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SpaceVidcast Episode 006 - 05/01/2008

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Welcome to SpaceVidcast Episode six for May 1,2008 You did it again. I had to after you mentioned it I totally had to then. Every time you do a little hand movement. Did I do 5?. I don't think I did 5. I have no idea. My name is Benjamin Higginbotham This is my beautiful wife Cariann. And we are the SpaceVidcasters We are going to be talking about space flight, space travel and all things space related And actually we have a really great show today. We have Adam who is a NASA Intern Who will be joining us. Live via Skype. We are going to be talking about propoltion for spacecraft As well as nuclear surface power. Which is power in the propoltion. Right. That's going to be an incredibly interesting conversation.We'll be doing a little bit later on in the show. And I wanna talk alittle bit about what we are doing on facebook. What are we doing on facebook? Oh! That's right. I nearly forgot. We've got... Well, first off if you are not on facebook get on facebook. We've got some great really cool things going on.We've got a facebook group called SpaceVidcast. You can join the group and we'll shoot calendar events like upcoming rocket launches. Like the ESA just launched a part of their Galileo stuff we would have that on facebook. Right. You've got the feed of twitter stuff. More importantly there is a game on facebook called SpaceFight That will take over your life! I just wanna let you know. I learned a new thing today! What did you learn? This is like a little bonus. Well, first of all. It's called SpaceFight.And its kinda like, there used to be game like this way back a long time ago. And you are yourself and you get a little rocket ship or whatever. And you think your all cool and you have like "spacebucks" and what have you. And then you pick somebody else.And to "SpaceFight" them. And all your really doing is click Click. So, you think this is boring?. It's the most fun thing ever! You can only spacefight somebody like 20 times in like 20 hours or something like that. But!, there is other really cool thing I have never noticed before! Its this "bonus" Oh yeah wonder through space.I didn't even see it. So, somebody finally pointed that out to me. And I have been wandering through space quite a bit. So, Colten who is in the chat room. Who is currently "Spacekickcast" who is our automated BOT who makes sure the chat room stays clean during the show He developed a auto wandering BOT.So, he can be in this application and wandering through space and get some cash every time. Cause you can do that once an hour as appose to the 24hr limit on the other stuff. It's a lot of fun.It's more than once and hour. It kinda depends. Sometimes it's every 3min. It depends on what you are doing. The number actually varies. Once it was like "you can do it again in 3min" and once it was like "you can do it again in 24min" And once was like "16min". I'm pretty sure it's like the top of the hour everytime. Top of the hour really? I'm pretty sure it's the top of the hour. Hmmmm, I'll have to look into that. Yea, i'm almost sure that's the way it works. You look cute!. Yea, im a girl. Yea, November is saying top of the hour. And once you join spacefight. Join the SpaceVidcast Armada. So, that we team up and take over the entire facebook galaxy. Yea, so then all of our points are gathered together. There is no real advantage to doing that. No. But, it makes us feel important. It's really cool!. That's awesome totally fun! The other thing is Colten also oh no I think he changed his name. Now, its Colten 420 in the chat room. He created a..You mean McLovin?. No Colten420. Oh, great now we have a Mclovin420 and a Colten420 that's really gonna hurt me. So we've also got a SpaceVidcast application. This is awesomely cool cause it helps promote SpaceVidcast. So, if this is something you think other people should see or if it's something you believe in: space flight, space travel, and you want to get the word out there, add the SpaceVidcast application to your facebook profile. And allow it to talk to your profile page. What it will do is as we are promoting shows and doing upcoming shows, there will be a graphic on your profile page on space I mean facebook. I almost called it "spacebook" That's what we should totally do! We should have a spacebook. Somebody write that down. Yes! See, now we've done it. We're not gonna register that domain name. And someone else is gonna get it. I know. So, it shows a graphic of the upcoming show. And it gives you details as to what's going on. And it can give you announcements. And where he is constantly upgrading the feed. Soon we are going to be adding RSS for the twitter feed and the news stories and the video stuff. So, it's really cool. And it helps us a lot. It helps us promote the show inside of your sss, f-facebook. See look what you've done now *laughing* It helps promote the show inside of your facebook profile. Dude spacebook. Thank you maxman Spacebook will destroy facebook. It totally will. Actually it's quite impressive totally diverging just a little bit. If you are on facebook and you are searching groups things with Space and NASA and what not. You really do get like 7,000-some odd people in these different groups. It's crazyness. So, we are not just the only geeks out there you guys. I mean I know we got like 46 viewers right now. But, it's not just us. Actually I think those stats are wrong. There are "bazillions" of them out there. Actually that's where we met Adam. Yep, met him on facebook. So, lots of fun and I think it's about time. We spent enough time talking about spacebook. Yes, sorry or the upcoming "spacebook". It's time for Space News. Alright, let's see. What did I decide to start with here guys. Oh! Hubble repairs. I don't know if you guys heard about this. Uh, Hubble of course needs some repairs. Because, lets face it, it's old. There is some mirrors. And you know all that kinda stuff. I don't know why you have me doing the news cause I'm like "I dont know, it's got this thing on it". Because you are not the space geek. So, by forcing you to do the news, you are forced to learn space stuff Oh yippe. Anyhow, the repairs are going to have to wait. They thought they were going to be able to do them this summer. It's been pushed off to early fall August 28th. Which essentially is September as far as I'm concerned. I think it's pushed back to October now. Someone correct me in the chat room. I believe the hubble repair is STS-125 with OV-104. But, I believe STS-125 has a possible launch date in October now. I'm gonna hit wikipedia really quick you keep going. Awesome. It says here that Hubble was originally launched in 1990. So if you think about it. It really is once of the older things that's up there. That's still happy and working and stuff like that. We have a launch date of no earlier than August 28th 2008. However a likely launch date of October 8th 2008. Thank you musicman. The telescope's main instrument the advanced camera used for survey's and stuff like that is in safe mode right now. There's just a bunch of little things that need to be done. You know as you get older, the creaks, the scratches, it needs some work. That's whats going on. And unfortunately it had to be pushed back. So that kinda sucks a little bit. Optiquest is saying don't trust Wikipedia. Although the Wikipedia entries for the Space Transportation System entries are fairly accurate and are fairly up to date because the guys who run NASA Spaceflight and and a bunch of other really big reputable (Cariann) Who have nothing else to do during the day. (Ben) No, this is what they do. This is how they make their money. With a lot of those websites they do a lot of the updating STS entries. So, I find that Wikipedia is very accurate when it comes to STS missions. Next! Next, on a little bit of a lighter note don't know if you know, but May 2nd (Ben) That's tomorrow, that's Friday (Cariann) is Space Day. Oh yeah. You've heard of May Day, Cinco de Mayo, all that stuff, throw it right out the window. Memorial day, forget it. Space Day, May 2nd. That's the coolest! As NovemberKat says: "Party Time"! Heck yeah! Oh yeah. As far as I'm concerned, its just a time to space out. The theme this year apparently is 50 years of NASA history because we have actually hit 50 years of NASA history now. So that's kind of a big deal, um there's all kinds of, if you hit the link, its You can make events, you can register your events, you can send your signature out into space, you can name a star after you, with no money down, which is actually the nice thing. So, you don't actually have to pay to do this stuff, they're doing it for free right now. Ah, cause its all about space day. Hit me up one more space news item! Alright, lets see, what do I got? Don't, not that one, alright, you can do that one if you want. No? You, are you sure? Alright. This is my faaavorite, we're going to do the official ISS entertainment. This came out the other day: what's going on is ... This isn't really news, this is just like soapy jibber jabber. But it's so interesting though! Its not really interesting. It is totally interesting! You guys want to know what DVDs they have on the international space station? Yes, yes you do. The reason you do is because they don't have Star Trek up there! That is kinda funny. They have Star Wars. They have all the Star Wars, they have like Stargate, they have everyday Italian, they have Frasier, Friends, good eats, Hogan's Heros and they don't even have freaking Star Trek! None of the old series, none of the new series, no movies, no nothin'! I know, they don't want to get into a Kirk - Picard war up on the ISS. I don't even think they have Boston Legal. I think they have something against William Shatner, ok? I'm just saying. In any case I do find it very interesting. There are tons of books that all have stuff to do with history and space and all that stuff makes sense, and then suddenly you get into the movies and its like: 50 1st Dates, a Charlie Brown Christmas, ah, Austin Powers the Spy Who Shagged Me Yeah, I just, Best in Show, I just didn't quite understand so I find it to be very funny in case anyone else cares, I thought it was hysterical. That doesn't count as news! That's social stuff, give me the last news item, no no, we're done with that. Alright. So yeah, blah, blah, blah, ISS, they have DVDs, although I wonder what DVD region their system is set to? Because you know you're locked to a DVD region. Are they ah, you know? Mars. Is there a Mars DVD region, is there a Space DVD region? There is now (laughing) I don't know. Let's do that last news item before we go to break. Alright! Fine, fine. So Phoenix, the Phoenix spacecraft, which is Mars bound by NASA is aiming to land in the martian, I always say attic, arctic. I don't know why. Anyhow, point is: They're going to hit the Martian North Pole, I could be wrong, but one of the poles. Why are you air-quoting "arctic"? I have no idea, I'll put my hands down. Ok. Anyhow, Phoenix is on course for a planned May 25th touch down in the martian arctic. Um, if that's successful it will mark the first powered landing on Mars since NASA's Viking 2 set down in 1976. Awesome! So that's like 32 years ago. Yeah. So that's a big, big deal as far as I'm concerned. Well, back to the moon, on to Mars, its a first step. Yeah, no, that's huge, huge, huge. It is wonderfully on course. They had gone through all these different tests on, well, if you're off by x amount you can sssht this way or sssht that way or whatever. But no, its like perfectly on course and they're actually kinda knocking on wood because its (knocking on table) going so well right now. My question is what type of propulsion did they use to get there? You know, I don't know! I wonder if we'll be able to find out? No probably not. (laughing) Its a secret. You'll never know ever ever. We'll be talking with Adam Kimberlin right after this and our Amazon pick-of-the-week. Stay with us. ♪ Music ♪ [Video of night STS launch] [Video of Virgin Galactic SS2 launch] [Earthrise] [The International Space Station] [CG of Astronauts descending from Constellation lander] This segment is sponsored by Brain TonIQ, get rid of the head fog with 0 caffeine or processed sugar. For more more information, go to I called the moon my home for three days of my life and I'm here to tell you about it. That's science fiction. "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth." "It was a bold move, it had some risky aspects to it, but it was a time when we made bold moves." "Its T-1 hour, 29 minutes and 53 seconds and counting." "I had the feeling the whole world was watching us." "Thirty seconds and counting. Astronauts report it feels good. T-25 seconds." "Not only do I have a lot of things I can do wrong, but the consequences should I do them wrong are going to be immediately obvious to 3 billion people!" "Ignition sequence start. 5...4...3...2...1...0 " "Then it dawned on me from a emotional point of view, that we're going to go to the moon." "All your systems are looking good. Going around the corner, we'll see you on the other side. Over." "We went into darkness after being in daylight the whole time, and we're in the shadow of the moon!" "Look at that!" "Unbelievable!" "I felt like I was literally standing on God's front porch." "I remember thinking 'My God, that little thing is so fragile out there!'" "That jewel of Earth was just hung up in the blackness of space." "People instead of saying, well, you Americans did it, everywhere they said, "We did it." we, the human race. We, people, did it. And I thought that that was a wonderful thing." "That's one small step for man ..." "... one giant leap for mankind." And that is our Amazon "pick of the week", and that was picked by Cariann actually. Yeah. Good pick I think. Thanks. Absolutely. If you want to help out SpaceVidcast and if that looked interesting to you, go to, you can see all of our picks of the week. That's pick of the week 006. And you can purchase it through there. By purchasing it through the page we do get a referral for that and that money goes back into the show. Helps us produce better content. Prettier lights, you know better shirts for me because I, you know, this shirt just doesn't do it for me. I don't get anything. No, she gets nothing, absolutely nothing. Not to worry. I mean she doesn't need anything, though, right. Right chat room? She, she is perfect the way she is. Wow, wow, that's a kiss-up right there. I know. So fox wants an HD studio with a real switcher. Hey, we're getting there Yeah, we're working on it. So our guest today is Adam Kimberlin, he is hardcore cool he works in, actually you are a, help me out Adam. You are an intern from NASA is that correct? That's correct. And what do you do for NASA right now? Actually before you go into that, when does your internship end? Well, actually um. Great timing on our part. (laughing) Yeah exactly, I'm glad you guys contacted me when you did. So... But, you're thinking of starting it back up or you will be going back. If, I believe is correct. Uh, and what is it you do at NASA? Uh, well I work in propulsions and PDRL which is, excuse me, PRDL, which is the Propulsions Research and Development Lab at Marshall. And I work in basically a experimental thruster development lab. And, we do a lot of different stuff, mainly what I do is positive propulsion and what we're going to talk about is some nuclear engine power stuff. So... The way we contacted you, is we actually got in contact on facebook and I asked you what you do for NASA, because I sent everyone a personal message and I noticed you work for NASA and I said what do you do? And you said, I do nuclear surface propulsion, or no, nuclear surface ... is that right? Nuclear surface power. Ah, nuclear surface power, that's right. And I said, wow! What's that? So what is, help everyone out, what is nuclear surface power? Well, um, right now one of the conventions they use to power spacecraft is solar panels Um, and as the Aries system is coming into fruition and they are wanting to go to the moon They are looking to have installments that are going to be there for a really long time. Um, the problem arises when you think of it, is that the moon rotates as well and the establishment will actually be in darkness at some point. So, solar power is not a very um, attractive convention. So what they're working to do is actually install fission reactors on the moon and on spacecraft to power them in a much more efficient way. Now, why don't we do that today, why don't we just have nuclear power in satellites and basically everything we have floating around in space? I mean ... Well, the thing is that the SNAP satellite went up back in 61 or 62 I think um, and it was nuclear powered, but ever since it has been kind of looked down upon especially after some of the, I guess, disasters that happened, with Chernobyl, and Three-mile Island and all that. Nuclear power was frowned upon after that, but now that this problem is arising, you know like, the eyes of NASA are kind of being turned towards this alternative. Why, what other forms of power could they use though? Like you said, solar is kind of out, batteries wouldn't last, can you just have a row of 9V batteries that work? I was like, you need batteries right now? What? (laughter) Sorry! I'm paying attention I swear! So what other alternatives are there, or are we pretty much out of alternatives, is this really the best solution? Yeah, I'm a very strong advocate of this because along with a nuclear reactor you're obviously going to get a lot of power output, um, and that is a very very useful thing to have especially when you're powering a lot of equipment. Things of that nature. And the same thing goes for, um, excuse me, space propulsion. Um, you know you need this nuclear reactor to power what I'm doing, positive propulsion. Electric propulsion is very very very energy intensive, so you need to have a lot of power of that sort where you might not necessarily get it. So its small, its efficient right? So a lot of these satellites have those giant solar wings that hang off of it. We wouldn't even need to have that anymore I presume. You know, for sattelites at least. Its small, its efficient. I assume it works well in space because isn't nuclear power just a giant steam engine essentially? Or am I thinking of something totally different? No, no, you're more or less right. I mean its going to work a little different, obviously as its in space but, more or less a reactor, it basically harnesses the heat given off by an endo-reaction and uses that to heat up water, which turns to steam and then turns turbines. You generate power out of that. We're using a couple of different things that I'm not as involved in. Um, I forgot which center is doing that, but they're helping us out a lot we don't have a lot of influence on that. What we do actually, at least what I've been involved with is the mesh that they're going to use to cool the reactor. One of the things that presents a problem in space is that moving parts and things of that nature just aren't going to be that accessible. So one of the things that we're implimenting is a liquid metal pump actually that works off of electrical forces in magnetic fields that actually pumps this liquid metal through a reactor. Um, without having any moving parts. So it lasts a really long time. Sounds like something out of a terminator movie. (laughter) Doesn't it? Its not going to become self-aware is it? Um, no. This pump is not going to be the, um... skynet? Skynet, exactly. Um no, its actually really really really really simple. You know, it sounds like its some crazy advanced thing, but its just a couple of magnets, some pipe running through it and electrical movement. Its really, um its really a great design, a lot of thought went into the way its built but, overall very simple. What's interesting is that a lot of space tech ends up being very, very simple because you can't have a lot of complex things in space, because how do you get to them to fix them? Exactly. What is that, Occam's razor? (Ben) No I don't think that applies here. (laughing) So this answer is the truth, is usually the truth, is usually the best one. Yeah, I'll give that one to you alright. Yes! So we've got this nuclear surface power, and you also work in propulsion, uh plasma propulsion, is that correct? That's correct. Tell me a little bit about that. Ok, um plasma propulsion, basically what it does, um, is it takes an electrical current through a gas, and then that ionizes that gas, and it uses that ionization, that electrical field um, I guess in sync with magnetic applied fields through either permanent magnets or inductor coils that produce electric magnets. Um, and it produces force, and then that force, you know, its smaller than, you know if you were to take your hand, stick it out in front of you and blow on it. Um, you know, and its smaller than that its milli-newtons of force, but at the same time its a lot more efficient than um, you know, conventional rockets, systems that we have right now, chemical propulsion. So you don't really need a whole lot of power once you're in space. Is that my understanding? Is you don't have to have a whole lot of thrust, you just, kinda keep applying it you just keep going faster and faster and faster and faster. Is that the idea? Exactly. I mean you see the big, like the SRBs on the main shuttle. And then you have the main engines on the shuttle itself. And you see that those thrusters only last for a matter of minutes. Um, a plasma thruster for an electric propulsion system will actually last um, on the order of somewhere around 20,000 hours ... or more. Well, is that enough, do you constantly use it for all 20,000 hours straight? Just keep it going, like a satellite going fast, or a lander going fast? Or how does it, how would you actually break up that 20,000 hours? And how many years is 20,000 hours? Like, less than 100? Its like 5 days. Ummm, I have no idea? Somebody do that math for me in the chat room. How long is 20,000 hours in days or years? It's a long time, its a heck of a lot longer than a couple of minutes. Ustreamer-98573 says its 43 days, yeah, so 43 days worth of constant thrust. But, that depends on the type of thrust you're using. When you get into positive propulsion there are different types. Um, you know, there is pulsating kinds of thrusters then there is constant, you know, thrust systems. So it just depends on what type you're using. Right now we use generally pulsating thrust, correct? I, I mean like when you think of the space shuttle, that's 8, its not even 8 minutes but we'll call it, just for the sake of being easy, 8 minutes of constant thrust. Yeah. Yeah, right, because you've got the SRBs that launch, and then you've got the main engines that keep going and then when they're moving around in space they've got just bursts of thrust would that be a fair ... but what you're talking about is that you could do 43 days of just straight thrust to move you forward. How does this, so we've got the nuclear surface power and we've got the propulsion, I assume that's driven by the nuclear power as well? The propulsion, or does it not need to be? No, it would be very beneficial to be doing that because of the very very high amperage required by these thrust systems. If you guys are really really interested um, all you guys in the chat room. Look up the rocket equation. It's actually on, actually I don't know, a wiki. Its a very very interesting thing that, that really really shows you the difference between traditional and electric propulsion you know, and with the chemical system we have to take, you know, sometimes you take double your payload in just fuel. Whereas, with an electrical propulsion system you can take maybe, a couple extra hundred pounds, you know, and it lasts that much longer. So, its something really cool that we do. By the way, it looks like our calculations were wrong. We said 43 days, we just ran the calculator, we have a calculator in our chat room, I'm not kidding we actually have a calculator in the chat room. Yeah I know. And they're saying that its 833.3 repeating days worth of power. So that's several years worth of constant power is 20,000 hours. That seems a lot better than 43 days. I mean 43 days just didn't seem right. Well I mean that's cool and all. Yeah, no no no yeah, 800, so that's years of constant thrust that we can apply So, we've got the engine to power it, we've got the power source itself how do we apply that to what NASA is trying to accomplish, going back to the moon, and then on to Mars. Where does it help us there? Well, see you look at pictures, of you know the Aries 1 5. Um, the Aries 1 I think is the cargo vessel? Right? The Orion is the crew module and then the Aries is the... I don't know. Somebody in the room must know. Yeah, someone, someone knows, somewhere. Aries 5 is the cargo. Aries 5 because that was total recall. Ok, well regardless, whichever one is the cargo, um, you know you have two SRBs on the side and you have thrusters mounted on the bottom of the, I guess, main vehicle. Um, but one of the things that's going to come up is when we go to Mars. Um, there's something that if you were to launch a vehicle that was taking a lot of cargo and not manned, and you had plenty of time to do it, and you'd put, you know, forethought into it you could just throw it up there and then just let it sit and burn as it goes to Mars. Whereas, you know, a crewed vessel, or something like that you can send them up behind them and then that crew vessel doesn't have to carry near as much cargo, because its already being carried by this plasma thruster and um, that vehicle. And you know that makes it a lot easier on the chemical propulsion side of it because you don't have to carry as much, you don't have to produce that much extra force. To get, you know, the manned spacecraft, um. So correct me if I'm wrong, we can use the powering system for our lunar base that we're trying to build uh, we can use it for satellites that we want to launch, uh where ... Not necessarily the same one, but the same theoretical concept, you know, of what its going to do for us. You can make a modification to the design but its still, yeah, it will do the same thing. Ok, so sorta satellites. Could we use it for deep space exploration as well? Oh yeah, definitely, that's another huge thing, um, that's, I mean if you're not going to stop I mean especially. (laughter) That's awesome. That's the very big thing. One of the, um I forgot which moon it was, ah, my boss is going to kill me. Um but its one of the moons on one of the planets. I think its a moon of Saturn um, the one that's covered in ice. Ah, you'll have to excuse me ... Titan? ... Yeah, that's the one. Um, one of the things that they're wanting to do is they're wanting to launch rovers to that. Um, or maybe it is Europa. Anyways, regardless ... See, this is why we have a chat room. I know, I love it. I'm sorry, man if you'd seen the amount of paperwork I have to do ... Oh, no no no, I totally understand, no. Go on, so its an ice moon. Right? A giant rock of, or thing of ice, right? Yeah, so they're basically, they're looking at that as a possible place for extra-terrestrial life because of water, obviously. Um, and what they're wanting to do is they're wanting to send a rover, ah sorry I'm reading the chat while I'm talking to you. Oh its ok, so we're going to send a rover, but we're going to need to be able to power the vehicle getting there, and then while its there, right? Exactly, because, you know, whether Jupiter or, you know Saturn, that's a long long ways to go. So um ... How long would it take to get there, do you know? Oh um, I have no idea. I mean with current conventions it takes like what? 3 months to get to Mars or something like that? Yup 3 months to and 3 months back. Yeah. So, I mean, assuming that, you know, we're in the same part of the orbit, you know, um, you know, and they put a little forethought into it, um, which I'm sure somebody would, um, you know it can take a really long time and over that whole time frame, you know, its a propulsion system that will definitely make up the lack of initial thrust from a normal propulsion system. (Ben) So basically what we've got here is the next-generation power for our bases, our off-planet bases, be it on the moon or on Mars or wherever its going to be. Our off-planet power for our vehicles, be it a rover or a, some kind of deep space exploration system. Possibly a satellite, modified, um possibly is my understanding. Maybe, maybe not. I assume some people are worried about having it floating around the earth? Is that why we're kinda saying a modified version for satellites? Or is it just a totally different technology? Yeah, I think that those, it bugs a lot of people, cause I mean, you look at I mean cuz, I shouldn't say this on the air, but I mean media um, you know, they tend to cover things that are not good in nature when it comes to, you know, like disasters and stuff like that. When the satellite falls out of the sky. Uh, I mean, that was a big deal, um, and they hyped up, you know, the fuel being everywhere and all that good stuff um, you know when you have a nuclear satellite, um, you know, that is, that is kinda a worry. But the thing is is that what they're wanting to do ... they're not wanting to use it on satellites um, that I'm aware of that are in geosynchronous orbit. They're wanting to have these in satellites that are going you know way out. Um, and yeah, there were um, prohibiting treaties, but I think that they are actually in the process of are, of being revoked. (Ben) Well, and if we're going to advance, you know a lot of people are scared of nuclear power, I'm actually a proponent of nuclear power. I think its ... we got really scared of it for a while because I don't think we, well 2 reasons, we didn't know what to do with the waste and we still need to figure out what to do with the waste. At least for nuclear power plants here on Earth you know, I assume the space vehicles kind of either kinda recycle the waste or its all just self contained or ... I don't know what you do there? We shoot it to Jupiter. And the other reason is actually that nuclear power is very efficient. Very very efficient. So, I, I , yeah. So I was just going to say, you know, one of the things that people know they see, like, you know, Chernobyl and all that stuff and, you know, it really freaks them out you know, as well it should, because that's very dangerous stuff. But the thing is its a lot safer than you think and the design factor, you know, the way that its built um, has a lot to do with the, I mean look at the reactor here, I mean not here, but being implemented. The way that they work, I mean is, the reactor itself has more or less a heartbeat and it sustains itself. I mean it literally, you know, has a change in shape that simulates a heartbeat more or less um, because, you know, you're giving off heat, so the core expands, as it expands, its molecules get further away. So the reaction doesn't happen as fast. So, as that happens, you know, it cools down, so it shrinks. Um, and as it shrinks the molecules come closer together, so the reaction happens faster so, you know, its a continuating cycle that goes back and forth. So you never really have the problem of, you know, it going overboard. Um, you know, I've been told that. I don't know if its true or not that the difference between a Soviet reactor, and, you know an American reactor, is that American reactors, when they're built, they're not meant to blow up er, they're not going to blow up when they break. Ouch! Funny. Well actually Chernobyl was a bad design, by the way. Yeah, yeah that was part of it. Like the Titanic, it would have gone down no matter what. It didn't have to hit the iceberg. Sorta, I mean there were just a lot of screwups that happened there and ah Well, you know as Kat said in the chat room, people don't know the facts. We have media that likes to glom on to, just the really hardcore, lets scare everyone and ah so anyways I'm a proponent of nuclear power and ah, I just think this is actually a fantastic idea to start doing this. Especially to power our, our moon, our lunar colony or base I suppose, not really colony. Or our lunar base. Get some of these deep-space exploration vehicles doing this, you know, get it to Mars. This is really the future of space travel is based on what you're working on, in my humble opinion. I just thought that was terribly interesting. Yeah, yeah, for sure. Um, you know, way to put me on the spot, but no, ah, I wouldn't necessarily agree with that. I've got very little influence on what goes on. I'm just an innocent bystander, um Well, I mean the projects, I mean the projects, not you specifically, I mean projects that you're working on. No, I do, I mean you, Adam, specifically. Dude you, all of space travel is dependent on you! Don't screw up. (laughing) Ah, too late, too late. (more laughing) That's it, I'm done tomorrow. I already signed off. So fox is asking, what happens if something happens to a reactor. Will it explode in space? What are the ramifications of something like that? Yeah, that's the thing, you know, is that reactors, when you say explode, um nuclear, like ah, nuclear reactors as opposed to nuclear bombs work, you know, completely different. You know, ah, if the core goes haywire, um, you know, it actually, at least the way that its designed, it won't blow up, you know, it just gets to the point where it will eventually burn itself out. Like that? Yes. Ta-da! Yeah, exactly I hear what you're saying. I saw something go bye-bye. (laughing) It was awesome. All right Adam, this is, where can people go for more information on this? Is there a NASA site or is there a NASA research area or anything that you can look up? There is but you can't go there. (laughing) Ah yes, behind a firewall. (more laughing) I tell you what, that was one of the creepiest things, having to go to the library where people watch you everywhere you go. You know, its very nerve-racking. Um, but um, but just check out NASA's website, um, NASA's website. And hit up Marshall or something like that. Ah, I'm not really sure if much of it is currently available on the internet, but um, you know, search for it. Its out there, you know, just look for it. Its the internet, everything is on the internet, right? Of course, absolutely. There's um, a lot of papers, a lot of papers of people who work here and good luck finding it, and happy hunting. Awesome! Awesome. Adam, thank you so much for joining us. This is, like I said, this is the type of technology that is going to move us forward its going to advance space travel, and we can start thinking about, you know, the issues of space travel are going to be propulsion and power. Directly linked to each other and what he's working on. Or at least the projects that you're a part of, how about that, the ... Yeah, that sounds much better ... the projects you're a part of are ah, no matter who is going to use it, be it NASA, European Space Agency, or privatized space travel this is where we need to be. This is very important stuff, so if you start hearing people complaining about it or people who really don't understand it, I would suggest all the spacevidcasters definitely get up to date on this stuff because this is very important stuff. And I would say, ah, then educate other people because you can alleviate most fear through education. If they just understand it if they don't understand it they'll be scared of it. If they understand it, and they know why its beneficial and why its not going to harm them, because they don't want to harm them... Knowledge is power. Knowledge is power, then they'll probably support it. So Adam, thank you so much for joining us this evening. Its been a fun and great conversation. Yeah. Yeah definitely, I appreciate it. And, ah, since you guys are interested, um you know, some of the other things that are going on in my building. They do nuclear fusion is what they're doing research on. I have, no don't ask me. Thats, thats ... Yeah, for those that don't know, we currently have nuclear fission where they slam them together, no pull them apart, yeah pull them apart. Nuclear fusion is when they slam them together. I believe that's also, the super-collider is fusion, is it not? I'm pretty sure it is. So that's cool, that's really cool stuff. Then, and then there's talk of anti-matter which as soon as that works, its before, ah I zone out, I have no idea. Oh yeah, so actually I believe we're working on , ah, microscopic black holes, I know we're working on antimatter, and I didn't know NASA was working on fusion, but I know that there are other agencies working on fusion as well which goes to my, back to my thing of, we really should get off of this planet and populate other planets, just in case someone screws something up. Oops, that little black hole is now a big black hole! Yeah, it sucked up the center of the Earth! Adam, thank you so much for your time! Yeah, no problem you guys, I hope you guys enjoyed it as much as I did! Yeah, I did thank you! For sure. Ah, so that's our show for this evening. I'd like to thank Adam, a NASA intern hopefully he'll, after the show, he'll be able to go back to NASA. Yeah, they don't kick him out. No, you can't even finish your last day, sorry! You know, like I said, this is something we should all be proponents of. That we should all be helping NASA figure out how to do, and ah, this goes back to me saying NASA needs more money, and they need, we need to privatize space, but we also need to help NASA do kinda the other, the other, we'll call it the dirty work, right? And this is all very very important things too. Getting off our planet, populating other planets. Just exploring space and expanding our horizons, its just constantly looking up, as opposed to just kinda going down throughout life like this. So... That's my, that's my big thing. Any closing comments? Did I do a pretty good job? No I think that soapbox is full! Oh, all right! Thank you everyone for joining us. Join us next Thursday at 9pm Central Daylight time. That's 7pm Pacific, 10pm Eastern or 2am the following day if you're in Greenwich with Mean Time. Ooh! Yeah I happen to, I don't know why I know all that off the top of my head. But So join us next Thursday for the next live SpaceVidcast, we're going to start trying to get these onto iTunes, we're going to start trying to get this so you can ingest the media wherever you want. Make sure to check out that Amazon "Pick of the Week" and all of our picks of the weeks. And, and buy a kindle by the way, if you're that, that link. That helps us too. Just buy, buy tons of stuff. Just buy stuff. Look at the sponsors. See the sponsors? We've got LogMeIn, we've got BrainToniq, we've got Amazon. Just buy it all, its all great stuff! Thats, thats my little, that's my pitch, how's that? Oh man! Is that a hard sell? That's, that's good, that's good. Thanks for joining us, we'll see you guys next week. ♪ Space Music ♪

Video Details

Duration: 42 minutes and 5 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Benjamin Higginbotham
Director: Benjamin Higginbotham
Views: 153
Posted by: spacevidcast on May 1, 2008

NASA intern Adam Kimberlin joins us live via Skype to chat about space power and propulsion work that NASA is doing. Can't do much in space if we can't power or move the craft!

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