Broadcast 2024 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest: Dr. Madhu Thangavelu. Topics: space architecture visionary design, Human Spaceflight (HSF) to Mars, radiation, much more. 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. We welcomed back Dr. Madhu Thangavelu for a 1 hour 45 minute discussion on a wide ranging set of topics from space visionary concepts to HSF to Mars, radiation and other issues, fantasy vs. reality thinking, and the synthetic mind. Madhu provided us with these links relevant to our discussion: 1. AIAA talk slides: ; 2. AIAA Space Architecture panel video on YouTube :, 3. USC Space Concepts Studio website :, 4. latest USC Eng. magazine carries an article, p16-17: In our first segment, Madhu opened up by talking about students and space inspiration. Based on his own USC teaching experience, he said students were fired up. Our guest was asked to compare robotic missions to HSF missions and Madhu spent some time on this discussion. He also talked about the NASA plan to capture an asteroid, referring to this as a possible wild goose chase. He talked about the ISS and using it more and more to accomplish important space goal. Madhu received several questions about Tito's Inspiration Mars flyby mission. Here, he had much to say, especially about radiation, deep space communications, food & nutrition, and even physiology degradation. We talked about using nuclear propulsion for such a mission & he suggested a better mission profile using two Falcon rockets. In the second segment, Paul asked about using nuclear electric propulsion as compared to the two Falcon rocket idea. Madhu talked about the nuclear propulsion history with NERVA & the use of nuclear fuel on many of our robotic missions. Michael called in and said there was no real political will for nuclear so it probably would not happen anytime soon. Later, Madhu was asked many specific radiation questions regarding the Mars flight. Madhu suggested possible mitigation strategies, including his favorite, self cellular repair. Allison emailed in to inquire about his Studio students and how he holds the line from reality thinking as compared to Kool Aid thinking. Madhu talked extensively about this issue, discussed the philosophy of idea generation, visionary thinking with some fantasy while at the same time being grounded in engineering, physics, financial and other subcomponents of the concept. Don't miss this important discussion. We also talked about disruptive technologies. At the end, we talked about the synthetic mind. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. You can contact Madhu through me.



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07 Jun 2013 Professor Madhu Thangavelu
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference