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Full Version: 10 Jul 2008 - I'm officialy invited on the radio to speak about Mars/Phoenix
Unmanned Spaceflight.com > EVA > Conferences and Broadcasts
Zvezdichko
OK, this will be my first radio conference to speak on a particular topic about a spacecraft. The conference is on the National radio in Bulgaria, so that will be an important one.

There are a lot of things happening, of course. I have about 30 minutes to speak - that's not much! So I have to sort out the most important things.

That's why I'd like to ask you - what should be a top priority for the conference?

1. EDL - What happened during descent, pulsed thrusters, landing ...

2. The scientific results - from the Meteorological station and LIDAR, results from TEGA and MECA, alkalinity of the soil...

3. Should I mention the problems with TEGA?
Juramike
QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Jul 4 2008, 03:45 AM) *
2. The scientific results - from the Meteorological station and LIDAR, results from TEGA and MECA, alkalinity of the soil...


Being a total science geek, I'd be all interested in learning about what the martian north polar environment is like, what Phoenix has taught us (how is it like Earth, how is it different?), and about how the instruments work to do their discoveries. Why did we go and what have we learned so far would make a great story. And what will Phoenix do next will make an exciting preview of things to come.

[IMHO, the negative news of the engineering part of space exploration has always been overplayed in the media. (Has there ever been any negative news of the science part of space exploration?)]

Good luck!

-Mike
jmjawors
Who is your target audience? Is it Joe and Jane Public or would the show's audience probably know something about the topic already?
dvandorn
QUOTE (Juramike @ Jul 4 2008, 06:38 AM) *
(Has there ever been any negative news of the science part of space exploration?)]

One very short phrase: Lunar Surface Gravimeter.

huh.gif

-the other Doug
Zvezdichko
QUOTE (jmjawors @ Jul 4 2008, 03:50 PM) *
Who is your target audience? Is it Joe and Jane Public or would the show's audience probably know something about the topic already?


My target audience will probably be adults from small towns, villages, places where people are not able to listen to VHF radios... I think there will be very few young people... Some of them may know some things about Mars - for example - it has two moons, thin atmosphere and no intelligent life, but I don't expect they will be experts on MERs and Phoenix...
jmjawors
Ok. So obviously it won't be a highly technical discussion, which already helps steer you towards the right topics to talk about (somewhat). EDL is an exciting topic, so I'd definitely include it. Not just the landing itself, but the difficulties of sending a tiny probe hundred of millions of miles and precisely hitting its moving target. Science results thus far are a must, and I wouldn't worry too much about mentioning TEGA's difficulties. It's a little technical, I think.

One thing I would mention if I were in your shoes is the relationship between Mars and Earth and what we can learn about our home planet by studying Mars. I think we tend to forget that some people just don't see any value whatsoever in studying Mars, and while we enthusiasts/scientists find Mars fascinating on its own others don't. So a mention of Mars' history of climate change and what we can learn from it to apply on Earth, and also simply understanding why Mars and Earth are so different so that we can better understand the processes that shape the way our planet is today. All this would serve as the lead-in to describing Phoenix's specific mission.

And of course you should talk about the marvelous science results we've already learned from Phoenix.

That's a lot for 30 minutes, but that's my 2 cents.
tedstryk
Best of luck!
Zvezdichko
Thank you, Ted!

UMSF - the coolest online community smile.gif
marsbug
I second that! Good luck, hope it's a great experience. smile.gif
Zvezdichko
I'm sure it will be so!

And I hope they will make more conferences of this type! I'm very worried that 90% of people here have no basic knowledge about astronomy and spaceflight. About 30% (according to a poll on my website) believe in the Great Moon Hoax, about 40% are confident that the Face on Mars is artificial. How sad! I'm trying to keep high level on my website, but It's very hard! Most of the time I spend debunking hoaxes and silly theories. And each time I argue with these people I feel exhausted... mad.gif

At the same time I'm very happy that there are excellent websites like UMSF which are clean of this mess... Wish I could do the same here...
Stu
Good luck with your presentation, I'm sure you'll do a great job!

Lots of good input from everyone already, but - based on my radio and presentation experiences since Landing Day - I think your listeners will be intersted to know 1) what makes Phoenix so different to the probes that have gone before, 2) what it hopes to achieve, and 3) will it find life?

Now, 1) = completely new scenery, it landed in a whole new area never seen before. Also, although it can't move like the sexy rovers do, it is, nonetheless exploring, only its journey of exploration is a VERTICAL one - exploring "up" with the LIDAR tech and exploring "down" by digging trenches and studying what it scoops up! :-) It's also giving us our clearest view of martian dirt, and allowing us to analyse it to look for those precious organics.

2) it is hoping to basically tell us a lot more about this particular area of Mars, both above ground and below ground. It's hoping to analyse the dirt and ice its found in incredible detail.

3) Very, very unlikely. It's studying how this part of Mars was in the past and what it's like now, which includes looking at if this spot on Mars might once have been a suitable habitat for life. But it isn't looking for life directly.

I've also been stressing that this is a "public friendly" mission, with easy access to the images, great blogs by the scientists involved, and the beyond-excellent "Twitter" page too.

Tip: remember to talk slowly and clearly. Whenever you're talking to someone about something you feel passionate about, it's easy to speed up and gabble. This isn't a big problem face to face, because people can say "hang on, slow down, what did you say?" but on the radio they can't ask that of you, they're stuck with it. If you talk too fast people will just tune you out. So chill out! biggrin.gif

But most of all, HAVE FUN! Just enjoy being on the radio. It's a great tool, and you'll find you reach a LOT of people and inspire many of them too.

smile.gif
Zvezdichko
Thank you for the encouragement!
dvandorn
You'll do great! You obviously have a good command of the material. And, most important, you're enthusiastic and you care.

I've always found that you can't argue or educate people into enthusiasm. You have to catch it, be contagious, and let other people catch it from you -- simply by being unabashedly enthusiastic.

So, like I say... you'll do great!

-the other Doug
Zvezdichko
I believe I have, as I hold the biggest website in Bulgaria about space exploration. I'm relatively famous here... I provide daily coverage on various topics - Shuttle, ISS, Mars Rovers, Mars Phoenix, as well as Russian missions - that's why I speak so much here about Phobos-Grunt, Luna-Glob, Venera-D or so.

The lack of a "core" as you have here is the biggest problem not only for my website. Unfortunately, pseudoscientific books are widespread here and they are being bought more than scientific books. I'm trying to restrict the thing in the same way it's being done here, but it doesn't help sad.gif I've been called "wacko", "narrow minded", "hider of the truth" and so on. I find this very sad.

That's why I feel that founding a space-oriented society in Bulgaria is so difficult. We just don't have the "core", that's it.

But, as dvandorn suggested... This may be the best way I can do the job here. I do wonder, however, how much time it will take.

Thank you!
djellison
QUOTE (Zvezdichko @ Jul 5 2008, 12:39 PM) *
I've been called "wacko", "narrow minded", "hider of the truth" and so on.


Welcome to my world.


Doug
Zvezdichko
Thank you, Doug!

I should tell you something - you are a big contributor for what I'm going to do on Thursday on the radio!

In fact, when I registered three years ago, I was young and with no experience. I want to tell you that I didn't understand you. I didn't understand why you have so strict rules here. But things started to change then... in 2005 or 06, when you gave me one last warning for my behavior. This was the moment I decided to build my own website and forum. And suddenly I started to realize how difficult it is!

My website grew bigger. Monetary investment, server problems, sleepless nights. It was the first time I learned to give copyrights for the images. It was the first time I started to ask permission for publishing images and text. No matter my website is written in Bulgarian and people may never notice that I stole their material. The right way was to ask for permission - an intelligent and European way of work. And finally I realized that as an owner of a big website - I have my right to do whatever I want and whatever I wish. Even to set up strict rules and censorship!

And that's why I want to tell you one big "Thank you, Doug". Your experience with UMSF, your way proved to be the right way. You were like a teacher of me though I had to learn the things in a difficult way!

And please, update your blog more frequently rolleyes.gif
Zvezdichko
Two words... it was easy!

I got the usual questions:

1. Is Phoenix looking for life? - Hell no! I had to explain the difference between habitability and life.

2. What makes Phoenix so special? - Well, it's currently exploring the northern polar region of Mars for a first time.

3. What did Phoenix find? - Here comes the explaination about the alkalinity of the soil, the fact that there's water ice on Mars...

4. What is the temperature there? - what MET stands for, Max temperature about -30, min about -80. I said it will get colder during the winter when the Sun sets for a long time...


And something - *baad*

1. What about the face on Mace? - It's a mesa, not a face, there are a lot of pseudoscientists who claim it's artificial and so on...

jmjawors
Congratulations! Glad it went so well! Hopefully it'll spark a little more interest in the subject there. smile.gif
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