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Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 9-7-15 September 8, 2015

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 9-7-15

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Guest: Dr. Jeff Bell. Topics: Dr. Bell offered us a critique of many aspects of both the NewSpace & traditional space industry. 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. 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.

 

After a long absence, we welcomed Dr. Jeff Bell back to the show for a nearly 2.5 hour critique of NewSpace as well as traditional aerospace. In the first segment of our very long program, Dr. Bell started off talking about the SpaceShip2 accident and the NTSB report, then he went into a lengthy discussion about hybrid rocket motors. Later in the segment, he turned his attention to first stage recovery efforts regarding the Falcon 9, testing procedures, ground testing, and more. Jeff had much to say about these & other topics which covered the first hour of the program.

 

In the second longer segment, Jeff from Tucson was the first caller. He started off by talking about a book Dr. Bell had recommended on a previous Space Show program “Ignition.” Per our discussion, it is a free download book at http://web.gccaz.edu/~wkehowsk/ignition.pdf. Other topics in this segment included the Ranger Program, lots on cubesats as Dr. Bell questioned the usefulness of very small satellites. Later on, Dr. Bell recommended another book, this one by George Sutton, “History of Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines.” Another topic Jeff seemed to go after was what he referred to as, “NewSpace Patent Wars. He particularly zeroed in on the Blue Origin-Space X patent dispute over landing first stage rockets on a barge to achieve reusable first stages. Jeff then told how patent wars had been used over the years and he cited many different examples, including going back to Robert Goddard. Later in the segment, he suggested many of these influences were a result of the influence Silicon Valley has had on the space industry, particularly NewSpace. He then talked about booster recovery in general. Doug sent in a note asking Jeff which he preferred, the SpaceX’s propulsive recovery or ULA’s airborne recovery of just the engines. Before the segment ended, Jeff addressed Antares and the use of Russian rocket motors. More was said about cubesats, then Jeff took off on government subsidized programs. His last topic or target one might say was suborbital tourism. Don’t miss what he had to say about this part of the industry.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.

 

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 3-24-14 March 25, 2014

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 3-24-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2214-BWB-2014-03-24.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Dr. Bell discussed a broad range of space ventures including human spaceflight.  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 back Dr. Jeff Bell & was at his best for blunt talk, specifically the need for a winning rational for human spaceflight (HSF).  For those of you new to Dr. Bell, hold on tight for a ride that will likely be upsetting.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 58 minute program, Dr. Bell started with saying he was pessimistic over the future of human spaceflight.  In fact, this was an overriding theme throughout the full discussion.  He said it was more than just not properly telling the story either by NASA or space advocates.  He said there was no winning rational for the need or the urgency of HSF.  While he was pessimistic on HSF, he was just the opposite on science, robotic, & unmanned missions which he said were doing well & in a class of their own.  He also talked about the success of satellites & that part of the commercial industry.  Listeners challenged him during the show.  He got several emails regarding space settlement which Jeff addressed in terms of his perspective on HSF.  He also nixed the idea of leaving Earth as a safety valve for when Earth might be destroyed by an incoming NEO.  This led Jeff to talk about planetary defense.  Tony called with an idea to keep a Martian settlement from freezing at night, a point Jeff talked about re Mars settlements.  A listener asked about radiation & magnetic fields.  Jeff said the atmosphere was more of a screen for Earth, again in a discussion about lunar & Martian settlements.  Jeff talked about Orion & SLS, various ideas for Mars missions & the NASA asteroid mission.  I asked Jeff what he was positive about & he replied the Russian space program & SpaceX with Elon.  He then spoke about some of the Russian programs he follows.  He was asked about space tourism & suborbital flights, then he spoke about SpaceShip2 problems, hybrid engine issues, Richard Branson & more.

In the second segment, he had more to say re SpaceShip2 & Branson.  Next, he was asked about space debris cleanup ideas being skeptical of them.  He was also skeptical of propellant depots.  He spoke about small boosters costing much more than using one large booster.  Pooley called in to support everything Jeff was talking about.  Dr. Bell was asked about Dream Chaser.  In general, Jeff was very critical of lifting bodies & their CG problems.  Listeners asked for his assessment of Inspiration Mars & Mars One which was not positive.  In his closing comments, he said HSF was probably mature & needed radical new technologies to make it cheaper & feasible.  I told him he should come back on the show, invite only callers & emails suggesting radically new & different technologies & he could assess the ideas.  Dr. Bell agreed to do that so watch the newsletter for this upcoming program.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.

Special Monday Open Lines, Monday, 3-3-14 March 4, 2014

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Special Monday Open Lines, Monday, 3-3-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/s

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Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Business plans, due diligence, Mars One, skepticism, cynicism, SpaceX & 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.  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.

Our scheduled guest for this program, Dr. Jeff Bell, was a no-show.  At the request of several listeners, rather than canceling the  program, I let it run as a special Open Lines show.  There were no breaks in the discussion.  Our first caller in this 1 hour 53 minute discussion was Dwayne who inquired about my frequent comments on the need for a business plan and due diligence in evaluating potential space businesses.  I offered to send interested listeners a copy of the business plan outline I work from if they email and request it.  We went through the business plan outline I use, then we talked about due diligence for all aspects of the venture including management, financial, marketing, technology, engineering, and more.  Dwayne wanted to know about possible market saturation for the low barrier to entry cubesats and Earth imaging satellites now entering the market place.  Doug was the next caller.  He had wanted to talk with Dr. Bell about an older paper of his showing skepticism for the COTS program which Doug believes to be successful.  The discussion with Doug was too long so callers, you need to be succinct, consolidate your comments and questions, and don’t expect unlimited time for your call.  As they say, “this was my bad” to have let the call go on for so long and I apologize to those of you who got tired of waiting to call the show and just logged out.  The discussion with Doug included how to assess the likely success of a business venture, management, and more.  We used both Mars One and SpaceX as examples.  Charles then called to talk about his book Microlaunchers and The Space Review’s book review of it by Dr. Jeff Foust. You can read the review at www.thespacereview.com/article/2461/1.  Our last caller was Tony who challenged the electric car comments made by Charles and me.  Tony wanted to advocate for green technology, solar, etc.  I apologize for how I talked to and handled Tony’s call.  Because I did not agree with him was no excuse for my being rude and I will do my best to not let that happen again.  Tony and I disagree on these issues which is fine by my book.  Most of the time listeners don’t know my own thoughts on lots of the topics discussed on TSS so you have no clue if I concur or not with what is being said, but I did engage Tony & I should have been more respectful with him.  I understand the validity of the points he was making though I dispute that any of that is reality at this time in the U.S.  We ended this special program by pointing out that our regular March OL show is Tuesday, March 4.  I will make an announcement when I can reschedule Dr. Bell.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. If you want to reach any of our callers or emailiers, you can do so through me.

 

Dr. Jeff Bell, Tuesday, 7-10-12 July 11, 2012

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Tuesday, 7-10-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1811-BWB-2012-07-10.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Vintage Jeff Bell.  We discussed a wide range of space history and current space projects from Dr. Bell’s perspective.  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 the return of Dr. Jeff Bell to The Space Show.  This 2.5 hour marathon discussion with Dr. Bell was classic Jeff Bell with space history, his analysis of current projects, new space ideas, NASA, Congress and well, you name it.  Dr. Bell had lots to say about many topics and for those of you familiar with Dr. Bell & his analysis, I promise you, you will not be disappointed with this discussion.  Those of you new to Dr. Bell, hold onto your seat!  Jeff started off with the cold war space history, X-33, and DCX. In doing so, he offered up his critique of the classic space book by G. Harry Stine, “Halfway To Anywhere: Achieving America’s Destiny In Space.”  As to be expected, Dr. Bell provided a very hard hitting, factual, and critical analysis of these topics & the book.  We also talked about the new company in Florida, Project Speed, and air breathing engines for space vehicles.  Dr. Bell spent some time on this analysis including scramjets, ramjets and the National Aerospace Plane.  When asked to confirm that little progress was being made from his perspective re space vehicles & even aviation, he cited the current military games going on in Hawaii, referencing the planes being used by the Air Force, Navy, & other military services, all to illustrate by example the points he was making.  He put out the fire on nuclear propulsion based on economics & costs, & then in discussing human spaceflight (HSF), like so many others, he said the rational for it was difficult justify to Congress & the taxpayers.  A listener asked Jeff he was biased in his analysis.  Jeff said he was unbiased in his examination of the facts. This issue surfaced again later during our program.  We then talked about a Washington Post article saying that our science field was over populated by excessive PhDs that cannot find work in their discipline (www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-pushes-for-more-scientists-but-the-jobs-arent-there/2012/07/07/gJQAZJpQUW_story.html?hpid=z1).  This prompted listeners to reply and John made some excellent points about science PhDs that Jeff missed.

In our second segment, we started off with space visions, including the one from this program, followed by a discussion of the “Sputnik Panic” following theUSSR launch of Sputnik.  We both had much to say about this event & its aftermath. Returning to the HSF rational, Jeff said there were two main problems with it. First, the very high cost.  Second, the is no place to go that does not require massive technology & support to sustain life.  He spent some time elaborating on this & responding to listener comments.  Next up, Planetary Resources, asteroid mining, space telescopes, & Earth imaging.  Dr. Bell took no prisoners in sharing his analysis with us.  He did talk about several serious projects including the B612 project & Pan Starrs.  As the program was ending, Dr. Bell had many positive things to say about the recently completed SpaceX Dragon & Falcon 9 flight, & the pork as he called it, SLS.  Dr. Bell was very strong & clear in his support for SpaceX and their accomplishments.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.

Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 2-20-12 February 21, 2012

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 2-20-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1717-BWB-2012-02-20.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Dr. Bell’s assessment of NASA, the science missions, human spaceflight, the Russian space problems, & Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories.  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 Dr. Jeff Bell back to the program for his assessment of space today in theUnited States, along with the problems facing the Russian space industry and the Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories as to why the mission failed.  Those familiar with Dr. Bell and his Space Show programs will not be disappointed as this two hour plus discussion is vintage Jeff Bell.  Dr. Bell started with an assessment of the problems over the last year and half or so with the Russian space industry and its management.  Jeff does a good job of summarizing their history of manufacturing, technology, and engineering problems going back to the time of Sergei Korolev.  He also shares with us his experiences working with the Russians on the Phobos 88 mission.  He said typical characteristics of Russian missions leading to problems include being too ambitious, costly for their budgets, and the labor allocated to the projects.  He suggested that we in theU.S. do the same thing and cited MSL and Curiosity as an example.  He had much to say about the early Soviet Venus probes and how their data was widely discounted outside of theSoviet Union. He then said Space X might be overextending and he cited several ongoing Space X projects which might distract from their primary mission at hand which is to get Falcon and Dragon operational.  Listeners asked about the Russian problems driving customers away from doing business withRussia in favor of ULA in theU.S. Here, Dr. Bell had much to say about ULA pricing, overhead costs without NASA sharing them, and more.  He also mentioned what was happening to Delta 2 given the GPS system needing larger rockets as an example of the impact of government policy/spending in space industries.  Dr. Bell turned to the latest Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories for the mission failure.  At the end of this segment, Dr. Bell talked about the JWST & Curiosity in terms of overly complex and costly missions.

In the second segment, Jeff talked about the Newt space policy suggestions and the idea of the Moon as the 51st state.  He had much to say about the ridicule in the media and was not surprised by it.  He used this as an example to say reality “conflicts with the space cadet world view.”   In talking about Mars missions, he said people had been conned by the Mars theory of life stories and promoters.  He said that Mars and HSF were not worth it.  Several listeners called in to debate Jeff on these comments but Jeff took no prisoners.  He then talked about the ISS and its less than full utilization and that the entire idea of HSF had come and gone.  At one point in response to a listener question/comment, Dr. Bell said that all Zubrin offered was a 60’s program!  Jeff did have good things to say about the science and robotic missions, said our planet exploration would be with robots, not humans, and that we needed more missions like the Kepler Space Telescope.  He repeated throughout the discussion that nothing useful has come form HSF nor would it.  He offered that the basic technology was from the70’s and had not changed.  He said overall interest in space had declined since Apollo.  In his closing comments, he said he was still hopeful that NewSpace would decrease the launch costs as that would be a game changer.

If you have questions/comments for Dr. Jeff Bell, post them on The Space Show blog URL above.

Dr. Jeff Bell, Friday, 12-9-11 December 9, 2011

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Friday, 12-9-11

(Note: This interview aired live on 11/30/11)

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1669-BWB-2011-12-09.mp3

GuestSearch:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Phobos Grunt mission, space policy, commercial crew, rocket reusability & 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. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign . Please note that this program was recorded live on Nov. 30, 2011 and is being archived today, Dec. 9, 2011.  We welcomed Dr. Jeff Bell back to the show for a wide ranging discussion on multiple topics starting with the troubled Russian Phobos Grunt Mission.  This Space Show  program is vintage Jeff Bell with something to say about most everything, hard hitting, critical, take no prisoners, and of course, thought provoking. Dr. Bell started our discussion talking about the Phobos-Grunt Mission.  To put it in context with Russian lunar & planetary missions, he gave us a brief history of the Russian exploration program starting in 1958.  This is an interesting history lesson you do not want to miss. In bringing the history current to Phobos Grunt, the problems faced by the Russian program seem a bit clearer.  We then talked about some of the many space blog comments with suggestions for rescuing or saving the mission and he totally debunked them.  Jeff mentioned shuttle rescues, X-37B rescues, even Virgin suborbital rescues.  He also mentioned some of the conspiracy theories out there (he spent more time on them later in our discussion),  finger pointing the blame for the mission problems.  Next, Dr. Bell addressed the recent SpaceShipTwo drop test that was a problem and he wasted no time in stating what is wrong with the SS2 design as well as what he said was a problematic track record for the project.  He also had much to say about the use of composites and fundamental design flaws.  Space debris issues came up and Dr. Bell referenced USA 193.  Terry called in to ask about the hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) or nitric acid on board Phobos Grunt. When we started the second segment, Dr. Bell again went over the conspiracy theories re Phobos Grunt that appeared in some news articles.  One he mentioned was the HARP theory which he debunked as well as the biological warfare theory.  We then talked about commercial crew and Dr. Bell said Congress does not want it to be successful and he explained why.  Near the end of this discussion, Trent called in from Australia.  He wanted to know at what point Jeff thought commercial crew was changing from maybe working out to going down for the count.  What was the turning point for our guest?  During their exchange, Jeff said that space travel was not politically important anymore, instead political pork was the priority.  Trent mentioned his blog, QuantumG, http://quantumg.blogspot.com.  Check it out for his comments on Space X, Commercial Crew and more.  Jeff read his Space X comments and then started discussing the Space X reusability plan.  As the program ended, we talked about the JWST and I asked Dr. Bell what part of the space program he liked, if any.  He did have something he liked, the science and robotic missions.  If you have a comment/question for Dr. Bell, please post it on the blog URL and I will make sure he sees it.