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Gwynne Shotwell, Friday, 3-21-14 March 21, 2014

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Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX, Friday, 3-21-14


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Guest:  Gwynne Shotwell.   Topics:  SpaceX, their goals, mission, & launch vehicles.  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.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Gwynne Shotwell, President & Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX back to the show for an hour discussion & Q&A from the listeners.  During the first hour segment of this 72 minute program, Ms. Shotwell started out with me asking questions prior to opening the program to the listeners.  I inquired about using Brownsville, TX as a spaceport, SpaceX qualification requirements & timelines to fly sensitive USAF costly spy satellites to orbit, reusability, the possible use of Falcon & Dragon for a lunar mission, and fast tracking Dragon for HSF given the problem with Russia, the Crimea, and the Ukraine.  Gwynne told us about New Dragon and modifications to it and theCRS-3 Dragon contamination concerns for the upcoming launch on March 30.  About 20 minutes into the discussion, I opened it up for listener emails and phone calls.  I did have some audio issues with the toll free line so I apologize in advance for them but all the callers were clear and understandable as the problems concerned the toll free line ringing.  Listner questions addressed launch pad modifications for larger rockets, the SpaceX Raptor, reusability, possible payload penalties with reusability, propulsive landings, and reusable launch vehicle trajectories.  One listener asked our guest about possible markets for the bigger Falcon heavy lift launcher, Falcon XX.  We learned that this size rocket was for human transportation to Mars.  Gwynne fielded several questions about Falcon and Dragon on lunar missions.  While not opposed to lunar missions, SpaceX does not want to be distracted from their primary objective which is Mars.  Another listener asked about pricing and secondary payloads, the launch abort system, then I asked about SpaceX near term challenges and longer out challenges to 10-11 years from now.  Our guest was asked about berthing and when SpaceX would dock with the ISS.  Later in the segment there was a question about competition in the launcher industry, if SLS was viewed as competition, using a Falcon for a Europa or Titan mission, & the difference between Air Force requirements and special NASA requirements.  As the segment was drawing to a close, a high school student asked about internships at SpaceX.  Gwynne also talked about how valuable & important their relationship with NASA has been and how NASA has been a large part of their success.

In the very short second segment, I went over the upcoming Space Show schedule and let the audience know several dates when there would be no programming due to Easter & my personal schedule.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.


1. Geoffrey - March 24, 2014

Really enjoyed the show, well done. Thanks to Gwynne for her time. My question was asked early, about expanding at LC40 for parallel launch processing. The answer given was about launching F9 and F-H from both LC40 and LC39A which is helpful. I was hoping to find out if there were plans to ‘widen’ the hangar at LC40, to allow room to process 2 or more cores at a time, for two separate missions, so that a delay at the ISS on a CRS mission (like the Cygnus delay while resolving the space suit flooding issue) can be bypassed and the next commercial payload launched when ready, instead of backing up the entire process flow.

2. Space-for-All at HobbySpace » Space policy roundup – Mar.21.14 [Update] - March 22, 2014

[…] Gwynne Shotwell, Friday, 3-21-14 – Thespaceshow’s Blog – SpaceX President dealt with several policy related questions in her interview […]

3. proenglightenment - March 22, 2014

An excellent program. SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell proved to be an informative and delightful guest. She clarified a number of issues that concern fans and students of the burgeoning rocket manufacturer. As a person who believes that humankind’s long-term survival and prosperity depends on developing a multi-planet, space-faring civilization, I was thrilled to hear her confirm again that her company’s ultimate goal is the colonization of Mars. The demands of financial solvency and profitability must be met in order for SpaceX to move forward toward its goal, which is why Elon Musk &co. have gone into the commercial launch business, but it is so deeply refreshing to observe a team of hard-headed engineers whose primary motivation is a vision of an expanded future for humanity. My hat’s off to Gwynne Shotwell and the entire company. Power on!

4. Erik - March 21, 2014

Excellent show!

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