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Guest: Colin Stuart; Topics: "How To Live In Space" issues, human spaceflight challenges, lunar and Mars living conditions, LEO and more.
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We welcomed Colin Stuart from the UK to the program. Note that we lost the phone connection just as we were about to start talking with Mr. Stuart but we were able to reconnect with him within a few minutes. To start our discussion, I asked Mr. Stuart about his book and why he wrote it. By the way, the book was published by Smithsonian and is available on Amazon in the U.S. If you do purchase this book through Amazon, please use the OGLF Amazon Smile site or the portal (see the large Amazon link near the center of our home page) as Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price to The Space Show. In response to my initial question about writing the book, our guest talked about the recent Falcon Heavy launch and the eventual arrival of civilian astronauts in space. In fact, our guest mentioned how would an assault attack by one civilian astronaut on another be handled in space. I asked him to explain which he did so don't miss what he said about that which he said was different from the ISS as the ISS had a partnership agreement covering such events (relative to ISS astronauts). His book addresses such issues.
An early topic of discussion was the training that might be required for the spaceflight participants and tourists. We spent time discussing the training, including the training undertaken by European astronauts. Microgravity concerns were discussed as was radiation as these concerns will impact how we live in space. Beverly sent in an early email asking how we might be able to live on the Moon. Colin said this was covered in the last part of his book but he said we might need to live under the surface in lava tubes. He then said similar things about living on Mars. He suggested it would be sometime in the future before we had all the technology and procedures to live on the surface and roam around freely. Don't miss what he said about lunar and Mars surface living, then please post your comments about this on our blog for this program.
I asked him how he thought humans might live in interstellar space. This was an interesting discussion so don't miss it. He did the math for travel times at various speeds to Proxima Centauri, suggesting humans were not going anytime soon but that such a trip would require multiple generations of humans or perhaps sleeping through the trip. He even referenced such travel at the speed of Voyager which would equal about 30,000 years to get to Proxima. One of the points he brought u focused on those born on the interstellar starship but never having given their informed consent to be born on a spaceship headed to a new home out there in space somewhere. He suggested this might cause futuristic ethical issues that might need to be addressed in this timeline. What do you think of this issue? Let us know by posting on the blog. Were you on the starship, born in space and headed to home on another planet outside our solar system, only knowing life on the spaceship, would you be OK with that? Of course were that to happen, I'm not sure what you could do about it but it is an interesting perspective to consider.
Listener Bob sent in a note asking about space in the UK and the big names we constantly hear about including Bezos, Musk, Branson and others. Our guest had much to say about the big names, specifically Elon Musk. Next, we took our first call from Marshall. Marshall wanted to focus on living in cislunar space or possibly cisMars space. Colin said there were possibilities but that in such space there would be no radiation shielding nor would there be any gravity field. Marshall and Colin discussed economic issues, the availability of building materials, space mining possibilities and more. Colin said he examined asteroid mining and the use of PGM in the book, plus he zeroed in on the use and benefits of working with and continuing to develop 3D printing.
Colin was then asked about how to prepare for spaceflight here on Earth. He was also asked about Mars analogs here on Earth. In his response, he talked about several Mars analog studies that have taken place, are planned or were actually in process. Our guest suggested additional ways one might prepare for human spaceflight, especially if one wanted a career in space.
John from Ft. Worth was our next caller. John wanted to address the lack of our knowing the minimum level of gravity humans may need for living in space. He talked with Colin about artificial gravity and other ideas. The issue of how best to establish the level of gravity needed for humans was discussed so don't miss it.
Before we ended our discussion, our guest told us the book was an entry level book covering all of what we had talked about and even more. Colin then addressed psychological issues and leaving Earth behind. I talked about seeing it from a spacecraft window as a small dot and what that might mean for Earthlings. I attempted to compare it to how I see Mars each night given that Mars is still easy to see by the naked eye in my area. Colin mentioned a November 2084 Earth Mars Transit. (http://astroblogger.blogspot.com/2012/06/transit-of-earth-from-mars-november-10.htl). Before our program ended, Colin mentioned his book for children, "The Speed of Starlight." Check out all of the books aby our guest at http://colinstuart.net/books.
Please post comments and questions on our blog for this show. You can reach Mr. Stuart through me or his website.