Broadcast 3552 John Strickland

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Guest:  John Strickland; Topics  Terraforming Mars, Mars buffer gas, nitrogen, human landing sites on Mars, common hardwarefor the Moon and Mars, Mars sample returns to Earth, Covid vaccines, the Beirut explosion and much more.

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We welcomed back to the program John Strickland for a two segment 1 hour 48 minute discussion on multiple topics ranging fromTerraforming Mars, sample returns from Mars to Earth, human landing sites, SpaceX plans, Artemis and going back to the Moonand much more.  During our Mars terraforming and buffer gas discussion, John referenced his Space Review article from August 20, 2018  “Rethinking the Mars terraforming debate."  Check it out at 

John spent the bulk of the first segment talking about buffer gas, nitrogen, terraforming Mars, and taking substantial tonnage ofnitrogen he said was on Pluto over to Mars over many years and multiple tug like ferry trips to re-create the Martian atmosphere Listen to his detailed discussion, the science and chemistry behind his proposal, the way and then the timeline for such activity.

Our guest received several emails during this segment plus he took a call from Marshall.  The primary focus of Marshall's call wasto find out how Mars would hold onto the "new" atmosphere John's plan would attempt to create.  Don't miss his response to Marshall.  During this part of the terraforming discussion, John talked about the technology that would be needed to take nitrogenfrom Pluto and move it to Mars and how it would get into the Martian atmosphere and stay there to make a new atmosphere. 

John spoke about fluorocarbon gas mixture for terraforming the "right" way.  I then suggested this was terribly complex ad I wanted to know about policy people who might be signing on to advocating what John was talking about.  Don't miss how John respondedto my question.  At this point Marshall called to ask and discuss what would allow Mars to hold onto the atmosphere that Johnwanted to create given the relatively low Martian gravity. Both John and Marshall talked about too much O2 in the atmosphere would be toxic to humans but also possibly lead to a runaway O2 fire destroying all of the planet.  Once again, don't miss what our guest said on this topic.  They spoke to Mars having lost its magnetic field but John talked about creating an artificial magnetic core.  John further mentioned a possible magnetic shield at the Mars L1 point.  Before going to break, John addressed the fact that the Mars team would have to be interdisciplinary in general. 

John started the second segment talking about the possibility of Musk and Starship doing a successful test flight to Mars in the2022-24 time frame.  At this point, I asked why he has said that there much be ground ice present at the first human landing site on Mars so that the craft can take off again. This opened up a detailed discussion about where to land and why.  As John was discussing all of this, listener Karen sent in a note wondering why John was not accounting for potential regulatory risks for either a sample return to Earth or being able to land humans on Mars at any point desired by SpaceX.  John then addressed the regulatory risks and said this was all a very big deal.

John progressed to talking about the Mars permafrost layer and protocols or regulations needed for the bottom layer.  Listen to what he sad about this.  He also suggested no or minimal  risk for the surface.  He said the protocols were needed to address thepossibility of microbes on Mars.  Another listener sent in an email question asking for John's opinion about Artemis and returningto the Moon.  John was fully supportive of it and said he has been calling for the commonality usage of lunar and Martian hardware.  Jodi then sent in a note from Boston wanting to know if John thought SLS was finally dead given the recent successes of SpaceX and the work being done on Starship.  John said he had been writing about SLS being obsolete when it was designed. Listen to all of what he had to say on this topic.  He also talked about the successful demo hop before the show, the pad being built at the SpaceX site at Boca Chica and more. 

Before ending the program, John talked about his Dad's work in the Apollo project, the NSS Roadmap # 3 which you can find here: John and I talked about ISDC 2021 in Los Angeles and then John said they would be going back to Arlington a year or two later but that they found a better hotel than the one they previously used.  In addition, John talked about the ISDC Awards Ceremony and the Covid vaccine which he said he wanted to take.  I reminded him of the risk of being too anxious with a new vaccine calling up the Swine Flu experience.

Please post your comments/questions for Mr. Strickland on our blog for this show.  You can reach John through his papers or through me.




Terraforming Mars, bufferg gas, Artemis, Mars lander sites

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04 Aug 2020 John Strickland
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