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Broadcast 1894 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on November 16th, 2012
Guest: Frank Stratford
Guest: Frank Stratford. Topics: Human spaceflight to Mars. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, 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. We welcomed back Frank Stratford of Mars Drive ( to update us on his latest thoughts regarding human Mars missions. You can read his latest Space Review article, "Which Way To Mars" from Oct. 22, 2012 at In this article and during our first segment, Frank put forth two options for HSF to Mars. The first option he called the "miracle gift." The second option he refers to as "step by step." During this segment, Frank discussed both options in detail. He talked at length about what is realistic and plausible compared to being in the realm of fantasy regarding humans to Mars. A listener asked him if the less than plausible ventures were a distraction or even if they were destructive to the effort to put humans on Mars. Frank did not think so and citied YouTube hits for Mars advocacy & other groups as compared to a YouTube viral Korean song that is approaching 750 million hits ( This made the point very clearly that space and even humans to Mars does not command the interest or attention of the public in any way like our pop culture. Frank also stressed the need for collaboration with the Mars advocacy groups rather then each one going its own way. He mentioned several different organizations and one that he is supportive of, The Mars Initiative ( Callers asked Frank about the Mars Direct plan as the segment was ending. In our second segment, we talked about how to finance a humans to Mars mission. Frank used a $10 billion price tag saying there were only a few ideas that would come in less than that but given so many unknowns about a humans to Mars mission, it was almost impossible to budget such a mission. He talked about using a Falcon Heavy, fewer flights using the SLS, a flexible financing path, and more. He also mentioned the upcoming Mars Expo 2013 in the UK which you can read about on the Mars Drive website. As the program was ending, we talked about Mars Drive and the spin-off by one of the Mars Drive supporters, Mars Drive Lab. At the end, I challenged Frank for his action plan, that is how to bring to life what we had been talking about. You will find this a most interesting discussion. Frank left us with a final selling point: "A humans to Mars mission brings us the technology and jobs of tomorrow today." If you have comments/questions for Frank Stratford, please post them on The Space Show blog.

About our guest...

Frank Stratford
Frank Stratford was born during the closing days of the Apollo era in Australia, a nation without a space program. His interests and skills were focused on the subjects of space exploration since the age of 8 when the space shuttle first started operating. Frank started work at an early age and following 15 years running his own business in landscaping and horticulture, he went onto gain senior level management experience within the automotive parts industry with his own company Dynamic Fuel Solutions before moving into the IT sector as Financial Services Compliance Officer at United Electrical Engineering today. Parallel to this, he had been active within the non-profit sector leading teams of social workers and acting as a volunteer counselor and adviser. His intense interest in space and Mars lead him to leadership roles at 'Red Colony' and the 'Mars Society' where, in 2005, he founded 'MarsDrive' and has been working diligently at overcoming the issues that hold humanity back from a potential future in space. Along with organizing for such events as ISDC 2006 and 2007 or lecturing at Mars Society conferences, he has also contributed many thought-provoking articles on Mars and space exploration, some of which can be found in publications like “Australian Sky and Telescope”, “Metro UK”, “The Space Review” and “Red Colony.” On the subject of what we can do to get into space, Frank has stated, "The future of our expansion into space and onto Mars is really up to each of us as individuals. If there remains no generation to step up to make the decision to go, who will?" As CEO of MarsDrive, his vision is to see people everywhere enjoy the wonder of their own space adventures, including such programs as orbital space tourism, a Moon base and a crewed Mars mission and colony within the next two decades.

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