Broadcast 1611 (Special Edition)

26 Aug 2011 Dr. Leroy Chiao
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Guest: Dr. Leroy Chiao. Topics: National Space Biomedical Research Institute, long duration human spaceflight issues, space policy. 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 warmly welcomed Dr. Leroy Chiao, former NASA Astronaut, member of the Augustine Commission, and researcher and Chair of the User Panel with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) on the Rice University Campus in Houston. Visit the NSBRI website for more information on their programs, research, participants, and goals: www.nsbri.org. Dr. Chiao began our discussion with an overview of the NSBRI User Panel which helps NSBRI focus on high-yield research areas leading to effective strategies to enhance mission success & improve crew health. Dr. Chiao identified User Panel members and the seven NSBRI research areas. We talked about NASA funding, U.S. universities & research institutions, and international cooperation. Dr. Chiao was asked about microgravity issues & progress in the field in the absence of a variable gravity research station on orbit. Our guest had some interesting research & facts on this issue to share with us so don't miss them. He was asked by another listener about medical researchers and research just for the sake of research instead of being geared to flying missions. We talked about distributive research, the Russians on the ISS, the Mars 500 Study, & his visit to the Chinese space center. A listener brought up one way missions to Mars & our guest had much to say on this topic. This is an important & comprehensive discussion so again, don't miss it. Also in this first segment, Dr. Chiao told us about his ISS mission and food rationing, plus we talked extensively about space radiation, followed by exercise programs with the Russians & the U.S. astronauts and how they differed from each other. Space tourism came up as did spaceflight participants. The first topic in our second segment included a question from Clark in Sand Diego regarding astronauts as radiation workers. We talked about lifetime radiation levels at length, Mars and lunar missions & ISS long duration missions, all in the context of radiation which Dr. Chiao listed as the top challenge/priority for long duration human spaceflight. The idea of using older people for manned deep space missions was presented as a way to mitigate radiation issues. We then talked about the issue of using older people & what that really meant. This discussion opened the way for our discussion of an ISS medical event & the treatment for such an event, including space surgery which is non-existent at this time, & a fast emergency return to Earth. The issue of comparing long term human spaceflight to early American and European explorations like Lewis and Clark and the Shackleton Expedition. Dr. Chiao clearly stated why human spaceflight cannot be easily compared to these early explorations. Listen & see what you think. I agree with Dr. Chiao & have said so on air many times. Dr. Chiao told us about the new NSBRI facilities at Rice, then we talked about using SRBs for human spaceflight. Leroy had much to say about SRBs and liquids. Don't miss this important discussion, it may surprise you. Space suits were also discussed & at the end of the program, we talked about the shuttle retirement, U.S. space leadership, & space policy. Leroy was also a strong advocate for China becoming an ISS partner. If you have comments or questions for Dr. Leroy Chiao, post them on the blog. If you want do email him, do so through me.

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