Larry Toups is lead of Habitation Systems at the Constellation Program's Lunar Surface Systems Project Office at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Larry is part of the team that is designing the first frontier outpost on the moon. Larry joined NASA in February 1994 where he worked as a member of the International Space Station Vehicle Analysis and Integration Team and has also worked on the Study of Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars.
An expert in alternative fuels and sustainable agriculture, David Blume discussed the advantages of using alcohol-based fuels, which he said are 98% pollution free. In addition to making us less dependent on foreign oil, using such fuels can help reverse global warming-- the increased growth of plants used to make the fuels takes out CO2, he explained. Many different plant sources can be used to make alcohol. Corn, he noted, doesn't have that high of a yield compared to a plant such as sweet sorghum, which generates 1,000 gallons per acre. Reports that growing corn for making ethanol was leading to starvation were untrue, said Blume, who pointed out there was actually a surplus of corn, and the U.S. only uses 5% of its farm lands on corn.The oil companies have employed multiple strategies to curtail the use of alcohol-based fuels, such as buying corn futures at high prices, and claiming alcohol can harm car engine parts, he stated. Cars can actually run on up to 50% alcohol w ... More »Host: George Noory