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Broadcast 896 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on February 22nd, 2008
Guest: Dr. Louis D. Friedman
Guest: Dr. Louis Friedman. Dr. Louis Friedman returned for this special Space Show program to discuss the recent Stanford University workshop regarding "Examining The Vision: An Independent Look At The Future Of Human Space Exploration." You can read the workshop's statement at Dr. Friedman explained the purpose of this workshop, the many issues and subjects which were discussed, as well as the conclusions from the workshop. We then applied these findings to our current space policy and the upcoming changes in our government. Don't miss our discussion about how this influential group and their conclusions will work to successfully influence the new administration to keep the VSE on track. There were numerous questions for Lou which focused on lunar commerce, sustainability for a lunar presence, and ultimately the grand prize of going to Mars. One listener asked about LaGrange points as an intermediate destination. You will want to hear what he has to say about this idea . Dr. Friedman spoke about science and the human program in balance and we received several questions which suggested science should not be funded by NASA, but rather by the NSF and similar organizations. Listen to Dr. Friedman's response to these questions. Another listener asked Dr. Friedman how and why he started The Planetary Society as well as what he perceives the future of The Planetary Society to be, so you will want to hear this bit of important history and hear about his future vision. Also, near the end of the show, I mentioned that I get emails about supporting the VSE from many listeners outside America. I suggest the listeners should write to their government to create or support or participate in the space program to return to the Moon, etc. Lou agreed, but said that NASA is the world's space program although they don't realize or understand this. His comment led to an interesting discussion about global involvement in the VSE, NASA, China, and more. You will hear parts of this discussion throughout the program. If you want to send a follow up comment or question to Dr. Friedman, please do so through the Planetary Society website at or through me at During the Open Lines portion of this show, our first caller was Charles Pooley of Microlaunchers and Mohave, CA. Charles took issue with some of what Dr. Friedman said, instead preferring his incremental approach. Surprisingly, Charles received many questions including a few about the space tourism industry in Mojave and elsewhere. As you will hear, Charles is not enthusiastic about the commercial potential of space tourism. After Charles got off the line, a second caller called the show, John from Montana. John continued talking about the incremental approach which Charles had introduced and also the applicability of it with student and academic payloads. This makes for an interesting, but brief Open Lines segment.

About our guest...

Dr. Louis D. Friedman
Dr. Louis Friedman is a native of New York City. He received a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin in 1961, an M.S. in Engineering Mechanics at Cornell University in 1963, and a Ph.D. from the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at M.I.T. in 1971. His Ph.D. thesis was on Extracting Scientific Information from Spacecraft Tracking Data. Dr. Friedman worked at the AVCO Space Systems Division from 1963-1968, on both civilian and military space programs. From 1970 to 1980 he worked on deep space missions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. He performed mission analysis and navigation system studies for pre-project definition of Mariner Venus-Mercury, Voyager and Galileo and was the program development leader for Venus Orbital Imaging Radar, which later became Magellan. He led the development and design for the Halley Comet Rendezvous-Solar Sail proposal and was the leader of the post-Viking Mars Program in the late 1970s. In 1979-80 he originated and led the International Halley Watch. He was manager of Advanced Planetary Studies at JPL. Dr. Friedman is the author of more than 20 technical papers on Celestial Navigation, Astrodynamics, Mission Analysis and Design, and Mission Planning. He is the author of the book Starsailing: Solar Sails and Interstellar Travel, published by John Wiley, Inc. In 1978-79, Dr. Friedman was the AIAA Congressional Fellow on the staff of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. He worked there on Space Policy, Operational Remote Sensing legislation, NASA program oversight and technology innovation on the railroads. He is a member of the American Astronautical Society, the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society, Sigma Xi and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the British Interplanetary Society and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is a National Fellow member of the Explorers Club. Dr. Friedman left JPL in 1980 and co-founded The Planetary Society with Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray. He was Executive Director of the Society for 30 years, stepping down to focus on particular projects, including the solar sail, in 2010. The Society is a non-profit, popular society seeking to inspire the people of Earth to explore new worlds and seek other life, through research, education and public participation. It is the largest space interest organization in the world. While at the Society he has worked on the Mars Balloon development, international Mars rover testing, a Mars microphone, and the joint educational project with LEGO Red Rover Goes to Mars. He led Cosmos 1, the attempt to fly the first solar sail and is currently LightSail Program Director for The Planetary Society. He has traveled on field expeditions to Kamchatka, the Arctic and Antarctic, tours to observe Halleys Comet, Belize and to several places in the former Soviet Union. Dr. Friedman frequently lectures in the U.S. and abroad about planetary missions and space exploration programs, has written many popular articles about planetary exploration and space policy as well as op-eds in major newspapers. He has frequently testified to the U.S. Congress about programs and policies in space exploration. Dr. Friedman is currently leader of the LightSail program developing a Cubesat-based solar sail mission privately funded mission for The Planetary Society. He is also co-leader of the Keck Institute for Space Studies Asteroid Retrieval Mission Study at Caltech and a member of the NASA NIAC External Council. In addition, he is the Principal Investigator of the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE) on the Russian Phobos Sample Return mission launching in Nov. 2011. This experiment will be the first instance of purposely sending life from Earth to interplanetary space. His most recent research is developing robotic milestone missions for interstellar flight using nano spacecraft and solar sails, and investigating the future of extending the human presence in space.

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