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Kevin Heath, Tuesday, 4-1-14 April 2, 2014

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Kevin Heath, Tuesday, 4-1-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2220-BWB-2014-04-01.mp3

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Guest:  Kevin Heath.  Topics:  The company Waypoint 2 Space for human spaceflight training was introduced to us.  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 Kevin Heath, CEO and President of Waypoint 2 Space, a new human spaceflight training company located near JSC near Houston, Texas.  Visit their website for more information, http://www.waypoint2space.com.  While our program was 90 minutes and covered two segments, since we talked about Waypoint 2 Space in both segments, along with their training program and plans, this summary will cover both segments as one.  We started our discussion with Mr. Heath providing us with an historical overview leading up to the creation of Waypoint 2 Space followed by the why of starting this business.  One of the important points made early in the discussion was the fact that Waypoint has received the FAA Safety Approval which is important, especially for the platform customers.  Kevin then went over their training plans and programs, explaining that they will have three main programs, a Level 1 Spaceflight Fundamentals; Level 2 Sub-orbital Training & Level 3 Orbital Training.  Waypoint also has a Commercial Payload Specialist Program which was explained to us.  Our guest went through the special equipment they have and will acquire as Kevin made the point throughout our discussion that Waypoint provided comprehensive spaceflight training.  As you will hear, the programs are being implemented as the markets appear. For example, the Level 3 Orbital Training Program will be delayed until there are orbital flights available for their customer base.  Kevin talked a lot about spacesuits in the training, having sizes for their customer base, and he described more regarding their comprehensive spacesuit training.  He also talked about making Waypoint broad to appeal to and serve a large and diverse market.  When asked, our guest went over the physical requirements for the program along with the guidelines for one’s health.  Listeners asked lots of questions, including wanting to know if training for focus, calmness, and on psychological concerns was part of the training.  Others asked questions about the training per se, space sickness, competition, and of course the pricing.  The price for the Level 1 Program is $45,000 & Kevin spent some time discussing pricing with us.  Later we learned that Waypoint has expansion plans that may even include a foreign type of franchise at various spaceport locations around the world.  Kevin was asked about special lunar or Mars mission profile and settlement training, plus I asked him if he used space tourism market studies in his creating the business.  Our guest had much to say about this particular subject.  Others wanted to know about class size, registration, & possible NASA endorsements to the training.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Kevin Heath through the Waypoint website or me.

Bruce Pittman, Monday, 12-16-13 December 16, 2013

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Bruce Pittman, Monday, 12-16-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2144-BWB-2013-12-16.mp3

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Guest:  Bruce Pittman.  Topics:  Commercial space, new technologies, emerging space industries.  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 to the show Bruce Pittman for a 1 hour 23 minute far ranging discussion on commercial space and related topics.  We started our first segment with the Planetary Sustainability Initiative.  More about this is available on the Sustainable Silicon Valley website, www.sustainablesv.org/ssv2013/index.php.  Bruce shared with us stories from the recent conference, including the fact that California Governor Jerry Brown attended and was involved in the discussions.  From this program, we talked about new technologies that could benefit life support for deep space missions including Mars as well as space technologies that could be used here on Earth.  Another example cited was the Bloom Box by Bloom Energy (www.bloomenergy.com).  Bruce also mentioned the SpaceX Raptor engine designed to use methane for BLEO missions.  In talking about 2013 commercial space, Bruce cited the successful end to the COTS program and we talked about emerging business opportunities on the ISS.  He also mentioned a change toward commercial space investments in the attitude of VC types in Silicon Valley.  In addition, he mentioned the blossoming cubesat and nanosat industry.  The Moon came up, especially in light of the recent Chinese lunar robotic lander and Bruce talked about the developing lunar and commercial space private ventures underway in the U.S. now.  Next, our guest was asked about public/private partnerships and here we had quite the discussion, especially with regards to some saying more government oversight was needed for commercial ventures.  Dave called in to continue the public private partnership discussion in light of the NASA Advisory Council and consideration toward applying such partnerships to heavy lift vehicles.  Bruce brought up the potential game changing technology for launch vehicle reusability.

In our second segment, our guest talked about the excitement ahead for 2014 given the advances with the suborbital companies, the potential start of space tourism, and more.  We talked about the Google Solve For X program focusing on fusion energy.  Bruce mentioned advances with LENR. Doug called to talk about the Space Act Agreement and budgeting issues for space and the private companies.  We concluded our discussion with a preview glance at the 2014 ISDC Conference to be held in Los Angeles in May.  The last listener question dealt with Mars One and Inspiration Mars. Bruce offered a few comments on both program.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Bruce Pittman can be contacted through me.

Dr. Anita Sengupta, Friday, 11-1-13 November 2, 2013

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Dr. Anita Sengupta, Friday, 11-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2113-BWB-2013-11-01.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Anita Sengupta.  Topics:  Cold Atom Lab (CAL) project, human spaceflight EDL & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed back Dr. Anita Sengupta to discuss the Cold Atom Lab (CAL) project for which Dr. Sengupta is the project manager.  CAL is to launch to the ISS in early 2016, probably aboard the SpaceX Dragon though that has yet to be confirmed but the project needs a ride on a pressurized spacecraft.  For more information on the CAL project and mission, check out these websites: http://coldatomlab.jpl.nasa.gov; http://coldatomlab.jpl.nasa.gov/news/FunPhysicsResearch. During this 64 minute discussion, Dr. Sengupta explained the CAL project to us, ultra cool quantum gasses in absolute zero and in zero gravity to establish a Force Free Environment which means no gravity pull.  We talked about laser cooling and the series of experiments likely to be done on the ISS with CAL based on the NASA Research Announcement which has a submittal date of Nov. 5, 2013.  We talked about atomic physics and many related topics, including the mechanics of the project, the need to place CAL in a rack as close to the center of gravity on the ISS as possible for the closest point to zero gravity. Listeners asked lots of questions about CAL, but they also had questions for Anita  regarding her expertise in entry, descent, and landing (EDL) from her recent work with Curiosity and the super sonic parachute.  In talking about human spaceflight, at one point Anita remarked that CAL was a hybrid project as it is definitely a robotic science mission but they interface with the ISS astronauts so CAL and the team have feet in both worlds.  In talking about the CAL hardware, we learned it was designed as an ORU, an orbital replacement unit.  Doug called in regarding EDL on Mars from Phobos and the use of strategically placed propellant depots in orbit around Mars and how that might simply a Martian EDL.  Anita provided much technical information on this subject and we learned that the actual EDL is driven by the entry mass and the need to dissipate energy. She talked about the difference in  a human EDL protocol and a robotic mission EDL protocol and said the human EDL has not yet been devised or worked out.  Near the end of the program, Anita explained more about laser cooling, including photons pushing atoms which slows them down and makes them cooler.  This enables more accurate laser tuning for the research. Susan asked her if she learned about the engineering for her project from grad school or from OJT.  As you will hear, the basics from grad school and the specifics OTJ.  Near the end of our program, we talked about the role of a project manager and auditing Anita’s USC class which might be possible when she teaches an upcoming graduate class online. We also talked about career choices and would one rather work on a humans to Mars flight or robotic missions.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  Dr. Sengupta provided her contact information on air at the end of the program or you can email her through me if you prefer.

Open Lines, Tuesday, 10-8-13 October 9, 2013

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Open Lines, Tuesday, 10-8-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2102-BWB-2013-10-08.mp3

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Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The movie Gravity, NASA budget issues, ISS, Commercial Crew, SLS missions, Orbital, SpaceX 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

Welcome to our two hour Open Lines discussion program.  For the first hour, our discussion topics included the movie Gravity and its special effects plus as said by many calling and emailing on the topic, “really bad orbital dynamics!”  We had fun talking about Gravity, the cast, the story line, and how Hollywood often gets the science and engineering wrong.  John Hunt also talked about SLS and basic physics, the gravitational constant theory, quantum vacuum thrusters, and he responded to Doug’s question about light, mass, and momentum.  John also addressed issues with the quantum theory.  Dr. Lurio of the Lurio Report was next to phone in after “SLS Man” as he referred to John, cleared the line.  As frequent listeners know, Dr. Lurio and John are on opposite sides of the SLS issue which I guess earned John the title SLS Man.  Charles, perhaps you will write about SLS Man in the Lurio Report?  Charles talked about the recent successes with Orbital and Space X and the attempted return of the Falcon fist stage in the reusability test.  Charles talked about the developing nanosat business and the opening up of commercial opportunities on the ISS, all in the context of choices NASA may have to make regarding funding priorities including SLS, ISS, Commercial Crew (see  http://spaceref.com/missions-and-programs/nasa/nasa-will-face-solomons-choice-in-2014.html.

In our second segment,  Doug called in to talk about the Mars SLS option (here is the URL for the story:  www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/10/nasa-con-ops-baseline-slsorion-mission-mars).  Doug then talked about a cislunar transportation system and how it was the key to expanding space development.  The Shackleton Energy lunar development plan came up  as did Bigelow space stations.  Charles Pooley called in from Las Vegas and guess what!!!! His Microlaunchers book is almost finished and ready for distribution!!!!  Now pick yourself off the floor so you can read the rest of the summary and listen to the show but yes, we are all in a daze, a fog and a varying degrees of shock.  I told Charles that when it is out as an ebook and a paperback, he can definitely come back on the show and talk about it.  He said it should be finished by November or so as it is out to 5 people (I am not one of them) to review and edit the manuscript.  All of here at The Space Show wish Charles Godspeed in finishing the book and we hope it meets all of his expectations.  Tim was our last caller.  He thought that if push came to shove, SLS would be shut down before the ISS.  He also suggested a Bigelow station would help enable Shackleton. I gave him and the audience a sort of business perspective on what would be needed in order for a Bigelow station to support and enhance the Shackleton plan.

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

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-17-13 September 18, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-17-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2088-BWB-2013-09-17.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: This was a wide ranging discussion starting with climate change & ending with budget, CR, & commercial crew 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 Bob Zimmerman back to the show for this one hour 55 minute discussion starting with the announcement regarding climate change and the upcoming IPCC report which has been leaked to the press.  The primary topic for this first segment was climate change, the leaked IPCC report and an analysis of it.  Bob fielded listener comments and questions including Marshall’s who had hands on experience with the very first computer climate model in the early 70’s.  Bob summarized all his comments saying that science needed to be skeptical and he was optimistic that skepticism was coming back to the field of climate science.  We then switched to space and NASA for the balance of this program.  As a transition, Bob talked about solar activity and the solar max.  In response to a listener question, he commented that if Mars or anyplace in space were developed using the Antarctica model, it would doom commercial space activity.  He stated over and over again that the model needed was the profit model for space and planetary development.

In the second segment, we talked about new commercial contracts for Arianne 5 recently announced, and how important these were to Arianne who needs to show a profit for the first time.  I asked Bob about NASA’s Redirect Asteroid Mission given all the attention it got last week at AIAA Space 2013.  Bob had much to say about this mission, most of it not supportive or positive, and then I mentioned the NASA press conference which is archived as part of the Space 2013 taped interviews and the fact that it is to be SLS dependent. This started Bob and others on SLS rants, mostly not supportive of it, and also Orion.  Bob was emphatic that Orion with SLS would not be a deep space mission & at one point he cited comments by Russian that their next generation Soyuz would have bathroom facilities on board and Bob said with Orion, it was strictly diapers for the crew.  We talked about Inspiration Mars and Mars One.  Bob was skeptical about both happening. Listen to the reasons he cited for his perspective.  Bob also talked about Bigelow Aerospace and its potential, listeners asked about Planetary Resources and the Redirect Mission, then we talked about the need to lower the launch costs to LEO.  Bob brought us current with SpaceShip2 & the latest powered demo flight, then John called in to argue about SLS with Bob.  This was an interesting give and take.  As Bob has done on other programs, he continued saying he does not want a space program which is a government program which in his eyes is doomed to failure.  He wants the private sector to prevail.  As the show was ending, I asked Bob for this thoughts on the budget, CR, and future commercial crew funding .

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Check out Bob’s website, www.beyondtheblack.com.  You can email bob through is website or using zimmerman at nasw dot org

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

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Dr. Roger Launius, Friday, 11-30-12

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

Guest:  Dr. Roger Launius.  Topics: “Coming Home: Reentry and Recovery from Space” by Dr. Launius, space policy issues, magical thinking.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. We welcomes Dr. Roger Launius back to the program to discuss his latest book, “Coming Home: Reentry and Recovery from Space” which is a free download at www.nasa.gov/pdf/695726main_ComingHome-ebook.pdf. During our first segment, our guest provided us with a short history of resolving challenges with reentry from space with human spaceflight.  We discussed winged vehicles and capsules from a historical, practical, and engineering perspective.  We also talked about DOD influence and the advantages as well as disadvantages of both types of space vehicles.  One listener question asked about winged vehicles evolving from suborbital to orbital HSF.  Terry called in with ballistic reentry questions about the V2 rocket & we mentioned museum locations where people can see a complete V2 on display.  Another listener wanted to know if there were any winged vehicle concepts for Mars. Here, our guest talked about some science fiction examples but nothing for real on the drawing board.  Our guest then introduced us to magical thinking and we talked about reality in space exploration as compared to fantasy.  As this segment was ending, we talked about RLVs and reentry issues.

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

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

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-18-12 September 19, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-18-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1856-BWB-2012-09-18.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Commercial crew, space policy, commercial space and 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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program to discuss a variety of space news topics and issues including commercial crew, commercial space, space politics, SLS, and more.  For those of you familiar with Bob Zimmerman on The Space Show, you will not be disappointed by this vintage-like Zimmerman discussion.  In our first segment of this slightly more than 2 hour program, we talked about the recent congressional hearings on commercial crew safety.  Bob’s response to these hearings and the commercial crew safety issues won’t surprise those of you familiar with Bob on these subjects.  Bob then talked about SLS and I mentioned the NASA pamphlet/booklet they gave out at the AIAA Space 2012 showing missions and objectives for SLS and more.  You can download this report at www.nasa.gov/exploration/whyweexplore/voyages-report.html. Bob also talked about NASA budgets from his perspective of needing budget cuts for the country as a whole given our $16 trillion debt. Later in the segment, we talked about some of the developing & emerging companies & their vehicles, Sierra Nevada, XCOR, Virgin, and then we talked about possible new spaceports under consideration/development.  Bob then took us to the subject of sequestration which is set for Jan. 1, 2013 unless the law is reversed.  Bob spent considerable time telling us why these cuts are not as bad as the media and the agencies make them out to be.  See if you agree with his analysis.  As the segment ended, we talked about planetary science missions with NASA in the budget context along with the budget consequences of continuing SLS.
        In our second segment, Bob continued talking about SLS along with heavy lift, including the proposed Falcon Heavy.  Listeners began emailing and calling with comments about space politics, policy, and heavy lift as compared to smaller rockets doing the same mission.  I then provided everyone with a glimpse of our planned rocket building webinar set for Oct. 28 and talked about how one costs out and plans a rocket for the mission at hand as you cannot just say heavy lift bad, smaller rockets good or something similar.  I provided a quick and very simple overview of the process used in doing this type of analysis and trade study (running the numbers).  If this interests you, don’t miss our Oct. 28th webinar on this entire process. We are using an interactive spreadsheet so you can design your own rocket and mission and compare it to any other rocket with known parameters.  I suspect I was not completely convincing regarding heavy lift as compared to smaller lift rockets and the mission planning process but listen and see what you think about the discussion. As the discussion continued, one of the points I was making about matching the rocket to the mission seemed to get attention.  Also, I made it clear this was not about bad and good.  Let us know your thoughts by posting them on the blog.  Later in the segment, Bob talked extensively about the private sector being preferable to the government doing things related to space.  We also talked about space telescopes, Cis-lunar development and more.  We concluded with Bob pointing out what is still ahead for space during the balance of the year and with the developing companies.
         Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to email Bob, you can do so through me or through his excellent blog, Behind The Black (http://behindtheblack.com).

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 5-30-12 May 31, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 5-30-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1785-BWB-2012-05-30.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The return of Dragon, Falcon Heavy & Intelsat, Orbital Sciences, Antares rocket, Cygnus capsule, COTS.  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 discussion, we talked about the Dragon return from the ISS, the SpaceX agreement to launch a satellite for Intelsat on the Falcon Heavy, COTS, NASA, and commercial space.  We also discussed Orbital Sciences and their COTS program consisting of the Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo capsule.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them on The Space Show blog per above.  If you want to email John Batchelor, please do so through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12 February 26, 2012

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Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1721-BWB-2012-02-26.mp3

Guest: Mark Whittington.  Topics: Space Budgets, policy, & politics.  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 Mark Whittington back to the show for this 2.5 hour wide ranging discussion on space budgets, the economy, space policy and space politics, plus economic issues facing the nation and others around the world.  We also talked about space perspectives of all those running for president including President Obama and the Republican party challengers.  Mark talked about two article he wrote that were pertinent to our discussion.  These articles are (1) “Moon Base Supporters Struggle to Justify the Project:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/moon-base-supporters-struggle-to-justify-the-project; and (2) “A Lunar Exploration Reading List for Mitt Romney:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/a-lunar-exploration-reading-list-for-mitt-romney.  In our first segment of 45 minutes, we talked about Texas space politics & redistricting, the Johnson Space Center, & the proposed FY 13 budget.  Mark suggested Congress would rewrite most of the budget but that the Senate would likely not pass a budget so we would end up on CR.  I asked Mark how that would lead to programs being cancelled such as ExoMars if we are still on CR as those programs are embedded in the CR from year to year.  Mark described the process through administrative acts by NASA, Congress, or the President re cancellation, and what the Appropriations Committee would have to do to avoid them. For the most part, more money would need to be found for NASA but that was not likely. Mark talked about what constitutes commercial saying that for something to be really commercial, it has to be able to fail. We compared today’s commercial space programs to gov. programs in terms of Mark’s criteria.  Listeners asked about SLS & Orion, wondering if it & when SLS would be cancelled. The idea of a lunar base was discussed in light of the comments made a few weeks ago in the Florida debate by Newt.  Mark also talked about what he thought might be the space policy of the other candidates though not that much is known other than for Newt, Mitt, and President Obama.  Mark talked about cutting out other budgetary items to make room for a quality space program & he highlighted the high speed rail program.

In our long second segment, Marshall called with a question about the original Mercury astronauts still alive.  We  talked some about human factors, microgravity, and life support issues.  Listeners asked about the Chinese space program & their military buildup.  Here, I referenced the recent congressional testimony of Ronald Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  The article I referenced is at http://bigthink.com/ideas/42630.  Mark spoke at length about exploration, citing his favorite history story involving Prince Henry The Navigator of Portugal. Jim asked Mark that if he believed commercial space was the best path forward & that SLS was a bad idea, how would he go about getting more support for commercial space even at the expense of SLS.  Mark offered some concrete ideas in response to Jim’s question. John from Billings sent in a few notes & then later called to talk about why there is such an argument about SRBs as compared to liquid rocket motors.  Challenger was mentioned along with Constellation but mainly Mark said that people’s behavior tends to find ways to support their beliefs. Terry, another Texan like Mark, called to ask why Sen. Hutchinson so strongly opposes commercial space.  Mark offered a pretty good answer.  Risk taking, more on SLS, Dream Chaser & the CST 100 were discussed along with the new project, Stratolaunch. As our program drew to a close, I asked Mark to summarize space policy for 2012 which he did do but then more questions came in.  Becky wanted Mark to connect the dots vis a vis our economy & how this might impact NASA & all space development.  This led to quite a little economic discussion with Mark, myself, and Dr. Jurist who called in about that time.  As usual, I went off on my rant about space as an investment, not an expense.  Jack got in the last word asking for three key events impacting space for 2012 other than the election.  Mark said the upcoming Space X flight, what Congress does with the budget, and the planned Chinese mission later this year.  In his concluding remarks, Mark talked about the economic options facing the country & he left us with a few points to consider.  He urged us to participate in Town Hall meetings and ask the candidates space questions.

If you have comments/questions please post them The Space Show blog.  Marks blog, Curmudgeons Corner, is at http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12 February 14, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1712-BWB-2012-02-13.mp3

Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: NASA FY13 budget & space policy. White Nose Syndrome bat update.  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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program for his preliminary analysis of the NASA portion of the FY13 budget just released by the White House.  You can obtain more information about Mr. Zimmerman and the issues he writes about at his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.  Bob also provided an analysis of the NASA budget at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/a-transitional-budget. Bob started out by saying the NASA part of the budget was flat.  That said, he also said the Mars and planetary programs faced serious cuts.  He pointed out that missions in progress were still being funded, new missions such as the EuroMars missions were being scrapped though in the case of Mars, a new program was being created, the Mars Next Decade Program.  Bob went on to say the astronomy budget was being squeezed to finish the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which has its own line item in the budget.  The JWST was decimating the astronomy budget. He pointed out that the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) was being zeroed out in another year or so after it has completed its primary mission.  Turning to manned space, Bob described it as contradictory.  Commercial Crew would receive $830 million but of course congress may change that.  Also, SLS and Orion continue getting around $3 billion.  Bob talked about the flight plan for SLS & Orion and like many others, predicted the program would ultimately be cancelled.  Bob received lots of listener questions by email & phone addressing topics including a nuclear rocket, Mars Direct, DOD space funding issues, and the PR value for NASA for the HSF program.  Bob then suggested that history has shown that if the HSF program suffers, all of NASA suffers and pointed out that is happening now. Later, Marshall called to suggest that ESA might not be able to fund their part of the Mars programs due to European economic problems.  Bob speculated that our cutting participation may actually have been in anticipation of this to avoid problems down the road because of the European economic woes.  At the end of this segment, we talked about the successful European Vega rocket launch. 

In segment two, Bob talked about new information regarding sun spots and climate per a recently reviewed paper.  Check out the story at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-link-between-sunspots-and-climate. We also talked about the 2012 plan proposed by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in its search for Higgs boson.  Listeners brought up the nuclear rocket, the Cassini mission in the budget, and more on JWST.  Bob also reported some new developments with LightSquared, the FCC, and GPS issues.  Tim called in with questions about the sun and an electro magnetic pulse (EMP). As the program ended, I asked Bob for another update on the White Nose Syndrome which has killed lots of bats in the northeast.  Bob closed by saying the upcoming Falcon 9 & Dragon launch plus the Orbital Antares launch may prove to be the most important events of the year.  He said they were risky ventures, especially the Antares launch and program.  

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Bob through me or from his website, Behind The Black.

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