Broadcast 1219 (Special Edition)

07 Sep 2009 Dr. Haym Benaroya
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Guest: Dr. Haym Benaroya. Topics: Lunar settlement and structures, Augustine Panel, human spaceflight, return to the Moon. Dr. Haym Benaroya of Rutgers University was our guest for this program to discuss his two new books as well as lunar settlements. His books will be out around the first of the year are "Lunar Settlements" published by CRS Press and also "Turning Dust to Gold" published by Praxis-Springer. The latter book presents a futuristic view on lunar settlements and human exploration and settlement of the Solar System, covering engineering, science, commerce, space elevators, biology, and more. During the first segment, Dr. Benaroya talked about both books and agreed to join us again on the show when both are available, probably early in 2010. We asked Dr. Benaroya why his Dust to Gold book takes place in 2169 and learned that it was to honor the 200th anniversary of man walking on the Moon. During this segment, we started talking about the Augustine Panel and the future of human spaceflight and the Moon, Mars, or a NEO, a theme that reoccurred throughout today's program. In the second segment, Marshall asked about lava tubes for an underground lunar settlement, but Dr. Benaroya, while agreeing they would be good if they existed on the Moon suggested that we would use surface structure for perhaps up to 80 years to develop the needed tools and lunar infrastructure to go underground. Do not miss this discussion. Dr. Rowe sent in a note about lunar dust and Hepa filters. You will not want to miss the discussion about the ultra fine dust on Earth and on the Moon and the filters needed to control them. I asked Dr. Benaroya about inflatable versus rigid structures on the Moon. He said even an inflatable would have to be rigid once it was inflated in order to survive. This is another must hear discussion. During this segment, we also talked about funding lunar missions and space programs and how Congress might divert funding to other projects. This remains a risk as you will hear. In the third segment, we continued talking about inspiration, STEM education, Augustine, and human spaceflight. Haym provided us with a 2020-2025 time line for establishing a realistic lunar settlement if we started today. He also fielded questions about heavy lift and said it was necessary to get the needed mass to the Moon. When asked about on orbit capabilities and smaller rockets, he wondered aloud about our on orbit construction capabilities. Toward the end of the final segment we talked about space policy and visionary leaders. Like many guests, Dr. Benaroya thought that the policy side was much harder than the technical or the financial side regarding human spaceflight and going to the Moon. He also said he did not think we were ready to be able to do a human to Mars mission. You can learn more about Dr. Benaroya's work and you can download many of his papers by visiting his website at .http://coewww.rutgers.edu/~benaroya/. You can send your email questions or comments to him at benaroya@rci.rutgers.edu.

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