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Jim Muncy, Sunday, 1-20-13 January 21, 2013

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Jim Muncy, Sunday, 1-20-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1933-BWB-2013-01-20.mp3

Guest:  Jim Muncy.  Topics: Comprehensive space policy & commercial space discussion.  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 Jim Muncy back to the show for this comprehensive space policy and commercial space two hour plus discussion.  While many topics overlapped both segments and we went back and forth on several topics, this summary will be a two part summary.  Jim started the discussion with a look at new space legislation kicking off the year.  After a short summary of several items and their impact on commercial space, we talked about the makeup of the new Congress and how it might view civil and commercial space.  Jim then started addressing specific projects including Orion and its expansion to include ESA, SLS, the Boeing CST100, Atlas 5, and more.  A listener asked about the Space Settlement Act and the Space Foundation Pioneering White Paper.  We then turned our attention to Cis-lunar space as a commercial gateway and Jim mentioned new commercial opportunities such as Golden Spike.  We also talked about the recent study on NASA by the National Academies.  Other topics included the need to do exploration, to take risks and NASA acting more like the old NACA with aviation.  The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) was brought up by a caller and we started talking about large program expenses as compared to smaller, less costly, & more frequent programs that fly much more often.  In response to another listener, Jim said SLS was not in competition for funds with commercial crew as one was near term & the other long term.  Falcon Heavy was brought up, especially as an alternative to SLS.

     In our second segment, Jim was asked about how best to influence congress. Later on, Jim was asked to comment on the liability indemnification issue surrounding Spaceport America & Virgin Galactic.  Our domestic economic situation came up many times in both segments but in this segment, it was applied to problems with our weather satellite system & infrastructure needs as opposed to flying missions.  This included mention of the Hurricane Sandy relief package just passed by Congress.  Other issues talked about included the aerospace skilled workforce, parochial congressional interests, the NASA bureaucracy, & the role of space advocacy.

     Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can email Mr. Muncy through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Tom Olson, Monday, 12-31-12 January 1, 2013

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Tom Olson, Monday, 12-31-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1921-BWB-2012-12-31.mp3

2012 Year End Review & Analysis for Space Development

Guest:  Tom Olson.   Topics: The year 2012 is reviewed from the space perspective and we look forward to space development in 2013.  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 back Tom Olson for his annual Space Show year in review analysis with a look forward to 2013 for space development.  We started our discussion by remembering those in our space community that are no longer with us. We specifically mentioned three dear friends though we know that others have also left us.  Our program was dedicated to Neil Armstrong, Jesco von Puttkamer, and Reda Anderson.  We certainly miss our friends but space development marches on like everything else in life.  A few of the early issues Tom brought up in the 2012 annual overview of space included the Falcon 9 launches and Dragon missions.  He also talked about ISDC and birthing of Dragon during the keynote by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden.  While on the subject of SpaceX and its mission to the ISS, Paul sent in a question asking if SpaceX dropping out of the Stratolauncher project indicated that perhaps they had “bitten off more than they could chew.”  Tom and I have no inside information about SpaceX and Stratolaunch but we both thought that Paul’s comment was reasonable as SpaceX is certainly busy enough with game changing projects & technology.  Cubesats were discussed given their rise in popularity and importance in 2012. It seems as if their potential is more than on the rise!  Cubesat growth also cuts across many diverse space industry segments and niche markets.  Bev asked about the future of 3-D printing and its potential impact on future human spaceflight (HSF). 3-D printing is certainly experiencing space industry growth & there will soon be a small 3-D printer on the ISS.  Heavy lift came up and much was said about the Falcon Heavy and SLS, both looking back over 2012 & forward to 2013.

In our second segment, I asked if fuel depots would evolve from the Power Point & rhetoric stage to something more tangible in 2013.  We talked about depots as many of the projects announced in 2012 use depot technology to enable their plan.  Tom talked about warp drive becoming more possible due to the 2012 work of Dr. Sonny White.  Dr. White will be a guest on The Space Show Friday, January 4, 2013.  Tom next brought up NASA budget issues & possible cuts.  He talked about science mission cuts, the JWST, and on the HSF side, SLS eating up much of the budget with commercial crew still needing funding.  I asked Tom how he thought space advocacy made out during 2012.  Mixed was a one word summary of this discussion.  Next, we talked about space settlement being made part of the U.S. space policy in 2013.  Tom went over the pros & cons surrounding this effort. Doug called in about space settlement & I referred him to earlier programs with Steve Wolfe who authored the Space Settlement Act of 1988 which is part of public law.  Tom said space settlement was SLS dependent & that makes the potential policy controversial to many space enthusiasts since many oppose SLS.  Tom said 2012 was a good year for new commercial space grandiose missions such as Golden Spike, Planetary Resources, Mars One, a lunar base, Shackleton Energy, even EML2 missions.  He kept asking the questions regarding objectives, who pays, the reasons for the missions, and more. He said most of these missions rely on some form of large launcher, either the Falcon Heavy SLS.  Tom talked about ITAR reform that has been signed by both houses of Congress & is applicable to the U.S. satellite industry.  Human rating of the Atlas came up for a 2012 progress report, then Dave in San Antonio inquired about cyber warfare & the space industry in 2012 & the future.  2012 marked the year the space shuttles went on display in museums & Tom talked about the Russian space program investments for modernization over the coming decade. He also talked about other national space programs.  Near the end of our program, we brought up the Spaceport America liability issue & the risks facing the New Mexico spaceport.  Tom updated us for 2013 on the NewSpace Business Plan Competition & his work with the Exodus Group for space business consulting.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Tom through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Open Lines, Tuesday, 9-4-12 September 5, 2012

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Open Lines, Tuesday, 9-4-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1848-BWB-2012-09-04.mp3

Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Life outside the solar system, Philadelphia light pollution, ion propulsion, U.S. economy, NASA, space program funding.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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.  As Open Lines started, I put two discussion topics on the table.  These two topics focused on the Republican party platform & its space policy plus the reaction to it by various sectors of the space community, specifically NewSpace.  The second topic I mentioned was the state of the U.S. economy & how it impacts NASA & space funding.  My theory was & is that it does impact the state of NASA funding & what happens in the private sector but I asked others who have economic experience & knowledge to tell me why so many talk space policy without factoring in our domestic as well as economic condition.  When I opened up the phone line, the first caller was Wade Hobbs who talked about life having developed elsewhere in the solar system, mainly in the oceans of Europa.  He said his theory offered statistical proof of life in Jupiter’s moon Europa & he pointed us toward his Kindle book, “Question Answered.”  If you purchase his book using this URL, Amazon will donate to The Space Show/OGLF:  www.amazon.com/Question-Answered-ebook/dp/B008ZFZ05W/ref=onegiantlea20.  He explained his theory & invited comments & questions.  His email address is w_hobbs@mail.com.  Our second caller was Ed Murray who called our attention to a light pollution public art project scheduled soon for Philadelphia.  The project, Open Air” by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer of Canada & approved by the Art Association of Philadelphia is described here:  www.knightarts.org/community/philadelphia/preparing-for-open-air-in-philadelphia.  Many in the astronomy & Dark Skies fields are objecting to the project which will last nearly two months & probably blot out most of the Philadelphia night sky.  Ed & others are seeking ideas & help to minimize the project or cancel it.  They have sought help from the International Dark Skies organization & others.  If this project interests you, follow up on the suggestions offered on the blog by Ed & others which detail their concerns about the project.

In our second segment, John from Atlanta called in to discuss ion propulsion & fuel plus he wanted to address the economic issues I raised in the introduction to tonight’s program.  Regarding the economic issues, John suggested we were still not so bad where the economy would start to impact NASA funding but if thing worsen, it is likely that NASA & all space funding will be impacted.  John & I went back & forth for several minutes discussing the economic situation, the national debt, space & more, both from the U.S. domestic perspective as well as the global perspective. We talked about the total budget going to NASA being so small as a factor.  John & I talked about the Republican platform suggestion that despite the language, commercial crew to the ISS would continue.  John suggested an early down select to SpaceX but I advocated for at least another round of competition with Sierra Nevada & Boeing, possibly others too.  Our final call was from Tim who talked about ion propulsion & space nuclear propulsion.  He introduced the idea of carbon nano tubes for use in rocket materials & I suggested that was way out in the future.  Tim also suggested the private sector bypass NASA & do its “own thing.”

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  If you want to email any of the callers, send your note to me & I will forward it.

Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12 February 26, 2012

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Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1721-BWB-2012-02-26.mp3

Guest: Mark Whittington.  Topics: Space Budgets, policy, & politics.  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 Mark Whittington back to the show for this 2.5 hour wide ranging discussion on space budgets, the economy, space policy and space politics, plus economic issues facing the nation and others around the world.  We also talked about space perspectives of all those running for president including President Obama and the Republican party challengers.  Mark talked about two article he wrote that were pertinent to our discussion.  These articles are (1) “Moon Base Supporters Struggle to Justify the Project:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/moon-base-supporters-struggle-to-justify-the-project; and (2) “A Lunar Exploration Reading List for Mitt Romney:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/a-lunar-exploration-reading-list-for-mitt-romney.  In our first segment of 45 minutes, we talked about Texas space politics & redistricting, the Johnson Space Center, & the proposed FY 13 budget.  Mark suggested Congress would rewrite most of the budget but that the Senate would likely not pass a budget so we would end up on CR.  I asked Mark how that would lead to programs being cancelled such as ExoMars if we are still on CR as those programs are embedded in the CR from year to year.  Mark described the process through administrative acts by NASA, Congress, or the President re cancellation, and what the Appropriations Committee would have to do to avoid them. For the most part, more money would need to be found for NASA but that was not likely. Mark talked about what constitutes commercial saying that for something to be really commercial, it has to be able to fail. We compared today’s commercial space programs to gov. programs in terms of Mark’s criteria.  Listeners asked about SLS & Orion, wondering if it & when SLS would be cancelled. The idea of a lunar base was discussed in light of the comments made a few weeks ago in the Florida debate by Newt.  Mark also talked about what he thought might be the space policy of the other candidates though not that much is known other than for Newt, Mitt, and President Obama.  Mark talked about cutting out other budgetary items to make room for a quality space program & he highlighted the high speed rail program.

In our long second segment, Marshall called with a question about the original Mercury astronauts still alive.  We  talked some about human factors, microgravity, and life support issues.  Listeners asked about the Chinese space program & their military buildup.  Here, I referenced the recent congressional testimony of Ronald Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  The article I referenced is at http://bigthink.com/ideas/42630.  Mark spoke at length about exploration, citing his favorite history story involving Prince Henry The Navigator of Portugal. Jim asked Mark that if he believed commercial space was the best path forward & that SLS was a bad idea, how would he go about getting more support for commercial space even at the expense of SLS.  Mark offered some concrete ideas in response to Jim’s question. John from Billings sent in a few notes & then later called to talk about why there is such an argument about SRBs as compared to liquid rocket motors.  Challenger was mentioned along with Constellation but mainly Mark said that people’s behavior tends to find ways to support their beliefs. Terry, another Texan like Mark, called to ask why Sen. Hutchinson so strongly opposes commercial space.  Mark offered a pretty good answer.  Risk taking, more on SLS, Dream Chaser & the CST 100 were discussed along with the new project, Stratolaunch. As our program drew to a close, I asked Mark to summarize space policy for 2012 which he did do but then more questions came in.  Becky wanted Mark to connect the dots vis a vis our economy & how this might impact NASA & all space development.  This led to quite a little economic discussion with Mark, myself, and Dr. Jurist who called in about that time.  As usual, I went off on my rant about space as an investment, not an expense.  Jack got in the last word asking for three key events impacting space for 2012 other than the election.  Mark said the upcoming Space X flight, what Congress does with the budget, and the planned Chinese mission later this year.  In his concluding remarks, Mark talked about the economic options facing the country & he left us with a few points to consider.  He urged us to participate in Town Hall meetings and ask the candidates space questions.

If you have comments/questions please post them The Space Show blog.  Marks blog, Curmudgeons Corner, is at http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com.

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