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Guest: Dr. Haym Benaroya; Topics: Preparing for living in space, space settlement, time lines, the Moon and Mars timelines compared and more.
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We welcomed our good friend Dr. Benaroya back to the show to discuss in some detail the challenging and opportunities for humans to live in space. While some of his comments might be perceived as a downer by some listeners, our guest very strong in his belief that settlement and humans will happen, that we will have solutions to the challenges he mentioned yet the timelines involved might be longer than many of us would like. As we started the discussion, Haym went over the familiar challenges such as microgravity, radiation, cognitive issues, vision issues, psychology concerns re isolation and more. He then talked about hardware and technology concerns. At one point, he was asked if he thought the tech progress would advance faster than the non-tech challenges in terms of solutions. Don’t miss how he responded to that question.
Our guest had lots to say about and why living on the Moon would happen first before Mars. In addition, he had much to say about needing a plan for short stays, then building on that to eventually being able to sustain a permanent presence on the Moon. Pay attention to his suggested development plan and time line to get to sustainable and permanence. He also said we would start out using surface pressure vessels before lava tubes other potential habs. From time to time he was asked to opine on Mars which he did but in general he had more to say about the Moon and stressed that Mars would be further down the road. When asked about developing O’Neill like orbiting structures, he said they might happen in 150 years but for now we don’t have the orbiting construction knowhow to build something that large. Haym was asked why not start smaller. He responded by saying it would be difficult to go smaller due to the need to have a large spinning complex for human AG at o1G. Smaller would be more difficult for humans to tolerate. Don’t miss all of what he had to say on this topic.
I made a change in topic discussion and asked Haym about the mission planning topics that has been showing up on recent programs. While telling us he had never done planning for an operational mission, he had contributed to them. He then talked about the layers of team members, the number crunching in layers that would be done to test and simulate and test some more. He also mentioned the additional levels of work that would go into a human missing over say a cargo mission. Don’t miss this segment of our discussion as I think you will find it most valuable and important. Before we ended, I asked Haym some questions about the interests and mix of his grad engineering students, their space interests, graduation and work plans plus their motivation. He has a strong student population and is actively engaged in the space fields with eyes on space related careers.
Please post your comments/questions for Dr. Benaroya on our blog for this program. You can reach him through me or his Rutgers University engineering department faculty page.