Broadcast 2840 Dr. Rachel Armstrong

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Guest:  Dr. Rachel Armstrong;  Topics: Interstellar human spaceflight and Rachel's new book, "Star Ark: A Living, Self-Sustaining Spaceship."  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,   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   

We welcomed Dr. Rachel Armstrong back to the program to discuss creating an interstellar culture to help facilitate interstellar human spaceflight.  In addition, we discussed her new book, "Star Ark: A Living, Self-Sustaining Spaceship."  Remember, if you purchase the book on Amazon to use The Space Show/OGLF Amazon portals so that Amazon will donate a part of your purchase price to The Space Show.  Find out more here:

During the first segment of our 98 minute program, Dr. Armstrong talked about an interstellar future and the need to develop an interstellar culture.  To develop such a culture, our guest talked about starting the discussion now. Later in the show, I asked her how we might do that so stay tuned for her thoughts on actually starting interstellar discussions available for our participation. 

Listeners asked if interstellar flight would be with actual humans or AI.  This was a major theme during our discussion.  This topic introduced the ethics to our discussion mix as Rachel expressed very strong ethical concerns about future missions, including Mars missions.  In fact, a Seattle listener did inquire about Mars compared to interstellar fight with Mars as a precursor.  Our guest had much to say in these areas which covered most of our first segment.  Other related topics that came up included sending probes, colonization, plus avoiding just having interstellar flight become the domain of the wealthy.  Rachel talked about the importance of having governments and NGOs involved in all aspects of interstellar development and flight. 

Launching smaller mass, O'Neill colonies, biological systems, and the new sci-fi movie Passengers and their sleep ship were discussed in this segment.  Cryogenics came up with our guest bringing to light important and vital questions.  Do not miss the first segment discussion, it is thought provoking for anyone thinking about spaceflight, including interstellar spaceflight.

In the second segment, Dr. Armstrong picked up the theme for the need for an interstellar cultural discussion.  One of the things our guest said was that interstellar travel was inevitable regardless of how long it might take to accomplish so we needed to be prepared for it.  Some of the issues we discussed in this segment included how to plan for what an interstellar crew might need upon arrival at a destination plus how to deal with all the uncertainties that exist now and will exist into the future regarding planning, developing, financing, and carrying out interstellar flight. 

Rachel got a question from Don from Tucson asking her about her new book given he was looking at the displays for it on Amazon.  Rachel spent some time talking about the book and specific contributions by forward thinking people representing many fields from culture and the arts to science and engineering. 

Jason in Chicago asked how finding some sort of past life or current life on Mars might impact interstellar plans.  Rachel expanded this to life elsewhere, not just on Mars.  We talked about impacts but again, the uncertainties rule so for sure there would be relevant and meaningful discussion and interstellar flight and project would be impacted but just how nobody could say today.

BJohn aske an important question, wondering what would happen if people in general did not care about interstellar flight.  Would that leave the domain to the wealthy and the private companies, those that care and have the money to move forward?  Don't miss what our guest said about this type of scenario.

Before our program ended, we talked about ethical checks and balances and the next subject Rachel was working for her upcoming book.

Please post your comments/questions for Dr. Armstrong on the blog for this show on TSS website.  You can reach Rachel Armstrong through me or her university website,






Interstellar space architecture and much more

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08 Jan 2017 Dr. Rachel Armstrong
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