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Guest: Robert (Rob) Kelso; Topics: Lunar return, lunar construction, needed technology development & demo program, ISRU, 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 Rob Kelso to the program for this 65 minute one segment discussion on lunar construction and the technology development needed for returning to stay to the Moon and going on to Mars. For about the first half of the program, Rob outlined his engineering approach to lunar construction, needed technologies, demo tech flight, and step by step approach to returning and staying at the Moon and then going forward to Mars. Rob mentioned many issues to be resolved by the development of new technology including lunar soil stability, site location for the first settlement plus a stable launch/landing pad that won't kick up lunar dust particles as did the Apollo landing and takeoff hardware. At one point, he said the rockets lifting off the Moon blew dust off the surface at 2,000 meters/second! Rob talked lunar water, the need to know the vertical height and the horizontal area covered by the water plus the precise form the water is in as that will make a difference on hit gets used. He said that long before humans return to the Moon to stay, robots will be working hard on the lunar surface to build and prepare the infrastructure needed by the humans. In essence, the robots will do most of the leg work before the humans get there.
Rob talked other issues and need to know items as well. For example, he mentioned needing to know more than we do now regarding lunar volatiles. In addition, we need to have better equipment and technology to enable us to use local Moon and Mars material for ISRU. Another key issue he talked about was the importance of lunar surface stability for the planned operations. He compared this to doing soils tests in advance of terrestrial construction projects. Controlling dust was another big issue needing technology development.
Rob talked about having technology demonstration flights which he explained in detail. He also mentioned some possible viable mitigation strategies for dust and radiation as well as lunar surface testing. Don't miss what he suggested as part of this discussion. During the second part of the program, we took lots of listener emails. Tim as about starting out with lunar rigid habs on the surface as a way to begin a settlement. Robt elaborated on that concept including the need for power, site location, launch and landing pad location with soil stability, and more. He said robots would play a huge part in all of this, especially during the early stages of habitat development cited 3D printing as crucial and the possible use of lava tubes. Rob mentioned the UAE Space Agency project , Mars City 2117. Don't miss what he said about this project
A Seattle listener asked Rob about LOP-G and wondered if we really intended to return to the Moon with people. Rob had much to say in response to this listener and the LOP-G issue so you want to be sure to hear all of what was said. He supported LOP-G and put forth a good rational for it. Listen to his comments, then let us know what you think by posting your opinions on his comments on our blog. Rob then mentioned the NASA CLPS project which we have been talking about on recent programs. He mentioned the CLPS program multiple times during the remainder of the show and used it as evidence that we were doing the right thing to get humans back to the lunar surface. Again, let us know what you think about all of this by posting on our blog. Listener Roger asked about the gap with space advocates and what Rob and others were suggesting would be the way and the timeline for getting back to the Moon. Rob talked about the slowness and frustration for all of us. Listener Ben wanted to go directly to Mars and not use the Moon as a stepping stone. Don't miss what Rob said to Ben. As the program was drawing to a close, Linda asked about China and others planning lunar missions and if they were as concerned and involved in tech development and analysis as we were. Another listener, George in St. Louis, said we had already used lunar landers to land on the Moon so why do we need to do all this additional work and analysis. We have already proven we can land on the Moon so why not just build new versions of those landers. Don't miss how Rob responded to both of these questions.
Rob offered us closing comments and a takeaway that these were very exciting times and that we would be getting back to the lunar surface as soon as possible. Please post your comments/questions for Rob Kelso on TSS blog for this program. You can reach Rob through me or Kelso Aerospace Engineering.