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Guest: Dr. Madhu Thangalevu; Topics: Commercial space, space policy, the Moon, USC design classes and a lot 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. Madhu Thangalevu to discuss multiple space development, commercial, student, and policy issues and ideas. We started the first segment of our 118 minute show with Professor Thangalevu talking about his idea for the U.S. to establish a Dept. of Space as a cabinet level organization. I was lukewarm to the idea and did not think it would happen with the current administration given the administration objective of shrinking the federal government. I also thought there were other ways to accomplish what Madhu talked about as to why such a department was needed. Listen to what Madhu said and tell us what you think of the idea. I agree with most of his agenda, I just don't think it is likely to happen. I also think the newly established National Space Council could do much of what Madhu talked about were they interested in doing so. Don't miss our important discussion.
Another topic brought up by Madhu was his idea of the need for point to point space tourism and commercial travel. I was skeptical of the market for the service given the likely high price, a price he suggested might be $50,000 per ticket. I also commented that I thought hypersonic travel was more likely given some of the launch and orbital issues regarding point to point. Tell us what you think about this subject? How much would you be willing to spend to get to an international location in an hour or two as compared to the long flight times of today?
Madhu spent considerable time in this segment talking about the ISDC 2007 and the Moon Track which he chairs. The Moon Track lasts a day and a half which is very unusual. Madhu talked about subjects, speakers, and more. Dr. Doug sent us a note saying he was a speaker in the Moon track. You can find out more about ISDC 2007 at http://isdc2017.nss.org.
Space debris was another topic. Madhu said that in the future, we might have directed laser energy beams placed on the Moon to zap debris out of existence. We talked about the dual use of such directed energy laser beams as weapons. Don't miss what Madhu had to say about this potential problem. What do you think? One of his suggested solutions to the weapons issue was for AI to control the use of the laser. Your thoughts? Our guest had more to say about robotic use and development plus AI for the remainder of the first segment.
In segment two, Kim called from Mexico and inquired about how Madhu' s students handled the class and design projects. Hers was an interesting question that Madhu spent time answering. In the process of answering it, he sent us to the website for his recent design class plus the archived. We talked about specific entries on the website. Follow along at https://sites.google.com/a/usc.edu/aste527/home/2016---seleneoption-high-fidelity-simulations-and-analogs-on-the-moon. Dr. Thangavelu's class is ASTE 527. Madhu told us how to find the relevant entries on this website per his discussion with us.
Our guest then talked about simulations and analogs. He talked about the Moon being the best place to simulate gravity work because it is hard to do here on Earth. He said the same about radiation experiments and more. His vision included lunar simulations to advance human spaceflight and settlement. Tell us what you think of using the Moon for important simulation experiments to advance human spaceflight. Post your comments about this on our blog.
Madhu strongly supported lunar tourism and had much to say about this. In addition, he addressed planetary defense from the surface of the Moon using the directed energy lasers mentioned earlier in our show. As we neared the end of the program, he talked about his FISO Mobius Talk which focused on an orbit that would go close to the Moon and be perfect for lunar tourism. You can listen to his talk and see his presentation here: http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Thangavelu_11-16-16/.
Madhu also talked about space and symbolism. He said space was the ultimate billboard and space activities would be very visible. He called space the ultimate United Nations platform. Make sure you hear all his comments on this subject. Again, let us know your thoughts.
Before the show ended, Kim called back to talk with Madhu about his book. You can check it out at Amazon, www.amazon.com/Moon-Resources-Development-Settlement-Springer/dp/0387360557/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1495038529&sr=8-2-fkmr1&keywords=The+Moon+by+Dr.+Madhu+Thangalevu. Remember, if you buy the book, please do so through the OGLF/Space Show Amazon portal. For instructions, click on the large Amazon link on our home page. During their conversation, they talked about the light sail concept.
Our final question came from Tim in Huntsville wanting to know about small launchers for smallsats and cubesats, mainly the Electron rocket by Rocket Labs. Our guest responded to Tim, then he talked about their upcoming fall program at USC with the theme of lunar tourism.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Dr. Madhu Thangalevu through me or his class website at USC.