Broadcast 1177 (Special Edition)

19 Jun 2009 Dr. Roger Launius, Andrew Johnston
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Guests: Dr. Roger Launius, Andrew Johnston. Topics: space exploration, geography, Hubble, human spaceflight. Dr. Roger Launius and Andrew Johnston were the guests for this Space Show program to discuss their excellent new book, "Atlas of Space Exploration." You can find out more about this book from the One Giant Leap Foundation book website, www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/books.htm. We started our discussion by talking about ancient observatories and then observation versus exploration. This produced a lively exchange with several listener generated questions. Our author guests took us through the book which as you will hear is an outstanding reference and informational book with amazing pictures or graphs on every single pages. As you will throughout this show, the graphs and pictures are unique and very important. Pay particular attention to some of the geopolitical and historical graphs and charts as well as photos that were signaled out. At times during this program we went off on tangents to discuss our current space program. We wondered out loud if the U.S. would go back to the Moon and when, and we talked about human lunar programs for other nations. I think you will find the comments about the Chinese space program to be most interesting. Another part of our discussion focused on NASA programs that sparked inspiration and motivation. Here, we talked about the Apollo era programs, Hubble, Shuttle, and the ISS. One listener thought Hubble might reign supreme but both the guests and I centered on Apollo. I referenced several informal Space Show surveys pointing to our earlier lunar efforts. What do you think were or are the most inspirational of NASA programs? When discussing human space flight and the need for a killer application to make it worth the cost and risk, Dr. Launius said there were five reasons for going into space in this order: 1) scientific purposes; 2) national security; 3) economic purposes; 4) national prestige; 5) to get off this planet to become a multi-planet species. Do you agree or disagree with these five reasons? If you want to contact either Dr. Launius or Andrew Johnston, do so as follows: LauniusR@si.edu; johnstona@si.edu. As always, you can send your question or comment to both or either guest through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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