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Rand Simberg, Friday, 4-29-11 April 30, 2011

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 4-29-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1549-BWB-2011-04-29.mp3

Guest:  Rand Simberg.  Topics:  U.S. space policy, influencing Congress and preparing for NASA budget cuts.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming.  We welcomed back Rand Simberg to the program to discuss our developing U.S. space policy.  Check out his blog at www.transterrestrial.com.  The Competitive Space Task Force think tank organization (www.competitivespace.org) was mentioned near the end of the program.  For contrasting perspectives on U.S. space policy, listening to the interviews with Dr. Tom Jones on April 25, 2011 and Dr. Mike Griffin on April 26, 2011.  Mr. Simberg began our two hour discussion with an overview of space policy, space leadership, and our options for moving forward.  Mr. Simberg commented on congressional members more focused on jobs in their districts than on “good space policy” for the nation.  Going right into the FY 12 analysis and congressional policy, our guest talked about the Space Launch System concept for heavy lift.  Rand often referred to our clinging to an Apollo style space program that was no longer viable for today’s world let alone our fiscal crisis.  The absence of leadership was a theme that both our guest and I discussed throughout the program as did listeners.  Later in this segment, with so much focus on the problems in congress, I asked callers and our guest how to change or modify the congressional process.  It seems this is the $64,000 question.  We also talked about commercial competition and CCDEV2 along with the need to have multiple providers of services for intelligent risk management.  At the start of the second segment, I asked our guest if government subsidies could seed the development of commercial markets.  Rand said yes, cited some examples from our past history, but said the subsidies had to be smartly planned and carried out.  We talked about commercial markets with Bigelow Aerospace and discussed human rating of rockets.  Rand talked about Space X flying their own astronauts on Dragon as both their rocket and Dragon were being designed for human spaceflight safety.  The company might decide to fly their own people before any NASA  approval for government astronauts.  In addressing our fiscal issues, he said we cannot avoid a fiscal reckoning and that NASA should have a plan for spending using 2008 and 2006 budget levels.  Heavy lift vehicles came up & then I asked about the influence of New Space on policy makers.  New Space was a minority pressure group, it needed to make lots of noise, and that it would be a long term process to get desired changes into the system. Rand talked about small victories here and there and cited recent examples of this.  The issues of White House and congressional leadership again surfaced and Rand cited examples from our past when we had space leadership for the good of the nation.  One of the points Rand made throughout our discussion was that space was not important to the policy makers.  He said once we understood this, our confusing space policy begins making sense.  Rand told us about the space think tank in the Beltway that he helped put together to issue space policy papers for congress and staffers to review.  Check out the Competitive Space Task Force website listed above.  As the show ended, we shifted to the UK space agency that was recently created and the long standing English role in space development.  As for space being an inspiration to students and for STEM, Rand said it was but the impact was already accounted for as a known & a given.  If you have comments or questions for Rand Simberg, post them on the blog URL above.  Mr. Simberg can be emailed at simberg@transterrestrial.com.

Dr. Michael (Mike) Griffin, Tuesday, 4-26-11 April 27, 2011

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Dr. Michael (Mike) Griffin, Tuesday, 4-26-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1548-BWB-2011-04-26.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Michael (Mike) Griffin.  Topics:  This interview is a comprehensive space policy & program discussion with our former NASA Administrator.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming.  We welcomed Dr. Mike Griffin to the program, our 11th NASA Administrator from 2005-2009.  This program was also co-hosted with Dr. John Jurist.  First, I want to again than Mike for being a guest on The Space Show and for his openness and comprehensive discussion on many topics and listener driven questions.  I do apologize for not getting to all the listener email questions but there were so many coming in that it was simply not possible to work them all into the discussion.  If your question was not asked, I do apologize.  We started our nearly two hour discussion with Mike making an opening statement about where we are with space policy today.  He did say that today the policy was confused. Mike then clearly articulated the broader issue not being discussed which was about the justification for a publicly directed space program.  This is a discussion you must hear.  After Mike’s opening statement, a part of which addressed NASA oversight if a private company takes gov. money, Dr. Jurist asked him about such oversight for human spaceflight.  He followed that up by asking how one sets the priorities within NASA for the various types of space programs NASA administers.  I then opened the phone lines up and there were non-stop callers with questions for our guest.  One of my early questions pertained to the bi-partisan support Constellation had with both a Republican and Democratic congress, asking Mike what happened to that support?  Mike had much to say about the 05 and 08 Congressional Authorization Acts and bi-partisan congressional support.  In our long second segment, we continued talking about the 05 and 08 Acts and space normally being non-partisan.  The space workforce issue was brought up by Trent and then I consolidated several email questions to ask about heavy lift.  Mike explained why heavy lift was necessary for going beyond LEO and he took us through the economics comparing launching smaller vehicles many times to one larger heavy lift vehicle.  He did this a few times during the remainder of the discussion, including with our final caller from Hong Kong.  As you will hear, this issue may be more of a policy issue than a technical or economic issue.  Listen to his discussion on this point.  What policy is best for the American space program.  A listener asked about affording Constellation in the context of the Augustine report.  Mike had much to say about Augustine, the parameters required for the report, and how budget numbers were used which he said did not track with the reality of the budgets in place when he was Administrator and that NASA was using for the out years before he left office.  The ISS came up in our discussion as did international cooperation and partnerships.  Mike also talked about the congressional process and in particular committee chairmen and the realities of space politics. Do not miss this discussion.  Other topics in this segment included suborbital tourism, CRuSR, and our tolerance for accepting risk.  The Ares 1X came up as did the five segment SRB.  Near the end of our discussion, a caller who said he was Gen X talked about budget problems and what we could and could not afford.  Mike refuted what he said and talked about why and how we could continue investing in space.  Space X was discussed as was the risk of being dependent on a sole source anything.  If you have questions or comments, please post them on the blog URL above. 

Dr. Thomas (Tom) Jones, Monday, 4-25-11 April 26, 2011

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Dr. Thomas (Tom) Jones, Monday, 4-25-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1547-BWB-2011-04-25.mp3

Guest:  Dr Thomas (Tom) Jones.  Topics:  Space Shuttle, space policy, planetary protection.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming.  We welcomed Dr. Tom Jones back to the program to discuss the retirement of the shuttle, planetary protection, space policy, and the possibilities for human spaceflight and why.  We started off talking about the upcoming Endeavor launch scheduled for Friday, April 29.  We then discussed human rating rockets and the need for abort and escape systems.  In our first segment, we also addressed the space workforce issues arising out of our current space policy.  Dr. Jones had much to say about this issue.  We discussed how best to talk to our elected representatives regarding space policy matters and then a listener asked our guest about a space policy without time lines and destinations as part of the policy.  Don’t miss what Tom had to say about why time lines and destinations were important components of a good policy.  As we started our second segment, we talked about what lies ahead with beyond LEO.  We discussed the Moon and going to an asteroid.  Tom outlined the budget problem in way that was easy to understand and suggested that by adding $2 billion a year or 10% over a decade, NASA could afford to go someplace.  We also talked about destinations as part of an international consortium.  Tom pointed out some of the risks with the transition to commercial providers, including the liability problem.  Later on, space tourism was brought up.  Again, you will want to hear what Tom had to say about this developing industry.  In our third segment, Dr. Jones discussed planetary protection.  He told us about Asteroid 2005 YU55 and November 8, 2011, a story you can read about at www.spacedaily.com/reports/Asteroid_2005_YU55_To_Approach_Earth_Nov_8_2011_999.html.  You do not want to miss what he said about this 400 meter diameter hazard to Earth.  We talked about sky surveys, the need for better telescopes, and the risks facing Earth by not being able to identify more of the dangerous items that have the potential to impact Earth.  This is a very important discussion so don’t miss it.  As you will hear, it is a global problem but it appears that the U.S. is in the drivers seat and doing the brunt of the research plus footing the bill for it even though we are only spending about $4.2 million a year which is woefully short of what is needed.  To learn more about this problem, check out http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov and www.space-explorers.org.  As we closed the program, we discussed the fact that Houston JSC did not get a Space Shuttle for museum display.  In the context of this discussion, Dr. Jones talked about the very strong human spaceflight history at JSC, oversight, and the recent Wayne Hale article on why JSC did not get a shuttle.  He also directed us to read the last chapter of his book, “Sky Walking” which he said was right on target with this discussion. His book will be available on the OGLF Amazon partners page, www.onegiantleapfoundation.org and if you buy it there, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show.  Visit http://home.comcast.net/~skywalking for more information about Dr. Tom Jones.  Post your comments & questions on The Space Show blog URL above.  You can also contact Dr. Jones through his website or using skywalking1@gmail.com.

Randa & Rod Milliron, Sunday, 4-24-11 April 25, 2011

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Randa & Rod Milliron, Sunday, 4-24-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1546-BWB-2011-04-24.mp3

Guests:  Randa and Roderick Milliron.  Topics: Interorbital Systems company and rocket launch program updates.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming.  For more information, please visit the Interorbital Systems website as much of the information discussed on this program is highlighted on their website, http://interorbital.com.  We started our discussion with an update on Interorbital rocket and launch programs.  We spent the majority of the first segment going over the Neptune modular rocket, potential launch sites, and missions as well as a discussion about their selected rocket fuel.  During this first segment, our guests were asked about their launch history which they provided going back to the days of the Pacific Rocket Society.  In the second segment, Tim from Huntsville asked a series of questions about the cost of their selected fuel chosen by Interorbital and why other specific fuels were not selected.  Jim Davis sent in an email series of questions inquiring about static tests versus flight tests as well as making plans and time lines public rather than keeping them more or less confidential.  We also talked about space conferences in this section with a focus on the SmallSat conference held each August in Logan, Utah.  In our third and final segment, Randa spoke about their Google Lunar X-Prize entry, Synergy Moon.  Also in this segment, they broke the news about their working with skydiver Olav Zipser to break the world sky diving record of AF Captain Joe Kittinger.  Olav was listening to the program and sent us an email and we hope to be able to do a Space Show program with him later in the year upon his return from Russia.  At the end of the program, our guests were asked about suborbital flight.  They had much to say about this though the focus of Interorbital Systems is clearly orbital.  Our guests were also asked about taking government money and they said they did not though they sell to the government.  During this discussion, they did explain their source of funding to listeners.  If you have questions or comments for our guests, please post them on The Space Show blog at the above URL.  You can also email them through their website,  http://interorbital.com/Contact%20Page_1.htm, or by using ios@interorbital.com.

Dr. Jeff Bell, Friday, 4-22-11 April 23, 2011

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Friday, 4-22-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1545-BWB-2011-04-22.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Space policy, commercial space, space advocacy, NASA human spaceflight program, the Cold War, and more.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming.  Welcome to this classic vintage Dr. Jeff Bell 2.5 hour program! For those of you not familiar with Dr. Bell, you might have a rough ride listening to this discussion.  For those of you familiar with his hard hitting views and reality as he sees and understands it, you will know why I said this is classic vintage Bell at his best.  During our first of two very long segments, Dr. Bell opened the discussion with an overview saying that the traditional NASA man space program was dead.  He said it looked backed to 1957 and he attributed our space policy to none other than the former head of the old Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev.  Dr. Bell explains himself throughout most of this segment and the second segment as well, but you should carefully listen to what Dr. Bell shared with us. Many times throughout our discussion, he talked about STEM, science leadership, the Cold War, facts, and fiction, and how this drove our space policy to where it is today.  As he said many times over, the Cold War is over but not the remnant of it, our NASA human spaceflight program.  You do not want to miss his examples, the details he provides, & the supporting information he provides.  During this segment, we talked about congressional funding of space programs including the VSE that has been ended.  He talked about the need for congress to give up its power over NASA as it did in closing military bases through the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC). We talked about NASA oversight and regulations and how it might end up overwhelming commercial human spaceflight development.  This description pertains to just a fraction of what Jeff and listeners discussed during this segment so be prepared for a discussion you don’t normally hear regarding space affairs.  In the second segment, we talked about cheap space access, Space X, capitalism, the ISS, and space advocacy.  In the context of space advocacy, we talked about the space visionary leaders and the world they strive for versus where we are today. As you will hear, Jeff and I departed from one another on the space visionary leaders and the work they do.  Our discussion then evolved to talking about the absence of understanding technology as part of the vision presentation.  I’m quite sure that this part of our discussion will rile many listeners but that is what The Space Show blog is for so have at it.  I’m sure many of you will take exception to some of the comments I offered given my ten years of experience with the program & for example, business plans.  Jeff talked about and critiqued NewSpace and some of the companies involved such as Virgin.  Later he said that the space advocacy community was like a “messianic” program.  During both segments, we discussed the aerospace workforce and Jeff said the size of it was not needed and it was in essence a throw back to the Cold War.  Listeners participated in the program via email only (a true disappointment as you will hear me say over and over again).  Jeff was challenged on the need for an aerospace workforce as well as technology R&D.  Jeff also suggested that money would have been better spent over the decades developing a viable electric car rather than on human spaceflight.  Near the end of the discussion, I referenced the Michael Lind article on Salon.com, “Why We Should Embrace The End Of Human Spaceflight,” www.salon.com/news/politics/2011/04/12/nasa_spaceflight_future_government_robots.  Please post your comments and questions for Dr. Bell on The Space Show blog URL above.

Dr. Alan Stern & Wayne Hale, Sunday, 4-17-11 April 18, 2011

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Dr. Alan Stern & Wayne Hale, Sunday, 4-17-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1544-BWB-2011-04-17.mp3

Guests:  Dr. Alan Stern and Wayne Hale.  Topics:  Commercial space development, human spaceflight, NASA, rocket issues.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Note the audio recording of this program has static throughout the entire program which could not be filtered out. I do apologize for this but sometimes these issues come up with remote broadcasts dependent on hotel facilities not designed for broadcasting. If you have not done so, I suggest you visit Wayne Hale’s blog and subscribe to it (http://waynehale.wordpress.com).  In our first segment, we discussed the role of commercial space and its importance, especially in tight budget times like we have today.  Both of our guests made very strong statements about this issue and the potential through commercial space development.  Several listeners asked our guests about NASA’s human rating standards for EELV, Falcon 9, etc.  NASA has not yet provided us with final human rating standards.  We talked about the possibility of excessive regulations overwhelming the commercial industry.  Another topic discussed in this segment dealt with the probability of continued congressional funding of commercial space.  Heavy lift rockets were also discussed and both our guests commented on the congressional requirement for NASA to build the heavy lift rocket. Both Alan and Wayne agreed that the worst situation would be for NASA to start and not finish the heavy  lift rocket.  Another topic discussed focused on the NASA and Congressional relationship and the issue of trust.  Listener Even brought up a series of questions dealing with astronauts and we looked forward to see what the astronaut situation might be like ten years out with a thriving commercial and suborbital space industry.  Rocket reusability came up along with high flight rates. Wayne had much to say on this issue, especially on the point that high flight rates were needed to make the reusable economics attractive.  We started the second and final long segment of the program with a question from Helen about the idea to keep the shuttle flying for two flights a year for several more years as a private sector investment project. Much of the needed labor force has been dispersed and our guests did not think this idea would take hold.  I asked our guests about space workforce issues, specifically along the lines of the discussion Jim Maser and others have brought to our attention over recent weeks. We talked about the transitioning space work force and the future, but acknowledged the challenges and difficulties for many during this period of change. We talked about the developing commercial industry being leaner than the government space industry but with the likelihood of more opportunity in the future as the industry develops. Our guests had much say about the ISS and using it to enhance and support both commercial and suborbital development. Andrew brought up space shuttle bottlenecks and we discussed thermal protection system (TPS) issues along with other matters impacting turnaround.  More was said  about congressional staffers and their space expertise along with the congressional micromanagement of NASA. The three of us addressed the cost of space access and if R& D could be done by the private sector. At the end of the program, we fielded a question about the many voices and opinions in the space community and if we would be better off speaking with a more united voice. In closing, Alan and Wayne said that we had exciting space times ahead of us andWayne closed out saying that space exploration was the future of humanity. If you have questions or comments for Dr. Alan Stern and Wayne Hale, please post them on the blog URL above. You can also send them to me and I will forward them to Dr. Stern and Wayne Hale.

Dr. James (Jim) Wertz, Monday, 4-11-11 April 12, 2011

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Dr. James (Jim) Wertz, Monday, 4-11-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1543-BWB-2011-04-11.mp3

Guest:  Dr. James (Jim) Wertz.  Topics:  Reinventing Space Conference, the new Space Mission Engineering text book, responsive space updates.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming.  For additional information supplemental to our discussion, please visit the Microcosm website (www.smad.com) and the bookstore mentioned during our discussion at http://astrobooks.com.  To learn more about the NanoEye project, visit www.spacenews.com/military/100312-microcosm-designing-low-cost-imagery-sate.html.  For information on composite tanks, check out www.smad.com/ie/ieframessr2.html and for the Scorpius launch vehicle, visit www.smad.com/ie/ieframessr2.html.  During our first segment, Dr. Wertz talked about the upcoming Reinventing Space Conference to be held at the Westin Hotel in Los Angeles, CA from May 2-6, 2011.  All conference information can be found at www.reinventingspace.org.   Jim explained why the name of the conference changed from Responsive Space to Reinventing Space and proceeded to hit some of the highlights planned for this year’s program, including keynote speakers, added events and even the new Classified Annex for those with a DOD security clearance and U.S. Citizenship.  As you will hear and also you can see it on the website, the conference agenda is loaded with power house speakers and cutting edge relevant topics addressing responsive space issues.  In responding to listener questions about responsive space, our guest described the Soviet Union responsive space capabilities during the Falklands War, capabilities that the U.S. still does not have today. He also mentioned Chinese responsive space capabilities.  In our second segment, we focused on the upcoming release of the new text book, “Space Mission Engineering-The New SMAD.”  Jim described the contents of this book, why it was needed as an update to the earlier SMAD text book, and some of the new features of the book including an online interactive section that allows readers to use the variables for their own space missions with the formulas in the book so they can plan, design and implement their own missions.  Don’t miss this discussion about this exciting new book which will be available this summer. Of course The Space Show will report its availability on the program.  Dr. Wertz also talked about the well known book, “LEO On The Cheap” which is a free download on the web at www.dunnspace.com/leo_on_the_cheap.htm.  As you will hear, this book is still considered one of the best there is for obtaining low cost space access.  In our final segment, Dr. Wertz talked about the Microcosm project with the Army, NanoEye, along with information on composite tanks .  You do not want to miss his NanoEye discussion, its use of off the shelf CubeSat components, and its exciting capabilities with 2.5km/second of DeltaV, plus recurring costs less than $2 million each.  Our composite tank discussion was comprehensive stressing the tank’s advantages, the light weight/mass benefits, and we even addressed how to avoid problem with the tank interfacing with other materials/metals.  If you have questions or comments for Dr. Wertz, please post them on the blog URL above. You can also email him about the conference or other matters at jwertz@smad.com.

 

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Friday, 4-8-11 April 8, 2011

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Friday, 4-8-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1542-BWB-2011-04-08.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space X, commercial space, human spaceflight, government regulation, government space programs.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming.  Bob began our discussion with a reference to the Space X announcement about Falcon 9 Heavy made by Elon Musk on Tuesday, April 5, 2011.  The entire first half of the first segment which was an hour long focused on Space X, its vision, its accomplishments, and Bob’s assessment of how it is influencing, even driving the market.  We had many questions come in about man rating and Bob said that Space X was in such a strong leadership position that it could resist excessive NASA paperwork killing requirements.  What do you think about Bob’s analysis on this issue?  Later in the segment we talked about the looming federal government shut down and what it might mean for NASA and the space program.  Questions came in regarding Congress directing NASA to build the heavy lift rocket and Bob definitely had much to say about this about this matter.  We also talked about the possibility of foreign markets for Space X, Bigelow options and ITAR.  In our second hour long segment, Bob updated us on how the James Webb Space Telescope was consuming the NASA astrophysics budget due to delays and cost overruns.  In this discussion, he mentioned that announced earlier today NASA was pulling out of the joint project with ESA regarding the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) project to measure gravitational waves, all because of budget issues (http://news.discovery.com/space/a-farewell-to-lisa-110408.html).  Bob provided additional examples of the science budget being crowded out the Webb cost overruns.  Later on in this segment, space tourism was discussed, as well as the idea to do something useful with the ISS like a simulated humans to Mars mission.  We switched to research and development discussions and Bob again suggested that the private sector could handle and historically has handled R&D and that this should necessarily be a function provided by government.  I then asked Bob if he thought academia was in sync with the trend away from government spaceflight programs to commercial and private sector programs.  This prompted a passionate discussion with Bob, caller John, and myself.  Toward the end of the program, I did my best to get Bob to tell us if the government would shut down tonight but he straddled the fence and would not take a position.  That said, throughout the program he argued for a much smaller government, very serious budget cuts, and a largely private sector driven commercial space program, not a government program.  He frequently cited our economic condition and that cutbacks were needed to avoid taking the nation into bankruptcy.  This was an overriding theme our guest brought up throughout our two hour program. Please post your questions and comments for Bob Zimmerman on the blog URL above. You can also contact Bob through his website, www.behindtheblack.com.  He accepts email at zimmerman at nasw dot org.  All of Bob’s books are available at www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/books.  If you buy them from OGLF, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF.

Bill Richardson, Monday, 4-4-11 April 5, 2011

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Bill Richardson, Monday, 4-4-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1540-BWB-2011-04-04.mp3

Guest:  Bill Richardson.  Topics:  Middle school students launch balloon to 93,000 feet, STEM education, AARL support and more. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming.  To support this discussion with Bill Richardson, 8th grade history teacher at the Old Town Middle School, Madison School Systems in Ridgeland, MS, please refer to these websites:  www.madison-schools.com/otm/site/default.asp; www.arrl.org; www.eham.net/articles/25605, and www.madison-schools.com/18912081810027520/site/default.asp.  We covered many topics with Mr. Richardson over this 90 minute three segment program but this summary skip the traditional three segment summary since we had recurring themes throughout the entire discussion.  Mr. Richardson leads a radio club at his middle school and along with support from the science department, the radio club recently launched a weather balloon to 92,098 feet.  Mr. Richardson described the hardware and the infrastructure needed to do it, the student experiments on board, the camera system used to take hundreds of digital pictures, the tracking system, and the recover of the balloon.  He explained the flight characteristics of the balloon including its bursting at altitude and the recovery.  We talked about the students, other middle school programs of a similar kind around the country, and the support and value of the American Radio Relay League (AARL) and ham radio operators in making such programs available. Later in the discussion, we focused on the AARL, what it takes to get a license, the use of Morse Code, and spectrum allocation for users with cubesats or other needs that happens to be free for AARL members.  We discussed student perspectives and their having a continued interest in space, engineering and related subjects on into high school and college.  Later in the discussion, Bill described some of the future projects his radio club will be undertaking in partnership with similar clubs at other schools around the country.  I also asked him about the degree of support for these programs with other teachers in the school and throughout the school system.  You might be surprised by this discussion which was started as a result of a listener question.  Bill said that one of the most important requirements for doing this is for the teacher to have a passion for what he/she was teaching and undertaking with the students.  If you have questions or comments for Bill Richardson, please post them on the blog URL above.  You can also email Mr. Richardson at m5vei@aarl.net

Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 4-3-11 April 3, 2011

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Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 4-3-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1539-BWB-2011-04-03.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Paul Spudis.  Topics:  We discussed his new book, “Blogging The Moon: The Once & Future Moon Collection,” plus lunar policy and science.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming.  You can purchase “Blogging the Moon” from the OGLF Amazon partners website using www.amazon.com/dp/1926837177/ref=as_li_tf_til?tag=onegialeafou-20.  Remember, when you buy the book through OGLF, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF.  You can follow the blog articles for Dr. Paul Spudis at http://blogs.airspacemag.com/moon.  Paul’s website is www.spudislunarresources.com.  Also check out his “Rationale for Cislunar Space on his website at www.spudislunarresources.com/Rationale.htm.  In our first segment, Dr. Spudis explained the format and structure of his new book which is made up from essays he has written on his blog.  That said, it did not take long before the listeners started asking Dr. Spudis policy question after policy question regarding our Moon program or lack of a Moon program.  In fact, our first question asked Dr. Spudis to clear up the confusion about our return to the Moon with humans given the confusing media, policy statements, and behavior coming from Congress, the Administration, and NASA.  This discussion was dominant during our full program today.  In responding, Dr. Spudis talked about budget issues, the FY 11 CR and lack of a final budget, the challenges in planning when nothing is final thus making it difficult to move forward.  Paul talked about the lack of a cohesive strategy and the lack of leadership.  John called asking how foreign space agency competition might impact US space policy.  Dr. Spudis did not think it would but listen to his full discussion on this important issue.  Dr. Spudis said he was holding out hope that we would eventually influence a critical mass that would realize we need space in our economy just as we need other things and when that happens, policy and programs will move forward.  Heavy lift launchers were discussed so don’t miss what was said about them.  Additionally, he mentioned that claiming to have insufficient funds for parts of our human spaceflight program were not true because he and others have shown in plans on his blog and elsewhere that the shuttle side mount plan meets all the needed congressional, policy, technical and mission  requirements, and is affordable. We finished this segment with Dr. Spudis saying how space has always been a bipartisan issue.  We started the second segment with Paul talking about his blog article referenced above on propellant depots.  Much of this segment was focused on the subject of depots.  Later in the segment, I gave in to temptation and went on one of my anti-Kool Aid fantasy land rants about knowing the difference between reality and something that may be real at some point in the future is not yet in existence today, often not even beyond Power Point Level 1 today.  Paul offered gentlemanly comments on my rant, then we went to break to start the final segment.  In our third segment, we talked about the mutual interaction with science missions and policy.  Dr. Spudis talked about exciting lunar science concerning the lunar poles and the mapping of near sunlight areas on the Moon.  Listeners asked about international cooperation for lunar space projects which Dr. Spudis has both supported and participated in.  Near the end, I asked him how lunar missions ranked in terms of NASA priority with outer planet missions. As the program ended, I asked our guest for a rating on his level of optimism for the near term for returning to the Moon and human spaceflight.  If you have comments or questions for Dr. Paul Spudis, post them on the blog URL above.  You can also email Dr. Spudis at spudis@lpi.usra.edu.

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