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James (Jim) Muncy, Sunday, 2-19-12 February 20, 2012

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James (Jim) Muncy, Sunday, 2-19-12



Guest:  James (Jim) Muncy.  Topics:  FAA Reauthorization Act, HSF regulation, the NASA FY 13 budget, SLC, Commercial Crew, & more. 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 Jim Muncy back to the program for a comprehensive two plus hour discussion on a variety of important topics including the FAA Reauthorization Act, the FY 13 proposed budget, SLS, commercial crew, ISS utilization, and much more.  We started out discussing the three year renewal of the 2004 Act that minimized HSF regulation to afford the industry the opportunity to get started, obtain real time safety information, and to do better and more accurate downstream safety regulation as it evolves.  During this discussion, Jim had much to say about flight safety for the crew, participants, and third parties.  Next, we jumped into Jim’s perspective on the FY 13 budget proposal for NASA.  He said it did a fairly good job of balancing competing interests and pressures, including the continued support of congressional favorites such as SLS, Orion, and the JWST.  Much of this first hour long segment was about the budget process, why NASA gets the amount of money it receives, why congress does not do more for NASA per the wishes of many in our community, and that the NASA budget likely does a good job of representing the public’s interest in these programs based on the feedback received from constituents by our elected representatives.  Later in the segment, Jim focused in on the ORS, the STP program, and potential sequestration cuts due early next year, and fuel depots as an alternative to heavy lift.

In the second longer segment, Jerry called in and the conversation changed to selecting only one commercial crew provider when we really should have multiple vehicles.  Boeing was talked about as a commercial company and the potential selected company.  Jack sent us an email asking Jim for his opinion on the three 2012 tipping points for NewSpace. He also asked about cubesats and the NASA $2-million NanoSat dedicated launcher prize.  Kim emailed us about the Mars program cuts and Jim had much to say about this and how the FY 13 budget was being allocated. Listeners asked about the Falcon Heavy, space vision, Newt’s space program, and even the UN space treaties.  As the program was drawing to a close, Jim again talked about SLS and its killing the budget along with the JWST.  When asked if other national space agencies were trying to open the frontier and develop commercial space, he said none were even trying.  At the end, he said the success of the upcoming Space X flight to the ISS will be a game changer and this will show that commercial space development is the best path to be on for the future of the space industry.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above.  You can email Jim at james.muncy@polispace.com.




1. Dwayne Day - February 29, 2012

His frequent shouting and occasional use of expletives (“chickenshit” “crap on that” “bullshit”) make him sound very angry and limit his effectiveness.

2. Kelly Starks - February 22, 2012

Come on guys, cut back on the Kool-aid.

I was listening to the Jim outline that it must be X or else and its just factually true. I.E. no one can beleave in SLS and not see COTS and CCDev as more affordable, capable, etc. … we must be doing studies for deep space, search for platinum group, etc. .. we must go into space to stay to expand civilizations. And hear Dave say noly a nit wit could listen to what Jim says and not get it – “its so clear and obvious”.

Its not obvious, Its highly biased.


Most people (I.E. those congress HAVE TO LISTEN TO) see space as a failed frontier that has showed NOTHING most people can see as worthwhile. They (incorrectly to a large degree) see NASA’s over 50 years of exploration without results (other then national prestigue) as solid proof of that – hence why everyone laughed at Gingritchs talking about colonizing the moon.

Most people see expanding civilization into space about as valuable as China building ghost cities in the desert. Nothing there to expand there to get to.

Most people don’t care about science, certainly have no willingness to shell out huge piles of money for it, if there’s no reason to go there. If people aren’t going to go (since theres nothing there to go for) why study it.

Most people do want the US to be #1 in space, but you can’t do that with CCDev or COTS, so they are irrelevant.

We (I.E. congress) care more about building a big rocket, because we need the industrial capability to build big boosters, and the totality of the industry is on the edge of a cliff. Stop SLS (or something equally big developing such craft) now and we lose them – likely forever (at least for a generation).

Those arguing that SpaceX can do as much, but much more cheaply, or that theirs some manifest destiny driving us out, or feeling that everyone wants Mars/exploration etc, are just Kool-aid junk and not facing what they are really selling..

Arguing that SLS “will have to be canceled because its “unaffordable” are steamentsof faith without fact. SLS is the highest priority, so its the last thing Congress will cut. Its cost obviously isn’t a problem (likely its a big plus) or Congress could cut the cost by a factor of 3 or 4 by just changing the contracting ruleslike they did with COTS or CCev. These are Senators adn congressmen who’ve had that proposed to them for decades, most recently on Shuttle operations – all with no reaction or discusing of the proposals by Congress. (likely because the cost savings would be at the expence of gov buracacy.) (bad news for COTS and CCDev, since they may be cut to feed SLS – or because they depend on the “buracracy light” structure Congrees has bi-partisan objections to)
So SLS’ cost is litteraly not a issue – or at least not a negative..

Not having a lot of time a lot of time when they saw Obama didn’t have a vision that dealt with any of this, Congress jumped on what they had on hand. So they took Constellation, did a quick and dirty cut of the obvious crap (Ares-1 AND Ares-V?), delay the Altair “LEM”, and keep things alive.

With that SlS keeps open the big solid motor industry that the DOD uses for big missles. Keeps open the companies that could build the RLV replacement for the EELV’s the mil wants in 15 ears or so. Keeps open all the capabilities for prestigious future maned space programs that seem usefull and nessisary to keep the US prestigue.

Frankly, SLS to the Congress is about the only productive thing in NASA.

3. Terry in Corpus Christi - February 20, 2012

I really enjoyed Jim’s perspective on the NASA budget, SLS, the average member of Congress’s view of NASA as a priority (or lack thereof). This was one of the best guests David has had who can put all this in a view that all of us can understand. Jim really cuts to the chase in all of the topics. I have never been a real big supporter of s program like SLS, and now even less. Using Delta IV Heavy with Falcon 9 as side boosters makes a lot of sense! We could probably be flying this combination in three years at least. I agree with him that James Webb should be canceled. I am sure it would do good science, but at what cost! Look at the missions that will never fly do to its cost. I agree with him, we need to start flying missions and stop making SLS a top priority. Use the rockets we have now, let Marshall help the companies put together the best combinations and start flying!

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