Broadcast 1014 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

09 Sep 2008 William Larson, Jim Lewis
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Guest: Bill Larson (first hour), former news anchor from ABC, was our guest for this very special Space Show television program. Bill started off the program telling us about his history in broadcast journalism, his extensive experience covering the early history of the manned space program, and his perspective as a journalist for the Apollo 1 tragedy where he was one of the first on the scene. You will want to hear what he has to say. He also told us about the parties he attended and the pranks that occurred. He also covers how the space program and interest in space has changed over the years, the economic and technological impact of the space program, and the possible future of the US space program as a possible 3rd or 4th rate space economy. Listen to this program and see if you agree. He told us several very funny stories spanning more than just his space coverage, including how he gave up going to Nixon's inaugural ball because of a tuxedo! Since he came out of retirement to cover John Glenn's return to flight, he was asked when he would come out of retirement next. You will want to hear what he has to say! He was also asked if returning to the moon have the same impact as the initial Apollo flight. Bill also offered some practical advice for journalists just starting out. Please see his website: http://billlarson.tv/ . Please note that Bill Larson is quite funny. I think you will find the humor in this segment to enhance the information Bill shares with us. If you have any questions for Bill Larson, please email me at drspace@thespaceshow.com and I will forward them. Guest : Jim Lewis (second hour), of Communications Concepts Inc and the Deep Space Communication Network, was our guest for this special Space Show television program. As Jim is the managing director of the Deep Space Communications Network, we started our program with a discussion of deep space messages, what they were, how long they last, and what a broadcaster could do to extend the lifetime of their message before it deteriorates. You will want to hear this excellent introduction for this topic. In response to my questions, Jim told us how NASA is able to communicate with far-off spacecraft such as those at the edges of our solar system, how to communicate with a lunar Rover, how to communicate by voice to crew living and working on Mars, and the challenges that need to be overcome in this area, particularly by the private sector. In response to a listener question, Jim briefly told us about using laser light instead of radio to transmit a message. Later on in the show, we discussed many facets of the deep space communication business. Why do many suborbital companies avoid including communication with their spacecraft in their business plan? Is there is a future for some type of "Space AT&T" network of communication satellites? Would closing down Arecibo be a loss for space communication? Why does an array of satellite dishes work better than a single large satellite dish? This is a must-hear discussion. I also asked Jim a little bit about the market for his deep space transmission businesses. Jim tells us a bit about the other messages he has sent into space, including a performance piece called "Yelling at the Stars" from the Australian Next Wave Festival. I was shocked to hear who his first client was and what they said! We discussed the concerns that some in the industry have regarding transmitting information into space and what would happen if a passing starship could pick up the signal? Finally near the end of the show, we discussed a little bit about what space education is like here along the space coast. If you have follow up questions or comments for Jim Lewis, please send them to me and I will forward them to Jim. Use drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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