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Open Lines, Sunday, 2-23-14 February 24, 2014

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Open Lines, Sunday, 2-23-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2193-BWB-2014-02-23.mp3

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Guests:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Cubesat markets, cubesat launch restrictions, Mars One, SLS, Falcon, & 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.  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 welcome you to today’s 2 hour 15 minute Open Lines discussion covering a wide range of topics.  Since both segments of the discussion overlapped and covered the same topics, this summary will not be divided into the typical part one and part two segments.  At the beginning, I threw out some possible discussion topics. These topics included my thoughts on the cubesat market becoming saturated due to the very low barriers of entry.  This typically happens in the business cycle leading to failures, buyouts, mergers, etc.  I posed the question if this could happen in the cubesat industry.  I also commented on the FATW issued to Mars One deeming it a suicide mission.  These seemed to be the two most frequently discussed topics on today’s show though SLS and Falcon did enter the discussion.  Regarding the cubesat industry, most callers thought that cubesats would not go the way of traditional businesses with low barriers to entry because the launch side of the industry has a choke hold on deployment of cubesats and so far does have low barriers to entry. The reasoning went something like this:  One could have all the cubesats in the world they wanted but only so many can get launched per year and this puts limits on the potential cubesat market. Many callers and a few email listeners had much to say on this discussion during the entire program.  Now as for the FATWA issued against Mars One deeming it a suicide mission, that too was a popular topic.  Many listeners commented on it as did I though I suggested it probably did not matter since I’m a skeptic that the venture will ever launch, especially given the stated time tables it is working against.  But there were lots of views on the FATWA. Most listeners agreed that Mars One would likely be something on the order of a suicide mission but calling for a FATWA seemed extreme. There were several sarcastic comments and SLS John objected to why we would even spend time talking about it given all the important things going on in space and the space related world.  Later in the second segment, Jeff called in and extended the discussion to SLS which is always volatile on TSS!  Jeff offered us some interesting observations and “givens” regarding SLS as a government program.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. You can reach any of our callers through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Mark Bray, Tuesday, 2-11-14 February 12, 2014

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Mark Bray, Tuesday, 2-11-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2185-BWB-2014-02-11.mp3

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Guest:  Mark Bray.  Topics:  Huntsville area space update, SLS from the inside, U.S. space policy, leadership issues. 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 Mark Bray for a Huntsville space area update and a unique view from the inside on SLS and U.S. space policy.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 49 minute discussion, Mark shared his personal assessment of the Huntsville area space economy, the moods of contractors and NASA workers, & the space IQ for the Huntsville general population.  For the most part, Mark reported stability but lots of uncertainty.  In contrast, the last time Mark did an area update for us, there were still layoffs happening, lots of uncertainty and personal stress, and stability was far from the scene.  We then switched to SLS which was a topic through most of the show because Mark is a contractor working on SLS.  Its important to note that Mark was speaking for himself on the program, not for his employer, NASA, or his fellow workers and area space employees.  Mark works in the SLS materials lab so we asked him all sorts of questions about the big rocket.  For example, I drilled him on the mood of SLS workers given they certainly had to know about the hate-love war going on over SLS within the space community.  Mark answered all these questions for us, including questions about possible competitive pressure from SpaceX.  We talked extensively about commercial space development and the need for commercial markets.  Mark spent some time on the issue of markets because without them, one has no viable commercial activity.  Mark then honed in on the problem of political leadership regarding space saying that NASA and related organizations were not the problem. This opened the door for multiple discussions during the balance of the program going after what Mark and I both thought was an absence of quality political leadership in the country and the partisan warfare between the two main parties preventing workable solutions for many if not all the nation’s problems.  Before the segment ended, I asked Mark about the Chinese lunar lander & robot and what people thought about it.  He said most were frustrated that we (the U.S.) was not doing more as we were not operating even close to our potential.

In the second segment, Doug called to ask about public/private partnerships, COTS like programs, and he talked about his Lunar Cots ideas.  Doug asked about reducing costs.  Mark seized the opportunity to again state that engineering technology & NASA management were not the real problems but that leadership issues in Washington were at the center of the problems.  John then called from Ft. Worth.  He wanted to talk about SLS cost numbers & asked Mark why it was so expensive given the assumption that much of it came from already developed projects including Ares components and more. Don’t miss what Mark had to say about this.  John then asked Mark for his personal thoughts on the news that SpaceX will build a rocket larger than the Saturn V in about ten years.  Again, don’t miss his answer.  Near the end of the show, in summary mode, Mark repeated that the biggest challenge was a market challenge.  What is the market? Is there a long term market? How big is the market?  As the show was ending, we asked Mark about the viability of human spaceflight.

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

Howard Bloom, Monday, 1-20-14 January 21, 2014

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Howard Bloom, Monday, 1-20-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2169-BWB-2014-01-20.mp3

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Guest:  Howard Bloom.  Topics:  Space policy, leadership, private space, SLS, SSP, Space Development Steering Committee & 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 Howard Bloom back to the show for this two hour 6 minute complex space policy, leadership, commercial space and more discussion.  During the first segment, Howard worked us into discussions about space and pop culture, space leadership and policy issues, commercial and private space issues, and the SLS as representative of extreme pork taking down the space program.  This conversation included many side tracks including space art for inspiration, Von Braun, Chesley Bonestell, and more.  We talked about The Space Development Steering Committee, their focus on private space as well as space solar power (SSP).  As you listen to this program, you will realize this is not an ordinary Space Show discussion on these topics as Howard brings to us very unique and very broad important perspectives with important information.

In the second segment, Chuck Lauer called in to talk about the Darpa XS1 suborbital program and his company submission.  Later, Howard talked about Dragon and Cygnus plus the significance difference between the two.  He advocated for fuel depots and space infrastructure.  I asked Howard about a timeline for realizing the development/implementation of the project he was talking about.  He also talked about the ISS, Mars, Phobos, and L1.  Near the end of the discussion, Howard talked about his two Kindle books available on Amazon, “How I Accentually Started the Sixties” and “The Mohammed Code:  Why a Desert Prophet Wants You Dead.”

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  Howard provided his social media and email address during this show for contact and for joining The Space Development Steering Committee.

Dr. Wendell Mendell, Tuesday, 12-10-13 December 11, 2013

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Dr. Wendell Mendell, Tuesday, 12-10-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2140-BWB-2013-12-10.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Wendell Mendell.  Topics:  His 50 years at NASA, the Moon, lunar base work, congress & 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 Dr. Wendell Mendell back to the show for this two hour discussion (no break) about his 50 years at NASA JSC, lunar bases, commercial space, return to the Moon, the value of the Moon, our space program, space advocacy, commercial space, and lots more.  Dr. Mendell came to work at JSC in 1963 &will be retiring at the end of this year, culminating 50 years at JSC.  During our discussion, Dr. Mendell used lots of stories from his NASA and lunar base work experience to illustrate issues with space policy, NASA, our Congress, and space advocacy, & advanced technology.  Listeners had lots of specific questions for Wendell about lunar bases, water on the Moon and its commercial exploitation, commercial lunar programs, and NASA having a lunar program which Dr. Mendell said it did not.  Dr. Mendell spoke to some of the NASA organizational issues, congressional micromanagement issues and problems, and the nation’s overall economic problems as a reason for not doing this or that in space.  He cited such economic problems as a rational excuse for not doing something meaningful in space in almost every year of his 50 years of NASA experience. The same for threatened, proposed, or even real NASA budget cuts.  Later in the segment when caller Doug called in with his lunar water and development ideas, Dr. Mendell pointed to conflicting LCROSS analysis as to water being on the Moon. Russian instruments do not say the same thing as the Los Alamos instruments and he said this was & still is a hotly debated topic in the lunar community.  As Doug continued talking about his plan, Dr. Mendell backed him up, took him step by step through the process of accomplishing his many goals. This turned out to be a very valuable instructional discussion that all of us can and should benefit from.  Make sure you hear how Wendell breaks down Doug’s points to show the complexities and challenges of each incremental step in what Doug was proposing.  Our guest even showed Doug where some of his steps needed commercial technogly which does not exist! Doug’s rocket of choice is the Falcon Heavy, a rocket which does not yet exist, nor does it have real numbers behind it.  Wendell used this discussion to distinguish true believers from investor and commercial analysts.  He then said when the believer is also able to bring his own money to the venture, things can get done and he cited SpaceX as an example.  Later Doug asked by email if NASA could help private companies develop cislunar transportation as they have helped private companies provide launch services to LEO/GEO. The simple answer was yes but make sure you hear Dr. Mendell’s complete answer to this question.  Another issue discussed was the needed timeline to do a human Moon mission. Wendell described the times of Apollo as compared to the times of NASA today.  We talked about the importance of a better and different NASA and RTM story and again, Dr. Mendell illustrated his points with stories from his past experience.  Spanning 50 years of history and experience was not easy to do in even a two hour Space Show program. As you listen to the program, you will hear many more subjects, stories, and issues discussed than stated in this summary.  In the end, I believe NASA, our nation, and the effort to develop space has been served incredibly well by Dr. Wendell Mendell and his creativity, his drive, his analysis, his commitment, and his work will be genuinely missed by all.  The Space Show wishes Wendell all the best for his coming retirement, gives him a hearty THANK YOU for his service, and we will remain in contact with him and hope to have him back with us at a future time.

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

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. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 10-29-13 October 30, 2013

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Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 10-29-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2112-BWB-2013-10-29.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Mike Griffin.  Topics:  This was a wide ranging and broad discussion re US space policy, commercial space, HSF, lunar issues, & 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

During the first segment of our 91 minute discussion with Mike, we talked about the lack of a coherent national space policy and how best to use tax payer dollars for the public good.  Mike discussed the fact that there was no credible alternative to the RTM program, no clear path to any set of discernible goals.  I asked Mike about NASAs asteroid redirect mission.  He did say it had interesting potential and it was better than nothing but as listeners agreed, it was not a grabbing and inspiring program.  Listeners asked Mike about Constellation which he said was a space system architecture.  We talked about a lunar base and access to Mars.  I asked Mike about the public’s interest in space & you don’t want to miss his response.  Daniel brought up budget issues, commercial ventures, and the current administration.  We also talked public/private partnerships and multi-year programs and policy challenges.  Mike was asked about the VSE and bipartisan support though Jon emailed in his disagreement on that issue.  Mike talked about goals as being important to congress and the need for an effective policy to have bipartisan support.  Mike was asked about the ISS and the potential for discovery and we he responded to a listener question about the mass needed in orbit to support a lower mass on the Moon.  The ratio is 10::1. 

In the second segment, June asked about economies of size in launch vehicles and heavy lift.  Barbara emailed in about a COTS like program for HSF.  Trent called from Australia to inquire about Stratolaunch.  Doug called to ask about cislunar development and what a program that supported that development might look like.  Mike had much to say on this subject, don’t miss it.  We talked extensively about the role of government and the private sector, including government subsidies.  A listener talked about scientific discovery and serendipity.  John asked about the Ares 1 vibration and solids in comparison to liquids for safety.  John in Ft. Worth asked Mike about SLS and Orion as a capabilities holding program and Mike agreed.  The idea is to maintain capabilities until the time they can be used.  During the entire program, I asked Mike about his public service, how he dealt with attacks and criticism, and how he got his interest in space.  This is an important discussion. 

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

Dr. Jason Reimuller, Tuesday, 10-22-13 October 23, 2013

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Dr. Jason Reimuller, Tuesday, 10-22-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2109-BWB-2013-10-22.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Jason Reimuller.  Topics:  Project PoSSUM, manned suborbital polar research flights, noctilucent clouds, rescue & recovery.  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 Dr. Jason Reimuller to the program to discuss Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere).  For more information, please visit their website, www.projectpossum.org. In the first segment of this 1 hour 29 minute discussion, Dr. Reimuller started off by telling us the history of Project PoSSUM and its focus on noctilucent clouds.  Jason described noctilucent clouds and their importance.  I also suggest you read about them on their website at http://projectpossum.org/2015-possum-nlc-campaign/about-noctilucent-clouds.  We talked about the high latitudes, the short window for observing these clouds, and the interest in using the XCOR Lynx vehicle as the RLV of choice though other suborbital RLVs are also being considered.  We talked about funding as a NASA Flight Opportunities Program and down the road a specialized Kickstarter program.  Jason also described the payloads, missions and the Aeronomy Lab, the PoSSUM observatory and much more.  He described the types of experiments the scientists want to do during the suborbital flight. Jason also pointed out the use of a general aviation turbo-Mooney aircraft for noctilucent cloud observation, plus the rocket flight profile for maximum viewing and studying during the science mission.

In the second segment, we talked about how Project PoSSUM can enable and influence science globally plus the international interest in science missions to study these clouds.  Here, Jason pointed out that their choice vehicle was actually the Lynx Mark II.  A listener asked if the clouds were also present in the deep southern latitudes and they are during the southern hemisphere summer as they are in the northern hemisphere summer.  Given that Jason had worked on the NASA Constellation program, I asked him questions about Constellation of which he had much to say.  He also expressed a concern regarding the private rocket companies and their astronaut rescue and recover programs. He talked about the Constellation rescue and recovery program, the trades they had to consider, plus all the variables that had the potential to impact a crew rescue & recovery attempt. He also described the infrastructure in place to aid in rescue and recovery for government missions but that this infrastructure may not be applicable or available to private launch vehicles and commercial astronauts.  Connie wanted to know if there was any difference in the noctilucent clouds over land as compared to the oceans.  We also talked about science mission conclusions regarding climate change issues.

For more information, Dr. Reimuller can be reached through the PoSSUM website plus each of the Project PoSSUM programs has contact info on the website. Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

Jerry L. Ross, Tuesday, 4-30-13 May 1, 2013

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Jerry L. Ross, Tuesday, 4-30-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1999-BWB-2013-04-30.mp3

Guest:  Jerry L. Ross.  Topics:  “Spacewalker: My Journey In Space And Faith as NASA’s Record-Setting Frequent Flyer,” HSF safety, NASA & space policy.  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 retired astronaut Jerry L. Ross to our program to discuss his new book, “Spacewalker: My Journey In Space And Faith as NASA’s Record-Setting Frequent Flyer,” space policy and leadership, HSF safety, and much more.  If you buy his book which I recommend, use this Amazon link as Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/One Giant Leap Foundation: www.amazon.com/Spacewalker-Journey-Space-Record-Setting-Frequent/dp/1557536317/ref=onegiantlea20.  Please visit Jerry’s website for more information, www.jerrylross.com.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Mr. Ross spoke about the Space Shuttle & retirement, Constellation, returning to the Moon, going BLEO, the ISS, and his test flights on the B1 bomber.  This led us to talking about the safety test program used by NASA, the B1, and the private spaceships.  I asked if NASA was overkill in this area and if the privates would be able to engage in comprehensive flight safety testing with programs radically different from those NASA has used. You do not want to miss this discussion, especially when I asked about the complexities of the B1 as compared to a spaceship.  We talked about SLS, Orion, & Inspiration Mars which Jerry supports.  In response to an email from Becky, we talked about the NASA astronauts, the fact that there are more astronauts than flight opportunities, and the current situation for NASA astronauts.  Our guest mentioned two year training missions and when I inquired about that time period, we learned that it included learning Russian, training with ESA, Japanese, Canadian, and Russian hardware and more.  Jerry was asked if he rode on a Soyuz. He said no but was in a Soyuz and talked about his going on board MIR.

In our second segment, we started out asking him about faith which is part of the subtitle of his book.  Here again our guest had much to say so listen carefully to this discussion.  As Jerry was part of the team that recovered debris from the Columbia accident, I asked him about it. He told us about his experience in learning about the disaster, crew families and more.  This is a first hand accounting of getting the news and working with the families and the people involved in finding the debris.  Another topic discussed was on orbit construction, mainly with the private companies.  Jerry talked about this at length given his work in establishing how to do it for the ISS and actually doing multiple missions making and assembling parts in space.  We also talked about gender differences in these space walks.  Toward the end of our discussion, space leadership came up as did missions and goals.  The shuttle thermal tiles were discussed and he referenced tile damage on his Atlantis flight which was the third flight after Challenger.  This was an amazing story and luck was really shining on the Atlantis crew.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.

Robert Sackheim, Monday, 4-1-13 April 2, 2013

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Robert Sackheim, Monday, 4-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1986-BWB-2013-04-01.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Sackheim.  Topics:  Commercial space, propulsion, U.S. space policy & 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 Robert Sackheim to the program to discuss NASA, commercial space, the current state of rocket propulsion and advancements in the field.  During our first segment of this 1 hour 47 minute discussion, Mr. Sackheim talked about his background and experience at TRW, NASA MSFC, and his current consulting.  I asked him several questions about the current state of rocket propulsion. Bob had much to say about this, focusing on chemical rocket propulsion, satellite propulsion, electric propulsion, and the need for nuclear propulsion.  He talked about booster rockets, various rocket stages and their propulsion, rocket engines, and even SRBs.  Several questions came in asking him if we had the current technology for HSF to Mars or even the Inspiration Mars flyby mission talked about so much in the recent press.  Listeners wanted to know if our current levels of propulsion were up to the task.  After a rather thorough propulsion discussions, Bob turned to commercial space, lowering total space mission costs, regulatory policy, and commercial spaceports.  He also talked about budget issues and raised the question a few times as to why ten NASA centers were needed given their often overlapping, competitive, and duplicate work.

In our second segment, commercial space took the lead with a discussion on public/private partnerships & the belief that Americans can do anything if we set our mind to it, including space travel.  Of course here the problem as we know lies in leadership and today it appears that leadership in space & other areas is sparse at best.   Bob then focused on geo satellites and the increasing development and capabilities applicable to cubesats.  HSF came up for discussion as did the robotic missions. You might be surprised by what our guest had to say about HSF.  Other issues in this segment included the lunar space elevator, the congressional and NASA track record in canceling ongoing projects & taking lessons from history, SSP, & ways to reform & move NASA forward.  Bob spoke about evolving toward the old NACA model.  I asked about the impact of space advocacy from his perspective given his leadership experience and past positions in leading organizations and projects.  We also asked him about space tourism and hybrid rocket engines. He had much to say about hybrids, don’t miss the discussion.  Bob talked about the Falcon rockets, testing including static fire tests, and SRBs as related to the Constellation project and safety.  Toward the end, our guest was asked about NewSpace, fuel depots, & cryo transfer.  For closing comments, he talked about commercial space being the way to go & the path to our space future.

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

Futron Space Competitive Index 2012, Monday, 12-3-12 December 4, 2012

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Futron Space Competitive Index 2012, Monday, 12-3-12

Guests: David Vaccaro, Jonathan Beland

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1906-BWB-2012-12-03.mp3

Guests:  David Vaccaro, Jonathan Beland. Topics:  The Futron 2012 Space Competitive Index (SCI).  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 David Vaccaro and Jonathan Beland to discuss the Futron 2012 Space Competitive Index (SCI).  You can freely download the SCI Executive Summary at www.futron.com/SCI_2012.xml. The SCI provides annual statistical benchmarks, analysis, and business intelligence for both commercial and national space activities for fifteen countries, examining markers in the Government, Human Capital and sectors.  Five new countries were added for the 2011 data which is used for the 2012 report.  The list of countries analyzed includes the U.S, Brazil, Canada, China, Europe (all of Europe, not the individual European countries), India, Israel, Japan, Russia, S. Korea, Argentina, Australia, Iran, South Africa and the Ukraine.  The five new countries added include Australia, Argentina, Iran, S. Africa, and the Ukraine.  While this program was conducted using two segments, this summary is written without regard to the segments as our discussion points crossed segments throughout the program.  As we started out, our guests provided us with a brief history regarding the SCI and clearly stated its purpose. Note that it is self-financed by Futron and remains completely independent of any & all pressures.  Also, note that again, the U.S. remains the only country of those examined that consistently declines year by year but because our government spending is so huge and our economy, despite our problems is so huge, the U.S. remains in first place as the space industry leader of all those countries studied.  Our guests told us about the benchmarks and how the SCI was constructed.  They responded to lots of listener questions, including questions about why the report is not used by candidates in political campaigns, its potential influence among those in Congress and other policy makers, and the same in other countries.  We talked about the impact of space industry workforce layoffs, the termination of Constellation and the shuttle showing up in the analysis and how such events might impact the U.S. score.  As you will hear, our team expects the 2012 data in the 2013 report to reflect these changes in our space program. A listener asked if the SCI tracked the growth of space advocacy in the U.S., wondering why it is growing but not that much in policy impact.  Other listeners asked about the growth of cubesats, especially in the U.S. and how that was reported.  Also, if ITAR was a limiting factor for the U.S.  Yet another asked our guests if the SCI viewed SpaceX as commercial or government subsidized in the context of the report and its analysis.  When asked about a future country watch list, we talked about Viet Nam, S. Korea, South America and Mexico.  In addition to lots of questions about the U.S., we talked about space in many of the other countries, why they kept investing while the U.S. seemed to be retreating.  Another issue talked about was global positive view of space, embracing more and more countries, views not always held here at home.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Both our guests gave out their Futron email addresses as the program was ending.

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