John Ballentine

The Future of Space Travel

Guests: Michael Lopez-Alegria, Phillippe Geubelle, and Jonathan Card.

Ten years ago, the Space Shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry over Texas, killing seven astronauts; in the years that followed, state-funded space flight dwindled. Today on Focus, we'll talk the future of space exploration with a former astronaut, an aerospace engineer, and a businessman who want to make human settlements in space a reality. Join our conversation at 10 or on Facebook and Twitter

The Future of the U.S. Space Program

Guest: Louis Friedman, Ph.D.

He earned his Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT. He worked for NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He co-founded the Planetary Society with Carl Sagan and Bruce Murray. Today, he joins Focus 580 to discuss the future of the American space program.

Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Age of Discovery

Guest: Stephen J. Pyne, Ph.D.

Within the next few years, we may see one of the Voyager spacecraft become the first man-made object to exit our solar system. It's the pinnacle of how far the human drive to explore can take us. Today on Focus, we're joined by Stephen Pyne, author of Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Age of Discovery. He'll talk about the great explorers, their motives, and their rewards, from the Renaissance to the modern age.

The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets

Guest: Alan Boss, Ph.D.

NASA's Kepler mission is the first space telescope designed specifically to look for planets similar to Earth outside of our solar system. In his recent book The Crowded Universe, astronomer Alan Boss argues that Earth-sized planets are plentiful in the universe. He joins the show today to talk more about the formation of Earthlike planets and the search for extraterrestrial life.

Sputnik: The Shock of the Century

Guest: Paul Dickson.

On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched what would be the first man-made object to enter space. Today on Focus, we'll explore the dramatic history of Sputnik's launch, the instantaneous impact it made on the next decade to come, and the developments that brought America into the space race. Our guest will be writer Paul Dickson, author of Sputnik: The Shock of the Century.