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Bruce Pittman, Monday, 10-13-14 October 14, 2014

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Bruce Pittman, Monday, 10-13-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2335-BWB-2014-10-13.mp3

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Guest:  Bruce Pittman.  Topics:  The emerging commercial space industry and related topics.  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 Bruce Pittman back to the show to discuss the emerging commercial space industry. During the first segment of our 90 minute program Bruce said this was the most exciting time every for commercial space, certain in his 30 plus year career.  He talked about there being a paradigm shift underway, NASA challenges and the progress made in just five short years.  He cited examples with COTS, commercial payloads to the ISS, SpaceX, and lots of smaller companies working with small satellites.  Other examples included the 3D printer on the ISS, the growth of spaceports, the industry spreading out into multiple states, and investment capital coming to the industry.  I asked about human spaceflight (HSF) and he said it was more challenging and demanding but was optimistic that launch costs would come down, especially if reusability enters the market.  Reusability would greatly assist in bringing more commercial options to the table even for HSF.  Jerome in the UK emailed to ask about a commercial space industry outside the U.S.  Both Bruce and I commented on Jerome’s question.  Harry emailed Bruce to inquire if going public was essential for pushing the emerging commercial space industry forward.  Bruce was also asked what excited him the most in the industry.  Listen to his choices. I asked our guest if he saw SLS as an asset to the emerging commercial space industry, being neutral, or being a detriment.  He believes there will be synergistic enhancements for both SLS and the commercial space industry through the development of SLS.  Don’t miss his full comments. Bruce was asked about commercial space ventures being able to finally close a business case and having more than just government as the customer.  Allison emailed us asking Bruce to define paradigm shift.  This also proved an interesting discussion.  Near the end of the segment, our guest was asked bout NEOs and commercial opportunities.  We also talked about two NASA papers in this segment.  The first, “Pioneering Space: NASA’s Next Steps on the Path to Mars” from May 29, 2014 can be downloaded at http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Pioneering-space-final-052914b.pdf.  The second paper, “Emerging Space:  The Evolving Landscape of 21st Century American Spaceflight,” can be downloaded at http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/files/Emerging_Space_Report.pdf.  Just before the break, Paul asked about fuel depots for the commercial space industry.

In our second segment, we started talking about space settlement, pioneering, and space exploration.  Bruce explained the differences with pioneering making it possible to have a permanent presence in space by getting in place needed infrastructure and the basics for living in space.  Space settlement would be established after pioneering.  Exploring goes forth to find out what is out there and to return to tell about it.  A listener asked if going to the Moon was a pioneering step on the way to Martian settlement.  Later, Bruce said that pioneering will be driven by economics. In this segment, we also talked about property rights and benefit sharing plus the impact these two issues might have on the emerging commercial space industry.  Risk averseness came up as well.  As we were drawing to a close, Bruce mentioned how all of the industry was in a transitional period, including traditional aerospace.  He suggested things to look for over the coming months included more commercial activities on the ISS, the upcoming Bigelow module for the ISS, & the Google Lunar XPrize.  In closing, we talked about Silicon Valley and the industry as well as the lowering of barriers to entry for emerging commercial space companies.  Bruce also mentioned the Next Giant Leap Conference in Hawaii, Nov. 9-13, 2014.  For more information, see http://2014giantleap.aerospacehawaii.info.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Bruce Pittman through me.

Dr. Ajay Kothari, Tuesday, 4-29-14 April 30, 2014

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Dr. Ajay Kothari, Tuesday, 4-29-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2234-BWB-2014-04-29.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Ajay Kothari.  Topics:  Rocket reusability, 1st  2nd stage reusability, space tourism, & 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 Dr. Ajay Kothari to the show to discuss first stage  and full rocket reusability.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 44 minute discussion, Dr. Kothari opened with references to his April 14, 2014 Space Review article, “Robust and Reusable.”  I suggest you read this article and have it handy as a reference as you listen, http://thespacereview.com/article/2490/1.  Dr. Kothari explained  his model and analysis process to evaluate the costs and economics for rocket reusability options.  Our guest goes through his models and scenarios for us, notes that they are only for TSTO rockets (2 stage to orbit), plus he identifies his analysis and software tools.  His analysis led him to understanding the importance of the First Unit Production Cost (FUPC) and how this is a killer without a high rocket launch rate.  Dr. Kothari then talked about the possibilities for space tourism.  As you will hear, he thinks much more of orbital tourism over suborbital tourism which is understandable when you see his costing, price points, percentage of net income being spent on the flight, & a few other parameters.  When asked if he thought orbital space tourism would be the economic driver for rocket reusability, he said he thought it had the potential to be a significant contributor to it.  Listener Paul asked him about the reusability penalty due to added mass for a reusable rocket.  Ajay said they addressed that in their model and suggested a reusable rocket capable of the same payload and destination as an expendable would need to be 2-4 times the size of the expendable!  John from Ft. Worth was a caller with many questions but near the end of this segment, he asked for Ajay’s thoughts on the SpaceX reusable system and process.  Our guest thought highly of the SpaceX effort, process, and concept.  We also talked about both flyback and boostback options.

In our second segment, Dr. Jurist called in and addressed efficiencies in the learning curve which benefit expendables over reusables though our guest was quick to point out that after decades we still cannot build on these learning curve efficiencies to move further out with expendables in technology and cost reduction.  Dr. Kothari and John spoke about the flight rate b/e point which is largely unknown.  I then asked our guest about full rocket reusability and his ideas for a hypersonic second stage to orbit and back.  Dr. Kothari spent time with us during the balance of our program discussing his concept.  We even discussed point to point transportation as a result of this model and he suggested the innovative idea of combining limited orbital space tourism with Point to Point to make it more acceptable. Don’t miss his explanation of this idea.  Tim called in wanting to know about landing large payloads on Mars , possibly using inflatables or magnetic fields generated by a hypersonic in the Martian atmosphere. Doug was our last caller asking about rarefied gas flow & possibly returning to Earth from the Moon with a lighter weight heat shield, even what bouncing off the Earth’s atmosphere meant for Earth capture of the incoming spacecraft.  Our guest talked with him about this along with steady flow or steady heat conduction.  To conclude our discussion, Ajay summarized his models that closed the business case for orbital space tourism, including the one model that could not close.  Note the parameters he talks about for each model.  For more information, check out Dr. Kothari’s website for Astrox Corporation (www.astrox.com).

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach our guest through me.