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Guest: Loren Grush; Topics: Falcon Heavy STP2 launch, commercial space, space and millennials, returning to the Moon, Mars, and multiple other space topics of interest.
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We welcomed science and space journalist Loren Grush to the show for this one segment 68 minute discussion from the Cape regarding the upcoming Falcon Heavy STP 2 launch, commercial, getting to and from the Moon, millennials and space, China, aerospace engineering, space journalism, women in space fields, green propellant and so very much more. You can read many of the articles written buy our guest on The Verge at www.theverge.com/authors/loren-grush. We started our 68 minute one segment discussion with Loren talking about the upcoming Falcon Heavy launch and the STP2 mission. Loren will be covering the launch which is scheduled for Monday evening, June 24 at 11:30 PM EDT. She also told us about her pending launch photography, including the remote launch streaking shots she wanted to get at a remote camera location only. Loren talked about the multiple satellite payloads on the mission, the USAF, and I brought up the fact that Celestis, our Space Show sponsor, has a memorial flight on board too. We talked about Celestis flights and my experience with them. I suggested finding the Celestis folks at the launch might make for some interesting interviews. Don't miss what Loren said about the launch, the payloads and even the possibility of talking to Celestis families.
After talking about Celestis, we moved on to the subject of commercial space. Loren thought space development would go forward as a hybrid for public and private regarding the human spaceflight missions but that this was still developing and we were not yet ready for prime time (my words, not hers). Loren did say that for now we should not put all our eggs into one basket.
A listener asked by email about younger people, specifically millennials, and their interest in space, going to the Moon, Mars, and space settlements. Loren had much to say about her age peers. She said many were optimistic and interested but that space was not a priority though they do get excited about it. She relayed a comment she heard from a millennial regarding the ISS being on the Moon. Don't miss this discussion which was fairly involved regarding millennial attitudes toward space exploration, even going to the Moon or Mars. In the same discussion, Loren mentioned another example, the creation of a Space Force. Once again, don't miss this part of our discussion.
I asked Loren about her going to the Moon or Mars. Listen to hear what she had to say. You may be surprised by her answer. Later, she was specifically asked about space settlement and said her age group did not see it as a priority, not even for Plan B. She suggested people wanted to fix things here and make sure nothing bad happened on the home planet.
Linda in Portland asked about her work as a space journalism, and the best path to follow in school to be involved in the space field as a career. Loren has lots to say about this in reply, especially since was a journalist, not an engineer. You want to be sure to hear what she suggested for Linda and others but mostly it was to figure out what you want to do and find a way to accomplish that goal. She also talked about there being multiple career opportunities other than engineering for the space field Listen to what she said about learning engineering and writing about it with space missions, rockets, and technology.
Rob from Tucson asked Loren what she planned for her future reading space. Again, don't miss her reply. Bill gave us a call to ask about the payloads on the FH STP2 mission including The Planetary Society Lightsail mission. Loren and Bill talked about Lightsail and Loren referenced her recent interview on the subject with Bill Nye. While Bill was still with us, I asked Loren about her view on the SpaceX Tesla launch. She had much to say about that. In her response, she talked about Elon Musk being a Rockstar!
Another topic was going to Mars and SpaceX development of their big rocket. She was skeptical about SpaceX proposed timelines, also about obtaining the needed funding for the project. That said, she was confident Mr. Musk would make it happen but probably not on the time line being proposed.
Mary from Billings sent in an email asking Loren if she covered the Chinese space and Moon program and if she was concerned about China and space. She does cover the stories but said we were bogged down with politics and strategy. She was not that concerned. She said we could return to the Moon if we wanted to as we have already been there. It is our politics that stops us from going and probably will stop us, not that we can't do it if we wanted to do it.
Before the program ended, I asked Loren for the hot space topics she sees for the balance of 2019. Commercial crew and maybe race with Boeing and SpaceX since both are talking about demo flights in November this year. NASA and everyone says it is not a race but it seems like it might be a race. Another hot topic might be the internet satellite constellations being planned plus their impact on astronomy with possible light pollution and even space debris. Loren referenced the USAF awards as being a big topic of interest for later in the year.
Mars and the search for life came up before the program ended with an email from Rod in New Mexico. Loren had lots to say on this topic and mentioned terraforming per comments by Dr. Chris McKay on the subject. Quickly before the program ended, I asked Loren about her interest in advanced propulsion to get her to Mars faster so that maybe she would go to report on life on Mars findings. Loren quickly mentioned her interest in the different types of propulsion including the new green propulsion being tested on one of the satellites being launch by the Falcon Heavy. You can read about the green fuel test and more here in her Verge report: www.theverge.com/2019/6/21/18692023/spacex-falcon-heavy-atomic-clock-nasa-green-propulsion-lightsail-planetary-society.
Please post your comments/questions for Loren Grush on TSS blog. You can reach our guest through me or her Verge website above.