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

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Jim Muncy, Monday, 11-17-14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Andrew Chaikin, Sunday, 1-13-13 January 14, 2013

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Andrew Chaikin, Sunday, 1-13-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1929-BWB-2013-01-13.mp3

Guest:  Andrew Chaikin. Topics:  Neil Armstrong & his One small step for man lunar comment, space policy, space media, 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 welcomed Andy Chaikin back to the program. Please visit his website for more information, www.andrewchaikin.com.  We started our discussion with Andy telling us about the BBC documentary with Neil Armstrong’s brother’s comments about Neil’s famous Apollo 11 landing statement, then the Guardian’s (a UK paper) calling Neil a liar.  Much of our first segment was devoted to this story and incident.  We then moved on and talked about Golden Spike as Andy is part of the Golden Spike team.  He had some very interesting nontechnical and general observations about the effort, the timing, and the Golden Spike team.  Also in this segment, we talked about the need for low cost space access, then listener Paul in Houston asked Andy about the impact on the new space business given the US and global economy.  This started an interesting conversation assessing where we are as a nation and culture today and the options we have for moving forward or not.  Both Andy and I talked about solutions going through space but neither of us could say which way we might end up going.  We also talked about the media and its problems, a discussions that was carried forward to the next segment.

     In the next segment, we started with a call from Doug who had additional comments on the Armstrong story.  We also talked about the need for sustainable commercial space, again focusing in on the need to lower the cost to space.  Andy then talked extensively about lessons learned at NASA over the years and the book he is writing for NASA on the subject which addresses the principles of success in spaceflight and management.  Our policy and historical overview and current assessment continued to the end of this nearly two hour program.

     Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog below.  You can reach Mr. Chaikin through his website or through me.

Dr. Robert Brodsky, Friday, 12-7-12 December 8, 2012

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Dr. Robert Brodsky, Friday, 12-7-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1909-BWB-2012-12-07.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Robert (Bob) Brodsky.   Topics: We discussed his new book, “Catch A Rocket Plane: More Tales from the Cutting Edge & Beyond,” plus his aerospace history & overview.  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 Dr. Bob Brodsky back to the show to discuss his new book which you can order at www.amazon.com/Catch-Rocket-Plane-Cutting-Beyond/dp/1467972908/ref=onegiantlea20. Remember, if you buy the book using this URL, Amazon donates to The Space Show/OGLF.  Dr. Brodsky started out by telling us how he came up with the title to his new book, a story which you will find most interesting.  He then told us stories from his book dating from WW2 through the rocket and space age to current times.  During the segment, listeners asked him many questions about our former space program as compared to our program today.  As today was the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17, Bob was asked quite a few questions about Apollo, the mood of the country back then, space and the Cold War, and going back to the Moon or other another destination. He talked about his experience on the NERVA nuclear rocket program and why he included a chapter about false starts since so many programs were started, then cancelled by NASA and Congress. Another issue discussed was learning to live on the Moon so we could push further out into space. Bob was asked about the quality of teaching in the earlier years as compared to today.  He talked about ABET which is the accrediting board for engineering education and how that body has changed (lowered) the standards over the years.  Doug called in to ask if we had lost so much of our labor and technical expertise that we might not be able to do an Apollo like mission today.  Note the answer by Dr. Brodsky.  You might be surprised by it.  Bob also advocated the use of cost plus contracting over fixed price contracting because he said without cost plus, the boldness, creativity, risk taking, and out of the box thinking/planning gave way to traditional, conservative, and less pushing of the window in order to avoid financial risks and losses.  He suggested that fixed price contracting produced just the opposite of what we needed from our aerospace industry.  Let us know what you think about Bob’s perspective by posting on the blog.
     In our second segment, our guest told us about a movie he once pitched regarding the terrorist takeover of the ISS.  We also talked about his role with European launch alternatives with pointing systems and sounding rockets.  A listener asked him about ITAR and would it have prevented much of what he was talking about in terms of European sharing of technology early on in our space history. He thought it would have and since our guest said he was a strong proponent of international space cooperation, ITAR is seen as a probable hindrance.  In his concluding statements, Dr. Brodsky said that man was destined to do great things and go into space and settle and live there.  He was optimistic this would happen. He did suggest the 60’s as the greatest space period in our history.
      Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can email Dr. Brodsky through me.
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