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Guests: Dr. Madhu Thangavelu, Ivan Figueroa, Alexander Sullivan; Topics: The Fall 2018 Space Exploration Architectures Concept Synthesis Studio, ADAM Project, OCTANE Project, EDEN Project and more.
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We welcomed back to the show Professor Madhu Thangavelu with two of his students, Ivan Figueroa and Alexander Sullivan, to discuss their respective contributions to the Fall 2018 class and this year's ADAM Project. This was a one segment 70 minute discussion. In addition, we apologize for audio problems during this program. We started the discussion with Dr. Thangavelu introducing us to his design workshop, USC, and certain national space policy programs and directives which for 2018 have focused on returning to the Moon, commercial space expansion and space traffic management. Madhu introduced us to the ADAM Project for his class this fall. Student Ivan Figueroa discussed his OCTANE project, then student Alex Sullivan discussed his EDEN project. You can see all the ADAM Project papers and presentations by visiting https://sites.google.com/a/usc.edu/aste527/home. Madhu has yet to archive the 2018 class projects on the site but he will be doing so soon so keep checking the above URL if you want to see the 2018 projects and presentations.
Ivan spoke with us first to describe his OCTANE project which was a LEO Fuel Depot and Staging project. Ivan described his project which prompted me to ask him about customers and market acceptance. My questions were followed up by a call from listener Dallas asking for more information about customers, market, pricing, demand, etc. Ivan discussed these issues with Dallas who then talked about his project which had some similarities but included fuel transfer and an existing customer base. Ivan's project was a classroom project not yet being implemented as policy or for commercial market purposes. Be sure to listen to the exchange with Dallas and Ivan. Later in the show, Madhu talked about the plans for both Ivan and Alex to present their projects at various conferences including ISDC and an upcoming one next year at NASA Ames. Ivan mentioned the use of the Gateway which we talked about now and later toward the end of the program. Madhu and Ivan thought more of the Gateway than most of The Space Show audience but in the end they did agree that it was not in a great orbit or location. Let us know what you think of their plans to use the Gateway. Post your comments on our blog.
Our next guest, Alex Sullivan, talked with us about his EDEN project which was a plan to grow food on the Moon. Alex talked about existing projects planned for the Moon and LEO by China and others regarding plant seed, silkworms, and bio regenerative systems. He also talked about the importance of symbiosis which he explained in detail. As for EDEN, he said it was designed to take advantage of sunlight on the Moon because at any given time, the sun was always shining someplace on the sun drenched lunar side. He said sunlight was the most plentiful natural resource on the Moon. He talked about remote demonstrations, greenhouse follow-ups and eventual human interaction but that would come much later. Dallas called back to talk with Alex regarding pollinators and the greenhouse. Alex mentioned insects as a possible pollinator. Alex also talked about NASA and food science for space given their ISS experience.
Madhu and Alex talked about the use of the Gateway for food growth. They said at a cost of around $72,000/kilo for a meal to space from Earth, options were needed. Before the show ended, Madhu talked about the upcoming ISDC meeting in June 2019 in Washington, DC plus other events and conferences that the students will present at during 2091. Before the show ended, Madhu pointed out the LUTE project which involved lunar lava tube exploration which he said was more important than searching for life on Mars, Europa, and Enceladus.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. You can reach Dr. Thangavelu, Ivan and Alex through Madhu's USC address or through me.