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SpaceVidCast 2.21

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♪ SpaceVidcast Music ♪ Welcome to SpaceVidcast Episode 2.21 for July 10, 2009. My name is Benjamin Higginbotham and with me is the beautiful, lovely, wonderful and talented Cariann Higginbotham. We are the SpaceVidcasters. A bunch of really cool new things happening on SpaceVidcast. We are a week away from the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11. (Cariann) Yes. (Ben) You making fun of me? (Cariann) Yes I am. (Ben) And as such, we're kind of looking backwards in order to look forwards. (Cariann) Yes. (Ben) And to do that I want to try to bring this, bring SpaceVidcast bring space travel and look forward to the community, by making SpaceVidcast and everything we do available to anyone in the world. And as such, we have added a new feature to our website, the translation section. You can actually click on your flag or the country you want and you can see SpaceVidcast automatically translated, poorly by the way, very very poorly. (Cariann) Usually very very bad. (Ben) ... into your native language. Yeah it doesn't It's kind of a rough idea but the idea is if you're not, if you don't speak English at all, you can read some of the content. To that end, in addition to all that, we've got some incredibly awesome SpaceVidcasters, specifically Uncle BS, he's been working with oh, he's going to kill me, I forgot who. (Cariann) Fox has been doing it. (Ben) Well Fox too. But Uncle BS is working with ... (Cariann) Jeph has been doing it, (Ben) No, no. (Cariann) BZ's been doing it. (Ben) No, not a spacevidcaster. Uncle BS's, uh, helper hand. (Cariann) Oh! (Ben) That's alright. (Cariann) Uncle BS's woman. (Ben) They have been working, ah Roberta, thank you Uncle BS. Have been working on transcribing every single one of our episodes. Which is, not only transcribing, but adding the time code to them so that when you go back to Youtube, you can hit the closed caption. You can watch the English transcriptions at the bottom or it can also automatically translate that into other languages. (Cariann) BSG's asking if it's translated into Scottish. (Ben) Scottish [with accent], I believe actually it is, BSG. (Cariann) If you see the Scot flag, then yes. (Ben) OK, it's over 40 languages. I think its like 41 or 42. (Cariann) Its a little crazy. (Ben) And so you can get the transcription on the website. You can also get it ... I'm sorry, the translation on the website, the transcription and the translation in the Youtube videos once the closed captioning data is uploaded from all those hard-working transcriptionists. (Cariann) Although do not believe that Elvish is on there, nor Vulcan, nor Klingon. Its a little sketchy yet on those. (Ben) It's a really hard job and I did want to thank everyone who is putting just a ton of blood, sweat, and tears into it. And to that, I just wanted to say supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! And ah, what is the other term I wanted to bring up? Is it the lazy, um gotta bring it up here. (Cariann) The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. (Ben) Yeah, something like that, so just to make your guys' ... make it as hard as humanly possible on you guys. [laughter] I think it's time that we get straight into it and start with some space news. Spacenews [laughter] (Ben) First up: the Max Launch Abort System, or as you like to put it the Max Abort Launch System. (Cariann) I don't know where I got it from. Apparently, I'm just a little dyslexic. (Ben) In all the preshows: MALS. (Cariann) Yeah and then everyone's like, "Dude, it's called the MLAS!" and I'm like, "I'm sorry!" (Ben) We talked about this I think last episode or the episode prior and this is the alternate launch abort system for the Constellation program. So it looks, it looks like that as opposed to a long thing needle and this is the actual launch abort test. Check this out, it's pretty cool. This is, this will probably never actually see the light of day, but (Cariann) with any luck. (Ben) Watch this. (Cariann) But it's very cool. Any second. [cheering and clapping] (Ben) Here comes the big moment! (Cariann) This is very cool. (Ben) And, come on Orion! You can do it. (Cariann) Then you've gotta wait for a second. (Ben) There it goes! And I like how the next parachutes almost look like pirate flags that come out. (Cariann) Yeah because they're ... (Ben) Watch this, watch this, they're like giant pirate flags no, they're really like giant pirate flags, isn't that cool? So that's the Orion module in the center right there. This is the alternative launch abort system for the Orion crew capsule for the Constellation program. (Cariann) Yes. (Ben) And the launch abort system is designed if something happens during takeoff. Because you're sitting on just a ton of fuel. If something happens and that rocket starts to explode, they need to get you as far away from that rocket as fast as humanly possible. (Cariann) And, but still safely. (Ben) Yup, and still safely. [laughter] This isn't, this isn't the primary system. The primary system is going to be the Launch Abort System or LAS, you know because they love acronyms. And it looks more like a needle essentially, with a bunch of, I think there are four solid rocket motors on the side of that. (Cariann) Very Apollo era. (Ben) And yeah, they're asking how many G's. I believe that one is also 10 Gs, but I'm not 100% sure. Can someone in the chat room verify how many Gs the MLAS pulls, that would be awesome. So, there you go. Alright, that's that one. Moving on, the ESA and NASA are making happy, for Mars. (Cariann) OK, so ... (Ben) You're super cool by the way. (Cariann) I am super cool. Remember last week you guys, when I brought up the idea that everyone was going crazy, go nuts, about the inflatable stairway to space and I was like, "I totally talked about that like three or four weeks ago!" This is another one of those cases, where I heard this story and I'm like, "I would swear, I (we) already covered this!" Sure enough, if you go back, I think it's like episode 1.34 (Ben) last year. (Cariann) Yeah, so December. (Ben) 100 series, that's our first year. (Cariann) December, I already brought this information to you. So for those of you who have been transcribing all that stuff or for those of you who, you know, have memorized every single one of our shows, and if you haven't I don't see why not. Ah, I apologize because this will be a bit of a repeat. But, ESA and NASA have joined forces to go to Mars. Or as I like to say, the E-S-A and N-A-S-A are going to M-A-R-S. (Ben) Oh, lame. (Cariann) I know, but they had talked about it back in December about Hey, you know, ah this is kind of, this is a lot of money so maybe we want to like, "hook up" and go Dutch. And everyone was like, "That's a great idea!" Now they've actually signed papers and so that's pretty much what it comes down to is, now it's becoming reality as opposed to just you know, two kids thinking that they're going to go on a date. So that's what it is, and I think that that's a very very good idea because then in my mind we'll get more done. Theoretically. (Ben) Aaah, I think this is going to be more politics. I just don't think governments can move as fast or efficiently as private space travel can, but I don't see a private space travel company really truly seriously making an effort to go to the moon or to Mars. Now having said that, there are comments in the SpaceVidcast chatroom about the, who is it? Um, lunar, going to the moon. (Cariann) Aye, Open Luna? (Ben) Open Luna. And I'd be curious to bring them on the show and see what they have to say and what their plans are. But, right now the only people I've seen actually throwing money at the problem, because it takes money to do this stuff, are the governments. So the, yeah, so well OK and revrev, well first off revrev, sorry, let me try that again. Putting humans on the moon and on Mars. Not robots, robots is one step, so the old GLXP guys giving me trouble. But, you know. He likes space so, ah I don't know, I don't know why he's giving me a hard time. (Cariann) He's not a GLXP guy anymore, but if it's not about music, I don't know why he's talking to us about it, so there you go. Alright, bye. (Ben) STS-127 is going to be building a porch on the International Space Station. (Cariann) That it is, and of course you guys are all very familiar with this. Yeah, well I just, I just like this picture because you can see the itty bitty teeny little guys on it, and how big it really really is. Because sometimes you just see the equipment but you don't see there's no perspective. You know what I'm saying. That's why I really like this particular shot. Uh, so STS-127 hopefully will be going on this Saturday, it should be launching. And this is the JAXA exposed module. I forget exactly what the schmuggy schmuggy thing is. But, ah, that's for creating or conducing, I'm sorry, experiments in the vacuum of space. In the outside of space. Ah, so then they know how space will actually affect it, so I think that's very cool. (Ben) You know, this was an interesting story because there's no story here. (Cariann) The Kibo Exposed Facility, thank you Ron! (Ben) This sounds like kinda sexual, doesn't it? (Cariann) No. (Ben) OK, well I think it does. [laughter] The ... my mom's going to give me a hard time for that one ... skipping around the news for a moment, ah, going to item five if you could. (Cariann) Sure. (Ben) The next story we have is about Google and the moon. Ah, Google right? Yeah. Google and the moon. And they're going to be making an announcement. We think we know the ... see and that's our graphic ... so we couldn't figure out. We don't know what the announcement is so we're like, "ah, throw up a picture of the moon." [laughing] (Cariann) Right, what happened was that Google made an announcement and they sent out little invites. (Ben) Not to us by the way, thanks Google. (Cariann) No, no, no, Foust got one. (Ben) It's not like we have contacts at the Google Lunar X-Prize who could have gotten us a, you know, in with Google. No, no, thanks Google Lunar X-Prize. It's all good, it's all good, it's ok. No, no, it's ok. It's all good. No, no, I know revrev left so, (Cariann) Yeah, our contact, yeah, our contact's gone. That's all we can say about that. Anyway, they sent out an announcement saying, "Hey! There's going to be, we're going to be talking about something on July 20th. And we're going to have lots of people there. We'd like you to be there too. And there's going to be spacey people. But, we're not we're not going to tell you what it is! (Ben) So, the theory is, the theory is that they've got enough data to do essentially Street View (Cariann) Yeah, I like to call it street view of the Moon. (Ben) ... of the moon. And if that's the case, that would be really really cool. (Cariann) Because how cool would that be? (Ben) I'm not really sure where all of that data would have been coming from. I mean it's part of the reason why we're sending these new reconnaissance orbiters. (Cariann) Right, there's the Kayuga and all of that other stuff. So we do have a little bit better yeah, revrev can neither confirm nor deny of course. We, lately, we've been getting a lot better pictures back from the stuff that we've been sending up. Ah, so, and it may not be for the entire moon. It may just be certain places. Well kinda like how Street View is anyway on Earth, really when you think about it. They can't see my house. But ah, [laughter] so Street View from the Moon. (Ben) Is there where you see the prostitutes on the moon as well where if you find the right spot, you can rotate around and just see the things you're not supposed to quite see sitting on the Moon? Like, that's a UFO! Right there! Turn there, and Google shuts it down really quick. (Cariann) At least you can see the moon buggy with the duct tape on it. Because the fender fell off, because I think that's very cool. (Ben) That would be awesome. So we don't ... (Cariann) I just want to say that one of the other reasons that we put this in is that so when this is what the announcement is, we get to once again say, "Oh, we totally talked about that like two weeks ago." (Ben) Well we keep saying this as if we're the first ones on the face of the planet to ever mention that. But we found it somewhere else too. (Cariann) It doesn't matter. They never, they hadn't heard it. (Ben) They don't know. Mrah. (Cariann) I have my ear to the ground people. (Ben) You know the last thing I want to talk about in our news section today is we talked about Guinness last week. And one thing I don't think we mentioned is that you can register every single day. (Cariann) Oh yeah. (Ben) So if you want a trip into space, don't just ... look at that ... (Cariann) Guinness in space. (Ben) Guinness in space, that's a giant Guinness in space. (Cariann) How does it get better than that. (Ben) Ah, you know, let's just admire the picture for a moment. (Cariann) OK. (Ben) Mmm, delicious. Guinness, that's your dinner and a beer all in one. Or as I like to just say, a deer. Your dinner and your beer right there, in one glass. You just go to, you can register every single day for a chance to ... (Cariann) You have to be of legal drinking age in your country of origin. (Ben) And apparently not all countries are eligible as well. (Cariann) Oooh! (Ben) Yeah, didn't know that one. (Cariann) Just lie. Tell them you're from the U.S. it's cool, they'll never know. (Ben) A bunch of the youtubers were like, "I can't do it in my country!" and I'm like, "Sorry, didn't know!" So every day, if you want a chance to go into space aboard a Virgin Galactic flight. That's five minutes of weightless time. It's actually a 2.5 hour flight I believe. With five minutes of actually being in zero-g microgravity and in, above the boundary of space. Looking down at Earth. $200,000 ticket. Go to register every single day, and of course Guinness is good beer, so drink it. (Cariann) My favorite part is, totally spread it around, be like, "Yeah, man. If I get tickets I'm bringing you!" Tell all your friends, because they're only giving out one ticket. And so it will totally piss everybody off and you'll be the guy who gets to go to space. (Ben) Well, your friend will go to space, then you'll be pissed off. When we come back, we have the Director of Affairs for SEDS, Grant Atkin, At-kin-son, gee I was hoping I wouldn't screw that up, and my first try, "Bam!" messed it up. He'll be joining us live when we return. Hello, and welcome to the Crow River Coffee Company in Watertown, Minnesota. Situated on the bank of the beautiful Crow River. We offer Espresso drinks, delicious food, live music, bulk beans, and artisan items. You can see us at Thanks! ♪ Intense Space Shuttle Music ♪ ♪ Spacevidcast Theme Music ♪ (Ben) Thank you to everyone who helped make SpaceVidcast the number one featured show in Science and Technology on UStream. (Cariann) Awesome! (Ben) Hundreds, er tens of thousands of viewers. (Cariann) We have like 40,000 views, it's ridiculous. And we were like, "Bing!" right on top there. It was very cool. (Ben) It was really really cool. Couldn't have done it without your help and this is one of these really important things. As the 40th anniversary of Apollo is coming up, all the media companies are starting to look at Apollo and you know, every five years, you start to get the, you know, 35, 40, 45, 50 will be another big one and you know it's, it's trying to get in front of everyone, and make them realize that it's not just the 40 year anniversary or the 45 or the 5 year anniversary. This is important all the time. This is something that everyone should be doing. And in ah, a couple of weeks, next week we're going to be talking with a Google Lunar X-Prize team about their plans and what's going forward with people who are actually building some rovers and going back to the moon and making this stuff happen. (Cariann) Uh-huh. (Ben) This week we're going to be talking with Grant Atki-Atkinson. Dang it, dang it, twice! (Cariann) We're talking with Grant. (Ben) We're talking with Grant. G-A, my bud, my pal. GA, from SEDS. Um, Grant welcome to the show. (Grant) Howdy! Hi, good to be here. (Cariann) Who-hoo! (Ben) Now, what SEDS does is a little bit different than what we're doing next week. You guys are working in schools around the U.S., or actually around the world and getting students psyched up and educated and really passionate about space travel. Is that correct? And tell me a little bit about SEDS. (Grant) Yup, that's pretty much the jist of what SEDS does. Ah, what we are is, SEDS stands for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and we're an entirely student-run organization that focuses on giving students, ah, the tools and skills they need to be able to make a real difference in space and the space community. Both as students right now and later on in their careers, and we do this by providing networking opportunities, competition, and working, you know, generally with other people who share this passion for opening up space for further development and having, you know like you say in your show, "making space commonplace" is something that I think a lot of our members are dedicated to doing. (Ben) One of the reasons we wanted to bring you onboard is we have a lot of people in SEDS that join our chat room. And frankly they are some of the most intelligent and passionate people that I have ever seen in space. And there are a lot of passionate people about space, but you guys are certainly doing something right in just, invigorating these people and getting them just psyched up about space travel. How are you doing that? What is it that you're doing that other organizations just don't seem to be able to do? At least in my view, that's what is going on. (Grant) Well I think one of the big things is about SEDS that makes it, in my opinion at least, such a wonderful thing to be a part of is just the way it brings all these different people together. Really the only thing you have to do to be a member of SEDS is have a, like you say, this passion for space, and it's something that I think a lot of people have to some degree. Like you know, who hasn't looked at the stars or seen a shuttle launch on video or something like that and not been inspired by that. But being in a community of hundreds of other people who share this same interest and passion, it's, you meet all these great people who have, who, you just experience being around this community that helps develop and I think that's a big part of what we do. ... people, not just with other students you share this interest, but also with people in industry and by doing things like going to conferences, like actually the biggest student-run, space-related conference in the United State, SpaceVision, is hosted by SEDS. And we provide people these opportunities to meet with other people and help develop that kind of passion. I, I think that's probably where part of that comes from. (Ben) So what ... I'm a student and I join SEDS, now what do I do? What do I do as a member of SEDS? (Grant) Well there are a number of different things you can do and we leave it very open to local chapters. They can do whatever they happen to be interested in, whatever they're capable of doing, that sort of thing. And, it depends on the individual chapter, like the University of Arizona for example has a very active astronomy club as part of SEDS and they've built this large Dobsonian reflector they take around and have astronomy parties and that's a big part of what they do. The University of Central Florida SEDS has a program called project Daedalus going on. That's about building a hybrid rocket ultimately that will be capable of performing suborbital sounding rocket tests, possibly, you know, going above the 100 kilometer mark into space. What we do at Texas A&M, where I'm from, is we're around so many of these great space-related places like Johnson Space Center's only about an hour and a half away or so. SpaceX in Waco where they do engine testing isn't too far away. So we've, ah, gone out to these places and met with a lot of these really interesting people involved in space and it's been a great networking opportunity for that. And these are just a few examples of what people are doing as part of SEDS. We leave it very open for students to get involved however they can and help them out through the national organization. (Ben) So has SEDS students then launched, have you already launched rockets into the over the space barrier? Or is that something you guys are still looking to do? Or, I mean obviously it's from chapter to chapter, but any of your chapters. (Grant) That's ultimately a goal of this project, but I don't think anyone's actually succeeded. ... and do that yet. (Ben) That would be cool. I'm excited to see. You know when we get to a point when students, just a student community, can launch a rocket into, above the space barrier, that would just be, I mean it is, this is cool stuff! (Cariann) Oh yeah. (Ben) This is, this is getting the students invigorated. Now there are different programs obviously that are getting different people invigorated, but something that helps the kids when they're younger, I think is what gets us excited at least, because when you're excited at a younger age, then hopefully that will stay with you for a good chunk of the rest of you life. (Cariann) Right. (Ben) And once you're in the SEDS program, do you have a bunch of people who stay inside of rocket science or the astrospace or aerospace industry? Or do a lot of them just kind of, you know, flitter away and go into different industries? (Grant) No, absolutely, you could say that virtually every big aerospace organization, whether it's in government like NASA or in industries like, ah, SpaceX and, or the old space like Boeing and Lockheed Martin. There are people from SEDS in any organization you could think of, to put that practically. Like an alumni from Texas A&M SEDS graduated my freshman year, now works at SpaceX doing engine testing near Waco. Ah, one of the speakers at ISDC, Chris Lewicki, talked about, ah, the Phoenix lander. He was one of the big project leads on that and he's a SEDS alumnus as well, in fact actually he used to have the job that I do on the executive board. He was Director of Chapter Affairs. So, we see people very often, you know, the people who are in SEDS are people who are very passionate about doing something and making a difference in space, and so many of them, I would say a majority, probably stick with it and then go on to these kind of organizations. But, you know it's important to note that it's not just for people who are engineering majors, especially just aerospace engineering majors. It's for anyone who has this interest. Whether their major is Liberal Arts, or Sciences, or Business. We're open to anyone who has this interest in space. (Cariann) That's awesome. (Grant) We build this community where yeah, it's not just about just being around other people who are in your major, it's about being around other people who are excited about ah, making a difference in this. (Ben) Well, let's talk about that for a second, because if I'm not in the aero, if I'm not a rocket scientist, I'm not in the aerospace industry, I'm not majoring in that, I'm an artist. And I'm just painting stuff. What am I going to get out of SEDS? Maybe I'm passionate about space, but how can I help? What can I do? What am I going to do in SEDS? Well, for one thing, you'll be able to go and see more of what's happening in space and if that's what you're really excited about then I think you'll have a great time doing that. And we give people an opportunity to contribute however they can, like a big thing that SEDS tries to do is educational outreach, so like we're working with ah, this year's the international year of astronomy and there's several projects that are going on with producing videos and podcasts that will go out with IYA, done by members of SEDS. And so you could participate by doing things like that if that's what you're interested in. We try to give people the opportunity to do it however they can with whatever their talents are. And so, but we leave it ultimately up to individual chapters to decide how they contribute. (Ben) What about the people, the students that aren't intererested in space right now? They're, I mean you've got the SEDS chapter and you've got a bunch of people who, I mean you're going to attract the space-geeks, right? You're going to attract the BZWingZero's of the world because this is what they're passionate about. What about the people who, don't know they're passionate about it yet? How do you get to them? Or do you not? Is that not really who you target? Are you really for the existing space-geeks? Well, there's definately a big presence in SEDS of the existing space geeks. I'd say, um, the main way to try to attract people, what we've done at A&M at least, is by leaving all of the events that we do open to anyone who's interested. And you know, you just put the word out and say, "Hey, we're going to go to the southwest at such and such a time and we're going to see sattelites being made and we're going to talk with Allen Stern the former director of, ah, what was it, science mission directorate, I believe for NASA." And, you know, anyone who's interested can come along. And so by, I think by leaving that open door, it's a really good way because the people self-select in a way. It's the people who are interested. Even if they just have a little bit of interest they'll think, "Oh, well that sounds like an interesting thing to do and they'll go and maybe, you know, they'll be inspired by that and want to join more fully. (Ben) And how do I join more fully? What do I need to do to join SEDS? And it's a student program, but what kind of students? High school students, elementary kids, college, post, I mean, what do I need to do to join? (Grant) Well most of the chapters we have are at colleges, but we are certainly open to high school chapters. So, for one thing you could look at wherever you happen to be going to school what, whether or not they have a chapter of SEDS already. We have about 20 of them in the United States and they're all over the country from places like UCLA and University of Arizona in the southwest to UCF and Embry-Riddle in Florida to Boston University and MIT in the Northeast, so look around, see if there's SEDS already. If there isn't and you're interested in starting a SEDS organization, it's really easy to do. We in fact have a starter kit at the SEDS website. Just go to and then you can go there and read through what it takes the, to start a chapter. Mostly just, you know, talk to some other people who are interested, you know, if you're excited and passionate about space you probably hopefully know a few other people who are as well and go talk to some member of the faculty who would be interested in sponsoring you. And all it takes is that and just getting established as an organization and you can participate on the national level. And you will get a lot of great benefits from that such as being able to go to, I think one of the best things is being able to go to cool places like ISDC and SpaceVision at the reduced SEDS rate. And you'll go there and you'll meet all these other people from around the world. SpaceVision typically gets about 100 or so people a year and lots of great speakers. This year for example we're going to have Peter Diamandis, Chris Lewicki I was talking about, who is involved in the Phoenix lander, and Pete Worden who's in charge of NASA Ames. You'll get to, you'll actually go and meet these people and put your name out there and network with them. And that's I think, one of the great things about SEDS. And so it's, it's, there's not a lot of barriers to entry it just takes knowing that those options are there and then pursuing them. (Ben) Cool, is there anything that Peter Diamandis doesn't do? (Cariann) No. (Ben) He's like everywhere. He's just like, he touches everything in space it's amazing. Uh, my question now, moving away from SEDS for a moment and on to the 40 year anniversary of Apollo, if I may, just kind of springing this on to you. (Grant) No that's ok. (Ben) Well, we're hitting this anniversary, this is a big deal! (Cariann) No, I know. (Ben) I mean the whole space industry's like, "Whoo, 40 years! This is the first time humans set foot on the moon and we really haven't been back since the really early 70s. Do you think that programs like SEDS or even anything, what we've got with this private space travel, space 2.0, newspace, whatever you're going to call it, is going to allow us to go back to the moon, in our lifetime? And if so, how do you think we're going to get there? Is it going to be through NASA? What's going to happen in the next 40 years? (Grant) Well, I don't know, people get pessimistic about it sometimes, particularly talking about students saying that, you know, people like to cite how the average age of workers at NASA that keeps creeping up. And they cite points of data like this, but I'm pretty optimistic about it because you look around and you see so many people who are really talented, really smart, and also very excited and passionate about space and I'm very confident that we have certainly the brainpower and manpower to do it. I don't know, it's really out there whether it will be through NASA or through the private sector. Even some new paradigm that hasn't been thought up yet, when we go back to the moon. But, that's certainly something that I think will be happening in the next few decades. (Ben) Well what's interesting, what was brought up in the chat room is that really, essentially no one in SEDS right now, no active member was even alive when Apollo 11 launched. In fact probably, I would be willing to bet none of the members were even alive when anyone set foot on the moon. Is that a fair statement? (Cariann) Only current members, if you're talking about ex-members though ... (Ben) That's what I'm talking about, current members. (Cariann) Like, SEDS has been around for 30 years, so I think somebody was born then. (Ben) Right, no, no, no, not alumni, but you know current actual active members. Not alumni members. (Cariann) Right. (Ben) They wouldn't have ever seen, they, they would not have been born, since anyone stepped foot on the moon. So is that something that you feel like you're missing? Is that something you want to see us do again? Or should we just skip the Moon and go on to Mars? (Grant) Well going to Mars would be great! I'd love to see people go to Mars, but I think what we need to see is just a more permanent human presence in space. Right now, there are six people. That's one in a billion of all the humans on Earth, living in this one space station that's going around in low Earth orbit. And that's great, it's amazing that we're capable of doing this, but at the same time we're getting where it's almost 50 years now since the first humans went into space and I think we're really capable of doing more than that with the technology we have right now and that's, that's what part of what makes me so excited about private space flight is that I think these places like, ah, the Scaled Composites, the SpaceX's, the I'll give a plug for where I'm working right now, the Blue Origins, are helping establishing, this, this ability to do that. And I think anything that gets us closer to having lots of people permanently in space and seeing you know, an actual permanent presence as opposed to just, "Oh, well every couple of years let's send a robot out with a couple cameras." That that's a good thing and that I'm optimistic about that happening and I'm really excited that, being in SEDS, being a part of being able to do this. (Ben) So, what's your ideal view of the future? Where do you want to see us go, if you could control everything? You run, whatever organizations you want to run, ESA, NASA, SpaceX, you, you build your own company, whatever it is. What do you want to see in the future? Well, it's a cliche to say this, because I know other people have said this before, but what I'd really like to see happen is the government space flight programs take more the role of laying down the frontier and going to new places for the first time. Like, you know, returning to the moon and establishing bases there. Going to Mars certainly would qualify as that. And then having the private sector follow suit. And then, you know, like now that we've established Low Earth Orbit, now that that's fairly mature over the last few decades, seeing orbital hotels, seeing, ah, manufacturing facilities, stuff like that go up. And you know, space is pretty big, so the end game is how ever far you want to project it out. But, if I was going to gaze into my crystal ball as far as I could see, ultimately what I'd like to see is having scientific bases, at least like the ones we have in Antartica on all of the major planets and moons in our solar system. And having people going out eventually into other star systems. Like one of the things that I think is most exciting about space right now is looking at extra-solar planets. And all these, you know, new star systems we're finding out about and, you know, we're a long way away from being able to actually do that, you know, the propulsion is obviously very immature to get there but, by the same token, when Kepler and Galileo and Newton were first finding out the laws governing planets, the propulsion was not there either to send spacecraft out, so I think it's entirely reasonable within the next few hundred years that people start going there and then we'll establish a true presence throughout the galaxy ultimately because of that. (Ben) Awesome! (Cariann) Awesome. (Ben) I'm excited to see where we go. You know, fundamentally the, my grandfather's generation is the generation that first stepped foot on the moon. They're the ones who opened up this new frontier and got us to where we think about it and then they promptly dropped the baton. And then my father's generation looked at that baton and said, "I'm not going to pick it up." Our generation ... (Cariann) There it is. (Ben) There it is. Our generation did exactly the same thing, we looked at the baton and said, "Meh, look it's a baton." And so it's up to the students in SEDS, it's up to the next generation to really pick up that baton and run with it. And I feel like that's about to happen with organizations such as SEDS, with National Space Society, with the, well heck with even the X-Prize foundation and everything that ... Well, pretty much anything that Peter Diamandis touches is pretty much doing exactly that. And I certainly hope that someone soon, visionaries like yourself, and everyone in SEDS and all these organizations picks up that baton and starts to run with it because this is, this is important, this is important to everyone and it's exciting stuff. So I'd like to thank you very much for being on the show, hopefully you won't be a stranger. Where can people go for more information on SEDS? (Grant) Well you can visit our website at and there's a wiki also that has a lot of great information, has more access to the starter kit, all that kind of stuff. I'll just say this year's SpaceVision is going to be at the University of Arizona from November 12th to the 15th and if you're interested at all in it, I highly recommend you go. You'll meet a lot of great people who are also passionate about space just like you and hope to see you there! (Ben) Awesome. Thank you very much for joining us. A few closing comments, there's just a ton of stuff going on because we've got the Apollo 40 year coming up. The 40 year anniversary of the launch, the 40 year anniversary of humans stepping foot on the moon for the first time. Just a, and then safely landing back on Earth. So just a bunch of stuff happening. There's the NewSpace 2009 conference and they've got a 40th anniversary black tie gala that will be occurring on the 20th, you can go to, that is the um, ah, excuse me, the Space where you can go for more information on that one. You can also go to to see all the fun different things that are going on. There's just a ton of stuff going on. (Cariann) They're like right on top of each other there's so many. (Ben) Going on all at the same time. The NewSpace 2009 conference is less than a week away I think. It's coming up real fast here. Also coming up, just to make our lives absolutely fun, we've got STS-127, which has a launch date no earlier than July 11th and that's this Saturday. We've got a 60% weather problem here right now? (Cariann) We've got some weather issues, but you know, I'm crossing my fingers we'll see. (Ben) Regardless, it's going to be a beautiful launch, it always is. We'll have it in high definition right here. (Cariann) We'll be here. (Ben) On Thank you to PSB satellite for making all of that possible. And ah, as Ron's pointing out, the tanking test, we're good. Everything is working all right. But you know, you never know. They can bring that space shuttle all the way down to T-0.1 seconds. (Cariann) If there's lightning, it's a no-go. (Ben) Right until the start, they can even launch the space shuttle main engines. Right before the solid rocket boosters launch, they can cancel. They can scrub the launch. (Cariann) Zero, and cancel. (Ben) Exactly. [laughter] Now the moment the solid boosters light, that thing is going up. There's not stopping for anything. (Cariann) Yeah, yeah, yeah. (Ben) We've got STS-127 going on and then of course we've got the Apollo 40th going on. We'll have the stuff going on here on SpaceVidcast. Next week's show during, right after the anniversary launch of Apollo 11, we have got special guest ... (Cariann) Jason Dunn (Ben) from a Google Lunar X-Prize team, (Cariann) Omega Envoy (Ben) On-voy, I say on-voy, you say (Cariann) envoy. It's got an "E". (Ben) And then the week after that on the anniversary of the Apollo 11 safely landing on Earth (Cariann) This is exciting. (Ben) We're going to be bringing on, ah, you know and I've forgotten his name because I'm terrible with names. (Cariann) You guys know the documentary "The Orphans of Apollo"? (Ben) Yup, it's Michael Potter. (Cariann) Michael Potter. (Ben) So we'll be talking about Orphans of Apollo and so next week we'll be talking about the future, where we're going. Sending robots back to the moon and actually private companies sending robots to the moon. For a fraction of the price of what public companies can do and because it's done through X-Prize, you know that there's an industry going to be born from this. And so this is a big, big deal. (Cariann) Huge. (Ben) Huge deal. (Cariann) Huge. (Ben) And hopefully they'll have some pretty cool announcements to have next week. And then the following week we'll be talking about what happened in the Apollo era and how everyone kind of got left behind and what we can do to fix that and someone will hopefully pick up that (Cariann) And not do it again! (Ben) Hopefully we'll pick up that stinking baton and make that happen. Ah, one last thing I forgot to mention. We do this show every week live from the Crow River Coffee Company and as such, we ask for your support because you need coffee to stay awake for some of these launches because they're freaking late at night. They launch when they want to, not when you want them to. (Cariann) Yeah, pretty much. (Ben) As such, we have a coffee of the month every month and this week's coffee of the month is the (Cariann) Espresso blend (Ben) There you go, there's a graphic. (Cariann) Which is really great in your Guinness. So you get your Guinness, make sure you sign up to go into space. Get your espresso blend. Dump it in the Guinness, have a good time. (Ben) As Uncle BS will tell you, or we've also got our own blend of coffee, Blast-Off Blend. And as Uncle BS will tell you in the chat room, that it's, it's an amazing blend of coffee, so certainly grab your bag of coffee. That helps Crow River Coffee, which helps us, which helps you. So it's a nice little round about thing. (Cariann) Yes. (Ben) Thank you guys very much for joining us. We'll be back here, same bat-time, same bat-channel next week, Friday 2:00 AM UTC. We'll see you then. ♪ SpaceVidcast Music ♪

Video Details

Duration: 39 minutes and 29 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Benjamin Higginbotham
Director: Adam Jochum
Views: 110
Posted by: rack88 on Jul 11, 2009

Max Launch Abort System (MLAS) successfully tested, ESA and NASA make MEJI for MARS, STS-127: A Porch In Space, Street view of the Moon?, Guinness wants you in space, and an interview with Grant Atkinson, of SEDS-USA.

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