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Jim Muncy, Monday, 7-6-15 July 7, 2015

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Jim Muncy, Monday, 7-6-15


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Guest:  Jim Muncy:  Topics:  Space Policy, budget issues, company overviews, 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 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 Muncy back to the program to discuss current space policy and budget issues before the U.S. Congress, company updates, and much more.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 50 minute discussion, Jim provided us with the groundwork for most of our discussion by going back to the Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984, then the update to it known as the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.  He talked about both the House and Senate versions of the NASA and space budget bills and some of the differences between the two bills.  One difference which he explained in detail early in the second segment had to do with the learning period which is important for the developing industry.  Another difference between the two revolved around extending the ISS commitment to 2024 plus issues relating to BLEO space.  When asked if he thought the final bill would be signed or vetoed by the president, he said it was nonpartisan and he did not see problems getting it signed into law.  Listeners asked about funding SLS.  Much was said about SLS in both segments but one listener asked Jim why so many supported SLS given its shortcomings.  Jim explained the mindset of many SLS supporters in congress. As you will hear, SLS is hardly a black or white issue.  This discussion led to a related discussion on developing a new rocket engine, the issues involved, the competitors, methane versus other fuel, and more.  In particular, he used Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers as an example supporting is analysis of the situation.  Jim was asked about the impact of the Falcon 9 failure which led him to address the need for multiple launchers and competition.  Later, Alex asked him about his areas of concern regarding the pending budget legislation.  He talked about sequestration, spending caps, delays, and the problem with operating on a CR which is likely.  This is a lengthy but important discussion so don’t miss it.  Before the segment ended, Jim was asked about the lunar lander.  Jim then talked about the Flexible Path, Google Lunar XPrize, cislunar space development and Mars.  Jim advocated the need for public private partnerships, then he was asked about international partnerships.


In the second segment, we started with an email question from Doug inquiring about the Augustine Commission presenting an option for returning to the Moon with landers developed in a public-private program context.  After Jim’s response, I asked him to refer back to a comment he made in the first segment and to explain what was meant by the learning period.  This was an important discussion so don’t miss it.  As part of his response, he also provided a short overview of the suborbital industry and participants plus the orbital industry.  A good portion of this segment focused on the importance of the learning period.  Our last question of the evening was from Helen.  She asked Jim if it would be beneficial to ask political candidates in the 2016 races space related questions assuming they know nothing about space.  Jim supported the idea but he told us all to make the question broader than just what interests us in the space industry. He gave several examples of this.  What he said made sense to me so I urge all of you who get a chance to question a 2016 candidate, ask your space question the way Jim suggested.


Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show Blog above.



1. DougSpace - July 7, 2015

I just wanted to comment about the question of the market for Mars. It is generally believed that there is no obvious business case for Mars. In general I agree. There is no unobtanium on Mars tone mined. An inventor’s colony could stay on Earth producing about the same things without the great expense of travel. So I don’t know that I buy that argument.

For Elon, he may be the Kevi Straiss of Mars colonization. People pay him tickets to move to Mars. The more tickets sold, the more he is able to recoup the investment and potentially make a profit. But if no one wants to move to Mars then that won’t work. What would be the motivation to move to Mars is one cannot make money there?

There is the Dominos concept where people are selling pizzas and other goods and services to each other. But that goes out so far. Considering the cost of setting up, growing, and maintaining a colony on Mars, and the unique items not yet manufactured there, there needs to be some source of external income and no I don’t see NASA footing such a large bill for private settlement.

But then there’s what I call the Sun City concept. Sun City is a retirement home in So Cal. It cost a lot to build but there’s no industry there — the residents are retired. But there’s plenty pf money coming in. It’s just that the money was earned previously at another time and place. Likewise with Mars. The people moving there wouldn’t be doing so to seek riches. Rather, they think that Mars would be a meaningful place to live even if it involves some deprivation.

That’s how I see it working out.

DougSpace - July 7, 2015

Sorry, I should have checked for spelling errors before posting it.

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