John Powell, Tuesday, 2-28-12 February 28, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: Airship To Orbit, atmospheric airship, Dark Sky Stations, high altitude airships, high altitude propeller, high wind systems, ion engines, John Powell, JP Aerospace, mylar, party balloons, PongSats, Samsung Galaxy II Cell Phone, suborbital space, Toshiba commercial flight, world balloon altitude record.
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John Powell, Tuesday, 2-28-12
Guest: John Powell. Topics: Updates regarding JP Aerospace and balloon launch developments including the Airship To Orbit Program. 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. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed John Powell back to the show for JP Aerospace updates. For more information, visit his website, www.jpaerospace.com. Also visit the Samsung page for his winning ad at http://space-balloon.net/index.html. John started our discussion by describing the Galaxy II winning ad that JP Aerospace did with Samsung inJapan and theUnited States. This involved split second timing and complicated technology. During this segment, we also talked about the balloon world altitude record which JP holds and his PongSat program for students. We then switched over to his Airship To Orbit Program. John described the various stages to the program and the Dark Sky Station that will be a type of spaceport at 140,000 feet. Listen to his entire plan as it is not only interesting, it is ambitious. As the segment ended, I asked how the balloons end their mission. Does he recover them, do they blow up, what happens to them.
In our second segment,Trent fromAustralia called in and related the high altitude balloons to the suborbital industry and the conference now in progress inPalo Alto. He then asked John for his hopes and expectations for 2012 for his organization. John then went through his goals for the year, his technology testing and development program plus his planned flight program. We then talked about space weather and then John talked about human flight with his program. This led us to a discussion of planned ion engine usage and development. John took several questions related to the power plant and its evolution to end stage JP programs. What then unfolded was a rather technical discussion about balloon technolgy and capabilities. Don’t miss it. We also talked about orbital speed for a balloon and John went over some history with us dating back several decades to Mach 10-15 balloon flights to 200,000 feet. Listeners also asked about the balloon reentry and the potential payload size which John estimated at 60,000 lbs. Reda inquired about finding party balloon pieces in the desert and we talked about the different balloon materials and environmental issues with the various kinds of material used in consumer as well as industrial balloons. John also went over material choices saying that there were benefits to ripstop polyurethane and that nylon was very heavy. John concluded his comments by urging everyone to talk to the sciences classes K-12 and I asked for feedback from listeners who make the effort to do this.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can get more information about JP Aerospace from the website and John’s email address is on his site.
Marcia Smith, Monday, 2-27-12 February 27, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: Appropriation Subcommittees, Appropriations Committee, audits, clean auditor statement, Commercial Crew, Congressional budgetary process, Congressional Research Service (CRS), deficit reduction, Department of Defense FY 13 Proposed Budget, influencing congress, Inspector General (IG), ISS, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Marcia Smith, Mars Missions, NASA FY 13 proposed budget, NASA planetary science, Orion, Overseas Contingency Operations Account (OCO)., projected budget cuts, sequestration, Space Launch System (SLS)., SpacePolicyOnline.com
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Marcia Smith, Monday, 2-27-12
Guest: Marcia Smith. Topics: FY 13 proposed budget analysis for NASA and DOD plus how the congressional budget process works. 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. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed back to the program Marcia Smith to help us understand the proposed FY 13 NASA and DOD budgets plus the congressional budgetary process. I recommend following Marcia’s website and posts at SpacePolicyOnline.com for the latest information on the budget and a wide range of additional topics of interest. During our discussion, we delved into how the U.S. budget process works. Its complex. Marcia suggested looking up reports by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) so check these out: http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/34649.pdf; http://opencrs.com/document/98-721. In our first segment, I started by asking Marcia to explain why we hear that the Senate has not passed a budget yet funds are allocated and programs are cancelled and supported as if there was a budget. What unfolded for a good part of our 90 minute discussion was an excellent discussion on how our budget process actually works, what is important, what is not important, and who does what and when. I urge you to listen to this discussion as you won’t find a better tutorial on understanding our federal budget than right here with Marcia Smith. In learning how things really work, we used the NASA budget as an example and to a lesser degree parts of the DOD budget. We talked about cuts and the idea that the NASA budget was flat which it is not as its down close to a billion dollars from last year when the correct analysis is applied. We talked about Mars missions, SLS, Orion, JWST, NASA overhead, commercial crew, ISS, planetary science, and more. We went through the role of OMB and the use of auditors. You may find some of this surprising or even shocking. Also in this segment we talked about the subcommittees and the other agencies in the same subcommittee with NASA. Lots of questions came from listeners, including one about applying money from cutting back on the wars to NASA. No such luck, listen to why that does not happen, i.e. Overseas Contingency Operations Account (OCO). We also asked about taking money from one subcommittee and using it in another. That does not work either.
In our second segment, we continued our budgetary process tutorial, focusing on NASA tweaking the appropriations and sending it back to Congress for their approval which they may or may not approve. Next, we talked about DOD cuts but they were cuts from the projections which led us to talking about using out year projections for budgetary planning purposes. We talked about classified and unclassified space projects within the DOD, plus the efforts to hold the agencies accountable with audits and IG reports. As you will hear, most agencies including NASA and DOD do not get a clean statement from the auditor, instead they end up with a Disclaimed Audit. As the program ended, I asked Marcia to share with us what she has found to be the most effective way of communicating our passion for space with the public and congress.
If you have comments or questions about this discussion, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above. Marcia Smith can be reached through her website which is provided earlier in this summary.
James (Jim) Bickford, Friday, 2-24-12 February 25, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: antigravity, antimatter, antimatter ISP, antimatter theoretical limit for speed, antiparticles for space missions, antiproton storage and propulsion, Apollo, cosmic rays, dark matter, flux, fundamental science research, fusion energy, galactic cosmic ray flux., James (Jim) Bickford, Jupiter for antimatter, NIAC, nuclear thermal rocket, positrons, radiation belts, Saturn's rings, solar flares, Space Shuttle, Star Trek
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James (Jim) Bickford, Friday, 2-24-12
Guest: James (Jim) Bickford. Topics: Antimatter for space propulsion. 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. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Jim Bickford to the program to discuss antimatter for space propulsion. In our first segment, Mr. Bickford started our discussion with an introduction to antimatter basics. While we referenced Star Trek in the discussion, Mr. Bickford was quick to point out that reality was quite different from the sci fi classic though he was a fan of Star Trek. Along with the Apollo program, both played a role in his having his interest in antimatter. In this introduction, I asked Mr. Bickford about antimatter as a weapon but he said it would not be practical. One of the points stressed by Jim during the entire program was just how little antimatter material there is and how long term the R&D program would be.. He said there is very little in nature and the quantities made worldwide were extremely small, measuring in nanograms produced a year. Our guest compared antimatter to chemical propulsion and nuclear thermal rockets (NTR). While the NTR is substantially better than chemical propulsion, antimatter propulsion would be orders of magnitude better than the NTR. We then talked about supplies of antimatter off Earth and he said the most promosing place was in the rings of Saturn. He also mentioned solar flares from the sun in the positrons and back on Earth he talked about cosmic rays as well as some material in thunderstorms & ligtening. Mr. Bickford also discussed what an antimatter spaceship would probably be like. He discussed fuel tank requirements, containment, even plasma fileds around the spaceship using an electromagnetic field extending out around the spaceship as the containment device. We talked about the research needed, the steps involved, and the funding. Our guest repeated many times that antimatter research is high risk in the sense of obtaining success. As the segment was ending, we talked about antimatter research in the medical field against cancer tumors.
In our second segment, we talked more about tax payer funded antimatter research and Jim took us through a value stream analysis which was most interesting. We talked about student interest in antimatter and both the direct and indirect benefits from technology research and development. We then talked about the specifics of antimatter for space development starting with defining the requirements and eventually being able to do a demo. A caller asked if the research had a billion dollars for many years would there be a breakthrough in the 20-30 year time period. You might be surprised by his answer. We also talked about a paper and a Power Point poster that he has used regarding his antimatter research. Both the poster and the paper will be uploaded to The Space Show blog with Mr. Bickford’s permission. We talked about antimatter and Jupiter based on the poster . Another question came in about antimatter propulsion being useful for launch from Earth. This prompted our guest to talk about the antimatter theoretical limit for both ISP and faster than light speed. As we were talking about the antimatter development process, I asked about the role of luck or serendipity in discovering breakthroughs. You might be surprised by this answer as well. In ending our discussion, Jim repeated that antimatter was only at the fundamental research stage and very long term, perhaps even further out than a century but very promosing nonetheless.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL.
The two papers discussed on the show can be found below:
John Batchelor “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 2-22-12 February 22, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: 11th Annual California Round Robin for Policy Debate, : John Batchelor, beaming microwave energy, electricity prices, entrepreneurial risk taking, green energy, Hotel Mars, private financing, public sector finance, space based solar power, space debris, The John Batchelor Show, The Outer Space Treaty, weapons in space
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John Batchelor “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 2-22-12
Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: The 11th Annual California Round robber for policy debate. 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. Written transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. The topics in this 11 minute plus segment focused on the 11th annual high school California Round Robin for policy debate which was held Friday, Feb. 17, 2012 at theCollegePreparatory School inOakland,CA. I was one of four critics (not judges) asked to participate and advise the debating teams on how realistic their presentations were in terms of what is actually done regarding the subject in the space industry. The question the debaters focused on asked if theU.S. government should pay for and develop space solar power. One team took the affirmative. The other team accepted the need for space solar power but took the position that it should be paid for and developed by the private sector. High School debate rules were followed. In the coming weeks the debate audio will be uploaded to a special website for everyone to hear. When the audio is available, I will modify the archives for this program to include the URL so those of you interested in hearing it can do so. In addition to critiquing the students, each of the four of us (critics) had an opportunity to address not just the two debate teams but also the 60-70 adults in the room. We stressed the possibility of understanding, seeing, and valuing space as a possible path for solutions to many of the problems we all face today. In talking to the students after the debate, they were all open to STEM college programs, space, science, and technology careers. They were actually excited about the debate, the topic, and their future. During this segment with John Batchelor, I went into more detail about the actual debate, how they handled the multiple disciplines they talked about including engineering, technology, space issues, beaming issues, business, financial and economic issues. When the debate ended, we took questions from the students and the adults. Some of the questions dealt with space debris, microwave beaming and space weapons, the Outer Space Treaty, space liability issues, and an aging space workforce. Please post your comments regarding this John Batchelor Show segment on The Space Show Blog. If you want to email John Batchelor you can do so through me or their respective websites.
Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 2-20-12 February 21, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " Phobos Grunt Mission, Anatoly Zak, Bob Zubrin, Chinese Space Program, Curiosity, Delta 2 program, Dr. Jeff Bell, Dragon, EELV, Falcon, human spaceflight, ISS, James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), Kepler Space Telescope, Lavochkin, low cost space access, lunar settlement, Mars Polar Lander, MSL, NASA science missions, National Lab, NewSpace, Phobos 88, Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Russian management, Russian space industry, Sergei Korolev., Soyuz, Space Launch System (SLS)., Space X, Stratolaunch, ULA
Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 2-20-12
Guest: Dr. Jeff Bell. Topics: Dr. Bell’s assessment of NASA, the science missions, human spaceflight, the Russian space problems, & Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories. 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. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Dr. Jeff Bell back to the program for his assessment of space today in theUnited States, along with the problems facing the Russian space industry and the Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories as to why the mission failed. Those familiar with Dr. Bell and his Space Show programs will not be disappointed as this two hour plus discussion is vintage Jeff Bell. Dr. Bell started with an assessment of the problems over the last year and half or so with the Russian space industry and its management. Jeff does a good job of summarizing their history of manufacturing, technology, and engineering problems going back to the time of Sergei Korolev. He also shares with us his experiences working with the Russians on the Phobos 88 mission. He said typical characteristics of Russian missions leading to problems include being too ambitious, costly for their budgets, and the labor allocated to the projects. He suggested that we in theU.S. do the same thing and cited MSL and Curiosity as an example. He had much to say about the early Soviet Venus probes and how their data was widely discounted outside of theSoviet Union. He then said Space X might be overextending and he cited several ongoing Space X projects which might distract from their primary mission at hand which is to get Falcon and Dragon operational. Listeners asked about the Russian problems driving customers away from doing business withRussia in favor of ULA in theU.S. Here, Dr. Bell had much to say about ULA pricing, overhead costs without NASA sharing them, and more. He also mentioned what was happening to Delta 2 given the GPS system needing larger rockets as an example of the impact of government policy/spending in space industries. Dr. Bell turned to the latest Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories for the mission failure. At the end of this segment, Dr. Bell talked about the JWST & Curiosity in terms of overly complex and costly missions.
In the second segment, Jeff talked about the Newt space policy suggestions and the idea of the Moon as the 51st state. He had much to say about the ridicule in the media and was not surprised by it. He used this as an example to say reality “conflicts with the space cadet world view.” In talking about Mars missions, he said people had been conned by the Mars theory of life stories and promoters. He said that Mars and HSF were not worth it. Several listeners called in to debate Jeff on these comments but Jeff took no prisoners. He then talked about the ISS and its less than full utilization and that the entire idea of HSF had come and gone. At one point in response to a listener question/comment, Dr. Bell said that all Zubrin offered was a 60’s program! Jeff did have good things to say about the science and robotic missions, said our planet exploration would be with robots, not humans, and that we needed more missions like the Kepler Space Telescope. He repeated throughout the discussion that nothing useful has come form HSF nor would it. He offered that the basic technology was from the70’s and had not changed. He said overall interest in space had declined since Apollo. In his closing comments, he said he was still hopeful that NewSpace would decrease the launch costs as that would be a game changer.
If you have questions/comments for Dr. Jeff Bell, post them on The Space Show blog URL above.
Marsha Freeman, Friday, 2-17-12 February 18, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: African space programs, Club of Rome., Commercial Crew, commercial space, ExoMars, Glass-Steagall Act, IAC in Cape Town, ITAR, JWST, Krafft Ehricke, Marsha Freeman, NASA FY 13 budget, Obama Space, Orion, Planetary Society, SA, SLS, South African astronomy, South African radio telescopes, South African space program, STEM in Africa, Sub-Saharan African Space Program, sustainability, The Extraterrestrial Imperative
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Marsha Freeman, Friday, 2-17-12
Guest: Marsha Freeman. Topics: FY 13 NASA budget, the recently held IAC in Cape Town& the South African space program. 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. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Marsha Freeman back to the program to share with us her analysis of the FY 13 NASA budget proposal, the recently held IAC meeting in Cape Town and what she learned about the South African space program. We started by talking about the proposed FY 13 NASA budget. Marsha was disappointed with major parts of the budget proposal. Areas that we discussed included planetary science & the ExoMars missions. She also talked about the budget being and what that meant for NASA now & in the future. Ms. Freeman then spoke about needed economic reforms to encourage investment. Jon called in during this segment to stress the need for ITAR reform. We then focused on the recently held International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Cape Town, South Africa. Not only did our guest give us a report on the IAC, but she was able to conduct interviews with the South African director of their new space agency and the Minister of Science and Technology. Minister Pandor delivered a talk at the IAC which you might want to read (www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19684:parliamentary-question-dst-international-astronautical-congress-&catid=86:parliamentary-questions&Itemid=187). Ms. Freeman talked about how South Africa was using space, science, and technology to uplift their economy. This was a very intereesting discussion which even includes their perspectives on the U.S. space program then & now. There is no doubt that this is a harsh comparison for the U.S. but I believe we should all listen and take note of how we are seen by others in the space community. I realize that what you hear does not apply to 100% of “others” and much of what was discussed was the opinion of our guest, but I urge listeners to pay attention rather than dismiss these perspectives and opinions. As the first segment drew to a close, Marsha also talked about the S. African program, what it is doing, how it is working with other African nations to use and develop space to improve all of Africa. As the segment ended, Marsha told us about the keynote made by NASA Administrator Bolden along with talks by other space agency leaders.
In the second segment, Marsha was asked about a South African astronaut and Mark Shuttleworth came up. This discussion prompted a listener email asking if Mark Shuttleworth or Elon Musk had shown any sign of trying to support the South African space program or commercial/nonprofit space activities there? Marsha was not aware of any such activities. Much of this segment was about space in Africa, not just South Africa. Later in the segment, we talked about the students present at IAC. Marsha said that quite a few of the students there actually inspired by the Space Shuttle. Toward the end, Ms. Freeman spoke about the Orion budget again called for investment oriented economic & legislative reforms in the country. As the program was ending, the issue of “sustainability” came up as it has on previous shows. I again made the offer to send the Howard Bloom speech to Yale students that he made in 2005 to anyone asking for it. I will ask Howard if I can post it as a .pdf document on the blog with this program review. If OK, I will modify the blog and website archive to point listeners to the paper.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can email our guest through me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Funaro, Wednesday, 2-15-12 February 16, 2012Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: anthropology, Contact 2012, COTI Simulation, Cultures of the Imagination (COTI), Cute Response., Dr. Frank Drake, ET contact, First Contact, Jim Funaro, Larry Niven, NASA, religion, SETI, UFO mythology
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Jim Funaro, Wednesday, 2-15-12
Guest: Jim Funaro. Topics: Contact Conference 2012, First Contact, human behavior. 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. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. To find out more about the Contact 2012 conference and for online registration, please visit http://contact-conference.org. Note that the special registration rate was extended three days for Space Show listeners but you have to mention The Space Show in your registration email to take advantage of this offer. In our first segment, our guest talked about conference logistics and registration, plus he told us about the first day which is at SETI in Mountain View, CA. This is a terrific opportunity to see the new SETI facilities, to learn firsthand about SETI and what it does, and to meet the SETI team of researchers. I asked Jim about the name of the conference as I thought it was based on Contact with an ET culture. Jim explained that the name was to symbolize ignition or spark, that is bright people sparking light and heat for enlightenment.
In the second segment, we talked about the Cultures of the Imagination program referred to as the COTI Simulation. Jim explained the program in details, talked about the two teams, a human team and an alien team, and how they operate during the conference. On the final day of the conference, the afternoon session is devoted to First Contact between the humans and the aliens. Noted Science Fiction author Larry Niven is the person in charge of the simulation and the troubleshooter for the simulation.
In our third and final segment, we went over the hotel logistics and the room rate, the banquet for Saturday night and its cost, plus the keynote speaker which is Dr. Frank Drake. Later in this final segment, Blake asked if most members of the Contact organization thought that there was ET life or if contact had been made with humans. You might be surprised by Jim’s answer. This subject took us into a discussion about the anthropology perspective for ETs and UFOs around the world. Jim said people want to believe and that may be a simple but viable explanation. He also talked about people’s imagination and what is known as the Cute Response. You don’t want to miss this discussion. Jim returned to the subject of the conference as our program ended. He stressed that it was a warm, friendly, networking, and participatory conference for everyone.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can email Jim Funaro regarding Contact 2012 at email@example.com.