The Future And You
Ideas and opinion about the future based on verifiable facts of today.


Les Johnson (NASA physicist and manager) and Dr. Gregory L. Matloff (professor of astronomy) are today's featured guests.

Topic: how the half million items of space junk orbiting the earth at 25 times the speed of sound have now become a danger to everyone's technologically dependant lifestyle. Or at least to all those who use cell phones, credit cards, checking accounts, the Internet or electricity. (First of two parts. This week they describe the problem, next week they discuss what can be done about it.) Many other space-related topics are touched upon as well, since this problem effects them all.

Hosted by Stephen Euin Cobb, this is the August 4, 2010 episode of The Future And You. [Running time: 35 minutes] This was recorded in front of a live audience on July 10, 2010 at LibertyCon in Chattanooga.

Les Johnson is Deputy Manager for the Advanced Concepts Office at the NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. In his spare time he writes popular science books and articles. He was the technical consultant for the movie Lost in Space.

Dr. Gregory L. Matloff is assistant professor of physics at New York City College of Technology. He has consulted for the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, is a Fellow of the British interplanetary Society, is a Hayden Associate at the American Museum of Natural History, and is a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. His pioneering research in solar-sail technology has been utilized by NASA in plans for extra-solar probes and in consideration of technologies to divert Earth-threatening asteroids. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 research papers and eight books, which have been cited about 400 times. One of his books, The Starflight Handbook (Wiley, 1989), was co-authored with MIT science-writer Dr. Eugene Mallove and helped establish interstellar-propulsion studies as a sub-division of applied physics.

In addition to being scientists, public speakers, and friends, Les and Greg have collaborated on a number of popular books. They joined forces with C Bangs for Living Off the Land in Space (2007), as well as for their latest book Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth (2009). With Giovanni Vulpetti they wrote Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel (2008).


Direct download: TFAY_2010_8_4.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am EDT