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Open Lines, Sunday, 12-14-14 December 15, 2014

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Open Lines, Sunday, 12-14-14


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Tags:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  NASA Orion/SLS budget, Lunar Orbital Station, backing up Earth’s species and 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 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.

Welcome to our Open Lines discussion program.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 7 minute program, I started the discussion with a few suggested topics and program announcements.  The only suggested topic that had anything like legs was the 19% budget increase for SLS/Orion in the new FY 15 spending bill just passed by Congress.  BJohn sent in an email asking about a possible Lunar Orbital Station, maybe with Orion, in lieu of the ARM.  Next, Doug called in from S. California to promote the concept of Bio Preserve, backing up Earth’s species.  He talked about the need for this and why and how it might be done.  I suggested he check out the Lifeboat Foundation as they have something of a similar plan though its not identical to what Doug was talking about.  I did ask Doug how such a backup plan would be paid for and like most good ideas, paying for them presents challenges though Doug had decent suggestions.  Brett then called in to talk about his online book, “How To Be A Rocket Scientist.”  Get more information about the book and the ten tips that we talked about by visiting his website, http://www.howtobearocketscientist.com.  He said the book is aimed at the high school audience but he has been hearing from adults and college students who also find the book valuable.  We highlighted a few of his ten tips for discussion.

In the second segment, SLS John called re the NASA budget and said there was plenty of money and the funding increase for SLS/Orion put us on the right path.  John continued to make the case that SLS/Orion is our best chance to avoid being stuck in LEO.  I asked him about commercial space options and he said continuing with SLS/Orion does not prevent the commercial industry from following its own path.  Doug sent in a few emails to John about his comments including one saying that continuing with SLS/Orion blocks the possibility of public/private partnerships.  I challenged Doug’s comment on this because it assumes that monies saved by not having an SLS/Orion program would be used on Doug’s chosen space projects.  In fact Doug did say that we need to better spend tax payer money. While we can all agree with that, the best use of taxpayer money is clearly subjective and would depend on who you were talking with about the use of the money.  Marshall called next to inquire about an update show on space solar power.  I told him I would attempt to get a quality and realistic guest on the program early in the new year.  We then heard from Charles Pooley.  Charles talked about the first year anniversary of his first Microlaunchers book, book two which is in progress and plans for book three.  He also said he was interested in the NASA Challenge dealing with laser communications from space.  Also during the show I went over the final end of the year schedule and the plan to play archived end of the report program with Tom Olson as I did last year leading up to our live program with Tom for end of the year on Dec. 30.  I also pointed out that we would have one more Open Lines program this year on Sunday, Dec. 28.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach any of the callers or email participants through me.


1. rocketscirick - December 22, 2014

Sorry to be so far behind. I think the NASA Challenge that Charles was referring to is the CubeQuest Challenge. There is a summit related to this challenge on Jan 7-8, 2015, at NASA Ames. Deadline to register is December 24, two days from today.

2. The Space Show - December 20, 2014

Guys, please stop insulting one another, calling people names, all but calling the other a liar, and in the end, acting like a spoiled brat know it all. It is one thing to be critical of ideas, information, theories, data, etc. Its quite another to insult someone and in all honesty, act like a jerk and that is what is happening with some of the blog discussions. The rules for The Space Show on air and on the blog are civility and respect. That does not mean throwing childish insults back and forth. Ideas, theories, conclusions, analysis, it all needs to stand up to the light being shone on it or it falls into the darkness where it belongs. This can be done professionally and without the jerk and insulting behavior.

Please abide by Space Show civility and respect rules. While I am not interested in naming names, those of you who do this know who you are so come on, cut it out and be professional and respectful. People have different ideas and evaluate facts, etc. and come up with different conclusions. Even scientist disagree on theories and such and allows for competing theories and testing. To think differently about a project or information does not make the other person wrong or a liar or someone who misleads. Your way may not be the only way or the best way so let’s have respect, civility and tolerance in our blog posts.

Thanks. Also, Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Happy New Year to all of you. Let’s hope 2015 is a good year for space!


3. jimjxr - December 16, 2014

Interesting that IMF just reported Chinese GDP is now number 1 in the world, so anyone who is worried about China’s intention towards the Moon, think about this: When the Chinese has a higher GDP than the US, how could US beat China in a Moon race?

I think the answer is pretty obvious, the US needs to be more efficient in terms of utilizing its resources, and develop technologies that can change the rules of the game, this is only way you can beat an opponent who can throw more money on the table than you.

Unfortunately certain elements in the space advocate group still thinks efficiency doesn’t matter, and the federal government can throw unlimited amount of money on cost plus contractors to redo 40 years old technology, we just need the right president to give the order. I think it’s time to wake up now.

John Hunt - December 16, 2014

I have no idea who is for low efficiency.

jimjxr - December 16, 2014

Doug already gave an example on the show: $400 million was added to SLS/Orion for 2015, what does it achieve? Nothing. Gerstenmaier told congress a few days ago that no amount of money can bring EM-1 back to 2017. What did $400 million achieve in COTS? Falcon 9 and Dragon. And Falcon 9 is not just completing NASA missions, it’s bringing commercial satellite launch back to America, this is the efficiency the US will need to compete with China, can SLS/Orion do this?

And here’s another $350 million down the drain thanks to Constellation (which congress is trying to bring back from the dead as SLS/Orion): http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2014/12/15/nasas-349-million-monument-to-its-drift/

John Hunt - December 19, 2014

It’s $400 million more to solve the under funding problem. We’ll likely need more money in the future.

jimjxr - December 20, 2014

Of course we’ll need more, a lot more actually. If I’m reading the NRC Pathways report correctly, in order to use SLS/Orion to mount viable missions, NASA HSF budget will need to increase 5% annually, starting from 2018. Current HSF budget is $8 billion, so we’ll need a $400 million increase every year after 2018.

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