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Guest: Dr. Ajay Kothari; Topics: Multiple topics related to getting back to the Moon and why, China space policy, art and poetry, humanity needs space exploration, the Fermi Paradox, The Drake Equation plus more.
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We welcomed Dr. Ajay Kothari back to the show for a two segment 1 hour 52 minute wide ranging discussion on multiple topics. Dr. Kothari provided bullet points for the discussion which we mostly followed in order though detailed discussion for some of the points was dispersed throughout the entire program. Dr. Kothari's bullet points in the order presented were "why should we continue with space development and exploration; how do we work/deal/confront with China?; what about Artemis, SLS, Lunar Gateway, and Space Force?; what about SSP; use some of the Eastern minds you have instead of as NASA has ignored us!; Fermi paradox; Drake equation; Learning from Chandrayaan II for India." As Dr. Kothari went through his bullet points, he expanded the discussion for each item. In addition, I placed his PDF document title "Learning from Chandrayaan II for India" on our blog so be sure to review the document. The last topic of the discussion was his short presentation on what happened with this mission and his recommendations for avoiding the problems he pointed out in the future.
The detailed part of our discussion focused on why we should continue exploring and developing space. Our guest put for many reasons and examples, most of which were familiar to us. He also talked about culture, the arts and other disciplines that compliment the engineering and science and are critical for humanity just as is space. Dr. Kothari told us he was an artist having many of his panting on display in the Baltimore -DC area. The website where you can see many of Ajay's paintings is www.saatchiart.com/account/profile/1125965. I strongly suggest you check it out. Let us know what you think of Ajay's art by posting on our blog. I liked it very much!
In Ajay's discussion about why we need to continue developing and exploring space, we naturally transitioned to the big question in the room, China. Our guest talked about China and nationalism more so than China being a communist country. Don't miss his explanation for this perspective. Follow up questions asked him about this so listen to his explanation. In addition, he suggested that China's space timeline may not be accurate as he was of the opinion that China planned on big space accomplishments sooner than what is generally thought per their public timeline. What do you think about China accomplishing space goals sooner than dates given in the Chinese plan? Let us know by posting on the blog. From China we morphed into a discussion about the Biden Administration and space policy, then back to China. Several listeners sent Ajay email questions asking why he thought it was so crucial for us to get to the Moon before China. They wanted to know why China being on the Moon would be bad for them. Ajay spent time answering these questions on and off during the rest of the program. Since Ajay was talking about the importance of lunar water ice on the Moon and China getting to it first, the emailers wanted to know what the big deal was about water ice on the Moon. Again, listen to how Ajay responded to these questions.
In part two of our discussion, Ft. Worth John called to ask what China planned on using for a moon rocket. Ajay was not sure but suggested the possibility of a L-M 8. He then began talking about Falcon Heavy getting to the Moon, a different upper stage and once again why going straight to the Moon was much more economical and easier than using the Gateway. John and Ajay talked about Starship and the Moon and both suggested it would be easier and better for SpaceX to focus on the Moon for now, not Mars. After John's call, the discussion moved on to Ajay explaining what he meant by saying NASA was not using nor taking advantage of the Eastern mind. Our guest spent time explaining differences between East and West, mostly focused on the heart compared to money and finances. Don't miss this discussion.
Near the end of the program, Ajay talked about both the Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation. He repeated what he said earlier in the show in terms of our responsibility to humanity and those that come after us. We then took a call from Marshall who wanted suggest that following capital models produced more incentive than other types of models. Ft. Worth John sent in a short email elaborating on one of the comments made by our guest regarding a Fermi story. I read his short email on air so listen for it. Before concluding the program, Ajay mentioned that he did not have much faith in SSP due to economic reasons but since time was short, he did not elaborate on his SSP thoughts and analysis. He suggested we save it for a future program. Before ending, Ajay provided us with a quick summary of the problem faced by the Indian Chandrayaan II mission. In addition, he quickly took us through his analysis which is the PDF document I uploaded to the blog for this show so do check it out. Before ending his mission analysis, he provided us with his suggestions that help avoid repeating the problems encountered by this mission when India launches another to the Moon.
Please post your comments/questions on our blog for this show. You can reach Dr. Kothari through me or his company website for Astrox, www.astrox.com.