Feedback: What did you think of this show?:
Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. Philip Lubin, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Interstellar flight, phased laser array propulsion, & more. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.
John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. Philip Lubin from the University of California at Santa Barbara physics department to discuss his work with NASA and Breakthrough regarding interstellar flight. Make sure to visit Dr. Lubin's website, http://deepspace.ucsb.edu. Watch the interstellar video and use the links to learn more about his interstellar phased laser array propulsion plus the programs in place to develop interstellar flight. During our first segment of this double segment Hotel Mars program, Dr. Lubin talked about the need for a radically different propulsion system for interstellar flight. He talked about the Starlight project (see website) for using light as the propellant exhaust by shining off a reflector at the speed of light. He talked about using phased laser arrays and directed energy beams to push the spacecraft toward its destination, say Proxima B, at initial speed goals of 20-30% the speed of light. He also talked about using wafer like spacecraft which he fully described for us. Dr. Lubin talked about the exponential growth in photonics which makes this technology doable, explaining how the directed energy beams and arrays would work. He talked about timelines for development and testing which would be long given we have no such laser available today. They need a grand core laser but he said we have the components to work with today using multi-core technology which he explained in detail.
In the second segment, Dr. Lubin talked about being able to send thousands of wafer like probes to the destination from either Earth, a mother ship in orbit, or even from the lunar surface. He described the wafer technology and said they could also propel something bigger such as a cubesat or eventually a human spacecraft. He talked about the requirements that would be needed to propel something as large with a huge mass would be the case with a human spacecraft. John and I asked him about using this technology for going to Mars so Dr. Lubin briefly touched on what it would mean for travel times to Mars as compared to using chemical rockets. Near the end, I asked our guest about objects flying through the directed energy beam such as birds, aircraft, etc. Dr. Lubin said they would not be able to operate the array at times of atmospheric disturbances or issues such as birds and planes and that would be part of the technology needing to be developed.
You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Lubin through me. Dr. Lubin can also be reached through his website above and UCSB faculty member website.