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MIT Students Analysis of the Mars One Mission Plan, Tuesday, 11-25-14 November 26, 2014

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MIT Students Analysis of the Mars One Mission Plan, Tuesday, 11-25-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2363-BWB-2014-11-25.mp3

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Guests:  Sidney Do, Koki Ho, Sam Schreiner, Andrew Owens.  Topic:  This program provides a comprehensive discussion of the Mars One Mission Plan by the MIT student team.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed the MIT team from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to discuss their paper and work “An Independent Assessment Of The Technical Feasibility Of The Mars One Mission Plan.  Download their study at http://web.mit.edu/sydneydo/Public/Mars%20One%20Feasibility%20Analysis%20IAC14.pdf.  You can also download the Reddit discussion mentioned in the second half of our program at http://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/2irk1u/mit_study_predicts_marsone_colony_will_run_out_of.  In addition, check out the MIT Strategic Research Engineering Group at http://strategic.mit.edu.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 49 minute program, Sidney started with background on why the team undertook the Mars One Mission Plan analysis, told us their goals and objectives for doing the analysis, and the role that each team member played in examining the Mars One Mission Plan.  We addressed most of the issues brought to our attention by the MIT study, many in great detail.  We also asked the team about their feedback from the space community as well as Mars One. So far, they have not been in touch with Mars One though they did ask Mars One for information in doing their analysis but no reply was received.  What they have heard from Mars One to date has been through third party reports.  On the other hand, the public’s response has been both very good and helpful.  You will have a better understanding of this and the open source software the team used when you listen to Kirk’s call at the top of the second segment.  The MIT team did not seek out or interview any of the Mars One mission volunteers, advocates, or supporters.  Much was said about Mars One website claims that their mission could be done with current technology including technology used on the ISS.  The MIT team took a hard look at these claims and then evaluated the claims which fell short.  They explained the technologies, the TRLs, and why they fell short of Mars One claims and needs.  We also talked about the ever increasing launch mass every two years with a new crew, supplies, etc.  They showed how this was not sustainable and why.  We talked about the very high number of launches needed before the first crew ever got to Mars plus the increasing number of launches needed at each two year launch window using the Falcon Heavy and a modified Dragon as suggested by Mars One.  The number of launches and their close-in interval has never been done before, even on a global basis.  We talked about making parts on Mars with 3D printing but noted that was not a current technology but that it would evolve over time with no time line available as to when 3D printing could reduce launch masses on the resupply missions.  Much was said about growing crops on Mars, separating the crop environment from the human environment and why, the need for much larger crop space than suggested by Mars One, plus a host of other critically related issues revolving around CO2 and O2.  As you will hear, the logistics of the Mars One settlement are complicated, costly, and very challenging.  The MIT team also determined that it might prove cheaper to bring food up from Earth rather than trying to grow the needed food supplies on Mars.  The MIT team pointed out that the one way mission not only made the Mars settlement far more complex but significantly more costly given it does not have an ending point.  During both segments, our MIT guests pointed out many of the assumptions in play by Mars One, where they were able to work with Mars One assumptions, and when they had to go to the literature, including NASA, to work the problem.  In this segment, I asked out guests at what point would the Mars One settlement be independent from Earth.  Their answer might surprise you.  As the segment closed, a listener asked if they had read the book “The Martian” and what they thought of it.  A few team members had read it & they liked it.  Listen to what they said about that type of survival on Mars and how missions were plan to avoid such a predicament.

In the second segment, Kirk was first up with his call from Trinidad.  He talked about the plant models and open source files and the error the MIT team made which they briefly mentioned in the first segment.  This relates to a flaw in the open source program dealing with CO2 and O2.  It’s a good discussion which also took place offline with Sydney and Kirk.  The MIT team is working this problem and error.  This is important so do pay attention to the discussion with Kirk.  Food systems were talked about again with the team suggesting the colony would be better off bringing food from Earth.  INSITU Resource Usage was talked about as well as sustainability issues to get the settlement up to 12 people over several years.  Tim called in asking about a Mars One analog here on Earth and what drove the costs so high for Mars One.  Again, we heard the one way mission was a huge cost driver.  Tim also asked if the costs would be the same for a lunar settlement.  Surprisingly, our guests said the costs would be similar if the lunar settlement was a one way project as the same type of issues would then have to be dealt with just as is the case for Mars.  Our final call was from John in Montana who applauded the team for their realism.  He mentioned that the health of the crew on Mars was not considered but assuming the crew is healthy when it lands on Mars and can live their, as people age, their medical care and costs rise.  As we heard, no such analysis was made or considered for these issues or their ethical component which the MIT team brought up.  Here we learned that the main assumption was a healthy crew from landing on Mars all the way through the Martian settlement process.  Such an assumption is not realistic but to do the analysis, one has to decide at what level an illness or injury will be treated and at what level crew members will not get treatment.  As the team said, to answer these questions also requires a study of ethics.  In fact, given the extreme financial requirements for the mission plan and its continuation every two years, our guests were asked what would happen and who would pay to keep the Martian settlers alive if Mars One defaulted and could not come up with the needed funds to sustain the mission.  While our guests were familiar with this issue, it was not part of their study.  Nobody knows if governments would come to the rescue or if the Martian settlers would be left to their own survival efforts.  The MIT team said these types of ethical issues would need resolution for any Mars settlement mission. They also questioned if it would be sufficient to just sign informed consent documents that included their knowing there would be no rescue attempts for any reason.  They suggested the UN as the forum that might undertake this type of analysis and policy.  As the show was ending, our team was asked about animal food stocks brought from Earth.  Each of our guests offered us closing comments which you will want to hear.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.

Erik Seedhouse, Monday, 11-24-14 November 25, 2014

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Erik Seedhouse, Monday, 11-24-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2362-BWB-2014-11-24.mp3

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Guest:  Erik Seedhouse.  Topics:  Erik’s new book, “Bigelow Aerospace: Colonizing Space One Module at a Time” & much more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.   For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Erik Seedhouse back to the show to discuss his new book, “Bigelow Aerospace: Colonizing Space One Module at a Time.”  Remember, if you buy it on Amazon, use the OGLF/Space Show portal so Amazon will donate part of the purchase price to The Space Show.  Instructions are on all program archives on the website, the blog, and at http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 52 minute discussion, Erik started out with a short summary of the recently concluded Next Giant Leap space conference held in Hawaii.  He concluded that it was an excellent conference with a focus on returning to the Moon and lunar missions.  Next, Erik turned his attention to his new book on Bigelow Aerospace by talking about the inflatable technology being used by Bigelow modules, especially the BA 330.  Erik was asked about station keeping with the BA 330 and suggested both a docking capability and propulsion mode.  I asked Erik what impressed him the most and also concerned him the most.  Regarding his concerns, he suggested the lunar landing capability of Bigelow, even citing Buzz Aldrin in support of his concerns.  Given Erik has now written books on both SpaceX and Bigelow, a listener asked him for comparisons with the two which Erik would not do.  Under pressure, he did say it might be easier to work at SpaceX than Bigelow.  Throughout the show, Erik mentioned that we need advanced propulsion to go to Mars and that it was unsafe to use chemical rockets.  When I challenged him on this, he held his ground citing radiation and other human factors risks as reasons why going to Mars with chemical rockets was too risky.

In the second segment, we talked about the Vectran material per Tony’s email.  Vectran is the material used for the Bigelow expandables (inflatables).  Dr. Doug from S. California called with multiple questions for Erik.  He inquired about a possible Bigelow inflatable greenhouse and wanted to know if Bigelow had identified a landing location on the Moon.  Doug also brought up a potential return to the Moon policy with the next president to be elected in the 2016 presidential election.  Neither Erik or I thought it was likely that a new president would focus on a return to the Moon space policy.  Doug commented on our comments later in the segment with an email which I read in full on air.  Let us know what you think with a comment on TSS blog.  Listeners asked about going to Mars rather than the Moon and Erik talked about going to the Moon as part of a Mars mission.  During the program, I asked Erik what it would take to move policy makers to establishing  a return to the Moon policy.  Erik talked about the need to sell the program and suggested it was as much PR as it was engineering.  Later in this segment, I told Erik I was appointing him the lunar space commander and what would he do to sell a return to the Moon policy with a new president.  He said he would probably play the scare card regarding China and their policy.  Later, he talked more about a scare policy over both Chinese and Russian space programs.  He cited examples for why we should be concerned about China.  Michael Listner emailed in to remind listeners that it was not a given that a private lunar mission would be approved & get the necessary launch and other licenses required for the mission.  Erik suggested using a foreign launcher but I reminded Erik that the American law requires a launch license and more regardless of where in the world the launch takes place if you are an American citizen or resident.  George and other listeners sent Erik email questions about the Chinese threat.  Near the end of the show, I asked Erick to give us an update on the Canadian space program.  In summary, we concluded that Mr. Bigelow is a space visionary and pioneer.  We are excited about the potential offered us by Bigelow Aerospace with private space stations, a lunar hab, and more.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Erik Seedhouse through me.

Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Dr. Eugene de Juan, Jr., Sunday, 11-23-14 November 24, 2014

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Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Dr. Eugene de Juan, Jr., Sunday, 11-23-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2361-BWB-2014-11-23.mp3

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Guests:  Dr. Dorit Donoviel, Dr. Eugene, de Juan, Jr.  Topics:  Microgravity effects on optic nerve, NSRBI Vision for Mars Challenge, vision issues for long duration spaceflight.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed our guests Dr. Dorit Donoviel & Dr. Eugene de Juan, Jr. to discuss the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) “Vision for Mars Challenge: A Unique Opportunity for Ophthalmology Companies.”  Read about this project at http://www.nsbri.org/newsflash/indivArticle.asp?id=454&articleID=212.  For additional information on the grants, visit http://www.smartcap.org.  I would also like to thank Kacey White for her hard work with both guests and TSS in making this program possible.  During the first segment of our 97 minute discussion, Dr. Donoviel started us off with background information for the Vision for Mars Challenge, then Dr. de Juan discussed the nature of the eye problems and the effects of low gravity on the optic nerve.  As you will hear from our guests, the Vision for Mars Challenge will award to small companies a grant of $100,000 to “to help identify and advance medical technologies for ocular health in space through collaboration and funding support.”  After this introductory part of our discussion, our guests went into detail about the medical issues relating to optic nerve changes, pressures, fluid balance and more and what this does to vision.  Our guests were asked how these vision issues might impact a crew on Mars or on the way to Mars but unfortunately not much information is known at this time. Also, we do not know the needed level of gravity to offset the optic nerve, fluid and pressure changes.  Our guests mentioned the upcoming year long crew visit to the ISS and that eye issues will be monitored so that accurate data on vision problems can be collected.  Dr. de Juan did go into many of the medical issues contributing to the vision problem including intraocular pressure and fluid balances.  In addition, we spoke about possible countermeasures.  Both artificial gravity with a short arm centrifuge and mechanical intervention via a certain type of pressure garment were discussed.  Medical intervention was also discussed, then BJohn suggested spinning the spaceship would be more cost effective that other types of countermeasures.  Our guests disagreed, saying medical countermeasures would be designed for patients on Earth as well as astronauts so the market size of potential beneficiaries worldwide would be huge as compared to just a handful of astronauts on a spinning spaceship.  Engineering problems were also cited as a severe cost driver in terms of creating artificial gravity for the crew.  Marshall called to ask about Lasik surgery.  Our guests were then asked about gender & other differences.  Don’t miss these discussions.

In the second segment, Dr. Doug was our first caller.  Doug had multiple questions as usual but first he wanted to know if astronauts could be selected for the longer space missions who had a lengthy stay on the ISS and did not show optic nerve changes or adverse effects.  Our guest thought this would be impractical given around 70% of all astronauts show some vision impact from being in space.  Prisms were talked about as part of mitigation in the form glasses with a variable prescription.  We talked about focus issues in space and on a submarine given my comments about wearing prisms glasses.  Doug’s additional questions dealt with doing a lumbar puncture in space as well as GCRs.  Doug and other listeners via email asked our guests if the vision problems were a show stopper for long duration spaceflight missions.  Don’t miss what Dorit & Gene had to say about this.  Near the end of the program, we talked about the impact of space medicine research on Earth medical problems.  The resulting discussion was most interesting, especially given the examples cited by Dorit via ultrasound in space.  The subject of aerospace medicine medical school programs came up and here Dorit explained the innovative program at Baylor’s Center for Space Medicine.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can contact our guests through me.

Marcia Smith, Friday, 11-21-14 November 22, 2014

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Marcia Smith, Friday, 11-21-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2360-BWB-2014-11-21.mp3

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Guest:  Marcia Smith.  Topics:  U.S. space policy, budgets, Congress. Civics 101, SLS, Falcon Heavy, policy makers.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back Marcia Smith back to the show for a preview of the upcoming 114th Congress & space issues with a focus on budget issues & just how congress works with NASA & space policy.  During our 97 minute discussion, we started out with a short Civics 101 lesson on how Congress works, NASA funding, & Congressional oversight of NASA.  For those of you not that familiar with how the U.S. Congress works and funds space programs with NASA, you will find this short discussion most helpful.  Marcia explained both Senate and House roles and their appropriations and authorization committees.  As you will hear, Congress controls NASA spending and there is very little discretionary spending available to the NASA Administrator.  As for the new Congress that will be taking office in early January, the big focus will be on budget issues because by law, the sequestration returns for Fiscal Year 16.  If Congress keeps the sequestration in place, while hurtful to many government agencies and programs, it is damaging to NASA.  We also talked about a possible renewed interest in the Europa Mission as Texas Representative John Culberson will chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science. His Houston district is close to JSC & he’s very enthusiastic about NASA and a Europa mission.  Marcia mentioned the NASA SOFIA program as an example of Congress wanting the program despite it being eliminated in the budget proposal so it added it back in to the NASA budget.  Listeners asked about long term projects being funded for longer than a year.  Marcia addressed this issue though there is no good answer because Congress has oversight & they can change or modify positions from year to year.  Our guest was asked about Congressional policy impact on the private & entrepreneurial space industry.  Unless a public/private partnership exists or the government is a major customer of the private company, congressional policy does not overlap into the private sector.  It is also important to distinguish between regulatory and budget issues as we are talking budget issues in this program.  Several listeners wanted to know if the media and the public could impact Congress & space policy makers.  Another set of listener & Space Show comments over recent weeks addressed the 2016 presidential election, wanting to know if history bears out a change in president equaling a big change in space policy.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Later, Ralph in Phoenix wanted to know if the Falcon Heavy was very successful, would such a success impact congress & policy makers to move away from the SLS program as unnecessary.  Doug called in to clarify Ralph’s question for a more precise response from our guest.  It was clear that Doug and many other listeners believe that a FH success should and would impact SLS policy, perhaps demonstrating that SLS was not needed in light of a successful Falcon Heavy.  However, Marcia questioned that outcome. Don’t miss this important discussion.  BJohn in Sweden wanted to know if SLS, when operational, would create more space opportunities for congress to consider.  Kelly got the last email question in asking about the Space Act Agreement vs. the FAR (cost plus contracting).  He wanted to know if the changes in congress might result in more big space projects using a Space Act Agreement over the FAR.  Marcia did not think so given the FAR offers congress more oversight.  As the show was ending, I asked Marcia what we should look for as hints about space policy in the new congress.  Our guest pointed to the budget and what happens with the FY 2016 sequestration already on the books.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Marcia Smith through me or her website, http://www.spacepolicyonline.com.

The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 11-19-14 November 20, 2014

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The John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 11-19-14

Featuring Dr. David Grinspoon

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2359-BWB-2014-11-19.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, Dr. David Grinspoon, Dr. David Livingston.  Topic:  Comet 67P & the Philae lander.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. 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. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. 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.  Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).  For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating.  This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you.

John Batchelor and I welcomed Dr. David Grinspoon (http://funkyscience.net) to Hotel Mars to discuss Comet 67P, the Philae lander, and what has been learned so far from the science instruments aboard Philae and the orbiting Rosetta spacecraft.  We discussed the likelihood of Philae waking up and working again as the comet gets closer to the sun, the unfortunate landing of Philae and its bounces, plus the discovery of organics for the comet. We also talked about the chances of finding amino acids & specific proteins once the data is evaluated.  I asked how high Philae bounced on the landing and how close it came to escape velocity given the low gravity on 67P and the very light mass of Philae equal to about a paperclip or piece of paper.  We also talked about the comet ice and if the ice would melt or survive were a comet like this to enter the earth’s atmosphere.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can email Mr. Batchelor or Dr. Grinspoon through me.

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Jim Muncy, Monday, 11-17-14 November 18, 2014

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Jim Muncy, Monday, 11-17-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2358-BWB-2014-11-17.mp3

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Guest:  Jim Muncy.  Topics:  Virgin Galactic, Antares, space policy, lunar programs, midterm elections & much more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Jim Muncy back to the show to discuss the recent Virgin Galactic accident, Antares, commercial space, regulations & more.  During the first segment of our 100 minute program, Jim started off by discussing the Virgin Galactic accident and possible new regulations for the industry or vehicle specific to Virgin.  Jim explained the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 in terms of the regulatory regime which already exists and what might come about once the NTSB issues its final accident report.  This is an excellent discussion as well as clarification of the existing and potential regulatory environment so don’t miss it.  Space attorney Michael Listner emailed & called in to support what Jim was talking about regarding regulatory regime for commercial space with the AST.  Doug Messier sent in an email addressing the issue of there being a difference between having an incentive to fly safely and being able to operate safely with regards to Virgin as our conversation had turned to flight safety for the new spaceplanes.  Regarding flight safety, Jim made the point that safety was ongoing and a continued learning lesson, even after the vehicle was in commercial service. I agreed & pointed to commercial aviation accidents that have happened after thousands of flight hours as some defect shows up that late into commercial operations.  Jim seized the opportunity to talk about the choice of wording regarding space tourism and said it was not a good choice of words.  Listen to what he had to say about this.  We talked about negative press after the accident and here Jim stressed that the spaceflight in question was not taxpayer supported and was between private individuals and companies.  It was not the business of journalists or others.  Cost plus contracting came up with a listener question as did several established Republican senators and the role they might play regarding commercial space in the new congress.  Jim had made several earlier comments about the British press negative articles on Virgin and the industry.  I asked him why that was so and said it was largely Richard Branson driven given he is and has been such a controversial person in the UK.

In the second segment, we talked about some emerging commercial lunar opportunities that Jim has worked on for awhile.  He provided the background to the current situation including fights over SLS, Orion, & other big ticket NASA programs.  This is a very interesting discussion because it shows how one can find areas to agree on and work together and even get funded if the amounts are not too large.  I urge you to pay close attention to this part of our discussion.  As you will hear, the end result is the development of commercial lunar programs such as the NASA Lunar CATALYST Program.  Dr. Doug called from S. California to ask questions about CATALYST, public/private partnerships, & the ULA-Masten lunar lander work.  Listeners also wanted to know if  a ULA second stage would ever fly on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy such as the ULA concept ACES (Advanced Common Evolved Stage).  We talked about the Orbital Sciences plan to fly their cargo on another rocket while they sort their engine problems out and a listener asked Jim if he thought the Falcon Heavy would have a significant and positive impact on the dialog supporting the American space industry.  Near the end of the program, Christine in Chicago asked Jim if he was as excited today about commercial space as he was when he started out 35 years ago.  Do not miss Jim’s most reflective and thoughtful response to this question.  Jerry from Florida got in one more question by asking about Space Florida and a spaceport that could operate outside the realm of the Air Force range rules.  Jim had much to say on this as well as there is a definite need for modern range rules for commercial spaceflight.  As the program drew to a close, Benny in Dallas asked about the space interest of Senator Cruz and Becky asked what was going on with California aerospace and politics.  In his concluding comments, Jim hoped the commercial industry would soon be back on track, that 2015 would be a good and safe year for space.  We look forward to talking to him again on TSS.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Jim Muncy through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Webinar: SLS Debate with John Hunt, Rick Boozer, Sunday, 11-16-14 November 17, 2014

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Webinar: SLS Debate with John Hunt, Rick Boozer, Sunday, 11-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2357-BWB-2014-11-16.mp3

http://vimeo.com/channels/thespaceshow — Video

 

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Guests:  Webinar with Rick Boozer, John Hunt.  Topics:  Our guests debated the merits of the SLS rocket.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.   Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.  We welcomed Rick Boozer and John Hunt to the program for our special WEBINAR SLS Debate.  You can hear the audio only for this debate as you would any Space Show program.  The video can be found on our Vimeo Space Show Channel, http://vimeo.com/channels/thespaceshow.  Regarding the video, my microphone lock was not working so you will see the mic swing to in front of my face from time to time.  Also, I look down a bit as I take notes to be able to summarize  the discussion.  These issues will be corrected for the next webinar. Rick’s book on the subject, “The Plundering of NASA: An Expose” is available on Amazon.  If you purchase the book and I hope you do, please use the OGLF/Space Show Amazon portal so Amazon will make a contribution to TSS.  Instructions are on the website, the blog, and all program archive summaries.

During the first segment of our two hour webinar, both John and Rick made five minute opening statements followed by a 2.5 minute rebuttal of the position statement by the other guest.  Rick Boozer does not support SLS and John Hunt does support it.  John went first, putting forth a good summary of why he supports SLS, the benefits it provides, and the importance of the project.  Rick’s opening statement outlined why he opposes the SLS rocket, calling it an “existential threat.”  He also said SLS was a “rocket to nowhere.”  The opening statements provided the basic positions for both guests as they debated all aspects of SLS so do carefully listen to their respective position comments.  We took both calls and emails from listeners.  Evon emailed in wanting to know what the money saved from SLS would best be spent on.  John pointed out that there was no assurance that any savings would even be spent on space let alone his priorities.  While Rick agreed, he did list several projects he felt far more deserving of funding, including using the funds to speed up the commercial crew program since it has never been funded to the level requested by the President.  Rick took the opportunity to bring up cost plus contracting and why it was not suitable for a more mature manufacturing project, instead being best suited for R&D projects.  He said that was a driver in the high cost of SLS.  In contrast, John cited his aviation experience with the A12 and P7 aircraft using fixed price contracts, cancellations, and more.  Dr. Doug sent in a note asking about the fundamental need for a heavy lift rocket.  Our guests had a different take on Doug’s question so listen to how they answered it.  Rick pointed out the advantages of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy as compared to the initial SLS version.  In fact, comparisons to Falcon Heavy plus future SpaceX plans and public remarks made by Elon Musk were cited frequently by Rick throughout the program.  John, while applauding the SpaceX accomplishments so far, strongly suggested that we see what the performance actually is on the SpaceX  rockets yet to be tested & flown.  John said we should not be in a hurry to cancel SLS in favor of unproven and as of yet nonexistent technology.  Tim from Huntsville called during this segment to inquire about SLS in light of Falcon 9 success, reusability success and more.  John suggested that reusability would be an important step forward but wanted to wait to see what it looked like when & if it becomes operationally successful.

In the second half of our webinar, Dr. Doug called & inquired about both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy as compared to SLS.  Rick referenced an Elon Musk MIT video talk, www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/elon-musk-mit-interview-video-24-oct-2014.  Rick referenced this talk several times during this segment.  Rick also said SLS would not be going anywhere as there was no budget for its completion.  He cited the references to back up his claims.  Doug also inquired about public/private partnerships, ULA working with Blue Origin, and ULA with Masten.  Andrew sent in an email asking each guest to outline a viable sequence of launch vehicle development and payloads using what hardware.  John took the opportunity to reply to Rick’s budget comments and said there was no way to know what a future congress and administration would do and he listed the rational for keeping SLS going given our state of uncertainty with many space and international issues.  Jerry called from Florida to inquire about the SpaceX super heavy rocket with methane engines as well as the possibility of using a Dragon as a lander.  Adrian emailed a question to our guests wondering if the Chinese lunar program would create a space race or urgency here in the U.S.  Rick then talked about the likelihood of SpaceX getting to deep space before NASA & this would be an embarrassment for NASA and the SLS/Orion gang.  John did agree that if that happened, it would be an embarrassment for NASA.  Kirk emailed in asking Rick about his opening statement when he said SLS would cause the US to rely on Russian in ways other than eating into the commercial budget. He wanted Rick to tell us the other ways such Russian reliance might unfold.  Listen to how Rick responded to Kirk’s question.  Each of our guests provided us with an excellent five minute closing statement.  Rick said the situation was very serious and had the potential to adversely impact the prominence and leadership of the U.S.  Don’t miss his concluding comments.  John reminded us that SLS was the program of record approved on a bipartisan basis, that it was important to have heavy lift capability, and that it preserved skills, work force talent, and needed capabilities for the nation for times when space would be better appreciated & valued.  He said the problems with SLS were all solvable & would be solved as the project moved forward.  Rick quickly got in a question on what capabilities were needed and being preserved!

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach each guest through me.

Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14 November 15, 2014

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2356-BWB-2014-11-14.mp3

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Guest:  Rand Simberg.  Topics:  Test flights, space tourism, policy, recent accidents,  rockets, rocket motors, heavy lift & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Rand Simberg back to the show for a wide ranging discussion on top space news items, the SS2 accident update, space policy issues, and more.  During the first segment of this 96 minute program, Rand led off with the mentioning of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 12 launch.  Next up was a short discussion about Comet 67P and the Philae lander, then Rand mentioned his current article in PJ Media, http://pjmedia.com/blog/commercial-spaceflights-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-last-week-of-october.  Rand talked about what is currently known about the SS2 accident, the NTSB investigation, & that nothing has been ruled out as a cause or partial cause for the accident.  When asked if he thought the accident would cause the FAA to start regulating the industry, he did not think so but listen to his reply.  This topic also came up in the last segment of our show. Rand mentioned that XCOR was moving ahead & there technology is different from the one employed by Virgin.  He also made a point of explaining multiple times that a test flight was not a commercial flight.  Rand got some listener emails about investment in Virgin and if it was waning.  Helen emailed in asking about a possible lapse in the Virgin safety culture.  Carl emailed in about the impact of the SS2 accident on Spaceport America.  We switched gears and talked about Antares, the Orbital-ATK merger, & the use of Russian rocket motors.

In the second segment, Rand was asked about the possible impact on Virgin’s customer base.  Rand said that the bigger risk was the investment risk.  The RD180 came up again as did the Atlas 5, Delta 4, and the Falcon 9.  We talked about possible midterm election impact and here Rand thought there might be more impact on the DOD side than NASA.  We discussed projects that might be cancelled as a result of the election and the ARM topped the list.  he did talk SLS and thought that eventually it would be shut down, especially if SpaceX gets Falcon Heavy flying.  Rand also mentioned the NRC Pathways Human Spaceflight Study but was critical of it, especially the part that said there had been no and will be no launch vehicle advances for the past 30 years.  Dr. Lurio was our first caller & he wanted to discuss possible FAA regulations, his understanding of the test flight vs. commercial flight policy application & more.  They talked about hybrid rocket motor vibrations and the unknowns regarding the current test flight.  Toward the end of their discussion they joked about using SLS to launch many many cubesats.  Kirk emailed us with a question about methane engine.  Rand had much to say about methane rocket motors so don’t miss his reply.  Rand talked about hybrid rocket motors and some of their problems, specifically for SS2 and Dream Chaser.  I asked our guest about the upcoming Orion test flight and the heat shield comments offered earlier in the week by Bob Zimmerman.  I then asked if he thought there would be a surge in return to the Moon projects.  Michael Listner called in regarding the likelihood of safety regulations coming to pass as a result of the accident.  Rand and Michael had an active discussion about this possibility.  As the program was ending, Rand talked about his book, “Safe Is Not An Option” which is available online and in the ebook format.  Remember, if you buy it through the OGLF Amazon portal, Amazon makes a contribution to TSS.  Rand mentioned he might update the book once the NTSB report on the accident is finalized.  Read Rand’s blog, Transterrestrial Musings at  http://transterrestrial.com.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Rand through his blog or through me.

John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 11-12-14 November 13, 2014

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John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 11-12-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2355-BWB-2014-11-12.mp3

Featuring Marcia Smith (www.spacepolicyonline.com)

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Guests: John Batchelor, Marcia Smith, Dr. David Livingston.  Topic:  The impact of the 2014 mid-term election on NASA budgets & policy.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. 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. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce.  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.  Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).  For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating.  This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you.

 

John Batchelor and I welcomed Marcia Smith (www.spacepolicyonline.com) to Hotel Mars to discuss the impact of the recently held mid-term elections on space policy, the NASA budget, specific NASA projects, commercial space, and more.  We talked about new Senate Republican chairmanships of crucial committees and subcommittees and what this might portend for policy and budgets.  We asked Marcia about the survivability of NASA programs such as SLS and the ARM.  Other issues discussed included NASA budget caps, a possible space race with China and how Congress might react to such competition, plus  an overview of the current Russian-US relationship with space, particularly the ISS.

 

Please post any comments/questions you might have on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Marcia Smith through me or her website.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 11-11-14 November 12, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 11-11-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2354-BWB-2014-11-11.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Wide ranging space program & commercial space policy & project discussions.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the show to discuss a variety of space news items and events.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 2 minute show, Bob opened up talking about Comet 67P, the Rosetta mission, and the Philae lander which will land on the comet on Nov. 12, 2014.  Bob spent some time describing 67P, the lander, the landing site, and the topography of the landing zone.  Next, I asked Bob about the recent court decisions in Italy regarding the appeals court decision on the seven scientists accused of incorrectly predicting an earthquake that led to lots of damage and death. Bob clarified the issues for us and the decision  of the appeals court.  We talked some about the possible impact on space policy for the recently held mid-term elections.  Bob was asked by a listener if he thought the election result would lead to the cancellation of SLS as well as the NASA ARM project.  See if you are surprised by Bob’s analysis.  Ken in San Diego asked Bob about negative press articles regarding stopping space tourism in light of the SpaceShipTwo accident.  The USA Today editorial of today was cited as an example.  Bob did not think these articles would have any serious or long lasting impact and had much to say about the authors and publications writing them.  Before our break, Rob in Denver emailed in about Comet Siding Spring changing the Martian atmosphere when it swung by Mars.

In the second segment, Jeff emailed in about comments that Virgin has said it would be flying by April.  Bob was very skeptical about that timeline.  He had much to say about the investment and more regarding Virgin.  Bob then spoke about the upcoming Orion test flight set for Dec. 4 and heat shield issues.  Our guest spent some time dwelling on the heat shield issues which he said helped make his case that SLS/Orion were not sustainable projects.  Ben called from Orange County to talk with Bob about the Bigelow module going to the ISS in 2016, then they talked a bit about solar sales.  Ed emailed Bob to see if he knew what alternative launcher Orbital might choose given the Antares problems.  Bob spoke about the upcoming Russian rocket test for the new Angara 5 rocket.  SLS John called in about earlier comments Bob made regarding the Saturn 5, then they talked about SLS.

Please post questions and comments on TSS blog above.  You can reach Bob through me or his website, http://www.behindtheblack.com.

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