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Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 9-16-14 September 17, 2014

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Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 9-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2317-BWB-2014-09-16.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Mike Griffin.  Topics: Human spaceflight policy, political choices, space technology, Mars, Moon, Asteroids 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.

We welcomed back to the program Dr. Mike Griffin.  During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Mike talked about human spaceflight (HSF) and the commercial space market.  He said exploration would be a government project or at least with government in the lead, especially if the commercial market was not there.  He threw water on the argument that our space policy was budget driven.  Instead, he talked about it being based on choices we make. It was not and is not about the money.  His comments throughout or discussion on this topic supported his argument.  He even said the cost of space for the U.S. taxpayer was around 15 cents/day.  This discussion evolved to one on the importance of leadership which we agreed was in short supply today.  Included in this discussion was Mike’s vision for our space policy & program, plus he explained its importance and value to our nation both today and for the future.  He spoke to the issue of what society wants and the choices it makes that shape our future.  Space should be part of our national policy debate and hopefully such a debate would enable quality choices to be made that keep us on the leadership edge with all nations.   Mike was asked who he thought would be next on the Moon and he said China.  We also talked about the private sector taking us back to the Moon with HSF.  He said that the private sector could do this, capital was not an issue, but for the private sector to do it there needs to be a closing of the business case which he did not see at this time.  SLS John called in & asked about space advocacy diversity which he said seemed to be at war with NASA & whatever the program of record might be.  Mike had much to say about this, especially about inefficiencies in government organizations and projects.  He also said if the private venture or industry cannot make money, then it should be a federal project. Many times during our discussion he said that there are things that a society should do just because they are hard & they don’t have to look good on the balance sheet.  John also asked about the RD-180 engine, Mike offered us his conclusion as to why we should be a new version of the RD-180 so that we do not continue being dependent on Russia for space related hardware, etc.  Later, he was asked about cislunar space development which he said should be a public enterprise.  He cited many examples and models supporting the public development of this important space infrastructure.  SLS was discussed.  Mike very clearly articulated the case for SLS today and again repeated that SLS future missions are about choices, not the budget.  Don’t miss his comments.  As the segment ended, Randy emailed a question asking for the rational & silver bullet for HSF.  In my opinion, Mike gave an excellent response to this question so don’t miss it.

In the second segment, Mike got some questions about NASA doing more R&D and even forming a NACA-like division or program.  We talked about NASA R&D, the need for a NACA-like program and more.  Dave, our caller, commented on leadership, then Bill in Denver emailed in a question about using fuel depots and smaller launch vehicles rather than heavy lift vehicles like SLS.  Again, Mike had much to say about heavy lift, including that while possible to do smaller vehicle launches., the numbers don’t pan out for efficiency.  You need to listen to this full discussion which also addressed some bogus assumptions regarding inefficient heavy lift decision making.  Nuclear propulsion and Vasimr came up, , then we again focused on vision that takes on big challenges because we can!  More was said on lunar colonies evolving to longer BLEO missions plus cislunar commerce, especially cislunar cargo missions.  Another listener asked about being dependent on the Russians for HSF to the ISS and if shuttle was retired too early.  Mike talked about having wanted to fly shuttle at a minimum rate annually until a new vehicle was operational.  We talked about the role of the congress and White House as compared to the role of the NASA Administrator.  Later, we talked about the role of public support and individuals petitioning congress on space policy.  Listen to his story about the Hubble repair mission.  I even asked if poorly written and fantasy driven letters to informed staffers helped or hurt the cause.  Listen for Mike’s response. In summary, Mike said his wish was that people would share is view that there are important things for society to do but that don’t look good on a balance sheet.  In the end, he said he was optimistic that his positive views on space would prevail and that when policy makers realized that China was going to put people on the Moon and what that would mean for the US, it would not be allowed to happen.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.

Frank Van Renesselear, Tuesday, 6-10-14 June 11, 2014

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Frank Van Renesselear, Tuesday, 6-10-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2260-BWB-2014-06-10.mp3

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Guest:  Franklin (Frank) Van Rensselaer, Jr.  Topics:  Schafer Corp Aerospace & Strategic Business Development, commercial space, markets, capital.  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 Frank Van Rensselear to the program to discuss Schafer Corp and various commercial space topics and issues.  Our program was an hour long so we had only one segment.  We started our discussion with by talking with our guest about his experience as an Apollo Flight Controller and he described his position as The Booster.  He shared some of his experiences with us, especially for Apollo 8 and Apollo 12 which was hit by lightening shortly after launch.  Frank was also on the job through Skylab and the ASTP.  Listen and enjoy the history.  We then jumped into his experiences in commercial space and his having developed over $300 million in new business when he was with the Harris Corporation.  Our guest was asked about the newly released NRC Pathways Human Spaceflight Study and he said he basically agreed with it in that we do not have enough money, we can’t do meaningful and inspiring projects, and overall he suggested this was demeaning to the country.  We talked for several minutes about tight budget issues for NASA and the way congress and the American people set priorities which do not seem to include human spaceflight.  I suggested this is a choice & asked how we get policy and budget pros within the system to make different choices in support of HSF. Frank was asked if Constellation had not been cancelled if we would be in a similar position today with our dependency on Russia and related issues.  He did not think so but listen to his full response.  We talked about the RD-180 engine and the likelihood that congress will appropriate funds to make a U.S. replacement engine.  This brought up the need for such an engine if we have Delta and soon will have Falcon 9 which still gives us two independent launchers for high value national security payloads.  Frank had lots to say on this subject, on SpaceX and ULA, along with the importance of these national security satellites and launches.  John in Tucson emailed him about SLS on which our guest also had much to say.  But as long as we are focused on tight budget issues, the program has been & will be disappointing. Again, you don’t want to miss all of his comments on this issue.  Military space was a discussion topic as was public opinion suggesting space is not that relevant any more. We talked about Inspiration Mars being able to inspire but we both doubted it would happen.  Tony called in to ask about reusability & why the space shuttle was compromised and reusability taken out. In the end, our guest suggested that reusability would be key to our space future.  Next, we talked about Schafer Corp and its activities.  We learned that they consult and work with several NewSpace companies and they are hiring but typically they go for experienced engineers, not fresh out college grads.  I asked Frank for his perspective on the recently announced Google purchase of Skybox Imaging for $500 million.  This too was a most interesting discussion you do not want to miss.  Other topics during our program included billionaire space investors, suborbital tourism, space settlement, and commercial space growth by sectors.  Here we talked markets, needed infrastructure and capital acquisition for lunar projects and the like.  Our guest talked about the need for government sponsored infrastructure in advance of lunar commercial projects and suggested only government was capable of footing the bill for the needed  infrastructure.  He said raising the actual capital was a challenge and that at this time, it would really be uphill for lunar ventures.  In his concluding remarks, he said he was bullish for commercial space and private space companies and that going commercial was a good thing as it has & will bring in fresh ideas & projects.  His final question was about 3D printing for space.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach our guest through the Schafer Corp website, http://www.schafercorp.com or me.

Dr. Robert Zubrin, Tuesday, 8-6-13 August 7, 2013

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Dr. Robert Zubrin, Tuesday, 8-6-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2063-BWB-2013-08-06.mp3

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 Guest:  Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin.  Topics:  The 16 Annual Mars Society Convention, radiation, HSF to Mars, Mars One, Inspiration Mars.  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.  PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU ARE ATTENDING THE CONFERENCE AND WOULD LIKE TO BE A ROVING REPORTER FOR THE SPACE SHOW WITH CELL PHONE REPORTS, PLEASE EMAIL ME.

We welcomed Dr. Robert (Bob) Zubrin back to the program to discuss the upcoming Mars Society 16th Annual Conference, Mars human spaceflight, Inspiration Mars, Curiosity, RAD, radiation levels, Mars One and much more.  For more information about the conference, visit http://www.marssociety.org/conventions/2013.  For information about The Mars Society, visit http://www.marssociety.org/home.  During our one hour discussion with Dr. Zubrin, we started our talking about the main conference speakers including Dennis Tito and Dr. Steven Squyres, among others.  In talking about Dennis Tito coming to the conference, we spent time discussing the Tito Inspiration Mars mission.  Bob had much to say about this mission, the likelihood of mission success, radiation issues, equipment and life support issues, and more.  In talking about radiation and the Curiosity RAD findings, Bob had much to say about NASA and their willingness to do a Mars HSF mission.  We took several listener emails and a call about radiation & even the use of nuclear propulsion to shorten the transit time for less radiation exposure for the crew.  Bob suggested that if we had nuclear propulsion, he would not increase the transit time (listen to his reason why which has to do with orbits & a free return to Earth), but he would increase the payload to take additional spare parts & life support equipment as he said equipment failures were a major risk factor on such a mission.  Bob talked some more about successes in the private sector, including SpaceX. He was also asked if SLS was necessary and he said he believed in more than one source for a launch vehicle and he supports heavy lift.  He also talked about the importance of government infrastructure and launch services for the future.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Later in the segment, Bob talked about the Mars Society 365 Mission (see http://ma365.marssociety.org).  Bob described this mission, why it is so important & why we should support it.  Jane emailed a question about Bob’s National Review article we mentioned, “Remembering Ploesti,” from August 3 (http://nationalreview.com/node/355074/print) and after extrapolating to today, wondered if humanity was ready for human spaceflight to Mars.  Bob provided us with an exceptional response to Jane’s question and comment so please listen and take note of what he said. I believe it to be very important.  As the program was ending, Ben wanted Bob to clarify his position on choosing either the Moon or Mars.  Don’t miss this response.  Bob left us with concluding comments to do something and support something.

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

Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, Sunday, 6-9-13 June 10, 2013

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Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, Sunday, 6-9-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2025-BWB-2013-06-09.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich.  Topics:  Escape Dynamics microwave beam propulsion for launches.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information.

We welcomed Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, CEO & CTO of Escape Dynamics (http://escapedynamics.com) to discuss their work on making microwave beamed propulsion possible for space launch.  During our 1 hour 39 minute discussion, Dr. Tseliakhovich talked about his background and passion for space, including helping to open up commercial space.  His work and experience led him to creating Escape Dynamics in 2010 to find a better and more efficient way to space than by using chemical rockets.  Dmitriy then took us through many of the benefits of external launch, including a higher specific impulse, better payload ratios, and even the ability to use an SSTO frame for the vehicle.  During this segment, we also talked about safety issues and using the possibility of using the technology as a space weapon.  During this discussion, Dmitriy was very focused and precise in saying that their systems had to prove out as being safe on all of the issues we were discussing. Next, we learned that the initial beamed propulsion vehicles would be robotic but at some point in the future, eventually crewed launch vehicles would be possible.  We talked about their step by step incremental development and testing plan, including starting with suborbital launches.  I asked our guest about the probable cost of electricity and support from the existing electrical grid.  Our guest had much to say about the cost of electricity, the use of the grid for their power needs & the capability of existing systems to support their needs.  He also did not rule out partnerships with utility companies.  Listeners sent him emails asking about competition and markets as well as the use of hydrogen for fuel.  Our guest was also asked about their heat exchanger, a key component on the vehicle.

In our second segment, Dmitriy was asked about weather issues for launch & we learned that there were concerns and requirements suggesting launching in dry areas would be best.  Another listener asked about ocean launch possibilities & Charles called in expressing skepticism, to support chemical rockets, and to raise questions about the high g force, boost stations, and the size of the ground array needed for the beam propulsion launch system. Roger emailed us to ask about orbital fuel depots & beamed propulsion.  We then talked about the company timeline & learned about 2015 as a suborbital launch target date.  In response to an email about the main challenges, our guest said the challenges to the system were mostly non-technical.  John was our last caller asking about DARPA, project financing, fuels, and more. In closing we talked about available internships and the hiring opportunities at Escape Dynamics.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact our guest through his website or by using drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Hu Davis and William (Bill) Ketchum, Sunday, 5-5-13 May 5, 2013

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Hu Davis and William (Bill) Ketchum, Sunday, 5-5-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2002-BWB-2013-05-05.mp3

Guests:  Hu Davis & William (Bill) Ketchum.  Topics:  Space infrastructure, SSP, SLS, Falcon Heavy, reusability, space policy and U.S. space leadership.  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 Hu Davis and Bill Ketchum to the program to discuss the need for space infrastructure development, SSP, and a space leadership policy by the United States. In the first segment of our 91 minute program, we talked about the need for space infrastructure development, reusable rockets, and space solar power.  Our guest Hu Davis has a Power Point presentation on SSP that will be uploaded to The Space Show blog summary so don’t forget to check it out on the blog.  I will also upload to the blog Bill Ketchum’s pdf paper,  “What Will America Do In Space Now?”  We discussed the history of various space infrastructure studies and efforts and the same for SSP studies, pointing out how new technologies, engineering methodologies, and sophisticated manufacturing have made many projects cost effective today when that was not the case years ago.  Our guests fielded several questions from listeners about the SSP business case, reusability and the SLS compared to the Falcon Heavy.  Doug asked about the use of in space resources & our guests suggested that for SSP for example, using in space resources could account for 90% SSP components.  Questions were asked about the land cost and the use of rectennas.

In our second segment, we talked about nuclear propulsion and tax/economic subsidies to our current terrestrial energy industry which make it harder to develop SSP.   We talked about the problem and the lack of viability for SLS.  Questions came in regarding on orbit propellant transfer and cryogenic transfer development.  As our program was ending, our guests talked about space education outreach, persuading congressional leaders and the public to support space infrastructure development, SSP , and more.

Please post your comments/questions for our guests on The Space Show blog and I will make sure they know about them.  You can email either of our guests through me at Drspace@thespaceshow.com.

what will america do in space now

2013 Solar High Master Draft for SWRI-1

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.

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