Broadcast 2647

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • helix-space the space show sponsor

The Space Foundation Conference

Feedback: What did you think of this show?: 

Guest:  Dr. John Brandenburg; Topics:  The New Mars Synthesis: the new concept of Mars past, evidence for life.  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,  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

We welcomed back Dr. John Brandenburg for the third and final part of his Space Show Trilogy for early 2016.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 10 minute program, Dr. Brandenburg talked about early Mars history and geology to pave the way for making the case for some type of past life having been on Mars with probable life there today.  Dr. Brandenburg's discussion was at times technical with lots of focus on there once having been an ocean in the northern part of Mars, the chemical makeup of the Martian atmosphere in the past and present, Martian meteorite analysis, and more.  Listen carefully and let us know what  you think.  At times I asked Dr. Brandenburg to compare and contrast his views with the more orthodox Mars views.  Don't miss how he did this comparison.  Rather than going into the detail with all the analysis provided by Dr. Brandenburg, I simply urge you to listen carefully, take notes for later due diligence and research on your own if you are so inclined, and then share your findings and analysis with us in the comments section below. 

Email questions and calls for Dr. Brandenburg were on the light side for this program.  That said, John did get asked about planetary protection and could that be a reason for not announcing past or present life on Mars.  Dr. Brandenburg discussed this as a possibility both in this segment and our second segment.  Doug sent in an interesting email asking "does it matter to the question of life elsewhere if life on Mars was found to be related to Earth life versus being a second genesis?"  Don't miss what our guest said in response to Doug.  Before this segment ended, Dr. Brandenburg said that Primordial Soup Theory of how life began was wrong and no longer valid.  He talked about life coming from elsewhere for both Mars and Earth (about the same time) from spores.  He elaborated on this here but also to some degree in the second part of the show.

In the second segment, John said we were maturing as a species, we were not alone in the universe, and we needed to accept it.  He called it the Second Copernican Revolution which he said was a problem for some because they see it as a demotion of importance for humans.  He had much to say about this during this segment of our discussion.   It was a topic that he kept coming back to until the end of the program.

Dr. Brandenburg talked about the Viking landers, perchlorate & life detection on Mars. He also was more specific about Mars atmospheric gasses which took him to making the suggestion that photosynthesis was happening on Mars.  Listen to his explanation. What do you think?  Let us know by posting a comment on our blog.

Kathy in Seattle asked John if he thought a past or present life announcement would be made within a few years.  Our guest said yes and told us why he thought that such an announcement would be forthcoming soon.  He was also asked about the feedback he receives from other scientists which he described as scientific trench warfare.  He spent a good amount of time on this subject, talking about abusive personal experiences he has had but not at the hands of fundamentalists, instead at the hands of senior scientist and academics.  He shared his views as to why he thought this type of reception happens.

During this segment, our guest referenced some of the Mars work done by Carl Sagan, then he was asked what all of his analysis and conclusions about Mars past and present meant for our future settlement of Mars.  Dr. Brandenburg referred to Mars as a "fixer upper" and said it was user friendly for settlement.  He then explained why, he also outlined a plan for settlement, talked about habitats, radiation protection and more.  When asked for a timeline for a purely private sector Martian settlement effort, given assumptions that the private sector could finance the mission, had available rockets for the mission, and had a very high TRL to assure mission success, he offered us ten years for a Mars settlement effort to commence. He said with new SpaceX big rockets coming on line and the SLS, along with the assumptions I gave him, ten years was reasonable.

Another listener asked him why things took so long in science.  Dr. Brandenburg referenced a Dr. Max Planck who said it takes a whole new generation of scientists to move forward, thus science was built on funerals and retirement.  Dr. Brandenburg did not provide us with the actual quote, just his view of the essence of his statement.  Toward the end of the show, I asked John about his knowledge of science history.  We had an interesting but short few minutes to discuss science history which for both Dr. Brandenburg and me remains a fascinating topic and subject.  To conclude, take note of Dr. Brandenburg's summary of the show and takeaway points. 

Post your comments/questions in the comments section for this archived program.  You can reach Dr. Brandenburg through me or his website,  





Dr. Brandenburg's final segment of his Space Show Trilogy

WARNING: Using Disqus Comments on the Space Show:

To ensure your comments do NOT get caught in the Disqus automatic spam filter systemplease login to your Disqus account or create a verified/approved Disqus account.

Posting multiple URL links WILL TRIGGER the Disqus automatic spam filter system.

16 Feb 2016 Dr. John Brandenburg
Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see

The Space Show Toll Free Number is only available on live broadcast programs. Please call 1-866-687-7223

Sponsor Banner

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • helix-space the space show sponsor

  • The Space Foundation Conference