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Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Sunday, 7-28-13 July 28, 2013

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Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Sunday, 7-28-13


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Guest:  Dr. Erik Seedhouse.  Topics: Dr. Seedhouse discusses his new book, “SpaceX: Making Commercial Spaceflight A Reality.”  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://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.

We welcomed back Dr. Erik Seedhouse for this 1 hour 34 minute discussion of his new book, “SpaceX: Making Commercial Spaceflight A Reality.”  During the first segment, Dr. Seedhouse talked in general about the book, the fact that it addresses other commercial space companies and the suborbital field as well as SpaceX, plus Mars missions, funding, investment, and government support through COTS, Commercial Crew and other programs.  In fact, he said that 80-90% of funding for commercial launch companies was government funded at this time.  When asked if this suggested something other than a commercial company, he said no.  Lots of listeners both emailed and called in with questions about SpaceX and their projects.  One listener wanted to know if Dr. Seedhouse thought SpaceX might be spread too thin with so many projects.  Another wanted to know about meeting launch timelines and slippage, while another wanted to know about the new version of Falcon 9 about to be launched.  There were lots of questions and much discussion around the Falcon Heavy and the SpaceX manifest per their website.  Erik talked about ULA as a major SpaceX competitor and Doug called in wanting to know if Erik thought Falcon Heavy might actually be too much rocket for the market at this time.  He also inquired about the potential Falcon Heavy impact on human spaceflight.

In the second segment, Mars One, Inspiration Mars, and Dream Chaser came up for discussion.  Dr. Seedhouse talked about SpaceX and Mars but he also stressed the need for resolving EDL problem regarding future large payload missions to Mars.  Another listener wanted to know if Falcon Heavy or even the Falcon 9 could launch the Orion and then Doug emailed in and then called to ask about the SpaceX Mars Colonial Transporter.  Several times in both segments, Dr. Seedhouse stressed that his book was upbeat and written as a devoted fan of SpaceX accounting for the company’s first ten years.  He also said that he had no support nor did he have any interviews with anyone from SpaceX regarding the book.  Toward the end, Jacob sent in an email asking our guest why some in Congress still seemed opposed to commercial space, SpaceX and others.  Erik made it clear he did not include politics in his book but he suggested that Congress does tend to work toward reelection, often over the national interest.  Of course defining the national interest may not be as objective as we would like so it’s a tough question to answer, for sure.  The last listener question asked Erik if there was a commercial space effort of any significance coming from any other country.  Erik’s simple answer was no but you will want to hear what he said in response to this question.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show.  If you want to contact Dr. Seedhouse, you can do so through me.


1. Tim - July 30, 2013

Has Space-X looked into an inflatable re-entry system? The larger cross-sectional area possible with inflatables reduce the re-entry temperatures by distributing the re-entry heat across a larger area.

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