Broadcast 2696 Dr. Pascal Lee

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Dr. Pascal Lee;  Topics:  The Northwest Passage Drive Expedition & lessons learned for going to the surface of Mars.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  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

We welcomed Dr. Pascal Lee back to the program to tell us about The Northwest Passage Drive Expedition, what they learned that can be useful for crews going to the surface of Mars, including how to select a Martian crew and more.  A documentary film, "Passage To Mars," was made of this expedition which we also talked about. During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Dr. Lee talked about the infrastructure needed for the expedition including vehicles, supplies, and the terrain that they would be traveling across.  Several times during this segment as well as the second segment, he stressed the need for two vehicles in case one got stuck or had a breakdown.  The expedition used specially equipped Humvee's.  Pascal also talked about the fact that it took three seasons to complete the expedition.  Our guest described traveling across sea-ice which was surface used by the expedition.

Listener Jack asked Pascal how similar the expedition terrain was to Mars.  Our guest said that Mars was more dangerous and confined.  For example, the Northwest Passage Expedition did not travel in a lethal environment but there were also some similarities.  Pascal talked about how Mars was more treacherous and why. 

Ben asked about radiation since traveling far north on Earth exposes people to higher doses of radiation.  Our guest had much to say about this topic, measurements taken at Devon Island, and areas on Mars where Curiosity has show not so much radiation but then other areas on Mars where the cosmic rays mix with the Martian soil with hydrogen for much greater radiation levels. 


Listener Carl asked about crew issues.  Pascal listed five standards that should be considered when selecting a crew, even for Mars.  I suggest you make note of the five standards as we will be talking about them on future Space Show program. 

In the second segment, our first question came from Mohammad in Amman, Jordan inquiring about Pascal reaching out to other Mars advocacy organizations and individuals to do scientific research on their expeditions and missions.  Pascal had much to say about this, especially in support of SpaceX and Elon Musk and just the opposite with Mars One.  Don't miss all of Pascal's reply to Mohammad.

Linda wanted to know about lessons learned and applying them to the Martian moons.  Pascal was a big supporter of going to the Martian moons first so be sure to listen to what he had to say about this subject.  He did say going to the Martian surface was a tall order. 

Pascal mentioned that there were about 50 sites being considered for the first Mars human landing site.  I asked him how planetary protection might alter these plans.  This caused our guest to tell us about the microbiology study that they did regarding possible contamination on the expedition.  They published there findings in the June issue of Astrobiology.  Don't miss this discussion.  Better yet, get a copy of the journal and read their published findings.  You will be surprised by what they discovered that was directly applicable to cross contamination issues on Mars. 


Before the program ended, we talked about the movie playing in Los Angeles through June 5.  Check out the information at which is the theater where the film is showing.  You can see the trailer here as well.  Also, visit for more information.


Please post your comments/questions in the comments section for this archived show on The Space Show website.  You can reach Dr. Lee through the Mars Institute website or me.




Mars Institute grand film debut

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05 May 2016 Dr. Pascal Lee
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • The Space Foundation Conference