Broadcast 1050 (Special Edition)

07 Nov 2008 Norman Gerstein
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Guest: Norman J. Gerstein was the guest for this special Space Show program. Mr. Gerstein was deeply involved in Rover/NERVA and we discussed these programs in detail. He was part of the KIWI-TNT team and involved in the cleanup by picking up the debris with a wheelbarrow and tongs. Norm described these programs in detail along with the nuclear rocket which we compared to chemical rockets. Norm made it very clear that one needs a mission to do these programs. Another way of saying it, is to make sure there is a need. Since there was no need (no mission), the programs were cancelled. Today, a nuclear rocket exists for a manned mission to Mars, but listen to what he says about the probability of such a mission anytime soon. One way to not need the nuclear rocket would be to go to Mars by launching from the Moon as the nuclear rocket would not be advantageous for use in going to the Moon. You will find this discussion most interesting. Our discussion also led us to Norm's analysis and conclusions regarding the SSTO and its feasibility. Norm also suggested that a nuclear rocket might be launched from a suborbital position but this was not something that was highly sought after. Later in the show, we talked about the need or the mission for manned space flight. Norm was in agreement with many other Space Show guests this year in saying it was hard to make the case for manned space flight and the silver bullet for manned space flight remains elusive at best. Again, a discussion you will not want to miss. We talked about radiation, nuclear power plant accidents, waste storage and reprocessing, hybrid autos, electric cars, space solar power, and solving our energy crisis as a priority. Norm told us about his preference for vehicles using natural gas plus other ideas he had suggested over the years. We also discussed Norm's idea for a 200,000 ton manufacturing press. The Russians have a 75,000 ton press, so this would clearly be the largest. He thinks it could be a private sector business and would capture large scale manufacturing work from around the world. Reactor pressure containers and other high-end uses would benefit from a single sheet without welds. After listening to this discussion, tell us what you think. Many other topics were discussed including due diligence, running numbers for a comprehensive due diligence analysis of a project of interest. You can send your comments or questions to Mr. Norman Gerstein by using ngerstein@comcast.net.

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