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Dr. Roger Launius, Friday, 11-29-13 November 30, 2013

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Dr. Roger Launius, Friday, 11-29-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2132-BWB-2013-11-29.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Roger Launius.  Topics:  We discussed Roger’s new book, “Space Shuttle Legacy: How We Did It and What We Learned,” space shuttles lessons learned, HSF & 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed back Dr. Roger Launius to discuss his new book, “Space Shuttle Legacy: How We Did It and What We Learned.”  During the first segment of this 1 hour 25 minute discussion, Dr. Launius provided us with the background behind this book which Dr. Launius and two other co-edited as a result of a suggestion Dr. Vigor Yang, chair of the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and James Craig, emeritus professor the school.  Dr. Launius took us through the book’s contents including the title, subject, and authors of the contributions to this book. Our guest talked about the time we spent in LEO, that it was frustrating to many but it did create the situation where LEO is no longer a space frontier.  We also talked about how the shuttle paved the way for development of NewSpace and the emerging commercial industry.  This pertains to the Washington Post article we discussed. See the URL for this article at the end of this summary.  Listeners asked him questions about the Constellation program, the use of shuttle derived architecture for Constellation rockets, and capsules versus winged spacecraft.  We also talked about commercial opportunities emerging in LEO.  A listener asked about the cost of the Soyuz for American astronaut rides to the ISS and that it was still cheaper than launching a shuttle.  Roger brought up other concerns regarding the use of the Soyuz for transport to the station.  John from Ft. Worth called and said he thought shuttle was a creation of compromise. Dr. Launius was then asked about SLS & Orion which took us into human spaceflight and the difficulty in identifying a compelling reason for HSF.  We talked about inspiration as a compelling reason but our guest said it did not hold up as there were other ways to inspire students and people.  We spoke about the Inspiration Mars mission and Mr. Tito’s recent congressional testimony.  We then talked about Dr. Zubrin’s plan to partner up with Russia for a manned mission to Mars.

In our second segment, we talked about the ISS, NANORACKS and its success, emerging ISS commercial opportunities.  However, the possible retirement of the station around 2020 is worrisome.  John emailed in wondering if the Chinese landed humans on the Moon if it would make a difference in our space program.  I asked our guest for a few of the Lessons Learned from the shuttle and we talked more about it having been an experimental aircraft and what that meant.  We got questions about new technology, advancing using new technology, and then more comments about capsules and winged spacecraft.  Roger was asked to speculate on what would happen with a subcortical accident with injury or death and an orbital accident causing crew injury or death.  As the show was nearing its end, we talked about space advocacy, its effectiveness, and the lack of a unified voice in the space community. Finally, I asked our guest for specific positive and negative lessons learned from the shuttle years.  Note that the WaPo article referred to in the discussion comparing old space with NewSpace is at www.washingtonpost.com/sf/national/2013/11/23/which-way-to-space.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above.  You can email Dr. Launius through me.

Dr. Dennis Bushnell, Tuesday, 7-23-13 July 24, 2013

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Dr. Dennis Bushnell, Tuesday, 7-23-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2055-BWB-2013-07-23.mp3

 

Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

Guest:  Dr. Dennis Bushnell.   Topics:  We discussed Dr. Bushnell’s paper, TRL for space development & how best to move forward with civil space.  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.

We welcomed back to the program Dr. Dennis Bushnell, the NASA Langley Research Center Chief Scientist.  Dr. Bushnell discussed his paper, “Advanced-to-Revolutionary Space Technology Options-The Responsibly Imaginable.” which can be downloaded at http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20130011698_2013011376.pdf.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 26 minute show, Dr. Bushnell summarized the findings in his paper and talked about how we are still building on technologies from the 50’s and 60’s that were based on “living better with chemistry” and ICBMs.  We began talking about advanced propulsion including nuclear, but our guest made it clear throughout our discussion that what was needed was a reduction in the cost of space access by a magnitude of 10, not by two which is what is happening with new commercial rockets coming on line.  In fact, later in the show when discussing commercial space, Dr. Bushnell was clear that to close a commercial space business plan the reduction in launch costs by a factor of ten was absolutely essential!  I asked our guest to tell us where the bottlenecks were and he said it was in the culture & big cultural changes were required to move forward.  He also talked about the need to experiment and try lots of options and ideas, to triage them, down select, fly them, and choose the best based on the engineering process he described.  We talked about the low technology readiness level (TRL) of many of today’s space ideas and technologies, that we have become focused on instant or near instant gratification but that the process he was talking about would extend over a 25 year period.  Given this, his paper is a frank and factual discussion of many of our space industry segments, a no nonsense, no Kool Aid TRL analysis of much of what we talk about and say we can now do in space or will be doing in the near term.  Safety was discussed, including microgravity, radiation, plus a mention of unknowns regarding what we already know about gut bacteria exposed to radiation given our limited amount of research on this topic to date. A listener asked him about physics as a main reason for space exploration and contrasted that to settlement as the main reason for HSF. Another listener asked him about his mentioning USAF comments that indicated space was a mature and declining industry.  We began talking about commercial space, but we talked about it through the second segment as well.  In this segment, Dennis talked about how we have created economic growth in the past but now we have not only the challenge of economic growth but sustainable jobs and sustaining our standard of living.  Terraforming Mars was discussed as part of our discussion about Inspiration Mars and Mars One HSF missions to Mars.  As this segment ended, a listener asked him about suborbital space and citizen science projects.

In the second segment, John Hunt called in to talk about the high cost of many advanced space technologies, plus he wanted updates on LENR (this used to be called cold fusion).  Dr. Bushnell had much to say about LENR and it potential, we talked about Rossi, and the NASA work being done to better understand LENR effects. With an understanding of it, funding would not be as big a problem as it is today.  He also said LENR had the potential to be transmutational.  Our guest suggested that for more information, we visit the Larsen LENR slideshow:  www.slideshare.net/lewisglarsen/slideshows.  Again, he pointed to cultural issues as major stumbling blocks to this research.  In returning to the focus of his paper, he said there was no shortage of ideas but the culture was preventing them from being tried, tested, and exploited.  Rocket reusability was brought up, our guest mentioned the SpaceX Grasshopper work, and he was asked about SLS and fuel depots.  I asked about BLEO issues and radiation.  In response to another question, he said that were he the space guru, he would focus on “energy” and structural materials. You will want to hear this discussion. Later, Tim called from Huntsville about radiation and HSF to Mars, as well as the economics of the Big Dumb Booster.  I asked Dennis about the target audience for his paper and he said it was meant for NASA and the world since space fairing is a world endeavor. He again talked about potential revolutionary technologies which are needed and which would benefit all of us.  He repeated that we must do the difficult and take the risk and invest.  We also need to look forward with multiyear planning.  Near the end of the program, Dennis was asked about space elevators which he was not enthusiastic about.  Again, he repeated that we needed to make investments to raise our TRL levels.  At the end, I asked why space does not rise to importance in presidential campaigns & elections.  He said space was very good as an Earth utility but beyond that, there was no clear basis for most of it and that was the problem. Don’t miss his comments on this topic.  Our final topic was his assessment of commercial space given his years spent working on it with NASA including budgets into the hundreds of millions to find a way to close a commercial space business case for commercializing the ISS and other things.  This is a very important short discussion, don’t miss it.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Dr. Bushnell through me or you can find his address using the NASA email locator.

Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Monday, 5-13-13 May 14, 2013

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Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Monday, 5-13-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2007-BWB-2013-05-13.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Buzz Aldrin.  Topics:  Buzz talks about his Unified Space Vision, Mars settlement and his new book, “Mission to Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.” 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 Buzz Aldrin to discuss his Unified Space Vision (USV) including Martian settlement, plus his new book, “Mission To Mars: My Vision for Space Exploration.”  Leonard David was the co-author of the book.  Visit www.buzzaldrin.com for more about the book and new, upcoming projects related to the book and the Aldrin vision. The book is available as hardback and as an e-book. If you use either of these links with Amazon to buy the book, Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/OGLF: (hardback) www.amazon.com/Mission-Mars-Vision-Space-Exploration/dp/1426210175/ref=onegiantlea20 and (Kindle) www.amazon.com/Mission-Mars-Vision-Exploration-ebook/dp/B008EDPMB2/ref=onegiantlea20.  During our 94 minute program in one long segment, Buzz started out by describing his Unified Space Vision (USV) and its five main components, exploration, science, development, commercial, & security.  Buzz also introduced us to the United Strategic Space Enterprise (USSE) which forms a integral part of his Mars vision.  We discussed the role of China, India, Russia, the ISS, and why we should not engage in a Moon race with China.  In fact, part of the USV includes an international lunar post but not publicly funded by American taxpayers.  John in Hawaii asked about PISCES validating INSITU technologies, then Buzz was asked to explain his Mars cycler concept and orbits.  Following this discussion, Dr. Rowe called in to raise specific human factors health concerns regarding dust issues, Moonwalker astronauts EKG results, and down the road genetic modification for long duration spaceflight and settlement.  I then asked Buzz about the role of space tourism in his vision as well as the need for SLS.  Dr. Paul Deer called in from Cambridge in the UK to ask Buzz about risk taking.  Listeners emailed Buzz about the proposed NASA asteroid retrieval mission which Buzz said was a distraction.  Don’t miss his comments on this issue.  Another listener wanted to know why Phobos rather than Mars.  We talked about the ILDC and the concept of the international lunar base as a stepping stone for going on to Mars.  We also talked about more uses for the ISS, including inflatables, to support the USV.  Near the end of the show, John called Buzz to inquire about the space exploration contribution to student7 youth inspiration, STEM, and science development.  Buzz confirmed all of these as beneficiaries of space exploration and development.  I urge you to read this book and check back at the Buzz Aldrin website for updates and book/USV related projects.

If you have comments/questions from this show, please post them on The Space Show blog above.

 

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Friday, 3-8-13 March 9, 2013

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Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, Friday, 3-8-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1968-BWB-2013-03-08.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Topics:  Dr. Tyson’s book, “Space Chronicles: Facing The Ultimate Frontier,” delusional thinking, space exploration, space economic power.  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 backed Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson to this 60 minute discussion about the new release of the paperback version of his current book, “Space Chronicles: Facing The Ultimate Frontier.”  If you buy the book with this Amazon link, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF:  http://www.amazon.com/Space-Chronicles-Facing-Ultimate-Frontier/dp/0393343626/ref=onegiantlea20.  The book is a collection of all of Dr. Tyson’s thoughts about the past, present, and future in space.  It consists of essays, tweets, op-eds and more, plus an appendix with important documents such as the original agreement creating NASA in the late 1950s.  Neil said that some of the points he made in the book were that space was expensive and that we do things in space for one of two reasons: 1.  As a result of military threat or war; 2: In support of economic growth of the country.  He then supported his argument with historical facts, making the point that we do not explore for the sake of exploring, that exploration is not in our DNA, that we do not go into space to inspire future generations of kids, and then he even mentioned that the famous JFK Rice University speech which he said was a lie in that weeks before in a speech before Congress, President Kennedy put forth the real reason we were going to the Moon which was to show the world a path of freedom over tyranny.  Dr. Tyson documents this on p. 192 of his book by saying that “Kennedy did adopt a military posture in his speech to Congress.”  Neil stressed this point during our discussion in support of the above reasons for developing.  More about this speech can be found at www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jfk-asks-congress-to-support-the-space-program.  The actual text of the speech can be seen at www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/xzw1gaeeTES6khED14P1Iw.aspx.  Dr. Tyson also talked about the problem of delusional thinking among space enthusiasts, a theme we went back to several times during our discussion.  Another point he made was about the importance of innovation and having a culture of innovation with space goals supporting the economic growth of an innovative nation.  Kelly asked a question about the best way to increase NASAs budget in bipartisan support of space for STEM, inspiration, spin-offs, etc.  Our guest said all of the reasons cited in Kelly’s question were irrelevant.  Don’t miss what he said.  We also talked about the need for infrastructure and Neil said that governments have to pave the way for the frontier and the private companies follow and economically develop it.  He said the commercial companies do not and will not be able to open the space frontier with the needed infrastructure.  I then depicted government as sort of an advance man in space with the privates being able to capitalize that infrastructure development for profit & national wealth. A listener asked about China, a space race, and a possible space war.  Dr. Tyson also said that we should have launch vehicles that go everywhere for research and innovative reasons and we needed to shift our culture to seeing space as a long term national investment for creating wealth for the nation, far beyond the term of our elected officials.  He talked about SpaceX and the need for a rich and fertile collaboration between government and the commercial companies regarding space.  I asked our guest about testifying before Congress. You will want to hear what he had to say about that based on his experiences in do so.  We talked about space and grass roots movements. He talked about GDP economic growth during the Apollo period and then what happened each decade after that through the current period.  Jim sent in a question pointing out possible contradictions in his comments & suggested fuel depots as a way to minimize the quantity of rockets and launches. Dr Tyson said he was hardware agnostic and that in developing infrastructure and paving the way for the privates in space, fuel depots might very well be part of infrastructure but that government would be doing them, especially early on.  Later, Dr. Tyson talked about our system being a political system and that it was not going to change.  He used this as one of the examples of delusional thinking given many enthusiasts who don’t accept this reality & believe they can bypass or work around the political nature of our government and systems.  Near the end of our discussion, he was asked about the Inspire Mars mission which he said was probably a stunt but that it might serve the purpose of showing the government that lots of people are interested in an HSF to Mars.  Another listener wanted to know if the Inspire Mars mission turned out bad, would it derail human spaceflight.  He did not think it would do that given other space accidents with the loss of crew.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog and I will call them to the attention of our guest.