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Brian Altmeyer, Friday, 10-24-14 October 25, 2014

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Brian Altmeyer, Friday, 10-24-14


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Guest:  Brian Altmeyer.  Topics:  We discussed the guest’s article posted on the Oct. 6, 2014 issues of The Space Review:  “The Strange Contagion Of a Dream.”  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 Brian Altmeyer to the program to discuss his Oct. 6, 2014 Space Review article, “The Strange Contagion of a Dream: How Space Visionaries Hijack Governments to Change the World (see http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2611/1). During the first segment of our 1 hour 27 minute discussion, Mr. Altmeyer introduced us to the background behind writing this article, how he got the idea for it, plus he explained the overall impact space visionaries have had on him and his interest in space development.  Our guest took us back in time to the V2 program, Von Braun, and the politics of beating the Soviet Union to the Moon.  He made the case that both the Soviet Union’s and the US space program fed off each other in the form of competition to not only develop military space resources and ICBMs, plus our civil space programs as well.  I then asked our guest if he thought competition with China over their lunar and long range plans would result in a similar push for civil and commercial space.  His response was very interesting.  Ellen in Portland sent an email suggesting we did not have inspirational or effective leaders today like we had with Von Braun and others.  Brian disputed that and made reference to Elon Musk at SpaceX several times during our discussion.  Gerald Driggers called to talk about the impact of the International Geophysical Year on our early program.  Gerald worked in the early space program & had much to say about the main space personalities of the time along with the early rockets.  Our guest was asked about vision and Mars One, again he brought up SpaceX, and then he talked about exoplanets.  I asked him about the second to last paragraph in his paper regarding leadership issues and many waiting or expecting a new leader to come on the scene in a future election.  Don’t miss his comments on this issue.

In the second segment, Brian was asked about space budgets serving as a limiting factor & if SpaceX was carrying too much of the burden for our moving forward with space development.  Listeners asked him about sustainable space projects inspired & pushed by advocacy.  Do the projects continue or eventually die off?  Allison sent in a note asking our guest why we even needed HSF.  For his response, he cited reasons often provided by Elon Musk when he gets this question or one like it.  Near the end of the program, Ron emailed our guest to challenge his visionary outlook by asking if he had considered the reality of applying  human medical factors, engineering realities, orbital mechanics, & the known science for rockets & human spaceflight regarding the type of visionary statements made by Brian during the show.  This proved to be an interesting discussion as Brian said there were two ways to resolve such issues.  One way would be through testing and incremental progress to resolve or mitigate problems and the other way would be to just do the flight and sort of learn on the job, realizing there would be lots of casualties but at least we would be flying and learning.  I asked our guest if he was dismissing the known engineering &science including medical science.  He said he was not but clearly he preferred the second approach to problem solving. What do you think?

Please let us know by posting your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach our guest through me or the email address he provided at the end of his Space Review article.

Rand Simberg, Dr. Margaret Jordan, Bill Simon, “Evoloterra,” Friday, 7-20-12 July 20, 2012

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Rand Simberg, Dr. Margaret Jordan, Bill Simon, “Evoloterra,” Friday, 7-20-12


Guests:  Rand Simberg, Dr. Margaret Jordan, Bill Simon.  Topics:  Celebration of the 43rd Anniversary of our moon landing per Evoloterra.  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 Rand Simberg & Bill Simon and for the first time, Dr. Margaret Jordan, to present Evoloterra to The Space Show audience to commemorate and honor the 43rd anniversary our Apollo 11 landing on the Moon.  You can download or print the Evoloterra Ceremony at www.evoloterra.com.  During our first segment, the three authors of Evoloterra provided us with an overview and history of how Evoloterra came to be written, then the four of us read the ceremony on air.  Rand took the part of the ceremony leader, then Bill, Margaret & I alternated with one another reading the paragraphs following the leader questions.  This segment, our reading of Evoloterra, told the story of how humans evolved and were able to develop the knowledge, skills, and technology to go to the Moon in 1969.  On the completion of the ceremony we then went to our break.

In our second segment, we started off with “dinner conversation” about Evoloterra, our Moon landing, what it meant then, and what it means for today.  We fielded listener calls & emails about the ceremony.  We talked about educational outreach, our public schools, and doing the ceremony tonight (July 20), this weekend, or in the near future to remember and understand this important accomplishment with family and friends.  Another of our topics was focused on making sure that those 500 years in the future will know what we did 43 years ago today and just how we did it.  This remembrance gets more & more complicated as our Moon landing fades into our past history.  One listener asked if Evoloterra had impact on policy makers. Rand said he did not think so.  Rand told us about a website, www.wherewereyou.com.  Here, you can upload your story as to where you were when we landed on the Moon, what you were doing, & what it meant to you.  As our program was ending, we finished the ceremony by reading the Evoloterra Epilogue. Our guests then closed out the program with their concluding thoughts and comments.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email the three co-authors through me at DrSpace@thespaceshow.com.

William (Bill) Mellberg, Tuesday, 1-31-12 February 1, 2012

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William (Bill) Mellberg, Tuesday, 1-31-12


Guest:  William (Bill) Mellberg.  Topics:  Comparing aviation to commercial space regarding markets, safety, and more. Explorer 1 54th anniversary.  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 Bill Mellberg to the program to compare the early days of aviation with today’s commercial space industry. We also honored the 54th anniversary of Explorer 1.  Mr. Mellberg started the discussion with Explorer 1 by talking about the early history of Vanguard, Explorer 1, Werner Von Braun, Ernst Stuhlinger & more. Richard Easton called & we talked about timing, GPS, clock synchronization, his Dad’s work, and Vanguard early history.  Turning to our main topic, comparing the early days of aviation history to the commercial space industry today, our guest said it was a flawed comparison.  During the first segment, he explains in detail his reasoning which has to do with commercial markets, what the government is paying for regarding commercial space as compared to what it paid for with aviation, specifically the Kelly Air Mail Act of 1925.  We also talked about the early history of Fokker Aircraft Company which he tied into our discussion on markets, market timing, and production capabilities.  Mr. Mellberg addressed human spaceflight safety from the point of view that it would be extremely hard for the commercial companies to master safety given the complexities & costs of human spaceflight & the potential damage or even ruination of the company should there be a fatal accident.  Before the segment ended, our guest drove home the lack of commercial markets for human spaceflight.  There must be HSF markets other than the government market for the ISS.  

In our second segment, our guest cited some airplane examples that were ahead of the market and suffered from bad market timing.  He then used the SST as an example of the points he was making about high operating costs, no or limited markets, government subsidies, etc.  He went over the economics of why the Boeing SST was killed by our congress and what happens when the ticket price is so high that a broad market cannot be realized.  Listeners and callers asked about government regulation crippling innovation.  Bill then suggested the path to commercialization was with a program such a what Dr. Spudis and Dr. Lavoie have proposed in their paper “Using the resources of the Moon to create a permanent, cislunar space faring system” as well as on The Space Show. You can read their paper at www.spudislunarresources.com/Bibliography/p/102.pdf.  Bill said that eventually as cislunar economic develop evolves, so would commercial markets and opportunities.  He also recommended the NASA reorganization plan proposed last year by Dr. Harrison Schmitt. You can read his plan at www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=37176.  Our guest suggested that we should use the money being invested in commercial human spaceflight to do space exploration projects because commercial space today is an unnecessary diversion of scarce resources in a tight economy.  Throughout our discussion, he talked about government contracting and why it is different today, not commercial, and unlike what was done in early aviation and with airmail.  At the end of the program, our guest treated us to some of his political humor and impersonations per his program, “An Evening With The Presidents.”

Post your comments/questions on our blog URL above. You can hear his humor at www.aneveningwiththepresidents.com/live