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Keith Henson, Sunday, 12-2-12 December 3, 2012

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Keith Henson, Sunday, 12-2-12


Guest:  Keith Henson.   Topics SSP using laser rockets to lower the cost of space access.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. We welcomed Keith Henson to the program to discuss the use of laser powered rockets for launching space powered satellites to help eliminate the use of fossil fuels as well as lower the cost of space access.  To assist in your following our discussion, check out this laser rocket graphic at http://bit.ly/Uj9Vw9.  Also, Keith has several related published articles on the OilDrum blog.  You can download and read his articles at www.theoildrum.com/search/apachesolr_search/keith%20henson. Finally, our guest has permitted me to upload his recent PPT conference presentation to The Space Show blog, “Laser Propulsion and Space Based Solar Power.”  Please be sure to check out this presentation by visiting our blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. During our first segment, Mr. Henson talked about the need for low cost energy and said that by using laser rockets and his SSP ideas, the cost for electrical power generation could be as low as 2 cents/Kwh to GEO.  We spent a good portion of our discussion debating Keith’s assumptions behind the 2 cents/Kwh.  I referenced my costs per my PG&E invoice and other listeners emailed and called in regarding their electrical costs per their utility bills.  Keith has asked for people disagreeing to let him know where he may be going wrong so please post your comments on our blog and Keith will respond. He said several times that he wanted your critique and comments.  Many listeners as well as myself pushed him on his assumptions, wanting more factual information on how arrived at his conclusions.  He has this information pending publication with the British Interplanetary Society so for the moment, its under pre-publication boycott but as soon as Keith clears it, I will post his material on the blog and announce it on air. Later in our initial segment, we talked about the laser rocket being a weapon. This discussion sparked lots of listener participation. We also talked about SSP for insitu use rather than power beaming back to Earth.  Keith brought up the new developments with Reaction Engines out of the UK. Here is there recent press release in case you missed it: www.reactionengines.co.uk/news_updates.html. Listeners did call in to tell Keith that SSP did not make sense for a variety of reasons, including not closing a business case, with or without laser rockets.  Jerry offered such comments as did Charles. Also, without consent, AT&T installed call waiting on the toll free line. I finally figured this out & edited out several of the comments & my complaint.  The matter should be resolved for all toll free calls moving forward but about 1hr 30 minutes into the program, you will hear a rough edit where I removed the call waiting rants.
     In the second segment, we continued debating Keith’s costs plus his ROI assumptions. Fusion came up for discussion as well as already existent successful powered sat beamed energy back to Earth.  Toward the end of our program, Keith talked about his target of reducing dollars per gasoline by using laser rockets and SSP.
      Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. Keith can be emailed at hkeithhensonATgmailDOTcom.
Laser Rockets & SSP

Mark Hempsell, Monday, 7-2-12 July 3, 2012

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Mark Hempsell, Monday, 7-2-12


Guest:  Mark Hempsell.  Topics:  Reaction Engines, LTD & their Skylon space propulsion system.  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 back Mark Hempsell for Skylon updates and progress reports since his last visit on August 6, 2009.  During our first segment, Mark started with an update saying they are nearing the end of the technology development stage for their space vehicle system.  We then went back to the basics and he described the Skylon project for us.  Mark talked at length about the Sabre engine, the radiator, their SSTO plans, and more.  Several listener emails came in wanting to know about the market and business plan model for Skylon, the space tourism module and profile, and if it could be used for point to point transportation.  We learned that for cargo, Skylon flies without a crew.  With passengers on board, there will be a crew.  Also discussed were orbital characteristics for the vehicle, docking with the ISS and the new ISS docking standards which may present problems for Skylon. You can check out these standards at http://internationaldockingstandard.com.  Mark mentioned the various rocket fuels, tonnage to LEO and GEO, crew and passenger configuration, and the two day turnaround period.  In the second segment, we resumed talking about the vehicle operating costs.  Michael called in to talk about emergency landing options given runway constraints discussed in the first segment.  Next up was the thermal protection system (TPS) and we learned that the skin was a type of glass, silicon carbonate that can take1,000 C and that is why Skylon is black.  Later, we talked about funding, government subsidies, & private investment.  Mark got a question about using scramjet technology and he had much say about this.  Another topic was the flight profile and G-loads to be placed upon Skylon occupants.  Near the end, we talked about ITAR and potential U.S. investor investment.  Skylon test flights will likely be in 2020.  Our guest also talked about ESA and other organizational oversight.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  Visit Skylon’ s website, www.reactionengines.co.uk.


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