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Lesson One, Introduction 2011, Sunday, 1-23-11 January 23, 2011

Posted by drspaceshow in Uncategorized.

Lesson One, Introduction 2011, Sunday, 1-23-11


Guests:  Classroom:  Dr. David Livingston, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan.  Topics:  The Space Show Classroom introduction for 2011.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show Classroom program/guest(s) on the Space Show Classroom blog,https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show Classroom  programming.  The Space Show Classroom is back and this one hour program was our introduction to the 2011 semester.  Co-hosts Jim and John and I went through our suggested course outline which I will finalize upon my return from Grand Forks and post on the Classroom blog as soon as possible.  While we have a full agenda as you will hear, we are open to and we welcome your course and topic suggestions, as well as suggestions for possible expert guests for the Classroom programs.  Today, listeners asked us some detailed questions about radiation, solar flares, and a few of our suggested discussion topics, but this introductory program was more about letting everyone know that the Classroom has returned and what we will most probably be covering during the year., We also introduced a few new rules for the Classroom.  For example, we will not be using the toll free number for the Classroom this season.  There are a few reasons for this including the need for more phone lines when we do point and counterpoint discussions which we want to do more often.  In addition, we all thought that many of the listener phone calls last year took us off the Classroom main topic.  Remember, the Classroom is different from regular Space Show programs in that we do a two hour simulated graduate school course discussion and we need to stay focused and on topic just as in a real classroom.  The Classroom has its own blog per the URL above.  All Classroom shows are archived on The Space Show website, Gigadial for podcasting, and on the Classroom blog. They are not archived on the regular Space Show blog.  The Classroom blog is moderated and we do not post any comments or material not directly on point with Classroom programs and discussions.  If you want to contact the Classroom co-hosts, all of us have our email addresses listed on the blog.  Mine of course is drspace@thespaceshow.com.  One other Classroom rule we used last year and it seemed to work fine so it will be used this year as well is that all emails and comments about the programs or for the guests directed to me need to be posted on The Classroom Blog so everyone can see them and participate in the discussion.  If you do not post your comment yourself, I will post it on the blog under your name.  For the Classroom, we want to expand our discussions to as many markets and interested people as possible and one of the best ways to do that is to make sure that we have a variety of points of view on the blog along with quality discussions.  Finally, most all Classroom programs will be on a Sunday or Tuesday and just as we did last year, every Classroom program on the schedule, in the newsletters, and on archives will have “Classroom” at the beginning so these programs can be easily identified..  Thank you for participating in the 2011 Space Show Classroom series of programs.


1. Andy Hill - January 24, 2011

How about a classroom show on managing a typical space project?

It could discuss things like:

Investor expectations
Revenue streams and their implications
Function of a business plan
Project length and timescales
Scope and size for different players
Experience needed

2. Andy Hill - January 24, 2011

I thought it would be a really good idea to have a counterpoint show with Dr Zubrin but I’m not sure he would let the other guest get their points across and I suspect he would be a nightmare to moderate if he started to get to carried away.

He tends to dismiss a lot of things if they disagree with his view of the world. Not sure who you could get to debate with him.

A show on landing heavy payloads on Mars or possibly the Moon.

3. Joe - January 24, 2011

We suppose radiation is a major contributor to bone loss and other health issues in this classroom discussion. It is seen as a delayed bone loss reaction like we see with radiation patients on the ground. Ground radiation treatments for cancer patients are not the same exposure that astronauts are exposed to. That is a fact, Jack! We are allowed to suppose all we want but to date, there is no experimental evidence linking either 1. space radiation or, 2. micro-gravity or, 3. a combination of both as the cause of bone loss. The actual cause is one of these three causes. This fact cries for an experiment on small vertebrate animals using existing space facilities, especially since the recent broken hip injury suffered by Astronaut Tim Kopra was reported in the news at: http://www.universetoday.com/82621/sts-133-astronaut-breaks-hip-in-bicycle-accident/

I am all for keeping the detailed information from the public like describing the details of the fall that caused the broken hip injury. The public does not need to know if the broken hip injury was sustained by merely falling over to the pavement while still or that it was an injury from a spectacular bicycle crash. We only need to know how well he is recovering and feel sorrow for his lost opportunity to go to space again. It was truly a tragic event for such a hero of the space walking genre.

Could this incident possibly be linked to the fact that he was exposed to radiation and micro-gravity for only 2 months, a year and a half ago? If so, are astronauts that endure the same exposure for up to 3 times longer (6 months) also at risk to hip injuries when they return to Earth? If so, then why aren’t we aggressively doing something about it and I am not talking about existing bone loss countermeasure pursuits that appear to take years and years of failed attempts like more aggressive exercise and nutritional supplements?

We are also allowed to suppose intermittent partial gravity exposure could counteract the radiation effects that supposedly cause bone loss. If radiation and or micro-gravity exposure causes bone loss, the question is: Why not try an intermittent partial gravity experiment on small rodents living long duration on the ISS. Dozens of small rodents have already lived on the ISS, so caring for them is no big deal to the crew, especially if they send up a mission specialist that is specifically trained to care for them. We can do this even after the shuttle retires and there is a serious NASA need to stop bone loss, otherwise, astronauts will continue suffering bone loss for the opportunity to go to space.

The experiment is simple. The control group is exposed to radiation and micro-gravity. The test group is exposed to radiation, micro-gravity, and a reasonable dosage of daily intermittent partial gravity using any of 3 available existing centrifuges. The results should speak for themselves and provide valuable information to those seeking to send humans on long duration missions to distant destinations. Any indication that bone loss for the test group was less than the bone loss for the control group establishes the desired link and would astound people on Earth, especially space biological scientists and doctors all over the world.

Are we going to just keep doing what we have done in the past which is build and launch rocket after rocket going around and around the Earth and make a lot of people a lot of money and make congressmen happy among their constituents and replace bone depleted astronauts with fresh ones or are we logically preparing to venture out further from this planet using and as-yet untested tethered vehicle?

4. Joe - January 25, 2011

Who wants to be the teacher of a class of students willing to learn about this?

Teachers need to instruct students on how to do research on what centrifuges are available on the ISS. Post pictures of these centrifuges. Publish the specifications of them. Do research on small animal habitats and centrifuge compartments. More pictures and specs. Show what has worked in the past with animals in space. Let history be a teacher. Teach students about how it worked or didn’t work in the past and have them explore ways to make it better this time around. Teach them how to take care of small animals living in space. We all want to know how do small animals go to the bathroom in space. If you can use your imagination, you can come up with all sorts of other things to teach students about in conducting a real experiment in space using a control group and test group of small animals used as guinea pigs instead of the current way which uses people as guinea pigs exposed to space radiation and micro-gravity.

Trent Waddington - February 8, 2011

After talking to him for a few hours I discovered that you’ve just gotta do the same to him. That annoys him enough that he stops doing it to you. Whereas if you just let him walk all over you he’ll keep doing it.

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