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Guest: Dale Scran; Topics: National Space Society, Space Solar Power, space settlement, human gravity prescription, energy for settlement, SpaceX, rocket reusability, lowering space access costs and more.
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We welcomed Dale Scran back to the show to discuss space solar power, space settlement, the role of the National Space Society in promoting these efforts, plus industry leaders such as SpaceX which has helped to lower space access costs. We started talking about space solar power and remained with the topic for about half the program. After our SSP discussion, we turned to talking about space settlement, both in free space and on the Moon or Mars. Probably the best way to summarize this particular program is to refer to the tags as they depict most of our topics in the order discussed. I have repeated the tags below for your convenience.
Repeat of the Tags: Dale Scran, National Space Society, Space Solar Power (SSP), core factors declining in cost, SpaceX, O'Neill structure construction, community interest, fusion for future energy, continuous sun energy, Geo orbits, protecting other satellites from SSP satellite beam, remote locations, competing with diesel fuel, supporting base power needs, ESA, ISDC, SSP for cislunar space, space settlement energy needs, LEO area, ISS model, NASA and support of space settlement, Artemis, reusability, O'Neill structure preference, on orbit construction capability, NSS Roadmap to Settlement, various paths to settlement, the gravity RX for human safety and families, NSS Roadmap 5 year revision, Space Act Agreement, JWST, artificial gravity RX, MOXIE on Mars, ISRU, three different gravity prescriptions, mice experimentation, monkey experimentation, timelines.
SSP topics that caught my attention included looking at the free space option compared to being on the lunar or Martian surface. Dale pointed out advantages of each, thought both might very well prevail but that it would be easier to start with the Moon for an initial type of settlement. In addition, we had some discussion about SSP and other future forms of energy including fusion. Listeners asked Dale some interesting questions such as the one Marshall asked regarding how to protect other satellites from the SSP beam hitting them as they orbit and the beam heads to Earth. Marshall also raised some interesting economic points regarding SSP. Despite their being lots more of interest in our SSP discussion, let me turn this summary toward the space settlement topic.
First, we talked about settlements needing lots of energy. I thought this was a good but short discussion. We don't talk that much about settlements and their need for energy but this will likely become a bigger subtopic moving forward in settlement Space Show focused programming. Artemis was mentioned but for settlement the real eyes were and are on Starship.. Listener Shelly in Houston asked if we will ever see the giant O'Neill structures in free space and if so, when? Dale talked about how to build them, our capabilities in building them and settlements will probably take place first on the Moon. Don't miss the commentary about 1g for space settlement.
Fremont John called to discuss the NSS Roadmap to Settlement. He referred to item 6 and item 10 in the roadmap which you can see here: https://space.nss.org/nss-roadmap-to-space-settlement-3rd-edition-2018-contents. The next update for the Roadmap will be 2024. Follow along with John in his questions for Dale and Dale's response. Settlement funding was mentioned as were public private partnerships, The Space Act Agreement plus other innovative financial methodologies. Dale stressed the spinoff benefits of developing and learning to live on a space settlement. The MOXIE experiment on Mars to make O2 was mentioned along with the need for ISRU development.
A giant of a subtopic was the need for the gravity prescription. John was on top of this with our guest and they had quite the discussion about settlement, humans, children, the gravity RX and how to figure it out. Dr. Doug joined the conversation and actually as we were signing off, he provided an interesting email plan on figuring out this information. Don't miss it.
Please post your comments/questions for Dale on our blog. You can reach him through me or his National Space Society email address which he gave out on air and which is on the NSS website, https://space.nss.org.