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Guest: Dr. Haym Benaroya; Topics: Lunar development, lunar space elevators, lunar structures, the Moon as a demo proving ground. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed back Dr. Haym Benaroya to the program for a two hour discussion regarding humans to the Moon and advanced technology. I started the discussion by following up with a comment our guest made the last time he was on TSS when he mentioned he had an idea for a self-deploying lunar space elevator. I asked him to explain his idea which he did in detail. Thus, a significant part of the first hour discussion was focused on the lunar space elevator subject. Not only did Dr. Benaroya go into details, listeners with their questions did as well. For example, Kim called in suggesting a rotating tether might be a better idea. Other listeners emailed in suggestions for where on the Moon the lunar space elevator would be located. Dr. Benaroya did say his idea for a small, self-deploying lunar space elevator would be a demo model as much has to be learned about doing this prior to building a fully capable and operational lunar elevator. Don't miss this discussion which does address needed technology to make such a device happen.
Throughout our discussion questions came in about going to Mars without going to the Moon first. Haym said going to the Moon first was essential to pave the way for being able to go to Mars. He also talked about how much easier it would be to go to the Moon over Mars, suggesting the challenges for taking humans to Mars are too big for us at this time. He mentioned that only 50% of the spacecraft sent to Mars were successful and none carried humans on board. He also said astronauts did not make good construction workers so we to develop 3D printing technologies, inflatable structure and more by first doing so in an "easier" environment on the Moon. Radiation shield came up and this was also a topic Dr. Benaroya addressed in some detail. He questioned why Mars first advocates have their positions and thought some might not really believe what they are proposing. I gave him my impression of the Mars first advocates based on my interviews with them over the years. I think they believe that if Mars is the goal, Mars is where we go. End of story.
One of the big topics of the first segment came about due to Joe's email question asking Dr. Benaroya if he was at all optimistic about our doing some of the lunar things he was talking about given the current lack of US policy, leadership, and our economic conditions. Haym provided an answer to Joe's email question but so did others. Dr. Doug sent in a very good email reply but I was unable to read it until the second segment. See what you think of this discussion and let us know with your blog comments.
In the second segment, John from Ft. Worth called to discuss the lunar space elevator and the use of autonomous lunar structures. John and Haym also had a discussion about private funding for missions versus public mission funding. John agreed with Haym that the Moon was more viable in the near term and suggested Mars flagship type missions would not lead to a permanent space presence anymore than the Apollo missions paved the way for lunar settlement.
Next, I read Doug's email which was in response to what Joe said about the lack of plans, leadership and our economic challenges. Doug was most optimistic in analysis of the situation as was Dr. Benaroya. I was hoping that Joe was still listening and would reply back regarding what Doug and Haym had to say in response to his question, but that reply was not forthcoming. Share your thoughts with us about this subject via posting on the blog.
Tim called and asked our guest about not only the elevator but the use of a lunar mass driver as well as the use of Lunar L1. As a follow up, I asked our guest to describe the bare minimum infrastructure needed for the beginning stages of a lunar settlement.
Later, Dr. Benaroya was asked how his lunar development ideas were beneficial for the public given his ideas require public participation and funding. He talked about economics, the spillover or multiplier effect, job creation and economic growth, plus scientific knowledge. What do you think of his reply or what you have said in response to my question? Please let us know by commenting on the blog.
As we were approaching the end of the show, I told Haym about the college student I am in touch with who sees going to the Moon as exploitation and damaging to the Moon. Haym had much to say about protecting the Moon and doing things in the proper way. Again, what do you think about our exploiting the Moon?
As the show was about to end, I asked our guest what he thought would be the most interesting thing to do on the Moon. He said creating the settlement habs and infrastructure for humans to remain on the Moon. Doug sent in a note with his suggestion for the most interesting thing to do on the Moon. Wait till you hear it! Let us know what you think the most interesting thing to do on the Moon would be once we return to it.
Don't miss the closing comments and final thoughts offered us by our guest, Dr. Benaroya. He wants to hear from you and provided his Rutgers email address on air. Contact him with your ideas.
Please post your comments/questions in the comments section of this archived show on our website. You can reach Dr. Benaroya with the email address he gave out or his Rutgers faculty website, http://mae.rutgers.edu/haym-benaroya.