Broadcast 612 (Special Edition)

27 Oct 2006 Dr. Joseph N. Pelton
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Dr. Joseph Pelton, author of "Space Exploration and Astronaut Safety" and Director of the Space And Advanced Communications Research Institute at the George Washington University was the guest for this Space Show program. We began our interview with Dr. Pelton discussing his book and narrowing in on astronaut safety, especially with regards to the shuttle. Dr. Pelton took us through various aspects of shuttle design and operations to explain astronaut safety issues. We talked about engineering, design, the timing of safety design, systems engineering and more. After a thorough discussion of the topic regarding the shuttle, we did the same for the ISS and then Dr. Pelton was asked about safety in the entrepreneurial sector. He said that they will find different ways of doing things so safety may not be compromised. We did talk about the status quo and the establishment way of doing things in NASA and the large aerospace industry. This discussion was highlighted by my comments on visiting the NASA testing section at White Sands during the Symposium and X Prize Cup week. When you see what goes on at he NASA testing center, you quickly start to understand why it is so costly to go to space. One also must ask the question about what is really essential, what is overkill, what is really nothing more than the way things have been done for years so let's not rock the boat. Dr. Pelton offered his thoughts on this issue. A listener asked him a question about our society being too risk averse and you will want to hear his answer. Dr. Pelton also mentioned the International Association For The Advancement Of Space Safety(http://www.iaass.org/) and their coming conference in Chicago, May 14-16. You can find out more about the conference at www.iaass.org/Conferences.htm, including how to submit a paper. Also, many of Dr. Pelton's and others papers can be downloaded free of charge from this organization's website. Dr. Pelton also suggested another site for those interested in space safety, www.spacesafety.org/. Later in the program, Dr. Pelton outlined his five step plan to restructure NASA and this is a must hear! We then talked about space exploration, science, communicating with the general public and lots more. This is a jam packed two hour space information delight of a show. Informative, positive, encouraging. If you are interested in Dr. Pelton's boo, "Space Exploration and Astronaut Safety," you can obtain it through AIAA at 1 800-682-2422. The online order site is www.aiaawarehouse@aiaa.org. If you have additional comments or questions for Dr. Pelton, you can reach hi at joepelton@verizon.net.

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