Sunday, October 17, 2010
The Space Show Has Changed To A Wordpress Blog. Read Below. 10-17-10
Effective immediately, The Space Show has moved to using a new blog on Wordpress. The new blog is "The Space Show's Blog" and the URL is
Please post all comments for earlier shows on the new blog per above. Postings on the old blog below will not be carried forward to the new blog and will eventually be discarded. We made the move to Wordpress because of its added features and more professional approach and services for bloggers. If you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com. Do note that The Space Show program dated today with Dean Davis will only be archived at The Space Show and http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.
Dr. David Livingston, Host
The Space Show
Friday, October 15, 2010
Dr. Leik Myrabo, Friday, 10-15-10
Guest: Dr. Leik Myrabo. Topics: Beamed energy propulsion. We welcomed back to the program Dr. Leik Myrabo for updates and new information regarding his work in the area of beamed energy propulsion with his company, Lightcraft Technologies, Inc. (www.lightcrafttechnologies.com). Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, Leik brought us current on his activities since he was last on The Space Show on August 28, 2009. He told us about the Umea Institute of Design project in Sweden involving 33 students and 11 teams in a design project to look at replacing jet fuel driven aircraft with beamed energy craft in the future. We talked about an upcoming BBC-Nova series, The World of Invention, and he told us about the high power laser experiments at the Laboratory of Aerothermodynamics and Hypersonics, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. In this discussion, Dr. Myrabo was specific about the lasers, their power, and energy usage. He received questions about the Brazilian lab, and demos using beamed energy for commercial markets for micro to nano-satellites. Later in this segment, we talked about beamed energy work in China, its relationship to space solar power work, and even the potential of being useful for space debris mitigation. As we started the second segment, Anthony in the UK asked about safety issues and Leik share with us the safety protocols when working with the lasers. Our guest was asked if beamed propulsion was an attraction for students to study and we asked how his academic peers regarded this cutting edge work. Dr. Myrabo had much to say about both of these topics so don't miss this discussion. Later in this segment, we asked him to define the millimeter-wave laser as several listeners were emailing me for an explanation of it. After Leik explained the millimeter-wave laser, he was asked about applications for beamed energy for the space elevator project. Here he had much to say so don't miss this part of our discussion. I also asked our guest how weather sensitive the lasers were and we learned that atmospheric conditions were very important. Its even why placing a laser on the top of a mountain makes sense. Near the end of this segment, the subject of the laser or any form of beamed energy as a space weapon came up. Leik told us about the Laser Clearing House in the U.S. and also said that as this field develops, there would have to be an international regulatory regime for laser usage but that we were a long way from that point right now. He explained why such a regulator regime would be necessary so again, don't miss what he had to say on this very important subject. In our third and final segment, we fielded a question from the UK asking about UK and ESA laser research. Leik then told us about the upcoming international symposium in April 2011 in Germany. He was asked about adapting military lasers to commercial beamed energy propulsion and about competing and alternative forms of beamed energy that are in the mix. We also talked about beamed energy beyond LEO as the show was drawing to a close. If you have questions or comments for Dr. Leik Myrabo, please post them on the blog URL and you can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be forwarded to Dr. Myrabo.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Open Lines, Wednesday, 10-13-10
Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston. Topics: NASA and China space policy, human space flight, space policy overview. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, I put out some topics for general discussion during the show including information about NASA having an interest in returning to the Moon, a BBC report about a multi-nation effort to build a small spaceship, launch it from the ISS, then fly around the Moon. I also talked about an interview I am doing for a high school senior regarding a special project this student is undertaking. I read the four questions the student asked me about and suggested those interested reply to the student’s questions on the blog URL above and in the show. These four questions were discussed throughout this Open Lines program. Our first caller Jack wanted to discuss the NASA Administrator’s trip to China and why that was a good thing. Jack had much to say about the Bolden trip and why we should be talking and working with China, especially with regards to standardization of hardware to serve all nations in times of space emergencies. Jack talked some about the recent Congressional authorization bill and the CR. Before he left the line, I asked him for his forward looking view of things to come over the next few decades. Don’t miss his perspective. In the second segment, I read an email question asking me for my opinion to a question asked of Dr. Mendell the night before which was do I believe NASA can actually build a heavy lift rocket. I agreed with most everything Dr. Mendell said on the show and said its really an issue of being able to sustain policy and funding over a long time rather than an engineering or manufacturing question. John from Atlanta called in to respond to the Ohio high school senior and his four questions. John talked about the evolution of humanity into human space flight, the discovery aspect, and the space entrepreneurism component of moving out into space. John also talked about propellant depots and offered up an idea for fuel transfer using the second stage of the rocket. Perhaps some of you will be able to offer John quality comments on his idea using the blog. As we started the third segment of the program, our friend Charles in Mojave called in. He is still moving to Las Vegas. Charles provided us with his usual and customary insights, including the statement that NASA was like a “beached whale.” He talked about the space entrepreneurs and the risk they take by working with NASA in terms of their being assimilated. Andrew from Tucson then called in to talk about the high school senior’s questions. I asked him about the Tucson and U of A astronomy community and their thoughts on the space policy debate While he said human space flight did not directly impact their work, he noted that the astronomy community had been in recession for at least five years and he talked about the impact it has had on astronomy. Our next caller was Mark from Huntsville who is a NASA contractor. Mark shared his perspective on all things space from his Huntsville and contractor perch and had many interesting and relevant things to say so please listen carefully. Mark also attended the recent FAA-COMSTAC meeting in Washington, DC and he gave us a summary overview of the meeting and presentations. If you have questions or comments for any of the participants in today’s Open Lines show, please post them on the blog and email them to me at email@example.com. I will forward your comments to the person of interest.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Dr. Wendell Mendell, Tuesday, 10-12-10
Guest: Dr. Wendell Mendell. Topics: Planetary science, lunar development and habitats, NASA, Constellation, space politics, science fiction. We welcomed Dr. Wendell Mendell back to the show. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, Dr. Mendell gave us an insiders view of the Constellation project given his being part of the project at NASA JSC. He provided us with interesting program and personnel insights. When I asked him a question about the possibility of returning to the Moon, he broke my question down into parts and had much to say on the issue, essentially saying that our return to the Moon never was and will not be off the table and that planning already exists for a return to the lunar surface. Don't miss this important discussion and analysis. One of the most important points made was that no matter what else happens, we must keep technology development going! Dr. Mendell then referenced several programs and the people involved in lunar mission planning and development. When asked if he thought we would keep the technology development going, he said it required leadership, financing, and focus. In the absence of these qualities, there is reason to have a genuine concern about the future of technology development. Wendell got a question about heavy lift and if he thought NASA could do it. Wendell had much to say about the subject of heavy lift but he did say that technically NASA could do it. That said, it would require perhaps a decade of consistent policy and funding and that is where the risks are in such a long term project. In addition, he said by the very nature of NASA doing it, it would be complex and costly. This is yet another important discussion you do not want to miss. In our second segment, our first listener question dealt with the impact of science fiction on planetary and space scientists. This took us into an entirely different space related discussion that you will find interesting. Wendell and I both observed similar characteristics with space enthusiasts and that is that there is in existence or story or event that transformed the person's interest to include space. In this segment, we talked about religion, spirituality, space politics, and motivation. Later in the segment, a listener asked Wendell to balance the need for aerospace workers for national security and other reasons against a NASA jobs program. Don't miss what Dr. Mendell had to say about this issue. We talked some more about the space budget process, flying the extra shuttle mission, and the support NASA provided in the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners. In his concluding comments, he said he was hopeful and looked to the efforts of both the NewSpace and international space community to do interesting things in space in the future. If you have comments or questions for Dr. Wendell Mendell, please post them on the blog and I will forward them to Dr. Mendell.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Dr. Alan Stern, Monday, 10-11-10
Guest: Dr. Alan Stern. Topics: Pluto, Kuiper Belt, New Horizons, commercial space, commercial suborbital research. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. We welcomed back Dr. Alan Stern to the program. As Dr. Stern is a noted planetary scientist, we started off with a comprehensive discussions of planet definition issues, including Pluto, the Kuiper Belt, dwarf planets, the New Horizons Mission, the possibility of life someplace in the solar system given the rate of new planet discovery, and much more. As part of this discussion, Dr. Stern got questions from the listeners including one about the asteroid Ceres asking if it should be considered a planet. As you will hear, Dr. Stern does say that as the largest asteroid, it is a dwarf planet. Later he was asked about competition within NASA and the FY 11 proposed NASA budget between the robotic/science side and the human space flight side of NASA. We then took a question from Brian, a middle school student in Toledo, Ohio about the power used in transmitting to and from New Horizons and the speed of light. Dr. Stern had much to say in response to this question about the speed of light. We then transitioned into the year 2011 being the 50th anniversary of human space flight. In this discussion, Alan suggested that progress in human space flight had been disadvantaged by having had a government monopoly in the field but now a type of revolution was taking place. With human spaceflight being a government project, outside the box thinking had not flourished. Terry then called in to ask about the arrival of New Horizons and the impact on science with the Pluto winter. Dr. Stern had lots to say on this so don't miss it. We started the second segment talking again about commercial suborbital research flights. He said the key would be frequent and lower cost flights. During our discussion about commercial suborbital flights, many listeners sent in challenging questions regarding the market for the flights and comparing the cost with available sounding rockets that have more capability than the upcoming commercial suborbital flights will have. Dr. Stern answered these challenging questions given his perspective and understanding of the interest and potential demand for the flights and the cost models that are being used for the developing business plans. After hearing this discussion, post your comments on the blog above to let us know what you think about this developing industry. As we started the third and final segment, Alan told us about the upcoming Next Generation Suborbital Research Conference (NSRC-2011) in Orlando, Fl. Alan received a listener question about how government agencies and organizations might contract for services (flights) with a commercial company given that when they contract with a government agency, its a cashless transfer of funds from one agency to another. As the show ended, we talked about the largest possible market for the commercial suborbital industry which might be the foreign market. Don't miss this discussion. Please post your comments and questions on the above blog URL as Dr. Stern is inundated with email.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Josh Neubert & Hung-Jen Wu, Spirit of Innovatin Awards, Sunday, 10-10-10
Guests: Josh Neubert, Hung-Jen Wu. Topics: The Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation Awards Program. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. We welcomed back Josh Neubert of the Conrad Foundation and Hun-Jen Wu, Co-Chair, Alumni Committee for the Spirit of Innovation Awards Program. We started our program with Josh giving us an overview of the Conrad Foundation, Pete Conrad, and the Spirit of Innovation Awards. We talked about the award categories, the high schools that participated, and the participating teams. As you will hear, the awards were in three areas, aerospace exploration, clean energy, and the new section for cyber security. Hung-Jen spoke to us about the future business leaders and the commercial nature of the awards program. In our second segment, we talked about the complete experience of being involved in the awards program and the Alumni Committee and its work with the new contestants/participants. A listener asked how the Conrad Foundation leveled the playing field for schools that are not strong in science compared to those that have a quality science program. As you will hear, they level the field through their outstanding mentor program. Others asked how people find out about the awards and Josh said the main thing was their website. Visit their site, www.conradawards.org. Another listener asked Hung-Jen about high school peer pressure and how his team was regarded and viewed by the other students. This was a very interesting and encouraging discussion. In our third and final segment, we talked about the Innovation Summit held at NASA Ames each spring and we looked into the future to see what was being planned for the Spirit Awards five years out. The Foundation is considering going into middle schools and there is a pilot program underway to test that idea. Josh also talked about their portal concept which is about mentoring and connecting the winning teams with business professionals that can help transition the project into a commercially successful venture. Hung-Jen talked about his idea of goals for the future and both Josh and Hung-Jen focused on getting more responses and involvement with teachers. If you have questions or comments for either of our guests, you can post them on the Space Show blog URL above. You can also use mailto:%firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line reference The Space Show with Josh and Hung-Jen.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Dr. James Vedda, Friday, 10-8-10
In addition to listening to this program at the above URL, you can access Dr. Vedda's AIAA paper we discussed during the program, "An Alternative Approach to National Space Policy" using this URL:
Guest: Dr. Jim Vedda. Topics: Dr. Vedda proposes an alternative U.S. space policy driven by capability. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. Additionally, you may want to read Dr. Vedda's latest book, "Choice, Not Fate" which you can buy using the One Giant Leap Foundation Amazon link. Remember, if you buy the book this way, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF. Please see www.amazon.com/dp/1450013473?tag=onegialeafou-20. In our first of two segments, Dr. Vedda talked about his AIAA paper, "An Alternative Approach to National Space Policy" which makes the case for having a capabilities driven space program, not a destination driven program. This paper will be available for your reading and review on The Space Show Outside The Box blog for this program when I archive it on the blog. We talked about the possibility of congressional micro management of new rocket building projects with NASA and the possibility of reductions in the NASA FY 11 budget. We then returned to his AIAA paper and Dr. Vedda started explaining why the space program needed to be capabilities driven over destination driven. I also asked Jim about implementing his ideas and getting them into the policy system. As you will hear, it is an uphill battle. We started the second segment with a listener question asking about the origin of policy influence, where does it come from, who exercises it the most, and is it best to aim it at NASA, Congress, or another organization. Dr. Vedda said that history shows big ideas come from industry, professionals, and others outside the government and funnel through the administration back down to Congress. Dr. Vedda then talked about influence and which groups have the most of it. Interestingly, he had much to say about space advocacy groups and in short, said they have next to zero influence other than in culture shaping. Listen carefully to what he had to say on this subject and share your thoughts with us using blog comments and emails to Dr. Vedda. In making his case, he referenced several programs as examples supporting his analysis on this issue. Later in this segment, we talked about budget cuts again and what might be likely to be cut. Here we talked about the destructive budget process which Jim wrote about in "Choice, Not Fate." Later in this segment, we talked about a space race with China and how the US might respond if other nations go for the destination and we are working to develop capabilities. Jim had much to say about others going for the destination so don't miss this discussion. We also talked about the need for an international partnership on this alternative approach and for public private partnerships to share the responsibility for designing the program and determining how its financed. We spent considerable time discussing the potential role of the private sector in this new type of space policy. At the end of the program, I asked him about the US decline per our recent show discussing the Futron 2010 Space Competitive Index. If you have a question or comment for Dr. Vedda, please post it on the blog mentioned above. You can also send them to me at email@example.com and I will forward it to Dr. Vedda.