosity Sky Crane and the communication time back to Earth which is 14 minutes given the current distance between Earth and Mars.  Please post your comments/question on The Space Show blog.

If you have a question for either John Batchelor or Irene Klotz, send it to me and I will forward it to the person of your choice.