With master’s degrees in aeronautics and astronautics and a doctorate in nuclear engineering Robert Zubrin founded the Mars Society. In the first half, he discussed the latest news about Mars and space exploration. The private company SpaceX has generated a lot of excitement with their ideas and has a youthful workforce (50% are under age 30), he reported. They intend to create rocket vehicles that travel to anywhere on Earth within one hour, he added, and this will create a huge new market (such flights would be in outer space for ½ hour with zero gravity). SpaceX's Falcon Heavy reusable rocket could potentially be used for missions to the moon, and Mars, he noted, but Elon Musk is planning to make it obsolete by building an even stronger vehicle.
Zubrin was critical of a recent paper by Prof. Bruce Jakosky which got a lot of media attention by asserting that terraforming Mars was an impossible task. Zubrin said it could be done with human settlers on the Red Planet, producing super greenhouse gases, 10,000 times more powerful than C02, and in 50 years it would start to warm the planet and start a chain reaction to make the atmosphere thicker, melt the ice, develop rain and then plant forms. He also talked about NASA's plan to build a "Lunar Orbit Gateway," a space station which he considers to be a waste of money and not relevant to travel to the moon.
Clare R. Johnson has a Ph.D. from the University of Leeds on using lucid dreams as a creative tool (the first doctoral work in the world to explore this topic), is a lucid dreamer herself, and is the President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. In the latter half, she shared her research and experiences related to "mindful dreaming," various lucid states, and how dreams and even nightmares can have a healing function. When having a lucid dream, which is when someone realizes they're in a dream while in the midst of it, things can suddenly grow brighter, she said, and it's as though everything is "imbued with conscious awareness." Further, your thoughts, expectations, and intentions can influence the dream, and that's "a very magical feeling."
"Lucid Light," she explained, is a state of pure conscious awareness-- and could be thought of as the state from which all forms of matter arise. It may be identical to the light people see during NDEs, she cited, and this form of blissful light can be more readily experienced in meditation or meditating while in a lucid dream. One method of achieving lucidity, she suggested, is to fall asleep during the hypnagogic (pre-sleep) state and retain conscious awareness as you enter into a dream. Nightmares, Johnson continued, have therapeutic value, as they are flagging problems that require attention or changes.
News segment guests: Jeff Nelken, Dr. Gary Ridenour