Broadcast 1264 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Alan Boyle. Topics: Pluto, solar system planets, space tourism. Alan Boyle returned as a guest to discuss his new book, "The Case For Pluto: How A Little Planet Made A Big Difference." This book is available as an Amazon partner on the One Giant Leap Foundation (OGLF) website, If you order it from this OGLF Amazon link, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF. During our first segment, Mr. Boyle talked about Pluto and why it has garnered so much attention among people all over the world. Perhaps its because Pluto is small, possibly seen as an underdog planet, even having a name that makes people think of the adorable Disney pup character by the same name. Alan and I talked about perspective regarding the solar system. For example, depicting just how far Pluto is from Earth and the sun. Alan suggested we visit an excellent website that does a good job of showing this distance so do visit During this segment, Alan talked about the IAU vote the took away the planet status of Pluto, the upcoming New Horizons Pluto Mission =, and the possibility for ice volcanoes and other geologic activity on Pluto. His book also discusses Planet X so we asked him about that and 2012! In the second segment, Alan was asked about the potential gravitational impact on Earth from Pluto which he said was probably not there but that Pluto does exert an influence in its neighborhood. Alan also outlined the structure and contents of his book which I strongly recommend to you for your own reading and for gift giving this holiday season. Listeners asked him for updates on JP Aerospace which he talked about and also Bussard Polywell Fusion which he addressed. Another listener asked about suborbital tourism vehicles and their flight testing profiles. Don't miss this discussion. As we started the third and final segment, Bill from Virginia asked Alan if he would be willing to let his parents, family, kids, and others close to him take a ride on the suborbital vehicles and what would he require for flight testing before saying yes. You do not want to miss his response to this question. We also talked about the Augustine Commission options and Alan indicated that we should definitely explore all the possibilities for the best way to get to space, the ISS, etc. He thought that a successful Falcon 9 launch had the potential to strongly impact the options and decisions for the best. As for NewSpace, he talked about it seeming as if we were always two years away from a commercial space tourism flight. We talked about autonomous systems and Blue Origins although Alan did not have lots of information to share with us as the company operates in a tightly controlled information environment. When asked what his next book would be about, Alan said he wanted to do a book on fusion but that he had no such book in the works as of yet. When asked what he saw ahead for space in 2010, Alan gave us perhaps the best comment of the year, listen for his exact quote but the essence of what he said was that 2010 would be a year of clarity, pivotal clarity on what reality will be! Read Alan's blog, Cosmic Log at To learn more about his book, visit If you want to send Alan Boyle a question or comment, please do so at and reference The Space Show in the subject line.



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24 Nov 2009 Alan Boyle
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