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Open Lines, Sunday, 11-8-15 November 9, 2015

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Open Lines, Sunday, 11-8-15

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Guest: Open Lines.   Topics:  We discussed multiple aerospace industry topics along with the possible impact of raising interest rates on NASA and the industry.  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.  Welcome to our 1 hour 55 minute Open Lines discussion.

 

I started off the first segment with suggested show discussion topics, then John from Ft. Worth was our first caller to discuss the Don Nelson recent show and his idea for a fleet of modern private and commercial space shuttle freighters.  John had some interesting things to say about this idea as well as potential market issues given Don wants his freighters to be privately built and operated.  During the call with John, we talked about the possibility of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates and what that may mean for the space industry as well as other segments of our economy.  Though the NASA part of the budget is small, it is visible and it could be adversely impacted by a rise in interest rates as more money will have to go to paying the interest on our national debt.  Our next caller was Jeff from Tucson.  Jeff pointed out large aerospace industry trends and addressed the recent NASA delay in commercial cargo awards though they told Boeing they were no longer under consideration with the CST100.  Jeff also spoke about other projects with SpaceX, Orbital ATK, ULA and Aerojet Rocketdyne.  He spent a good portion of his discussion time talking about problems facing Aerojet Rocketdyne, possible merger solutions and parts of the business which it may need to let go as compared to pursue and continue developing.

 

In the second segment, Tim called in with questions about Maven and the recent announcement regarding the Martian atmosphere.  Doug was our next caller. Doug is planning a debate at the upcoming ISDC meeting next year on cislunar plans starring himself with his plan and John Strickland with his plan.  Doug talked about the differences between his position and John’s, wanted to our thoughts on adding more people to the debate with their cislunar ideas, then I asked Doug what his expected outcome was for doing this.  Don’t miss what he said about his expectations.  I told him I would be glad to do a Space Show debate with John and him as a “warmup” to the ISDC event.  I hope that happens.  Doug concluded his call saying he still hoped to call The Space Show while riding and trying to eat on the Gravitron at his local theme park while spinning at 24 rpms.  If he manages to this, it should be an interesting call.

 

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

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-15-15 September 16, 2015

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-15-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2553-BWB-2015-09-15.mp3

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Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman; Topics: Space news & industry updates, commercial space happenings & 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.

 

We welcomed back Bob Zimmerman for a two hour discussion plus updates on the space industry, including commercial space and NASA’s planetary science program. Bob started out by saying that the commercial space industry was heating up and getting more competitive, citing two significant stories. First, he mentioned the Blue Origin announcement about opening up a Florida launch site. Next, he addressed the SpaceX news regarding new commercial launch contracts with ARAB SAT and also the Falcon Heavy (FH) with demo launches to start in 2016. Bob spoke for some time on the FH, plus he talked about recent Russian Proton successes with their having said they found a systemic flaw in the Proton system but now that it was repaired, they expected more successful Proton flights. Virgin Galactic was next up for discussion and here Bob said the news was confusing. He spoke to the recent company announcements about Launcher One, then upon my asking, said that SpaceShip 2 seemed to be getting less attention for now. Bob mentioned the possible NASA use of a low cost Dragon capsule, then Jonathan Evans started in asking a series of questions, the first inquiring about what makes more business sense, Blue Origin’s expansion plans in Florida at Kennedy or SpaceX’s expansion plans in south Texas near Brownsville? After responding to Mr. Evans, Bob had much to say about ULA, the proposed Aerojet Rocketdyne buyout bid of ULA, plus the overall competitive nature of ULA in today’s rocket environment. Bob got a question from Jim who wanted to know his thoughts on XCOR given what he had said earlier about Virgin Galactic. Bob was not that positive about XCOR, joking that Charles Lurio would probably call in to rebut his comments. This prompted Dr. Charles Lurio to call in to “correct the record” and the mistakes Bob was making regarding XCOR and their progress. When Charles called in, he had much to say to set things straight.

 

In the second segment, our first call was from Dave in the Chicago area. Dave spoke about Blue Origin and ULA deals plus the ACES upper stage. Later, Bob went after the SLS again, mostly on its costs being too high. John from Ft. Worth called and the two of them had an interesting exchange on several related topics. Bob next mentioned the Rosetta mission and the Philae Lander, then he switched to the planetary science missions and programs. Bob had much to say that was positive on these missions including Cassini, New Horizons, and Curiosity. Later, Jane asked when space policy would enter the 2016 presidential race. Bob did not think it would enter the race, plus he did not want it to become a campaign issue. Listen to his comments and see if you agree with him. Tim called and mentioned that not everyone believes that SLS is bad as Bob had been expressing all night. Bob talked about SLS and science missions, the Decadal Survey, and its high operating and launch costs which hurts planetary scientists. As our program was drawing to a close, I asked Bob about the future of the ISS, Arianespace & what to look out for regarding private/commercial space.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Bob Zimmerman through me or his website, www.behndtheblack.com.

 

 

Rand Simberg, Friday, 9-11-15 September 12, 2015

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 9-11-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2550-BWB-2015-09-11.mp3

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Guest: Rand Simberg. Topics: The Roadblock to Mars and Rand’s recent Kickstarter campaign success. 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 Rand Simberg back to the show to discuss his recent successful Kickstarter campaign, “Clearing The Roadblock To Mars.” Check it out at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1960236542/clearing-the-roadblock-to-mars. During the first segment of our 1 hour 32 minute show, Rand introduced us to the purpose of this campaign which was to show how much better and wiser NASA could use the funds now being spent on SLS. Or as Rand said throughout our discussion, to get more bang for the buck. Of course this assumes NASA would use the savings wisely. In this segment, Rand spent considerable time addressing the lack of SLS missions, the types of missions SLS might be used for but so far no such SLS missions have been settled on, plus he talked about having more efficiency by using smaller rockets, more launches and fuel depots. He also said we were not serious about space as evidence by the SLS program. Several listeners asked him about the trades between heavy lift and a smaller rocket, the risks involved, costs and more as this is a common debate topic in the industry. Rand said the debate would eventually be settled by market forces. I added in that the characteristics and performance of the rockets being used to settle the heavy lift or not question will also factor into any conclusions reached on this subject. Rand then talked about the Aerojet Rocketdyne announcement that they wanted to acquire ULA for $2 billion. This led to an additional discussion about the Atlas rocket, Russian rocket engines, Vulcan, and Blue Origin. He also answered specific questions about his Kickstarter project which he said was to show how much more could be done wit h the SLS money rather than spending it on SLS. In response to listener questions wanting him to compare SLS to Falcon Heavy, he said about three Falcon Heavy launches would equal one SLS launch. He advocated SpaceX do an Apollo 8 type of flight with the Falcon and Dragon but then said it probably would not happen because of their relationship with NASA.

As we started the second segment, Dr. Doug called from S. California to inquire about the technical capability of SLS and Falcon Heavy plus the ULA Vulcan medium to heavy lift rocket. In addition, Rand discussed the reusable Vulcan concept as compared to the SpaceX concept of landing on a barge. Rand was asked about the need for heavy lift for Mars. He made it clear he was not interested in Mars per se, instead, he wanted to lower the cost of space access to make it possible for anyone to go anywhere in the solar system, including Mars. Rand said over and over again that he was destination agnostic. He continued getting questions about heavy life vs. many smaller rocket launches. Rand said things like it was too risky to put all your eggs in one basket, i.e. the one big heavy lift launcher. Several listeners wanted to know the best path to try to influence the direction of space policy. Rand focused on congress and suggested visiting local congressional offices. Other listeners asked him about a possible increase in the NASA budget. He said money was not the issue for NASA. The issue was using the money wisely to do more with it than we are doing now. He repeated many times during the program that we were not going to have a replay of the Apollo program. Don’t miss his comments on this as they are scattered throughout our discussion. Near the end of the show, Rand was asked about the 2016 elections and space policy, rocket staging, even SSTO rocketry. When offering us concluding comments, he repeated we would not be repeating Apollo, that it was never that popular and much about it is a myth. Don’t miss what he had to say about the Apollo program and missions.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Rand can be reached through me or his blog, www.Transterrestrial.com.

 

Open Lines, Sunday, 12-28-14 December 29, 2014

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Open Lines, Sunday, 12-28-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2383-BWB-2014-12-28.mp3

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Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston; Topics:  We discussed a variety of topics ranging from advanced technology, movie reviews, Spaces & Mars, Orion.  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 last Open Lines program for 2014.  We discussed a variety of topics over the course of our 2 hour 15 minute program.  While there were actually two breaks, I will write this summary from the perspective two segments.  In the first segment, I made several announcements including remembering Space Show guests and notable space industry professionals who passed away this year.  I also talked briefly about my recent Aerojet Rocketdyne tour and an article that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel under the headline  “SpaceX plans for lots of launches, then on to Mars.”  You can easily find this article using your favorite search engine.  I also forgot to mention that SLS Debate guest Rick Boozer published an article which may interest you, “Why do the major news media exempt NASA from critical investigation?”  You can read his article a  http://linkd.in/1AXvwBs.  An early email was received from Carl asking what I thought of the known plans for Elon and SpaceX to go to Mars.  I was then asked about some current movies which I gave my opinion on, then Marshall called to note the absence of technology discussions on the Sunday television talk shows.  We talked about technology in general, the apparent focus for many people away from technology, including many in the media.  John called in from Ft. Worth regarding the SpaceX article about going to Mars.  He focused on the probable high costs of developing the new rocket and its engines plus other costs.  He suggested a 15-20 year timetable.  Doug both emailed in and called to talk with John on another line and they had a nice little debate about what John was talking about.

In our next segment, Jeff from Tucson called in to talk about this being the year of the human spaceflight space capsule and the Orion space vehicle.  Due to Jeff not seeing the start of the development of the full Orion spaceflight system, he questioned the type of missions Orion could fulfill.  Doug called back to debate Jeff and they both had much to say about future Orion missions and the development of the Orion system.  I told Jeff what Orion said on its website and looked for the development timeline for the full system but could not find it.  I did take issue with Jeff’s conclusions about Orion but of course much will depend on the continued development of the project with all its systems as well as SLS.  Tim called in to talk more about Elon and SpaceX. Our final caller Dwayne, mentioned CNN doing a technology episode (see http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2014/12/23/can-man-create-a-sun).  Dwayne also mentioned the recent India spaceflight test launch for components a human spaceflight mission.  Dwayne brought up some interesting facts about the test flight, hardware development and the Indian program.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach any of the callers through me.