Broadcast 2799 Mars City Design Comp with Dr. Madhu Thangalevu & Vera Mulyani

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Guests:  Vera Mulyani, Madhu Thangavelu;  Topics:  Mars City Design Competition (, living on Mars, simulations, analogs & 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,   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

We welcomed to the show for the first time Vera Mulyani, founder of the Mars City Design Competition and Professor Madhu Thangavelu from the Dept. of Astronautical Engineering with the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC.  Our guests were with us to discuss the Mars City Design Competition and then later near the end of the program, the current work by Professor Thangavelu's studio design class.  NOTE THAT THERE WERE SEVERE AUDIO ISSUES WITH VERA'S CELL PHONE DURING THE SECOND SEGMENT OF THE PROGRAM.  WE APOLOGIZE FOR THIS POOR QUALIT AUDIO.  THERE WERE NO AUDIO ISSUES WITH MAHDU OR ME.

During the first segment of our 88 minute program, Vera spent time telling us about the Mars City Design Competition, how and why she started it, the global participants, the vision behind it, the nature of the competition, the events being held in different locations and of course she clarified the goals and objectives of the project.  In her introduction of the project, Vera took questions from listeners along with myself focused on understanding this project which has lots of events in different locations making up numerous components over time. 

Vera mentioned vision quite a bit, especially the vision brought to the table by Buzz Aldrin who was one of the key people involved in the competition.  Don't miss what Vera had to say about Buzz and his vision.  Vera was then asked if Buzz or someone else wanted to use the Moon in support of going to Mars and wondered if anyone was designing lunar cities or hardware in support of the Mars effort.  Madhu entered the conversation to talk about Buzz and the design competition plus the use of the Moon in support of Mars.  Don't miss what Madhu said in this part of the program. 

The subject of a multi-planet species came up when Vera and Madhu were asked about Elon Musk and his potential support for the Mars City Design Competition.  Madhu had much to say about what Elon said in Mexico, especially with regards to inspiration.  Listener B John in Sweden sent in a note asking if the entries to the competition used Martian materials for building or were they using Earth materials as well.  The short answer was no but listen to all of what was said. This led us to a detailed ISRU discussion.  Our guests continued to talk about Musk, Mars, and SpaceX plans for the balance of the first segment.

In starting off the second segment, Vera made several important event announcements for the Mars City Design Competition.  The events and their schedules are now posted in the comments section of the blog for this program so if the audio is hard for you to understand, you can read the information on the blog.  If you can attend any of the events, please do so and let us know about it with a call to an Open Lines Space Show program. 

As we were nearing the end of the program, Madhu talked about his latest design studio class with a focus on analogs and simulations.  Madhu then offered his comments on the Musk Mars talk from Mexico.  He was disappointed that radiation was not dealt with nor were the microgravity issues.  Madhu thought the rocket part was very inspirational and that any challenges in building such a large rocket would be successfully overcome.  He thought the entire talk and vision was an important inspirational tool, maybe even a turning point for space exploration and settlement.  He asked me to give my opinion which I did though I have said as much on other Space Show programs and with an Open Lines program next Sunday, I suspect I will offer my views once again.

Please post your comments/questions for our guests in the comments section on TSS blog which is part of the archives for this show.  You can also reach Vera through her website as was provided earlier in this summary.  Madhu can also be contacted through his USC website,  You can reach both guests through me using  




Mars City Design Competition

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23 Oct 2016 Professor Madhu Thangavelu, Vera Mulyani
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