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Guest: Susanne Peters; Topics: Space debris mitigation, policy, costs, and challenges. We also talked about the German contest to select the first German female astronaut. 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 Susanne Peters to the show to discuss both space debris mitigation issues and then in the second segment, Germany's contest to select their first female astronaut. During the first segment, we spoke about the space debris issues. Our guest suggested different mitigation strategies and the satellite end of life guidelines to help mitigate against additional space debris. We also addressed why it is that there is always lots of talk and rhetoric but no action taken to mitigate the debris problems, especially in LEO where the problem is the most severe. We talked about policy, legal issues, and the Outer Space Treaty as challenges to cleaning up the various orbits. A few different methods were talked about, specifically the use of tethers. Also, Ms. Peters was asked about the planned huge satellite constellations (some are in excess of 4,000 satellites) and their potential contribution to the debris problem. Listeners suggested that by the time one might be ready to launch a mitigation program we might have new technologies to deal with the problem and at a lower cost. Susanne said they had to address the issues based on what is real and available today, not what might be at some point in the future. This was a comprehensive space debris discussion so don't miss it.
Later in this segment, we got into the costs and benefits of debris mitigation. As you will see, the cost benefit analysis does not work to the favor of a company spending lots of money to mitigate the problem. During our discussion we thoroughly explain this is so as this is likely what prevents even small demonstration program from happening. When the risks of not taking action are potentially more costly for a satellite operator or the users than the cost of doing something about the problem, we will see action being taken. Unfortunately, we are not yet at that point.
In the second segment, Susanne talked about a program and contest to select Germany's first female astronaut since they have never had a female astronaut. You can read more about this program by visiting these websites: https://www.hespace.com/hespace-4/projects and www.dieastronautin.de. As you will hear, Susanne has entered the contest as she wants to go to space. So far she is still in the competition which is now coming down to the final selection stages. Susanne explained the types of tests she and the other contestants have taken so far and will be taking to come down to two final selections. We asked Susanne why she wanted to go space and what her family and friends thought about her going to space. Listen to what she had to say about this and her fellow competitors.
Susanne received several email questions and a call about the contest. One question came from a listener in Germany who wanted to know if she favored Germany working with the ESA programs or being more reliant on doing something as a German only type of program. Susanne talked about being able to get lots more done and accomplished by being part of the bigger ESA pool rather than going it alone. Don't miss this discussion.
The final question came from Alexander in St. Louis who wanted to know if our guest was familiar with the Overview Effect and if that played any part in her wanting to go space. We discussed the meaning of the Overview Effect and our guest said it was a main driver in her desire to go to space.
Please post your comments/questions in the comments section of this show which is archived on our website. You can reach Ms. Peters through me.