Broadcast 1633 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest: Josh Hopkins: Topics: Human Spaceflight to Mars and/or its moons, Phobos and Deimos. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Josh Hopkins of Lockheed Martin back to the show to address specific issues concerning a human mission to either Mars, Phobos, or Deimos. I was assisted in this interview by Leonard David who writes for, SpaceNews, and many other publications. To learn more about a Mars, Phobos, or Deimos mission, visit the Lockheed Martin Stepping Stones website at . Josh was a speaker at the AIAA Space 2011 Long Beach Conference on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011 as part of the Human Exploration Beyond Earth Orbit Panel. Josh delivered a talk titled " Comparison of Deimos and Phobos as Destinations for Human Exploration and Identification of Preferred Landing Sites." After the AIAA panel ended, I sat down with Josh, assisted by Leonard David, for a more detailed discussion regarding Deimos and Phobos as primary destinations rather than an initial program involving humans to Mars. During our discussion, Josh explained Mars, Deimos, and Phobos launch windows in detail, including the 15 year launch window. Frequent listeners to The Space Show will recall Mars launch windows were the topic of discussion in a recent show resulting in a considerable amount of confusion about them. I asked Josh to spend a few minutes with us to clarify our concerns and explain in detail the windows and the options they provide mission planners, including the 15 year window, going during a time of Solar Max, cosmic ray solar shielding. Josh also provided a detailed explanation as to why Deimos might be considered the first choice destination, but as we learned, even going first to Phobos has some distinct advantages over an initial direct Mars human spaceflight mission. Josh presented a compelling and factual case for the Deimos option, but does not rule out the possibility of other Mars first ventures. He explained the challenges and issues involved in the Mars first option so listen carefully and let us know what you think. During this 41 minute discussion, we also talked about the time line for being able to go Mars or its moons, going to our Moon first for learning and enabling the Mars mission, and even the NEO flyby. He also talked about the time line to the best launch window for Mars which is in 2033, and what needs to be done and at what intervals to make us ready for launch in 2033. Josh Hopkins and Lockheed Martin have done great work in thinking through the reality of a human Mars mission. This is a discussion you do not want to miss. For sure, Josh will be invited back to The Space Show as he is an outstanding resource for all of us in learning facts regarding deep space mission planning and implementation. Post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above. If you want to email Josh Hopkins, please send your note to me at and I will forward it to him.



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10 Oct 2011 Josh Hopkins
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

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