Broadcast 1435 (Special Edition)

02 Oct 2010 Pat Duggins
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Guest: Pat Duggins. Topics: Mars, "Trailblazing Mars," space policy. We welcomed Pat Duggins, the news director for Alabama Public Radio to the show to discuss his new book, "Trailblazing Mars: NASA's Next Giant Leap." Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. His book is available at the One Giant Leap Foundation website and if you order it from OGLF, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show. Please use this UR:: www.amazon.com/dp/081303518X?tag=onegialeafou-20. We began our first segment by talking about the retirement of the shuttle per the FY11 budget, the addition of a third shuttle flight referred to as a suicide flight, heavy lift, and space policy. Pat also spoke about the challenges in carrying out a humans to Mars mission, not just from the human factors and engineering perspectives, but with the will of the American people given the costs and risks involved in such a mission. In response to listener questions, our guest talked about covering more than 100 shuttle missions and many of the spin-offs from NASA programs that are now commercially successful products. I asked about nuclear propulsion for going to Mars and our guest had much to say about the probability of this. Commercial space came up as he talked about his talks and associations with MSFC. Other topics discussed during this segment included Space X, possible contamination of Mars from Earth, EELVs as commercial launchers, Constellation, and the GAP causing us to rely on Russian rockets. A listener asked about the layoffs taking place at KSC, MSFC, and other NASA centers. Pat had much to say about this, especially for Florida. John in Atlanta called in to talk about space shuttle LEO access and missions based on Pat's comments about shuttle missions. We started our second segment by asking Pat about the need to return to the Moon. We then talked about the Viking experiments and new information that may end up validating the work by Dr. Gil Levin. Pat was asked to compare robotic Martian missions to boots on the ground for Martian science. Our guest had much to say about this so don't miss this discussion. Later in the segment, we talked about other national space programs going to the Moon and Pat mentioned the problem of being able to collect Apollo lunar artifacts, returning them to their own country. Bigelow Aerospace and private astronauts were discussed in the context of the NASA oversight discussion that was an overriding theme of this show, especially with NASA oversight on human rating commercial launchers. All of these topics and more are included in Pat's book which is an excellent read for valuable space history plus a look at what may be our space future. You can reach Pat Duggins through www.apr.org, his Facebook page, or through drspace@thespaceshow.com. Post show comments and questions at the blog URL above.

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