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AIAA Space 2013 Taped Interviews, Friday, 9-13-13 September 13, 2013

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AIAA Space 2013 Taped Interviews, Friday, 9-13-13


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Guests:  AIAA Space 2013 Taped Interviews. Topics:  Recorded interviews from AIAA Space 2013 including Dr. Doug Plata; NASA Press Conference;, Michelle Evans.  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 this 2 hour 14 minute set of three interviews recorded at AIAA Space 2013 in San Diego (except for the last interview).  Please note there were audio issues as there was background noise both at the San Diego Convention Center and the restaurant where I met Michelle Evans for her interview regarding her X-15 book.  The NASA Press Conference, while conducted in a private room, also consisted of a conference call through NASA with media reps not at the conference.  Some of the participants at the table and on the phone spoke with a very low voice.  The interviews follow one another with about five seconds of dead air space between each one.  When the interview with Michelle Evans ends, so does our recording.

We started with Dr. Doug Plata who presented two papers at an AIAA Technical Committee Meeting Monday night.  His two presentations covered space advocacy unification ideas and his Lunar Cots and Cislunar transportation ideas.  Doug reports interesting and sometimes challenging feedback from those listening to his presentations.  And it was not all supportive of his idea.

Next, we have the NASA Press Conference.  As part of the background to this press conference, the keynote at lunch was a panel moderated by NASA’s William (Bill) Gerstenmaier with four other NASA participants charged with leading different parts of the NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission.  At lunch, these individuals made a presentation, showed animation and video of the mission, charts and graphs, then took questions from the AIAA lunch audience.  The NASA participants got tough questions about SLS, mission dependency on SLS, the use of large quantities of Xenon, and even if the civil space program for human spaceflight would disappear if this mission failed for any reason given the dysfunction many see in NASA at this time.  I think you will find Bill’s response to my question about SLS issues and dependence on it for the mission to be interesting. I learned a few things about SLS and I suspect you will also learn a few things about this program.  Let us know your thoughts on both SLS and the asteroid redirect mission by posting on The Space Show blog.

The last interview was at a Fuddruckers Restaurant off I-5 as I was driving through Orange County on the way back to Hollywood.  I met Michelle Evans and Cherie for a different type of discussion about Michelle’s excellent book, “The X-15 Rocket Plane: Flying the First Wings into Space.”  Michelle was recently a guest on the program about her book.  We talked about those she interviewed for the book and their thoughts on today’s current space program.  I also asked if Michelle thought a program such as X-15 could be initiated today.  Michelle also told us about the global interest in the X-15 as she has heard from people in Nepal, Austria, and many other faraway places.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you purchase Michelle’s X-15 book, please do so though The Space Show/OGLF Amazon portal.  You will find instructions on all archive summaries and the blog.

Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12 August 29, 2012

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Dr. Anita Sengupta, Tuesday, 8-28-12


Guest:  Dr. Anita Sengupta.  Topics:  Entry, Descent, & Landing for Mars, Venus, propulsion, parachute issues, & 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. 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. Anita Sengupta, Senior Systems Engineer at JPL in Entry, Descent & Landing (EDL) Advanced Technologies Group to discuss EDL for Mars, other planets, and much more.  In our first segment, Dr. Sengupta described conditions relevant to Mars and landing an object on the planet. We talked about the Martian atmosphere and what an EDL team needs to consider and design to land any payload on Mars as well as humans. We also learned that EDL for a different size payload would be different than what was used for Curiosity, probably needing new systems.  We talked about supersonic parachutes & parachutes in general, addressing parachute materials, velocity, parachute violent extremes, the speed of sound & much more.  Another topic was testing on Earth to make sure the devices work on Mars.  Dr. Sengupta explained how such testing & Mars simulation is done on Earth.  Other landing techniques such as airbags were mentioned along with retro rockets.  During this discussion, our guest did a great job of explaining the various forces and physics involved in landing & how each of these forces must be dealt with for a successful landing.  We then talked about landing a payload on Venus and just how different Venus is to Mars.  The same for our Moon and the moons of Mars, Phobos & Deimos.  Listeners sent in questions about the rover debris being left on Mars as well as wondering if there were other ways to explore Mars than using rovers.  John called to inquire about first stage reusability & our guest talked about doing the “trades” (running the numbers to see if reusability is economic or not). Doug called to talk about orbital transfer vehicles, aerobraking, and more.  This led us to a discussion about larger launch vehicles, the need to dissipate lots of energy on reentry, and why larger areas with drag are preferable.

In our second segment, I asked about software programs we might use for the basic type of analysis Dr. Sengupta had been discussing. Note her recommendations.  We then talked about plasma propulsion and ion thrusters.  Dr. Sengupta had much to say on this subject including ion thruster fuel, costs, ISP, and again, the importance of doing trade studies for a mission to determine the best methodology/economics for the mission. Our guest also talked about the lower ISP Hall ion thruster which was also lower in cost but with substantially more ISP than a chemical engine.  Also in this segment, we talked about the Dawn mission & Vega, a possible Europa mission & the use of nano satellites for the Europa mission.  Doug called back regarding ion propulsion fuel, xenon, iron, lunar fuel, etc.  As our program was ending, Anita mentioned the Orion parachute system tests she works on & the new Mars mission InSight.  Several times during the program, Dr. Sengupta stressed the need to do the trade studies regarding mission planning to determine the best economics & cost effectiveness for the mission.  Many of you have heard on The Space Show that if one does not “run the numbers,” it is impossible to know if what you want to do is economically & mission productive/viable.  On Oct. 28, Dr. Jurist is doing a special webinar with his interactive Excel spreadsheet on rocket/mission planning.  It is essential to be able to do this in mission planning.  Trusting your beliefs, gut, & preferences are not the way to go so watch this webinar if you can.

Please post questions/comments on our blog.

Dennis Wingo, Monday, 8-6-12 August 7, 2012

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Dennis Wingo, Monday, 8-6-12


Guest:  Dennis Wingo.  Topics:  Economic Development of the Moon.  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 Dennis Wingo back to the program to discuss his July 16, 2012 blog article and concept, “Changing the Conversation about the Economic Development of the Moon.”  You can find his article at http://denniswingo.wordpress.com.  We started our first segment of this nearly two hour program with a shout out to NASA, JPL, & the entire Curiosity team for an outstanding job with landing Curiosity on Mars.  Dennis then pointed out that MSL and Curiosity cost about half of a Nimitz Super Carrier.  Dennis then talked about heavy lift and the fact that modern technology, on orbit fuel depots, orbital dynamics, and ISRU usage all provide reasonable and cost-effective alternatives to the need for heavy lift.  In this discussion, he also included the use of a lunar 3D printer.  Dennis listed several new technologies and applications so don’t miss this section.  Dennis next outlined a plan to eventually have boots on the lunar surface at both poles for water and development.  He would start of with robotics. He noted a preference for the north pole.  We talked about our present day capability to get to either lunar pole.  Doug called in from S. California to talk about telerobotics using telemedicine as an example.  During this discussion, we learned that in the use of robotics, about 90%  represents the robots while 10% represents the people operating, servicing, repairing, and maintaining the robots.
In our second segment, listener Larry asked Dennis about timelines.  Dennis suggested by 2020 we could be back on the Moon.  He broke this down in stages to explain why it would take so long to undertake this mission.  He then said we needed a mindset change to go back to the Moon.  The mindset change enables seeing the Moon first for economic development and then science as a secondary objective.  We talked about the international potential for such a lunar economic mission (private, not government), Another listener asked our guest if a Netscape Moment was essential for developing lunar commerce.  Michael called in to talk about the potential legal & regulatory risks for lunar economic missions.  This too was an interesting & challenging discussion, don’t miss it.  Tim called to ask about the use of space tugs and specific launch vehicles as well as new combinations of rocket fuel. Dennis offered us important closing comments about financing such missions, launch cost issues of concern, and allowing government to dictate our future.  Please post your comments/questions on the blog.
If you want to send an email to Dennis Wingo, you can do so through me & I will forward it to him.