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Guest: Dr. Erik Seedhouse; Topics: We discussed Erik's book, "SpaceX's Dragon: America's Next Generation Spacecraft" & humans to Mars. 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, www.thespaceshow.com. 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed back Dr. Erik Seedhouse to discuss his new book, "SpaceX's Dragon: America's Next Generation Spacecraft." During the first segment of our 1 hour 35 minute program, Dr. Seedhouse opened up by saying that SpaceX had one purpose only, for Elon to go to Mars and bring others there to settle on the Red Planet. During our discussion, Erik received numerous questions by email from Tony and Rome who used the website Disqus program posting on the comments section as his email questions for the guest. Their questions continued through the entire discussion. Also during this initial segment, other listeners had questions about the Dragon V2 flight schedule, other models of the Dragon including those planned for use in Mars missions, Orion, and the Boeing CST 100.
Jack sent in a question asking if the SpaceX-Musk Mars mission and settlement rhetoric was different from the rhetoric put forth by the Mars One group. Don't miss how our guest responded to this question. Erik then received questions about the SpaceX Draco rockets but as you will hear, Erik was clear in stating that Dragon V2 was not for Mars and the Mars version of the Dragon was still an unknown. Erik spent a good amount of time discussing the various Dragon configurations so don't miss this discussion.
One point Erik made over and over again dealt with the rapid development time SpaceX has incurred for Dragon, especially when compared to the time it has taken the government to develop Orion. In addition, our guest talked about the high costs for developing Orion plus the fact that the CST 100 is for the ISS only, not for going to Mars.
In the second segment, Dr. Seedhouse said a goal was needed and Mars was the goal. He was asked about SpaceX plans for Mars, human factors, artificial gravity, and such. Erik said that information was not known but we both talked about anxiously awaiting the SpaceX Mars plans when they are announced later this year at the IAC in Mexico. In this segment, Erik mentioned using a Dragon for a Mars Sample Return Mission
Dr. Dwayne Day called and wanted to know who would pay for the Mars Sample Return Mission. Erik mentioned that NASA might join in given what he has been reading and hearing in the space world but Dwayne pointed out there was no funding for a sample return mission and the Decadal Survey had not planned for the actual return of Mars samples, just the collection of them with Mars 2020. This resulted in an extensive discussion with our guest and caller over assumptions, what SpaceX may or may not be able to do including landing on Mars using EDL techniques. Retro-propulsion came up and was discussed. Dwayne pointed out that SpaceX did not have this talent so he would have to partner with those that had it or bring on employees with this talent. In the end, our guest thought SpaceX would partner with others as they have relied on NASA and government funding to develop their rocketry and he thought the same would be true for the company regarding going to Mars.
Before the program ended, Erik was asked if going to the Moon was an essential first step for going to Mars. Erik said it was and he explained his reasoning. Before the program ended, he talked about other new books of his, "Mars Via The Moon" and his upcoming book on VASIMIR.
Please post your comments/questions on the comments section of this archived program on The Space Show blog. You can reach Dr. Seedhouse through me.