Broadcast 1848 (Special Edition)

04 Sep 2012 Dr. David Livingston
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Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Life outside the solar system, Philadelphia light pollution, ion propulsion, U.S. economy, NASA, space program funding. You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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. As Open Lines started, I put two discussion topics on the table. These two topics focused on the Republican party platform & its space policy plus the reaction to it by various sectors of the space community, specifically NewSpace. The second topic I mentioned was the state of the U.S. economy & how it impacts NASA & space funding. My theory was & is that it does impact the state of NASA funding & what happens in the private sector but I asked others who have economic experience & knowledge to tell me why so many talk space policy without factoring in our domestic as well as economic condition. When I opened up the phone line, the first caller was Wade Hobbs who talked about life having developed elsewhere in the solar system, mainly in the oceans of Europa. He said his theory offered statistical proof of life in Jupiter's moon Europa & he pointed us toward his Kindle book, "Question Answered." If you purchase his book using this URL, Amazon will donate to The Space Show/OGLF: www.amazon.com/Question-Answered-ebook/dp/B008ZFZ05W/ref=onegiantlea20. He explained his theory & invited comments & questions. His email address is w_hobbs@mail.com. Our second caller was Ed Murray who called our attention to a light pollution public art project scheduled soon for Philadelphia. The project, Open Air" by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer of Canada & approved by the Art Association of Philadelphia is described here: www.knightarts.org/community/philadelphia/preparing-for-open-air-in-phil.... Many in the astronomy & Dark Skies fields are objecting to the project which will last nearly two months & probably blot out most of the Philadelphia night sky. Ed & others are seeking ideas & help to minimize the project or cancel it. They have sought help from the International Dark Skies organization & others. If this project interests you, follow up on the suggestions offered on the blog by Ed & others which detail their concerns about the project. In our second segment, John from Atlanta called in to discuss ion propulsion & fuel plus he wanted to address the economic issues I raised in the introduction to tonight's program. Regarding the economic issues, John suggested we were still not so bad where the economy would start to impact NASA funding but if thing worsen, it is likely that NASA & all space funding will be impacted. John & I went back & forth for several minutes discussing the economic situation, the national debt, space & more, both from the U.S. domestic perspective as well as the global perspective. We talked about the total budget going to NASA being so small as a factor. John & I talked about the Republican platform suggestion that despite the language, commercial crew to the ISS would continue. John suggested an early down select to SpaceX but I advocated for at least another round of competition with Sierra Nevada & Boeing, possibly others too. Our final call was from Tim who talked about ion propulsion & space nuclear propulsion. He introduced the idea of carbon nano tubes for use in rocket materials & I suggested that was way out in the future. Tim also suggested the private sector bypass NASA & do its "own thing." Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. If you want to email any of the callers, send your note to me & I will forward it.

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