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Robert Sackheim, Monday, 4-1-13 April 2, 2013

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Robert Sackheim, Monday, 4-1-13


Guest:  Robert (Bob) Sackheim.  Topics:  Commercial space, propulsion, U.S. space policy & 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.

We welcomed Robert Sackheim to the program to discuss NASA, commercial space, the current state of rocket propulsion and advancements in the field.  During our first segment of this 1 hour 47 minute discussion, Mr. Sackheim talked about his background and experience at TRW, NASA MSFC, and his current consulting.  I asked him several questions about the current state of rocket propulsion. Bob had much to say about this, focusing on chemical rocket propulsion, satellite propulsion, electric propulsion, and the need for nuclear propulsion.  He talked about booster rockets, various rocket stages and their propulsion, rocket engines, and even SRBs.  Several questions came in asking him if we had the current technology for HSF to Mars or even the Inspiration Mars flyby mission talked about so much in the recent press.  Listeners wanted to know if our current levels of propulsion were up to the task.  After a rather thorough propulsion discussions, Bob turned to commercial space, lowering total space mission costs, regulatory policy, and commercial spaceports.  He also talked about budget issues and raised the question a few times as to why ten NASA centers were needed given their often overlapping, competitive, and duplicate work.

In our second segment, commercial space took the lead with a discussion on public/private partnerships & the belief that Americans can do anything if we set our mind to it, including space travel.  Of course here the problem as we know lies in leadership and today it appears that leadership in space & other areas is sparse at best.   Bob then focused on geo satellites and the increasing development and capabilities applicable to cubesats.  HSF came up for discussion as did the robotic missions. You might be surprised by what our guest had to say about HSF.  Other issues in this segment included the lunar space elevator, the congressional and NASA track record in canceling ongoing projects & taking lessons from history, SSP, & ways to reform & move NASA forward.  Bob spoke about evolving toward the old NACA model.  I asked about the impact of space advocacy from his perspective given his leadership experience and past positions in leading organizations and projects.  We also asked him about space tourism and hybrid rocket engines. He had much to say about hybrids, don’t miss the discussion.  Bob talked about the Falcon rockets, testing including static fire tests, and SRBs as related to the Constellation project and safety.  Toward the end, our guest was asked about NewSpace, fuel depots, & cryo transfer.  For closing comments, he talked about commercial space being the way to go & the path to our space future.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can reach Mr. Sackheim through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12 June 20, 2012

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Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12


Guest:  Walter Cunningham.  Topics:  An inside view of the American space program from Apollo to today.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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 Walt Cunningham to discuss our space program from Apollo through today’s developing commercial space industry.  For more information, visit his website, www.waltercuningham.com.  You can buy “The All-American Boys: An Insider’s Look At The U.S. Space Program” from Amazon & they will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF if you use this URL: www.amazon.com/All-American-Boys-Walter-Cunningham/dp/1876963247/ref=onegiantlea20.  I started the discussion by asking Walt about his perspective on Apollo 7 today, 44 years later.  Walt had some interesting things to say about perspective, especially over the past 10-20 years as compared to when he actually carried out the mission.  A few times during our discussion, questions came up about the so called “mutiny” with the crew & NASA ground control so listen to how Walt described what was mostly a non-event despite media & blog reports to the contrary.  He did talk about Wally Schirra, his head cold & the Actifed commercials, but there was far more to the mission & to the significance of Apollo 7.  Dr. Jurist asked about the ride on a Saturn 1B, professors & experiences while both were at UCLA.  We discussed risk regarding his ride on the Saturn 1B. Walt had much to say about risk during the Apollo era as compared to now.  We extrapolated from this discussion to Columbia’s foam issues. We talked about commercial space.  Walt suggested that today’s commercial space efforts were not purely commercial given government funding & missions. He also said that retiring the shuttle when we did was a big mistake.  He then took us through a cost analysis process to illustrate that space is & always will be costly.  At the end of the first segment, one way trips to Mars & reality TV show funding were mentioned.

In the second segment, Terry called with questions about Von Braun. Walt had high praise & much to say about Von Braun & his experiences with him.  Commercial space came up again & I asked him about asteroid mining.  He did not think it would be a good investment & talked about the need to pay attention to the laws of physics.  We talked about He3 on the Moon, fusion energy possibilities & more.  I read an email from a London listener asking about the Apollo rocket & mission sounds on Apollo 7.  We talked some more about the problems on board Apollo 7, this time regarding Wally & the TV broadcast delay & the wearing of the newly designed helmets during reentry.  Walt talked about climate change & global warming, urging people to do their own research & examine the data rather than believing what people had to say regardless of their position.  John in Atlanta called in about global warming & said that there was no practical mitigation strategy. Our guest shared what he perceived to be the true motivation of global warming extremists.  John also talked about having built a next gen space shuttle from the old space shuttle to avoid retiring it or having to build an entirely new & very costly program.  Walt supported that idea but history proved otherwise.  Toward the end we discussed the pros & cons of international cooperation & competition, Ares 1 as a safe rocket for HSF, & the cost of the ISS being more due to international cooperation.  Our final topic was risk versus reckless behavior & the difference between the two.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.

Todd Halvorson, Friday, 5-18-12 May 18, 2012

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Todd Halvorson, Friday, 5-18-12


Guest:  Todd Halvorson.  Topics:  Upcoming Falcon 9 & Dragon launch, Floridaspace policy, NASA & more.  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 Todd Halvorson, senior aerospace reporter for FLORIDA TODAY & USA TODAY to the show.  During our first segment, we mostly discussed the upcoming Falcon 9 launch scheduled for Saturday early morning, May 19 2012.  Note that Florida Today is having special coverage and programming starting at 3:30 AM EDT.  To tune in, visit www.floridatoday.com.  Todd detailed the coverage at the start of our next segment. Also in the initial segment, we talked about Congress, commercial crew, down selecting, the Space Act Agreement, and theU.S. human spaceflight program, such that it is a program.  Also mentioned was the SLS program along with Orion, then I asked about the space coast economy per the recent 60 Minutes segment last month.  Todd had much to say about the 60 Minutes Segment, especially the visuals they used.  Don’t miss it.  Listener Jane asked about the differences in policy ideas between NewSpace and the old space crowd, especially the very well known astronauts who are most vocal in support of a more traditional NASA program.  Todd had much to say about this and we talked about the future NASA as either a space tax service or an organization that explores BLEO.  Another topic of interest dealt with the Chinese space program and going to the Moon.  Our listener asked if Chinese space plans might start a space competition with theU.S.  We then talked about the FY 13 budget for NASA and the possibility of doubling NASA’s budget as proposed by Dr. Tyson.  As the segment ended, we discussed Planetary Resources and sought Todd’s perspective on what has been made public so far.

In the second segment, Todd went into detail about the Florida Today broadcast for the Falcon 9 launch.  Terry called in to ask about the ISS GPS issue and then we asked Todd to describe what happens when Dragon gets to the vicinity of the ISS.  The process goes on through Wednesday morning.  Another listener asked for Todd’s analysis of the space program over his 25 year history of reporting space news.  Our next topic honed in so the suborbital companies in Mojave, space tourism, and suborbital research.  This discussion included spaceports inFlorida,California,Virginia,New Mexico and elsewhere.  As our program was nearing its end, we talked about Constellation, Ares 1, SRBs, Dr. Mike Griffin, SLS, and civility.  In his closing comments, Todd again said we should have a space program that explores and is not a space taxi service.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Todd through the Florida Today website.

Wes Oleszewski, Sunday, 12-11-11 December 11, 2011

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Wes Oleszewski, Sunday, 12-11-11


Guest:  Wes Oleszewski.  Topics:  Commercial versus government launch vehicles, space policy, civility.  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.  The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign. We welcomed back Wes Oleszewski to the show to discuss space policy, commercial as compared to government launch vehicles and much more.  Follow his space cartoon Klyde Morris at www.klydemorris.com.  You can also read the Aero-News article we discussed, “U.S. Spaceflight: Commercial Versus Federal at  www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=b3a012c0-812b-46d7-b58c-fb8959bd3509.  Our first segment was about 70 minutes out of this 2.5 hour show. We talked about the lack of civility in the space advocacy/enthusiast community as well as the Kool-Aid and lack of realism in some parts of the advocacy/enthusiast organizations.  This applied to space fans as well.  This discussion soon gave way to the SLS topic.  Our guest was supportive of it but got several listener questions stating why so many objected to it.  We talked about its lack of a mission but Wes did define its mission as a preliminary mission in that it was being built for beyond low Earth orbit (BLEO) with the rest to be decided later.  I asked our guests about the likelihood of it being built given the track record of NASA and Congress plus OMB in canceling these projects.  Wes then talked about the roles of Congress and OMB and our space budget. This brought us to our national spending and budget crisis and the space program in general  Other listeners phoned in and emailed us citing the NewSpace perspective on SLS. Don’t miss what Wes had to say about this.  Next, Space X came up as did the process of taking government money and how that might separate a new “commercial” company from other aerospace contractors.  Marshall called us about risk and demo flights, and then we got into a detailed discussion of thrust oscillation (TO) for the Ares 1.  We talked about some advocates making ATK into a villain and Space X and other new companies into saints.  I had much to say about ATK as being evil and Dr. Jurist called in to again tell what happened when he did real due diligence with ATK on the TO issue.  All three of us were very clear and definite in saying the attacks on ATK and other proven companies were unwarranted.  In our second long segment, Wes said we should not have retired the shuttle.  We talked about Mars missions and the origins of the MRI medical device.  Atlanta John called in to be supportive of SLS and its mission.  Jim sent in an email explaining why many are supportive of heavy lift but not supportive of SLS.  We talked about the lack of public awareness regarding space matters.  I then got off on one of my rants about the value of space which took us to STEM education.  We again returned to his theme that we in the advocacy/enthusiast community should be far more united.  When asked about individual organization goals such as the Moon, Mars, the frontier, etc, Wes clearly recommended we subordinate these interests to the overall good of speaking with a untied voice.  For his concluding Pearls of Wisdom, he cautioned us against being space groupies so to speak or running with the cyber pack.  We should avoid group think.  He said space was a team effort requiring all of us to be involved in supporting the team.  If you have questions/comments for Wes, please post them on the blog URL above.