Broadcast 1332 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

25 Mar 2010 Dr. Paul Dear
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Guest: Dr. Paul Dear. Topics: N-Prize, genetics and DNA. Dr. Paul Dear returned to The Space Show for important N-Prize updates in addition to an informative science discussion. For information about the N-Prize, please visit www.n-prize.com. In our first segment, Dr. Dear went over the basics of the N-Prize with us including teams, rules, costs, and regulatory issues. He explained there were two tracks, the reusable track and the regular track and there is a prize for each section. We talked about balloon launch Rockoons, rocket guns, and more. Dr. Dear brought up the issue of cubesats which we discussed in some detail. Later in this segment regulatory and ITAR issues with respect to the N-Prize were discussed. We started the second segment with a call from Charles in Mojave who told us his personal N-Prize story and the value he was getting from participating in the contest. There was also a brief discussion of religion and space. Don't miss it. In this segment we talked about genetic modification of specific human genes for long duration spaceflight and settlement. Dr. Dear had much to say about DNA and the subject of genetic modification. This is an interesting discussion that you will definitely want to hear. The subject of DNA and Mammoths came up as that is part of the biological work Dr. Dear does in his Cambridge lab. In the third segment, we opened up with a discussion on the extinct marsupial, Tylacine, then we talked about reconstituting the RNA of the Spanish Flu. Again, don't miss this discussion. I asked if biology and some of the subjects we have been talking about overlapped with space fields. Listen to what Dr. Dear had to say about this. Later in this segment, a listener asked about the website www.halfbakery.com. Make sure you listen to what Dr. Dear said about it and also make sure you visit the website. We then talked about indicators of crackpot science and Dr. Dear suggested that if the basic rules and laws were being ignored or distorted, the theory was likely a crackpot theory. In the fourth and final segment, we talked about regulation and safety issues and listeners asked more about men and women as part of the N-Prize teams. As you will hear, the N-Prize structure stays away from the regular world, leaving it to the nations of the contestants. Launch requirements came to our attention as did the rocket equation and launching near the equator. A listener asked if an N-Prize entry could beam solar power to Earth using a small mirror. He said probably but that it would be very low in power and ineffective other than perhaps seeing it as it goes by overhead. If you have a question or comment for Dr. Paul Dear, please contact him at info@n-prize.org.

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