RPR Episode 5 – Chris Hoftun

CHRIS HOFTUN

Bill Hargenrader, bestselling author of the Mars Journey series, interviews Chris Hoftun Chairman and co-founder of the Mars Institute Norway, and Program Manager Space Systems at Zaptec where he is currently investigating a new plasma drilling system under development (PLASMARS).

We talked about his trip to Devon Island for a Mars science research trip, learned about plasma drilling for earth, asteroids, Mars and its moons, as well as talked about what it takes to pursue your passion and help realize a greater vision for humanity.

Christopher Hoftun has a Master of Science from the University of Stavanger, Norway. He is the chairman and co-founder of the Mars Institute Norway, after he conducted a study of planetary drilling at the Mars Institute, at NASA Ames Research Center, California, USA. He is also the Program Manager Space Systems at Zaptec, HQ in Stavanger, Norway, and based at NASA Ames Research Center. He is currently investigating a new plasma drilling system under development (PLASMARS) by the Zaptec, Inc company and the European Space Agency (ESA). The plasma- drill that will enable deep subsurface access on asteroids, Mars and its moons for in-situ science investigation sampling and exploration.

Drilling is anticipated to be an important activity in the future exploration of the Moon, Mars, and of small bodies, such as asteroids and the moons of Mars, Phobos and Deimos. NASA and ESA have identified subsurface access as a significant science and exploration priority for planetary missions in the near-future, and are pursuing technologies necessary to enable such access. The PLASMARS project ́s purpose is to develop prototypes and field-test robotic plasma drilling technologies for missions to the Moon, asteroids, and Mars in the 2021-2025 time.

Link to listen in iTunes: RPR 05 – Chris Hoftun

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The show and its contents are presented by The Mars Society and co-produced with I Love Mars Media. Find out more at: www.marssociety.org and www.ILoveMars.info

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RPR Episode 4 – Lucinda Offer

lucinda-offer_squareBill Hargenrader, bestselling author of the Mars Journey series, interviews Lucinda Offer, Executive Director of the Mars Society, who has devoted over 10 years to Humans to Mars advocacy and analog research.

Lucinda has been an extremely effective Executive Director of the Mars Society USA, a role which she held in the past, and now again appointed in 2015. She has devoted over 10 years to Humans to Mars advocacy and analog research. Positions included leading lobbying efforts in DC, PR Director, and Executive Director.

She completed Crew 97 (January 2011) rotation at MDRS as crew roboticist testing NASA/Mars Society tele-operated exploration rover ‘Sandstorm’, as well as four NASA Science expeditions researching Mars analogues to Saudi Arabia (Mars and Titan), Australia (3.5 Bya stromatolites and the Dawn of Life Trail), the Mojave (tardigrades), and New Zealand (geothermal vents). Backgrounds in Geology, Design, and Science Communication.

Lucinda also combines those talents to teach Physical and Earth science concepts using visual communication. She continues her efforts with publishing Mars-oriented educational materials, first published in 2010.

Link to listen in iTunes: RPR 04 – Lucinda Offer

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RPR Episode 3 – Thomas Myers (Physics of SpaceX Blog)

Podcast host John King, interviews Tom Myers, physicist and blogger at The Physics of SpaceX.

We delve into Mars colonisation logistics and future potential technologies. See below for detailed breakdown of discussion.

Link to listen in iTunes: RPR 03 Tom Myers (Physics of SpaceX)

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Subjects discussed, in approximate chronological order:

  • Intro to Tom and how he came to start his blog “The Physics of SpaceX”
  • Why SpaceX only reuses the first stage of the Falcon 9 (Tom explains extrapolating from the rocket equation + other calculations the infeasibility of second stage re-use)
  • What SpaceX Mars colonisation logistics may look like (BFR + MCT). How the MCT could re-fuel in space.
  • How “breaking” when arrive at Mars works (high level) using aerobreaking + retropropulsion
  • Using SpaceX Mars logistics for other organisations (universities, governments) to put things on Mars.
  • Tom’s background in rocketry – competing in solid fuel rocket building competitions against the USA + French
  • 21m – The complexity (?) of an engineering leap from kerosene based fuels to methane
  • Fuel options on Mars (Methane or Hydrogen) + tradeoffs between the two
  • Who might be the first people to go to Mars? SpaceX Engineers / NASA astronauts
  • Mars collaboration going forward? ESA, JSA, China
  • Will others be able to copy/compete with SpaceX?
  • Discussion of Skylon’s single stage to orbit liquid hydrogen concept, how it could bring down the cost of transporting payloads into orbit (in the future), and how extra ‘players’ will increase redundance capacity (should something happen with a BFR etc)
  • Ion engines and “going the long way around” to Mars, to reach it outside of transfer windows
  • 38m – How ion engines work (vs liquid propellant) (loosely explained)
  • If ion engines can go 10x faster, how do they break at the other end? Force of air resistance scales with square of speed
  • 42m – Why ion engines won’t work within the Earth’s gravity
  • SpaceX plans for creating a satellite network to share internet across the world. How it will benefit the world + SpaceX. Including creating communication between Earth + Mars
  • 51m – In situ-resource utilisation. Why we want to go to Mars vs building something in empty space.
  • Resources available on Mars
  • Why asteroid mining from Mars is more appealing than from Earth
  • Feasibility of living underground on Mars – including the speculated empty lava tubes
  • 1hr – Future Mars governance & future independence
  • Self driving cars on Mars
  • 1hr 10m – How Mars will help drive new innovation – through necessity
  • 1hr 18m – Virtual Reality utilisation on Mars – helping the colony to handle reduced space and movement options.
  • 1hr 23m – Gravity on Mars
  • 1m 28m – Various rationales for going to Mars
  • 1hr 31m – Comparing the discovery of the Americas to Mars exploration
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RPR Episode 2 – Andrew Rader

andrew raderBill Hargenrader, bestselling author of the Mars Journey series, hosts Andrew Rader, SpaceX mission integrator with a PhD from MIT in human long duration spaceflight, and holder of the title of Canada’s Greatest Know-it-All.

Andrew runs New Horizon Games which designs tabletop card games, including ‘Evolve: The Game of Unnatural Selection’, and ‘Politics: Bribes, Scandals, Strife, and Strategy’. He has over 15 years of game design experience with Australian Design Group.

Andrew is also an author (‘Leaving Earth’) and Youtuber with over 4 million views (youtube/AndrewRader). He runs a personal Twitter account (@marsrader), a science account (@weird_sci), and a history account (@weird_hist). Find Andrew on Facebook at Facebook/RaderAndrew.

Link to listen in iTunes: RPR 02 – Andrew Rader

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RPR Episode 1 – Dr. Robert Zubrin

doctor-robert-zubrinThis episode features and interview with Dr. Robert Zubrin, Founder and President of the Mars Society, an American aerospace engineer and author of The Case for Mars, best known for his advocacy of the manned exploration of Mars. Today’s host is Bill Hargenrader, bestselling author of Mars Journey, and Founder of the popular I Love Mars Media

Dr. Zubrin was the driving force behind Mars Direct, a proposal intended to produce significant reductions in the cost and complexity of such a mission. The key idea was to use the Martian atmosphere to produce oxygen, water, and rocket propellant for the surface stay and return journey. He is the President of the Mars Society and Pioneer Astronautics and Pioneer Energy. He has developed a number of concepts for space propulsion and exploration, and is the author of over 200 technical and non-technical papers and five books.

Link to listen in iTunes: RPR 01 – Dr. Robert Zubrin

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The show and its contents are presented by The Mars Society and co-produced with I Love Mars Media. Find out more at: www.marssociety.org and www.ILoveMars.info

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Red Planet Radio is Live!

Red Plante Radio ArtworkRed Planet Radio is Live!

First up in the series are:
RPR 01 – Dr. Robert Zubrin, Founder and President of the Mars Society
RPR 02 – SpaceX Mission Integrator: Andrew Rader
RPR 03 – Physics of SpaceX blogger: Tom Myers
RPR 04 – Lucinda Offer, Executive Director of the Mars Society

There are two ways you can listen to the podcast interview series.

#1: iTunes: Go to the Red Planet Radio page:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/red-planet-radio/id1153447975

Then download, subscribe, listen, rate and review.

This will let you listen from your computer and phone on the go.

Or

#2: Go to the blog post at radio.marsociety.org and listen to the podcast there.

Please help us make Red Planet Radio the #1 Mars focused podcast in the world by downloading, listening to and commenting on the broadcast

Hope you enjoy!

Sharing co-hosting responsibilities for Red Planet Radio on behalf of the Mars Society will be Bill Hargenrader, Founder of Facebook’s popular I Love Mars page, and John King, Mars exploration advocate and entrepreneur.

Suggest a podcast interview by sending Bill Hargenrader and email at bhargenrader@marssociety.org

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Red Planet Radio Re-Launch

Red Plante Radio ArtworkThe Mars Society will be re-launching its popular online podcast, Red Planet Radio, beginning Monday, September 19th, three days before the start of the 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention, being held this year at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.

Upcoming episodes of the new broadcast will feature interviews with Dr. Robert Zubrin, President and founder of the Mars Society, Thomas Myers, a prominent science blogger at “The Physics of SpaceX,” Lucinda Offer, Executive Director of the Mars Society and Dr. Andrew Rader, Mission Manager at SpaceX and a social media celebrity.

Sharing co-hosting responsibilities for Red Planet Radio on behalf of the Mars Society will be Bill Hargenrader, Founder of Facebook’s popular I Love Mars page, and John King, Mars exploration advocate and entrepreneur.

Please help us make Red Planet Radio the #1 Mars focused podcast in the world by downloading, listening to and commenting on the broadcast following its re-launch next week. For more updates about Red Planet Radio, please visit the Mars Society web site.

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