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Guest: Dr. Paul Spudis; Topics: Returning to the Moon, national space policy, lunar technology, Mars, 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 back to the program Dr. Paul Spudis for our two segment 96 minute discussion regarding the US national space policy for returning astronauts to the Moon. We started the discussion by referencing recent events including a speech by VP Pence on showing great interest in the Moon, then the initial National Space Council meeting suggesting a return to the Moon policy, and the
Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) meeting suggestimg the same. Dr. Spudis said he supported the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma as the next NASA Administrator. In this context, I asked about the lack of management experience with Rep. Bridenstine. Paul talked about this being the role of the NASA Deputy Administrator with the Administrator being more of the big vision and policy leader. Paul spoke about Mr. Bridenstine several times during our discussion as he clearly supports the nomination. Before moving on to other topics, I asked our guest about the influence and impact a prestigious group such as LEAG has on actual space policy. Don't miss what our guest said in response to this question.
For our next topic, I introduced an email from listener Eric questioning why we want to send people to the Moon and according to him, waste tax payer dollars when we could send robots and use the tax dollars for better and more efficient space program. Paul had recently written a blog article at www.airspacemag.com/daily-planet/why-we-go-moon-180965294 titled "Why We Go To The Moon" so this was a great question to ask him. Paul talked about exploring, doing exploration and scientific research, and lots more so don't miss this discussion. What do you think about people to the Moon or do you follow the line of reasoning expressed by the listener email I read in part on the show? Let us know with a post on our blog. Paul followed this by talking about Apollo was not about space but about winning the Cold War. He said Apollo was not the way to go to space, he suggested we follow the Von Braun path which he described. Again, let us know your thoughts by posting them on our blog. As part of this discussion, I asked Paul what the initial returning astronauts would do on the Moon. I mentioned how Dr. Benaroya answered this question a few weeks ago as part of my question to Paul.
The former Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) program was brought up in the discussion. Paul said it was not cancelled for technical reasons but for political reasons. He talked about ways to help make sure a new lunar return program was not cancelled by the next administration. One such way was to see the program actually underway, accomplishing things. Don't miss all of what he had to say on the subject of program cancellations from one administration to another.
Adrian sent in a note asking Paul about the discovery of large lava tubes on the Moon. Paul had much to say about large lava tubes, their potential habitat benefits and more. He listed several of their advantages so have a pen and paper ready as you might want to write them down. Other topics in this discussion included the needed power supply for the habitat area, nuclear power, radiation, and location preferences for an initial lunar hab.
In the second segment, Paul mentioned that in his opinion, NASA does not really want to go to the Moon. He had much to say about this so listen to his explanation. In the context of this discussion, he brought up Rep. Jim Bridenstine again, suggesting he would be able to lead NASA with a return to the Moon policy. Paul then talked some more about the need for NASA to work with the Space Council and forge ahead for the future. Our guest spoke highly of the potential regarding the role of the Space Council.
Kim from Mexico called. They talked about policy not turning into a PR tool, plus LRO, its research and continued usage. At one point I asked Paul if the return to the Moon plan had to be accomplished during President Trump's term of office. Don't miss what was said in response to this question. Kim and Paul had an interesting give take for several minutes so listen carefully. Please let us know your thoughts about their discussion with your blog post.
Adrian sent in another note suggesting China would be the driver for going back to the Moon. Paul did not disagree and said that the Hill was very interested in China. Paul referenced recent Chinese lunar missions and accomplishments and said that Congress definitely pays attention to China and the Moon. Adrian's email was followed by one from Randy asking about the Moon as high ground for national defense.
The next question, an email by Larry, asked about space property rights and commercial lunar development plus settlement. Another listener asked if we could venture off to Mars before completing the work on the initial lunar habitat/settlement. Paul said there was no technical reason we could not do the Moon and Mars simultaneously other than financial.
Rachel, listening in the UK, asked Paul if he would be willing to go to the Moon for a tour of duty to do lunar research. Don't miss her actual question which I read on air and Paul's response to all of what she said, including the age and radiation parts of the question. In summary, Paul would go but listen to everything he said. In responding to Rachel, he mentioned a 10-15 year time line for returning to the Moon for the first human settlement. Before the program ended, he had more to say about Apollo and the Cold War.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. You can reach Dr. Spudis as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.spudislunarresources.com; http://www.spudislunarresources.com; www.spudislunarresources.com/blog; http://www.airspacemag.com/author/paul-d-spudis/; http://www.cislunarnext.org. In addition, Dr. Spudis can be reached through me.