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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-16-14 December 17, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2377-BWB-2014-12-16.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: Space news projects and updates, end of the year review, looking to 2015.  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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program for a wide ranging discussion of space news, space companies, projects, programs and more.  During the first segment of our two hour seven minute show, Bob started off promoting his book on Apollo 8, “Genesis” as we are coming up on the anniversary of this famous flight orbiting the Moon on Christmas eve at a distant time in our past.  After Bob’s infomercial was complete, he did have much to say about the everlasting importance of the Apollo 8 mission.  I asked Bob for end of the year space events to keep our eyes on so we talked about the upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 launch and the attempt to recover the first stage on a barge as part of the SpaceX reusability plan.  We also talked about the Russian Angara rocket test flight.  A listener asked Bob for updates on the NTSB accident investigation for Virgin Galactic.  Bob also talked about SLS (it was yet another recurrent theme throughout the program) and as predicted, he had nothing good to say about it or Orion.  BJohn emailed us to ask about nuclear propulsion.  Both Bob and I responded and while we support it, there does not seem to be a business case for it or demand for it so there is no significant push to make it happen.  Marshall called to talk about the impact of falling oil prices on the space economy.  I had much to say about this as did Bob who in the end talked about trusting capitalism, freedom, and private enterprise to do the right thing.  We also talked about the impact of falling oil prices on the Russian economy, specifically their space program.  I then brought up the interest rate risk which is a huge potential danger for the US economy.  Luis emailed in about Falcon 9 prices of $5-7 million per a January 2014 Parabolic Arc article.  Note that this was clarified early in the next segment.

In segment two, Dr. Charles Lurio called to explain more about the SpaceX launch cost referenced by Luis in the previous segment.  Charles also talked about the Orbital effort to replace the Antares  rocket motor with another Russian motor, the RD 181.  Joe emailed in a note about the compact fusion plans for Lockheed.  Bob used the opportunity to criticize the large companies, their projects, pork, you name it.  Doug emailed in about some Boeing YouTube videos which Bob completely dismissed as having zero relevancy on anything.  Bob also took some slams at Orion and the recent test flight.  Next, we talked about the new announcement about Curiosity finding methane on Mars.  Bob added more to the story and said it was a wait and see situation but ultimately we would have to there to really answer questions about it.  SLS John called and said the program of record was going forward and made the point that for private enterprise to do something in space as Bob kept talking about, there needed to be a profit motive and he doubted that existed other than for some orbital and comsat missions.  Bob disagreed leaving the door open for a private company to pursue something not previously considered, again saying he trusted in the ingenuity of the private sector.  John reported that he had modeled the Falcon Heavy and could show it would take 53 metric tons to LEO.   Bob then talked about Falcon Heavy being cheaper than SLS (planned that is) so there really was no need for SLS.  Henry emailed a question about a possible Europa mission & Bob suggested if they would kill SLS, money could be directed to the planetary science department for things like a Europa mission plus they could still reduce the NASA budget.  In his concluding comments, Bob said he was skeptical about the suborbital industry and that its time had come and gone given the emerging orbital capsules and flight plans.  He concluded saying he was looking forward to the upcoming SpaceX launch abort tests.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Bob through his website http://www.behindtheblack.com or me.

Dr. Jeff Foust, Monday, 12-15-14 December 16, 2014

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Dr. Jeff Foust, Monday, 12-15-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2376-BWB-2014-12-15.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Jeff Foust.  Topics:  Space news and events and a look into 2015.  Lots of quality space analysis.  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 Dr. Jeff Foust back to the program.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 53 minute discussion, Jeff covered many space events and projects including Jeff’s “Commercial Spaceflight After the Antares and SpaceShipTwo Failures” talk at the National Air and Space Museum on Dec. 8th.  We also talked about commercial space and here, Jeff gave us a good definition to use in general for commercial space.  He then provided us with economic stats for the entire commercial space industry and its segments including commercial satellites, ground service, NewSpace, and more.  Our guest said that Orion and SLS were at one end of the commercial space spectrum while at the other end one finds XCOR & Virgin Galactic.  Michael Listner called to talk about the Orion EFT 1 flight needing a commercial launch license as well as a return license given that it was a commercial flight contracted for by NASA in contrast to a NASA flight using a commercial company.  The discussion changed to the Virgin Galactic and Orbital Antares accidents and the potential impact of those accidents on both the companies and the commercial space industry in general.  Orbital’s proposed merger with ATK was mentioned as were possible replacement engines for Antares including the use of an ATK SRB.  A listener then brought up the Russian sanctions and the continued seemingly good relationship we have with Russia regarding space.  As the segment was ending, Alan in Tucson asked about reports that the Russians would leave the ISS in 2020.

In the second segment, our first caller was Dwayne who wanted to talk about delays and slipped launch schedules regarding the SpaceX launch manifesto. Jeff and Dwayne had an excellent discussion on this topic so don’t miss it.  Related topics came up in the discussion including reusability, customer needs such as an on time launch versus wanting a lower price and more.  Jerry sent in an email asking about the Raptor tests by SpaceX but Jeff said not much was being made public about them.  The NASA FY 15 budget came up again and Jeff went into some detail as to what part of NASA got what.  Public/private partnerships were mentioned & fully discussed in the segment.  Jeff did point out that the project must entice a private company to participate meaning that it  probably needs to have a strong business case for the project otherwise why would a private commercial company join with NASA.  Jeff indicated these opportunities might be few and far between at this time but when they work, they are a good way to structure the project.  There was a listener inquiry about SLS and cancellation. Jeff had much to say about this too.  Near the end of the segment, we talked more about public/private partnerships, the Delta 2 rocket and Antares, plus rocket certification for a NASA HSF launch, a science mission, and a DOD launch as all three have different certification requirements.  Our final topics included a brief mention of the suborbital industry, Dragon Lab, Skybox, Google Space, and Planet Labs.  Jeff offered us a good set of closing comments so be sure to listen to them.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Dr. Jeff Foust through me or his blogs, etc.

Open Lines, Sunday, 12-14-14 December 15, 2014

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Open Lines, Sunday, 12-14-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2375-BWB-2014-12-14.mp3

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Tags:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  NASA Orion/SLS budget, Lunar Orbital Station, backing up Earth’s species 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. 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.

Welcome to our Open Lines discussion program.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 7 minute program, I started the discussion with a few suggested topics and program announcements.  The only suggested topic that had anything like legs was the 19% budget increase for SLS/Orion in the new FY 15 spending bill just passed by Congress.  BJohn sent in an email asking about a possible Lunar Orbital Station, maybe with Orion, in lieu of the ARM.  Next, Doug called in from S. California to promote the concept of Bio Preserve, backing up Earth’s species.  He talked about the need for this and why and how it might be done.  I suggested he check out the Lifeboat Foundation as they have something of a similar plan though its not identical to what Doug was talking about.  I did ask Doug how such a backup plan would be paid for and like most good ideas, paying for them presents challenges though Doug had decent suggestions.  Brett then called in to talk about his online book, “How To Be A Rocket Scientist.”  Get more information about the book and the ten tips that we talked about by visiting his website, http://www.howtobearocketscientist.com.  He said the book is aimed at the high school audience but he has been hearing from adults and college students who also find the book valuable.  We highlighted a few of his ten tips for discussion.

In the second segment, SLS John called re the NASA budget and said there was plenty of money and the funding increase for SLS/Orion put us on the right path.  John continued to make the case that SLS/Orion is our best chance to avoid being stuck in LEO.  I asked him about commercial space options and he said continuing with SLS/Orion does not prevent the commercial industry from following its own path.  Doug sent in a few emails to John about his comments including one saying that continuing with SLS/Orion blocks the possibility of public/private partnerships.  I challenged Doug’s comment on this because it assumes that monies saved by not having an SLS/Orion program would be used on Doug’s chosen space projects.  In fact Doug did say that we need to better spend tax payer money. While we can all agree with that, the best use of taxpayer money is clearly subjective and would depend on who you were talking with about the use of the money.  Marshall called next to inquire about an update show on space solar power.  I told him I would attempt to get a quality and realistic guest on the program early in the new year.  We then heard from Charles Pooley.  Charles talked about the first year anniversary of his first Microlaunchers book, book two which is in progress and plans for book three.  He also said he was interested in the NASA Challenge dealing with laser communications from space.  Also during the show I went over the final end of the year schedule and the plan to play archived end of the report program with Tom Olson as I did last year leading up to our live program with Tom for end of the year on Dec. 30.  I also pointed out that we would have one more Open Lines program this year on Sunday, Dec. 28.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach any of the callers or email participants through me.

Dennis Wingo, Monday, 12-1-14 December 2, 2014

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Dennis Wingo, Monday, 12-1-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2366-BWB-2014-12-01.mp3

Guest:  Dennis Wingo.  Topics:  NASA ARM Mission, RTM, HSF to Mars, solar system economic development & 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 did have a few audio problems as Dennis used a cell phone and we lost the connection a few times due to storms across N. California.

We welcomed back Dennis Wingo for this 93 minute discussion. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE NOW CONDUCTING OUR ANNUAL FUND RAISING DRIVE.  WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE SPACE SHOW AND ITS PROGRAMMING EFFORT.  During our first segment, Dennis talked about his recent blog article at http://denniswingo.wordpress.com, To ARM or Not To ARM: Is That Really Our Question.  I urge you to download and read this article as Dennis refers to it many times over during our discussion.  He started out with an analysis of what was thought to be the NASA ARM mission as compared to what it has become today.  As you will hear, he was supportive of the initial mission, not the current evolved mission.  He explained why the shift in his position which was based on making the ARM mission a minimalist type mission.  He explained the differences in detail.  Budget reasons were cited as a primary reason for the mission being downgraded.  Dennis offered us an historical analysis & perspective of the NASA budget.  SLS, Falcon Heavy, & lots of space policy made it to this segment.  Dennis talked about solar electric propulsion for ARM, then he was asked about the likelihood of the next president initiating an RTM program.  Doug emailed about a COTS like program with ULA & Masten for a lunar lander.  Dennis had much to say about a lunar lander dating back to the Gemini era up to new, lower cost ideas coming from the commercial space industry.

In the second segment, Dennis continued talking about the upcoming new Congress and what might emerge as a different type program with a different budget though he thought we were more likely to entertain the status quo.  Several listeners wanted to know if it would boil down to the Moon vs. ARM or the Moon vs. Mars.  Don’t miss his response to these questions.  Our guest suggested we all watch the “Wanderers” video which you can see at http://vimeo.com/108650530.  Dennis mentioned that we did not need a government program as such for space but he did speak in favor of public/private partnerships.  We spoke much about the need for space and lunar infrastructure.  Sally asked him to explain the difference with the economic development of the solar system and space settlement.  He said space settlement was very much a part of a space economic development effort.  In response to another set of listener questions, Dennis talked about the 90-10 rule when has about robots in space as compared to astronauts.  Doug called to talk about investment capital for commercial space plus other issues.  I then asked Dennis if Lunar Cots or industrialization was included in solar system economic development and if so, at what stage?  Kirk emailed in a question challenging the role played by offering prizes.  Don’t miss what Dennis had to say in response to Kirk’s email.  Before we ended the program, Dennis mentioned his latest blog article about Apollo betrayed by the very people who made the Apollo mission happen.  You can read this article at http://denniswingo.wordpress.com.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Dennis through his blog and articles or through me.

MIT Students Analysis of the Mars One Mission Plan, Tuesday, 11-25-14 November 26, 2014

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MIT Students Analysis of the Mars One Mission Plan, Tuesday, 11-25-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2363-BWB-2014-11-25.mp3

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Guests:  Sydney Do, Koki Ho, Sam Schreiner, Andrew Owens.  Topic:  This program provides a comprehensive discussion of the Mars One Mission Plan by the MIT student team.  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 the MIT team from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics to discuss their paper and work “An Independent Assessment Of The Technical Feasibility Of The Mars One Mission Plan.  Download their study at http://web.mit.edu/sydneydo/Public/Mars%20One%20Feasibility%20Analysis%20IAC14.pdf.  You can also download the Reddit discussion mentioned in the second half of our program at http://www.reddit.com/r/Futurology/comments/2irk1u/mit_study_predicts_marsone_colony_will_run_out_of.  In addition, check out the MIT Strategic Research Engineering Group at http://strategic.mit.edu.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 49 minute program, Sydney started with background on why the team undertook the Mars One Mission Plan analysis, told us their goals and objectives for doing the analysis, and the role that each team member played in examining the Mars One Mission Plan.  We addressed most of the issues brought to our attention by the MIT study, many in great detail.  We also asked the team about their feedback from the space community as well as Mars One. So far, they have not been in touch with Mars One though they did ask Mars One for information in doing their analysis but no reply was received.  What they have heard from Mars One to date has been through third party reports.  On the other hand, the public’s response has been both very good and helpful.  You will have a better understanding of this and the open source software the team used when you listen to Kirk’s call at the top of the second segment.  The MIT team did not seek out or interview any of the Mars One mission volunteers, advocates, or supporters.  Much was said about Mars One website claims that their mission could be done with current technology including technology used on the ISS.  The MIT team took a hard look at these claims and then evaluated the claims which fell short.  They explained the technologies, the TRLs, and why they fell short of Mars One claims and needs.  We also talked about the ever increasing launch mass every two years with a new crew, supplies, etc.  They showed how this was not sustainable and why.  We talked about the very high number of launches needed before the first crew ever got to Mars plus the increasing number of launches needed at each two year launch window using the Falcon Heavy and a modified Dragon as suggested by Mars One.  The number of launches and their close-in interval has never been done before, even on a global basis.  We talked about making parts on Mars with 3D printing but noted that was not a current technology but that it would evolve over time with no time line available as to when 3D printing could reduce launch masses on the resupply missions.  Much was said about growing crops on Mars, separating the crop environment from the human environment and why, the need for much larger crop space than suggested by Mars One, plus a host of other critically related issues revolving around CO2 and O2.  As you will hear, the logistics of the Mars One settlement are complicated, costly, and very challenging.  The MIT team also determined that it might prove cheaper to bring food up from Earth rather than trying to grow the needed food supplies on Mars.  The MIT team pointed out that the one way mission not only made the Mars settlement far more complex but significantly more costly given it does not have an ending point.  During both segments, our MIT guests pointed out many of the assumptions in play by Mars One, where they were able to work with Mars One assumptions, and when they had to go to the literature, including NASA, to work the problem.  In this segment, I asked out guests at what point would the Mars One settlement be independent from Earth.  Their answer might surprise you.  As the segment closed, a listener asked if they had read the book “The Martian” and what they thought of it.  A few team members had read it & they liked it.  Listen to what they said about that type of survival on Mars and how missions were plan to avoid such a predicament.

 

In the second segment, Kirk was first up with his call from Trinidad.  He talked about the plant models and open source files and the error the MIT team made which they briefly mentioned in the first segment.  This relates to a flaw in the open source program dealing with CO2 and O2.  It’s a good discussion which also took place offline with Sydney and Kirk.  The MIT team is working this problem and error.  This is important so do pay attention to the discussion with Kirk.  Food systems were talked about again with the team suggesting the colony would be better off bringing food from Earth.  INSITU Resource Usage was talked about as well as sustainability issues to get the settlement up to 12 people over several years.  Tim called in asking about a Mars One analog here on Earth and what drove the costs so high for Mars One.  Again, we heard the one way mission was a huge cost driver.  Tim also asked if the costs would be the same for a lunar settlement.  Surprisingly, our guests said the costs would be similar if the lunar settlement was a one way project as the same type of issues would then have to be dealt with just as is the case for Mars.  Our final call was from John in Montana who applauded the team for their realism.  He mentioned that the health of the crew on Mars was not considered but assuming the crew is healthy when it lands on Mars and can live their, as people age, their medical care and costs rise.  As we heard, no such analysis was made or considered for these issues or their ethical component which the MIT team brought up.  Here we learned that the main assumption was a healthy crew from landing on Mars all the way through the Martian settlement process.  Such an assumption is not realistic but to do the analysis, one has to decide at what level an illness or injury will be treated and at what level crew members will not get treatment.  As the team said, to answer these questions also requires a study of ethics.  In fact, given the extreme financial requirements for the mission plan and its continuation every two years, our guests were asked what would happen and who would pay to keep the Martian settlers alive if Mars One defaulted and could not come up with the needed funds to sustain the mission.  While our guests were familiar with this issue, it was not part of their study.  Nobody knows if governments would come to the rescue or if the Martian settlers would be left to their own survival efforts.  The MIT team said these types of ethical issues would need resolution for any Mars settlement mission. They also questioned if it would be sufficient to just sign informed consent documents that included their knowing there would be no rescue attempts for any reason.  They suggested the UN as the forum that might undertake this type of analysis and policy.  As the show was ending, our team was asked about animal food stocks brought from Earth.  Each of our guests offered us closing comments which you will want to hear.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.

Marcia Smith, Friday, 11-21-14 November 22, 2014

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Marcia Smith, Friday, 11-21-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2360-BWB-2014-11-21.mp3

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Guest:  Marcia Smith.  Topics:  U.S. space policy, budgets, Congress. Civics 101, SLS, Falcon Heavy, policy makers.  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 back Marcia Smith back to the show for a preview of the upcoming 114th Congress & space issues with a focus on budget issues & just how congress works with NASA & space policy.  During our 97 minute discussion, we started out with a short Civics 101 lesson on how Congress works, NASA funding, & Congressional oversight of NASA.  For those of you not that familiar with how the U.S. Congress works and funds space programs with NASA, you will find this short discussion most helpful.  Marcia explained both Senate and House roles and their appropriations and authorization committees.  As you will hear, Congress controls NASA spending and there is very little discretionary spending available to the NASA Administrator.  As for the new Congress that will be taking office in early January, the big focus will be on budget issues because by law, the sequestration returns for Fiscal Year 16.  If Congress keeps the sequestration in place, while hurtful to many government agencies and programs, it is damaging to NASA.  We also talked about a possible renewed interest in the Europa Mission as Texas Representative John Culberson will chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science. His Houston district is close to JSC & he’s very enthusiastic about NASA and a Europa mission.  Marcia mentioned the NASA SOFIA program as an example of Congress wanting the program despite it being eliminated in the budget proposal so it added it back in to the NASA budget.  Listeners asked about long term projects being funded for longer than a year.  Marcia addressed this issue though there is no good answer because Congress has oversight & they can change or modify positions from year to year.  Our guest was asked about Congressional policy impact on the private & entrepreneurial space industry.  Unless a public/private partnership exists or the government is a major customer of the private company, congressional policy does not overlap into the private sector.  It is also important to distinguish between regulatory and budget issues as we are talking budget issues in this program.  Several listeners wanted to know if the media and the public could impact Congress & space policy makers.  Another set of listener & Space Show comments over recent weeks addressed the 2016 presidential election, wanting to know if history bears out a change in president equaling a big change in space policy.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Later, Ralph in Phoenix wanted to know if the Falcon Heavy was very successful, would such a success impact congress & policy makers to move away from the SLS program as unnecessary.  Doug called in to clarify Ralph’s question for a more precise response from our guest.  It was clear that Doug and many other listeners believe that a FH success should and would impact SLS policy, perhaps demonstrating that SLS was not needed in light of a successful Falcon Heavy.  However, Marcia questioned that outcome. Don’t miss this important discussion.  BJohn in Sweden wanted to know if SLS, when operational, would create more space opportunities for congress to consider.  Kelly got the last email question in asking about the Space Act Agreement vs. the FAR (cost plus contracting).  He wanted to know if the changes in congress might result in more big space projects using a Space Act Agreement over the FAR.  Marcia did not think so given the FAR offers congress more oversight.  As the show was ending, I asked Marcia what we should look for as hints about space policy in the new congress.  Our guest pointed to the budget and what happens with the FY 2016 sequestration already on the books.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Marcia Smith through me or her website, http://www.spacepolicyonline.com.

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.

Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14 November 15, 2014

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2356-BWB-2014-11-14.mp3

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Guest:  Rand Simberg.  Topics:  Test flights, space tourism, policy, recent accidents,  rockets, rocket motors, heavy lift & 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 Rand Simberg back to the show for a wide ranging discussion on top space news items, the SS2 accident update, space policy issues, and more.  During the first segment of this 96 minute program, Rand led off with the mentioning of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 12 launch.  Next up was a short discussion about Comet 67P and the Philae lander, then Rand mentioned his current article in PJ Media, http://pjmedia.com/blog/commercial-spaceflights-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-last-week-of-october.  Rand talked about what is currently known about the SS2 accident, the NTSB investigation, & that nothing has been ruled out as a cause or partial cause for the accident.  When asked if he thought the accident would cause the FAA to start regulating the industry, he did not think so but listen to his reply.  This topic also came up in the last segment of our show. Rand mentioned that XCOR was moving ahead & there technology is different from the one employed by Virgin.  He also made a point of explaining multiple times that a test flight was not a commercial flight.  Rand got some listener emails about investment in Virgin and if it was waning.  Helen emailed in asking about a possible lapse in the Virgin safety culture.  Carl emailed in about the impact of the SS2 accident on Spaceport America.  We switched gears and talked about Antares, the Orbital-ATK merger, & the use of Russian rocket motors.

In the second segment, Rand was asked about the possible impact on Virgin’s customer base.  Rand said that the bigger risk was the investment risk.  The RD180 came up again as did the Atlas 5, Delta 4, and the Falcon 9.  We talked about possible midterm election impact and here Rand thought there might be more impact on the DOD side than NASA.  We discussed projects that might be cancelled as a result of the election and the ARM topped the list.  he did talk SLS and thought that eventually it would be shut down, especially if SpaceX gets Falcon Heavy flying.  Rand also mentioned the NRC Pathways Human Spaceflight Study but was critical of it, especially the part that said there had been no and will be no launch vehicle advances for the past 30 years.  Dr. Lurio was our first caller & he wanted to discuss possible FAA regulations, his understanding of the test flight vs. commercial flight policy application & more.  They talked about hybrid rocket motor vibrations and the unknowns regarding the current test flight.  Toward the end of their discussion they joked about using SLS to launch many many cubesats.  Kirk emailed us with a question about methane engine.  Rand had much to say about methane rocket motors so don’t miss his reply.  Rand talked about hybrid rocket motors and some of their problems, specifically for SS2 and Dream Chaser.  I asked our guest about the upcoming Orion test flight and the heat shield comments offered earlier in the week by Bob Zimmerman.  I then asked if he thought there would be a surge in return to the Moon projects.  Michael Listner called in regarding the likelihood of safety regulations coming to pass as a result of the accident.  Rand and Michael had an active discussion about this possibility.  As the program was ending, Rand talked about his book, “Safe Is Not An Option” which is available online and in the ebook format.  Remember, if you buy it through the OGLF Amazon portal, Amazon makes a contribution to TSS.  Rand mentioned he might update the book once the NTSB report on the accident is finalized.  Read Rand’s blog, Transterrestrial Musings at  http://transterrestrial.com.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Rand through his blog or through me.

Michael Belfiore, Sunday, 9-21-14 September 22, 2014

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Michael Belfiore, Sunday, 9-21-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2320-BWB-2014-09-21.mp3

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Guest:  Michael Belfiore.  Topics:  Current events for space topics, selection of Dragon & CST100, 3D printing in space, lots 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 Michael Belfiore back to the show to discuss a variety of space news and current events items, plus trends in the industry.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 41 minute program, Michael talked about DARPA given his recent book on the agency, then we turned to the recent commercial crew down select NASA announcement naming the Boeing CST100 and SpaceX Dragon as the two companies that NASA will continue supporting for commercial crew.  We spent lots of time talking about Boeing and SpaceX plus everyone was wondering if Sierra Nevada and Dream Chaser would find a way to stay in the game.  The next topic was the Google Lunar X Prize challenge. Michael pointed out that a government had gotten to the Moon fist with a rover, the Chinese, thus the rules of the contest were changed to allow the contest to continue.  Marshall called to talk about the down select process and winners. SLS John called to tell us that he thought Dream Chaser and SpaceX would be the winners.  He and others suggested Boeing was the conservative choice.  He also asked about the news that a Boeing-Bezos deal was in the making for the new American made RD180 engine replacement.  Michael suggested throughout our discussion that the old guard or the traditional aerospace industry and participants were under lots of pressure from NewSpace.

In the second segment, we took a call from Doug who commented on the down select process.  Michael then talked about the Tesla deal for Nevada and their proposed gigafactory for electric car batteries.  We talked about electric cars in general, then Tim called to suggest a conversion kit for conventional autos to turn them into electric cars.  I questioned that from a market perspective.  Michael then introduced space manifesting and we talked about the 3D printer on the way to the ISS.  Michael mentioned Maven which was to be inserted into Mars orbit Sunday evening, 9:37 EDT.  News update:  Maven’s orbital insertion was a big success!  Congrats to NASA and the entire Maven team.  We also talked about Comet Siding Spring,  Suborbital flights came up and we heard Michael express concerns about Virgin Galactic & confidence with the Lynx and XCOR.  He talked about the early spaceflight participants and the risks they would be taking.  Visit his website, http://www.michaelbelfiore.com. You can also subscribe to his email newsletter and join him on social media, all through his website.

Please post comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Michael through his website or me.

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