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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.

 

 

Clay Mowry, Tuesday, 6-3-14 June 4, 2014

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Clay Mowry, Tuesday, 6-3-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2255-BWB-2014-06-03.mp3

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Guest:  Clayton (Clay) Mowry.  Topics:  Arianespace, launch industry, reusability, launch price and satellite capacity.  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 Clay Mowry to the program to discuss Arianespace and the launcher industry.  During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, we took on the subject of the upcoming last EASA ATV 5 flight to the ISS.  Mr. Mowry explained why this program to the ISS was ending and that after this last flight, there would be only one vehicle capable of boosting the ISS.  He talked about U.S. priorities in building up cargo capability to the ISS without boost capability over commercial crew.  We also talked about the life expectancy of the ISS amid the current controversies with Russia and the US.  I asked Clay for a brief history of the launcher Ariane 5 and we learned that they now have 59 successful launches for this rocket.  Our guest talked about Ariane 5 performance capabilities plus upgrades that are in progress for an Ariane 5 ME.  We talked about launch price/cost and its relationship to how customers determine what launcher to use.  As he said the last time he was on the show, customers need launcher reliability and the ability to launch on schedule.  Launch costs are an overall factor of the total risk of the launcher, the value of the satellite, opportunity costs, infrastructure costs, and more.  This is a very informative discussion and it continued into the second segment.  Our guest also said that human spaceflight poses different issues than launching telecommunications satellites and is more sensitive to launch costs.  Listeners asked about government subsidies to Arianespace and their not turning a profit despite their commercial success. This opened up a discussion about all forms of government subsidies, including the methods used in the U.S. to subsidize and support our launcher industry.  We talked about the planned new Ariane 6 rocket and its differences with Ariane 5.  We also talked about rocket development time lines.  Rocket reusability came up and this proved to be a great discussion topic that continued into the second segment.  Clay provided us with very important perspectives regarding reusability.  Dr. Jurist called to go deeper into the issue of launch pricing, insurance, and related items. Don’t miss it.  Clay referenced several studies on this subject including the Futron NASA Ascent Study which examined launch costs among other things.  Our guest talked about ways the satellite industry is working to reduce launch costs by making satellites more powerful and lighter.  They are also starting to use ion propulsion which can cut up to 40% of the mass of the satellite which makes launches lower in cost. With more efficient satellites, longer life spans, and other advancements, its possible to see launch cost improvements up to around 20%.

In the second segment, I asked Clay what it would take to human rate the Ariane 5.  After he explained the requirements, he said their company focus was on satellites.  He mentioned Liberty Rocket, then John from Ft. Worth called in to talk about costs, depots, reusability, & just how many flights can a reusable rocket make, plus insurance risk evaluation for reusability.  Clay talked about reusability economics and risks in depth in this segment, explaining the variables and unknowns. This is an important discussion so don’t miss it.  Later by email, Jim asked about increased satellite efficiency & advanced capabilities lowering the launch rate.  Clay did not think so due to content advances and increases that offset the satellite advancements.  Again, another important discussion topic. In fact, we spent most of the balance of the program on this subject.  In concluding, Clay said the business was even more exciting today than when he joined the industry and later Arianespace.  The final listener comment asked about the launchers being the unsung heroes of our modern society.  Clay summarized that reusability had many market, technical, & economic unknowns, that HSF probably was better suited for it than satellites, & that commercial communication satellite customers need reliability & on time launches as part of their business models.

Post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Clay Mowry through me.

 

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 6-11-13 June 12, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 6-11-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2027-BWB-2013-06-11.mp3

Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Commercial space, regulations, climate science, becoming spacefaring.  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 (Bob) Zimmerman to the program (www.behindtheblack.com).  During our 2 hour 3 minute discussion with Bob, we covered a wide area of space, policy, budget and climate science issues.  For those of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.  Bob started out talking about the Commercial Space Launch Act of 2004 and his warnings back then about a heavily regulated commercial and NewSpace industry coming out of this particular legislation.  He has now reported on the evolution of regulation for this segment of the industry.  See this article on his blog, http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-red-tape-of-the-space-bureaucracy.  He strongly suggested that the focus was misplaced on excessive safety.  Instead, it should be on risk taking, innovation, and experimental flight.  We also mentioned possible ITAR changes in which human spaceflight vehicles are being considered for addition to the munitions list.  Were this to happen, it might prove extremely detrimental to NewSpace companies and the American space industry.  Pooley both emailed and called the show to stress starting small and with non-human spaceflight missions. Bob and Charles had an interesting exchange on this subject you will want to hear.  Later in the segment, Bob talked about SpaceX and launch rates, comparing the Falcon with the Russian Proton.  We talked about the need for reliable commercial schedules for a launcher to be considered commercial.  We also talked about the successful Orbital Sciences Antares demo flight, ULA and their schedules, plus Arianespace.  Bob then commented on the first powered demo flight for Virgin, then Tim from Huntsville called in to talk abut SpaceX, a possible IPO, Bob’s comments on NASA assimilation, and the Planetary Resources Kickstarter campaign.

In our second segment, we started with another Pooley email stressing the need to start small & without human spaceflight.  I then asked Bob what he thought of the prospect of continuing to fund & develop SLS.  He said it was on the knife’s edge and to the degree that SpaceX, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, and Orbital can be successful, it will likely hasten the demise of SLS.  Bob then spoke to the bulkhead cracks with the Orion, their repairs and the recent successful Orion test.  Sequestration was next up with Bob having much to say on the subject.  Our next big topic had to do with climate science which I introduced with my perspective of it here in the U.S. and what I know about what is going on in the field in the UK and throughout Europe.  Bob talked about climate models and referenced the work by Roy Spencer who depicts in graph format all 72 climate models referenced by the industry (see www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means).  Bob dealt with many climate science issues so if this topic interests you, don’t miss this discussion.  Later, we talked about the Chinese spacecraft now in orbit for about a two week HSF mission.  Also discussed was the JWST and its impact on NASA astrophysics budget issues, the Kepler Space Telescope, and our on orbit repair capabilities. Both Bob & I used JWST and Kepler as examples of why we need to develop a true spacefaring capability though being able to repair hardware so far out in space is not going to happen for a very long time, if ever.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Bob through his blog or by using zimmerman at nasw dot org.