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Guest: Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin; Topics: Paradigm shift with Falcon Heavy & SpaceX, a new way to go to the Moon, policy, SETI, ISRU, Moon, Mars, Drake Equation, scarcity economics, human expansion to space & more. 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, www.thespaceshow.com. 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed back Dr. Bob Zubrin for this one segment 100 minute wide ranging discussion regarding heavy lift launchers, private sector space development, a new way to go to the Moon using the Falcon Heavy, Mars, the Gateway project, Mars retropropulsion, lunar habs, orbital refueling issues & challenges, correcting an error in the Drake Equation exoplanets, searching for life, Mars life, evolution, SETI as a science, scarcity economics and the human expansion to space. The initial part of our discussion focused on the significance of the Falcon Heavy launch. This dominated the early part of our discussion including listener calls and emails. Bob ad the listeners agreed that this was a game changing, paradigm changing event. When Marshall called, in addition to claiming the launch to be a paradigm changer, he said three areas need focus including artificial gravity, growing food in space, and radiation protection. Dr. Zubrin addressed all three of Marshall's concerns so listen carefully to what Bob said about each one. Let us know if you agree with Dr. Zubrin by posting on the blog. Following Marshall's call, we got listener emails including some from Doug that dealt with Falcon Heavy payloads to LEO and the surface of the Moon. Later, Bob expanded that to Mars, talked about payload capabilities of SLS as well as the BFR.
Our Australian listener called wanting to talk with Bob about possible microbial life on Mars and why NASA and some scientists have refused to talk about ALH 84001 and its analysis. Bob and our caller had quite a discussion about not just the Allan Hills Martian meteorite, but microbial life issues in general for Mars, the field of astrobiology, and related topics and issues. Bob did say the odds were that there were microscopic organism probably underground on Mars but that so far nothing final on this has ever been proven.
David in Seattle wanted to know about landing Red Dragon on Mars and retropropulsion for Mars. Dr. Zubrin had much to say about this too and suggested retropropulsion was proven out by SpaceX though it has not been done on Mars or in a Martian atmospheric simulation test. Dr. Doug engaged Bob in a lunar ice and more discussion re habs, etc. Chris sent in an email about vapor lock and Bob talked about orbital fuel transfer issues, including using a cryo fuel. Don't miss what Bob said about this topic. Bob also took time to talk about a new book he was writing due out in 2019. Tim asked him about Kilopower reactors being worked on by NASA. Bob had positive things to say about this type of research and fusion in general.
I switched topics and asked Bob about the error he has written about in the Drake Equation. You can read Bob's essay on this in Centauri Dream at www.centauri-dreams.org/2018/02/16/mistakes-in-the-drake-equation. We spent a significant amount of time talking with Bob about the Drake Equation and the error he has written about, plus his revised equation to fix the error. Don't miss what Bob said on this subject. I strong advise you read his paper on the topic. Listeners continued to ask Bob questions about the Drake Equation error, finding and searching for life, launchers, and more. One listener asked Bob what skills he should master to be one of the first thousand people to go to Mars. Don't miss how Bob responded to this listener. The Drake discussions let to solar system exploration and interstellar flight comments and questions. As we neared the end of the show, one listener asked about SETI being a religion. Bob had a lot to say in response to this comment. He said SETI was a science and science worked on faith which he explained in detail. Make sure you listen to all of what Bob said on this subject.
As we neared the end of the show, I asked Bob to summarize his 2017 Abu Dhabi talk on scarcity economics and human spaceflight BLEO. I suggest you watch the short video of his talk here as Bob did a great job in summarizing what he said in the video which stressed the need for human space expansion, ISRU development & use, and to think differently about issues. www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWvAa5UZM4g. Let us know your thoughts on what Bob said on this subject.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Dr. Zubrin through The Mars Society or me.