Broadcast 876 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

21 Jan 2008 Dr. Jay C. Buckey
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Guest: Dr. Jay Buckey. Dr. Jay Buckey returned to The Space Show for a most interesting discussion about politics, space, and human factors affecting long-duration spaceflight. Since Dr. Buckey is running for the U.S. Senate from New Hampshire, I asked him about running on a space ticket, using space as a campaign tool, and using his former astronaut status to aid him in his campaign. You will want to hear his reply about these questions . We also talked about space issues in the recently concluded New Hampshire presidential primary. He told us about the space manufacturing contributions coming from New Hampshire , but, alas, space is not a political issue there. If you are surprised, raise both hands please. Then, we switched topics to human factors. In his book, "Space Physiology," published by Oxford University Press in 2006, Dr. Buckey identified three areas of primary concern in space human factors research . These three fields of concern are bone loss, radiation, and psycho-social behavioral issues. We then took each issue and discussed it in detail. There were lots of listener questions and comments for all three issues. These questions and Dr. Buckey's answers covered exercise in microgravity , gender differences, lifetime radiation doses, safe levels of radiation, and psycho-social behavioral problems including inter-personal conflict and depression. We also discussed the usage of specific pharmaceuticals and their effectiveness in a microgravity/ high radiation environment. Later in the program, we returned to campaign-like issues and we asked him about STEM education, his observations about education while campaigning, even about the ultimate mission of the Air Force Space Command as to its focus being on the war -fighter rather than on protecting space assets. We also asked him energy issues, including space solar power. Listen to what he has to say about working with space solar power in his campaign. China and India came up and we asked Dr. Buckey if he would be concerned about their space programs, if elected to the U.S. Senate. We also asked Dr. Buckey if he would vote to extend the life of the shuttle past it's scheduled retirement date of 2010. Again, these were great answers, which you don't want to miss. You can visit Dr. Buckey's website at If you have questions or comments for Dr. Buckey, please send them to As always, it's best to put The Space Show in the subject line.



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