Broadcast 1397

25 Jul 2010 Brian Enke
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Guest: Brian Enke. Topics: Mars, space policy, self publishing, life sciences, science fiction, asteroids. Brian Enke returned to the show to discuss Mars and space science/policy related issues, plus his science fiction writing and work in the self publishing field in this two hour program in two segments. In our first segment, I asked him when he thought humans would set foot on Mars. Brian's response was certainly measured and concerned. I then asked him about an email I had received re the trillion dollar asteroid concept, that is, towing a valuable NEO to Earth for mining the resources. Brian outlined the very real challenges if not show stoppers in attempting to do something like that and I added in the economics of it that really negate such an idea. We both agreed that developing the insitu resource capability for use within space was extremely important. We then talked about the space policy debate and the Senate and House versions of the compromise. Callers as well as the guest and I commented that the House version was not nearly as good as the Senate version re commercial space and other important things though the House version did contain the objective of starting up a variable gravity research lab in LEO. We talked about that and microgravity issues throughout the show. Based on the comments Brian was providing us, I asked if the lack of stability in space policy was adversely impacting the research being carried out by scientists and others. Don't miss what he had to say about this. Toward the end of this segment, our guest was asked about waking up the Mars rover Spirit, the Buzz Aldrin cycler idea, and obtaining meteorological data from the Mars rovers. In the second segment, Tom Hill called in and talked about heavy lift and propellant depots, launch windows, etc. Several hard questions came in on the propellant depot/launch window issue. John Jurist called in to talk about the human factors issues for a humans to Mars mission with radiation being tops on the discussion list. You will certainly want to hear what was said. I asked Brian and caller John if we could do Mars by 2019. You might be surprised by what each had to say. Later in the segment, we returned to the subject of heavy lift and the flexible path. I mentioned the talk given by Dr. Logan at ISDC and NewSpace 2010 regarding humans going to Deimos to use robots to explore Mars. I asked Brian about suborbital research and the interest in it with the Southwest Research Institute scientists, engineers, and researchers. He said he did not follow it closely but that he has picked up that there is lots of excitement about the opportunities. A question about the Kepler Space Telescope came up and Brian was to get back to us on the reports of finding hundreds of small Earth-like planets. Near the end of the program, we talked about the possibilities of biological life on Mars, Brian's sequel to his first science fiction book, and the field of self publishing and the man ebook formats flooding the market and how the publishing industry is changing. If you have a question or comment from Brian Enke, please email him at brian.enke@gmail.com.

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