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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-3-13 December 4, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-3-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2135-BWB-2013-12-03.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  launch competition, commercial space, China, gov. space programs, budget 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 Bob Zimmerman for his Tenth Anniversary Space Show program!  During the first segment of this two hour two minute program, Bob addressed many issues and listener concerns starting with the SpaceX Falcon 9 GEO launch success & the looking back to his first Space Show program on Dec. 3, 2003.  He compared and contrasted his comments then to those today. He also blogged about this on his Behindtheblack.com blog at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/exciting-times-in-space.  Listeners expressed their concern about the Chinese space program, their recent lunar landing mission and the day when they can put a human on the Moon.  Listeners wanted to know if this would spark a new space race between China and the U.S.  Bob said no and I agreed with him for slightly different reasons.  However, one of Bob’s consistent and recurring themes (and tonight’s discussion was no different) is that he opposes large government space programs as he says they don’t work.  He provided much evidence for this during our discussion.  During this segment we also talked extensively about launch competition and the benefits from competition in the marketplace.  Listener Al asked about DOD space and if DOD might see the Chinese space program differently.  Bob also mentioned space property rights and he said the existing situation should change based on U.S. law as the model for commercial space to flourish.  There was more talk about the Chinese program which Bob was not too concerned about.  Listen for his reasoning.  John in Ft. Worth called in to also talk about the Chinese program and suggested at some point their success might just humiliate the U.S. into competitive action.  Neither Bob or I thought it was likely that anything would humiliate congress today.  John and Bob then had an interesting discussion on this subject.

In Part 2 of our program, Dr. Lurio called in to talk about being thrilled to the bone by the SpaceX launch and to comment on NewSpace & commercial space issues. Like Bob, he opposes SLS as a big waste.  Bob and Charles then talked about their distaste for large gov. programs such as what JFK created, again saying they don’t work.  Both wondered what space and other things would look like today had JFK not been assassinated.  Dream Chaser was mentioned, again as everyone’s favorite spacecraft.  Al emailed in again to point out the differences in the space perspective of seniors and young people.  Tim called in to mention the Code of Conduct issue with possible international launch standards and how this might hurt the developing US commercial launch business.  I mentioned a Business Week article saying the suborbitals are going to look to R&D flights for repeat customers which they definitely need. Here is the article: www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-27/spaceflight-companies-virgin-galactic-xcor-blue-origin-eye-r-and-d-clients.  Toward the end of the program there was more talk about SLS, NASA budget issues, the need to cancel SLS per Bob’s perspective, and economic risks posed to NASA’s planetary science program.  Bob closed out the program with his comments on Inspiration Mars and Mars One, plus a Von Braun comment from 1954 in which it was reported that he said it would take 100 years of research in space to travel to Mars.  Bob said its been 60 years so far and we do not have the capability to do a human flight to Mars today.  Lurio mailed in the last comment about the NASA press conference earlier in the day with his and Bob’s reading that the planetary program was all but dead financially.  The final comments dealt with SLS and the Redirect Mission which Bob completely discounted.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Contact Bob through his blog or zimmerman at nasw dot org.

Marcia Smith, Friday, 4-12-13 April 12, 2013

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Marcia Smith, Friday, 4-12-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1993-BWB-2013-04-12.mp3

Guest:  Marcia Smith.  Topics:  NASA FY 2013 and 2014 budget and budget 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.  We welcomed back Marcia Smith of SpacePolicyOnline to guide us through important NASA FY 2013 and FY 2014 budget issues.  For more information and the latest developments on current space policy and budget issues, check www.spacepolicyonline.com on a regular basis.

Our program started with a tribute to Cosmonauts Day, a celebration of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first man in space on April 12, 1961 aboard Vostok 1.  We then switched over to what has to be the most confusing and dysfunctional budget process ever, the NASA FY 2013 and 2014 budgets.  Ms. Smith guided us through the confusion which at times was no easy task.  We talked about the sequester cuts as well as “revisions” which adjust budget numbers at the end of a bill.  All in all, it is thought that NASA will face around a 7% cut for 2013 but this is still an unknown though it might be clarified on May 10 as that is when NASA & other government agencies submit their yearly operating plan to Congress.  During this first segment of our 1 hour 22 minute discussion, we also talked about the Budget Control Act of 2011 and its importance to NASA and the recently announced NASA Asteroid Retrieval Initiative.  In fact, our guest had much to say about this latest NASA program given it was announced in advance of NASA having the technology to be able to do the mission in the first place.  This subject came up multiple times in both segments of today’s program.  Josh asked about the NASA authorization expiring this year and if a new one would be put in its place.  Ms. Smith explained the authorization which is expiring at the end of FY 2013, making it clear what parts expire and what parts continue as law.  We then talked about both congressional authorizations and appropriations.  Returning to the newly announced NASA asteroid mission, Marcia broke down the estimated initial $105 million cost into specific categories.  It will be interesting to see how this plan is dealt with by OMB and Congress.  Marcia fielded questions about public/private partnerships & how they might do given our budget issues.  We also talked about commercial crew budgets for FY 2013 and the potential 7% cut which our guest said was not yet certain.  Also discussed was the funding for SLS, Orion and ISS.  Operating programs such as Curiosity on Mars were discussed but they work with specific program commitments and then go through a review process a few years later for any extensions.

In our second segment, Ben asked about the 2013 continuing resolution process which Marcia explained.  Don’t miss this discussion as you will hear about possible big decreases in the CR for the second half of this fiscal year.  A listener sent in a note asking our guest about the budget impact on DOD programs including space programs and NOAA.  This brought me to asking our guest about the state of the NASA budget this year as compared to previous years.  You might be surprised by what our guest said in response to my question.  The new NASA asteroid mission came up again, this time with caller Michael who offered us interesting points of view about NASA and this mission.  Part of this discussion focused on our thinking that NASA had not yet made a compelling case for the asteroid mission or the study initiative.  As the program ended, we talked about having public access to the NASA operating plan that will be submitted to congress on May 10.  In conclusion, we wait for May 10th and “crystal clear clarity” to a very confusing and dysfunction process for NASA and other agencies for FY 2013 and the proposed FY 2014 budget.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Ms. Smith through www.spacepolicyonline.com or me using drspace@thespaceshow.com as I will forward your note.

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.

Dr. George Sowers, Monday, 11-12-12 November 13, 2012

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Dr. George Sowers, Monday, 11-12-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1892-BWB-2012-11-12.mp3

Guest:  Dr. George Sowers.  Topics:  United Launch Alliance, Atlas 5, Delta IV, human rating Atlas and Delta.  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. George Sowers, VP of Human Launch Services at ULA back to the show for a special one hour report on Atlas, Delta, human rating rockets, and much more.  Dr. Sowers started off by letting us know that ULA recently created the Human Launch Services Division with Dr. Sowers as the Vice-President.  Dr. Sowers then updated us on some of their more visible ULA activities since his last visit to The Space Show in January 2011, including probable SLS and Dream Chaser time lines, commercial crew participation and Orion tests in 2014.  We talked about the ULA role in commercial crew and what was needed to human rate the Atlas as well as the Delta IV.  I also asked about needed pad modifications for HSF with an Atlas and Dr. Sowers told us about modifications to Launch Complex 41 at the Cape for the upcoming crewed flights.  Listeners asked our guest lots of questions about safety, pad modifications, range safety issues, and the difference in human rating the Atlas as compared to a Delta.  Another question asked of our guest was to understand the contributing factors to the impressive launch success and safety rate for the Atlas rocket.  Dr. Sowers answered this in some detail with attention being paid to what is known at the 3 P’s.  Charles wanted to know about the Russian RD-180 engines & another listener wanted to know if ULA was feeling competitive “heat” from SpaceX. Yves in Montreal asked about the dual centaur having uses other than for commercial crew and Barbara wanted to know about the role of an Atlas for possible orbital tourism with a Bigelow space station module.  We talked about ULA’s potential interest in new spaceports which seem to be developing around the country, then I asked Dr. Sowers about what constituted a commercial space project. Here, we learned that commercial implies largely financed by private funds, not government money.  He said that EELV was developed by 80% private sector funding.  We also talked about the Arianne family of rockets and their pricing which is subsidized by European governments.  Dr. Sowers explained why it was so hard to compete against government subsidized pricing.  Another topic of interest in our discussion was launch vehicle market and pricing elasticity and how to drive up launch rates and lower launch costs.  We also talked about human spaceflight having the government as the primary leader for the market and cargo as having only an ISS market at this time.  On orbit propellant depots were discussed as was SLS and heavy lift.  As we neared the end of the hour, we talked about SRBs for the human rated Atlas.
     In our brief second segment, I went over the near term Space Show schedule and our last caller John from Florida called in to wonder if a real emergency came up if we would launch a crewed rocket/vehicle to try to save the ISS for example or would we be unwilling to take the risk and let the ISS deorbit in the example given.  Hopefully such a predicament does not arise.
     If you have comments/questions about our discussion with Dr. Sowers, please post them on The Space Show blog.

Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 6-24-12 June 24, 2012

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Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 6-24-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1803-BWB-2012-06-24.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Paul Spudis. Topics:  Return to the Moon, lunar ice & water, space policy, NASA space program.  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 Dr. Paul Spudis back to the program.  Visit his website and blog for additional information, www.spudislunarresources.com & http://globs.airspacemag.com/moon. We started out by discussing a new report claiming that there is a low amount of water ice at Shackleton crater on the Moon.  Dr. Spudis explained this study/report and introduced other data points indicating the low amount of water theory is not a valid conclusion.  This discussion led to questions about science & media reporting and how best for the public to follow up on a story to not be mislead.  I asked Paul about the influence of such articles on policy makers and congressional staffers as well as those outside the U.S., citing the Chinese space program as an example.  I also asked our guest if we were in a space race with China. Dr. Spudis had much to say about this issue.  We talked about why American space leadership on the space frontier is important.  See if you agree with what our guest had to say on this important subject.  Dr. Spudis then talked about the difference with a PR stunt type of mission as compared to a mission which developed & enabled capabilities to move us forward in space development, exploration, and economics.  This brought up a June 20, 2012 Space News op-ed (http://spacenews.com/commentaries/120618-administration-legacy-nasa.html) by Frank Van Rensselaer, What Will Be This Administration’s Legacy for NASA?  This then led to a discussion about our not having a space vision direction or strategy for our civil space policy.  Much was said about this with callers and email questions during the balance of the first segment and throughout the second segment.  Our guest made a point of saying we need to ask what the purpose of the mission is, what are the goals, and what is the value of the mission?  These are important questions to always ask about what we are doing with our civil space missions.  This is an important discussion so do listen closely to what Dr. Spudis had to say.  NASA budget issues were part of this discussion with Dr. Spudis making the case that money was and is not really the issue.  Instead, its the politics of how we choose to spend tax payer money.

In the second segment, Marshall called to ask about lunar lava tubes and water, along with the need for lunar rovers.  Don’t miss what Paul had to say about these topics.  Paul was asked about his cislunar economic plans and he talked about NewSpace given the question he received from Wayne in Las Vegas asking him if he was in conflict with NewSpace.  Later, Crystal from Tulsa emailed Paul with a question about space property rights. Paul said this was extremely important so do listen to the complete discussion on this topic.  More was said about NASA budget issues & making sure taxpayers get something back for what they spend on space.  Andrew sent in an email addressing the technology development problems going back decades with military airplanes & large engineering projects.  Near the end of our two hour program, Dr. Spudis mentioned the tyranny of the rocket equation and what this means for space access and costs.  We also talked about on orbit fuel depots.  Reaching a critical mass for making a difference in space policy was our last discussion topic.

If you have a comment/question for Dr. Spudis, please post it on The Space Show blog.

The John Batchelor Show, “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 5-9-12 May 10, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show, “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 5-9-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1771-BWB-2012-05-09.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Responsive Space, Reinventing Space Conference 2012.  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. Written 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. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. During our 11.5 minute segment, John and I discussed many responsive space issues, dual use technology for DOD and the commercial industry concerning the responsive space goals of low cost launch, redundancy, backup, and the rapid replacement of space assets as needed on a case by case basis.  We talked about improving technology enabling us to evolve closer to a true responsive space capability.  Commercial space applications were discussed and I mentioned one conference talk about the possibility of commercializing weather satellites with the government buying the data rather than building, financing, deploying, and operating weather satellites.  For more information on the subject, visit the conference website, www.responsivespace.com.

If you want to email John Batchelor, you can do so through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

AIAA Space Policy Program, Wednesday, 3-15-12 March 15, 2012

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AIAA Space Policy Program, Wednesday, 3-15-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1736-BWB-2012-03-15.mp3

Guests:  Steven Howell; John Rose.  Topics:  AIAA Space Policy Activities.  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 Steve Howell and John Rose to this special hour long American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) program on key issues of space policy for the U.S.  Please note that about 17 minutes into the discussion, our conversation was interrupted by music from an unknown source. I had to remove about a three minute section from our discussion due to the unwanted music which is why you will hear a rough edit in the recording.  We started the discussion with Steve giving us an overview of AIAA and its role in both aviation and space policy.  We talked about public space policy, Congress, and the role of industry.  In response to my asking him for the main areas of AIAA policy focus, he listed for us the key issues that have the attention of AIAA.  Don’t miss what he listed and said about each one.  We also talked about the fact that most of the key issues were long term issues.  I focused in on human spaceflight and our guests said we needed a sustainable human space transportation system that was safe and cost effective.  Also such a system should be a high priority.  Our guests were asked if they addressed specific projects such CCDEV or SLS. As you will hear, the AIAA focuses more on the policy, it does not attempt to pick the winners or specific programs relating to a policy.  One of the main discussion points from our guests dealt with workforce issues and making sure we do not lose vital skill sets for both the industry and our nation.  In response to other questions, our guests said that there was a “perfect storm” in Washington, DC regarding space policy, research programs, & civil space.  The lack of a vision was mentioned along with there being no defined mission, goals, or timelines.  Our guests then told us about the AIAA Congressional Visits Day which is open for your participation.  Find out more about it and their plans to personally lobby members of congress by visiting www.aiaa.org/cvd2012.  Listener Mike Snead asked our guests about AIAA policy regarding NASA human spaceflight standards & the NASA level of acceptable risk.  Both our guests had much to say in response to Mike regarding this issue, but for the most part they said AIAA provides technical support and analysis for the policy makers to use in making policy.  This is an important discussion you do not want to miss.  Space workforce issues came up again in our conversation.  Both John and Steve pointed out the key issues, including how the market has changed over the years. Also, how we now compete with countries that used to provide us with much of our special workforce labor.  We also talked about other fields of engineering being more popular with students than space.  Near the end, Dale called in on a bad phone line but he was able to ask about using modern green rocket technology, engines, and fuel rather than old technology and outdated chemical rocket propulsion.  I’m sure you will find the response to be interesting.

If you have questions/comments, post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to email either of our guests, send your note to me and I will forward it.

Dr. Roger Handberg, Monday, 1-16-12 January 17, 2012

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Dr. Roger Handberg, Monday, 1-16-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1691-BWB-2012-01-16.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Roger Handberg.  Topics:  Space policy, leadership, Asia space, ISS, & more.  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 Dr. Roger Handberg to the program for a comprehensive space policy discussion.  During this program, several of his recent Space Review articles were referenced and I urge you to read them.  See Dec. 19, 2011 “ISS Next: chasing humanity’s future in space and the ‘next logical step” (www.thespacereview.com/article/1993/1).  Also Nov. 21, 2011, “American human spaceflight and future options, short-and long-term” (www.thespacereview.com/article/1974/1. Our discussion started with a brief overview of U.S. space policy for the new year 2012.  Dr. Handberg said our policy was in a state of confusion and described the situation around the Kennedy Space Center as practically in shutdown mode. We talked history and what it was like in 1970 before shuttle.  Dr. Handberg then talked about our robust science missions and projects but  they don’t get the attention like HSF & it is the HSF missions that are the problem.  Dr. Handberg referenced the Augustine report and SLS. He also said the Chinese were moving ahead though they were still several decades behind the U.S.  We then talked about the need to think beyond the SLS & beyond the existing ISS which has a limited remaining lifespan.  In fact, thinking big and beyond the ISS is a major theme in his Dec. 19, 2011 Space Review article. We spent considerable time discussing what was next for the U.S. after the ISS.  Our guest said we were at risk of repeating one of the major failures of Apollo, that is, what to do after the program ends.  In this case, what does the U.S. do after the ISS ends?  His analysis of the problem pointed to our having no clear vision and a strong need to reorganize the political system because NASA budgets are done yearly so no budget is ever finalized.  He confirmed what many others have said and that was that president’s don’t care about space. We addressed commercial and private space, both for space stations and launch vehicles.  Anthony in the UK asked him what he thought the single event might be for people to say we’ve now been overtaken. Dr. Handberg suggested that point might come when the ISS ends its life and there is nothing else while the Chinese have their own space station and are still going forward. 

In the second segment, I asked our guest for his thoughts on how college students have changed over his long teaching career.  Don’t miss this discussion.  You might be surprised by what he had to say.  Listeners asked him if and when he thought SLS would be cancelled for budgetary reasons.  His response was most interesting.  Other listeners asked more questions about SLS, the shut down of Constellation, the private HSF effort, and space markets.  Near the end of the program, Maria asked him how to get Congress to consider space as an investment, not an expense.  He said that today, all government spending is considered an expense and while space is an investment, thinking it will be treated that way  by congress is to be in political denial.  As the program was ending, I asked our guest how to make space advocacy more effective. He said we needed to get space conscious (not necessarily advocates) in key positions within government & the administration.  He named a few positions as examples.  Finally, we talked about the Outer Space Treaty, the EU Code of Conduct, & bringing back the National Space Council. 

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.

Michael Listner, Monday, 1-2-12 January 2, 2012

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Michael Listner, Monday, 1-2-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1681-BWB-2012-01-02.mp3

Guest:  Michael Listner.  Topics:  National and international space law issues including property rights, the Moon Treaty & more.  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 welcomes Michael Listner to the program to discuss national and international space law issues and related matters.  We started out discussing the new Austrian domestic space law and inquiring of our guest why we should take note of this Austrian law here in the U.S.  As you will hear from Mr. Listner, the new Austrian law relates specifically to the UN space treaties and plays a role in international space law.  Our guest wrote a recent article on this subject in The Space Review on Dec. 12, 2011.  You can read his article at www.thespacereview.com/article/1988/1.  Another interesting article of his you might value is in DefensePolicy.org from July 7, 2011 and titled “TCBMs: A New Definition and New Role for Outer Space Security.”  You can download it at www.defensepolicy.org/2011/michlis/tcbms-a-new-definition-and-new-role-for-outer-space-security. Our discussion then focused on launching country issues and liability, satellite operations in different countries and both the Liability and the Registration U.N. Conventions.  This discussion led us to talking about the European Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities and Michael updated us on the status of this voluntary agreement, both on the international front as well as here in the U.S.  Other issues discussed in this segment included space debris and the Draft Russian Chinese Treaty On The Prevention Of The Placement Of Weapons In Outer Space (PPWT).  We also talked about the Chinese GPS system covering Asia, its military focus, and Chinese geo political intersects.  Michael then introduced us to Transparency and Confidence Building Measures (TCBMs) as alternatives to treaties. This prompted several listener questions and comments about “so called” government transparency, the word of governments, and their effectiveness so far.  This was an interesting discussion, especially when I asked our guest for his personal opinion on these types of agreements.  Space tourism became a subject and we spent some time on the liability issues and the states that have passed liability protection laws for the space companies.  Jack from Virginia was listening and provided us with important information about the Virginia law which he largely authored and which has become a model for the laws in Florida, Texas, and New Mexico.  We spent the rest of the first segment talking about liability and space tourism issues. In the second segment, Helen asked if funding levels for NASA and space interests correlated to up’s and downs in space policy.  As you will hear, most policy is driven by politics, not funding levels.  There were lots of questions about the legality of the Moon Treaty and its applicability to commercial space, even Google Lunar X Prize contestants.  We fielded questions on lunar mineral extractions as well as messing with Apollo artifacts on the Moon.  We then jumped over to property rights and what this actually means regarding space issues.  As we were nearing the end of our discussion, I asked Michael if space law was largely an academic field or if it was becoming a career choice field in terms of practical application.  He said it was becoming more and more practical and more and more schools were offering commercial law classes.  If you have comments or questions for Michael Listner, please post them on the blog URL above.

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