jump to navigation

Dr. Phil Chapman, Friday, 3-23-12 March 24, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Dr. Phil Chapman, Friday, 3-23-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1741-BWB-2012-03-23.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Phil Chapman.  Topics:  The status of our human spaceflight program, NASA, commercial space.  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 back Dr. Phil Chapman to suggest ways forward to improve our space program, specifically the human spaceflight (HSF) program.  Dr. Chapman started us off with an assessment that the NASA HSF program was at this time dismal.  Among the reasons cited were the likely number of U.S. astronauts that would be flying to the ISS through 2020 per the Soyuz and the fact that the pilots for U.S. astronauts will either be Russian or working for Space X.  All in all, he suggested that there might be 25-30 slots available and they would be filled by technicians.  During this nearly hour long first segment, he continued to summarize the problems and challenges, then he switched to probable solutions from the commercial side with a focus on Space X, the Falcon 9, and Dragon.  Phil had much to say about congressional support of SLS, the use of SRBs, and more.  He talked about the commercial value in returning to the Moon or going to an asteroid for Platinum Group Metals (PGM).  He indicated that future space activity had to be in support of settlement and commercialization.  Dr. Chapman then took us into an economic discussion and the need for space to be expanding, growing and developing new markets. As part of this discussion, both of us and the listeners had much to say about our policy makers. This brought up the “sustainable” discussion that many of you have heard before.  You do not want to miss Dr. Chapman’s economic discussion in this segment. Near the end of the segment, we talked about RLVs and the probable cost difference between a commercial venture and one undertaken by NASA.

In the second segment, Charles led off with a call suggesting a merger between Space X and Bigelow and simply bypassing NASA for everything.  After Charles finished, Phil talked about one probable driver for changing the space game, space solar power (SSP).  Dr. Chapman spent much of this segment laying out the case for SSP from a technical as well as economic/business perspective.  We also talked about policy and Zero G Zero Tax.  Public/Private partnerships were discussed and then Phil talked about international cooperation as compared to international competition.  Don’t miss this discussion.

If you have comments/questions for Dr. Phil Chapman, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to email Dr. Chapman, send your note to me and I will forward it to him.

 

Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Sunday, 3-11-12 March 11, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

Dr. Erik Seedhouse, Sunday, 3-11-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1732-BWB-2012-03-11.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Erik Seedhouse.  Topics:  We discussed his book, “Interplanetary Outpost: The Human and Technological Challenges of Exploring the Outer Planets,” the human factors issues & the technical issues for such missions.  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 back Dr. Seedhouse to discuss his new book on interplanetary missions.  Remember, if you buy the book using the following Amazon URL, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF (www.amazon.com/Interplanetary-Outpost-Technological-Challenges-Exploration/dp/1441997474/ref=onegiantlea20).  Dr. Seedhouse began our discussion by talking about the interplanetary mission research that has been done over the years and is still continuing though in a greatly reduced mode.  In this discussion, he referenced the HOPE Study for mission architecture to travel to Callisto, one of the moon’s of Jupiter.  He also talked about research going on with ESA regarding human hibernation and on this subject, we spend a considerable amount of time. Artificial gravity and radiation were discussed along with vision problems for astronauts having spent at least four months on orbit.

As we started the second segment,Marshall called in and wanted to know about athletic and sports games to pass the time for the crew on long spaceflights.  Dr. Seedhouse thought more of the idea to have some sort of sport or athletic game at the destination rather than on the spaceflight.  We also talked about what it would take to change attitudes and policy to undertake an interplanetary mission.  At one point in the discussion, our guest suggested we might be too soft in modern times to explore and that we were no longer as interested in exploring as we once were.  Make sure you hear this entire conversation.  We fielded more listener questions and calls, talked about humans being able to adapt to the space environment over a long period of time and genetic screening for crew selection.  We covered crew selection in some detail which then took us to the subject of bioethics which do not yet exist in any formal way for an interplanetary mission. Erik did include his version of an Interplanetary Bioethics Manual as Appendix II. We talked about pregnancy, pre-emptive surgery, death of a crew member, death of a family member back on Earth, waivers that would need to be signed by both crew and family members, and much more.  Toward the end of the program, our guest was asked about interplanetary propulsion systems and multigenerational crews.  Erik talked about the VASIMR and we asked lots of questions about the 2nd and 3rd generation members of the multigenerational crew and how to be sure they become doctors, engineers, and other positions needed for the crew’s survival and success.  We also talked about modernizing space suits and Erik told us about Blue Suit Days as a requirement for Canadian astronauts for space outreach support.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.

Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12 February 26, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
8 comments

Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1721-BWB-2012-02-26.mp3

Guest: Mark Whittington.  Topics: Space Budgets, policy, & politics.  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 Mark Whittington back to the show for this 2.5 hour wide ranging discussion on space budgets, the economy, space policy and space politics, plus economic issues facing the nation and others around the world.  We also talked about space perspectives of all those running for president including President Obama and the Republican party challengers.  Mark talked about two article he wrote that were pertinent to our discussion.  These articles are (1) “Moon Base Supporters Struggle to Justify the Project:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/moon-base-supporters-struggle-to-justify-the-project; and (2) “A Lunar Exploration Reading List for Mitt Romney:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/a-lunar-exploration-reading-list-for-mitt-romney.  In our first segment of 45 minutes, we talked about Texas space politics & redistricting, the Johnson Space Center, & the proposed FY 13 budget.  Mark suggested Congress would rewrite most of the budget but that the Senate would likely not pass a budget so we would end up on CR.  I asked Mark how that would lead to programs being cancelled such as ExoMars if we are still on CR as those programs are embedded in the CR from year to year.  Mark described the process through administrative acts by NASA, Congress, or the President re cancellation, and what the Appropriations Committee would have to do to avoid them. For the most part, more money would need to be found for NASA but that was not likely. Mark talked about what constitutes commercial saying that for something to be really commercial, it has to be able to fail. We compared today’s commercial space programs to gov. programs in terms of Mark’s criteria.  Listeners asked about SLS & Orion, wondering if it & when SLS would be cancelled. The idea of a lunar base was discussed in light of the comments made a few weeks ago in the Florida debate by Newt.  Mark also talked about what he thought might be the space policy of the other candidates though not that much is known other than for Newt, Mitt, and President Obama.  Mark talked about cutting out other budgetary items to make room for a quality space program & he highlighted the high speed rail program.

In our long second segment, Marshall called with a question about the original Mercury astronauts still alive.  We  talked some about human factors, microgravity, and life support issues.  Listeners asked about the Chinese space program & their military buildup.  Here, I referenced the recent congressional testimony of Ronald Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  The article I referenced is at http://bigthink.com/ideas/42630.  Mark spoke at length about exploration, citing his favorite history story involving Prince Henry The Navigator of Portugal. Jim asked Mark that if he believed commercial space was the best path forward & that SLS was a bad idea, how would he go about getting more support for commercial space even at the expense of SLS.  Mark offered some concrete ideas in response to Jim’s question. John from Billings sent in a few notes & then later called to talk about why there is such an argument about SRBs as compared to liquid rocket motors.  Challenger was mentioned along with Constellation but mainly Mark said that people’s behavior tends to find ways to support their beliefs. Terry, another Texan like Mark, called to ask why Sen. Hutchinson so strongly opposes commercial space.  Mark offered a pretty good answer.  Risk taking, more on SLS, Dream Chaser & the CST 100 were discussed along with the new project, Stratolaunch. As our program drew to a close, I asked Mark to summarize space policy for 2012 which he did do but then more questions came in.  Becky wanted Mark to connect the dots vis a vis our economy & how this might impact NASA & all space development.  This led to quite a little economic discussion with Mark, myself, and Dr. Jurist who called in about that time.  As usual, I went off on my rant about space as an investment, not an expense.  Jack got in the last word asking for three key events impacting space for 2012 other than the election.  Mark said the upcoming Space X flight, what Congress does with the budget, and the planned Chinese mission later this year.  In his concluding remarks, Mark talked about the economic options facing the country & he left us with a few points to consider.  He urged us to participate in Town Hall meetings and ask the candidates space questions.

If you have comments/questions please post them The Space Show blog.  Marks blog, Curmudgeons Corner, is at http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com.