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Jim Muncy, Monday, 11-17-14 November 18, 2014

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Jim Muncy, Monday, 11-17-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2358-BWB-2014-11-17.mp3

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Guest:  Jim Muncy.  Topics:  Virgin Galactic, Antares, space policy, lunar programs, midterm elections & much 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 Jim Muncy back to the show to discuss the recent Virgin Galactic accident, Antares, commercial space, regulations & more.  During the first segment of our 100 minute program, Jim started off by discussing the Virgin Galactic accident and possible new regulations for the industry or vehicle specific to Virgin.  Jim explained the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 in terms of the regulatory regime which already exists and what might come about once the NTSB issues its final accident report.  This is an excellent discussion as well as clarification of the existing and potential regulatory environment so don’t miss it.  Space attorney Michael Listner emailed & called in to support what Jim was talking about regarding regulatory regime for commercial space with the AST.  Doug Messier sent in an email addressing the issue of there being a difference between having an incentive to fly safely and being able to operate safely with regards to Virgin as our conversation had turned to flight safety for the new spaceplanes.  Regarding flight safety, Jim made the point that safety was ongoing and a continued learning lesson, even after the vehicle was in commercial service. I agreed & pointed to commercial aviation accidents that have happened after thousands of flight hours as some defect shows up that late into commercial operations.  Jim seized the opportunity to talk about the choice of wording regarding space tourism and said it was not a good choice of words.  Listen to what he had to say about this.  We talked about negative press after the accident and here Jim stressed that the spaceflight in question was not taxpayer supported and was between private individuals and companies.  It was not the business of journalists or others.  Cost plus contracting came up with a listener question as did several established Republican senators and the role they might play regarding commercial space in the new congress.  Jim had made several earlier comments about the British press negative articles on Virgin and the industry.  I asked him why that was so and said it was largely Richard Branson driven given he is and has been such a controversial person in the UK.

In the second segment, we talked about some emerging commercial lunar opportunities that Jim has worked on for awhile.  He provided the background to the current situation including fights over SLS, Orion, & other big ticket NASA programs.  This is a very interesting discussion because it shows how one can find areas to agree on and work together and even get funded if the amounts are not too large.  I urge you to pay close attention to this part of our discussion.  As you will hear, the end result is the development of commercial lunar programs such as the NASA Lunar CATALYST Program.  Dr. Doug called from S. California to ask questions about CATALYST, public/private partnerships, & the ULA-Masten lunar lander work.  Listeners also wanted to know if  a ULA second stage would ever fly on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy such as the ULA concept ACES (Advanced Common Evolved Stage).  We talked about the Orbital Sciences plan to fly their cargo on another rocket while they sort their engine problems out and a listener asked Jim if he thought the Falcon Heavy would have a significant and positive impact on the dialog supporting the American space industry.  Near the end of the program, Christine in Chicago asked Jim if he was as excited today about commercial space as he was when he started out 35 years ago.  Do not miss Jim’s most reflective and thoughtful response to this question.  Jerry from Florida got in one more question by asking about Space Florida and a spaceport that could operate outside the realm of the Air Force range rules.  Jim had much to say on this as well as there is a definite need for modern range rules for commercial spaceflight.  As the program drew to a close, Benny in Dallas asked about the space interest of Senator Cruz and Becky asked what was going on with California aerospace and politics.  In his concluding comments, Jim hoped the commercial industry would soon be back on track, that 2015 would be a good and safe year for space.  We look forward to talking to him again on TSS.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Jim Muncy through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Mike Gold, Tuesday, 7-1-14 July 2, 2014

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Mike Gold, Tuesday, 7-1-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2272-BWB-2014-07-01.mp3

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Guest:  Mike Gold.   Topics:  Office of Commercial Space Transportation (COMSTAC) Advisory Committee & Bigelow Aerospace updates.  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 Mike Gold, particularly in his new position as the Chair of the Office of Commercial Space Transportation (COMSTAC) Advisory Committee, as well as for Bigelow Aerospace updates in the second half of our program.  During the first segment of our one hour discussion, Mr. Gold talked about the Office of Commercial Space Transportation, the COMSTAC which is the Advisory Committee of which he is the new Chair. He also explained the relationship of the COMSTAC with the FAA AST and let us know that their meetings are open to the public.  Announcements, archived videos and other important COMSTAC information can be found on their website at http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/advisory_committee.  ITAR reform was also a big part of our discussion.

In the second segment, Mr. Gold provided us with Bigelow Aerospace updates.  We started with Tony’s email about the Landis Land orbit in the Venusian Atmosphere in which in which he inquired if Bigelow or anyone had any plans to put a habitat in that orbit.  Mile’s response seemed to leave some openings there for a future down the road.  We talked more about ITAR, a subject that was discussed in both segments.  Mr. Gold talked about the upcoming ISS Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), which is scheduled to arrive at the space station in 2015 for a two-year technology demonstration (www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/news/beam_feature.html).  Mike mentioned that an astronaut would actually board the module.  We talked about government regulations, going BLEO and space property rights.  In fact, Mike suggested that the absence space property rights or legal processes for investment by private space companies is at least a partial explanation for why we have done so little in space development over the past several decades.  In the context of space based property right, we discussed the Outer Space Treaty (OST), benefit sharing issues, and the Moon Treaty.  Mike talked about an important first step in property right which would be to make sure that companies who operate and engage in space development can do so in an exclusive non-interference zone.  Near the end of the discussion we talked about the frustration in waiting for progress to be made, the earlier Bigelow successes including Genesis 1 & 2 and the BA 330 full service/size habitat.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Mike Gold through COMSTAC or me.