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Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston; Topics: Multiple topics including a call from Robert Jacobson about his book & book offer, Crew Dragon splashdown, SpaceX, SLS, terraforming vs. paraterraforming on Mars, cosmology, Starship & more.
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Welcome to our two segment 1 hour and 40 minute Open Line discussion. We started the discussion with a call from Robert Jacobson regarding his new book, "Space Is Open For Business." Robert commented on the safe splashdown return of Doug and Bob on the Crew Dragon Demo 2 flight. We talked about public interest in general regarding Doug and Bob's return, mildly comparing it to the return of Apollo crews and public interest/excitement. Robert talked about the successful Starship hop test at Boca Chica and he announced another eBook giveaway program. Listen to the archive program for the magic words and send them to me in an email if you want the book.
Our next caller was Dr. Doug from Southern California. His first discussion topic was the recent John Strickland program from a few days ago regarding John's plans for terraforming Mars. Doug did not concur with John and put forth the concept known as paraterraforming for Mars. This is also known as the WoodHouse concept (see https://interestingengineering.com/making-a-greenhouse-on-another-world-where-can-we-paraterraform-in-our-solar-system for details). Doug spent significant time explaining his idea for paraterraforming Mars, greenhouses or domes on Mars, GCR protection but that it was all still out there in our future, not even close to near or term. He said that at this time there was no need to plan on terraforming all of Mars. Todd from San Diego sent Doug a note wanting to know if Mr. Musk had ever talked about paraterraforming Mars. Doug did not know for sure but said probably not. He also told us about a talk he gave on the subject at a Mars Society Conference and from a show of hands which requested from the audience, only about 5% of the audience had heard of the concept.
Doug switch the topic to the Atlas 5, commercial vs. government rockets, and the comments made by our Friday guest Mark Bray regarding the Atlas 5. His commentary zeroed in on Starship and the issue of any military's need for a super heavy rocket. We talked about a tipping point when Starship reached operations, proving operational success thus killing off SLS. Doug mentioned the recent successful Starship hop test and said upcoming tests will go higher. He then talked about his lobbying efforts with his Space Development Network. He promised to let us know if any members of Congress or their staff reps responded to his campaign.
Ft. Worth John led off the discussion for the second segment. First, he talked about the different approaches for Starship and the Moon as compared to other project using landers and Orion. From there he wanted to move to a cosmology discussion which he said was the flat universe problem. For more information on this subject, read this NewScientist article on the subject "Cosmological crisis: We don't know if the universe is round or flat" (www.newscientist.com/article/2222159-cosmological-crisis-we-dont-know-if-the-universe-is-round-or-flat/#ixzz6UiNivrgv). John spent time discussion this cosmology problem, talking infinite space with infinite mass or positive curvature. John further talked about what it meant for the universe to come to a flat edge and talked about three possibilities/solutions. John proceeded to discuss these three solutions in some detail. He also spent time talking about a hypersphere. Listener Jack in Denver sent John a note inquiring about our ability to see back into Earth's early time shortly after the Big Bang. He wanted to know if one could see the edge if the universe were flat. John clarified his comments and explained why that was not likely. Don't miss what he said, specifically about the speed of light. Before finishing his call, John talked about Starship, commercial operations, testing, and the need to fly to be proven. He concluded his call saying he too thought SLS would fly before Starship with SLS making the first test flight in 2021. Before ending his call, Dr. Doug sent in an email suggesting the success so far with Starship testing indicated a Starship flight to orbit was not that far away. How do you think John answered that question? What do you think? Please post it on our blog.
Fremont John called to talk about Doug's earlier call comments, Falcon Heavy and SpaceX. At one point he mentioned that there was Elon time and real time. He also said he posted on his blog and then TSS blog an article about mass value for space development and GDP. Listen to his commentary on this subject and heck out his blog post which is already up on TSS blog for this program. He then mentioned the work of another person regarding ISRU, how to eat like a Martian and a potential Mars diet. I will be inviting both the people John mentioned to be a Space Show guest so watch the newsletters for more information on these topics.
Please post your comments/questions based on today's program on our blog for this show. If you want to reach any of the callers, please let me know and I will make it happen.