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Guest: Dr. Larry Kuznetz; Topics: Mars spacesuit design concept, UC Berkeley class, Mars spacesuits and more. 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 to the show Dr. Larry Kuznets for our 75 minute discussion plus a few extra minutes of a modified open lines program. During our first segment, Dr. Kuznetz described the essentials of a Mars spacesuit and spent considerable time detailing many of the requirements for such a suit. In addition, he compared the Mars suit needs to previous spacesuits including those used by the Apollo astronauts, carefully explaining why such suits would not be used on Mars. You do not want to miss this discussion.
Temperature requirements and variations on Mars, the need for a pressure suit for 1/100th the pressure of Earth, and the need to go from hot to very cold, plus the Martian gravity all combine to make the development of the Mars spacesuit very challenging.
Phil from Philadelphia asked about SpaceX and Musk Mars spacesuit plans and designs. Larry said he had bee in touch with SpaceX people but does not know what SpaceX will do about their need for a Mars spacesuit. Dr. Doug then sent in a note asking if the spacesuit glove dexterity issues had been resolved. Larry said not yet. He then talked about some of the Mars spacesuit glove design challenges.
Dr. Bill Rowe called to discuss medical and human factors issues with a Mars spacesuit but also with humans going to Mars in the first place. Larry cut the discussion short to move on to other topics and listeners.
I asked Larry about his UC Berkeley class/course for designing and developing a Mars spacesuit. Larry spent considerable time discussing this class and ways to participate in it. He said the live stream and the archived classes could be found at ME292@twitter/Berkeley and also at www.bluejeans.com. Listen to the details for accessing the class if you are interested in it. In discussing this class, guest speakers, and the use of teams, Larry made it clear that interested people should listen live or do the archives, both of which he explained on air. If you sign up for and attend the classes, let us know your thoughts on the program on upcoming Space Show Open Lines programs. Larry told us that the first talk included a short segment on the spacesuits used in the movie The Martian. He mentioned it was a 2 unit class for those that want or need credits.
Larry was asked about timelines, the need for money, and possible bottlenecks in Mars spacesuit design. In responding to this question, he told us about the Playtex-Apollo spacesuit story. Check it out here: www.wired.com/2011/02/pl_spacesuits_showdown.
Later, Alan from Boston sent in a note asking if we had both the capability and the ability do deal with going to Mars and developing a Mars spacesuit given all the life sciences involved in such a project. Larry said yes but don't miss all of what he said. Part of his answer referenced the outstanding Explore Mars Conference, H2Mars Conference which we talk about frequently on The Space Show.
In the short second segment, Larry talked about his company sponsors, said he might be interested in a crowdfunding project and invited interested people in helping on such a project to contact him. He then talked about his UC Berkeley class again, saying it met on both Tuesday and Thursday in the afternoon or early evening.
Before the program ended, BJohn asked about the suit port concept. Larry had much to say about this idea. Marshall sent in a note advocating the Moon over Mars. In response, Larry made it clear that going to the Moon was not a stepping point for Mars and said if we went to the Moon first as a Mars jumping off point, it would delay human spaceflight to Mars for at least 50 years. Listen to all of what he had to say on the Moon as a jumping off point for Mars. Let us know what you think by posting your perspective on the blog. BJohn got in the last question asking about using a powered exoskeleton as a replacement for manual gloves. Larry followed this with closing comments including takeaways from today's program.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog which is the archived program page on TSS website. You can contact Dr. Kuznetz through his class Twitter or Bluejeans.com sites or through me.