Broadcast 2094 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest: Dr. James (Jim) Benford. Topics: Sailships, "Starship Century," interstellar travel, Fermi Paradox & more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, 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 We welcomed Dr. James (Jim) Benford to the program to discuss his book (he was the co-editor) "Starship Century," and his chapter, Sailships, plus his editing of the book. During our first segment of this 1 hour 26 minute discussion, Dr. Benford introduced us to Microwave Power Beaming, sailships, solar sails, terrestrial beamed power, in-space beamed power and more. We talked about microwave beaming as a possible space weapon, the storage of beamed energy, and the use of the millimeter band width for beamed power. Also in our first segment, we talked about possible time lines for development for interstellar travel. In this discussion, our guest used Alpha Centauri B as a reference point. Propulsion in general was discussed with a thumbs down for chemical rockets for doing anything like what we were talking about in this segment. Listeners asked questions as to why interstellar travel was important at this time given it is so far into the future. In our second segment, we talked about his goals in editing the book and the fact that if it is bought through the book's website,, the proceeds are donated to legitimate interstellar organizations and research. Jim listed several of the organizations being considered for receiving such proceeds and interestingly, most if not all have been guests on The Space Show over the years. Dr. Benford mentioned conferences and the Arthur C. Clarke Center at UCSD. We then talked about the Fermi Paradox and factor L as to the probabilities of finding intelligent life someplace other than Earth. Faster Than Light Travel was a discussion topic, Jim was asked what his non-space friends thought of his microwave beam power work and interstellar travel. A listener asked about students in these subject, particularly in the UK and the US. If you have comments or questions, post them on The Space Show blog. You can reach Dr. Benford through his website,



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27 Sep 2013 Dr. James Benford
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • The Space Foundation Conference