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Dr. Roger Launius, Friday, 11-29-13 November 30, 2013

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Dr. Roger Launius, Friday, 11-29-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2132-BWB-2013-11-29.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Roger Launius.  Topics:  We discussed Roger’s new book, “Space Shuttle Legacy: How We Did It and What We Learned,” space shuttles lessons learned, HSF & 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.

We welcomed back Dr. Roger Launius to discuss his new book, “Space Shuttle Legacy: How We Did It and What We Learned.”  During the first segment of this 1 hour 25 minute discussion, Dr. Launius provided us with the background behind this book which Dr. Launius and two other co-edited as a result of a suggestion Dr. Vigor Yang, chair of the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and James Craig, emeritus professor the school.  Dr. Launius took us through the book’s contents including the title, subject, and authors of the contributions to this book. Our guest talked about the time we spent in LEO, that it was frustrating to many but it did create the situation where LEO is no longer a space frontier.  We also talked about how the shuttle paved the way for development of NewSpace and the emerging commercial industry.  This pertains to the Washington Post article we discussed. See the URL for this article at the end of this summary.  Listeners asked him questions about the Constellation program, the use of shuttle derived architecture for Constellation rockets, and capsules versus winged spacecraft.  We also talked about commercial opportunities emerging in LEO.  A listener asked about the cost of the Soyuz for American astronaut rides to the ISS and that it was still cheaper than launching a shuttle.  Roger brought up other concerns regarding the use of the Soyuz for transport to the station.  John from Ft. Worth called and said he thought shuttle was a creation of compromise. Dr. Launius was then asked about SLS & Orion which took us into human spaceflight and the difficulty in identifying a compelling reason for HSF.  We talked about inspiration as a compelling reason but our guest said it did not hold up as there were other ways to inspire students and people.  We spoke about the Inspiration Mars mission and Mr. Tito’s recent congressional testimony.  We then talked about Dr. Zubrin’s plan to partner up with Russia for a manned mission to Mars.

In our second segment, we talked about the ISS, NANORACKS and its success, emerging ISS commercial opportunities.  However, the possible retirement of the station around 2020 is worrisome.  John emailed in wondering if the Chinese landed humans on the Moon if it would make a difference in our space program.  I asked our guest for a few of the Lessons Learned from the shuttle and we talked more about it having been an experimental aircraft and what that meant.  We got questions about new technology, advancing using new technology, and then more comments about capsules and winged spacecraft.  Roger was asked to speculate on what would happen with a subcortical accident with injury or death and an orbital accident causing crew injury or death.  As the show was nearing its end, we talked about space advocacy, its effectiveness, and the lack of a unified voice in the space community. Finally, I asked our guest for specific positive and negative lessons learned from the shuttle years.  Note that the WaPo article referred to in the discussion comparing old space with NewSpace is at www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2013/11/23/which-way-to-space.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above.  You can email Dr. Launius through me.

Dr. Roger Launius, Friday, 11-30-12 December 1, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
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Dr. Roger Launius, Friday, 11-30-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1904-BWB-2012-11-30.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Roger Launius.  Topics: “Coming Home: Reentry and Recovery from Space” by Dr. Launius, space policy issues, magical thinking.  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 Dr. Roger Launius back to the program to discuss his latest book, “Coming Home: Reentry and Recovery from Space” which is a free download at www.nasa.gov/pdf/695726main_ComingHome-ebook.pdf. During our first segment, our guest provided us with a short history of resolving challenges with reentry from space with human spaceflight.  We discussed winged vehicles and capsules from a historical, practical, and engineering perspective.  We also talked about DOD influence and the advantages as well as disadvantages of both types of space vehicles.  One listener question asked about winged vehicles evolving from suborbital to orbital HSF.  Terry called in with ballistic reentry questions about the V2 rocket & we mentioned museum locations where people can see a complete V2 on display.  Another listener wanted to know if there were any winged vehicle concepts for Mars. Here, our guest talked about some science fiction examples but nothing for real on the drawing board.  Our guest then introduced us to magical thinking and we talked about reality in space exploration as compared to fantasy.  As this segment was ending, we talked about RLVs and reentry issues.

In our second segment, we started off talking about the NASA budget and the potential impact of sequestration.  Our guest said human spaceflight is the biggest challenge and in fact at one point he said we were just one banana peel away from losing HSF!  This was in the context of access to the ISS with only the Soyuz and how fragile the access was until we had multiple ways of getting to the station.  We then discussed risk and some of the issues raised on this subject by other Space Show guests that believe we need more risk to advance human spaceflight. Risk was also discussed in the context of hypothetical ISS recue missions with HSF vehicles not yet ready for prime time. We also talked about the value and purpose of HSF, including should settlement really be the purpose of it.  We had a lengthy discussion on this subject. Both Roger and I suggested the purpose of HSF is a challenge, can be illusive, and is probably something larger and broader than space settlement.  Don’t miss his explanation behind his thinking.  We also talked about spinoffs as a reason for HSF, the we addressed the lack of needed infrastructure, radiation issues, etc.  Toward the end, we took some questions about SLS and heavy lift.  Jane asked our guest about the visitors to the Air and SpaceMuseum at the Smithsonian & if Roger could infer an increase or decline in the interest in space by the visitors or if the visitors had an awareness of the challenges facing NASA and HSF.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Dr. Launius through me.

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