The Space Show this week – Dec.29.14

The guests and topics of discussion on The Space Show this week:

1. Monday, Dec. 29, 2014: 2:00-3:30PM PST (5:00-& 6:30 PM EST, 4:00-5:30 PM CST): GOLDEN OLDIE IN ADVANCE OF THE TOM OLSON 2014 YEAR IN REVIEW SHOW ON DEC. 30. The show today is Tom’s 2013 Space Year in review program. This is the last of our previous year Tom Olson summaries. Take notes, see how accurate our discussion was year by year. When you see the program archived on the website and blog, it is ready for play. When you see the show on the website and blog it is read to play.

2. Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014:,7-8:30 PM PST (10-11:30 PM EST, 9-10:30 PM CST): We welcome back TOM OLSON live for his Space Year 2014 in Review program.

3. Friday, Jan. 2, 2015; , 9:30 -11 AM PST (12:30-2 PM EST; 11:30-1 PM CST): No show today due to New Years holiday. .

4. Sunday, Dec.4, 2014, 12-1:30 PM PST (3-4:30 PM EST, 12-1:30 PM CST): We welcome back CHRIS CARBERRY, Executive Director for Explore Mars, Inc.

See also:
/– The Space Show on Vimeo – webinar videos
/– The Space Show’s Blog – summaries of interviews.
/– The Space Show Classroom Blog – tutorial programs

The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.

Sci-Tech: Tesla Motors to offer range boost to Roadster [Update]

Elon Musk says that Tesla Motors will offer an upgrade to the Roadster, which is no longer in production, that will increase the range from around 240 miles (~385 km) to nearly 400 miles (~640 km) – Elon Musk on Twitter:

Roadster upgrade will enable non-stop travel from LA to SF — almost 400 mile range. Details tmrw. Merry Christmas!”

That’s close to the max range of most gasoline powered cars. There is still the big challenge to lower the very high cost of the battery packs but Tesla is clearly making good progress in EV technology.

Earlier in the week, Tesla also demonstrated a fast battery swap system for the Model S:

Update: Elon added this to his tweet above – Elon Musk on Twitter:

Should mention that a battery pack upgrade is not coming soon for the Model S, but it obviously *will* happen long-term.

Update 2: Here are the details : Roadster 3.0 – Blog/Tesla Motors –

Battery technology has continued a steady improvement in recent years, as has our experience in optimizing total vehicle efficiency through Model S development. We have long been excited to apply our learning back to our first vehicle, and are thrilled to do just that with the prototype Roadster 3.0 package. It consists of three main improvement areas.

1. Batteries
The original Roadster battery was the very first lithium ion battery put into production in any vehicle. It was state of the art in 2008, but cell technology has improved substantially since then. We have identified a new cell that has 31% more energy than the original Roadster cell. Using this new cell we have created a battery pack that delivers roughly 70kWh in the same package as the original battery.

2. Aerodynamics
The original Roadster had a drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.36. Using modern computational methods we expect to make a 15% improvement, dropping the total Cd down to 0.31 with a retrofit aero kit.

3. Rolling Resistance
The original Roadster tires have a rolling resistance coefficient (Crr) of 11.0 kg/ton. New tires that we will use on the Roadster 3.0 have a Crr of roughly 8.9 kg/ton, about a 20% improvement. We are also making improvements in the wheel bearings and residual brake drag that further reduce overall rolling resistance of the car.

Combining all of these improvements we can achieve a predicted 40-50% improvement on range between the original Roadster and Roadster 3.0. There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles. We will be demonstrating this in the real world during a non-stop drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the early weeks of 2015.

Appointments for upgrading Roadsters will be taken this spring once the new battery pack finishes safety validation. We are confident that this will not be the last update the Roadster will receive in the many years to come.