Broadcast 1059 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

24 Nov 2008 Dr. Barrett Caldwell
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Guest: Dr. Barrett Caldwell was the guest for this special Space Show program. We started our discussion by asking him about Space Grant Indiana and the national NASA space grant program, such as the projects and scholarships that Space Grant funds. This is a very informative discussion and it is applicable to Space Grant in other states as well though we did discuss specific Indiana programs. Clearly, there are advantages for students to associate with a Space Grant program, listen and you will understand why I say this. In addition to a comprehensive discussion about Space Grant on both the Indiana and national level, we talked about Dr. Caldwell's research and work which focuses on human performance and lunar settlement engineering. During this discussion, we talked about the impact of lunar dust on settlement engineering, repairs, maintenance, and how it's planned for and accomplished when everything is still in the theoretical state. While many listener questions were fielded, one asked Dr. Caldwell about the Google Lunar X-Prize and it turns out that Barrett does work with one of the teams. Another listener asked about transhumanism and related human bioenengineering to adapt to long duration and living in space. You will definitely want to hear what he had to say in response to these questions. Barrett used a great term for explaining the need to study the hard subjects and we discussed this during the program. From his experience, students do study the hard courses if there is an outcome available to them for expressing the reason for studying the courses. In terms of space topics, he said they were the "right level of hard!" A listener brought up undersea fiber optics self-correcting cables to repair problems in them and wondered if that could be done with lunar equipment. Barrett spoke about redundancy and how you design for that, even with hard equipment because everyone knows the repairman is not going to be readily available on the Moon or anywhere else in space. If you have questions or comments for Dr. Barrett Caldwell, you can reach him at either director@insgc.org or bscaldwell@purdue.edu.

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