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Guest: Dr. Pascal Lee; Topics: Mars simulations & expeditions, the Moon, budgets, SETI, space policy and much more. 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, www.thespaceshow.com. 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Dr. Pascal Lee to the program to discuss multiple topics and issues related to humans to Mars, the Moon, SETI, space policy and budgets and much more. During the first segment of our nearly two hour program, we mostly focused on Pascal's award winning documentary film, "Passage To Mars." This film documented the expedition across the Northwest Passage using special Humvees from the Atlantic side all the way to Devon Island in the Arctic. Pascal's narrative of this expedition was riveting so don't miss it. Better yet, you should see the film which I saw in full at the recent Raw Science Film Festival. In addition to stories and shared experiences about this challenging expedition, we heard about polar bear interest in the expedition, all you might want to know about sea ice, how to handle extreme cold, snow mobiles, and durable Humvees. It took a few seasons to complete the expedition but as you will hear and hopefully see when you view the movie, it was well worth it. Let us know what you think of this expedition by posting on the blog.
In the second segment of the program Pascal updated us on the NASA Haughton-Mars Project at Devon Island in the Arctic. This summer the project will celebrate its 20th anniversary! Listen to how this project provides a good analog for being on Mars with lots of lessons learned. As part of this Devon Island discussion, Dr. Doug sent in a note asking about exploring versus settlement. Our guest had much to say about these two objectives, noting how different one was from another. You do not want to miss this discussion because Pascal, while supporting settlement, thought it was really way off in the future and that what we would be doing much sooner would be establishing outposts and exploring. At one point the discussion mentioned a structure similar to a military base with all the supplies and support, then venturing out from that base for missions to explore or for another purpose but returning back to the base. He thought that would be how we will begin living in space, through exploration. Pascal had lots to say about a private company like SpaceX doing Mars settlement as compared to NASA or a government space agency. Don't mis this part of the discussion.
Pascal was asked about the Moon vs. Mars debate. On this topic he had much to say and you may be surprised by his comments. He supported the Moon but listen to how he supported it and why. The same for Mars but in a different way with different partners and costs. We talked about the needed type of budget for Mars, he referred to the Apollo budget compared to our current NASA budget, we talked timelines and more. Also discussed were humans to the Martian moons and a type of stepping stone program using deep space mission milestones, going further and further out from Earth. Let us know what you think about Pascal's plan. Post your comments on the blog.
Near the end of the program we talked about SETI and the Drake Equation. Pascal took us through all the variables in the equation and gave us a different perspective with a different conclusion. No spoilers here so listen to what he had to say but if you think you will soon be meeting ET and it may be similar to us, well, don't bet the retirement funds on that happening anytime soon. Pascal included a discussion of the Fermi Paradox.
I asked Pascal why there appeared to be so many more Martian meteorites found in Antarctica. He provide a very interesting answer plus we talked about the differences in Antarctica and the Artic, both as to weather and one being a continent and the other largely being an ocean, plus ice and sea ice. Also animal life. Another great discussion for a terrific interview with Pascal.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog for this particular show. Pascal did give out his email address at the end of the program so you can contact him directly or through the websites for the organizations I mentioned earlier in this summary.