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Guest: John Strickland; Topics: NSS Space Pioneer Award for 2023, ISDC, Starship, alternative propulsion, nuclear propulsion including fusion, settlements, SSP, Mars and Moon competition, Boca Chica launches, needing answers to the gravity RX and much more.We welcomed John Strickland back to the program for a variety of discussion topics including NSS Awards which included an announcement with John and caller Dr. Sherry Bell telling the audience that I will be getting the NSS Space Pioneer Award for 2023 at the 2023 ISDC Conference. in addition, John covered multiple topics, sometimes we even went back and forth on the topics during 100 minute discussion. That said, aside from talking National Space Society early in the show, we seemed to have zeroed in on SpaceX, Starship, Boca and launch concerns in South Texas, space solar power, space settlement, NASA, SLS, and the Artemis mission. John provided us with facts and his opinion on all of these topics. Note that he also claimed to be an optimistic skeptic on many of the talked about projects. One such example was the upcoming Artemis 1 rescheduled launch with SLS. The same for our short segment on nuclear fusion. His is being optimistic was for the entrepreneurial fusion companies now appearing to move forward both with the technology and their funding needs.
John had much to say about the NASA Moon to Mars program (known as M2M). John mentioned the extensive developmental focus on M2M, especially with technology. As part of this discussion he mentioned alternative launch systems. Here, he mentioned quite a few so do listen to his commentary. Most seemed to have been in some state of development but a few he mentioned were actually operational. If you have comments or questions about this, best to post them on our blog for this program.
Later in the discussion we returned to talking about SLS and Artemis. John cited some stats for SLS in his comparison with Starship. He also went back in history for SLS, talking briefly about Constellation. At one point, John called SLS an "artillery shell throw away vehicle." From there we moved on to space solar power (SSP). He thought Starship would be very important for SSP and even suggested building different version of the giant rocket for different purposes.
Fremont John called (now known as Gravity RX John) to talk about SSP and the upcoming ESA study. He referenced a comment on it from Marcia Smith. John talked about the interest in SSP but made a point of mentioning that DOE was not supportive it and ignores it. That said, the current energy problems on a global basis seem to make SSP look very good though it is still theoretical. John mentioned that of powersats to repay launch and related costs there needs to be lots of launches and reusability helps out on that equation. We left SSP for a short time to go to the topic of space settlement.
For space settlement, John briefly listed his credentials and said that there would be both rotating objects in free space and on the surface of celestial bodies. He thought we would try both out. He talked about materials, locations, the Moon going underground, shielding and more. He then said Mars had better surface conditions, water and volatiles. As to which is better for settlement, a surface settlement or free space rotating settlement, well, you decide. Let us know by posting on our blog for this program. The subject of large space telescopes came up along with habs in LEO plus getting tons of propellant to space.
Listener Brandon from S. Texas asked for the pros and cons of a launch from Boca. He mentioned the wildlife preserve but listen to what John had to say in response to the question and comments. Gravity RX John also wanted to know what John had to say about it. He said knowing the gravity RX was essential but NASA has ignored it. Don't miss all his comments on this subject. He suggested a focus on learning to live in microgravity. John then talked Starship and what it could do for space settlement. As for Mars and settlement, our guest had much more to say. He talked about the Mars ice line about 32 degrees at the equator with the abundance of iron ore. John mentioned Mars salt deposits, then he only briefly mentioned the need for power on Mars and at what level. At the request of listener Harry, John return to the issue of lunar settlement.
As we were moving toward the end of our program, John took on interstellar travel and exoplanets. He talked about what fusion power would enable but not so much for interstellar travel. Don't miss what our guest had to say on this topic and his fusion power analysis. He did say fusion was a doable challenge, and that the entrepreneurs seemed to be making programs. Listen to what he said fusion would be most useful for regarding human spaceflight and travel.
Please post your comments/questions on our blog for this page. You can reach John through me or through the National Space Society website.