Broadcast 911 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Dr. Phil Chapman. Dr. Phil Chapman returned for this special Space Show program dedicated to the memory of Sir Arthur C. Clarke who passed away today. As it turned out, Dr. Chapman knew Sir Arthur, so for the first part of the program, we talked about Arthur Clarke and Phil shared his experiences with him with us. If you have not yet seen it, Arthur Clarke recorded a video for his "Last Message To Earth" recorded on his 90th birthday this past December. You can and should watch this YouTube video located at As we started our discussion with Phil, we focused on space solar power (SSP). Arthur Clarke's message led us to this discussion as one of Clarke's wishes in his final talk was to get off fossil fuels and to develop a clean source of energy. SSP does do this, assuming it can be made to work both technically and economically. In this segment, Phil explains some of the basic reasons for SSP and I drilled him on some of the basic objections to SSP, especially economic objections. Don't miss this first segment of this two hour program. We continued our discussion on SSP throughout the show, but Phil also talked about the need to pursue other forms of energy. Among the other forms of energy discussed included ethanol, natural gas, methane, nuclear, and terrestrial solar. Phil received a few questions about nuclear, so he spent considerable time on this subject and explained some of the new work being done on nuclear power and why its far safer than older systems, making it a must for serious energy production. He also spent considerable time talking about methane options. These are discussions that you will want to hear. Dr. Chapman also took the opportunity to compare the potential benefits of SSP with terrestrial solar. As explained to us, SSP has clear benefits and advantages over terrestrial solar. When Dr. Chapman talked about launch costs, he explained how we need to get the cost down below $2500/KwH for power, but we are a long way from reaching that goal right now. In the context of lowering launch costs, he was asked for his ideas on how to do this and if he supported the idea of the space elevator as a way of accomplishing the lower launch costs. Listen to what he says on this subject and the space elevator. We also talked about the need for political leadership to bring about the development of SSP systems. If you have a comment or question for Dr. Phil Chapman, please send it to me at and I will send it on to Phil.



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18 Mar 2008 Dr. Philip Chapman
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