Broadcast 2926 Open Lines, Special start time: 11:30 AM PDT

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Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston; Topics:  We covered many topics in this show from space related films to SpaceX issues, the solar eclipse & 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,   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

Welcome to our two hour two segment Open Lines discussion.  I started segment one with a few announcements.  The first announcement dealt with the National Geographic TV series on Einstein, "Genius," and their contest for independent filmmakers regarding the use of Einstein quotes.  My son Michael and his film partner Amanda were one of the ten National Geographic winners and made a short film, "Take Me Back" using their Einstein quote, "To those of us who believe in physics, this separation between past, present, and future is only an illusion, if a stubborn one.”  I provided listeners with a short summary of their winning entry and their film, "Take Me Back," based on the above quote.  You can see the 6.5 minute film on the National Geographic YouTube channel 10 days of Genius, using  You can also check it out and comment on Michael's film Facebook page by searching for michael livingston then scrolling down for the entry "shared Genius video."  Facebook is reporting about 550,000 views so far.  Feel free to comment on the film on The Space Show blog or their Facebook page. 

The next suggested topic pertained to a comment by the president of the California Public Utilities Commission regarding the need to give the sun a rest during the upcoming solar eclipse. I read his full statement on air. A few listeners chose to comment about what Mr Michael Picker said.  Feel free to comment on the blog.  Do you think the sun needs a rest?

The last suggested topic was the peer reviewed Mars Radiation paper by Space Show guest Dr. Francis Cucinotta from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus suggesting that the Mars cancer risk might be double what was previously thought to be the risk.  You can read Dr. Cucinotta's paper at  You can read an excellent summary of the article by Elizabeth Howell at  I also commented about the rebuttal article by Dr. Robert Zubrin.  You can read what Bob had to say here:  Several callers during our program talked about the Mars radiation issue.  Let us know what you think by posting on our blog.

Our first caller was Dr. Doug who wanted to talk about the growing SpaceX inventory of previously flown Dragon capsules and used Falcon 9 first stage rockets.  He raised several questions about the right quantity, going from Dragon 1 to later models and the same for Falcon 9 first stages to Falcon Heavy.  Doug was asking what size inventory might be necessary for robust commercial usage.  I suggested his questions be revised, made tight and very succinct, then asked of Ms. Shotwell when she is back on the program in a few weeks. 

Freemont John was our next caller. His first comment was about my son's film "Take Me Back."  He then talked about the upcoming Icarus Starship Congress event that he plans on attending as am I and so is Kim Holder of Moonwards.  John spoke about some of the panel issues and concerns as Kim was asked to do a panel at the event.  John, myself, Dr. Benaroya, and Kim are all panel members.  John was addressing Moonwards questions and we were hoping for a call from Kim. As it turned out, this was a busy phone line day for Open Lines and Kim was unable to get through to us.  I am sure more will be said about the panel and the even since the conference is not until early August and I am doing a Space Show program about the event on July 7.  Before ending the call, John talked about self-replicating 3D printing and the possible impact such a printer would have on developing a lunar settlement.  The paper, "Are Self-Replicating Machines Feasible?" by Dr Alex Ellery of Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario can be found here:

In segment two, we took a call from Tom who spoke about the recently held ISDC meeting in St. Louis.  He was impressed by both the Moon and the Space Settlement Track.  He also noted comments by the head of the ESA regarding their lunar village plans given he suggested that maybe the time was right to consider how to work with the Outer space Treaty to make the lunar village concept a reality.  Tom talked about this plus other thoughts on modifying the OST.

Doug called back asking for some assistance with some computer program and 3D modeling.  I asked him about the new Integrated Space Plan that was rolled out at ISDC.  While he did not see the roll out, he saw the new plan and had very positive things to say about it.  Don't miss his comments. 

Jeff called from Tucson to talk about a 1971 NASA shuttle video.  He put the link to this video on our blog so check it out when you have time. He also posted some other relevant and interesting links so you definitely want to note what Jeff put up on our blog for all of us to view and enjoy.  Jeff had much to say about the NASA shuttle video, NASA management then and now, even SLS and other issues.  Doug sent in a few email questions for Jeff about the shuttle film.  Don't miss this discussion.

John Hunt called from Ft. Worth. He mentioned Michael's film, went into a technical analysis of the context the Einstein quote selected by Michael and Amanda,  plus he talked about time travel from a physics perspective.  We did talk about some time travel movies, Michael's film which he had viewed and more.  Don't miss John's comments.  He does know the physics and his call was most interesting.

Our last caller was yet another John, Dr. John Jurist.  He wanted to talk about the airship to orbit issue that has been commented on more than a hundred and fifty times on the blog for the April 9th Open Lines show.  He had positive things to say about Dr. Fincannon who has been working the problem and running the numbers.  He also explained the physics again though Jim, as I understand him, thinks it may be plausible or even possible for some type of ATO project to work though probably not the one by JP Aerospace. Toward the end of the show which had a hard ending at the bottom of the hour, I suggested that Jim, if he wanted and had the time, show us what a successful theoretical ATO vehicle would look like. Give us the design and operational specs, let us see what type of hypothetical vehicle would work.  Then we might be able to ascertain if such a theoretical vehicle had any value other than for learning and academic purposes.  I hope Jim will invest the time and show us what such a theoretical ATO vehicle would look like, what its capabilities might be, all of it.  I suspect it would be a time consuming undertaking on Jim's part but one that would certainly be interesting.  As the program was about to end with Jurist as the last caller, I asked him what serious business person needing to get to orbit for commercial purposes would consider an ATO means given the increasingly competitive opportunities for going to orbit today and evolving toward tomorrow.  Remember, my question was focused on and directed to people engaged in commercial space business operations, not advocates or enthusiasts.  This distinction is important because the business folks want something now, cost effective, technologically possible and available.  They are not interested in future what ifs that might evolved sometime later, if at all. They need to get investors, raise money, make hard financial and technical decisions and get their business up and running and to positive cash flow as soon as possible.  So why would such a person consider something like ATO?  I did say I understood why JP needs and wants to consider this option but I'm not sure any actual business person would want to consider it.  Help me to understand why my assumption, based purely on my instincts, might be wrong (I have zero quantitative data to back up my assumption because no such data exists nor does ATO exist).  Post your thoughts on the blog but again, remember the audience I was addressing with my question.  I was focused on actual business people, not advocates or enthusiasts unless they are running and managing a business needing to go to orbit.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this program.  You can reach any of our callers and emailers through me.




Special Start Time: 11:30 AM PDTOpen Lines - You talk about what you want to discuss on this show

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11 Jun 2017 Dr. David Livingston
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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