Broadcast 1686 (Special Edition)

09 Jan 2012 Dr. Louis D. Friedman
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Guest: Dr. Lou Friedman. Topics: The Planetary Society LightSail Program, solar sails and more. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. 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 welcomed Dr. Louis Friedman back to the show to discuss solar sails and his recent articles in The Space Review titled “Mind Expansion,” Nov. 21, 2011 and “The Dangers of a Rocket To Nowhere,” May 23, 2011. We started our one hour discussion with Dr. Friedman talking about solar sails and recent Planetary Society solar sail missions. Dr. Friedman gave us the basics on solar sails and explained the interest and commitment to their demo solar sail efforts and the LightSail Program. Listeners asked technical questions about solar sails, the materials used, and the radiation degradation of the materials. We talked about using only sunlight for the solar sail energy, but in the future being able to use onboard lasers and even the light from distant stars. We talked about the Phobos-Grunt mission as The Planetary Society had an experiment onboard, the Living Interplanetary Flight Experiment (LIFE). Dr. Friedman described this microbial experiment and the titanium capsule it was in with the possibility of its being able to survive reentry and even being recovered though the odds are clearly against that happening. We talked liability issues regarding the debris, including LIFE, doing damage upon returning to Earth. Both Dr. Friedman and attorney Michael Listener who called in said that primary liability was with Russia based on the OST. The SLS came up as Dr. Friedman wrote about it in his above mentioned Space Review article. In talking about SLS, we spoke about mediocrity in space policy, specifically human spaceflight. I asked Dr. Friedman about the importance of connecting with the general public regarding HSF and how we could do a better job of it than what we are currently doing. I then asked Dr. Friedman to comment on his excellent “Mind Expansion” Space Review article which you can read at www.thespacereview.com/article/1973/1. We talked about the need to think big, issues facing space entrepreneurs, and a needed bridge between traditional commercial interests for entrepreneurs and thinking big and doing the new and innovative, especially if the business case is tentative or illusive. Listeners asked Dr. Friedman about today’s college students and if they were being trained to think big. As we closed in on the end of our hour discussion, I asked Lou if he thought space would be an issue in this year’s presidential campaign. He did not think it would be an issue. In our second segment which was to be Open Lines, I made an error in editing the show and lost the 50 minute segment. However, during this brief OL segment, I went over some of the key upcoming Space Show programs. Michael Listener called in to talk about the Chinese space policy. Not only did we address China and space, but I also brought into the mix some of China’s economic and banking issues which may impact their space progress. Terry Picket called in regarding my comment about asking for help in coming up with a new template for the email newsletter and my time zone comment. He offered us a time zone tool from the net and we talked about it and the various time zones across the United States including Alaska and Hawaii. I regret having accidentally cut this segment and I apologize to Michael, Terry and all of you for not being able to bring this segment to you. If you have questions/comments regarding the discussion with Dr. Friedman, please post them on The Space Show blog per the above URL.

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