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Jim Muncy, Sunday, 6-3-12 June 4, 2012

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Jim Muncy, Sunday, 6-3-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1787-BWB-2012-06-03.mp3

Guest:  Jim Muncy.  Topics:  Space policy, COTS, SpaceX, Commercial Crew and more.  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 Jim Muncy to discuss space policy in light of the very successful COTS flight by SpaceX with their Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon capsule.  During our fist segment, we talked about this COTS flight, the berthing with the ISS and what this might mean for the COTS program, space policy and funding issues, and commercial crew.  Jim had much to say covering many aspects of our policy and budget concerns, plus NASA policy now and what we hope for in the future.  We talked about challenges ahead, members of congress, resistance points, and human safety.  Toward the end of the first segment, we asked Jim about the confidence level in the mission before and during it and if either Jim or others were surprised by the outcome.  This is an interesting discussion, don’t miss it. As our segment ended, we were addressing HSF safety issues, NASA oversight and contracting methods.

In our second segment, we talked about ULA and human rating the Atlas and Delta rockets.  We then discussed using the successful COTS model being used to move commercial crew forward.  We again discussed down selecting as a possible result of congressional funding action/policy as opposed to the process currently in place that will eventually allow NASA to pick the program from all the contenders – the one NASA thinks may be best.  Markets for HSF beyond the life of the ISS were discussed in detail and we had more to say on crew safety on the HSF rockets under development.  Another issue talked about was the public option for launch vehicles that some policy people support and how to be an advocate with the most impact on our members of congress regarding space issues.  I asked about the impact on space policy & programs given our national and global economic issues.  In short, don’t expect more funding for NASA & space which leads us to now more than ever having alternative means of financing space missions. Commercial space programs & partnerships clearly provide an important & needed alternative. Toward the end, a caller brought up the Romney Space Advisory Committee. Jim suggested that things will change & not to assume anything as final at this point in time.  He hoped that we had a good national debate in the coming campaign as to just what our space policy should be for the future.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  If you want to email Mr. Muncy, you can do so through me.

 

Steve Bouley, Wednesday, 1-18-12 January 19, 2012

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Steve Bouley, Wednesday, 1-18-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1692-BWB-2012-01-18.mp3

Guest:  Steve Bouley.  Topics:  Wideband Global SATCOM launch, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engines, hypersonics, commercial space markets & more.  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 Steve Bouley of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) to discuss the Delta IV medium launch of the DOD Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) communication satellite, hypersonics, lowing the cost of access to space, rocket safety and more.  We started our discussion with a focus on the Jan. 19th 7:38 PM EST launch of WGS on the Delta IV medium which uses PWR RS-68 and RL10B-2 engines.  Mr. Bouley provided us with thrust specs for the engines.  He also went over the very impressive and highly successful track record for their engines and fielded questions about their manufacturing and quality control process.  This took us to our next subject, equating reliability with experience and then understanding that the launch market is relatively flat with low launch rates which causes higher launch prices.  There were several listener questions during this special one hour interview.  The questions focused on human rating the rockets and what PWR would have to do to their engines to have them fly people to space.  Don’t miss Steve’s response to this line of questioning.  We talked some more about the flat demand and Steve was asked if PWR could easily and quickly ramp up their production line were demand to change quickly.  The short answer was “yes.”  We talked about hypersonics and the evolution of technology development.  We also talked about the likely path to commercial operation for a hypersonic vehicle.  Our guest took a call from Jerry about SLS, SRBs, the Saturn V, and bringing back the F1A engine.  Mike sent in a note asking about safety issues for a jet engine as compared to a rocket engine.  Toward the end, our guest was asked to provide the very early history of PWR and rocket engine development.  As our program drew to a close, I asked Steve to tell us about his work on launch day and if he still gets excited about a launch given he has seen hundreds of them during his career.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.