tv Edward Hudgins Space CSPAN September 4, 2019 9:03pm-9:55pm EDT
explores what it would take to send humans to mars. >> i'm going to start over. good afternoon ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the next session to research director of the heartland institute and cato and heritage in other places and we are having this discussion july 20, 2019 this is the 50th anniversary of the landing of human beings on the moon.
i was like a kid in a candy store. i got to watch the first moon landing from a major space center i sat there and watched the launch and splash down in the control room. this is the flight plan from the first moon landing. everyone had one of these and i kept mine. i could sell one of these on ebay but i'm not going to do that. i still have my little badge and you know how strict security is these days but this was a little plastic thing and for a high school kid that was enough to get me into the space flight center. a little bit of things coming around so to speak. i got buzz aldrin to do a first chapter in my book the first human being to land on the moon
and has a chapter here in my book. i am a space geek from way back and so, i also ask the question when are we going to land on mars in why haven't we landed on mars yet. what made apollo possible because we talk about how we haven't gone to mars yet and you have to understand how we were able to go to the moon. first of all technology have developed to a point where we would seriously think about it if you look at the science fiction writers before the technology wasn't there it was very imaginative and by that time thanks to robert goddard
working for the germans and for the american industry we reached the point we could technologically do that. there was this stuff about how that's not paul says we can go to the moon, ha ha. the fuel rocket ride there was launched in 1926 and march i believe and there were times like it wen this when only 44 ft a crackpot. by the way, when apollo was going to the moon they published an apology around the goddard space flight center. there was a vision and he goes at the time of americans thinking of doing great things. we had the human capital at that time as well and people are thinking of an innovative way and they were not all harvard
graduates. we had a free open society i was mentioning that to some of you earlier we had a situation we look at how nasa ran at the time and they would question how do you let me do this. no one had ever done this before so do you have one big rockets that goes to the moon or a whole idea in the lunar orbit and putting the lamb out there, separate lunar vehicle. that was very radical and there were a lot of internal discussions about it. we can't launch in lunar orbit, can we, that you have these very innovative imaginative people, and of course most importantly,
the political will and focus. the soviet challenge was there with sputnik and the first human in space in 1961 shook up the americans. jfk by the way was reluctant. it was lyndon johnson who i don't like politically pretty much on anything of lyndon johnson pushed the space program and kennedy went ahead and signed off to it. this was our way of saying a free and open system can be better. the notion was very important we had political support to spend
to get us to the moon. finally, very important, nasa wasn't a big bureaucracy at the time. they just started to be cobbled together in the late 1950s. at this point it was still a lot of folks, many who knew each other who said this is the bureaucratic thing but let's go out and have a beer and talk this over so it wasn't the kind of bureaucracy that we have now. that's what got us to the moon. what is keeping us from mars? i want to start with talking about space and political. i'm going to go through this very quickly, but i think you'll get the point. i'm going to give a quick very brief history of nasa and our space policy from about the time of the moon landing until today.
now, at the time of the moon landing, thomas paine, head of nasa and those folks were saying we can work our way and go on to mars 1981 or in the early '80s and of course that didn't happen. president nixon canceled the last three apollo flights. it was supposed to be 18 to 19 and 20. it's a shame by the way. they already built the hardware for the mission. part of that is because the public interest was kind of drying up. we did that, we went to the moon. what's next. we decided to take the stage and make it into skylab. then through a couple of decades
why don't we get a reusable shuttle except for the final council that comes back t to earth. surely we can do things cheaper if we get a reusable shuttle and what happened in practice it once it was operational was like 1981 and then the real inflation is the cost of putting into space went up with the shuttle rather than down. but then there was a question jimmy carter was like nothing they do other thabig other thane shuttle continue to be built. though he did have something about the regulation that said government payloads have to go on government carriers maybe we can get into this and they've got to go. reagan of course in the mid-80s came up with the idea
but to approve the idea of a space station. well, that's something. it gives the shuttle a place to fly to africa and playing around in circles so we will build a space station. here's the thing it is only going to cost $8 billion it's going to be up there by the early 1990s. so isn't this great? it wasn't up there until the early 2,000 costing $100 billion. bush senior the 20th anniversary of the first when landing site you know what, nasa should commit itself to go to mars we finally got them on the agenda. you ask how much it would cost and nasa said $450 billion. and this was 1989 and congress said no thing. so mars didn't go very far. nothing really drastic. some programs continue through.
bush junior was interesting i remember this i was right public policy about this stuff at the time in the columbia disaster went up as a whole thinking about what are we going to do in terms of the future of space. we really should go ahead. we have been doing this space station thing going around in circles for years. why don't we commit ourselves to going back to the moon because after all we can prove that we can do 50 years later but we did 50 years ago and we will have a big constellation rocket and counsel. they kept the capsule but in different form.
again, politics was informed in who does what. another thing that came out is what about mining asteroids. there's a number of good private companies mining the asteroids and those are the ones i wanted to gethatwanted to get into thas as well. obama canceled the constellation and then trump came in. we really should go back to the moon and we should go up to mars. he had this thing he was going back and forth about it. he made one statement about it. we've been to the moon, let's go to mars. mars. the nasa administrator said can you clarify a little bit.
he really is very interested. mike collins who was in the command module they turn t turno the nasa and administrators say part of the plan of going back to the moon than we are going to do a lunar gateway then it is economic that doesn't make any sense you don't really need to go to one of thes of the thingst just wastes a lot of money. so, here's the point.
the. this is what politics does. there's no way to get away from it. you've got congressman in the district and other priorities. this is what happens when the government is involved. they can do something like land a man on the moon or humans on the moon and if they throw a lot of money at it in the long term they cannot commercialize things including space. now, let's turn for a moment to aviation and space and look at the private sector because this is a very interesting story. whereas with space -- well, let's do this. airlines started as a civilian operation, there were the wright brothers and the government operation which was military
stuff. the the civilian operations were run by private people. the government in a sense helped. for example the government was going to carry the mail anyway so they contracted air mail out instead of building government planes to fly all the mail this and they contracted out to private providers. it was in this kind of way if they want to build a military plane they would put out a bit and say we want a certain fuselage and we will pay this much. private prizes were important not just for the government but they put up $25,000 for the first person who could fly if crossed the atlantic and of course it happened to be this
and they went through hell trying to get approval for the launch. in the last decade you've had a lot of the deregulation and private prizes. deregulation by the way this was created early on but it wa thatn the '90s but it got moved to the fda. there is international treaties and this peace treaty have to abide by that and then there's this and that and the other so they have to go around all the government agencies and we have a one-stop shopping place for folks that want to launch
rockets. you have a bout of private societies. a number of these members that were advocating for space. he created a prize for this first chip that could fly into 50 miles into space, twice in a two-week period and carrying three people he won that prize and his company was later taken over by richard branson who said in a couple of weeks or months he was going to be on his own private spaceship.
basically they try to contract and in the end what it meant was to the cargo space station and of course building rockets, just as a little more than a working way he has three rocket designs. the first one is a suborbital. second is that we put people in orbit and the third is the armstrong which is going to be something that can carry interplanetary to the moon or elsewhere. this is very exciting. how many of you know robert,
he's right up here in las vegas, north las vegas he made a billion dollars of his hotels and they want to make sure they don't run the regulators and so forth who will screw things up so they had two or three days basically talking about how to do that. and of course what he came up with and again it is right up the road here in las vegas is these modules which he hopes to use as orbiting hotels, honeymoon suites, laboratories and moon bases. what's interesting is he set up in orbit one third size of the modules and there's now a test
module on the international space station so if you can't beat them, join them and nasa contracted out to put this up on the station. very exciting. we wanted to talk about mars, so let's get back to that. he famously said i want to die on mars but not in the landing, very understandable. and it is this vision into go to mars and he's been very innovative of course in the andi peoples. i remember seeing before it was actually public the grasshopper thing where he has the rocket is now of course can soft land so you can send it u up and put a satellite in orbit and bring it down and use it again and that is something he pioneered of course he is looking at building
big rockets. building something comparable that can launch to a place like mars. i'm not just saying the private sector. they have the cones on the bottom where the fire and everything comes out of the ignition and he had a rocket he was going to test and his engineers said there is a little crack about 6 inches right at the bottom. what do you want to do. if it had been asked that they would say we can't launch this week to see what the implications are and run through every agency and this and that and the other end it will cost a
lot of money and so forth. so they say look what if we just cut off that sort of brain do you think that would affect it in the rocket up there. the engineers could talk to him, do some number crunching and say probably not and because it was his money he said go ahead and do that. that's the point when i took at the private sector. i could tell you more stories about that. so, my prediction first of all is to get to mars it is probably going to be accessed may be a public-private sort of thing where it may be just like they are going to orbital and they
may go to do some new stuff. they are going to probably end up if they lead the way the leay are going to have to contract out to people like elon musk because nasa is too bureaucratic to get things done in a nice clean way whereas if they can contract and let these guys figure out how to do it it's probably a better way. i also want to talk about the emission design and go to some questions. the one i like best is from the founder of the mars society. his book the case for mars he has been the one the case for space and i urge you all to read them they are excellent books. he got interested in this as a national rocket scientist i would like to say and when bush came out and said we would like
to go to mars and nasa says it's only going to cost $450 billion, they said that can't be right. you don't have to build a battle star galactica to do that. it becomes so political it's like we've got to contract with everyone. there's got to be a better way. he came up with a mission design using the calculation he figured this was back in the '90s that it would cost 20 to 30 billion rather than 40 to 50. the number is higher now, but here is the mission design. first of all, one of the biggest expenses of flying in space is carrying their fuel so you have a spaceship and need a rocket to get it up there. every time you add payload to
add more fuel but when you add more fuel you have to add more to carry the fuel. it goes up exponentially so that's the big problem to build a spaceship to go to mars to have enough to do that really becomes expensive and most people say you've got to build a big battle star galactica and it's going to cost billions of dollars. they said why not live off the land. you've got carbon dioxide in the atmosphere if you send up before any human being takes off a lander with some hydrogen i forget how many tons but you can look this up and with a chemical laboratory, you can convert the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere mixing it with hydrogen to produce methane which can be used and has been used for rocket fuel and then you get the
water broken down into oxygen and hydrogen so basically you get rocket fuel meaning before a human being ever gets to mars you send the unmanned ship, the laboratory guy if you create a return sitting there on the planet waiting for you before you even get there. so, now you really cut down your cost going to mars. maybe you can go to the first landing as unmanned. putting the modules down and so forth, so you have to sequence,, this is another important thing. depending on which design it is because i know some people that
sort of like this is that you go to mars and it takes six months at least to get there, maybe more. you stay for a week or two and do the footprints and collect some samples after all you're going there to explore and so forth, so that is one of the reasons you want to put the modules on the planet before the humans get there. but the point isn't that the model of the men why don't you put it back there like this.
mars is a place that can be formed and th into the boards yl see that there is water available and there's been a lot of work done by the society and a couple of other organizations and not onl only to the scientic studiedid the scientificstudiesn mars that kind of habitats you need and what kind of safety you need all of these kind of things, the society sponsors they have an arctic station which simulates a martian base. there are teams staying for months in a martian sort of base in the arctic it's being done
right now by the society and other folks where they are doing it in the arctic. you know, when the teams come out of their habitat they have to put spacesuits on. and even there the gravity on mars is not as low as on the moon the final thing in terms of going to mars, and this is kind of mind blowing, we can transform ourselves potentially to make it suitable for the biology, or we could engineer the human biology to make it suitable for the environment of mars. we are learning a lot about the bio hacking and giving you the area interesting things and some
of the cutting-edge stuff concerns genetic engineering that could possibly make us less susceptible to radiation. there's been some experiments on that. there are things you put in your lungs that are basically breathers so that when you put these in your lungs, basically you can run for an hour or two without ever getting winded. this is real science. it isn't science fiction anymore. i can refer you to studies and so forth. one of the things that struck me it is possible over a period of centuries to give it an atmosphere so human beings can breathe but it's also possible moving along very quickly that by the time we will actually be able to engineer ourselves so
that we will be more compatible with the planet mars. anyway, so that's my -- i don't have a good prediction about when we might get to mars because i showed you the problems with the politics of it, but with what has been going on in the private sector now would be increased and so forth i think it is possible that in the future perhaps in the next decade, decade and a half, we could be seeing trips to the planet mars and by the way these are going to be i hope the first twins on the planet mars. if you have a question please come up to the microphone for your questions. plus the i wouldn't include
richard branson in your space visioned billionaires. nothing's happened in 1nothings. >> you shouldn't be building. i said that back when they were going to. we do that with stadiums in baltimore city he could afford it himself. >> my concern is with the continuing to get it in line, georgia wants a spaceport, colorado was certified, atlantic city once a spaceport. they are starting to launch their own space programs like the one in washington isn't bad enough. we have a lot of capital flowing to the community. investments, the first truly private spaceport that was built by the rocket that launched.
do you see a danger in that as well because now we are seeing state money. >> absolutely. i've done work in a lot of regulatory areas as you see the same thing with states competing. you have that whole thing with amazon. i love amazon. i use it all the time. when i say where did this come from, my girls say it comes from amazon. the state could have done this for decades the taxpayers money if we build it they will come. it might be a good movie with kevin costner.
you get interviews with him about his books and he calls himself an engineer. you imply that by your talk and he advocates very strongly for them missions that are purpose driven the radiation problem if we don't transform ourselves as a problem for the combination. so can you speak to that? >> it is a legitimate question. by the way in his book he does
look as for example arguments about how much radiation astronauts will absorb going to mars and she does have some good statistics showing that it's not any worse than many cases less than what you see. there is good statistics going to mars and remaining for a certain-of time. he still argues that it's not a big problem. i looked at both sides and i'm not technically proficient enough to say that yes he's absolutely right this is not going to be a problem because they do not have a magnetic field like the earth. a lot of this stuff that would be damaging for us, so it is a legitimate problem and he says not. that would be a longer discussion.
i have actually seen experiments in the last years about tweaking genes, i think it was mice or something that made it less susceptible to radiation when we do that, maybe we can tweak the genes they wouldn't be as susceptible to radiation. a member, when we talk about this we are also talking about sundry projects the surest way to make sure internal to nasa for discussions about how to
make sure they never can fly and be denied licenses to go back in history and look this up. they were deliberately trying to kill the class to make sure they would never invest in the private spaceflight began. he was a billionaire who didn't care and we can talk about the missions later. let's look back a step. why didn't we continue to go to the moon because the entire thing was a thumb in the eye of the soviet union. and it was the national pride and why they keep doing it we need to have a commercially reasonable. you got tyou've got to find a wo monetize this otherwise you are asking the taxpayer to do this for some unspecified whatever and that will not work. they will find a way to suck all of the blood out of it.
>> i want to agree with you. i thought that maybe one of the things that could come out of it is a joint thing but my preference is competitors get together and say let's do this ourselves. that would be my preference as it goes in the direction of the more likely it is that we would be able to go to mars for the reasons that you are saying. by the way that is why i presented robert bigelow writeup the road watching tv looking she's got a passion for it but for example part of what he wants to do is to build infrastructure in orbit. in other words let's say you want to put something up right now you have to have your own batteries into this or that so
you can say we can't do that because of these reasons. the infrastructure is there they just have to put the plug in and do our thing. so, you are right about that. survival on mars, everyone's all oeveryonesaltmarsh and i assumes a really cool flick. quick comment. the society at its national conference october 17 to 20th at the university of california in los angeles if anybody wants to learn more, it's a good opportunity. my question you said quite understandably you don't want to predict time. could you predict who will be first would be nasa or the one mosque or some other entity and will the regime be changed to
allow humans to be on mars because of the current regulations you wouldn't even be allowed to set foot. >> i was still probably back going they're not dying on the landing i would still bet on him and by the way, i stopped in my book it's a little dated almost two decades old but there's a couple of articles on the treaty is a big debate about what we have to do to put humans on mars because what if there are microbes there we don't want to disrupt the poor little critte critters. who is going to stop him from doing that?
robert did the script for it, it's a libertarian going to the moon, 1950s the first science fiction movies and the funny thing is one of the theme is the government regulators are in their cars coming out to the launch pad to stop the rocket from getting to the moon because they don't have all the proper licenses and requirements and they are running to the spaceship to get in quickly so they can launch it ahead of the government regulators. you've got to be destination moon. but think of the pr if you have this guy who is going to go to mars and they put lots of money into this thing and then imagine a bunch of government officials arsaying you can't do this. that would be very interesting. which administration, certainly not the trumpet administration.
you think he is going to say there is a bunch of techno- voyeur g.' -- techno geeks. come to the microphone, please. we need to get this recorded. you haven't said anything about china or india. don't they have some plans to do something on the moon? jack schmitt was on apollo seven as an actual geologist who taught the other astronauts and he was originally scheduled to go on apollo 18 which was
canceled and he had argued that apollo 18 should land on the far side of the moon and put up a communications satellite and he was arguing that in 69 for the 70s, and the chinese ended up doing it. they want to nominate the moon. india is doing interesting stuff as well and i was going to mention it was privately funded. it was founded by entrepreneurs and built by a private company. unfortunately it crashed on the mound but he did get to the moon and what is interesting coming and this is something i have to talk to you if i can get buzz aldrin who's got a chapter, he advocates the idea of a cycler and that is the idea that you basically have a spaceship that goes out to the mound and then kind of gravity swings back to the earth and sort of stops and gravity swings back it's a
little more difficult to do but what is interesting is the sort of use that concept because what it did is started off in earth orbit and then went out like this and like this and finally slowed down when it got to the moon so there's a lot of innovative stuff that israel did and yes it is going to become an international thing and we are going to have competitors. i don't know if the threat of china is going to be big enough to push the government but we don't want the government to be going back. more likely to go to the moon and set up the base in the south polsouthpole and use the water s what he is going to end up giving.
>> earth is three fourths water so is there enough on mars -- >> very good question. all the studies continue to show there is water not only have one of the polls and of course it evaporates during the change in the scenes, but in the regulars you might have seen some of the great photos that were taken from different kinds o times apn you look at the crater and you see a stream of probably mud and slush going down the crater that is liquid of some sort. at least it is mixed up with the regulars. so, right now it looks as if that is going to be possible. we just don't know how much of that is going to be there.
one of the cool things about technology is that you figure out wayfiguredout ways to use ss better. i suspect you would see a lot of the recycling stuff in the country is a boondoggle and i suspect you would find good ways to recycle water on a planet mars in the fact that it's a scarce and by the way, initially will offer billions of people, you will have enough anyway. >> would there be enough heat -- >> if there is an atmosphere, the answer is yes it is it's going to be tropical, but most of the studies that i've seen, and this is the nice thing about the mars society and so forth is they actually have every year at their conferences, somebody mentioned the conference, the scientists doing studies of this and the one thing i've seen
indicates it's going to be a cooler climate, but it will be survivable. they've got to build up the pressure and of course you've got to build up enough oxygen in the atmosphere so you can breathe. there's going to be a transition by the way. there's going to be a transition people can bring out because maybe they have to have a mask but they can go out without the full spacesuit. there will be a transition over time for that. good question. are we out of time or when work with question since we don't have a panel afterwards? if you do have something, you have to go to the microphone. people want to hear you. now i'm going to ask two questions. the pictures of your daughters. was one holding a scale model of mars and the other earthquake e?
spinnaker these are not to scale they are the size of the globe. what is the gravity on the moon is like one sixth of the earth, what is mars? it's about 38. i want to end with this. this is in fact the 50th anniversary of the first landi landing, and i've argued for some years we should have a human achievement today. i'm curious why the united
states patent visited, for 50 years let me finish real quick we should have a human achievement today july 20 would be a good day for that because of some of its one of the greatest achievements in history, going to the moon. i would love to see every student trying to understand everything that went into going in the moon. those of you that are interest interested, the best is charles murray and catherine cox apollo the race to the moon and if any of you are interested in the individuals who put us there, it would be great to have a human
achievement day where we celebrate how do we do that. for those of you watching on tv perhaps, we are in las vegas right now. it's 110 degrees outside. i'm comfortable here because of the air conditioning. where did that come from? there was this guy over 100 years ago. how did he invent it and why. there is a whole fascinating story about that. how did it go from being some use for a particular industrial use to every one has its now. i would like to see in this country celebrating human achievements like the moon landing so we can all appreciate it and have our own moon landing and our own great achievement in the future. anyway, thank you all for coming and i appreciate you coming. [applause]