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The NRC Pathways HSF Study Panel Discussion, Sunday, 10-12-14 October 13, 2014

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The NRC Pathways HSF Study Panel Discussion, Sunday, 10-12-14

Featuring Dr. Jim Logan, Dan Adamo, Dr. John Jurist

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2334-BWB-2014-10-12.mp3

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Guests:  Dan Adamo, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics:  Our three guests reviewed the NRC “Pathways To Exploration HSF study.  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 2.5 hour Space Show Classroom discussion with Dan Adamo, Dr. John Jurist, & Dr. Jim Logan regarding the recently released NRC “Pathways To Exploration: Rationales And Approaches For A U.S. Program Of Human Space Exploration.”  You can download the report for free at  http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18801.  In addition, the project referred to in the last part of this discussion by Dan and Jim, the “Aquarius interplanetary HSF transport” paper can be freely downloaded at  http://www.spaceenterpriseinstitute.org/2014/07/aquarius-a-reusable-water-based-interplanetary-human-spaceflight-transport.  Please note that our panel members used cell phones which caused audio issues which you may hear during the discussion.  Finally, as this program will also be archived on both The Space Show and The Space Show Classroom blogs, there will be two papers uploaded to each blog, one by Dan Adamo & the other by caller Dr. James Dewar. I will mention both in the summary below.  In the first segment, our panel members opened with their perspective on the NRC Pathways HSF study.  While there were similarities in their perspectives, there were also noteworthy differences.  After this comprehensive introduction, I asked our panel members about the study and space settlement or pioneering.  Each panel member had much to say on the settlement issue, including the need to solve the gravity prescription for long duration HSF or settlement.  Our panel members  said that for the most part, space settlement was out of scope for this report.  In this part of the discussion much was said about microgravity issues & the need to do on orbit experiments to determine the HSF gravity prescription.  Deimos was discussed as an initial better choice that the surface of Mars re microgravity issues.  Our guests spoke to the need of a short arm centrifuge on the ISS.  Jim spoke to the specifics of such an experiment such as 1 G at the head., 2.5 g’s at the feet for two hours a day to see how it serves as a microgravity countermeasure.  Our panel members mentioned that there already was such a short arm centrifuge built years ago by NASA and Wiley, http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/slsd/about/divisions/hacd/laboratories/short-arm_centrifuge_laboratory.html.  The guests talked about unknown human factor challenges for going to Mars and long duration spaceflight.  Jim provided us with interesting statistics on human spaceflight totals since the beginning in 1961.  The panel members had much to say about the budget issues discussed in the NRC study.  Another point brought up was the study’s assumption that if we are not going to the surface of Mars, why even do HSF?  Near the end of the first segment, listener Carl brought up the well known plans for Mars settlement with Elon Musk & SpaceX.  This sparked quite the discussion so don’t miss it.

In the second segment, our panel talked about the value of the Pathways study, international partnerships and what they saw as contradictory statements, especially regarding the mission cost impact of such partnerships.  John mentioned the study’s reference to NASA education & public outreach which he thought was more focused on STEM & the development of more engineers rather than on educating the general public to be more knowledgeable about science.  The panel members  noted that there was little attention paid to the societal impact of not even having a human spaceflight program.  Dan & Jim agreed on the importance of educational outreach and shared their experiences with us from the employment with NASA.  Adrian in San Diego sent in an email suggesting the panel was being pessimistic and that China would not overthink issues and just do missions without full disclosure.  All three panel members had much to say in response to Adrian’s charge of being pessimistic.  They talked about being reality based, not pessimistic & why it was so important to be reality based.  The panel hit back hard on the charge of being pessimistic.  Dan & Jim said to be other than realistic was reckless and irresponsible.  Jim also said that being called pessimistic suggested to him that reality had violated the person’s ideology.  Jim would be happy to debate the issues with anyone in open forum.  This discussion brought Jim and Dan to talking about their Aquarius project which you can download at the above URL.  They spent some time discussing the benefits of their approach, noting how it addresses & mitigates many of the problems associated with a HSF mission to Mars.  They also spoke to the need for nuclear propulsion and talked about using water as fuel and very high ISP ratings with high temperatures.  During this discussion, Dr. Jim Dewar called in to suggest their ISP ratings were low, he explained why, and he talked about starting small to start flying and then improving as you go.  We did not know it but we lost John from the connection but Jim, Dan, and Dr. Dewar spoke to the NERVA project, and specifics about nuclear propulsion.  This advanced nuclear propulsion discussion was close to a half an hour near the end of the program.  Dr. Dewar was a guest on the program in 2008 & 2009 regarding nuclear propulsion & its history. He also authored two books on the subject.  Use the GuestSearch tool on our website to find his interviews which I suggest you listen to if you have not already done so.  I will also upload to both blogs the paper Dr. Dewar referenced in his discussion.  After the nuclear discussion, Adrian sent in another email titled “rebuttal.”  He challenged the panel members to do the experiments, not just to talk about them.  Jim, Dan & I challenged Adrian for his solutions to doing many of the needed & essential experiments. All of the panel members supported doing the needed experiments & have said so for decades.  Getting funding for the experiments, NASA approval, etc. is a challenge.  I then challenged Adrian to come to The Space Show as a guest with his solutions for doing the essential work & experiments rather than his just talking about how badly they are needed per his second email.  I hope Adrian does have answers and will contact me about coming on the show to discuss them with us.  Jim & Dan each provided closing comments focusing back on the study report.  They thought the report was worth it from the taxpayer perspective and that it would be used for references.  Jim did think the report was not as good as other government studies he had seen because it was so speculative, something all three guests addressed in their opening remarks.  An 11th hour call came from SLS John to talk about the ISP formula & temperatures Dan and Jim used in their paper Aquarius paper.  Dan authorized me to upload to the blog his written comments on the NRC Pathways study so you will find that document on both blogs as well.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach the panel members through me.

A Technical Note on Nuclear Rockets-1

PathwaysCommentaryR3

Dr. James (Jim) Wertz, Sunday, 3-17-13 March 17, 2013

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Dr. James (Jim) Wertz, Sunday, 3-17-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1975-BWB-2013-03-17.mp3

Guest:  Dr. James (Jim) Wertz.  Topics:  Reducing space mission launch costs, changing space industry attitudes.  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 back Dr. Jim Wertz, President of Microcosm, to continue our discussion on lowering total space mission costs.  For more information, visit the company website, www.smad.com/ie/ieframessr2.html.  Make sure you check out the Scorpius launch vehicle link on the website as this launcher could be a model for what Dr. Wertz talked about during the program.  In the first hour of our 100 minute program, Dr. Wertz identified sequestration and the government response to it as a big problem for the space industry, specifically the smaller companies and financially vulnerable projects.  Also, the fact that we are still on CR with the budget adds to the stress.  Despite the problems, Dr. Wertz did say throughout our discussion that it was possible for something good to come out of all of the problems in that we might actually start focusing on lowering total space mission costs. During much of the first hour, Dr. Wertz discussed the way the industry works, some of the challenges to lowering mission costs, and the need for lots and lots of attitudes to change to embrace the lower mission cost goals rather than the status quo or holding on to thinking that the rough times will pass and then we will be back to normal.  We talked about choke points in the strategy, the challenges, the hurdles.  I asked if NASA and Congress were the obstacles.  Dr. Wertz mostly said it was a collective attitude throughout the industry with all of us and all sectors that prevents the broad scale creation of the low cost mission environment.  He cited many examples, including a ten year spacecraft build out with a 15 year life such that when done, its 25 years behind the times.  He talked about advancing & new technology and the need to stay current, to keep replacing the old with the new.  We also talked about the value & economics of having hardware & component backups on a shelf ready to go when needed.  Reusability came up & I used Doug’s email as the poster question on the subject.  This turned into an detailed discussion about the both the upside and downside of reusability. As you will hear, economics don’t favor reusability unless there is a dramatically higher launch rate.  Dr. Jurist called in to talk about student projects & the need to launch them while the students are still in school. He also talked about this in the context of keeping young people interested in space.  He asked Jim for solutions and Jim suggested simpler designs. For example, pressure fed systems rather than using high speed turbo pumps with thousands of parts, plus the use of more composites, especially in the tanks.  Jim was asked about the minimum possible launcher size and he said about 100 kg or 220 lbs. to LEO.

In our shorter second segment, Dr. Wertz was asked about the commercial private ventures announced in 2012 and so far this year.  He though we were technically capable of doing most of them but that the track record for the private sector in reducing total space mission costs was not that much better than the public sector track record.  He went back to saying the main driver was attitude and that changing attitudes within the industry in the public and private sectors was key to reducing space mission costs.  He cited yet another example, this time the idea to use AMSAT for space communications.  Dr. Wertz added that we need to convey urgency to the policy makers in getting them to change their attitude as other nations are moving forward with space and in many ways we are in retreat.  Claudia in Memphis sent in a note asking if classes were taught in aerospace engineering programs on how to change attitudes within the industry.  Dr. Wertz liked the idea but was not aware of classes of that kind.  As the program was ending, he talked about how and who to influence and used the Rachel Carson environmental book “Silent Spring” as an example.  He concluded the discussion by mentioning the Reinventing Space Conference in Los Angeles, Oct. 13-17 (see www.responsivespace.com). He repeated his hope for a positive outcome from sequestration which would be a renewed focus on the need to actually develop systems & the environment to enable reduction of space mission costs, including launch costs.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Dr. Wertz at jwertz@smad.com.

Janet Stevens, National Space Symposium, Thursday, 3-14-13 March 15, 2013

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Janet Stevens, National Space Symposium, Thursday, 3-14-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1973-BWB-2013-03-14.mp3

Guest: Janet Stevens.  Topic: The National Space Symposium sponsored by the Space Foundation, Colorado Springs, CO.  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 Ms. Janet Stevens to the program, the Space Foundation’s marketing and PR program manager for a discussion about the upcoming National Space Symposium to be held in Colorado Springs from April 8-11, 2013.  For more information about the National Space Symposium, please visit www.nationalspacesymposium.org/top-reasons-to-attend.  For additional information regarding the Space Foundation, visit www.spacefoundation.org.  We started our one hour discussion with Ms. Stevens by addressing the 29th National Space Symposium, its history, relevancy to everything we do in space, the program agenda, some of the keynote speakers and events, plus the conference location and registration information, all of which is available online on the conference website.  Ms. Stevens talked about the broad reach of this particular conference/symposium, including a significant international support both in the form of attendance but in speakers and programming.  We also talked about the constraints on NASA and other government agencies this year as a result of sequestration & how each department and government organization seems to be handling the very tight money situation.  Janet highlighted the agenda starting the first day with the Cyber 1.3 programming followed by the opening events for the conference at the end of the day.  Use the conference website for a full description of the daily agenda, the main speakers and their bios, plus the general discussion topics that will be addressed during the program.  Listeners asked logistic and registration questions and one person even wanted to know the reason for Sigourney Weaver serving as the gala event speaker.  In addition to her work in space and sci-fi related films, Ms. Weaver is also engaged in education outreach which is a main focus of the Space Foundation.  Janet talked about the Space Report 2012 which is available from their online store, www.nationalspacesymposium.org/about/space-foundation-online-store.  For those interested in attending, note that today is the day Early Bird Registration ends so best to register at the lower price today, Friday, 3-15-13, if at all possible.   Other related topics address commercial space which is now about 70% of total space revenue.  We also talked about the excellent networking opportunities with the top people speaking and attending plus the Exhibit Hall which as you will hear is second to none.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  For National Space Symposium information, you can send your questions via their website using www.nationalspacesymposium.org/about/contact-us.