Broadcast 1257 (Special Edition)

15 Nov 2009 Mel Marsh
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Guest: Mel Marsh: Topics: Informed consent, space tourism, minor children, technology evaluation, anthropology, and astrosociology. Mel Marsh returned to The Space Show for this program. In the first segment, we focused on Mel's paper, "Ethical Issues Regarding Informed Consent for Minors for Space Tourism." You can find this paper and more of Mel’s work at his website: www.melsmarsh.com . During this segment, we highlighted some of the medical issues facing suborbital spaceflight, but talked about the challenge in applying these factors to minor children given the absence of credible data and research. Listeners offered comments and asked questions, attempting to draw parallels to spaceflight with sailing, school sports, and other risk oriented activities that minor children do all the time with the consent of their parents. Mel mentioned the Mature Minors Clause and also provided an explanation for the question offered by Shirley from Arizona regarding her teenage daughter's abortion which was performed without parental consent or knowledge. As we started the second segment, we honed in on market analysis and rules of thumb for basic due diligence. Mel suggested focusing on one or two strong markets and really know them well rather than simply listing every possible potential market potential and recommended estimating markets out to at least five years and using conservative analysis and numbers, not best case or inflated numbers to make the case for the venture. He told us about several instances of finding outrageous numbers used by a company and we inquired about the motivation of a company to do that. I know you will find this discussion most interesting and applicable across a wide ranging set of business and economic disciplines. Later in this segment, Mel took on a question from Dr. Rygalov about astronaut training and ethics. Don't miss this question and Mel's response to it. As this segment ended, Mel talked about the lack of space interest and awareness in the anthropology field as well as with psychologists. As we started the third and final segment of the program, listener Marshall asked about life on the ISS and how long it might take to develop the systems and environmental support to do a three year round trip mission to Mars. See if you agree with what we said. Later in this segment, Marshall called in to give his take on the timetable which both Mel and I thought was optimistic. Also in this segment, we talked about the developing field of astrosociology and Mel brought up the apparent gap in interest regarding the field with younger people versus older, more established people. As you will hear, the younger groups seem to have more interest and energy in the subject of astrosociology, however even within the field the areas of interest are quite different. If you have a question or comment for Mel Marsh, please send it to me at drspace@thespaceshow.com. He said you could find his email address on his website, but you have a better chance of Mel seeing it and responding with a quick response by having me forward your question or comment.

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