Broadcast 2485 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin. Topics: Mars Society Convention 2015, Convention debate topics, HSF to Mars issues & concerns. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed back Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin to discuss the upcoming Mars Society Convention in Washington, DC from August 13-16, 2015 (see During our 1 hour 45 minute program without a break, Dr. Zubrin not only told us about the upcoming Mars Society Convention for 2015, but talked about Human Spaceflight (HSF) to Mars by addressing many specific issues, concerns, and topics. Starting off with the Convention, it is August 13-16, 2015 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Special hotel prices are available at the Phoenix Park Hotel (see for reservation details). Bob told us about the keynote speakers but also the special format this year for debates. Several topics will be debated including Moon vs. Mars, Mars One feasibility with the MIT team and Bas from Mars One, how best to achieve commercial space plus other topics. Bob then started getting questions from listeners & myself on a wide variety of Mars HSF mission topics. To start with, I asked Bob to comment on what several recent Space Show guests have said about our not being ready for HSF to Mars for a variety of reasons including radiation, other human factors, the costs, and the trip risk which would turn it into a survival mission and nothing more. Before Bob responded to my specific question, he commented on the recent radiation paper, "How a trip to Mars would mess with your brain." Bob was very critical of this paper and spent time going through it and showing where he believed it to be bogus. You can read Bob's critique at Bob spent a good amount of time debunking the original article so don't miss his comments. Before moving on, I again asked Bob to respond specifically to what my guests had said as none of them mentioned the paper in question. We had an interesting discussion on risk taking and the role of government as part of our discussion. John in Florida called to ask about the concept of a nuclear explosion on Mars per Space Show guest Dr. John Brandenberg. This led to questions about shortages of PU238, space policy & political leadership. Doug had questions about an Earth Return Mission and later he eventually called in to get a more precise answer to what he was asking. We talked about one way missions, how best to explore Mars, and the responsible way to tackle the eventual settlement on Mars. Emmet from NY called in to ask about Elon Musk Mars and NASA plans and why they seem to ignore going for artificial gravity. Again, Bob had much to say about this issue which he said was different for Musk and NASA. He felt Musk would address it as the challenge became more real for him. As far as NASA goes, he said it was criminal to have avoided the issue for decades. Don't miss his comments. Jackie emailed in a question about character in the book "The Martian," wanting to know if crew were stranded on Mars could they actually do some of the things the character in the book did to survive. You might be surprised by Bob's answer. Matt in Germany asked a question about Mars via the Moon, BJohn asked about the use of a cycler for Mars transportation & Kirk called to talk about an article he had read about fossil ice at Valles Marineris. Kirk will post a comment about this on the blog after the show is archived. Next up was the subject of terraforming Mars. Bob had much to say about this plus he offered a possible terraforming timeline. Doug then wanted to know if Bob was referring to paraterraforming when he mentioned the use of Domes on the Martian surface but Bob said no. Tim called to talk about the radiation paper discussed earlier and mentioned a second experiment saying that antioxidants negated the radiation effects. Bob was not familiar with the second study but summarized his comments about the paper. BJohn emailed in about rocket advances from the Saturn V for a Mars mission, we talked about what it would mean to use a Falcon Heavy for Mars missions, then Marshall called to inquire about sources of power on Mars, particularly nuclear and getting a large enough nuclear reactor to Mars. Marshall and Bob talked about a Topaz like reactor. Another question came up about using the Martian moons for the early human missions rather than Mars. Bob explained why in his mind this was not a good idea. He then compared the radiation dosage of long term ISS usage for ISS astronauts to the transit time and radiation dosage for a Martian crew. Don't miss what Bob had to say about this. In Bob's concluding comments, we focused on the upcoming convention but also on the importance NASA and a HSF mission to Mars in the context of the world today. This is an important part of our program so don't miss it. In concluding, Bob said "It is time again for NASA to astound the world to show what free men can do." You will likely hear me use Bob's closing statement on many future Space Show programs. Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Dr. Zubrin through me at



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02 Jun 2015 Dr. Robert Zubrin
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