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William (Bill) Harwood, Sunday, 11-24-13 November 25, 2013

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William (Bill) Harwood, Sunday, 11-24-13


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Guest: William (Bill) Harwood.  Topics:  SpaceX Falcon 9 GEO Launch, space policy, suborbital issues and 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.

We welcomed Bill Harwood, the CBS News space consultant to the show.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Bill told us about his press conference and briefing with Elon Musk, the CTO from SES, the company sending the first GEO bird to orbit on the Falcon 9 on Monday afternoon, 11-25-13, and Ms. Shotwell of SpaceX.  Most of the first segment was spent discussing the press conference, the comments about the launch made by all participants, the challenges of doing the first GEO launch for the new Falcon 9 V1.1 and more.  Not only did Bill go over the details of the launch and the SES satellite orbital insertion, plus the Falcon 9 plans for second stage firing and getting in position for the satellite to take over for its part, we talked about SpaceX launch costs, we compared the Falcon 9 costs as best we could to the Arianne and the ILS Proton costs.  Bill was asked about the thoughts of the Falcon 9 competition and what it might mean for a SpaceX success with their first GEO launch.  Also in this segment, Bill was asked about Inspiration Mars, SLS, & Orion.  Other topics included space settlement, suborbital flight, Virgin Galactic, robotic missions, and the why that justifies HSF.  As the segment was ending, a listener asked about the Florida space coast economy and its economic recovery.

In the second segment, Bill was asked if SpaceX was creating a new market or taking market share from the existing competition.  We talked about NASA story telling for a better space policy, the JFK legacy, & space being treated by many as a luxury.  I asked Bill about the private sector being able to kick start space industry development and Bill responded with information how hard space was, especially orbital space which requires speeds of 85 football fields per second.  Dream Chaser and its recent accident were discussed and there was lots of listener support for Dream Chaser as there was from our guest.  More was said about the potential market for suborbital tourism and flights.  Bill was asked about the biggest change over the years in his covering space issues and he said it was the change in politics.  I asked him about his reporting during both Challenger and Columbia. As the program closed, Bill was asked about the ISS, commercial development for the station, and the need to keep the station going beyond 2020.

Post your comments/questions to The Space Show blog above.  You can email Mr. Harwood through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Dr. Perry Ballard, Friday, 1-13-12 January 13, 2012

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Dr. Perry Ballard, Friday, 1-13-12


 Guest:  Dr. Perry Ballard.  Topics:  Space Test Program, Secondary payload capacity 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 Dr. Perry Ballard, Chief Engineer, DOD Manned Spaceflight Payloads Office, Space and Missile Systems Center, JSC.  Dr. Ballard began our discussion with an overview of the DoD Space Test Program (STP), why it was created, its purpose, and some of the experiments that have flown with great success because of STP efforts.  Dr. Ballard also spoke about the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) imaging spectrometer mission which with the help of STP flew on the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) on the ISS.  Dr. Ballard responded to listener questions about the impact on STP of budget cuts as well as payload capacity downgrades due to the retirement of the shuttle.  You might be surprised by his response to these questions.  Another issue that was addressed was the NASA two year integration period for ISS missions.  Lots of questions came in about this, most wondering if a private company such as Bigelow could substantially reduce the two year period.  This prompted a more thorough discussion about integration and each rocket’s environment as well as the way it rides.  Professor Fevig from UND Space Studies asked about opportunities for student-built spacecraft to be launched as a secondary payload into GTO.  Launching to GTO, specifically cubesats, also turned into a significant discussion that you will not want to miss. At the end of this segment, Perry received some questions about assisting with payloads for sounding rockets.  In his response, he said they also work with balloon launches and sometimes even with high altitude aircraft. 

In our second segment, we talked about secondary payload capacity and the need for the payloads to be ready when the capacity is ready.  If the payloads are not ready, the capacity can go elsewhere.  This is quite a challenge for the university and cubesat community.  When you listen to what Dr. Ballard had to say about this issue, some of the challenges, the relationships with payloads, integration, timing, missions, and orbital dynamics, will become much clearer.  Later in this segment, Perry was asked about STP using foreign launchers and also finding rides for foreign payloads. 

In our final segment, we talked about the work of his office with the amateur satellite network, the challenges to provide ground stations for schools, and to increase broadband capacity.  He talked about the mission priority list he gets that he has to work with and the priorities for science missions above all else. Later in this segment, he put forth his own idea of getting sponsors, Space Grant, and others to supply rocket motors to student groups, classes, organizations, to help inspire students by actually doing things rather than just hearing a lecture or reading a book.  See what you think of his idea and run with it if you like it.  His idea is centered around getting students to build spacecraft, to bend metal so to speak.  Since the rocket motor may be the most expensive part needed, if it can be furnished by a sponsor, he believes it can be a driver for STEM education at different grade levels through college.  If you have comments or questions for Dr. Perry Ballard, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  Any notes you have for Dr. Ballard can be sent through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.