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Dr. Jeff Foust, Monday, 12-15-14 December 16, 2014

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Dr. Jeff Foust, Monday, 12-15-14


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Guest:  Dr. Jeff Foust.  Topics:  Space news and events and a look into 2015.  Lots of quality space analysis.  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. Jeff Foust back to the program.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 53 minute discussion, Jeff covered many space events and projects including Jeff’s “Commercial Spaceflight After the Antares and SpaceShipTwo Failures” talk at the National Air and Space Museum on Dec. 8th.  We also talked about commercial space and here, Jeff gave us a good definition to use in general for commercial space.  He then provided us with economic stats for the entire commercial space industry and its segments including commercial satellites, ground service, NewSpace, and more.  Our guest said that Orion and SLS were at one end of the commercial space spectrum while at the other end one finds XCOR & Virgin Galactic.  Michael Listner called to talk about the Orion EFT 1 flight needing a commercial launch license as well as a return license given that it was a commercial flight contracted for by NASA in contrast to a NASA flight using a commercial company.  The discussion changed to the Virgin Galactic and Orbital Antares accidents and the potential impact of those accidents on both the companies and the commercial space industry in general.  Orbital’s proposed merger with ATK was mentioned as were possible replacement engines for Antares including the use of an ATK SRB.  A listener then brought up the Russian sanctions and the continued seemingly good relationship we have with Russia regarding space.  As the segment was ending, Alan in Tucson asked about reports that the Russians would leave the ISS in 2020.

In the second segment, our first caller was Dwayne who wanted to talk about delays and slipped launch schedules regarding the SpaceX launch manifesto. Jeff and Dwayne had an excellent discussion on this topic so don’t miss it.  Related topics came up in the discussion including reusability, customer needs such as an on time launch versus wanting a lower price and more.  Jerry sent in an email asking about the Raptor tests by SpaceX but Jeff said not much was being made public about them.  The NASA FY 15 budget came up again and Jeff went into some detail as to what part of NASA got what.  Public/private partnerships were mentioned & fully discussed in the segment.  Jeff did point out that the project must entice a private company to participate meaning that it  probably needs to have a strong business case for the project otherwise why would a private commercial company join with NASA.  Jeff indicated these opportunities might be few and far between at this time but when they work, they are a good way to structure the project.  There was a listener inquiry about SLS and cancellation. Jeff had much to say about this too.  Near the end of the segment, we talked more about public/private partnerships, the Delta 2 rocket and Antares, plus rocket certification for a NASA HSF launch, a science mission, and a DOD launch as all three have different certification requirements.  Our final topics included a brief mention of the suborbital industry, Dragon Lab, Skybox, Google Space, and Planet Labs.  Jeff offered us a good set of closing comments so be sure to listen to them.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Dr. Jeff Foust through me or his blogs, etc.