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Frank Van Renesselear, Tuesday, 6-10-14 June 11, 2014

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Frank Van Renesselear, Tuesday, 6-10-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2260-BWB-2014-06-10.mp3

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Guest:  Franklin (Frank) Van Rensselaer, Jr.  Topics:  Schafer Corp Aerospace & Strategic Business Development, commercial space, markets, capital.  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 Frank Van Rensselear to the program to discuss Schafer Corp and various commercial space topics and issues.  Our program was an hour long so we had only one segment.  We started our discussion with by talking with our guest about his experience as an Apollo Flight Controller and he described his position as The Booster.  He shared some of his experiences with us, especially for Apollo 8 and Apollo 12 which was hit by lightening shortly after launch.  Frank was also on the job through Skylab and the ASTP.  Listen and enjoy the history.  We then jumped into his experiences in commercial space and his having developed over $300 million in new business when he was with the Harris Corporation.  Our guest was asked about the newly released NRC Pathways Human Spaceflight Study and he said he basically agreed with it in that we do not have enough money, we can’t do meaningful and inspiring projects, and overall he suggested this was demeaning to the country.  We talked for several minutes about tight budget issues for NASA and the way congress and the American people set priorities which do not seem to include human spaceflight.  I suggested this is a choice & asked how we get policy and budget pros within the system to make different choices in support of HSF. Frank was asked if Constellation had not been cancelled if we would be in a similar position today with our dependency on Russia and related issues.  He did not think so but listen to his full response.  We talked about the RD-180 engine and the likelihood that congress will appropriate funds to make a U.S. replacement engine.  This brought up the need for such an engine if we have Delta and soon will have Falcon 9 which still gives us two independent launchers for high value national security payloads.  Frank had lots to say on this subject, on SpaceX and ULA, along with the importance of these national security satellites and launches.  John in Tucson emailed him about SLS on which our guest also had much to say.  But as long as we are focused on tight budget issues, the program has been & will be disappointing. Again, you don’t want to miss all of his comments on this issue.  Military space was a discussion topic as was public opinion suggesting space is not that relevant any more. We talked about Inspiration Mars being able to inspire but we both doubted it would happen.  Tony called in to ask about reusability & why the space shuttle was compromised and reusability taken out. In the end, our guest suggested that reusability would be key to our space future.  Next, we talked about Schafer Corp and its activities.  We learned that they consult and work with several NewSpace companies and they are hiring but typically they go for experienced engineers, not fresh out college grads.  I asked Frank for his perspective on the recently announced Google purchase of Skybox Imaging for $500 million.  This too was a most interesting discussion you do not want to miss.  Other topics during our program included billionaire space investors, suborbital tourism, space settlement, and commercial space growth by sectors.  Here we talked markets, needed infrastructure and capital acquisition for lunar projects and the like.  Our guest talked about the need for government sponsored infrastructure in advance of lunar commercial projects and suggested only government was capable of footing the bill for the needed  infrastructure.  He said raising the actual capital was a challenge and that at this time, it would really be uphill for lunar ventures.  In his concluding remarks, he said he was bullish for commercial space and private space companies and that going commercial was a good thing as it has & will bring in fresh ideas & projects.  His final question was about 3D printing for space.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach our guest through the Schafer Corp website, http://www.schafercorp.com or me.

Dr. David Brin, Monday, 9-23-13 September 24, 2013

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Dr. David Brin, Monday, 9-23-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2091-BWB-2013-09-23.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. David Brin.  Topics:  Dr. Brin discussed a wide range of topics including space, potential intelligence, personhood, sci-fi, & 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  Please visit www.davidbrin.com for more information & his books, www.davidbrin.com.

We welcomed Dr. David Brin to the show for this 1 hour 9 minute wide ranging discussion on a variety of topics.  Dr. Brin started by summarizing his background, then we talked about starships and the story he wrote for the book “Starship Century,” The Heavy Generation.  We talked about this science fiction story without giving away the ending and Dr. Brin said he might later turn it into a full book.  Dr. Brin then talked about fairness and other society interests, some on gender differences, wastefulness of talent, plus the need to err in favor of the stated even if it was false.  Listen to his explanation of this.  This took us to somewhat of a political discussion regarding the state of America, science, the media, education, and more.  We spent lots of time talking about science, scientists and criticism, and he explained that when he write a book, he circulates it to 50 people for harsh criticism, not flattery.  Dr. Brin also talked about competition with science, suggesting it to be a highly competitive field.  He talked about the upcoming Personhood Beyond The Human Conference he will be speaking at in December at Yale University regarding personhood status for dolphins and chimps.  What he had to say might surprise you.  Listeners asked about our media, a topic Dr. Brin had much to say about.  He was also asked why it was so difficult for society to value space and its importance to our future given what we in the industry believe we know and understand about space.  This was part of the overall science and media discussion.  Another topic was adult science literacy.  Surprises await you in this discussion.  Dr. Brin had much to say about cynicism, being negative, and not understanding the gifts we have as a society and nation, and the importance of being uplifting and associating with uplifting people.  We talked about Mars One, Inspiration Mars and learned that he had signed up for Mars One to help further the discussion but does not believe the mission will happen. He is supportive of Inspiration Mars but believes the launch window is too close and that the project should have started 10 to 15 years ago.  We talked about space colonization, the best way to go to Mars for settlement, Apollo 8 as an inspirational model & how uplifting things are in other parts of the world such as India.  Invention and creativity were also discussed and he noted that since 2001 inventing was lacking.  Inventing is uplifting & we need to start inventing again in this country.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Brin can be contacted through is website.

Rand Simberg, Bill Simon, EVOLOTERRA, Tuesday, 7-16-13 July 17, 2013

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Rand Simberg, Bill Simon, EVOLOTERRA, Tuesday, 7-16-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2050-BWB-2013-07-16.mp3

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Guests:  Rand Simberg, William (Bill) Simon.  Topics.  We talked about Evoloterra (www.evoloterra.com) & its meaning.  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.  We welcomed back Rand Simberg and Bill Simon for our annual Evoloterra program which remembers and honors the first time humans left Earth for another planet.  Apollo 11 launched for the Moon on July 19, 1969 and landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969.  You can learn more about Evoloterra and actually do the ceremony this Saturday evening, July 20, with your friends and families by visiting www.evoloterra.com.  Click on the astronaut’s helmet to go to the pdf of the Evoloterra ceremony.

In the first segment of our 1 hour 33 minute program, we started out by asking Rand if his new book, “Safe Is Not An Option: Overcoming The Futile Obsession With Getting Everyone Back Alive That Is Killing Our Expansion Into Space” was completed and if he would have it with him for autograph sales at the upcoming NewSpace Conference. Rand and Bill talked about the focus of the book for those not familiar with it, I offered Rand comments from various Space Show guests, and we then connected the dots with the primary focus of the book to the purpose of our program tonight, Evoloterra.  You can find out more about Rand’s book by visiting http://safeisnotanoption.com.  Bill and Rand then discussed Evoloterra and its significance, plus they talked about the story being told in Evoloterra from the beginning of Earth 14 billion years or so ago to our first leaving Earth for the Moon. This year, we wove in space policy, the budget, and also human spaceflight risk taking which is what Rand talks about in his book.  Rand repeated many times over what he has been saying for a long time, including on The Space Show, that space is not important to the policy planners in the government unless they have space jobs in their districts.  Rand brought up the issue of space settlement and he cited Steve Wolfe’s new book, “The Obligation,” as a must read on the subject.  Listeners asked about the ceremony, & if it was attempting to make space & the Moon landing into some sort of religion.  Rand talked then talked about government policies that took us to the Moon for the wrong reasons (military in the Cold War) and subsequent policies that have hobbled us in opening up the space frontier.  As the segment was ending, our guests talked about Evoloterra celebrating a long time line of individual accomplishments, all of which together, enabled us to leave Earth for the Moon for the first time.

In our shorter second segment, our guests talked about delegating space policy to congressional committees and what the significance of doing that has meant for space policy.  They spoke about the VAB at KSC and our failure to make use of it to maximize our space policy after the Apollo program ended.  Rand had more to say about our Cold War policy and its impact on space policy and development.  He suggested there have been many possible alternative trajectories for technology development over the years which we missed out on.  Our guests talked about the fact that the entrepreneurs will lead the way to space development but they also explained the ongoing importance of constructive government policy.  In response to several questions, our guests said many times over that the Evoloterra ceremony does not solve problems and we should not expect it to influence policy makers.  Rand mentioned an earlier Evoloterra Space Show program where we read the ceremony. You can find that program at http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1818-BWB-2012-07-20.mp3.  Margaret Jordan, the additional Evoloterra author was with us for this program and the reading of the Evoloterra ceremony.

If you have comments/questions for our guests, please post them on The Space Show blog.  You can email Rand & Bill through me.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 3-26-13 March 27, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 3-26-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1981-BWB-2013-03-26.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space news, company updates, and 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.

We welcomes Bob Zimmerman back for a two hour wide ranging discussion on space news, company updates, sequestration, policy, and more.  Be sure to check out his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.   Bob started out talking about the e-book release of his book, “Genesis, The Story of Apollo 8.”  He then talked about the upcoming Falcon 9 launches, their importance and significance.  Bob mentioned ILS and the Proton rocket which is having its problems causing insurance rates to rise. He said the Russians will absorb all insurance cost increases to keep Proton at a price advantage point.  This opened the door to a discussion about SpaceX and price competiveness in the launch industry.  Bob switched gears to the suborbitals and said we should be seeing Virgin powered tests soon.  He also talked about Stratolaunch per a recent Parabolic Arc article.  Bob was talking reusability and the RLV so I asked him if he was aware of economic analysis and data that was not supportive of an RLV short of a substantial increase in launch demand. Bob had much to say about this with his opinion. The RLV economic issue continued to be discussed in both segments of our program. Tim called in about it as well.  We talked about Sen. Rubio and his budget amendment suggesting NASA divest itself of unused assets & use the saved money for commercial space.  Bob then brought up sequestration and the announcement that NASA will be shutting down all public outreach but they will keep their PR arm going for their projects and missions.  We also mentioned Sarah Brightman and both her ISS and Virgin space tourism efforts.  Near the close of this segment, Inspiration Mars was discussed and as you will hear, Bob is skeptical, citing human factors & other reasons for his opinion.  Larry asked about North Korean rockets and threats to the U.S. west coast.  Bob said he took them seriously though their rocket was not yet ready for prime time. Bob also threw in Iranian rockets and threats and said he was more concerned about advances by Iran than N. Korea at this time.

In segment two, we talked about both the science side of NASA and the HSF side.  I’m sure you will find the comparison and mission summaries of interest.  John called in from Atlanta to raise yet again the question of reusability.  He thought it would be enhanced with the use of orbiting fuel depots. Bob was skeptical.  Don’t miss this discussion.  I asked both Bob and John about Inspiration Mars, Jim emailed in a comment about Falcon 1 relative to comments being made by Bob, and we talked about the upcoming Orbital Sciences Antares launch.  We got into the subject of risk taking and Bob and I talked about mining risks as well as caving risks.  As Bob is an accomplished caver, he had much to say about both mining and caving.  Near the end, we got a call about various spaceports in different states and spaceport commercial success so far.  Bob concluded saying that we are in an unstable world which could absolutely adversely impact all aspects of space and commercial space development and progress.

Please post your comments on The Space Show blog.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 12-10-12 December 11, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 12-10-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1911-BWB-2012-12-10.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Apollo 8, launch industry, HSF, SLS, Mars missions, NASA budget, & 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. We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the program to summarize space for 2012, to look forward to space activities in 2013, and as you will hear, to talk about some specific issues such as SLS and the need for heavy lift.  Bob started the discussion talking about Apollo 8 as we approach Christmas 2012.  He told us his famous book, “Genesis: The Story of Apollo 8: The First Manned Mission to Another World” has been released in ebook format. If you buy it on Amazon using the URL provided, Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/OGL: www.amazon.com/Genesis-Apollo-Mission-Another-ebook/dp/B00A1EZJ6U/ref=onegiantlea20. Bob outlined two tracks for discussion, the launch industry and manned spaceflight exploration.  For the launch industry, he talked about the influence of SpaceX in lowering launch costs & what it means for other launchers in competing in pricing & market share.  He also talked about negotiation issues over the continued use of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. We discussed secondary payloads, Stratolaunch, & more.  The second track involving manned space exploration, Bob talked about it from the government perspective & that of the private sector.  He also brought up the recent news regarding the new Golden Spike venture on which he had much to say.  Our first caller was from Terry asking about the NASA Mars program, James Webb & SLS.  Bob had much to say about the JWST as well as SLS, NASA astrophysics, & SLS costs.  Terry wanted to know when Bob thought SLS would be cancelled. This discussion prompted more than a passionate exchange by Bob and me regarding heavy lift, rocket mission analysis, & more.  We then paused for our overdue break.
     Leading off the second segment, we took a call from Doug in S. California but had audio issues on his phone line. We then talked about the SpaceX mission delay to March 2013.  Tim called to talk about launch rate regardless of the size of the vehicle.  He also talked about Golden Spike & a potential space tug.  He asked Bob about Skylon.  We switched topics to get updates from Bob regarding the suborbital companies. Bob talked about Virgin Galactic & powered flight tests.  He also had some things to say about Dream Chaser and XCOR.  I asked Bob about using drones on Mars based on comments I’ve received from listeners.  Near the end, I brought up a special film showing & lecture on the 1956 classic “Forbidden Planet” that I saw this past Saturday. We talked about the significance of this movie & Bob brought in the concept of human spirit, vision, & the desire for interplanetary travel even before the days of NASA or Sputnik.  I talked about the two award winning speakers from Lucas Film regarding the movie & then the surprise visit after the film by Robby the Robot, the original Robby from the film. To end our program, Bob gave us an outline of what to look for in the first quarter of 2013 for space events.
     Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Check out Bob’s blog, http://behindtheblack.com.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 7-3-12 July 4, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 7-3-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1807-BWB-2012-07-03.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.   Topics:  Recent space news and announced projects.  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 Bob Zimmerman back to the show.  Check out his blog at www.behindtheblack.com.  We started off our first long segment (90 minutes) by mentioning the 50th anniversary of Telstar 1, the death of our friend, Al Zaehringer, AT&T and our early space program, plus the word coming from CERN that they may have found the Higgs-Boson particle.  I then asked Bob to comment on the global warming statements being made about the current East Coast heat wave, followed by comments by Newt about the power grid outages and a taste of what an EMP would be like.  We then turned to space and Bob talked about the recent success with Dragon and Falcon 9.  He then talked about government space programs as compared to private programs.  Throughout our 135 minute discussion, he reiterated his opposition to space programs, making it clear that he does not want a “program” and why.  Let us know on the blog if you agree with him.  Bob suggested we were in a period of space revolution and that it would be very exciting over the next five years.  He talked about SpaceX compared to the Russians and the Chinese.  He did say we were in competition with them for control of space and this led us to a discussion about culture and the space frontier.  We talked about recently announced projects, Planetary Resources, Mars One, and one by the B612 Foundation.  He thought B612 was the only real one of the three.  Terry called from Texas to discuss using an Orion for a LEO mission, the Falcon Heavy for a Moon mission, Delta IV heavy and SLS.  Jerry called in from Florida and among our topics were frontier development, the Oregon Trail, the CERN reactor in Switzerland rather than in Texas, and more.  No space programs per Bob’s preferences again came up.  Let us know your thoughts about these issues on the blog.  As the segment ended, Bob was asked about Skylon which was the subject of yesterday’s program.

Tim’s call started our second segment & he asked about a lox paraffin hybrid rocket motor. We also talked about the space shuttle & its capabilities.  While Bob praised aspects of shuttle, he said the program was a failure.  I did not agree with him but listen and let us know what you think regarding this issue. Note that as the program ended, Martin sent us info on the hybrid motor mentioned earlier by Tim so check out  www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9erCLJ5KVg as Brian Cantwell delivered a presentation at Stanford on the state of the art of hybrid rockets.  Bob then updated us on the bat situation with the white nose fungus. As our program ended, Bob talked about upcoming events starting with Orbital’s Cygnus/Antares debut, Dream Chaser and other competitors.  He had some brief comments about the suborbital industry and citizen science projects and concluded by saying we were no longer in a holding pattern re commercial space.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on our blog.

 

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