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Darren Charrier, Tuesday, 5-5-15 May 6, 2015

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Darren Charrier, Tuesday, 5-5-15


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Guest:  Darren Charrier.  Topics:  Darren’s SEDS projects for a 3D printed engine, lunar lander, 6U cubesat communications unit, HE3 lunar mining & 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.  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 UCSD freshman aerospace engineering student Darren Charrier to the show to discuss his UCSD SEDS projects including building a 3D rocket motor and a 6U cubesat communications center for their lunar lander. Make sure you see the video of his TED talk, www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9umkenQDoY.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 27 minute program, Darren started off explaining his interest in space, the Moon, and mining lunar HE3 to solve energy problems around the world.  He also explained why he decided to attend UCSD over other aerospace engineering schools.  We then got into the specifics of the three SEDs projects being worked on at UCSD by Darren’s team, the 3D printed rocket motor which was an existing program before Darren came to UCSD, plus the lunar lander and the 6U cubesat lunar orbiting communications satellite needed for their lunar lander.  The group intends to ride share to the Moon but it was too early to announce anything specific about that.  The timeline is by Darren’s graduation from UCSD in approximately four years.  We also learned that the 3D rocket motor will enter the competition later this summer in Green River, UT (we usually do a Space Show program on this event once the winners are known), plus their 6U cubesat bird will be entered in a NASA competition.  Darren was asked about his team and the UCSD administrative support for their projects, plus he was asked for specifics regarding the 3D printed rocket motor including its performance specs.  Darren talked about fuels that will likely be used by the 3D motor plus they may use a version of it to propel the lunar lander which they want to make a soft landing on the lunar surface.  Abut the lander, I inquired what it would do on the surface.  He said they would be pleased if it accomplished the soft landing plus survived a lunar day.  They want it to call home and take photos.  Our guest received several questions about the UCSD SEDS chapter as well as SEDS on a national level.  One listener asked him if they had ITAR issues, especially with foreign students.  Don’t miss his response to this question.  Bill called from Chicago to talk about Darren given he knows hm.  We learned much about this young, inspired student and future industry leader.

In the second segment, I asked Darren if he wanted to carry out his lunar plans as a private company or with government. He wants to be a private company with the government as a customer.  We also talked about Darren’s larger set of plans for the Moon including his starting a lunar landing business, servicing lunar tourism, additional mining over and above HE3 and more.   When asked about going to Mars, he said the path to Mars was through the Moon.  He supported asteroid mining but thinks it is far from being ready now and the path again goes through the Moon.  Doug called to ask more questions about the 3D motor and mining HE3 on the Moon. This latter subject was a major part of the Part 2 discussion with listeners as there were many questions about mining HE3, fusion development, HE3 on Earth, and even seriously using thorium rather than trying to develop lunar HE3 resources.  John from Ft. Worth called in on this and suggested using lunar HE3 for advanced spacecraft propulsion from the Moon rather than bringing it back to Earth.  There was plenty of listener interest in the fusion-HE3 discussion.  Returning to asteroid mining, Darren said one of his goals was to mine asteroids but that it was still a very long ways off.  He said “mine the moon first!”.  As the show was ending, we talked some more about thorium here on Earth, appropriate conferences for Darren to attend and he gave a shout out to his team members.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog  You can reach Darren through me.