Broadcast 3322 Dr. Greg Matloff & C. Bangs

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Guests:  Dr. Greg Matloff, C Bangs; Topics: We discussed their book "Stellar Engineering," terrestrial & possible alien megastructures & concepts for advanced civilizations outside our solar system.  Lot's more was discussed related to this topic.

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We welcomed back to the program Dr. Greg Matloff and we welcomed artist C Bangs to the program for the first time.  During our one segment 72 minute discussion, we focused on their unique and excellent book, "Stellar Engineering" which tells a story with scientific fact and analysis about the possibility of our finding and someday even building large megastructures in space.  Dr. Matloff started us off with an introduction to the book along with the artistic and creative participation of co-author C Bangs.  You can find out more about our guests by visiting their respective websites.  See and  Greg talked about the history behind large structures, discussed the 1930's with Olaf Stapleton and later with Freeman Dyson.  He talked about the role of science fiction into the present with the Kepler Space Telescope project and now the study of exoplanets and possible habitable star systems.  The subject of the Stapleton/Dyson sphere came up many times in our discussion. 

Other sci-fi books were referenced and connected to our discussion including Larry Niven's Ringworld, the works of Arthur Clarke, Sagan plus a few more.  Other topics including building large megastructures on Earth and then trying to compare them to what a megastructure would be like in space turned out to be a difficult comparison.  For example, our guests talked about Tabby's star with one theory for the light variation being a super megastructure around the star.  Here, we were talking about megastructures far different form what we have built on Earth or are capable of building today.  Later when I asked our guests what type of materials would be used and what the construction methods might be for a stellar megastructure engineering project around Tabby's star, the answer focused on having a huge quantity of orbiting space stations or settlements forming the megastructure around the star.  Be sure to listen to these discussions throughout our program.  Please comment on them by posting on our blog for this show.

We responded to several listener emails during the program.  One asked C how she decided to image the structures and engineering projects talked about in the book and on The Space Show.  Don't miss her response which included references to a termite mound on Earth.  I promise you, after hearing this discussion, you will likely view termites and their mounds/homes differently than before.  We also talked about what actually created or made an advanced society advanced.  The listener sending in the email about this noted that Earth was fairly advanced given our capabilities but nothing compared to what was being talked about in the book and in our discussion.  Don't miss how our guests responded to this question.  Part of the answer focused on the findings and work related to the ESA GAIA Mission.  If you are not familiar with this very important operational mission, check it out at  It is worth noting that our guests talked about advanced space civilizations likely being a billion years older than civilization on Earth.

Later in our conversation, I asked our guests if much of what they were talking about was accepted in mainstream science.   Dr. Matloff responded by talking about Breakthrough which we frequently cover on TSS, plus the work of Dr. Avi Loeb of Harvard who has been on TSS and I hope will be on again in the near future.  As we  neared the end of our discussion, listener Randy brought up the size of very large terrestrial man made objects like the Great Wall of China and the pyramids.  Both our guests had much to say in response to Randy as these topics were covered in their book including the Notre Dame and other huge cathedrals built during the Middle Ages  along with certain Neolithic human made megastructures.  In addition, especially as we were coming up on the conclusion of our program and due to a call from Kim, we talked about small minds versus big minds and big thinking regarding very large projects and our future in space as well as on Earth.  Rough extrapolations were made to possible alien civilizations making huge stellar megastructures and in the process being big thinking, not small thinking.  Don't miss this most interesting conversation with Kim.

The subject of space settlement got our focus at the very end of our program.  Listen to how it came up and what our guests had to say about it.  Don't miss why the guest preference was for settlements within LEO, not the Moon or Mars.  Don't miss what was said about the Gateway, the need for lots more information regarding long duration human stay in space and more, especially with life support and the gravity prescription for humans  This led to our talking about space policy, the disconnect between what our guests were talking about and NASA and government space activity and policy.  At one point our guests said their hope was in Blue Origin and Jeff Bezos as well as SpaceX and Elon Musk, not in NASA or the government.  Both then referenced our current state of political dysfunction and how it played out with space policy.  Before Kim's call ended,  C Bang referred us to Isaac Arthur on YouTube and the LASER Leonardo project as part of her conversation with Kim.  You can find out more about the LASER Leonardo project here:   The Isaac Arthur page is here:

Both our guests offered concluding comments you will want to hear.  Also, this is a brief summary of the many topics and  concepts talked about both during this program and in their book, "Stellar Engineering."  I strongly urge you to get a copy of the book as it is unique, factual and informative. It addresses many of the future type of Space Show questions we frequently talk about.  If you buy it on Amazon, be sure to use the Amazon portal for The Space Show on our home page.

Please post your comments/questions for our guests on our blog for this show.  You can reach each guest through their respective websites or me.




"Stellar Engineering" Concepts for advanced civilizations building in stellar space

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31 May 2019 Dr. Greg Matloff, C. Bangs
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