tv Washington This Week CSPAN March 27, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
for which we need to get them up to where we are. like to think the engineers no past. .- no best >> the engineers will to sign -- will design things. they didn't know methane was on mars. i will give you an example, when i was working with him on exploration, i got invited to go to talk about mars to the astronaut's. they said you have a half-hour talk, come on in, talk about a .ew things here are all the things we have been doing on youtube. all these great talks. here's what we are doing on station.
it is always the end slide. it is like me saying i had a this vacation on earth' summer. where? mars is that diverse. in talking to stan, he said just put us down anywhere. and i'm thinking no, it is not going to work that way. are going to listen to us and need to live off the land. you throw it away, some of the best parts of mars, why would you do that? insight,nstrument on we are going to jam a little metal strip down into the ground
several meters. full of temperature sensors, and we are going to see how much heat actually comes through the surface. if there is a lot, like -- hermal there are all kinds of resources, all kinds of things we can do if we work together. >> blasphemy. , everybody is working hard. time to get together, even though it sounds like we are doing it way too early, we are right on track. someone in the government, who i won't identify, describe -- don't think of them as silos, think of them as cylinders of excellence. so i guess that is one way to look at it.
>> i was trying to remember, how many active space craft is there at mars right now? we have two rovers. that would be opportunity and curiosity. one orbiter. that is called mars express. >> a very fabulous spacecraft. >> the indian research times oh.nization, isr a mars orbiting mission into orbit. and it is fair. and we have odyssey. and maven.
and then in march, launching the trace. that is going to look like methane. they are going to map the methane event on mars. >> maven is going to look at methane. >> it is not in its -- they are,thane is because we have observed it from telescopes here on earth. that was a very controversial measurement. we have all kinds of methane in our atmosphere. we are looking through methane to see methane on another planet. can do it isyou the fact the planet moves, it gives you a slight little shift
in its signal. it is able to separate the earth of from mars methane. -- the earth methane from mars methane. they pulled it off, really mapped mars globally, and that was tremendously controversial until curiosity landed. it carried all the gases from earth with it. so it took a while for it to out gas. the methane is coming in spurts. what we saw were vents that occur in a seasonal way. observinguriosity is that it doesn't quite track with the season.
it is almost like the underground aquifers, there is something generating methane, which is seeping through the soil. >> is there any chance of traffic jam in orbit? >> no. when we are planning this event, one of the factors we were sit -- we were considering was when insight was going to launch. everyn only launched mars two years. you couldn't do it more often if you had a powerful -- and you could do it more often if you had a more powerful rocket. least amount of energy to get there, and that is good then spending more of your energy on's -- on scientific instruments. what happened? >> it didn't make
it. we are going to have to step back and review where we are. was one of the instruments, which is the seismic instrument, being developed by the french at the friend's page -- front -- at the french space agency. they couldn't get it together. sphere that in a has no air. and the sphere kept leaking. so seismic instruments are instrument that even a little mars wind could easily wreak havoc with the measurement. a vacuum, we opened a port and we have a vacuum.
andars it has an atmosphere we have to bring in the vacuum. we have never done that before. this was challenging technically. they couldn't quite get it together. for had several attempts the leaks that did occur. they decided we couldn't go through the process of fixing the leak and getting it on board the spacecraft in time for the march launch. that means now is we are stepping back, we are going through a hole review so that the next step -- the french are solidly behind its -- behind this instrument. it is going to tell us a enormous amount about not only the thermal history of mars, which will complement the seismic part, and the seismic part is really important because not only will we know how active
but the flux of asteroids it gets and the asteroid belt sitting right next which could also be a problem. >> there have been impact craters seen in the time the orbiter has been up there. we have some knowledge. >> they have been wonderful, and the reason why is particularly the ones that aren't to bake, something that is a meter across a 10hits mars will create meter crater. " down five or six meters, maybe more. what we see when we pass over with the high-resolution imagers, we will see nothing there and say there is a crater.
and when we look at these in certain regions, it is like frothy white all over the place. what happened is we watch that and it goes away. and what it is is ice. there is that ice layer at certain latitudes we are seeing all the way down to 40 degrees. there is a fair amount of water there. they could have blown a hole in the ground and picked up the ice chips and brought it in. he could have done that. >> and it would have been faulty -- would have been salty. becausen't know that, the salt was laying on the surface of these craters, but water we don't know enough about that. it is at a depth where it may be warm enough. >> what we need to do is get an
be willingr who it to sell martian ice for drinks here on earth. to bring back a couple of tons of ice. it is not surprising we spent a lot of time talking about mars because mars is in the news, and it is the sexy one. it gets people's imagination going. i would like to take a tour of the solar system because there is a lot going on. last year solomon was here and told us about messenger. messenger is done. ran out of fuel. problem of the same anomalies, meaning they need to
keep adjusting. planet we think of is a nice spherical ball that is perfect and it turns out it is not, it is always lumpy. it is hard to keep things in orbit. even earth orbits are tough. the lunar orbits are horrible, because it actually has some significant gravity anomalies. messenger running around mercury, we knew mercury was going to drag it and break it -- and bring it down. eventually it will run out of fuel to keep it where it is at. they did fabulous. , anything on the books to go back to? anything on the books to go back to? agency isopean space
in the final process of testing a spacecraft, it is actually two spacecraft. this -- by the japanese space agency. we have instrument, a really nice instrument on the mission and we help them with the tracking. that is the next big mission to mercury. >> do have anybody to venus right now? >> we do. the japanese are there right now. this is the mission they are trying to get into orbit five years ago. it took two years for them to
line it up and figure out not only what the problem was that how to use the cape they had left. you need these nozzles for directing the thrust the right way. now that they understood their mission well enough to get into orbit, which they did in early december, we helped them with that. we have a whole team of people not only in japan but in the data.ooking at the venus >> why hasn't venus been as interesting? them venus -- >> venus is a tremendously -- is tremendously important for us. a lot of the really important global circulation models we have of earth that tell us about how the climate can change as
you add more co2 are from scientists who did it first at venus. venusnsen was a scientist. venus has a runaway greenhouse effect. it's atmosphere is tremendously dense area light from the sun will penetrate through the clouds, land on the surface, eat it up, and change it to infrared co2t, but then the prevented from leaving. the window, which is transparent , is infrared, which is what happens when all of it heats up.
right now it is hot enough to melt lead on the surface. 700 degrees plus fahrenheit. really bad. bad it isessure is so 90 times hours. that may not sound too much. how bad is it? pressure then you see in submarines down in the marianna's trench. it is crushing, which is why it is hard to get to. fina's is a tough nut to crack. venus is a tough nut to crack. venus that i have my fortune maker we are going to make a pizza oven.
week to earth -- we got to earth. i know there is an orbiter, a lunar reconnaissance orbiter, that is doing some really cool mapping. it is looking at the power landing site and it is sensitive enough that it can see footprints? >> you can actually see the trails. you can see the car, you can see this stand the lunar limb was on. are two backpacks sitting
outside that, that they throughout before takeoff. you see all the experiments they deployed, because they all had some measurements they made. imaginghigh resolution that really shows exactly where we were. what we did. >> is there the same diversity? people say we are going to the moon, but you are going to a place on the moon. if we are trying to go back to the moon before we go back to mars, do we need that data? or is that of scientific interest? >> high-resolution imaging is critical. is i'm going to land somewhere that is a crapshoot to i need to land outside here because i'm going
into this building is the difference we are talking about. high imaging is critical. it has such a great resolution associated with it. be thet doesn't seem to same energy, enthusiasm and excitement, we are going back to the moon. talking to at planetary scientists when you say that. there is an a norma samet we can amount wend enormous can learn. the planetary scientists, when they look at the moon, would you say look at all those craters. the moon must have been tremendously volcanically active
to generate all those craters. and then eugene shoemaker studied some impact here on earth and said wait a minute, we have impact here on earth, if we have things here on earth that look like the moon and these are -- by the and of the 60's the whole science community , -- at the beginning of the 60's they said it was all volcanic. no, they're all impact. a complete 180. the moon is a place with the bombardment history of the inner solar system. it is all laying on its surface for us to interpret. when the apollo astronauts brought back 800 pounds of rock, we aged them. we found two groups.
group, that was the age 4.5 billion years ago when the moon was made. and another set of rock's billion.t 3.8 we don't know what that is all about. years, extracting fabulous stuff from the moon rocks, and then about 10 years started modelers -- we getting really good at how the model solar system came together. it -- let's most of run the code and see what happened.
they were having a enormous trouble with the outer planet. could not form saturn, uranus, and neptune where they are sitting right now, even after 4 billion years. and yet we knew within the 100 million years it would -- a group of them got together in france. and they decided you have to thek -- you have to put mass of where the material is. let's put them here. you're in a set neptune and then 20 and 40. let's move in 15 or less, astronomical. the astronomical unit as a distance from the earth to the sun.
>> turns out you can make it. and then something spectacular happened. years,e point 8 billion jupiter in gravitational residences with other planets took them and threw it out. and the kuiper belt that we now know is out there, with all this water. belt.n with the asteroid what is left of the big activity is there now. there was an anonymous amount of material that bombarded the inner part of our solar system and brought about what we and created new rocks on the moon with the right edge. then we knew we had it. then we knew our computer models were perfect, in the sense they
were beginning to describe independent sets of data. when it is in the early era, it is really hard -- really hot and loses a stuff like water. all the it going to get water it needs to make it look like it is here? now there is a potential , this muscling of jupiter. what about early life on earth? they would say 3.8 billion years ago, that is where they find early life on earth. if life started at three .8 billion years ago and curiosity is sitting in an ancient
riverbed that is 3.8 billion years ago, we have a better chance of figuring out how life started if we started on mars. these are the revolutions sweeping the planetary community right now. a huge step in understanding the origin of life. we might actually find it first on another planet. >> 4.5 years ago it started. jupiter was further out their? or it was closer in. >> it pushed out through gravitational resonance. >> maybe i don't want to ask about that.
>> there is some science there. planets around other stars. the first thing we started to see is these huge jupiters close to their planets. .hese highly elliptical orbits when there clouds collapse, everything goes into a disk and that accumulates to create these bodies and planets. they are either going around in a circle or little elliptical, but not a highly elliptical. it is a fundamental gravitational interaction where we must be operating on every solar system out there. these highlygives
elliptical orbits. and then there is son -- and sun pushes the highly ellipticals into circular orbits. understand what is happening, we can actually go solar system out of solar system and understand how they are reformed. that is tremendously exciting. >> i want to give people in the audience a chance to ask some questions, but i want to get to the rest of the planets. to ask about what discoveries seeing on the moon. i'm not going to ask that question. >> we are up to march -- up to
mars, up to the asteroid belt. asteroid, thehuge second-largest one. it is orbiting the largest asteroid. about 1000 kilometers in diameter. we learned all kinds of stuff. we are going to do it -- we try to ruin every planetary holiday we can, every planetary scientist. >> it is just going to come into the middle of november. >> not that it had to be that way. and then the next fabulous mission at saturn, that one we could have spent hours talking about.
is all about other moons that looks like it potentially could , which we now believe an anonymous amount of raw -- amount of water. move -- another moon , which is bigger than mercury, has an enormous atmosphere. it's not water, it is methane. if we are looking for more weird it, it ist imagine going to be on tight. then of course we don't have anything at uranus and neptune. we are looking at how to visit those beautiful gas giants. pluto on that day,
which is also my anniversary. on july 14 of last year. now it is sinking its way deeper. the galaxy. we have fabulous stuff that we are doing. >> and still returning data? >> so much data. it is still coming back. >> ok. does anybody want to join the conversation? >> your cooperating with these different countries, but what about russia and china, have cooperated with them? >> we are working with russia right now on what we call a venus mission. ofare a very early stages precise definition team, where recovering the top scientist in both countries that are venus expert and say what is the
science we need to do? what are the things we have to know, and how can we do that? that has been going on for about a year now. they are critical in this role is because they are the only country is actually put something down on the surface of venus, knows how to do it, and have it survive. they are planning to do it enough mission, and we need to be on it. that is a big step for us. china, we are not involved in their human program, and we are not involved in their lunar program other than we do interact with them when the meat high resolution imaging of landing sites. we have seven direction. but it is relatively minor. >> [inaudible]
>> the administration and the government can't together for a new mission that is going to europa. europa is an object about the size of our own. you wouldook at it expect it to look like the moon, heavily cratered, and you can hardly find a crater on it. the reason why is that it has resurfaced itself. it does it intensive millions of years, we believe. where the resurfacing is coming from is that it is a nice shell, and it has underneath that ice shell, and ocean. and we now know it is there. we can estimate the amount of water, and it is twice the amount of water that is on this planet, on that moon. what is really great, and the isson why this is going on,
it has a slightly elliptical orbit around jupiter. s for is a part of it bit worried get close, and it much further away. if you just look at the body can and do have title forces when you are close to huge jupiter, you get squished, but when you are further away, you relax. if you are a nice crust, then that has to dissipate heat, and you melt the ice and you create water. moves 30rust on europa meters every orbit. the whole crust moves up and down. that is a nine or 10 story building. that is huge. this is a fabulous food, and it has been that way since it was created. so it has water. we believe it has organic skin
is certainly has the seas. edit -- and it has the time. all of those stack up word is an environment where life exist. >> could we send a zamboni of their? there? [laughter] >> very good. taken?was that picture the picture of the curiosity. when you what to do a selfie, you use your arm or you use a stick. has an arm and on the end of the department has a high resolution imager.
down to very fine mineral structures. pictures thatt 60 make that up. you do not see the arm, because it does not take a picture of it arm. you might see a little spot of , but it isocation the arm. it has done like three selfies. it is one that is just finished in january that posted it was absolutely beautiful because curiosity is sitting at the bottom of mount sharp, where the dunes are. it has to navigate these dunes, which are piles of sand, and they are just beautiful. of a is a fabulous picture selfie it just took. you can log on to the nasa website and see if it we have a twitter account and all that
stuff. if you're going to be anybody, you have to do that these days. [laughter] >> [inaudible] >> the question is, what about changes in our own solar system over time? is a mature, is it unchanging, what is going to happen? gravitational interactions are continuing. jupiter is hammering a whole bunch of things. we believe there is an interaction that is going on right now with your kerry -- with mercury. happen, thereto are some estimates of this, mercury is either going to get tossed into the sun, or get pulled right out of the solar system.
there is a little bit of debate on how that is going to go. the last paper had it the eggs out. when that happens we need to be on the other side of the sun. [laughter] what that is going to happen in several billion years. that is not our problem. [laughter] it is just nice to know. but it tells us that this whole system is continuing to evolve we're just a little snapshot in time. that is important, because what happened on venus could happen on earth. what happened on march to happen on earth. we have three terrestrial planets were pretty much the same except for the distance from the site, and everything has changed underneath them. so what is our destiny? looking at that, from that perspective, is important. and jupiter is messing with the asteroid belt.
there are interactions that are happening gravitationally. they are pieces of material that actually trying to become a planet, but jupiter would not let it. actually is a tremendous event because it starts with a collision. two bodies collide, and then the material, gravitationally, settles in and they come back together. it is a catastrophe, and it is an accretion of material that rearranges itself. fromis how you build up smaller bodies to planet sized stuff. but if you're jupiter and you have the gravity, after you collide, you do not like this, go like that. the pieces do not go back together because they drift toward it. that is why the asteroid belt is a failed planet.
jupiter is still pushing them around. what we are fighting on now is that a lot of the pieces go inward, and cross our orbit, and are potentially hazardous. 100,000 we there are need to be watching and monitoring, and we have only found about 12,000 of those. some of them are really big, some of them are planet killers. a few kilometers, up to thousands of kilometers in size. there the hazardous and they're going to hit this planet. it is not if, is win. the more we understand about our environments we can find these objects, so we can make decisions when we need to. change their arms in way that
not affect us. that is why we created the planetary defense office this year, to work internationally to begin to draw together all the things we can get on these objects, find out where the potentially hazardous ones are, and keep this planet safe. >> there is a range. it could be tomorrow or in millions of years. >> there are effects that are going to be small. in february of two years ago, something the size of 70 meters in size cane in and exploded, and we ended up with pieces. it created a shockwave that blew out windows and thousand people or so were hurt by cut glass. that is a small one.
we are worried about something that maybe 15 meters -- 50 or higher. 100 meters or so would take out the washington dc area. we are looking for all of those. several hundred meters would be and we arent gone, getting into kilometers and that would be the earth. what happens in these impacts is the material is exploded, it is and small pieces does not just fall on the ground. it goes up through the atmosphere and out into space and the planet would drop back in. it becomes a cloud of material is very high altitude that takes tens of decades to settle in and collapse on the earth. in the meantime it is scattering sunlight, making your
dark, creating a problem with growing plants. you break the food chain and you begin to eradicate species. that includes humans if we do not watch out. we are on lookout for baddark, h growing plants. you break the food stuff. it is one of these jobs that we now recognize we need to do. anorance, it is like two-year-old kid running in the street. he doesn't know any better. we cannot do that on this earth. in a safe place in the solar system. just by what we know in the last couple decades. we have learned this. in our lifetime we recognize this. we are going to take care of that problem. >> that is encouraging. [laughter] >> there seems to have been a pinch in the number of engines for rockets.
why did that occur, and is it , and how does it affect nasa and its science missions in any way? >> the availability of launch vehicles? we have been buying russian rocket engines for a long time, and congress would like the american industry to kick in and start building them. they are in the process of doing that . i do not see right now that it is a disaster or anything we need to be concerned about, it is a transition that is occurring. we will be ok in the long run on that route. but we're also designing different types of engine. one type of engine that is in martian" that we
have a copy of is the ion engine. that is important technology for us. we are creating a sophisticated ion engine now for a spacecraft that is the asteroid redirect mission. that sounds kind of meat, right? neat, right? carry with it hydrazine, you ionize this material, you accelerated and thrown out the back of the spacecraft. when you do that is like , and actionspace gives you an equal and opposite reaction. if you toss something that we can it pushes you this way. that is the process of an ion engine, and they are tremendously efficient. orbit, spend a year there, got out of orbit, and ran through the asteroid belt and it got in orbit around series.
just like what is in "the will be using these as space talks to bring equipment back and forth to mars. that is technology we are developing now. you may hear more about that, but it is a great step for us. i would love to hear your assessment for how we are situated for power supply? a power stunt with the sun -- as we power stunt when the sun don't shine? plutonium 38. it was no longer made, abolished in an agreement years ago. we have had a stockpile of it and we have used it when is just we workedity, and now
with the administration and congress and we have been given approval to generate it again. it is not what great anything, it is all about generating heat and power. the department of energy is doing that for us. this is a huge step. the ability, how this works, is you bring together this and it has a certain mass in its nucleus with all these electrons that fly around. it is the nucleus that is important, and it is unstable. that means if you had a group of it, in 80 years, half of it would translate into something completely different by having the nucleus exploded. when it explodes, it rips a part
and that part is a slow-moving but heavyset then -- that is then produces heat. when you bring plutonium 238 together, it goes red. we put it in, and is surroundedthat by the row electorates in and that means we take the heat on one side generate the voltage on the other, charge a battery and we run our experience right off the battery, and it just constantly charges. it is like having your iphone plugged into the wall time. disconnect,ally because you've plenty of battery, but you still have to charge of the battery. we have power cycles and we do all kinds of stuff which allows us to run curiosity during the day and during the night.
we are in good shape, there. >> [inaudible] >> we had a rocket. we had a rocket that we lost here on earth, that went to the to venus. they wanted it to look at teedo thinks, hydrogen and heavy hydrogen. hydrogen is a proton electron. heavy hydrogen is a nucleus with a proton, neutron, and an electron. ofwant to see the ratio deuterium to hydrogen. how much to determine venus lost in its water. the experiment did not work. we got great data from it, and venus wass the idea
like earth at one time with the notion, and it has lost his ocean. that ratio is out of kilter for what it is today, comparing it to earth. we used the same technique when we looked at mars recently. we looked at ice. ice that is trapped in the north pole that is covered by dry ice. tells us thattio mars has lost an enormous amount of h in a formal water over time. so when you back out how much water, that is how you get oceans of water on mars, because of that one measurement. that also was a great information from the venus mission. >> you talk about finding life. life?ing life, old will i -
[inaudible] >> finding life, how do we do that? that is so hard to do. that means you an idea of how. we have a group of people will come together and say give us the definition of life, so we can figure out how to build an instrument to measure it. no problem. it took them 10 years. [laughter] they are astrobiologists, we brought the right people together to do that, and we came up with a nice concise definition. like has three -- life has three attributes. one, metabolism. that is an important part. second, it has to reproduce. people --g, it has to
evolve. now how am i going to build an instrument that will measure those things? that is hard. ,o we had to step back and say what we know about our own life, let's now look at things that we can measure that can only be produced by life. things.e certain amino acids. you find the basic building blocks of life. we find molecules with the right -- and we measure dna and we measure rna. we created with the call the latter of life. all of these things that we can measure indicate that these are the things that can be generated by life.
that tells us right away that when we send a mission to europa to look for life, we are going to need several of those instruments and they're all going to have to come out with positive indication to indicate there is life. that is the approach the viking when descriptive material and needed three positive indications. unfortunately they did not have enough information to realize that what they did with the material destroyed the life signature. it did not answer the question. the interested not work as they thought they would. one of the best ways to do that is bring the material back, and that is what march 2020 is going to do. it will start coring rock and that it will be bringing the material back.
it will take a variety of different types of samples, and allow us, in our laboratories, once the samples get here, to train all kinds of instrumentation that we could rovers.aturize on mars >> but 2020 is not going to bring them back. there could be waiting to be brought back. >> correct. 2020 launches, goes to our semantics nine months to get there. they will go to these places, take a couple of years, create the sample cashe, and then in the mid-20's we will bring it back. that is the next of missions are thinking about and how to do that in a way where the samples could come back. that is for mars. they will go to these places, take a couple offor your robot t down on the ground. we want to get down on the ice. we now believe that the way europa resurfaces itself is through features and cracks that
we see that open up, water sprays out and flies on the land. and so we want to set a lander ure, andxt to a fiss let the water slop on the deck and make measurements correctly. noaa sort of does that. they want to look at how life is in certain regions of water, and they take a bottle of water in the this has a healthy set of sea turtles, it has this, and has that, because they can look at the waist and the water -- wa ste in the water. can tellhe material potentially an enormous amount about what is underneath the ice. that will be our first step. early 2022.aunch in
in early 2030 we will begin to answer the question, definitively, is there life beyond earth and the solar system? and if the answer to that is yes, then it is everywhere. >> one more question. i have been coming to these d you for years, an just gave one of the best talks i have ever had. [applause] my pleasure. you for the thank support of the movie "the martian". that leads me to a big question. manned exploration is very expensive to do. do you think we will be able to do that with all the endless
budget fights that go on? >> so, we all have to make our own financial decisions. in the financial decision i make it i put something away for my future, because i want to have it. we have to do that. it is a balance. what is the future of this earth? the future of this earth is the climate will change, we will have to adapt, there are hazards and i backup my computer drive at home, we will need the backup to the human race, in my educated opinion. , if thisn imperative species is going to supply -- survive, to move out. that location is mars. we are so lucky to have a planet like mars.
what will happen with mars? earth, it went through an enormous climate change, we do not know how fast, we do not know exactly when, but it happened on mars. what will happen to mars in the future? we now understand that a little bit better. if the heat from the sun continues to increase, which it then the temperature on dry will increase, the co2 ice cap will sublimate, producing a greenhouse effect which will melt the huge water -- cap.a significant a significant amount of the ocean will return, and it will look like earth again. we better be there when it happens. >> that is quite the endor.
-- ender. [applause] >> you set the bar very high. thank you for coming. maybe we just have jim greenback every time. thank you. [applause] >> i would love to do so. there are so many other things we can talk about. thank you. >> c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, patrick cocker, technology editor for defense one will talk about the use of cyber technology by terrorists and counterterrorist experts, and how facial recognition to determine future terrorists. issues that impact you. coming up monday morning, patrickand the president of the american action for will talk the cost of donald trump
and senator ted cruz's deportation plan. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal, beginning at 7:00 a.m. eastern on monday. join the discussion. ♪ tune into it on the weekends, usually it is author sharing new releases. watching the nonfiction authors on book tv is the best television for serious readers. >> as he's been a can have a longer conversation and delve into their subjects. >> book tv weekends, they bring , thator after author spotlights the work of fascinating people. >> i love tv and i am a c-span fan. tonight, q&a is next with
economics professor and author ♪ brian: q&a, robert on gordon, professor northwest university of economics. he discusses his book "the rise and fall of american growth", looking at the growth in the american standard of living between 1870-1970. and whether we will ever see anything like it again. ♪ professor gordon, author of "the rise and fall of american growth". 750 pages of a lot of statistics. i reads,