Broadcast 870 (Special Edition)

13 Jan 2008 Dr. Paul D. Spudis
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Guest: Dr. Paul Spudis. Dr. Paul Spudis of the Applied Physics Laboratory and Lunar and Planetary Institute was the guest for this Space Show program. We started off with a discussion of the Moon, the VSE, and the role the Moon plays in the VSE. Some of the issues raised and questions asked involved ice on the Moon, possible locations for a lunar settlement, temperatures within the lunar soil, the Google Lunar X Prize competition, and the lower labor costs in countries such as India and China which contribute to much lower-priced Indian and Chinese space missions compared to more expensive United States programs. We talked about what types of scientific knowledge could still be gained by studying the Moon. We had this discussion since there is a school of thought which believes we have learned most of what we can learn by studying the Moon. In response to the discussion as to the value of the Moon and its importance, Dr. Spudis listed several categories including astronomy, planetary science and learning more about the evolution of the Earth-Moon system . Here he said the Moon has a more accurate history over its 4 billion year history than the Earth. The Moon is also a platform for looking out and that is an important different perspective. Dr. Spudis said the clear dark sky of the Moon is important for many forms of astronomy. In addition the dark side, which is shielded from Earth-based radio noise, is particularly important for radio astronomy. In addition, the Moon is a natural space station where people can learn to work in a different space and planetary environment. This training is important as we push outward into space and onto Mars. The Moon is also a repository of resources as it contains every element that we need to live off-planet. This discussion is at the top of the second segment of the program, don't miss what he has to say. Dr. Spudis was asked about his use of the word "planet" to describe the Moon. You will want to hear what he has to say about the Moon's place as a planet. In response to a question, we discussed lunar volcanic vents and forces, He3 and fusion, mining on the Moon, as well as NASA's difficulties with the Aries 1 rocket and their timetable for returning to the Moon. These latter subjects are in the last segment of the program. You will certainly want to hear this interesting and important discussion. If you have a follow up question or comment for Dr. Spudis , please visit his website at www.spudislunarresources.com/. You can email him from there or use pspudis@comcast.net.

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