Wed, 2 April 2008
Dr. Gregory L. Matloff, astronomer and author of six popular books on astronomy and astronautics, is our featured guest. His latest book, Living Off the Land in Space, was co-authored with NASA’s Les Johnson and Brooklyn artist C Bangs.
Future and current trends in spaceflight and propulsion are covered in this interview, as well as all the following topics: where the big money will be made in space; space-based solutions to our energy problems on earth today; the inflatable space habitats and hotels that Robert Bigalow has started building; practical methods of asteroid mining and diverting; ion drives and solar sails; the likelihood of a new international space race; exoplanets in general but especially the new developing possibility of earth-like planets orbiting the nearest star, Alpha Centauri.
Doctor Matloff also talks about the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke's book Rendezvous with Rama which opens with an asteroid impact wiping a quarter of Europe's cities and population off the map; new estimates of the Tunguska impact of 1908; as well as one particular earth-grazing asteroid which will be taking two pot-shots at humanity during the next two decades.
Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the April 2, 2008 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 71 minutes]
Doctor Matloff makes it clear that the future of spaceflight is Not likely to look like the spaceflight of the past. Nor is it likely to resemble the spaceflight generally described in science fiction.
One of his early books, The Starflight Handbook: A Pioneer's Guide to Interstellar Travel, was co-authored with MIT science writer Eugene F. Mallove. Doctor Matloff has consulted for NASA on in-space propulsion systems and methods of protecting Earth from threatening objects. And he has also contributed to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI), atmospheric modeling, space astronomy and navigation, and studies to produce energy from the wind.
News Items described in this episode include:
Robert J. Sawyer (bestselling author and former guest on this show) will be making a personal appearance inside Second Life. He will discuss the future of: AI, robotics, life extension, SETI, and more. Afterward, he will join the Extropia Book Club for their discussion of his latest novel, Rollback, which is now a finalist for the Hugo Award. The event will be held on April 6, 2008 at high noon (Pacific Time) in the Central Nexus building in Extropia Core inside Second Life.
The New York Times has reported that pacemakers are now vulnerable to hacker attacks because device makers have begun designing them to connect to the Internet wirelessly.
Google wants to offer nationwide Wi-Fi to everyone in America for Free. (This is not an April Fools joke.) On March 21, 2008 Google submitted a six-page letter to the FCC outlining processes and tests to avoid interference if they are granted use of a portion of those radio frequencies which will become available in 2009 when television ceases to broadcast analog transmissions.