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Dr. Phil Chapman, Friday, 3-23-12 March 24, 2012

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Dr. Phil Chapman, Friday, 3-23-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1741-BWB-2012-03-23.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Phil Chapman.  Topics:  The status of our human spaceflight program, NASA, commercial space.  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 back Dr. Phil Chapman to suggest ways forward to improve our space program, specifically the human spaceflight (HSF) program.  Dr. Chapman started us off with an assessment that the NASA HSF program was at this time dismal.  Among the reasons cited were the likely number of U.S. astronauts that would be flying to the ISS through 2020 per the Soyuz and the fact that the pilots for U.S. astronauts will either be Russian or working for Space X.  All in all, he suggested that there might be 25-30 slots available and they would be filled by technicians.  During this nearly hour long first segment, he continued to summarize the problems and challenges, then he switched to probable solutions from the commercial side with a focus on Space X, the Falcon 9, and Dragon.  Phil had much to say about congressional support of SLS, the use of SRBs, and more.  He talked about the commercial value in returning to the Moon or going to an asteroid for Platinum Group Metals (PGM).  He indicated that future space activity had to be in support of settlement and commercialization.  Dr. Chapman then took us into an economic discussion and the need for space to be expanding, growing and developing new markets. As part of this discussion, both of us and the listeners had much to say about our policy makers. This brought up the “sustainable” discussion that many of you have heard before.  You do not want to miss Dr. Chapman’s economic discussion in this segment. Near the end of the segment, we talked about RLVs and the probable cost difference between a commercial venture and one undertaken by NASA.

In the second segment, Charles led off with a call suggesting a merger between Space X and Bigelow and simply bypassing NASA for everything.  After Charles finished, Phil talked about one probable driver for changing the space game, space solar power (SSP).  Dr. Chapman spent much of this segment laying out the case for SSP from a technical as well as economic/business perspective.  We also talked about policy and Zero G Zero Tax.  Public/Private partnerships were discussed and then Phil talked about international cooperation as compared to international competition.  Don’t miss this discussion.

If you have comments/questions for Dr. Phil Chapman, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to email Dr. Chapman, send your note to me and I will forward it to him.

 

Comments»

1. Joe - March 24, 2012

Looking for a way out? You find a way to go with the flow and swim parallel to the current.

Attempting to cut off the flow can only be accomplished by those who control the flow. These people are not willing to stop the flow any time soon, if ever. They are more concerned with the current stress on their current flow control system. If the dam breaks, they have failed to protect the massive numbers of people living next to the flow and will likely face an angry mob if you believe that history repeats itself.

Facing them and making demands and trying to win their hearts and minds is a far greater struggle than you and I will ever realize and is not the subject of my comment. My comment is an appeal to those who submit to those who control them. Anything else; I wish more power to ya.

When the price of gas goes through the roof, your only options are:
1. Drive less. Reduce trips not relavent to maintaining basic needs. Move closer to your workplace. Sell extra cars. Carpool. Take the bus. Ride a bike. Walk. Reduce other spending on non-basic needs. Replace your car with a more efficient car.
2. Stop driving all together, quit your job, sell off everthing supporting your job, your house, and your car, and go live in a tent.

Now, apply this technique to when the price of accessing space goes through the roof, your only options are:
1. Go to space less. Reduce trips not relavent to maintaining basic needs. Just go to the nearest space environment and not low earth orbit. Sell extra rockets such as old shuttles and their parts. Take a trip on these cheap rockets that just go up and immediately come back down. Ride a roller-coaster. Climb a ladder. Reduce other spending on non-basic needs. Replace your rocket with a cheaper rocket.
2. Stop going to space all together, quit your space job, join the real world, and get a job that supports people with their feet on the ground.

Now, zoom out and look at what NASA is doing. Their money is slowly getting turned off very similar to what has happened in the past. They are confronting the people who control the flow by demanding they are allowed to go even farther past their present path in low earth orbit. They are aiming high yet they are settling for low. They are flying less. They are carpooling. They are looking for cheap acces to space of any kind. They stopped flying and sold off their expensive space access vehicle; the shuttle. They are relying more and more on others that have the capability to access space. They are adjusting just like everyone else who is controlled by those who control the flow.

If the flow keeps washing them away, eventually, they will likely stop going to low earth orbit and pawn off the ISS to a foreign country and settle for roller coaster rides into space. When this eventually stops, they will likely quit their jobs of going to space and find another job that supports people with their feet on the ground. It won’t eliminate their lingering nightmares of going to space though for quite some time.


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