Broadcast 1656 (Special Edition)

20 Nov 2011 Dave Ketchledge
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Guest: Dave Ketchledge. Topics: Using nuclear power to do a humans to Mars mission. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and 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. We welcomed back Dave Ketchledge to discuss his new book, "2033 The Nuclear Mission To Mars." The books is available in pdf format on a CD. You can order the book from this website, http://rocketengineer.bravehost.com. Later in the discussion Dave mentioned that the book can automatically download to a Nook e-reader and can be converted to be read on a Kindle. We started our 2 hour plus discussion with Dave providing us with background as to why a humans to Mars mission was important, why we need heavy lift, SLS, and why nuclear propulsion was essential. He shared reasons with us for going to Mars and talked about a Mars mission as being in our national interest. We took listener phone calls asking for a clearer explanation of why we need to go to Mars. One listener asked about the artistic side of the Mars flight, taking our focus away from technology and engineering. Terry wanted to know how many missions could be gleaned from a nuclear rocket and our guest spent considerable time going through the needed nuclear technology, providing us with a basic understanding of the technology, the risks, etc. In fact, several times during the segment, Dave reiterated why a manned Mars mission was so vital to our nation & future. In our second segment, Dave continued taking us through the various chapters in his book and talked about radiation doses for people, space travel, NASA and more. Fred, a space medicine radiation specialist, emailed in a note disagreeing with some of what Dave was saying about radiation doses. Dave said Fred was partially correct, disagreeing with some of Fred's comments. This exchange prompted Tim to call in objecting to negativity & naysayers such as Fred (in his opinion). I called Tim on this which caused me to do one of my notorious rants against la la land thinking & bad assumption making I since apologized to Tim for my outburst, but strongly oppose la la land thinking & assuming valid disagreement to be the same as being negative, including assigning emotions to commonly used terms in science, medicine, and policy discussions such as "controversial." Later in the segment, I asked Dave to explain the difference between nuclear electric and nuclear thermal propulsion. Throughout the discussion, Dave advocated for the NERVA type nuclear thermal engine. He also explained the advantages re ISP via Pebble Bed technology. As we neared the end of our discussion, Dave talked about the structure of his book, the references & data base along with the Orbiter freeware he has included with the CD. At the end of our program, I asked Dave to give us a 5 minute talk were he to be invited to testify before Congress on nuclear propulsion & a manned mission to Mars. I thought he did an excellent job in his off the top of his head 4.5 minute talk. See what you think. Post your comments/questions on blog URL above. Dave's email address is in the lower left hand corner of the above website used for ordering his book.

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