Broadcast 171 (Special Edition)

25 Nov 2003 Dr. John Brandenburg
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Dr. John Brandenburg, a researcher and professor with the Florida Space Institute, was the guest on this Space Show program. Dr. Brandenburg thoroughly discussed the possibilities of bacterial life on Mars, the type of propulsion that will be needed to go to Mars and beyond, the possibility of life in the upper atmosphere of Venus and throughout the solar system, and the use of nuclear power for space exploration. While he made the point that there might be alternative propulsion systems to nuclear power, nuclear power will be needed for the energy needs to remain on Mars, the Moon, and elsewhere. In fact, Dr. Brandenburg detailed conversations he has had with astronauts in which they clearly stated they would be unwilling to go to Mars or elsewhere in space without the use of nuclear power for their energy and living requirements. Dr. Brandenburg also talked about the military presence in space and he outlined a realistic description of what is meant and what is possible when we talk about space-based weapons. Dr. Brandenburg talked about the politics of discussing finding some sort of life in space versus the science of it and he opined that as a society and government, we are probably not yet ready to accept the idea that bacterial or other life may be common in the universe, although he thinks the day is rapidly approaching when this will not be a problem. He talked about his science fiction book, Morningstar Pass, and how he was able to cover topics in such a book and forum that he cannot yet cover in the more traditional forums, if for no other reason that the issues he talks about in his science fiction book are not supported by facts. Dr. Brandenburg uses the pen name, Victor Norgarde.

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