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Dr. Marc Rayman, Monday, 12-7-15 December 8, 2015

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Dr. Marc Rayman, Monday, 12-7-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2599-BWB-2015-12-07.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Marc Rayman.  Topics:  The Dawn Mission spacecraft, Ceres news & updates, plus much 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 back Dr. Marc Rayman to the show to discuss the Dawn Mission and Ceres updates.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 25 minute discussion, Dr. Rayman said that Dawn was as close to Ceres as it would ever be & that it was in a stable orbit that would last a very long time as they need to avoid having the spacecraft crash into the surface of Ceres.  Dawn is approximately 240 miles above Ceres and its orbital velocity to maintain this orbit is around 600 mph. It takes about 30 minutes for a radio signal to travel one way between Ceres and Earth for a one hour round trip time.  He discussed this Ceres stable orbit in some detail.  We talked about the mission end for Dawn which will likely happen sometime in 2016 as the thruster hydrazine fuel runs out.  He described the failure to us and why they cannot predict with certainty the end date an time.  Marc also talked about the reaction wheels (gyros), the fact they lost two but had one spare to use. He explained how they have been operating the spacecraft with just two gyros instead of the required three.  We talked about some of the new information coming back, exciting findings by Dawn and of course the mysterious bright spots.  Marc commented about the mountain Ahuna Mans which rises to about 20,000 feet above the surface.  Doug called to ask about the water ice and the dark cracks he saw in the photos of the bright spots.  He also inquired about a human mission to Ceres.  Listeners brought up private human missions, including the possibility of a private human mission to Mars.  Don’t miss what Dr. Rayman said about these potential missions.  In response to a question about what would humans do on Ceres, our guest said EXPLORE! BJohn wanted to know if Vesta and Ceres had a special alignment making the mission possible or if we could pretty much visit any two asteroids as we did with these two (dwarf planets).  Doug emailed in asking how the astronauts would actually get around on the surface of Ceres, a question which led to discussing Ceres gravity.

In the second segment, I asked Marc how he and the others associated with these very long term planetary missions develop the patience to wait years and years for the spacecraft to arrive at the destination and start doing what it was designed to do. Marc had some interesting comments and observations about this.  Jerry asked if nuclear propulsion would benefit missions such as Dawn and planetary science in general.  Helen wanted to know what was the most disappointing thing about Dawn.  The reaction wheel failure was a big item but Marc had interesting things to say about defining something related to a mission as a disappointment.  Another listener asked if JPL tracked the general population popularity of its planetary missions.  Later in the segment we discussed robots vs. humans for some missions, then Jane asked about public school text books containing this cutting edge planetary science information.  Both Marc and I offered comments on this subject.  Marc also suggested we visit www.spaceplace.nasa.gov.  Another listener asked for the best school study path to pursue to be able to do what Marc does today at JPL.  Marc had lots of interesting things to say about this so if you want to do planetary science, note what he said. There are multiple study paths to take that can lead you to this kind of work at JPL & other centers/institutions.  He also noted that JPL has lots of non-technical people doing key things in the planetary science department with missions so the path is not always science and engineering.  Paul offered up the last question inquiring about the volume of data to be studied from Dawn.  Marc directed our attention the JPL Planetary Data System Repository which is where this information ends up and anyone can access and research it.  There are years if not decades of research awaiting for the Dawn Mission data.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Rayman through JPL or me.

 

Brent Sherwood, Friday, 5-1-15 May 2, 2015

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Brent Sherwood, Friday, 5-1-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2465-BWB-2015-05-01.mp3

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Guest:  Brent Sherwood.  Topics:  Human spaceflight, The year of the dwarf planets, Pluto, Ceres, budget math for space.  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 back Brent Sherwood for updates to his human spaceflight analysis work previously presented on The Space Show.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 48 minute discussion, Brent started out with a brief discussion on scientific missions and the year 2015 being the Year of the Dwarf Planet.  He talked about the Dawn Mission and Ceres, New Horizons and Pluto, and the oceans on the outer planet moons.  Exoplanets and the habitable zone were also part of this discussion which included an assessment of just how our knowledge has changed regarding the compositing of the solar system.  To redirect the conversation to the purpose of today’s show, human spaceflight (HSF), I asked Brent when we would see HSF beyond LEO (BLEO). I asked about what seemed to be a new space advocacy push for space settlement. Brent then examined why HSF and referred us to his earlier work and the four reasons for HSF which were explore, exploit resources, to experience space, and settlement.  He said settlement was clearly part of the debate, talked about earlier workshops which would avoid the topic and then spoke to the recent Pioneering Space meeting held in Washington, DC where there was a consensus reach for space settlement.  He had good things to say about the meeting and the consensus resolution and talked about the broad space industry representation at the meeting as it was not just NewSpace.  Don’t miss what he had to say about it and space settlement.  Brent was also asked if our National Space Policy Act needed to be amended to reflect space settlement as the official goal of NASA.  Later, he was asked about the stepping stone or incremental approach to HSF development.  He supported this approach, spoke to the challenges for HSF such as life support and more.  As we were closing out the first segment, he offered us valuable insights on this topic so don’t miss what he had to say.

In the second segment, John from Florida called in to ask about grand space visions like an O’Neill orbital colony.  Brent proceeded to discuss grandiose visions in the context of how challenging they were plus their replacement cost.  Here, he used the replacement cost for Manhattan as an example of what he was talking about.  He cited a different type of example, the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest that had nearly a thousand entries this year from 21 countries with the winner writing a 247 page grand space vision report.  Brent also spoke to the inspiration factor when talking about this contest.  A variety of listener emails were read on air for Brent to respond to, then I asked him if he thought Mars was the Holy Grail for HSF.  He said no so don’t miss why he said that.  He was asked about nuclear propulsion, then we talked about returning to the Moon , cislunar development, and then back to Martian settlement.  He was asked about going to the moons of Mars and he said there were two ways to settle Deimos.  Don’t miss his comments here either.  Near the end of the program, he said the physics of HSF were good but the problem was centered in being grounded in what he called program or budget math.  The budget math for HSF simply does not work, especially for a commercial venture.  He closed on the reality check of being grounded in budget math and the difficulty in going to Mars with humans.

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

John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-11-15 February 12, 2015

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John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 2-11-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2413-BWB-2015-02-11.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Marc Rayman, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: We discussed the Dawn Mission on the way to Ceres. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. 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. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. 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. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm). For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.

 

John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. Marc Rayman to the show to discuss the Dawn Mission which is on its way to a very close pass and orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres. We talked about navigating Dawn to Ceres, water, ion propulsion, Vesta, and more. Dawn is 330 million miles from Earth or a million times the distance from Earth to the ISS. Don’t miss this Hotel Mars segment. Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.

 

You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Rayman through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

 

Dr. Marc Rayman, Monday, 1-26-15 January 27, 2015

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Dr. Marc Rayman, Monday, 1-26-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2401-BWB-2015-01-26.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Marc Rayman.  Topics:  As the Dawn Mission Director, Dr. Rayman talked about Vesta, Ceres, ion propulsion & much more.  Please direct all comments & questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments & questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright & 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 & 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. Marc Rayman to the program to discuss the Dawn Mission to both Vesta & Ceres.  To find out more about Dawn, visit http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov.  Also check out Dr. Rayman’s blog The Dawn Journal @ http://dawn.jpl.nasa.gov/mission/journal.asp.   Visit the DS1 site & archives by Dr. Rayman @ http://nmp.jpl.nasa.gov/ds1.   During the first segment of our 91 minute program, Dr. Rayman introduced us to the Dawn mission which first went to Vesta & is now closing in on its second destination, Ceres. We talked about the mission being specifically chosen to visit both Vesta & Ceres & that Vesta data is still undergoing analysis.  Dr. Rayman described Vesta’s Rheasilvia Crater 300 miles in diameter formed by an impact about one billion years ago.  We also talked about Vesta meteorites on Earth.  Dwayne called regarding competing theories about Ceres, planets having changed positions at one time, & Dawn mission limitations.  Perry wanted to know what information the team most wanted to get from Ceres. Dr. Rayman said they wanted to know basics such as what it looks like, what it was made of, ice, etc.  Other listeners wanted to know about Ceres compared to Mars access.  Here, Dr. Rayman had much to say as the subject came up again in the second segment.  Doug wanted to know about the large bright spot on Ceres plus other questions.

 

In the second segment, Dr. Rayman told us about his Dawn Journal (blog) per the above URL.  I asked our guest if he thought of Dawn & other science missions as competitive with human spaceflight missions.  Don’t miss his reply as I believe it was very special. BJohn sent several emails asking for Dr. Rayman’s favorite targets, especially for future missions. He also asked about using nuclear power rather than solar.  Our guest described the solar arrays & why solar was chosen for Dawn.  Ion propulsion came up & was a major discussion topic for the balance of our program.  Dr. Rayman described how ion propulsion worked, why it used a slow but steady acceleration, & its advantages over chemical propulsion.  Matt asked about RTG development for future missions .  Doug sent us another question based on the low Ceres gravity & landing on Ceres to pre-position supplies in advance of a crew.  Our guest pointed out it was far more complicated than Doug implied given that the Ceres orbit was tipped more than 10 degrees from the ecliptic.  Make sure you hear this explanation.  Among the many questions Matt asked, he wanted to know about the German component of the Dawn mission.  As we approached the end of our show, Dr. Rayman gave us a preview of what to expect as we get very close to Ceres, gradually getting as low as Earth & ISS.

 

Please post comments/questions on TSS blog above.  The guest, callers, & those sending emails can be reached through me.

Tom Olson, Replay, 2011 Space Year In Review December 22, 2014

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Tom Olson, Replay, 2011 Space Year In Review

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2380-BWB-2014-12-22.mp3

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Guest: Tom Olson. Topics: The year 2011 in review regarding all space issues. 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.

 

Welcome to our Golden Oldie Decade of Review, this year with the space year 2011. Tom Olson was our reviewer for this 2011 review, aired live on Dec. 27, 2011.  We had much to cover in this 105 minute program. Tom started out reminding us that 2011 was the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight. He told us about the banner year for Yuri’s Night parties around the globe celebrating this important milestone and specifically about the even he attended in New Your City. Next, he pointed out the recent National Press Club talk given by Elon Musk on going to Mars and building the rockets to take us there, plus his recent New Scientist interview which you can read in full on the Mars Society website. Tom commented that the sky was actually falling in 2011 with two large junk satellites coming back to Earth. We also talked about the return of Phobos Grunt to earth probably in early to mid-January 2012. One of the big events we discussed for 2011 was the retirement of the shuttle. This led us to discussing the recent Chinese space rendezvous and the fact that China is now the number two launching country behind Russia having overtaken the U.S. this year. Planetary missions were part of our year in review with Vesta and Dawn, the Kepler Space Telescope, MSL with Curiosity. New Horizons continued its journey to Pluto and Explorer 1 continued beyond our solar system. Tom talked about SLS and the ORION MPC Vehicle, plus the James Webb Space Telescope and its cost issues in the context of its impact on the NASA budget. Soyuz rocket problems along with all the Russian rocket failures this year were fair game for our discussion. I asked Tom what he thought of the idea of SLS as a place holder for skill sets and technology until our space program improves. Don’t miss his answer. He brought up Virgin Galactic’s drop tests this year, especially the last one where trouble showed up. Making news for 2011 were NASA and space industry workforce layoffs and the successful Falcon 9 and Dragon launch. At the end of the first segment, Bigelow Aerospace was in our spotlight.

 

In segment two, Tom led off with XCOR news, Terry called wondering about CCDEV3 and Tom suggested program winners! Don’t miss his prediction. He also was asked to predict the cancellation year for SLS. Don’t miss this prediction as well. We talked about the upcoming New Space Business Plan Competition for 2012, the prizes which are the largest ever, and the timing. If this interests you, make sure to stay tuned for more information. Later in the segment we began a summary of our discussion and 2011. Tom was asked about the space elevator and the Lunar Space Elevator. We wrapped up our discussion talking about growth in the space conferences even in the tough economic year of 2011.

 

Post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.

John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-29-14 January 30, 2014

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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-29-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2176-BWB-2014-01-29.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Humberto Campins, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Ceres and water, asteroids, Vesta & more. 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. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  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.  Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).  

We welcomed Dr. Humberto Campins to discuss with John Batchelor and myself the recent discover of the dwarf planet Ceres water spout spewing 13 pounds of water per second into space.  Dr. Campins talked about the possible two sources of water for Ceres, what it means and why it is such an important discovery.  We also talked about Vesta and the Dawn Mission as well as the theory that Earth water came from the asteroids.  Ceres helps to validate that theory.  This is a fascinating discussion about asteroids, water, and finding out more about our early start and existence.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact any of  us through drspace@thespaceshow.com

 

Golden Oldie Tom Olson Space Year 2011 in Review, Sunday, 12-29-13 December 29, 2013

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Golden Oldie Tom Olson Space Year 2011 in Review, Sunday, 12-29-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2153-BWB-2013-12-29.mp3

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Guest: Tom Olson. Topics: The year 2011 in review regarding all space issues. 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.

Welcome to our Golden Oldie Decade of Review, this year with the space year 2011. Tom Olson was our reviewer for this 2011 review, aired live on Dec. 27, 2011.  We had much to cover in this 105 minute program. Tom started out reminding us that 2011 was the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight. He told us about the banner year for Yuri’s Night parties around the globe celebrating this important milestone and specifically about the even he attended in New Your City. Next, he pointed out the recent National Press Club talk given by Elon Musk on going to Mars and building the rockets to take us there, plus his recent New Scientist interview which you can read in full on the Mars Society website. Tom commented that the sky was actually falling in 2011 with two large junk satellites coming back to Earth. We also talked about the return of Phobos Grunt to earth probably in early to mid-January 2012. One of the big events we discussed for 2011 was the retirement of the shuttle. This led us to discussing the recent Chinese space rendezvous and the fact that China is now the number two launching country behind Russia having overtaken the U.S. this year. Planetary missions were part of our year in review with Vesta and Dawn, the Kepler Space Telescope, MSL with Curiosity. New Horizons continued its journey to Pluto and Explorer 1 continued beyond our solar system. Tom talked about SLS and the ORION MPC Vehicle, plus the James Webb Space Telescope and its cost issues in the context of its impact on the NASA budget. Soyuz rocket problems along with all the Russian rocket failures this year were fair game for our discussion. I asked Tom what he thought of the idea of SLS as a place holder for skill sets and technology until our space program improves. Don’t miss his answer. He brought up Virgin Galactic’s drop tests this year, especially the last one where trouble showed up. Making news for 2011 were NASA and space industry workforce layoffs and the successful Falcon 9 and Dragon launch. At the end of the first segment, Bigelow Aerospace was in our spotlight. In segment two, Tom led off with XCOR news, Terry called wondering about CCDEV3 and Tom suggested program winners! Don’t miss his prediction. He also was asked to predict the cancellation year for SLS. Don’t miss this prediction as well. We talked about the upcoming New Space Business Plan Competition for 2012, the prizes which are the largest ever, and the timing. If this interests you, make sure to stay tuned for more information. Later in the segment we began a summary of our discussion and 2011. Tom was asked about the space elevator and the Lunar Space Elevator. We wrapped up our discussion talking about growth in the space conferences even in the tough economic year of 2011.

Post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.  You can email Tom through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-2-13 January 3, 2013

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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 1-2-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1922-BWB-2013-01-02.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Our discussion is an overview of current and planned 2013 NASA planetary 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. 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. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  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, http://www.johnbatchelorshow.com.  During our 11 minute plus discussion, John and I provided a short overview of current, operating NASA planetary and science missions plus missions planned for 2013.  We also mentioned a few ESA missions and talked about a future Europa mission.

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Mr. Batchelor through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. David Lawrence, Friday, 12-28-12 December 29, 2012

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Dr. David Lawrence, Friday, 12-28-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1919-BWB-2012-12-28.mp3

Guest:  Dr. David Lawrence.  Topic:  The planet Mercury & the NASA Messenger Mission.  Please direct all comments & questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments & questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright & 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 Dr. David Lawrence to the program to discuss the planet Mercury & the NASA Messenger Mission’s latest finding.  For more information, visit the Messenger websites, http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/messenger/main/index.html & http://messenger.jhuapl.edu.  We started our discussion by describing the Mercury & the Messenger mission.  For example, it took over six years to get to Mercury because of the difficulty in slowing the spacecraft down given the close proximity to the sun.  Dr. Lawrence explained this process to us & the Venus, Mercury, & Earth flyby program used by the spacecraft to orbit around Mercury.  We talked about the spacecraft health, the instruments on board & the problem with the gamma ray spectrometer which worked for about 9,000 hours on an expected life of 8,000 hours.  However, data from this instrument is still being analyzed & will be for some time to come.  Other instruments on Messenger are fine & the spacecraft has a life expectancy to 2015.  Our guest explained mission nominal life & the process for mission extensions with additional NASA funding. We talked about funding issues for Messenger & other planetary missions in light of NASA budget issues & the overall U.S. economy.  Dr. Lawrence told us how the missions compete for extension & additional funding, plus the requirements they must meet to be extended.  Listeners wanted to know about the application of Messenger & Mercury science to Earth & other solar system missions, our Moon, a NEO, even Mars.  Other listeners wanted to know Mercury’s distances from the sun & Earth, as well as more about possible tectonic activity on Mercury.  We discussed basic chemical elements found on Mercury as well as volatile elements.

In our second segment, Dr. Lawrence was asked to identify the biggest surprise so far which he said had to do with the composition of the planet & volatile elements with high concentrations of sulfur & sodium, among others.  A listener asked about Mercury radiation levels & another listener wanted to know how Mercury crater’s got their names.  Dr. Lawrence then took us through the crater naming process which you can also read about on the Messenger websites.  We talked about Messenger’s discovery of Hollows (see, http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/24oct_sleepyhollows).  One listener asked our guest how one gets on a science team like Messenger. Dr. Lawrence explained the paths to joining these teams.  Mercury’s high density came up & our guest talked about most all of the iron on the planet being concentrated in its core.  We also talked about data analysis, archives, embargos, & availability.  Our guest directed us to the NASA Planetary Portal System for more information.  Near the end, we talked about the NASA Discovery Program & other successful Discovery missions including Dawn.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Dr. Lawrence through me or the APL Messenger website.

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 11-7-12 November 8, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 11-7-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1889-BWB-2012-11-07.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Tariq Malik, Dr. David Livingston:  Topics:  Probable space policy in President Obama’s second term.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. 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. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  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 minute discussion, Tariq Malik of Space.com talked about the probable space policy in the Obama second term.  We talked about astronauts going to NEOs, lunar development as a stepping stone, ISS issues, budget risks, and more. John asked about the Dawn Mission and Vesta for a like human spaceflight mission.  We asked Tariq how he thought commercial crew programs and COTS would do over the near term, also about SLS and Orion.  We also highlighted many of the items that Space.com writer Dr. Mike Wall wrote about in his Space.com article on the subject at www.space.com/18373-presidential-election-obama-nasa-future.html.

If you have questions or comments about this segment, please post them on The Space Show blog above.  You can contact Mr. Batchelor or Tariq Malik through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.