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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-16-15 December 17, 2015

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John Batchelor Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-16-15

Special Guest:  Dr. Jeff Foust, Special Guest Host: Dr. Francis Rose

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2606-BWB-2015-12-16.mp3

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Guests: Francis Rose (Guest Host), Dr. Jeff Foust, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Return to flight for Orbital ATK and SpaceX. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written 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 do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm). For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.

 

Francis Rose, guest hosting for John Batchelor, and I welcomed back Dr. Jeff Foust to discuss the return to flight for Orbital ATK and SpaceX. In our discussion, we talked about the Russian rocket engines and their use in the U.S, specifically the RC180 and the RD181. Jeff elaborated on Orbital ATK using the Atlas 5 for two launches before bringing the Antares back on line in the late spring 2016. Regarding SpaceX, Jeff said everyone was waiting for the scheduled static firing test which had not happened by air time, followed by the Falcon 9 launch on Saturday providing everything went well with the test. Francis also asked Jeff about what seemed to be very heavy ISS space traffic coming and going.

 

You can email Mr. Rose or Jeff Foust through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

 

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

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Open Lines, Sunday, 11-8-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2581-BWB-2015-11-08.mp3

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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.

Don Nelson, Tuesday, 11-3-15 November 4, 2015

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Don Nelson, Tuesday, 11-3-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2578-BWB-2015-11-03.mp3

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Guest: Don Nelson.  Topic:  Development of a fleet of privately operated Commercial Space Shuttle Freighters (CSS Freighter) for commercial space, NASA & Air Force.  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 Don Nelson back to the show for this 90 minute discussion regarding his Commercial Space Shuttle Freighter (CSS Freighter) concept.  During the first segment, Don provided us with an overview of our current launch and human spaceflight situation, he talked about safety and reliability, then he started describing his CSS Freighter Concept.  You can learn more about it at his website, www.spacetran21.org.  He spent time explaining why wings were needed despite the common misconception that they become worthless mass in space.  He said over and over again that if one does the trades, wings come out far better than carrying additional propellant for a vertical landing.  He also said he was a strong proponent of full reusability, not just first stage reusability.  In response to several questions, he said his CSS Freighter was modeled after the shuttle but with new upgrade designs and technology though to save money and reduce development time, the freighters were to be based on existing technology.  He had much to say about the difficulty they had in upgrading space shuttle systems so this time around he said upgrades would be modular and as close to plug and play as possible.  His idea is that the freighters will be built and operated by the private sector.  He suggested the extensive use of composite materials to save on mass and to use reusable Space Shuttle Main Engines (SMEs).  He referenced the Air Force X-37B program, he talked about the advance state of the thermal protection systems (TPS) for this top secret spacecraft suggesting it would be the TPS of choice for the freighters.  Our guest was challenged in both segments regarding other reusability options including the advancement toward success represented by SpaceX and the Falcon 9.  Don said it was first stage only, he was talking about full vehicle reusability and making the case for his approach with wings.  Don’t miss the challenges and the replies. Don also spelled out the advantages of horizontal as compared to vertical vehicle landing regarding reusability.

In the second segment, BJohn asked about the Soviet version of the shuttle, the Buran.  Don mostly talked about lessons learned by their not having a reusable space shuttle main engine (SME).  Don was asked about international vehicle participation in his freighter project. He said not with this Congress and referenced our policy on not talking with China.  Don was also asked for the rational for doing this and he focused on competition.  Make sure you hear this discussion.  He said he was including the Air Force in his plan given the rapid turnaround time for the vehicle (five days).  He explained the Air Force market in detail and is in touch with key Air Force people.  In addition, he has made presentations to members of Congress and their staffs plus key people at NASA.  I asked him how they responded to the concept.  You don’t want to miss what he said about that.  Alex asked an email question about launch pads and NASA having altered or gotten rid of the shuttle launch pads.  Don said launch pads were not an issue, even suggested foreign launch sites, but did say KSC was a prime launch location in the U.S.  Don attacked expendable rockets over and over again in both segments so Ben from Seattle pressed him as to why his reusable freighter would be more reliable than an expendable rocket.  He said each flight of an expendable rocket was a test flight.  Our guest received a questions about suborbital flight evolving to orbital flight, listeners asked about private Bigelow space stations, and one listener wanted his thoughts on the Skylon.  Tim called in and talked about chemical rockets and rocket fuel. He also inquired about scramjets and Big Dumb Boosters.  Doug called in to challenge his reusability comments citing the Falcon 9 to make his case that wings were wasted mass.  Don’t miss this discussion.  When asked if he thought things would change as a result of the coming elections, he suggested that a new congress would likely terminate SLS given our budget & SLS problems.  Don’t miss the balance of his concluding comments.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Don Nelson through me or his website.

Michael Listner, Sunday, 11-1-15 November 2, 2015

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Michael Listner, Sunday, 11-1-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2575-BWB-2015-11-01.mp3

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Guest: Michael Listner. Topics: Space policy and space law issues. 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 back Michael Listner for this near end of the year review on space policy and law issues. During the first segment of this 1 hour 53 minute program, Michael started out with a review and update regarding actions in Congress concerning commercial space legislation and the Resource Utilization Act, plus some space property issues. These topics consumed most of the first segment with active discussions going into the issue of government subsidies which Michael expressed strong feelings about. He got some blow back with listener questions and even from me. He talked about liability issues and the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill, focusing on federal vs. state jurisdiction. John in Freemont called to inquire about “skin in the game” by the commercial space companies and here again, Michael expressed strong views and options. Doug suggested it would be more appropriate to refer to the commercial in commercial crew as public-private instead of just commercial. Michael supported Doug’s comments.

In the second segment, Michael switched to the topic of the RD-180 Ban which he explained in detail. Adrian challenged some of Michael’s comments on subsidies as well. Michael also spoke out against wanting to cooperate with China in space. Listen to his reasons and explanations behind his perspective. Later in the segment, Andrew in Finland took issue with Michael’s comments on not doing things with China and seemed to criticize Cong. Wolf for his congressional lead on not talking with China based on “one religiously-driven representative.” This opened up a mini-policy program of not doing business as usual with offenders of basic human rights though as we all know we are very hypocritical about the application of this policy. Michael joined in this mini discussion with Andrew and myself which was the final topic of the day. Earlier in the second segment, commercial crew was discussed as was the European Code of Conduct, the British cubesat regulatory policy, and the fact that Israel joined COPOUS and the House re-authorized the Ex-Im bank. This brought us back to Michael’s perspective on subsidies talked about in the first segment.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Michael Listner through me or his new blog, https://spacethoughtsblog.wordpress.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.

 

Dr. Clark Lindsey, Tuesday, 6-30-15 June 30, 2015

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Dr. Clark Lindsey, Tuesday, 6-30-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2500-BWB-2015-06-30.mp3

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Guest: Dr. Clark Lindsey. Topics: We reviewed current issues and happenings across the full spectrum of the space 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.

We welcomed Dr. Clark Lindsey back to the program for a wide ranging discussion on space industry news and issues. During the first segment of our 1 hour 47 minute program, Clark started out by talking about the changes over the years in the small satellite industry. He referenced several companies making news such as One World, Spire, Planet Labs, Skybox, Rocket Lab, Firefly, plus others. This brought him to an interesting cubesat discussion. Next up was the Falcon 9 launch failure from a few days ago. He did not have any new information and we are all still waiting for the cause of the mishap to be stated. He did clarify some of the confusion around the Air Force having sent a destruct signal to the Falcon 9. He said such a signal was sent but about 90 seconds after the event. We then talked about other rocket launch failures in the early days of the Arianne, Atlas & Delta history. Clark was asked about policy issues surrounding the RD-180 engine buy, Senator McCain, commercial crew, and congressional leanings at this point in time. Listeners asked him if he thought SpaceX was seriously hurt by the Falcon 9 accident. He said he thought the company was definitely wounded but it was too early to determine how badly the wound might be. He mentioned the Google billion dollar investment in SpaceX, their commercial manifest and more. Joe in Dallas wanted to know how he thought the Falcon Heavy schedule might be altered as a result of the launch failure. Clark talked about other work being carried out by SpaceX plus he offered some ideas on how testing of any new Falcon 9 systems might be integrated into testing other SpaceX projects including the Falcon Heavy. Jack in Boston wanted to know if Clark had any information on Virgin Galactic. Clark talked about XCOR in his answer and said the companies would likely be adopting a very slow go time table to assure no further mishaps.

In the second segment, we started discussing Clark’s slide presentation on the satellite industry per his talk at Space Access 2015. You can find these slides on The Space Show blog post for this program as I uploaded them to the blog with Clark’s permission. As you will hear later in this segment, we got sidetracked by listener questions and calls so Clark did not get to finish going through the slide presentation so I urge you to view the slides on your own as they certainly clarify the commercial markets and more for many of the satellite markets and uses. Earlier in the segment, Clark did talk about the GEO communication market, also the small satellite market for both LEO and MEO. He was optimistic that commercial companies will start to emerge to address the launch market issues for the small satellites. Clark did talk about the market for these satellites for tracking maritime shipping. He has a special slide illustrating this but from what Clark said, it sounds like a potentially very lucrative market to exploit. Clark fielded some questions about the legal and regulator regime for commercial space and said that not only was the technology pushing the frontiers of development, so were the space law and regulatory issues pushing the frontier for moving the industry forward. He used space debris removal as an example. Tim from Brooklyn sent in a note asking about space tugs and Falcon Heavy which was followed by a good discussion on SLS, space tugs, fuel depots, and one’s space vision for the future as SLS John called in to talk SLS and more with Clark. Tim wanted to know just what we could do today and over the next 5 years with a space tug and the Falcon Heavy. Don’t miss what Clark had to say in response to this question. As we neared the end of the program, Clark provided a sort of short rocket industry overview for us, he talked deep space rocketry, & cost effective SpaceX manufacturing processes. He quickly summarized several of his slides that we did not have time to discuss, then we both offered summary statements about the positive direction commercial space has been going in recent years, despite setbacks, with both of us believing the growth and progress will continue.

Please post your comments/Questions for Dr. Clark Lindsey on TSS blog above. You can reach Clark through his website or me.

SpaceAccess15_SmallSatTalk

Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14 November 15, 2014

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2356-BWB-2014-11-14.mp3

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Guest:  Rand Simberg.  Topics:  Test flights, space tourism, policy, recent accidents,  rockets, rocket motors, heavy lift & 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 Rand Simberg back to the show for a wide ranging discussion on top space news items, the SS2 accident update, space policy issues, and more.  During the first segment of this 96 minute program, Rand led off with the mentioning of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 12 launch.  Next up was a short discussion about Comet 67P and the Philae lander, then Rand mentioned his current article in PJ Media, http://pjmedia.com/blog/commercial-spaceflights-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-last-week-of-october.  Rand talked about what is currently known about the SS2 accident, the NTSB investigation, & that nothing has been ruled out as a cause or partial cause for the accident.  When asked if he thought the accident would cause the FAA to start regulating the industry, he did not think so but listen to his reply.  This topic also came up in the last segment of our show. Rand mentioned that XCOR was moving ahead & there technology is different from the one employed by Virgin.  He also made a point of explaining multiple times that a test flight was not a commercial flight.  Rand got some listener emails about investment in Virgin and if it was waning.  Helen emailed in asking about a possible lapse in the Virgin safety culture.  Carl emailed in about the impact of the SS2 accident on Spaceport America.  We switched gears and talked about Antares, the Orbital-ATK merger, & the use of Russian rocket motors.

In the second segment, Rand was asked about the possible impact on Virgin’s customer base.  Rand said that the bigger risk was the investment risk.  The RD180 came up again as did the Atlas 5, Delta 4, and the Falcon 9.  We talked about possible midterm election impact and here Rand thought there might be more impact on the DOD side than NASA.  We discussed projects that might be cancelled as a result of the election and the ARM topped the list.  he did talk SLS and thought that eventually it would be shut down, especially if SpaceX gets Falcon Heavy flying.  Rand also mentioned the NRC Pathways Human Spaceflight Study but was critical of it, especially the part that said there had been no and will be no launch vehicle advances for the past 30 years.  Dr. Lurio was our first caller & he wanted to discuss possible FAA regulations, his understanding of the test flight vs. commercial flight policy application & more.  They talked about hybrid rocket motor vibrations and the unknowns regarding the current test flight.  Toward the end of their discussion they joked about using SLS to launch many many cubesats.  Kirk emailed us with a question about methane engine.  Rand had much to say about methane rocket motors so don’t miss his reply.  Rand talked about hybrid rocket motors and some of their problems, specifically for SS2 and Dream Chaser.  I asked our guest about the upcoming Orion test flight and the heat shield comments offered earlier in the week by Bob Zimmerman.  I then asked if he thought there would be a surge in return to the Moon projects.  Michael Listner called in regarding the likelihood of safety regulations coming to pass as a result of the accident.  Rand and Michael had an active discussion about this possibility.  As the program was ending, Rand talked about his book, “Safe Is Not An Option” which is available online and in the ebook format.  Remember, if you buy it through the OGLF Amazon portal, Amazon makes a contribution to TSS.  Rand mentioned he might update the book once the NTSB report on the accident is finalized.  Read Rand’s blog, Transterrestrial Musings at  http://transterrestrial.com.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Rand through his blog or through me.

Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 9-16-14 September 17, 2014

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Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 9-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2317-BWB-2014-09-16.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Mike Griffin.  Topics: Human spaceflight policy, political choices, space technology, Mars, Moon, Asteroids and 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 to the program Dr. Mike Griffin.  During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Mike talked about human spaceflight (HSF) and the commercial space market.  He said exploration would be a government project or at least with government in the lead, especially if the commercial market was not there.  He threw water on the argument that our space policy was budget driven.  Instead, he talked about it being based on choices we make. It was not and is not about the money.  His comments throughout or discussion on this topic supported his argument.  He even said the cost of space for the U.S. taxpayer was around 15 cents/day.  This discussion evolved to one on the importance of leadership which we agreed was in short supply today.  Included in this discussion was Mike’s vision for our space policy & program, plus he explained its importance and value to our nation both today and for the future.  He spoke to the issue of what society wants and the choices it makes that shape our future.  Space should be part of our national policy debate and hopefully such a debate would enable quality choices to be made that keep us on the leadership edge with all nations.   Mike was asked who he thought would be next on the Moon and he said China.  We also talked about the private sector taking us back to the Moon with HSF.  He said that the private sector could do this, capital was not an issue, but for the private sector to do it there needs to be a closing of the business case which he did not see at this time.  SLS John called in & asked about space advocacy diversity which he said seemed to be at war with NASA & whatever the program of record might be.  Mike had much to say about this, especially about inefficiencies in government organizations and projects.  He also said if the private venture or industry cannot make money, then it should be a federal project. Many times during our discussion he said that there are things that a society should do just because they are hard & they don’t have to look good on the balance sheet.  John also asked about the RD-180 engine, Mike offered us his conclusion as to why we should be a new version of the RD-180 so that we do not continue being dependent on Russia for space related hardware, etc.  Later, he was asked about cislunar space development which he said should be a public enterprise.  He cited many examples and models supporting the public development of this important space infrastructure.  SLS was discussed.  Mike very clearly articulated the case for SLS today and again repeated that SLS future missions are about choices, not the budget.  Don’t miss his comments.  As the segment ended, Randy emailed a question asking for the rational & silver bullet for HSF.  In my opinion, Mike gave an excellent response to this question so don’t miss it.

In the second segment, Mike got some questions about NASA doing more R&D and even forming a NACA-like division or program.  We talked about NASA R&D, the need for a NACA-like program and more.  Dave, our caller, commented on leadership, then Bill in Denver emailed in a question about using fuel depots and smaller launch vehicles rather than heavy lift vehicles like SLS.  Again, Mike had much to say about heavy lift, including that while possible to do smaller vehicle launches., the numbers don’t pan out for efficiency.  You need to listen to this full discussion which also addressed some bogus assumptions regarding inefficient heavy lift decision making.  Nuclear propulsion and Vasimr came up, , then we again focused on vision that takes on big challenges because we can!  More was said on lunar colonies evolving to longer BLEO missions plus cislunar commerce, especially cislunar cargo missions.  Another listener asked about being dependent on the Russians for HSF to the ISS and if shuttle was retired too early.  Mike talked about having wanted to fly shuttle at a minimum rate annually until a new vehicle was operational.  We talked about the role of the congress and White House as compared to the role of the NASA Administrator.  Later, we talked about the role of public support and individuals petitioning congress on space policy.  Listen to his story about the Hubble repair mission.  I even asked if poorly written and fantasy driven letters to informed staffers helped or hurt the cause.  Listen for Mike’s response. In summary, Mike said his wish was that people would share is view that there are important things for society to do but that don’t look good on a balance sheet.  In the end, he said he was optimistic that his positive views on space would prevail and that when policy makers realized that China was going to put people on the Moon and what that would mean for the US, it would not be allowed to happen.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.

Open Lines, Sunday, 5-18-14 May 19, 2014

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Open Lines, Sunday, 5-18-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2245-BWB-2014-05-18.mp3

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Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The passing of Roger Easton, father of GPS, Russia, ISS, NASA, Ukraine, sanctions, space policy.  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 this 2 hour 1 minute program.  In our first segment, we started with the first caller, Richard Easton who told us about the passing of his Dad, Roger Easton, the father of GPS.  Richard has been a guest on the show several times &we were most fortunate to have Roger as a guest as well several years ago.  We took this opportunity to honor Roger Easton & talk about the early days of Roger’s timing work which formed the backbone of GPS.  Richard went through some of the early history with us as he has done on previous shows. I urge you to listen to this call plus go back and listen to Richard’s earlier shows, including his first one when Roger was with him. You will hear oral history at its best & from the major scientist/engineer who brought us GPS.  After Richard’s call, we took our first break.

In the second segment, I read a NASA PR announcement about the successful recovery of Dragon bringing back 3,500 lbs. of cargo from the ISS.  Congratulations to SpaceX and NASA!.  John from Ft. Worth called to talk about the U.S. sanctions on Russia regarding the Crimea/Ukraine, the Atlas 5, the RD-180 engine and various straggles that might unfold for the ISS.  John was asking thought provoking questions which neither of us could answer but we do know the situation is largely political rhetoric and posturing right now but could easily change.  I asked John if he thought we might fast track the development of HSF and Dragon.  As he said, we wait and see.  Next, I took a very short break to return with my attempt to respond to the questions about Russia, the ISS, and sanctions asked by Kelly in his email which I read on air.  Our next caller was first time caller John from New Jersey who took us through to the end of the program.  John’s call was an excellent one & I urge you to listen to what he had to say.  We talked about the old shuttle policy, the possible use of depots, lunar settlement & using the Moon for training and experience to go further out in space.  We also talked about Mars and asteroid mission, then the issue of leadership came up regarding policy & in particular, space.  Like so many of us frustrated by our current situation, John was unable to find answers to how to advance policy.  I asked him if the militarization of space by another state actor might be a driver for the type of space activities we had been talking about.  He did not think so but listen to his answer.  One of his favorite comments  was to the effect that “we are having Star Trek dreams in a wagon train universe!”  Prior to ending our program, I went over our upcoming Space Show schedule.

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

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 5-6-14 May 7, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 5-6-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2239-BWB-2014-05-06.mp3

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If you are listening to archives & rating programs on live365.com, email me the reasons for your rating to help improve the show

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Russia-NASA space relationship with sanctions, ISS, SpaceX, Air Force & 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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program to discuss the issues facing the U.S. and Russia as a result of the Russian aggression in the Crimea & the Ukraine and in light of U.S. sanctions against Russia for this aggression.  We discussed possible interruptions regarding the ISS, ongoing Soyuz flights for American astronauts, continued purchases of the RD-180 engine for the Atlas rocket and the N-33 for the Orbital Antares rocket.  We discussed side issues relative to these big picture issues as well.  In the first segment of this 2 hour 5 minute show, Bob explained the Russia-NASA space relationship from his perspective. We talked about there being a probable low risk that the parties we would quit cooperating with one another on the ISS but more of our attention in this segment was focused on the Atlas rocket and the use of the RD-180 engine which is a Russian engine.  This focus was largely the result of our first phone call from Kelly and as you will hear, Bob and Kelly did not always see eye to eye on the issue and they both seemed to enjoy talking at the same time.  For the record, when that happens, as the show host, its nearly impossible to get words or comments to stop them until at least one person stops talking. This is an artifact of the use of a cell phone and the loss of full duplex voice exchange.  The issues discussed in this segment regarding the Ukraine and the RD-180 were also carried forward to the second segment as well.  Bob thought there might be a silver lining in all this in that it might be waking up important segments here in America and forcing the space industry to stop being so dependent on Russia and building up our commercial space industry.  Also discussed in this segment was the Orbital Antares which uses the Russian N-33 engine.  The upcoming Orbital and ATK merger was part of our discussion and the possible replacement of the N-33 with an ATK solid rocket motor for the first stage.

In the second segment, John from Ft. Worth called in regarding the Ukrainian issue .  He also talked about possible U.S. government waivers for the engines.  Fast tracking the Dragon came up and then email listeners started asking Bob if Orion could be fast tracked.  Bob made his usual comments on SLS and Orion, Lockheed.  His favorite word for the night was PORK.  Had it been the secret word where you win a hundred dollars every time you mention PORK, Bob would have cleaned up.  Kelly emailed us to remind everyone that Putin considers the RD-180 a national treasure and may stop the sales of it anyway.  Doug sent in emails asking about Falcon Heavy missions as compared to SLS missions. Bob said Falcon Heavy could do everything SLS could do and cheaper, even if it required multiple launches as he does not think SLS will fly and the flight profile for SLS at 1 launch every 3-4 years is not sustainable.  Doug also inquired about reusability, ULA, Boeing, & Lockheed because using it might drop their overall price since the government would likely not pay substantially more than a commercial company for the same launch.  I think I will honor Bob the next time he comes on the show with new bumper music, this time from Annie Get Your Gun with the song “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better sung by Bette Hutton and Howard Keel.  All we need is a Space Show listener with talent to substitute a few key words in the song to be relevant to Bob, Doug and others re Falcon Heavy, SpaceX, SLS, Orion, the private sector, government space, etc.  For those of you too young to remember Annie Get Your Gun and this famous song, check it out at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO23WBji_Z0.  Tony called about Russian cultural issues and SpaceX, then we got the call of the night in my opinion from Ben in New Jersey. Ben pointed out that “the basic strategic driver for Russia in Crimea is that well over 90% of the fresh water and electricity needed in Crimea comes from the Kherson region of Ukraine. Fresh water supply from Ukraine to Crimea has already been shut down. Crimea has only 30 days of fresh water left. There are rolling blackouts, as the electrical supply is also low. Russia cannot allow this to continue.”  Ben continued to offer his analysis which you will find most interesting. By the way, if you are not familiar with the geography of the Ukraine and Crimea, here is a good reference map of the region:  http://www.businessinsider.com/map-ukraine-threats-from-russia-2014-5#!J0srL.  Ben continued with his analysis and Bob and I picked his brain for his idea of the outcome of the disputes.  Both Bob & Ben thought Russia has some natural constraints so they are likely only to take the easier “low hanging fruits” as they will avoid an all out and bloody conflict.  At other times during the segment, other listeners suggested that the situation will ease over time and that the space issues will also be eased.  Bob said over and over again that he did not believe Russia wanted to lose its commercial space revenue and this would probably be a constraint on his behavior.  At different times during both segments, the SpaceX lawsuit was discussed but mostly in the context of the national security issues pertaining to Russia, NASA and our space policy and relationship.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. Bob can be reached through his website, http://www.Behindtheblack.com.

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