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Marsha Freeman, Friday, 2-17-12 February 18, 2012

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Marsha Freeman, Friday, 2-17-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1715-BWB-2012-02-17.mp3

Guest:  Marsha Freeman.  Topics:  FY 13 NASA budget, the recently held IAC in Cape Town& the South African space program.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://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 Marsha Freeman back to the program to share with us her analysis of the FY 13 NASA budget proposal, the recently held IAC meeting in Cape Town and what she learned about the South African space program.  We started by talking about the proposed FY 13 NASA budget.  Marsha was disappointed with major parts of the budget proposal.  Areas that we discussed included planetary science & the ExoMars missions. She also talked about the budget being and what that meant for NASA now & in the future.  Ms. Freeman then spoke about needed economic reforms to encourage investment. Jon called in during this segment to stress the need for ITAR reform. We then focused on the recently held International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Cape Town, South Africa.  Not only did our guest give us a report on the IAC, but she was able to conduct interviews with the South African director of their new space agency and the Minister of Science and Technology. Minister Pandor delivered a talk at the IAC which you might want to read (www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=19684:parliamentary-question-dst-international-astronautical-congress-&catid=86:parliamentary-questions&Itemid=187).  Ms. Freeman talked about how South Africa was using space, science, and technology to uplift their economy.  This was a very intereesting discussion which even includes their perspectives on the U.S. space program then & now.  There is no doubt that this is a harsh comparison for the U.S. but I believe we should all listen and take note of how we are seen by others in the space community.  I realize that what you hear does not apply to 100%  of “others” and much of what was discussed was the opinion of our guest, but I urge listeners to pay attention rather than dismiss these perspectives and opinions.  As the first segment drew to a close, Marsha also talked about the S. African program, what it is doing, how it is working with other African nations to use and develop space to improve all of Africa.  As the segment ended, Marsha told us about the keynote made by NASA Administrator Bolden along with talks by other space agency leaders.

In the second segment, Marsha was asked about a South African astronaut and Mark Shuttleworth came up. This discussion prompted a listener email asking if Mark Shuttleworth or Elon Musk had shown any sign of trying to support the South African space program or commercial/nonprofit space activities there?  Marsha was not aware of any such activities. Much of this segment was about space in Africa, not just South   Africa.  Later in the segment, we talked about the students present at IAC.  Marsha said that quite a few of the students there actually inspired by the Space Shuttle.  Toward the end, Ms. Freeman spoke about the Orion budget again called for investment oriented economic & legislative reforms in the country. As the program was ending, the issue of “sustainability” came up as it has on previous shows.  I again made the offer to send the Howard Bloom speech to Yale students that he made in 2005 to anyone asking for it.  I will ask Howard if I can post it as a .pdf document on the blog with this program review.  If OK, I will modify the blog and website archive to point listeners to the paper.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email our guest through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

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