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James (Jim) Faist, Tuesday, 9-2-14 September 3, 2014

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James (Jim) Faist, Tuesday, 9-2-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2308-BWB-2014-09-02.mp3

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Guest:  James (Jim) Faist.  Topics:  Military space, commercial space, NASA, launches, military use of cubesats & UAVs.  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 http://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 Jim Faist to the program for this 63 minute discussion.  We started our first and only segment by inquiring about military space and possible synergies with commercial space.  Mr. Faist cited communication satellites of all types including Direct TV, high bandwidth space communications platforms and infrastructure, plus the push to deep space.  Our guest talked about the new optical coms with much higher bandwidth.  I asked Jim about the time lags from R&D to military space operations to NASA and civil space, then to commercial space companies.  Jim estimated about 5-8 years to military space and about ten years to civil space.  An email listener asked about DoD launches being able to serve as drivers for NASA and commercial space to increase by increasing the launch rate to drive down launch costs.  We then talked about priorities for military space.  Here, we learned that DOD is very concerned with costs but the priority is the mission.   Costs are just one part of the mission priorities..  In general, DOD likes and wants competition and lower prices are important.  One of the points our guest made was that other space nations can spend more on R&D and new projects than we do as a percentage of their budgets since we have to maintain older technology & infrastructure while others that are newer to space don’t have the legacy issues to support & finance.  This brought up a question by Carl who wanted to know if satellite on orbit servicing was worth it or would it be better to go for the new hardware.  The DOD usage of cubesats came up and we compared cubesats to smallsats and finally to the use of UAVs.  You will find the comparisons interesting.  A listener asked about the SpaceX-Air Force lawsuit.  Here, Jim talked about the process for DOD requirements for confidence in launchers and at one point suggested it might be a ten year long process.  I also asked our guest about our building a new rocket motor to replace the RD-180.  Another question focused on the possible DOD use of SLS and heavy lift.  AF Space Command came up as did responsive space and a comparison of that to UAVs.  We talked about DOD public/private partnerships or joint partnerships with civil/commercial space.  Lunar outposts and cislunar space were mentioned as well as the concept of a Space Guard modeled after the Coast Guard. Near the end, I asked about suborbital space tourism/science missions.  Jim mentioned using sounding rockets to test & flight qualify space hardware.  He thought the suborbitals would be good for that.  TRLs came up again & we talked about the role of the Schafer Corp in military space plus their current need for people & their current hiring needs.  Cubesats came up again, especially concerning enough launches and what it might mean for cubesats if they carry propulsion with them as that makes it hard to fly as a secondary payload.  In response to launch issues, he said it was not enough to just focus on the cubesats, the launch side of the business must also be considered & addressed.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Mr. Faist through me or the Schafer Corp website (www.schafercorp.com).

Comments»

1. Michael J. Listner - September 3, 2014

Excellent program! Mr. Faist;s insights on Space X and satellite servicing were of special interests. One point of contention I have with his views on legacy systems. While I agree that maintaining legacy space systems detracts from developing new space systems, those legacy systems are proven while newer systems tend to have a certain degree of reliability because the technology is new. Of course, the age of legacy systems in of themselves bring into question their reliability so that is an effective counter-argument. I guess there has to be a happy medium between retiring legacy systems and gradually phasing in a new generation, especially in national security assets. A prime example is SBIRS. SBIRS is gradually being phased in while DSP, which is a proven system, continues to remain active.

Again, excellent program!


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