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This Week On The Space Show

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:22 am
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The Space Show, hosted by David Livingston under www.TheSpaceShow.com, will have the following guests this week:

1. Monday, October 11, 2010, 2-3:30 PM PDT (21-22:30 GMT)
Dr. Alan Stern
returns to the program to discuss suborbital research opportunities, the New Horizons Pluto Mission and more.
Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist, space program executive, consultant, and author. He is serving as an Associate Vice President at the Southwest Research Institute and has his own aerospace consulting firm, with current and former clients including Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the Odyssey Moon Google Lunar X-Prize team, Boeing Aerospace, and the Johns Hopkins University. In 2007 and 2008, Dr. Stern served as NASA’s chief of all space and Earth science programs, directing a $4.4B organization with 93 separate flight missions and a program of over 3,000 research grants. During his NASA tenure, a record 10 major new flight projects were started and deep reforms of NASA’s scientific research and the education and public outreach programs were put in place.



His tenure also featured an emphasis on cost control in NASA flight missions that resulted in a 63% decrease in cost overruns. In 2007, he was named to the Time 100’s list of most influential people. His career has taken him to numerous astronomical observatories, to the South Pole, and to the upper atmosphere aboard various high performance NASA aircraft including F/A-18 Hornets, KC-135 zero-G, and WB-57 Canberras. He has been involved as a researcher in 24 suborbital, orbital, and planetary space missions, including 9 for which he was the mission principle investigator; and he has led the development of 8 ultraviolet and visible/infrared scientific instruments for NASA space missions. Among Dr. Stern’s mission lead roles is NASA’s $720M New Horizon’s Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission, the largest PI-led space mission ever launched by NASA. Prior to his service at NASA Headquarters in Washington, Dr. Stern served as the Executive Director of the Southwest Research Institute’s (SwRI’s) Space Science and Engineering Division from 2005-2007. Previous to that, from 1998 to 2005, he was the Director of the Space Studies Department at SwRI, and from 1994 to 1998, he was from 1994-1998 the leader of the Geophysical, Astrophysical, and Planetary Science section in SwRI’s Space Sciences Department. During his SwRI tenure from 1991 to 2007, Dr. Stern grew SwRI’s planetary group from three people to one of the largest in the world, with a total project value exceeding $250M. Prior to founding SwRI’s Colorado operations in 1994, he was the leader of SwRI’s Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences group at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio. From 1983 to 1991 he held positions at the University of Colorado in the Center for Space and Geosciences Policy, the office of the Vice President for Research, the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA). Before receiving his doctorate from the University of Colorado in 1989, Dr. Stern completed twin master’s degrees in aerospace engineering and atmospheric sciences (1980 and 1981), and then spent six years as an aerospace systems engineer, concentrating on spacecraft and payload systems at the NASA Johnson Space Center, Martin Marietta Aerospace, and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado. His two undergraduate degrees are in physics and astronomy from the University of Texas (1978 and 1980). Dr. Stern has published over 200 technical papers and 40 popular articles. He has given over 300 technical talks and over 100 popular lectures and speeches about astronomy and the space program. He has written two books, The U.S. Space Program After Challenger (Franklin-Watts, 1987), and Pluto and Charon: Ice Worlds on the Ragged Edge of the Solar System (Wiley 1997, 2005). Additionally, he has served as editor on three technical volumes, and three collections of scientific popularizations: Our Worlds (Cambridge, 1998), Our Universe (Cambridge, 2000), and Worlds Beyond (Cambridge, 2003). Dr. Stern’s research has focused on studies of our solar system’s Kuiper belt and Oort cloud, comets, the satellites of the outer planets, the Pluto system, and the search for evidence of solar systems around other stars. He has also worked on spacecraft rendezvous theory, terrestrial polar mesospheric clouds, galactic astrophysics, and studies of tenuous satellite atmospheres, including the atmosphere of the moon. Dr. Stern has served on numerous NASA advisory committees, including the Lunar Exploration Science Working Group and the Discovery Program Science Working Group, the Solar System Exploration Subcommittee (SSES), the New Millennium Science Working Group, the Pluto Science Definition Team (SDT), and NASA’s Sounding Rocket Working Group. He was chairman of NASA’s Outer Planets Science Working Group from 1991 to 1994. He served as a panel member for the National Research Council’s 2003-2013 decadal survey on planetary science, and on the NASA Advisory Council (2006-2007). He is currently serving as the chair of the Suborbital Applications Researcher’s Group (SARG) of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF). Dr. Stern is a fellow of the AAAS and the IAA, and a member of the AAS and the AGU; he w as elected incoming chair of the AAS Division of Planetary Sciences in 2006. He has been awarded the Von Braun Aerospace Achievement Award of the National Space Society, the 2007 University of Colorado George Norlin Distinguished Alumnus Award, and the 2009 St. Mark’s Preparatory School Distinguished Alumnus Award. He is a member of the board of directors of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Dr. Stern’s personal interests include hiking, camping, and writing. He is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and flight instructor, with both powered and sailplane ratings.

2. Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 7-8:30 PM PDT (October 13, 2-3:30 GMT)
Dr. Wendell Mendell
, lunar and planetary scientist from NASA JSC.
Dr. Wendell Mendell is a Planetary Scientist serving as Assistant Administrator for Exploration in the Directorate for Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science of the NASA Johnson Space Center, where he has been employed since 1963. He is married and has four children. Dr. Mendell has a B.S. in physics from CalTech; a M.S. in physics from UCLA; and a M.S. in Space Science and a Ph.D. in Space Physics and Astronomy from Rice University. His scientific research focus is remote sensing of planetary surfaces, particularly specializing in thermal emission radiometry and spectroscopy of the Moon. Since 1982, his activities in NASA have focused on planning and advocacy of human exploration of the solar system, especially on the establishment of a permanent human base on the Moon. His interests lay as much with policy issues as with technical solutions. He is most well known as the editor of the volume, Lunar Bases and Space Activities of the 21st Century; and he received the 1988 Space Pioneer Award for Science and Engineering from the National Space Society for this work. Dr. Mendell is currently detailed to the Constellation Systems Program Office as Chief, Office for Lunar & Planetary Exploration. He acts as a liaison between the scientific community and the Program responsible for implementing the Vision for Space Exploration. He is an Associate Faculty of the International Space University. At the ISU, he has led Design Projects for an International Lunar Base (1988), International Mars Mission (1991), International Lunar Farside Observatory and Science Station (1993), Vision 20/20 [a sampling of the future as seen by young space professionals] (1995), and Space Tourism: From Dream to Reality (2000). He belongs to several professional scientific and engineering societies. He is most active in the International Academy of Astronautics, where he is currently serving onAcademic Commission III for Space Systems; and in the AIAA, where he has chaired the Space Science and Astronomy Technical Committee and sits on the International Activities Committee. He served on (and chaired) the Executive Committee of the Aerospace Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers.He has been editor for nine technical volumes and has published over 40 articles in professional journals and conference proceedings. He is also author of numerous abstracts and short papers presented at technical conferences.

3. Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 7-9 PM PDT (October 14, 2-4 GMT)
. Pleasse use the toll free number over email and chat. Frequent callers should have new things to say for all our benefits.

4. Friday, October 15, 2010, 9:30-11 AM PDT (16:30-18 GMT)
Dr. Leik Myrabo
returns  for Lightcraft progress updates.
Dr. Leik N. Myrabo teaches doctoral candidates in Engineering Physics at the Rensselear Polytechic Institute in New York. Before joining the faculty at RPI in 1983, he spent a total of seven years pursuing “Star Wars” research with Physical Sciences, Inc., W.J. Schafer Associates, and the BDM Corporation. He has authored and co-authored more than 200 journal, symposium, and conference articles, and one book – The Future of Flight. Over the past 25 years, he has given hundreds of invited presentations on lightcraft technology to a wide variety of audiences. His lightcraft research has been covered in 18 television documentaries and over 70 print media articles. From Sept. 1996 to Sept. 1999, Leik brought laser propulsion from the raw concept stage to flight reality by flying his laser lightcraft prototypes on a 10 kW high-power infrared laser at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR) in New Mexico, funded with $1 million of combined USAF and NASA support. Since his first WSMR test in July 1996, he has conducted 24 separate test campaigns at the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility in New Mexico. On 2 October 2000, sponsored under a grant to his company, Lightcraft Technologies, Inc., he established a new world altitude record of 71 meters for laser-boosted vehicles in free flight. On 2 Dec. 2002, he was awarded U.S. Patent #6488233 – “Laser Propelled Vehicle” – covering that successful lightcraft design. In December 1999, he demonstrated the first-ever vacuum photonic thrust measurements for a laser-accelerated lightsail using 5-cm diameter prototypes, constructed from exotic carbon micro-truss fabrics by ESLI. These experiments employed the 100 kW LHMEL II infrared laser at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, within an evacuated 7×9-ft tank. In Dec. 2000, he returned to the LHMEL II facility to carry out vertical wire-guided flights of even more advanced ESLI laser sail materials. Leik’s research is focused on innovative aeronautical, aerospace, and space flight propulsion concepts for the 21st Century and beyond. This advanced energetics research takes a long-term, high-risk approach to identifying areas of potential technological breakthrough. The primary research emphasis is on the application of beamed energy (e.g., laser, microwave, millimeter wave sources) and field propulsion engines for future craft designed for a variety of hypersonic flight missions. These revolutionary beam-powered vehicles have their propulsive energy source on the ground or in space, and carry minimal on-board propellant or expendable coolant. Among other promising engine concepts (i.e., compatible with beamed electromagnetic power), he has investigated pulsed detonation engines, various rocket-based combined cycle engines, the directed-energy AirSpike, magnetohydrodynamic slipstream accelerators, rotary pulsejet, scramjet, and a unique air-breathing “Ion-Breeze” thruster.

5. Sunday, October 17, 2010, 12-1:30 PM PDT (19-20:30 GMT)
Dean Davis
returns to the program to discuss the future of America’s human space flight program and more.
Dean Davis is a Senior Principal Scientist/Engineer and Senior Study Leader for the Boeing Advanced Phantom Works, Analysis, Modeling, Simulation, & Experimentation (AMSE) organization in St. Louis, operating out of El Segundo, California. Mr. Davis is a University of Colorado graduate who specialized in physics, aerospace engineering and astrogeophysics. He went on to Denver Metro State College where he got a background in computer science and the University of Denver where he studied systems engineering. Mr. Davis has 31 years experience as an operations research and intelligence analyst, aircraft/spacecraft design engineer, planetary scientist, systems engineer, survivability/vulnerability engineer and human factors engineer for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Hughes, TRW, Honeywell, Computer Science Corporation, and General Dynamics, as well as, his own company Star Tech International. Over the last three decades, he has contributed to many scientific, commercial, military, and intelligence aircraft and spacecraft. Examples of projects Mr. Davis has made significant contributions to include: 52 Space Shuttle Missions, International Space Station, Atlas, Titan, Delta, Ariane, Space Shuttle & Aries Launch Vehicles, AV-8 & A-10 Attack Aircraft; AH-64, RAH-66 Attack Helicopters; B-52, B-1, & B-2 Bombers; E-3, E-4, E-6, E-8 & E-10 Electronic Surveillance & Communications Aircraft, F-15, F-16, F-18, F-117, F-22, & F-35 Fighters; SR-71, TR-1, & RC-135 Reconnaissance Aircraft; V-22 Tilt-Rotor Aircraft; YAL-1A Airborne Laser; Voyagers 1 & 2 Jupiter/Saturn/Uranus/Neptune mission, Mariner 10 Venus/Mercury mission, Viking Mars Orbiter/Landers, Magellan Venus Orbiter, Galileo Jupiter Orbiter/Probe, Ulysses Solar Polar Orbiter, Hubble Space Telescope, Cassini Saturn Orbiter/Probe, Deep Space 1, Deep Impact, Stardust, Genesis, Mars Pathfinder/Sojourner Rover, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Opportunity & Spirit Rovers, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Messenger Mercury Orbiter, New Horizons Pluto mission, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Jupiter Icy-Moons Orbiter (JIMO)and currently Hypersonic Prompt Global Transport, Space Solar Power and the Project Constellation Aries Launch Vehicles & Lunar & Mars Landers, Rovers, Mining & Processing Systems & Habitats for human exploration and colonization of the moon and Mars.

You can listen to the shows under www.TheSpaceShow.com
Source and copyright by The Space Show.

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