Broadcast 1003 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Jim Greenhaw, team leader of the Tech Ranch team in the recent Lunar Regolith Challenge, was our guest for today's show. Jim's team was the first place winner in this year's Lunar Regolith Challenge held a few weeks ago at Cal Poly University. We talked extensively about his robot and you can see it and follow our discussion by going to http://www.techranch.com/tornado/photos/. We explored the robotic construction, what other teams did, how he came up with design and much more. This led to his telling us about http://www.usfirst.org/, a nationwide engineering and robotic contest for kids of all school grades. Check out the website and this organization for more information. In addition, for more general information about the Tech Ranch team, visit http://www.techranch.com. Some of the subjects we discussed included the differences in working in sand and the simulated lunar regolith, a real lunar robot versus what the contestants were building for the contest, and much more. We also talked about our readiness to do lunar or NEO mining and you will want to hear what Jim has to say about this. A listener question asked about the makeup of the contestants. Were they space cadets and space enthusiasts or more from the engineering arena to solve an engineering problem? Again, listen to what he says. In the last segment of the show, we learned that Jim had been working in nuclear power plans for 15 years so we talked about radiation, nuclear energy for here on Earth as well in space, and more. Again, don't miss this discussion. Several listeners asked questions about commercial markets for the robots, either here on Earth or in space. This gave Jim an opening to talk with us about his perspectives on closing the business case for space commerce. This is a very interesting show focusing on many important topics. If you are a student thinking about studying engineering or are already doing engineering, check it out and contact Jim because there are lots of hands on opportunities for you to design, create, and bend some metal to see your project move or do the task you want it to do. Jim Greenhaw can be reached with your questions or comments at tornado@techranch.com.

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22 Aug 2008 Jim Greenhaw
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