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Erik Seedhouse, Monday, 9-15-14 September 16, 2014

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Erik Seedhouse, Monday, 9-15-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2316-BWB-2014-09-15.mp3

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Guest:  Erik Seedhouse.  Topics:  Erik’s latest book, “Beyond Human: Engineering Our Future Evolution,” & human modification for long duration spaceflight.  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 Erik Seedhouse back to the program to discuss his latest book “Beyond Human: Engineering Our Future Evolution.”  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Erik talked about long duration spaceflight and critical issues in radiation and microgravity that he believes may force changes or modifications in humans in order to survive the trips and live on Mars or another celestial location.  He also talked about changes here on Earth such as advances in bioprinting, especially for organs.  Our guest spent lots of time on the radiation challenges, shielding, and the need for possible genetic modification.  Another point he made was for nuclear propulsion to cut the travel time to Mars and other locals down and make the voyage safer.  His favorite advanced propulsion system was Vasimr.  Dr. Rowe called in and brought up his concerns with the cardiovascular  (CV) system in space, a subject Bill has talked about on many Space Show programs.  Erik’s research did not focus on the CV system so he was unable to comment on what Dr. Rowe was discussing.  Next, Erik spoke about muscle atrophy and other microgravity challenges and suggested human modification would address those areas as well.  He also talked about animal and human cloning, then a listener brought up a subject from our recent open lines program re pregnancy, childbirth, and kids in space.  Erik suggested there might be sterilization as a requirement or abortive medication on board.  I commented that this would cause a firestorm with the public, especially on publicly financed missions.

In our second segment, our lead off topic was a Posthuman/Transhuman future.  Erik cited examples and also used the classic movie Gattaca as an example.  Listener Paul sent in an email about the ethics behind what Erik was talking about.  Erik was asked about the lifespan of humans that might live on Mars or the Moon, then Ben asked if long duration spaceflight and humans in space were an economic driver for human genetic engineering.  Erik said no, that it was a very small part of the industry with organ printing as one of the major drivers.  Todd inquired about exercise and this led Erik to talk about genetic screening to select the most qualified people for the spaceflight missions.  As we neared the end of the show, Erik told us about his next book about expeditions, then he talked about Virgin Galactic and XCOR.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Erik through me. Also, when buying the book, use the Amazon OGLF portal so Amazon will contribute to The Space Show.

Dr. Jack Zirker, Friday, 1-10-14 January 11, 2014

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Dr. Jack Zirker, Friday, 1-10-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2162-BWB-2014-01-10.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Jack Zirker.  Topics:  The Science of Ocean Waves.   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.

We welcomed back Dr. Jack Zirker to the show to discuss his new book,  “The Science of Ocean Waves: Ripples, Tsunamis, and Stormy Seas.”  Please note that this was a one hour one segment discussion.  Dr. Zirker started our discussion by letting us know why he wrote this book and he told us about this interest in ocean waves.  We covered many interesting topics including rogue and freak waves, 60-70 feet huge waves with the energy to cause lots of damage, tsunamis, currents, tides, and more.  Listeners asked him several email questions while our guest described the wave process, wave movement, wave  tipping over and breaking.  We talked about tsunami movement across the oceans, the speeds at which a tsunami wave travels, and what you would feel if you were on a boat/ship in the open ocean and the tsunami wave moved by you.  Our guest explained why these waves are so destructive.  Dr. Zirker talked about the early science, oceanography, and forecasting work of Walter Monk, including his WW2 contribution in which he had to forecast wind and water movement to safely allow landing boats to make it to shore for D-Day.  Don’t miss this story.  Listeners wanted to know about using wave energy as a source for renewable energy. Dr. Zirker described some projects around the world to experiment with this, plus he described the different types of equipment being used and considered for making this happen.  We talked about large waves off the coat of Africa and also in the North Atlantic and North Sea , plus the Pacific Ocean.  Listeners also wanted to know the relationship of space to oceanography and research.  As you will hear, satellites are capable of tracking and providing information on a wide range of ocean issues and topics.  One listener question inquired about tides for use in sustainable power generation projects . Dr. Zirker then told us about a French tide project that has been ongoing since the 1960’s.  Toward the end we compared the research fields and dollars going into the oceans and space.  You might be surprised by what our guest had to say about this.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can contact Dr. Zirker through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. Jason Cassibry, Friday, 12-20-13 December 21, 2013

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Dr. Jason Cassibry, Friday, 12-20-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2147-BWB-2013-12-20.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Jason Cassibry.   Topics:  Nuclear propulsion including fission, fusion, reactors in space and 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.

We welcomed back to the show Dr. Jason Cassibry from the University of Alabama Huntsville to discuss nuclear propulsion of all kinds.  In our initial segment of this 1 hour 30 minute discussion, I first asked Dr. Cassibry about a fusion drive project as reported at www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-jlv1x3ov4.  Dr. Cassibry spoke about the work going on at the University of Washington which was mentioned in the fusion drive video above.  We then talked about transit times to and from Mars and the differences with chemical propulsion, nuclear thermal, and then fusion.  During this discussion, Jason also described the differences in nuclear thermal and nuclear electric propulsion.  A related issue we discussed dealt with the nuclear regulatory environment.  We talked about the nuclear climate, protests, and how best to overcome such protests.  Doug called asking about timelines and said it was moving at such a slow pace, for his projects that he thinks about, he dismisses nuclear propulsion, instead opting for analysis and mission planning using chemical rockets though many are not much further along than a Power Point at this point in time.  Doug also thought it might be easier to do nuclear propulsion by partnering with Russia as they might be easier on the regulatory environment than the U.S.  Our caller asked about ion propulsion and thrusters as well as thermal protection needs.

In the second segment, Jerry emailed about nuclear propulsion in other countries plus more about possible consumer protests.  Ben asked if we could substantially improve chemical rockets and I inquired as to why the recent nuclear program Prometheus was killed.  VASIMIR was next brought up for discussion.  I asked Jason about nuclear accidents in space or on Mars and would they be as destructive as nuclear reactor accidents here on Earth.  Jason provided a most interesting answer saying he thought nuclear reactors in space would be accident proof!  Christine in Dallas suggested we need a better story for more support for nuclear propulsion.  Don’t miss the reply offered by Dr. Cassibry. Near the end of our discussion, I asked our guest about suborbital propulsion.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can email our guest through me.

Classroom with Drs. John Jurist & Jim Logan, Tuesday, 12-17-13 December 16, 2013

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Classroom with Drs. John Jurist & Jim Logan, Tuesday, 12-17-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2145-BWB-2013-12-17.mp3

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Guests:  Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics: This was a Classroom show on radiation issues for deep space travel, Mars and Moon 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.

We welcomed Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. John Jurist to this special 2.5 hour Space Show classroom in-depth discussion on space radiation. We focused our discussion on deep space, Mars, the Moon and BLEO missions. Note that on both The Space Show blog (see above) and The Space Show Classroom blog (http://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com),  Dr. Jurist has a Power Point presentation on radiation.  During the program, our guests referred to specific slides that you will want to check out.  In our first segment, Dr. Logan started out by telling us about his interest in the subject, why he has been writing a paper on the subject for publication, and how this Classroom show came about.  He cited our short duration spaceflight experience, the Apollo missions, Space Shuttle flights, and then how things started to change when we had six month ISS visits.  Dr. Logan also made it clear that space was not a benign emptiness type of environment.  He said the reality was that interplanetary space was a sea of disruptive ionizing radiation wrecking havoc on biologic systems.  We moved forward in our discussion from that point.  We talked about the findings of the MSL RAD instrument regarding radiation on the way to Mars and on the surface of Mars.  Both John and Jim spent some time putting the RAD numbers through analysis to let us know what this means for human missions to Mars.  We talked shielding, possible materials, passive and active.  We talked extensively about water and the use of hydrogen as well for shielding.  Our guests addressed the two types of radiation, the GCR (galactic cosmic rays) and the CME/solar flare.  Here, John suggested listeners look at his slide 13 as we talked about protons and neutrons.  Jim said there was no magic bullet and talked about shielding effects of Earth’s atmosphere.  Pay attention here as Jim introduced us to the  RP scale.  For being on the surface, he said nothing less than RP100 would suffice.  For the vehicle, an RP5 was required.  John introduced us to career limits for radiation for men and women astronauts of different age but the career limits are for LEO and not BLEO.  BLEO limits are expected to be more restrictive when made public in April 2014.  Earth Mars transit times were discussed, especially in the context of Brian’s email that suggested a 180 day transit time.  Both our guests said that was unlikely with chemical propulsion and all of us again stressed the need for nuclear thermal propulsion.  Microgravity was talked about, especially in the context of side effects due to the radiation environment.  Jim then brought up the EVA subject and spacesuits.  Briefly, Jim said that quite possibly the ISS construction represented the zenith of EVAs which may become a thing of the past.  Don’t miss why he said this plus his description of serious spacesuit limitations.  We talked about life support to Mars and here Jim suggested we should use Open Loop! Again, listen to the rational behind this recommendation.  Don’t miss what our guests said about theories & movies making it sound easy to go to Mars and that the radiation would be nothing more than just a few more cigarette packs a year.  Our last topic addressed informed consent issues.

In the second segment, I asked our guests for a readiness timetable were there sufficient funding and technology advancements.  I also inquired if Russia, China, and others assessed the radiation risks in a similar way to the U.S.  We then talked about radiation and space pregnancy, fetus development, birth, and informed consent for the fetus, a baby, and a child under 18.  Ethical issues regarding child birth and space pregnancy were talked about as well.  Curt had sent in email questions which our guests answered, especially about drinking irradiated water and microgravity DNA damage & what this may mean for radiation effects.  Next, I asked Jim and John to tell us their 2-5 steps for the start of designing a Mars human mission.  Jim went first and listed Day 1 and Day 2 activities, John listed his top three priorities which were different than those suggested by Jim.  Don’t miss this discussion as its very instructive as to how to do or at least start mission planning for a human mission BLEO.  Roger sent in a question asking if the crew should be senior citizens since they have more resistance to radiation.  Don’t miss what our guests said about this idea.  It may surprise you.  Our next topic was would going to Deimos be easier.  Yes, it would but it would be a very different kind of human  mission.  Jim had some great comments about Mars gravity.  Briefly, he said it was the “best.” Later, when asked to compare the Moon and Mars, our guests said lunar radiation was worse than Mars.  Also, the Mars atmosphere does provide limited shielding while there is no such thing on the Moon.  Jim had earlier talked about a sphere being the perfect shape for an interplanetary spaceship.  Shelia emailed in wanting to know if heavy lift made a difference and if the sphere was so good, why were capsules being used? Don’t miss the response.  We then talked about the complexities of rendezvous and docking, especially in the context of fewer launches (heavy lift) as compared to many more launches (smaller rockets).  Near the end, I asked our guests if either thought our nation, the public, NASA, our leaders and politicians were sufficiently motivated to do a human Mars mission.  Jim did not think so and had much more to say in reply to this question.  John was more pessimistic.  Both thought it was more likely that the private sector would mount a human Mars mission rather than our seeing a government mission, but raising the needed capital might turn out to be a show stopper.  The three of us then talked about what it was like growing up in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s as compared to today.  John and I (John is a bit more than 2 years older than me) were probably more harsh than Jim in our assessment of today, but we all realize that the younger generations will be taking us to space, building the next smartphone and more. I talked about my visits to Google, Apple, SpaceX, etc. and the excitement in the air in belonging in their work forces which does not seem to exist with NASA. This opened the door for Jim to put it on the line about his NASA experiences and the potential opportunities providing NASA can somehow reorganize.  He did not think the type of reorganization he was talking about would happen.  Both our guests left us with excellent takeaway points and concluding pearls of wisdom.

Please post your comments/questions on the blogs. You can reach either of our guests through me.

                                                  Radiation Biophysics and Human Spaceflight

Dr. Pal Brekke, Monday, 3-26-12 March 27, 2012

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Dr. Pal Brekke, Monday, 3-26-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1743-BWB-2012-03-26.mp3

Guest: Dr. Pal Brekke.  Topics:  Solar physics, astronomy, and his new book, “Our Explosive Sun.”  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. Peter Brekke to the program to discuss his new book, “Our Explosive Sun: A Visual Feast of our Source of Light and Life.”  The book is available on Amazon & if you use this link for your purchase, Amazon will donate to The Space Show/OGLF:  www.amazon.com/Our-Explosive-Sun-Visual-Source/dp/146140570X/ref=onegiantlea20.  Additional information you will hear discussed during this interview can be found at the following websites:  www.norway.org/News_and_events/Research–Technology/Pal-Brekke-at-the-Smithsonian-/www.solarmax.no/Aurora/Home.html; http://www.springer.com/astronomy/extraterrestrial+physics,+space+sciences/book/978-1-4614-0570-2. Dr. Brekke began our discussion with an overview of his new book, how he structured the book, & its appeal to readers of all ages.  We talked about how our knowledge of the sun has increased in recent years, especially since the SOHO satellite in 1995.  He told us that his book is arranged as a visual tour.  We also discussed the sun & cultural differences around the world. Listener Sandy wanted to know about solar storms, solar flares, & CMEs.  This led to a question about the relationship of the sun to climate change on Earth.  Don’t miss this part of our discussion.  Dr. Brekke introduced us to the subjects of auroras & space weather. As the segment ended, a listener asked about the physical location of solar satellites.  How close can they be to the sun? As you will hear, most of the solar satellites are orbiting Earth, but SOHO is the one that is the greatest distance from Earth, parked at 1% of the distance to the sun so it can observe the sun 24 hours day.

In the second segment, Dr. Brekke talked about the SWIFT Gamma-Ray Burst Mission. space solar power, & reflective mirrors in space to beam sunlight to the Earth.  I asked our guest several questions about the Norwegian Space Centre & the Norwegian space industry.  We learned that their industry makes many parts for satellites for NASA as well as ESA.  He said the space awareness of Norwegians is good as they know quite a bit about space.  Binary star systems, the Northern Lights, the southern hemisphere, Polar Lights, & the cause of the auroras were also mentioned.  Near the end of the program, I asked about the impact of NASA budget cuts & program cancellations on the Norwegian space industry.  As you will hear, what NASA & our Congress do does impact the Norwegian industry.  He also talked about the IRIS High Resolution Spectrometer being worked on by Lockheed in the Palo Alto area.  Before the program ended, I asked if the high launch costs impacted the Norwegian industry.  He said no because they make parts for satellites & missions & are not directly involved in the launch side of space.  We also talked about the rate at which solar knowledge was increasing, was there a role for the ISS in solar research, & the increasing role of Earth-based telescopes in solar observation.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to email our guest, please send it to me and I will forward it for you.

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