Broadcast 2974 Open Lines

27 Aug 2017 Dr. David Livingston
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Guest:  Dr. David Livingston;  Open Lines discussion on multiple topics including space conferences, peer review, solar eclipse, Vasimir, negative energy, warp drive and more.  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,   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   

Welcome to our 2 hour 23 minutes Open Lines discussion.  During the first segment, I introduced the show, suggested discussion topics from recent space news events and took the first call from  Ken Ruffin to talk about the new first time ever Texas Central Regional Space Development Conference to be held near DFW on Nov. 18.  For more information about this event, registration and hotel space, visit their website at  Ken talked about the purpose of the conference, he mentioned several of the important keynote speakers, plus the conference relationship with the National Space Society and The Moon Society.  If you attend this event, please call and OL Space Show program and let us know about it.

Our next call was from Freemont John who shared his total solar eclipse experience with us as he drove to Madras, Oregon to see it.  He had interesting stories to tell about the eclipse as well as those seeing it, the traffic, the crowd, vendors and what he could ascertain regarding viewers interest level in space and the eclipse. 

Michael Listner was our next caller.  He talked about a minor correction he made to the recent issue of his newsletter, The Precis.  We also talked about the space contribution to disaster relief given Hurricane Harvey and the Texas area.  Check out his newsletter at  After Michael’s call, I read a report issued by NASA JSC on how they were handling Hurricane Harvey.

Ft. Worth John called to talk about the recent show with Dr. Erik Seedhouse and Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz re VASIMIR.  He also commented on the multiple Space Show blog posts referring to the Dr. Zubrin criticism of VASIMIR.  You do not want to miss what John had to say on these topics.   In addition, we talked about the VASIMIR technology, the need for nuclear electric propulsion for missions beyond Mars, starting out with SEP, and how and why one has to get rid of the heat.  He briefly explained how the heat did create the thrust but excess heat was dumped into space through very large radiators which would be like solar panels attached to a satellite.  Later, Adrian sent in a clarification note on this subject. I read Adrian’s note on air so don’t miss it.

The first call of the second segment came from Bill with the company AuroraTek, Inc. (see  Bill attended the Starship Ship Congress event and had an information booth outside the conference room with material from his company.  Check his website for all his activities.  For this call, Bill wanted to talk about his and others having found negative energy (mass) and the creation of warp drive. Bill’s call was controversial, especially since Drs. Obousy and Alcubierre at the conference spoke to the fact that warp drive was not possible due to relativity though with the creation of some unobtanium, there might be a slim chance of a work around in special relativity.  Additionally, they said there was no way to create negative energy.  I will link to their Congress video presentations when they are uploaded to the Congress website.  Bill dismissed the mainstream science, talked about his experiments which he believe validated his work and others who present their work at alternative energy conferences.  He identified a few of these conferences.  I was skeptical and challenged him during his call but so did other listeners as I opened up the other phone line for listeners who wanted to talk with him.  Freemont John called in with lots of questions about his experiment where he dropped magnets and a rock down an elevator shaft and saw the rock hit bottom first. There was no timing or other validation done for this experiment other than looking at it. Bill said they had video but evidently no frame by frame calculations were made to validate the rock hitting bottom first.  Dr. Jurist and John Hunt sent in emails raising questions and issues for Bill.  Near the end of our discussion which lasted most of the second segment, we were talking about the need for Bill to get independent verification of his experiment and claims.  I noted the famous Carl Sagan statement about extraordinary claims needing extraordinary evidence and I suggested more than once to Bill that in today’s world, it was not enough to present at conferences such as those he mentioned, he needed to get some sort of independent verification and/or peer review.  I was quick to point out that peer review was not the end all and perfect solution but if he wanted to get out of the fringe arena, he had to enter the real science world.  Later Bill talked about the presentations at the Congress by Drs. Obousy and Alcubierre saying he thought they were out to prove that warp drive was not possible.  Don’t miss what Bill said about his understanding of these two presentations.  I told him that was a wrong conclusion.   What they were doing was showing the group the type of energy needed and why it was not at this time feasible to do this type of work.  I reminded Bill that Miguel said that his warp drive paper was a graduate student paper and he had not looked at it since he wrote it.  All in all, Bill’s call was most interesting on several fronts.  First, were Bill able to validate what he was talking about, he would really have a new technology or new science/physics.  I believe he has a long way to go and a steep uphill climb ahead of him to do that.  The discussion with the listeners that emailed and called in opened it up to the value of scientific experimentation and the need for verification and such.  Also the need to question such dramatic claims of success without real independent verification.  Our discussion even took to another project Freemont John had sent some of us a few days earlier regarding quantum physics and consciousness.  This project demonstrated the absolute need for due diligence and trust but verify.  I invited Bill to stay in touch with me, to see if he could present at the next Starship Congress in two years, and I directed him to the quality advanced propulsion work being done by others and reported by Gary Hudson of with his Estes Park workshop we talk about on TSS (see 

Kim from Mexico was our last caller of the day.  She had lots to say about Bill and the Starship Congress on the related topics we talked about. She stressed the need for running numbers to keep it real.  As a result of Kim’s impressive understanding of the need for this type of real analysis and due diligence, she got a virtual double Platinum Space Show medal!!! Way to go Kim!  We talked about other space conferences, various presentations that make big claims without backing them up with numbers and equations.  Peer review was discussed as well.  Before Kim signed off and we ended the show, she mentioned doing another Space Show with Paddy Neumann of Neumann Space in Australia.  A listener asked Dr. Diaz about Neumann Space but he was not familiar with it.  I told Kim would send an invite to Paddy to ask him to return to the show.  Check out Paddy’s work at

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach any of the callers or those sending in emails through me.  




The topics you want to talk about. First time callers welcome, all space and STEAM topics welcomes

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