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2L bottle of water, put a little bit of water
in the bottom, now try to balance it.
And I couldn't because the weight was really low,
-maneuver it fast enough. Then he filled it
all the way up. Now it was much heavier it
was much more unstable but
the center of gravity was higher
|5||00:00:14:05||00:00:16:12||so yeah I was totally able to balance it.|
|6||00:00:16:12||00:00:18:07||Rockets are the same way.|
but you want them to be
unstable in a particular kind of way.
You want them to be unstable
in a way you can control it.
I'm an aerospace engineer by training, went
to Geogia Tech got my masters degree there.
Now I spent 10 years working at NASA. This
is the kind of community I was thinking of.
It had all the same needs
a community on Earth would have
|12||00:00:36:22||00:00:39:18||but it had some very unique constraints.|
He grew up talking space, living space, did
his 4th grade state report on Alabama because
of the rocket center. Even from our first
date I knew he was passionate about space.
Harrison Schmitt was the first trained geologist,
and only trained geologist, to go to the moon.
So he was a guy who knew what the heck to
look for. And so the scientific take was so
vast, it almost eclipses all the other missions
During the Apollo era you didn't need government
programs to try convince people
that doing science and engineering was
good for the country. It was self evident.
And even those not formally
trained in technical fields
embraced what those fields meant
to the collective national future.
We choose to go to the moon.
We choose to go to the moon in this decade
and do the other things, not because
they are easy, but because they're hard.
Who wants to be an aerospace engineer so that
you can design a plane that's a few percent
more fuel efficient. That doesn't really work.
Saying who wants to be an aerospace engineer
because we need a plane that can navigate
the rarified atmosphere of Mars-
You're going to attract the very best of those students.
And the solutions to that problem,
in every case I've ever seen,
|29||00:01:49:05||00:01:52:17||have improved life back|
here on Earth.
|30||00:01:52:17||00:01:57:18||Zero, and liftoff of the Atlas 5 with Curiosity.|
It had, like, heat shields and a
hypersonic drogue chute.
|32||00:02:11:19||00:02:16:00||I said this is not going to work.|
|33||00:02:18:16||00:02:21:18||Retro-rockets and then a hoist.|
It was something Rube Goldberg
would have designed.
|35||00:02:27:17||00:02:35:07||An SUV sized rover was plunked down on Mars.|
How confident were you that this whole sequence
of landing devices would work?
I wasn't confident at all I was
shitting bricks. It was scary.
This lander has more than 10 times
as much scientific instrumentation
than anything we've sent
onto the surface of Mars.
|40||00:02:50:05||00:02:52:01||So it needs more power?|
Needs more power,
-as Kirk would say to Scotty.
Well the last one was solar
|42||00:02:54:18||00:02:56:07||this one's got nukes.|
Wait, wait. So you've got a
nuclear power plant on the rover?
|44||00:02:58:14||00:03:02:03||It's not a power plant,|
it's a power source.
We're touchy about this because
when you use the nuclear word-
|46||00:03:05:14||00:03:08:02||One of the two verboten n-words-|
|47||00:03:08:02||00:03:09:14||That's right, that's right.|
So when we use THAT n-word,
we try to speak carefully.
And it's not like a nuclear
power plant with the cooling towers
and the turbines and all that.
It's a bunch of Plutonium that's
giving off heat and we use that
to generate electricity.
So you found another thing to call it to not
spook people when it's launched?
Apollo astronauts used plutonium RTG
to power their science equipment.
The Mars rover Curiosity
is entirely powered by RTG.
|57||00:03:37:03||00:03:40:03||And it can run at night.|
It can run in any season.
The other ones had solar panels
they could only run in the daytime?
Couldn't you charge a battery
and keep working at night?
In the Martian winter,
your monopower goes down
|62||00:03:49:08||00:03:50:23||if your solar panels|
get covered with dust.
So in the Martian winter
the Sun is very low in the sky?
The Martian exploration rovers often
found themselves short on power
|66||00:03:55:20||00:03:58:07||as dust settled|
on their solar panels.
|67||00:03:58:07||00:04:00:15||They were the only|
source of energy,
|68||00:04:00:15||00:04:03:04||and the Martian winter|
The part of the it that really
breaks my heart is that
|70||00:04:05:06||00:04:08:01||we just didn't have power|
to drive any more.
|71||00:04:08:02||00:04:09:22||Well, one of them did die,|
because of the winter-
|72||00:04:09:22||00:04:11:05||One of the two rovers?|
Yeah, if the power goes down enough
so that you can't run the heaters at night,
|74||00:04:14:22||00:04:15:11||then you die.|
That already happened to one of our previous
rovers, so, if you want to do a lot of science,
|76||00:04:20:16||00:04:22:12||you want a lot of power|
a lot of instrumentation,
you want to last a long time
and run anywhere on Mars-
|79||00:04:26:12||00:04:33:00||Exploring space requires energy.|
|80||00:04:33:00||00:04:36:13||Energy to run experiments.|
Energy to scrub carbon dioxide
from Astronauts oxygen supply.
The carbon dioxide removal assembly is being
worked on today inside the destiny laboratory.
A short was seen in one of the heating elements
that you see Mike Barratt there.
He put a filter in there that
helps keep the water pure.
|85||00:04:55:14||00:04:57:09||That system uses water because|
obviously water is made of
hydrogen and oxygen.
It uses electrolysis, which is passing
an electrical current through that water
|88||00:05:03:07||00:05:08:12||to split the water into|
hydrogen and its oxygen.
The hydrogen is dumped overboard,
the oxygen is used to pump into the air-
|90||00:05:12:12||00:05:14:23||of the station for the|
crew members to breathe.
You go to the moon and there's no oxygen atmosphere
there's no lakes of water or anything.
So it really comes down to
nuclear and solar power.
They called it the n-word at NASA.
They're like- we can't even talk about nuclear.
|94||00:05:27:04||00:05:29:20||And I said-|
how can we not talk about it?
We have exactly two options for how to make
power in space and this is one of them.
|98||00:05:54:01||00:05:59:00||A black and white picture|
of a ring of Jupiter!
Why is the Earth round?
Why isn't it square or any other shape?