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Ken Murphy, Tuesday, 12-22-15 December 23, 2015

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Ken Murphy, Tuesday, 12-22-15


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Guest: Ken Murphy. Topics: Cislunar development, returning to the Moon, Mars, Moon Day, NASA and much 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.

We welcomed back Ken Murphy to discuss space current events, his coming articles and stories, and reasons for returning to the Moon and developing cislunar space.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 2 minute discussion, Ken started out by telling us about his upcoming Jan. 4, 2016 Space Review article regarding the July 2016 Moon Day celebration in Dallas.  He provided the logistical details for the event throughout our discussion, plus he described the event, the Lunar Sample Bags, the educational outreach, and their ham radio connection to the ISS via the ARISS Program.  This discussion was followed by our talking about the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch and first stage recovery.  Ken then talked about making significant changes in NASA to advance space development, especially getting younger employees at NASA with an average age in the 30’s by getting rid of the older NASA employees.  This comment caused John from Ft. Worth to call to remind Ken of anti-age discrimination laws, wondering just how Ken would get rid of the older people at NASA.  We shifted our discussion to cislunar development and international lunar development efforts.  We talked about the need for public private programs to do cislunar and lunar development.  Betty emailed Ken to ask him if he thought all the lunar advocacy made a difference and helped the cause of our getting back to the Moon.  Ken’s response to Betty might surprise you so don’t miss it.  Before the break, we talked about education and the public’s space educational level.  You definitely want to hear what Ken said about the average person’s space knowledge and teachers in our K-high school grades.  Tell us what you think about Ken’s education and teacher analysis and comments by posting your thoughts on TSS blog.

In the second segment, we talked about going back to the Moon, then Ken brought up lunar dust issues, then in response to the typical Moon or Mars question, he said the Moon was our sand box made to order to train us for solar system exploration and even settlement.  He also said while he is interested in Mars and space settlement, his near term focus was on cislunar development and returning to the Moon.  During our program, he often referred to talks he has given to the general public so he talked at length about both space and STEM being a hook for getting young people interested in space and the STEM topics.  He again mentioned that on Moon Day, they would be talking with the ISS crew via the ARISS program,.  Preston from Chicago asked him if he had seen The Martian or the latest Star Wars movie.  His response and what he said about the movies will have to be a surprise for you.  Near the end of the program, Jerry asked him about his support for advanced propulsion and Jack asked him what he thought of Elon’s plans to go to Mars in 15 years or so.  Ken was also asked for his opinion on space solar power and about using water ice on the Moon for fuel.  Ken said it would be better to work the Moon from L1.  In conclusion, he offered us a good takeaway message and a good set of closing statements you will want to hear.

Make sure you post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Ken through The Space Show or The Moon Society (www.moonsociety.org).  Finally, Merry Christmas everyone.  The Space Show team and I wish you a very good holiday season.


Michael Laine, Tuesday, 3-20-12 March 21, 2012

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Michael Laine, Tuesday, 3-20-12


Guest:  Michael Laine.  Topics:  Lunar space elevator, general space elevator discussion.  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 Michael Laine for updates on his company LiftPort & their latest space elevator plans.  Michael started the discussion with an overview of his involvement in the space elevator project, his company LiftPort up through its fiscal problems, the reestablishment of the company with intellectual property, & a lunar space elevator study from 2010-2011.  He brought us current with LiftPort plans into 2012 plus what the company & his team have planned for the balance of the year.  Michael talked about his team, issues relating to a lunar space elevator, how the Moon rotates/spins differently than the Earth, & how an elevator would be different than an Earth-based elevator which he said cannot be built at this time.  He made the point that the lunar elevator could be built now, does not need a carbon nanotube ribbon & will likely go from Sinus Medii on the Moon to an orbiting spaceport at the Earth-Moon L1 point where there might be a Bigelow station with EELV or Falcon 9 flights coming up from Earth.  He also said the early flights would be robotic but that both capability and capacity would expand to include humans.  He was of the opinion that the basic lunar space elevator could be completed within a decade.  Eric called in to challenge some of Michael’s technical analysis.  Michael offered to send the math analysis of the project to anyone requesting it.  His email address can be found at the end of this summary.  Later in this hour long segment, I asked Michael about business issues, the market, financing (public, private, both), ROIs, & more.  As you will hear, this part of the LiftPort plan is unfinished.  Michael’s team has been confirming the math analysis for the project & has yet to refine their business plan/due diligence analysis. When pressed, he said the cost might be around $700-$800 million but they were increasing that to $1.5 billion to be a bit conservative.  He also said this was for a small elevator with a payload capacity of 40-240 kg.  In speaking about the commercial aspects of the project, he repeated many times throughout our discussion that they were focused on cash flows and the commercial aspects but first they needed certainty about reaching the technical “go” point.

In our second segment, Michael continued his theme that they do not yet have the business plan components in place.  I then asked if this was nothing more than a feasibility project?  That seemed to summarize our discussion so far.  Michael did point out that LiftPort already had two intellectual property (IP) assets so the company was positioned to make money even before the elevator project got going beyond the study phase.  I pressed him for his public finance plans.  His idea was based on the Railroad Acts which included bond sales guaranteed by the government with the government providing sufficient business revenues to support the bond guarantee.  A listener brought up the issue of space debris & climbers.  Michael pointed listeners to their YouTube channel to see their climber in action.  Mars elevators were mentioned near the end of the program as well as LiftPort internships.  We also talked about the recent Japanese company’s announcement of their own elevator plans (Obayashi Corp.).  Michael also suggested the space elevator conference (http://spaceelevatorconference.org).

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above. You can email Michael Laine at laine@liftport.com).