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Brian Weeden, Wednesday, 10-23-13 October 23, 2013

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Brian Weeden, Wednesday, 10-23-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2110-BWB-2013-10-23.mp3

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Guest:  Brian Weeden.  USAF Space Fence for national security.  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 Brian Weeden back to the program to discuss the issue of the shutting down of the USAF Space Fence.  Our discussion was based on Brian’s August 26, 2013 Space Review article, “Gambling with a Space Fence: An analysis of the decision to shut down the Air Force Space Surveillance Fence” at www.thespacereview.com/article/2357/1.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 29 minute discussion, Brian provided us with a brief history of the Space Fence, what it has been used for, its technical characteristics, and it recent cancellation partially due to sequestration regarding its approximate $15 million annual budget expense.  Brian also explained its capabilities in detecting spy satellites, space debris and other objects and the size of objects which it can detect.  He discussed both continuous wave radar and pulsed radar, pointing out that the fence which dated from the late 1950’s, was uncued.  Richard Easton called in as his father Roger was one of the developers for the space fence in January 1958.  Richard contributed greatly to our discussion.  Brian then talked about the probable replacement for the fence, an S Band fence which would result in higher frequencies enabling the detection of smaller objects, probably with a very high rate pulsed radar. Right now the S Band fence is estimated to cost about $1.8 billion but as you will hear, it may never be built.  As to how our national security has been impacted without the fence operating, Brian said it was difficult to assess so listen carefully to his analysis.  Brian also talked about challenging DOD budget issues, the difference in budget years with DOD as compared to the government as a whole, and again, sequestration.

In our second segment, Brian addressed several of the political issues surrounding the space fence issue.  When asked how long it would take for the S Band system to become operational were it funded, he said around 2018.  Two companies are competing to do it if and when the project is authorized and funded.  We also talked about the U.S. sharing satellite tracking information with all satellite operators including private companies, thus using an international partnership to finance the space fence since it benefits everyone. As you will hear, there appears to be control and sensitivity issues which prevent the air force from going that route. Later I asked Brian about stealth satellites and then he took a listener question about the way space debris was portrayed in the movie Gravity.  We spent some time discussing the impact of a movie like Gravity on the public regarding the space debris issue. As the program was ending, Brian said he was not that optimistic about a replacement fence and brought to our attention the need to upgrade computer systems that process the data.  As you will hear, this is a substantial problem that is not being addressed.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach Brian through me or SWF.

Donald (Don) Beattie, Friday, 5-31-13 May 31, 2013

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Donald (Don) Beattie, Friday, 5-31-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2020-BWB-2013-05-31.mp3

Guest:  Donald (Don) Beattie.  Topics:  Don discussed his book, “No Stone Unturned” which details his NASA, Navy, NSF, and private sector careers.  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 Don Beattie back to the program for this riveting 1 hour 25 minute discussion relating to Don’s experiences and careers with NASA on the Apollo program, NSF, the early days of flight with the U.S. Navy, a Mobil Oil energy expert in Columbia, plus a host of other experiences.  I urge you to buy his book, “No Stone Unturned: A Life Without Bounds” at www.cgpublishing.com then clicking on the Apogee logo link.  We talked about Don’s NASA experiences with the Apollo program for a good part of the first segment as well as the second segment.  Since Don was a geologist, he worked with lunar maps, helped plan the lunar science missions, and even trained the astronauts in geology by going to analog sites with them all over the world.  I asked him about his experiences with the different Apollo crews, his favorite missions & crews, and even to compare the NASA of the Apollo era to the NASA of today.  Don had much to say about the importance of NASA and having a focused mission to carry out.  He was asked about the SLS rocket which he said would be important if we ever go to NEOs or beyond, but he expressed concern over the very low launch rate planned for SLS.  Don was also asked to compare NASA to NSF since he was with both organizations.  Near the end of the first segment, a listener wanted to know about Werner Von Braun and his work with the MSFC.  Don had quite a bit to say about Von Braun and even more about his relationship with MSFC teams. 

In the second segment, the subject of the Boy Scouts and astronauts came up as a result of comments made at the Montana Rocky Mtn College astronaut panel discussions which Don viewed.  Scouting has always had strong representation with the types of people who are attracted to NASA, space exploration, and being an astronaut.  Also in this segment, we talked more about a NASA mission and NASA’s management.  He told us about the NASA management and teams in place during Apollo and stressed that they made the program successful.  Another listener asked what he did during the Apollo 13 mission.  We also talked about the possibility of nuclear electric propulsion.  I asked him for his favorite NASA Administrators and he named two.  Late in the segment, we talked with Don about his energy work, Mobil Oil, Columbia, wind turbans & NASA, and the fracking of wells.  Near the program’s end, a listener asked if had changed any of his views on the ISS per his book, ISScapades from a few years ago.  Don said no, we talked about ISS crew size and the need for the centrifuge which was a priority but never materialized.  At various times during our discussion we talked about our technical capabilities to go to Mars, Mars One, Inspiration Mars, commercial lunar missions, and human medical factors for long term spaceflight. 

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to email Don Beattie, you can do so through me.

Dr. Edmund Storms, Sunday, 1-8-12 January 8, 2012

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Dr. Edmund Storms, Sunday, 1-8-12

Cold Fusion/LENR

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1685-BWB-2012-01-08.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Edmund Storms.  Topics:  Cold Fusion or Low Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR) today.  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. Edmund Storms to the program for a nearly two comprehensive discussion on LENR or as it is more commonly referred to, cold fusion.  Dr. Storms started us out with the history of cold fusion dating back to Pons and Fleischman on through to today.  He also explained why there is now a renewed interest in the field.  Jumping forward to today, Dr. Storms talked about Andrea Rossi and his E-Cat cold fusion device and demonstration, plus his special reactor units.  For more information, check out these sites: www.lenr.org, and the YouTube sites listed here:  www.lenr-canr.org/news.htm.  While Dr. Storms provided us with the basics, it was his response to listener questions and phone calls that allowed us to dig deeper into the potential of LENR.  Our program was devoted to exploring, understanding, and evaluating where the LENR field is today and what risks and challenges lie  ahead before the observed phenomena is understood and can be commercialized.  Dr. Storm talked about being able to replicate science but often in the early days when the research is not well understood, replication might be challenging.  He also talked about the difference with scientific observation of experiments and scientific replication.  Several of the listeners and callers went into detail with Dr. Storms. For example, John’s call from Atlanta inquired about quantum tunneling. Charles R. called in a few times with very technical questions, including asking about the Widom-Larsen Theory Portal (http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/WL/WLTheory.shtml#4step).  In the second segment, our friend Charles Pooley called in as a skeptic to debate cold fusion as being real, dismissing the observations and research across the board.  I know you will find this short “debate” interesting. Throughout the show, listeners wanted to know about the potential application and use of a Rossi device in the U.S., both in our homes or as part of the power supplied by utility companies.  We also talked about the broader uses for cold fusion in the less regulated third world.  In the second segment, our guest was asked about Andrea Rossi and his track record, plus his effort to commercialize, patent, and sell Rossi devices.  Later we talked about funding opportunities for LENR research, the lack of available funding from traditional sources such as NSF, and the paradigm shift required from traditionalists to realize that cold fusion may involve different processes from the well understood nuclear reaction process.  In fact, you will hear several listeners resist seeing this in a vastly different light and we talked about this during our program.  As you will hear, much research is needed to understand cold fusion and to validate its potential, especially its commercial potential. At this time, there is good research being done by credible scientists.  When asked what we should look for, Dr. Storm directed us to follow the reviewed literature and news accounts on www.lenrr.org and the links provided on that site.  This brief summary only touches upon what we discussed today.  Post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.  You can also follow the contact instructions on http://www.lenr.org.