Broadcast 729 (Special Edition)

10 Jun 2007 Dr. Pascal Lee
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Dr. Pascal Lee returned for this Space Show program. Pascal began the program with an update on what has been happening with the Devon Island NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) at NASA Ames. As one of the longest funded ongoing programs, I inquired as to the reasons for its staying power, continued funding, and its attraction to NASA top level management. Pascal's answer is interesting and important. We talked about the research done at the analog site, how it is providing useful information that can be used to help plan a Mars mission and we even got a question about the polar bears and the environment. Pascal was also asked to describe a typical day at Devon Island. In the second segment of the show, we discussed the Martian moon Phobos and Deimos and going to Mars via Phobos. We learned about a planned robotic mission to Phobos, we even discussed eventual manned landings on Phobos, the low gravity field, Phobos dust as compared to lunar and Martian dust and much more. When Pascal said the mission would be challenging, he was asked why it is deemed so hard and challenging and costly to get off Earth, why rockets have not advanced much over 40 years or so while other technology has significantly advanced over the same or a similar period. He was asked if in his opinion, we are somehow being manipulated to believe the hard and costly paradigm when in fact there might be other paths to take that we don't explore, either because we are somehow prevented from doing so or our limited vision prevents us from seeing or exploring options. Dr. Lee's response was interesting and you will want to hear it. Another listener asked him about Martian photos which claim to show fossils and even artifacts on Mars and are there similar photos for what is on Phobos or Deimos. He was not aware of any such photos, he talked at length about fossil and artifact photos and you will not want to miss this discussion. We also talked about the process of thinking if photos show it to be on Mars or even maybe on Mars, does it make sense to find similar photos on the Martian moons. Again, Pascal had much to say about this type of extrapolation process. We also fielded questions from listeners about the VSE and when will the research and talking about a Mars mission cease and planning get underway for the real mission. It seems listeners are frustrated with talk, they are in a hurry to see us plan for a mission and go. This question led to a discussion of problems and frustrations within NASA, where should complaints lie, the role of Congress and more. This is quite interesting and you will surely want to hear it. You can continue to send your comments and questions to Dr. Pascal Lee at 'pascal.lee@marsinstitute.info'

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