Broadcast 2415 (Special Edition)

Feedback: What did you think of this show?: 

Guest: Les Johnson. Topics: Solar sails, advanced propulsion, HSF, science fiction books & movies, and more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, 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 For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. We welcomed Les Johnson back to the show to discuss his latest books on popular science & science fiction, solar sails, and much more. In the first segment of our 1 hour 45 minute show, Les began talking about solar sails and their use to go to go around our solar system and eventually to the stars. There was much interest in the solar sail subject so Les gave us a terrific somewhat technical lesson on solar sails. We fielded many listener questions and we all learned much about solar sails, their potential, today's capabilities, materials used, and more. This was an exceptional discussion so don't miss it as solar sails are a very exciting technology for robotic spacecraft. In the second segment, Les mentioned the Lunar Flashlight and Scout missions. I asked our guest about the track record for solar sail missions. If the mission launch was a success, the solar sail mission has been pretty good but there have been issues with the launches on some of the past solar sail missions. I also inquired about solar sail work, research, and interest around the world and with other space agencies. A listener emailed wondering if the use of a solar sail made a satellite or a mission more vulnerable to an ASAT type weapon. We switched gears to talk about the science fiction work Les has done with Ben Bova regarding mars with his book "Rescue Mode." Les talked about his parameters when writing science fiction plus I asked him about the feedback he gets as an author from both his popular science books as compared to his sci-fi books. You might be surprised by his answer. Nuclear propulsion came up for discussion and a few listeners wanted to know the human spaceflight awareness level of people when he gives lectures on the topic. Interstellar flight was discussed as was the movie "Interstellar." As we were moving toward closing the program, Less said he believes HSF is going through a golden age and he explained why. Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can email Les at the address he gave out, through his website at, or me.



WARNING: Using Disqus Comments on the Space Show:

To ensure your comments do NOT get caught in the Disqus automatic spam filter systemplease login to your Disqus account or create a verified/approved Disqus account.

Posting multiple URL links WILL TRIGGER the Disqus automatic spam filter system.

15 Feb 2015 Les Johnson
Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see

The Space Show Toll Free Number is only available on live broadcast programs. Please call 1-866-687-7223

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • moonwards-logo