Broadcast 1316 (Special Edition)

25 Feb 2010 Dr. Pascal Lee
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Guest: Dr. Pascal Lee. Topics: Phobos, Mars, SETI & the Drake Equation, space policy. Dr. Pascal Lee returned to The Space Show for an exciting discussion on several relevant and most interesting topics. In our fist segment , we discussed humans to Phobos and Deimos before going to Mars. Dr. Lee explained why these were better initial destinations than Mars, especially Phobos. Did you know that it would be less costly to go to Phobos than our Moon? This is a very comprehensive discussion that you will not want to miss. Later in the segment, we talked about the coming Mars Explorer ESA mission that will fly within 50 km of Phobos for high resolution pictures. We also talked about the planned Russian Grunt Mission which is a sample return mission. This led to a discussion on planetary protection measures and more. In our second segment, a listener asked if someone jumped high on Phobos if they would break free of Phobos gravity. The answer was yes but listen to the segment for details. We next talked about the SETI Institute, the Drake Equation, and Pascal's theory that N might actually be a small number. In support of this, Dr. Lee referenced the Fermi Paradox. See what you think of the possibility of N being a small number and what this implies for life throughout the galaxy as well as universe. A listener asked Dr. Lee if he could end up being disappointed by findings on Phobos or Deimos. He said no but don't miss the explanation behind his answer. As we started segment three, a listener wanted to compare the possibility of life on Europa against Phobos and wanted to know how NASA prioritized such missions. Pascal did a superb job in explaining the differences in Europa and Phobos in the context of possible life and he explained the two NASA philosophies on such missions. This is a good summary of how NASA missions are decided, developed, and implemented. Later in the segment, we asked Pascal about the proposed changes in the new NASA space policy. He divided his response into two areas focusing on both strategic policy and tactical policy. He has concerns that the tactical side will not be met but you need to hear this complete discussion to understand this important information. He did say that any program needed three ingredients including a mission with well defined goals, a time schedule, and sufficient resources to get the job done. He also said the private sector needs engagement and is also bound by these three requirements. In terms of vision, he suggested the general public wants to be inspired and these three tactical ingredients lead to the public's inspiration. Dr. Lee also said a superior public relations effort has to be undertaken to change the public perception of space and to help people understand its real value and worth to us all. As we started segment four, caller Larry wanted to know about the Phoenix Lights and related issues in conjunction with scientific research. He was inquiring if Dr. Lee had seen a special National Geographic documentary and was interested in exploring if SETI might be doing it wrong.. This discussion facilitated Dr. Lee in talking about scientific research, the search for ET, UFOs, Roswell, scientific evidence, etc. See what you think of this discussion. Toward the end of the show, Dr. Lee introduced us to exploring the Moon and Mars using Pressurized Rovers. This is definitely something to follow and to be excited about. Check out the Mars Institute for more information about Dr. Lee and his work at If you have a question or comment for Dr. Pascal Lee, you can reach him through the website or at