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Dr. James Dewar, Dr. John Jurist, Monday, 3-2-15 March 3, 2015

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Dr. James Dewar, Dr. John Jurist, Monday, 3-2-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2426-BWB-2015-03-02.mp3

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Guests: Dr. James Dewar, Dr. John Jurist. Topics: Nuclear propulsion, nuclear policy, technology 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. 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. James Dewar and Dr. John Jurist back to the show to discuss nuclear propulsion and rocket. During the first segment of our 1 hour 40 minute discussion, Both Dr. Dewar and Dr. Jurist talked about the nuclear rocket technology, fuel, cores, past experiences, and how best to modernize the nuclear rocket and move forward with new development. Most of the callers talked technology so this first segment is very technology heavy. Space attorney Michael Listner sent in emails suggesting it would never happen due to the regulatory side of things plus he provided us with the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space policy on using nuclear power in space (www.unoosa.org/oosa/SpaceLaw/nps.html). Listener Kristopher spoke to our guests about core options and fuels. Check out this site that he sent us: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/enginelist.php#ntrvapor. Toward the end of the first segment, I said that after the break the second segment would focus on what to do to make the nuclear rocket policy and to start the program and develop this form of advanced propulsion. Both Dr. Dewar and Dr. Jurist agreed.

In the second segment, we did focus on the need for leadership and organizational structure for developing the nuclear rocket and starting with nuclear propulsion. We had several callers and emails addressing how to sell a nuclear rocket program. Dr. Dewar talked about the economic benefits, jobs, opening up more of space to economic growth and access. I asked about chokepoints and both our guests suggested the biggest chokepoint was the absence of young, passionate, and competent leadership. Related issues that came included how best to get the support of congress as well as the American people, plus why a nuclear rocket was important and should be developed.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per the above URL. You can reach either guest through me.

 

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. 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.

Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12 October 10, 2012

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Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1869-BWB-2012-10-09.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jason Cassibry.  Topics:  A technical description and the potential of fusion 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 Dr. Jason Cassibry to the program to guide us in our discussion of the potential for fusion propulsion.  At times, this was a very technical discussion.  To assist in following it, I have uploaded to the blog his published paper delivered at the AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, “The Case and Development Path for Fusion Propulsion.”  In addition, below are the URLs for several articles on fusion propulsion that Dr. Cassibry shared with us: www.uah.edu/news/items/10-research/2501-slapshot-to-deep-space#.UDrKn-iPVuY;
www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/rockets/the-big-machine-that-could-lead-to-fusion-powered-spaceships-9450996; http://io9.com/5921673/nuclear-slapshots-could-propel-a-spacecraft-to-mars-in-just-weeks; www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=23442
and http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/10/zpinch-nuclear-fusion-pulse-space.html.   Dr. Cassibry started out by providing us with a working definition of fusion propulsion.  We talked about nuclear propulsion as well and the overall state of development for fusion energy.  I asked Dr. Cassibry if in their economic projections for fusion propulsion, they considered the political and policy impact on fossil fuel pricing and supply availability.  As you will hear, generally such factors are not included in their studies though he concurred with me that such policies can strongly skew the economics one way or the other.  Several calls came in on a wide ranging group of associated topics.  We talked about the main fusion fuel, lithium deuteride, magnetic nozzles, and the use of a nuclear fission reactor to start the fusion propulsion unit.  Z-Pinch technologies were defined and discussed.  As the segment drew to a close, I asked about funding sources for this research and we learned that most all of the funding is from public sources.

In our second segment, more listeners called in regarding insitu resource usage, nuclear propulsion to start the fusion unit, and the power consumed for all of this.  We talked about using fusion propulsion for a Mars mission and what it did for travel times.  Jason also put forth a suggested time line and path to follow to operation in perhaps 25 years, depending on funding.  More calls came in with fuel questions, vibration impact, G force acceleration, thrust, and more.  Another topic discussed was fusion propulsion for the launch vehicle.  We then compared some real mission travel times such as Cassini, Voyager, and New Horizons, asking what the transit times would have been like using fusion propulsion.  As we were ending the program, I asked about the students entering aerospace engineering at UAH, both the undergrad and graduate level, plus the gender mix of the students.  There appears to be strong demand by the students to study these fields at all levels.  In conclusion, Jason suggested that we could look for breakeven with fusion in about ten years, maybe less.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Cassibry’s faculty page at UAH is www.mae.uah.edu/faculty/cassibry.shtml.

 

Cassibry et al case for fusion 072812

Open Lines, Tuesday, 3-13-12 March 14, 2012

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Open Lines, Tuesday, 3-13-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1734-BWB-2012-03-13.mp3

 

Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  An Open Lines program covers a wide variety of topics of interest to the listeners.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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. Welcome to this 2 hour 20 minute Open Lines discussion largely driven by listeners calling the program.  In our first hour segment, I listed the usual possible discussion topics which I won’t repeat here. As to be expected, listeners had their own ideas as to what they wanted to talk about though we did address some of the issues I previewed including NASA & the treatment of their chimps in the early space program given that PETA wants to establish a chimp empathy museum at KSC,  NASA budget cuts & the recent congressional hearings, the Defense Intelligence Agency Chinese space program wake up call, & more. The congressional hearings of last week made it to our discusses as listeners focused on what was said by Senator Nelson, Senator Hutchinson, NASA Administrator Bolden, & Dr. Tyson in his short presentation. Listeners also talked about the comments by Texas Congresswoman Eddie Johnson regarding commercial space/crew on the House side. Also in the first segment, Tim called in to inquire about a possible IPO for Space X.

In our second segment, Dr. Jurist called in to express his disappointment at the elimination of funding for the Operationally Responsive Space office/program.  This took us to a discussion about national security space & I asked Dr. Jurist about the Defense Intelligence Agency wake up call regarding the Chinese space program as expressed by their director Ronald L. Burgess.  Somehow we then got off on the topic of the planned retirement of the B-52 in 2040, about 88 years after it became operational.  While Dr. Jurist was talking with us, Tim sent in several email questions for him on microgravity experiments to determine what level of gravity was needed for humans for space settlement & long duration flights.  John Hunt followed with comments about VASIMR, nuclear propulsion, & even fusion powered spacecraft down the road in our future.  Tom Hanson of the Living Universe Foundation called in to let people know they are seeking Foundation board members (www.luf.org/contact).  I then introduced another topic from a current article in Popular Science, a 20,000 mph train to space (www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-03/all-aboard-20000-mile-hour-low-earth-orbit-express).  This article refers to a newer version of StarTram & this brought in several more callers including Trent from Australia. Other listeners chimed in on the train to space idea as well though most did not take the article very seriously.  I introduced the news that Turkey had agreed to the Moon Treaty & then Terry called in at the end to talk about the X-37C & that it might become a crewed vehicle.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above. If you want to contact any of our callers, send your note to me & I will forward it for you.  If you want more info on any of the news stories I mentioned, let me know & I will send it to you.

Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Sunday, 3-11-12 March 11, 2012

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Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Sunday, 3-11-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1732-BWB-2012-03-11.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Erik Seedhouse.  Topics:  We discussed his book, “Interplanetary Outpost: The Human and Technological Challenges of Exploring the Outer Planets,” the human factors issues & the technical issues for such missions.  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 back Dr. Seedhouse to discuss his new book on interplanetary missions.  Remember, if you buy the book using the following Amazon URL, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF (www.amazon.com/Interplanetary-Outpost-Technological-Challenges-Exploration/dp/1441997474/ref=onegiantlea20).  Dr. Seedhouse began our discussion by talking about the interplanetary mission research that has been done over the years and is still continuing though in a greatly reduced mode.  In this discussion, he referenced the HOPE Study for mission architecture to travel to Callisto, one of the moon’s of Jupiter.  He also talked about research going on with ESA regarding human hibernation and on this subject, we spend a considerable amount of time. Artificial gravity and radiation were discussed along with vision problems for astronauts having spent at least four months on orbit.

As we started the second segment,Marshall called in and wanted to know about athletic and sports games to pass the time for the crew on long spaceflights.  Dr. Seedhouse thought more of the idea to have some sort of sport or athletic game at the destination rather than on the spaceflight.  We also talked about what it would take to change attitudes and policy to undertake an interplanetary mission.  At one point in the discussion, our guest suggested we might be too soft in modern times to explore and that we were no longer as interested in exploring as we once were.  Make sure you hear this entire conversation.  We fielded more listener questions and calls, talked about humans being able to adapt to the space environment over a long period of time and genetic screening for crew selection.  We covered crew selection in some detail which then took us to the subject of bioethics which do not yet exist in any formal way for an interplanetary mission. Erik did include his version of an Interplanetary Bioethics Manual as Appendix II. We talked about pregnancy, pre-emptive surgery, death of a crew member, death of a family member back on Earth, waivers that would need to be signed by both crew and family members, and much more.  Toward the end of the program, our guest was asked about interplanetary propulsion systems and multigenerational crews.  Erik talked about the VASIMR and we asked lots of questions about the 2nd and 3rd generation members of the multigenerational crew and how to be sure they become doctors, engineers, and other positions needed for the crew’s survival and success.  We also talked about modernizing space suits and Erik told us about Blue Suit Days as a requirement for Canadian astronauts for space outreach support.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.

Dr. James Dewar, Sunday, 2-12-12 February 12, 2012

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Dr. James Dewar, Sunday, 2-12-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1711-BWB-2012-02-12.mp3

NUCLEAR THERMAL ROCKETS

Guest:  Dr. James (Jim) A. Dewar.  Topics:  Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR), changing paradigms to use the NTR from Earth launch, nuclear economics.  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. Dewar back to The Space Show to further discuss the Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) and his paradigm changing approach to use the NTR to launch from Earth rather than using it only in space.  During this nearly 2.5 hour discussion, Dr. Dewar makes the case for the NTR based on probable economics, the previous history associated with NERVA, and the assumed benefits flowing to private companies engaged in public private partnerships along the lines Dr. Dewar described.  In the first segment, Dr. Dewar started out describing the existing barriers to using the NTR to LEO rather than only in space, plus he referred us to his 29 page introductory paper which is available on The Space Show blog for your download and review.  During this segment, we fielded many listener emails and calls wanting to discuss the NTR ISP, possible fuels, testing, and legal issues impacting the use of the nuclear rocket. Michael called and talked about the discussions for a new treaty, the Fissile Material Cut-Off Treaty (FMCT) and how that would adversely impact using the NTR.  Dr. Dewar talked about treaty issues over the years and suggested that treaties are not that easy to establish in this era while suggesting that they could also be modified.  Near the end of the first segment, questions about thorium came up as did questions about additional commercial uses for the nuclear engine here on Earth. 

In the second longer segment, we talked about winning over the public and the media.  Charles Pooley called in with a set of questions and we talked about reentry vehicles, highly enriched uranium, and more.  Jim described a Titan missile accident in Arkansas as an example of the safety controls even in a very large explosion.  Another listener asked about cooling and Jim told us about pulse cooling.  Dr. Dewar’s air launch idea was brought up again by another caller andMarshall sent in an email inquiring about the nuclear engine replacing coal in our terrestrial power plants to make electricity.  I asked Dr. Dewar about risk assessment for the nuclear rocket and reprocessing given terrorism, etc.  He said the reprocessed material would be carefully guarded but also weighed against the environmental risks associated with burying waste, burning it, or even dumping waste in the ocean.  Dr. Dewar was asked about using the nuclear rocket only in space rather than attempting to use it to launch from Earth.  He compared using it only in space to the Pony Express. Don’t miss his full response in replying to this question.  Later in this segment, I asked Jim for his first step in advancing the NTR.  He said the first step was to get people talking about the subject.  Tom called in and also wondered how to get people to rally to the cause.  Near the end of the program, Jim talked some more about potential economic benefits along with secondary commercial products such as heat pipes.  As our program was ending ion engines came up as did Vasimr.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to contact Dr. Dewar, send your note to me for forwarding.

To download and read Dr. Dewar’s paper, see below:

A Technical and Economic Introduction to Nuclear Rockets

A Technical Note on Nuclear Rockets-1

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Dr. Steve Howe, Tuesday, 1-24-12 January 25, 2012

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Dr. Steve Howe, Tuesday, 1-24-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1697-BWB-2012-01-24.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Steven Howe.  Topics:  space nuclear power for power & propulsion systems, & radioisotope power generators. You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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.  You will want to follow the websites along with our guest:  http://csnr.usra.edu/index.html &  www.usra.edu.  If you are interested in the CSNR 2012 Summer Fellowship Program, you can learn more & apply no later than March 9, 2012  from CSNR at  http://csnr.usra.edu/2012_summer_app2.html.  We welcomed Dr. Howe to the program to discuss space nuclear power.  We started out with an overview of both the Center for Space Nuclear Research & the Universities Space Research Association.  Dr. Howe then told us that they were working on nuclear rockets with the Aerojet Corporation, focusing on a new fuel form away from based on tungsten.  During our discussion, he had much to say about this fuel, its advantages, & its testing.  He also talked about ISP & thrust to weight ratios.  He was asked about testing & we learned they plan on doing ground tests at the Nevada Test Site.  Listen to why their tests will be different from earlier nuclear rocket engine tests & how they are expelling the exhaust into the ground.  You will hear There is no radiation, only hydrogen which bleeds into the rock strata.  We also talked about public concern for nuclear power in space, then we shifted our focus to a nuclear rocket mission to Mars.  Dr. Howe told us about the three year Mars mission but also said with a nuclear rocket a one year mission would be possible.  We also talked about the costs for developing the nuclear rocket as well as the possibility of other countries doing it before the U.S.  Next, we talked about the use of uranium & even the possibility of thorium, including why thorium is not useful for weapons. One listener question asked about the Mars Direct method & insitu resource utilization.  Dr. Howe supported the use of insitu but suggested it for later trips as it might be too risky for the initial trips.  He then described their Mars Hopper project which will certainly interest us all.  As this segment ended, we talked about using the nuclear rocket for going to the Moon & for a lunar & even Martian habitat. 

As we started our second segment, Dr. Howe was asked if QuickLaunch could be useful.  Dr. Dewar sent in a clarification note about U-233 as a byproduct of  thorium & why its a problem for weapons.  In talking about a lunar habitat, Dr. Howe told us about the NASA Fission Surface Power Program (FSP).  We also talked about using the new tungsten fuel for habitats.  He told us about the Nuclear Thermal Mars Sample Mission Study that compared the nuclear rocket to Delta IV launches.  Listeners asked about Vasimr & our guest was asked to clarify for us the differences between nuclear electric propulsion & nuclear thermal propulsion & why the latter is preferable.  Dr. Dewar sent in another note to talk about Y-12.  Later, much was said about plutonium & its pending shortage.  Make sure you hear what Dr. Howe had to say about this looming shortage. Near the end, Dr. Howe mentioned his efforts with Hbar Technologies, LLC, suggesting that possibly using these nuclear advancements for medicine, specifically cancer, might be a driver for space applications. As we concluded, Dr. Howe told us about his books on Kindle & the consolidated all in one book, “Earth Rise.”  Here is the Amazon URL & remember, if you buy it using this URL, Amazon contributes to The Space Show: www.amazon.com/Earth-Rise-ebook/dp/B005LD3LYS/ref=onegialeafou-20

Post your comments/questions on the blog URL above.