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This Week On The Space Show

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Mar 7, 2011 7:33 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, March 7, 2011, 2-3:30 PM PST (22-23:30 GMT)
Eric Lerner
of Focus Fusion and Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc. comes to the program for updates. He may be joined by associate Derek Shannon.
Eric J. Lerner, President of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc. to the program (see http://lawrencevilleplasmaphysics.com/ and also www.focusfusion.org). Mr. Lerner has been active in DPF research for over 25 years. Beginning in 1984, he developed a detailed quantitative theory of the functioning of DPF. Based on this theory, he proposed that the DPF could achieve high ion and electron energies at high densities, suitable for advanced fuel fusion and space population.



Under a series of contracts with JPL, he planned and participated in carrying out experiments that tested and confirmed this theory. In addition, he developed an original model of the role of the strong magnetic field effect on DPF functioning, showing that this effect could have a large effect on increasing ion temperature and decreasing electron temperature. He is as well a leading researcher in cosmology and astrophysics, developing original, plasma-based theories of quasars, large-scale structure and other phenomena of the Universe. As a writer about science and technology he is the author of over 600 articles. He was also a visiting astronomer at the European Southern Observatory. He is now the lead scientist in a new series of experiments in NJ designed to test the scientific feasibility of focus fusion, burning hydrogen-boron fuel with the DPF to produce cheap, clean energy. Mr. Lerner received a BA in Physics from Columbia University and did graduate work in physics at the University of Maryland.

Derek Shannon has been involved with LPP since 2005 and now serves as Director of Business Development while supporting lab operations (aka high voltage guinea pig).  He received his BS in geobiology from Caltech in 2002, where he was president of the Mars Society chapter – He hopes focus fusion technology will accelerate the race to the Red Planet in addition to providing environmental benefits on Earth.  In 2006 he received an MS in geobiology & astrobiology from USC, along with a certificate in technology commercialization from the USC Marshall School of Business.  He has experience working with start-ups pursuing a variety of truly disruptive breakthroughs, from high strength nanomaterials to maglev transit and artificial intelligence.  He was a project manager and “AI Psychologist” at AdaptiveAI in Playa del Rey, CA before joining LPP full-time in September 2010 for the final push for fusion feasibility.

2. Tuesday, March 8, 2011, 7-8:30 PM PST (March 9, 3-4:30 GMT)
Open Lines
. Note the discussion topics put forth at the start of the program.

3. Friday, March 11, 2011, 9:30-11 AM PST (17:30-19 GMT)
Henry Vanderbilt
returns to discuss the upcoming Space Access Conference, space policy, commercial space, NewSpace and more.
Henry Vanderbilt thought space was cool from the start. At age six he was watching a Mercury launch on TV when someone explained that the Atlas rocket cost ten million dollars and they threw it away each flight, and he realized that nobody was likely to pay for him to go. Fast-forward twenty-four years, when an early computer conferencing system (BIX) lured him into writing about space. That quickly led him to a lateral leap from itinerant techy into a job in space politics at the L-5 Society. He soon discovered that grand schemes for what to do in space were a dime a dozen, but everybody was waiting for someone else to solve the problem of how to get there affordably. He found like-minded people, got involved in efforts to solve the transportation problem, discovered that the ball kept being dropped because everybody had day jobs, and ended up founding Space Access Society in 1992 to focus totally on promoting radically cheaper space transportation. He semi-retired from running SAS in 2006, cutting his role back to organizing the annual “Space Access” conferences (sometimes described as “Hackers” for rocket people) in order to take a day job with one of the leading startup rocket companies. Four years later, he’s back at SAS full-time, trying to help make the most of the insurmountable opportunity of the new NASA exploration policy. See http://www.space-access.org for details of the next Space Access conference.

4. Sunday, March 13, 2011, 12-1:30 PM PDT (19-20:30 GMT)
Dr. David DeVorkin
, Senior Curator, Division of Space History, National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian Institution.
David Hyam DeVorkin is senior curator, history of astronomy and the space sciences at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. He has been a curator since January 1981. From 1987 through 1991 he held the concurrent position of chair of the Advisory Committee to the Smithsonian Videohistory Program, and spent the summer and fall of 1991 as a visiting member at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.  Major research interests are in the origins and development of modern astrophysics during the 20th Century; and the origins of the space sciences. He specializes in the history of space astronomy and in the government and military patronage of science in the post-WWII era. He has published a major biography of the Princeton astronomer Henry Norris Russell that has been critically acclaimed, and has curated two major exhibitions at the NASM as well as several smaller ones.  He is responsible for collecting astronomical, solar, geophysical and related instrumentation for the Smithsonian, concentrating on the 20th Century.  DeVorkin has authored over 120 scholarly papers and has authored, edited or compiled eleven published monographs in the history of, and education in, astronomy and the space sciences. His works have appeared in the Journal for the History of Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Isis, Scientific American, Minerva, Science, Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences, Physics Today, and elsewhere.  He has been very active in the American Astronomical Society’s Historical Astronomy Division, and is interested in improving world-wide appreciation for the importance of astronomy and its history through the preservation of its heritage: material, social and intellectual.  DeVorkin has been an active organizer of symposia and seminar series throughout his career, starting in 1977 with an NAS symposium on the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram in honor of the 100th birthday of Henry Norris Russell, the bi-annual History of Astronomy Workshops at Notre Dame over the past 20 years, the Dialogues Conference “What About Increase?” at the Smithsonian Institution in the mid 1990s, and most recently “Making Science Global” and “The Hubble Legacy” at the Smithsonian.  Before coming to the Smithsonian in late 1980 he taught astronomy and the earth sciences at Central Connecticut State College in the 1970s and in 1977 became consultant research associate at the American Institute of Physics Center for History of Physics and Niels Bohr Library, where he learned the art of oral history under Spencer Weart and Joan Warnow and dabbled in archival matters relating to the preservation of the historical records of the American astronomical community.  He holds the PhD in the history of astronomy from the University of Leicester (1978); a Master of Philosophy in Astronomy from Yale (1970); an MS in Astronomy from San Diego State College (1968) and a BS in Astronomy/Physics from UCLA (1966).

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

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