Broadcast 1298 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

28 Jan 2010 Dr. Haym Benaroya
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Guest: Dr. Haym Benaroya. Topics: New space policy, return to the Moon, Mars, the need for a grand space vision. Dr. Haym Benaroya, author and Rutgers University engineering professor, returned to discuss his two new books and the preliminary reports pertaining to the new space policy to be announced Feb. 1, 2010. In our first segment, Dr. Benaroya introduced us to his two new books which will soon be available on the One Giant Leap Foundation book page. You will be notified when they are available for your purchase. The two books are "Lunar Settlements" and "Turning Dust To Gold." It did not take us long to get Professor Benaroya's thoughts on the preliminary news about the forthcoming changes in our space policy, including the cancellation of the return to the Moon program. Dr. Benaroya spent most of the show talking about this and related issues and he believes it means to the U.S., education, leadership, etc. to cancel the Moon program. In fact, you will hear similar thoughts from our UK listener in the fourth segment of the program. In the first segment, we also talked about the probability of another nation getting to the Moon instead of us and what that might mean for the U.S. In the second segment, we talked about student interest in certain academic programs knowing the government had terminated the Moon program. Dr. Benaroya had interesting thoughts on that given he has ten undergraduate students in his lunar engineering course. He then focused on international partnerships for lunar development as outlined in his book, "Turning Dust To Gold." Toward the end of this segment, he received a call from a Huntsville listener asking if having a PhD helped or hurt one's chances for getting a job in the space industry. You might be surprised by Haym's response to this listener. In our third segment, we talked about the loss of jobs along the Florida space coast due to the closing down and retirement of the Space Shuttle and in general, the loss of jobs within the space workforce. Another listener asked our guest to make the business case for the Moon. Listen carefully to what Dr. Benaroya said and how he responded to this question. I actually think its one of the best responses to this often asked question I have heard. We talked about the Japanese interest in going to the Moon and the opportunity cost issue for investing in the Moon versus something else. At the end of this segment, a San Diego listener asked our guest how best to get our elected representatives to listen to us given the current political climate in which its now established they don't listen that well to what we have to say. Haym offered some suggestions and I suggested personal visits to staffers in local offices. In our final segment, Charles called in form Mojave and said that if the early press reports were correct about the space policy, the cancellation of Ares would be equal to a magnitude 7.0 earthquake for NASA. He said he hoped this would afford us the opportunity to take a good, hard look at NASA and start revamping the organization. Neither the guest or I thought this would happen. Dr. Benaroya talked about the continuity of space policy from one administration to another and the dangerous signals sent to the community when one administrations cancels the programs of the earlier one. This is an interesting discussion so you don't want to miss it. Toward the end of this segment, Dr. Benaroya spoke at length about the importance and value of a space vision for a great country. If you have a question or comment for Dr. Haym Benaroya, please email him at benaroya@rci.rutgers.edu.

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