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Broadcast 1923 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on January 4th, 2013
Guests: Dr. Eric W. Davis, Dr. Richard Obousy, Dr. Harold Sonny White
Guests: Dr. Richard Obousy, Dr. Eric Davis, Dr. Harold Sonny White. Topics: Faster Than Light (FTL) Travel, Warp Drive, Interstellar Travel. 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 our three guests, Drs. Obousy, Davis, and White to the program to discuss FTL travel, warp drive, and interstellar flight. More information is available at the Icarus Interstellar website, We did not take a break during our program. Also, at times our discussion was technical and scientific. I looked up many terms & used my search engine frequently during the discussion given the advanced nature of the subject and our discussion. Don't be shy about looking up that which you may not understand or know about. I promise, if you do it will be well worth your time. We started with an introduction to Icarus Interstellar, FTL travel, and why interstellar propulsion & travel is important. Our guests then suggested the two most common approaches to FTL travel included warp drive and worm holes. For most of the program, we focused on the characteristics and research around warp drive. Our guests explained their research, including how they were able to develop the theories that reduced the amount of energy needed for warp drive from Jupiter size energy requirements to energy requirements representing the approximate mass of Voyager 1. Our discussion addressed the Miguel Alcubierre warp drive in light of the advanced work by Dr. White and others. The concept of the McMonigal Fatal Flaw was addressed with our guests explaining why it was not applicable. The workings of the warp drive were explained and though the discussion was heavy in physics, I urge you to take the time and embrace & learn about the advanced theoretical physics subjects discussed by our guests. Later, a listener asked about the use of a sun gravitational lens telescope at a specific AU from the sun as perhaps an alternative to interstellar flight. As you will hear, such a device would likely be a good tool enhancing FTL travel, not replacing it. As our discussion progressed, or guests rebutted many of the warp drive criticisms. Near the end of the program, we talked about what was needed to go from the lab and theory to small scale demo experiments to prove out the concepts. Our guests referenced to the Chicago Pile-1(CP-1) 1942 nuclear experiment & the subsequent step by step evolution of nuclear technology. Our guests talked about starting small with a demo proof and evolving upwards with more and more discovery, technology, and engineering. Another example cited for the typical development path included the discovery of the electron in 1897 followed by the discovery of the proton in 1917, and the discovery of the neutron in 1932. Throughout our discussion, our guests put forth compelling reasons why we should be developing FTL travel and interstellar spaceflight. Their respective concluding comments reinforced the importance and why of our being interested in FTL and exotic concepts. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above. If you want to email our guests, you can do so through me.

About our guests...

Dr. Eric W. Davis
Eric is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, and recently co-published, with Marc Millis, the book Frontiers of Propulsion Science. Eric’s lifetime mentor was Bob Forward, who was a renowned physicist and science fiction writer. Eric earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Arizona (1991), and his dissertation research focused on the Io Plasma Torus at Jupiter while working on the Voyager 1 & 2 missions, giving him a solid foundation in nuclear fusion and plasma physics. He also earned a B.Sc. in physics and mathematics from the University of Arizona (1983) and an A.A. in liberal arts from Phoenix College (1981). Eric has further space mission experience including the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) mission (1984-85), ASUSat-1 (1990), and space theater reconnaissance in South Korea (USAF & U.S. Forces Korea, 1995-96). As part of his Ph.D research he was involved in research on antiproton annihilation propulsion. Eric’s current research specialization includes breakthrough propulsion physics, general relativity and quantum field theories, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI), spacecraft exploration of the outer solar system, and space mission engineering. Eric is currently employed as a Senior Research Physicist at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin. He is also the CEO/Chief Scientist of Warp Drive Metrics, and has provided contract services to the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts. He was also a technical contributor and consultant to the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program. Eric authored an award winning paper on the quantum vacuum zero-point energy (Space Technology & Applications International Forum 2007), and authored several papers and reports on traversable wormholes, warp drives, laser propulsion, teleportation physics and advanced propulsion concepts. He has been twice recognized by the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics for outstanding contributions to national defense and space public policy. Eric is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics, member of the New York Academy of Sciences, member of the American Astronomical Society, member of the Directed Energy Professional Society, and lifetime member of the American Institute of Beamed Energy Propulsion.

Dr. Richard Obousy
Dr. Richard K. Obousy (Ph.D (Physics) Baylor University 2008), is currently President and Primary Propulsion Senior Scientist for Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit research foundation dedicated to researching technologies that will enable breakthroughs in interstellar travel. He is also Subject Editor and a Member of the Advisory Board for the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and a regular guest contributor for Discovery Space News. Dr. Obousy completed his Ph.D in theoretical physics in 2008, with a dissertation titled “Investigation into Compactified Dimensions: Casimir Energies and Phenomenological Aspects“, which was largely focused on understanding the nature of the vacuum of quantum field theory. Prior to studying for his Ph.D, Dr. Obousy worked for the UK Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) as a radar physicist. He successfully organized an award-winning polarimetric radar experiment in Hawaii in 2001. He was recently a chapter contributor for the book “Going Interstellar”, edited by Jack McDevitt and Les Johnson (Deputy Manager for the Advanced Concepts Office at NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center).

Dr. Harold Sonny White
Dr. White holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Rice University, a Master’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University, and a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of South Alabama. Dr. White has accumulated over 15 years of experience working in the aerospace industry with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and NASA. He currently serves as the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate and is the JSC representative to the Nuclear Systems Working Group. In his role, Dr. White is serving to help the Agency incorporate high TRL advanced power and propulsion technologies into near and mid-term human exploration architectures. He is also pursuing theoretical and laboratory research on developing lower TRL advanced propulsion and power technologies in the advanced propulsion physics laboratory known as Eagleworks that is located at the Johnson Space Center. Over the past 15 years, Dr. White has worked with members of academia, industry, and government to further grow this area of research resulting in many published papers, presentations, development and study of physics models, engineering tools, and the implementation and execution of multiple high fidelity experimental efforts. Dr. White has been recognized many times over the span of his career for his excellent work ethic, exceptional technical skills, abilities as a project manager, and dedication to the pursuit of human space flight. While serving as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System Manager during Return to Flight, he was awarded the NASA Medal For Excellence in Achievement by the Administrator for his role in getting the Thermal Protection System robotic inspection tools built, delivered and certified to support the STS-114 mission. He was recognized by the crew office with a Silver Snoopy Award for his unwavering commitment to safety and mission success demonstrated by his actions in the discovery and disposition of critical damage to the robotic arm prior to the STS-121 mission. He has also received the Spaceflight Awareness Honoree award for the STS-122 mission, one of the highest, most prestigious awards available to employees of NASA.

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