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Dr. Robert Brodsky, Friday, 12-7-12 December 8, 2012

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Dr. Robert Brodsky, Friday, 12-7-12


Guest:  Dr. Robert (Bob) Brodsky.   Topics: We discussed his new book, “Catch A Rocket Plane: More Tales from the Cutting Edge & Beyond,” plus his aerospace history & overview.  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. We welcomed Dr. Bob Brodsky back to the show to discuss his new book which you can order at www.amazon.com/Catch-Rocket-Plane-Cutting-Beyond/dp/1467972908/ref=onegiantlea20. Remember, if you buy the book using this URL, Amazon donates to The Space Show/OGLF.  Dr. Brodsky started out by telling us how he came up with the title to his new book, a story which you will find most interesting.  He then told us stories from his book dating from WW2 through the rocket and space age to current times.  During the segment, listeners asked him many questions about our former space program as compared to our program today.  As today was the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17, Bob was asked quite a few questions about Apollo, the mood of the country back then, space and the Cold War, and going back to the Moon or other another destination. He talked about his experience on the NERVA nuclear rocket program and why he included a chapter about false starts since so many programs were started, then cancelled by NASA and Congress. Another issue discussed was learning to live on the Moon so we could push further out into space. Bob was asked about the quality of teaching in the earlier years as compared to today.  He talked about ABET which is the accrediting board for engineering education and how that body has changed (lowered) the standards over the years.  Doug called in to ask if we had lost so much of our labor and technical expertise that we might not be able to do an Apollo like mission today.  Note the answer by Dr. Brodsky.  You might be surprised by it.  Bob also advocated the use of cost plus contracting over fixed price contracting because he said without cost plus, the boldness, creativity, risk taking, and out of the box thinking/planning gave way to traditional, conservative, and less pushing of the window in order to avoid financial risks and losses.  He suggested that fixed price contracting produced just the opposite of what we needed from our aerospace industry.  Let us know what you think about Bob’s perspective by posting on the blog.
     In our second segment, our guest told us about a movie he once pitched regarding the terrorist takeover of the ISS.  We also talked about his role with European launch alternatives with pointing systems and sounding rockets.  A listener asked him about ITAR and would it have prevented much of what he was talking about in terms of European sharing of technology early on in our space history. He thought it would have and since our guest said he was a strong proponent of international space cooperation, ITAR is seen as a probable hindrance.  In his concluding statements, Dr. Brodsky said that man was destined to do great things and go into space and settle and live there.  He was optimistic this would happen. He did suggest the 60’s as the greatest space period in our history.
      Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can email Dr. Brodsky through me.

Chris Carberry, Monday, 8-20-12 August 21, 2012

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Chris Carberry, Monday, 8-20-12


Guest:  Chris Carberry.  Topics: Explore Mars programs, space policy & presidential campaigns, HSF to Mars.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Chris Carberry back to the show to update us on new Explore Mars programs and also to talk about space policy & issues as part of a presidential campaign. You can follow along on their website, www.exploremars.org.  In our first segment, Chris started out talking about the Curiosity rover on Mars and its impact on policy and programming back here on Earth.  He also told us about a website created by Explore Mars, www.getcurious.com.  This additional site focused on Curiosity, but also as you will hear, described their Mars boulder program, what happened and where the thousand pound boulders went after Curiosity landed.  During this segment, we had a lengthy discussion about space as a political priority in presidential campaigns and Chris told us why in his experience space policy does not typically enter a presidential campaign.  Later we both said that the biggest issue facing our space program and HSF to Mars is the lack of political will.  Chris went on to tell us about their upcoming Space Blitz on Capitol Hill on Sept. 12, 2012, a joint program and effort with the NSS.  Chris concluded the first segment by telling us about an Explore Mars upcoming conference on Mars education scheduled for May 6-8, 2013.

In the second segment, a listener asked Chris why Explore Mars targeted women in its programming. Don’t miss the explanation offered by Mr. Carberry.  By the way, as far as I know, Explore Mars is one of only a few, maybe the only organization, that does programming specifically for women in space and for Mars activities.  Chris returned to Mars and space policy in political campaigns as well as political agendas, both in Congress and among the nation’s general population.  Since Chris is from Massachusetts, he got a few questions asking about congressional races in the state and the space policy/positions of the candidates competing for house and senate seats.  Chris was unsure of the various space/Mars candidate positions but noted that neither space or Mars had been or would likely be a discussion topic in anyone’s campaign this year.  I then asked Chris if he could design a space policy for a political candidate and he said yes though he would have to be very careful about how the policy was put forth and debated.  Don’t miss this discussion! I did encourage him to create such a campaign and post it on a blog or website for general information available to any candidate of any party who actually is interested in space or Mars.  Later in the segment, we talked about the importance of a Mars sample return mission, the potential for the private sector to fund an HSF program to Mars, and what he thought the Mars program in particular would look like in five years.  As the show was ending, he was asked about a Martian moon mission to either Phobos or Deimos.  In his concluding comments, he mentioned the upcoming 50th anniversary of our leaving the Moon and not returning.  He said we can certainly do better than that.

Please post your comments/questions on the blog.  You can email Chris through the Explore Mars website.

William (Bill) Mellberg, Tuesday, 1-31-12 February 1, 2012

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William (Bill) Mellberg, Tuesday, 1-31-12


Guest:  William (Bill) Mellberg.  Topics:  Comparing aviation to commercial space regarding markets, safety, and more. Explorer 1 54th anniversary.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed Bill Mellberg to the program to compare the early days of aviation with today’s commercial space industry. We also honored the 54th anniversary of Explorer 1.  Mr. Mellberg started the discussion with Explorer 1 by talking about the early history of Vanguard, Explorer 1, Werner Von Braun, Ernst Stuhlinger & more. Richard Easton called & we talked about timing, GPS, clock synchronization, his Dad’s work, and Vanguard early history.  Turning to our main topic, comparing the early days of aviation history to the commercial space industry today, our guest said it was a flawed comparison.  During the first segment, he explains in detail his reasoning which has to do with commercial markets, what the government is paying for regarding commercial space as compared to what it paid for with aviation, specifically the Kelly Air Mail Act of 1925.  We also talked about the early history of Fokker Aircraft Company which he tied into our discussion on markets, market timing, and production capabilities.  Mr. Mellberg addressed human spaceflight safety from the point of view that it would be extremely hard for the commercial companies to master safety given the complexities & costs of human spaceflight & the potential damage or even ruination of the company should there be a fatal accident.  Before the segment ended, our guest drove home the lack of commercial markets for human spaceflight.  There must be HSF markets other than the government market for the ISS.  

In our second segment, our guest cited some airplane examples that were ahead of the market and suffered from bad market timing.  He then used the SST as an example of the points he was making about high operating costs, no or limited markets, government subsidies, etc.  He went over the economics of why the Boeing SST was killed by our congress and what happens when the ticket price is so high that a broad market cannot be realized.  Listeners and callers asked about government regulation crippling innovation.  Bill then suggested the path to commercialization was with a program such a what Dr. Spudis and Dr. Lavoie have proposed in their paper “Using the resources of the Moon to create a permanent, cislunar space faring system” as well as on The Space Show. You can read their paper at www.spudislunarresources.com/Bibliography/p/102.pdf.  Bill said that eventually as cislunar economic develop evolves, so would commercial markets and opportunities.  He also recommended the NASA reorganization plan proposed last year by Dr. Harrison Schmitt. You can read his plan at www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=37176.  Our guest suggested that we should use the money being invested in commercial human spaceflight to do space exploration projects because commercial space today is an unnecessary diversion of scarce resources in a tight economy.  Throughout our discussion, he talked about government contracting and why it is different today, not commercial, and unlike what was done in early aviation and with airmail.  At the end of the program, our guest treated us to some of his political humor and impersonations per his program, “An Evening With The Presidents.”

Post your comments/questions on our blog URL above. You can hear his humor at www.aneveningwiththepresidents.com/live