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Dr. Roger Launius, Friday, 11-29-13 November 30, 2013

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Dr. Roger Launius, Friday, 11-29-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2132-BWB-2013-11-29.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Roger Launius.  Topics:  We discussed Roger’s new book, “Space Shuttle Legacy: How We Did It and What We Learned,” space shuttles lessons learned, HSF & more.  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. Roger Launius to discuss his new book, “Space Shuttle Legacy: How We Did It and What We Learned.”  During the first segment of this 1 hour 25 minute discussion, Dr. Launius provided us with the background behind this book which Dr. Launius and two other co-edited as a result of a suggestion Dr. Vigor Yang, chair of the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and James Craig, emeritus professor the school.  Dr. Launius took us through the book’s contents including the title, subject, and authors of the contributions to this book. Our guest talked about the time we spent in LEO, that it was frustrating to many but it did create the situation where LEO is no longer a space frontier.  We also talked about how the shuttle paved the way for development of NewSpace and the emerging commercial industry.  This pertains to the Washington Post article we discussed. See the URL for this article at the end of this summary.  Listeners asked him questions about the Constellation program, the use of shuttle derived architecture for Constellation rockets, and capsules versus winged spacecraft.  We also talked about commercial opportunities emerging in LEO.  A listener asked about the cost of the Soyuz for American astronaut rides to the ISS and that it was still cheaper than launching a shuttle.  Roger brought up other concerns regarding the use of the Soyuz for transport to the station.  John from Ft. Worth called and said he thought shuttle was a creation of compromise. Dr. Launius was then asked about SLS & Orion which took us into human spaceflight and the difficulty in identifying a compelling reason for HSF.  We talked about inspiration as a compelling reason but our guest said it did not hold up as there were other ways to inspire students and people.  We spoke about the Inspiration Mars mission and Mr. Tito’s recent congressional testimony.  We then talked about Dr. Zubrin’s plan to partner up with Russia for a manned mission to Mars.

In our second segment, we talked about the ISS, NANORACKS and its success, emerging ISS commercial opportunities.  However, the possible retirement of the station around 2020 is worrisome.  John emailed in wondering if the Chinese landed humans on the Moon if it would make a difference in our space program.  I asked our guest for a few of the Lessons Learned from the shuttle and we talked more about it having been an experimental aircraft and what that meant.  We got questions about new technology, advancing using new technology, and then more comments about capsules and winged spacecraft.  Roger was asked to speculate on what would happen with a subcortical accident with injury or death and an orbital accident causing crew injury or death.  As the show was nearing its end, we talked about space advocacy, its effectiveness, and the lack of a unified voice in the space community. Finally, I asked our guest for specific positive and negative lessons learned from the shuttle years.  Note that the WaPo article referred to in the discussion comparing old space with NewSpace is at www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2013/11/23/which-way-to-space.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above.  You can email Dr. Launius through me.

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