Broadcast 748 (Special Edition)

02 Aug 2007 Dr. S. Pete Worden
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Dr. Pete Worden was the guest on this Space Show program for the first hour, followed by Open Lines. In talking with Dr. Worden, we began the interview with the changes that have taken place with NASA Ames since Dr. Worden became its director. We covered many topics from support of the VSE, Devon Island, and astrobiology. Dr. Worden updated us on several Ames priorities which include software for the constellation program, thermal protection, robotics as the lead for the L-Cross Mission in 2008,and much more. Listeners asked many questions including why we should be going to the Moon. You will want to hear how Dr. Worden answered these questions. The subject of affordable space and lunar access came up and Dr. Worden was asked if NASA would be the breakthrough body on this or should we be looking to the entrepreneurial private sector for these cost breakthroughs. Again, you will want to hear his answer. Second Life was discussed as was the importance methodology for attracting younger people to NASA and to be involved and supportive of the VSE. In the process of responding to these questions and more, Dr. Worden spoke about the importance of insitu resource utilization for lunar development and settlement, bio mining, congress and even the California legislative delegation and their space participation. Even I was surprised to learn how supportive the California legislation is for space, the VSE, and NASA Ames. Bobby from Las Vegas asked Dr. Worden about the status of the huge blimp hanger at Ames. If this bit of history interests you, I am sure you will appreciate what Dr. Worden has to say about it. Dr. Worden was also asked about his sunshade idea to put a massive "umbrella at L-1 between the Earth and Sun to cool the Earth. He said there were probably better geo-engineering methods today but he explained this concept which he created while a professor at the University of Arizona with Dr. Roger Angel. We also discussed his idea to use a robotic high risk science lab on the Moon for research too risky to do here on Earth. At the end of the program, Dr. Worden was asked for his goals and objectives for Ames while he is director. He said he had two, the first being people to attract a younger work force that is motivated, competent, etc. The second goal is to ensure the right type of programs are in place that are supportive of NASA, our space program objectives and that keep Ames at the forefront for doing this cutting edge work. The second part of this two hour program was open lines. Charles Pooley of Microlaunchers called in to discuss his concept and during his session, Peter of Austin sent in some questions to challenge the Microlaunchers concept. This is an interesting segment. In the final segment, Peter called in to elaborate on why he was skeptical about the small satellite and launch vehicle idea for going to space beyond LEO and Geo. This is an interesting discussion. At the very end of the show, Bryan called in to ask what I have seen change the most about space development in the years I have been hosting The Space Show. You will have to listen to the end of the program to hear my response. Questions and comments are always welcome, drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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