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Kathy Lueders; Dr. Heidi Fearn, Thursday, 9-3-15 September 4, 2015

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Mach Thruster

Kathy Lueders; Dr. Heidi Fearn, Thursday, 9-3-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2545-BWB-2015-09-03.mp3

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Guests: Kathy Lueders; Dr. Heidi Fearn; Topics: First segment: NASA Commercial Crew. Second segment, Dr. Heidi Fearn re Mach Thrusters. 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.

Welcome to these two recorded interviews during the week of the AIAA Space 2015 conference. The first interview for about 40 minutes is with Kathy Lueders, the NASA Commercial Crew Program Manager. I was joined in the interview by my two co-hosts, Rand Simberg and Leonard David. The second interview took place on Thursday, Sept. 3 at Dr. Jim Woodward’s physics lab at Cal St. Fullerton University with the tour being conducted by Dr. Heidi Fearn. Robert Jacobson was my co-host. During the first segment, Ms. Lueders explained the commercial crew program, milestones, budget issues, program objectives, and the certification process. She explained these subtopics in detail. Rand, Leonard and I asked her many questions about the NASA definition of safety, we proposed “crazy thinking” scenarios to her to see how NASA might react in such a situation and if they would be flexible enough to use hardware that may be ready but not yet certified. Kathy pointed out that non-cash assistance was still flowing to Dream Chaser and Blue Origin. When asked if she thought NASA would get its full commercial crew budget that they are asking for, she was positive but you decide after listening to her. This was a good, comprehensive discussion on many important topics including NASA risk taking and the commercial crew astronaut selection process.

In the second segment, Robert Jacobson and I drove down to Cal St. Fullerton to see Dr. Woodward’s lab and to talk with Dr. Heidi Fearn about their mach thruster work. The lab was very small & most the equipment was made by Dr. Woodward years ago. Heidi showed us a mach thruster and explained how to see the effect on the computer that measures the small amount of movement from the thruster. She explained it very well so while you won’t be able to see what she is talking about, I believe you can easily follow along. We walked over to the vacuum cylinder which she explained, she then talked about the floating tables and why the need for them, plus we talked about scaling up mach thrusters. I asked her several questions about their out of the box work at Cal St. Fullerton, students, delivering papers, and her reception by her peers. You will find her responses to these questions to be very interesting. Later during the tour, she turned on the experiment and Robert and I could clearly see the computer recording the movement over the background noise. We have a cell phone picture of it which I will put on the blog for this show. Near the end of our 45 minute tour and discussion with Heidi, we asked her about funding and timelines. She suggested a timeline for going to Alpha Centauri which sounded way too soon to me but she explained why she thought it was plausible. Tell us what do you think?

Please post your comments/questions for either of our guests of the co-hosts on TSS blog above. You can email any of the guests or co-hosts through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Mach Thruster

 Mach Thruster result graph

Rand Simberg, Monday, 6-9-14 June 10, 2014

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Rand Simberg, Monday, 6-9-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2259-BWB-2014-06-09.mp3

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Guest:  Rand Simberg.   Topics:  HSF safety, risk taking, our space dependency on Russia, 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 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 Rand Simberg for a 1 hour 36 minute discussion regarding our HSF dependency on Russia, risk taking space safety, and more.  In our first segment, Rand talked about his book, “Safe Is Not An Option” (see http://www.safeisnotanoption.com), as well as his pointing out that what he said in his book about our growing dependence on Russia for our HSF is coming to pass.  This led to a discussing of the Sen. Shelby language in the proposed NASA funding appropriations bill to account for fixed costs in a similar way such costs are accounted for in the FAR.  Rand summarized his HSF safety comments by repeating one of his better known statements that many of us agree with, that is HSF is not important!  He discussed his meaning of this statement throughout today’s program.  Rand talked about HSF being worth the risk, 16 years of ISS and only now starting to do useful things, one of which he identified as an important drug project for curing MSRA.  This discussion prompted several listener emails including one from Jim asking if we were seeing the end of NASA/government HSF?  Tony asked Rand what he would favor were he the supreme space dictator of the country.  Rand suggested returning to the old NACA model.  Later, he said HSF is not a mature industry and compared to the 1920s airplane design as that is where spaceflight design is today.  He had much to say about safety as a priority and safety regulations.

In the second segment, Ben asked him about SpaceX being qualified for AF spy satellite launches.  I asked Rand about the Dragon V2 as he was present at the unveiling.  He went inside the capsule and shared his perspectives with us.  Space settlement came up and Rand received many email questions referring to it.  He was asked about SpaceX fast tracking Dragon V2 depending on what happens with the Russians.  We talked about influencing congress and Rand suggested writing to members of congress as the count is totaled by the members.  Given the overall low numbers for the space advocacy community, getting letters to congress is important.  Near the end of the segment, he was asked about Inspiration Mars and Mars One, he talked about the serious need for a gravity lab to determine the minimal gravity prescription.  Before our discussion ended, we talked about the NRC Pathways study on HSF and Mars.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can contact Rand through his book website, Transterrestrial Musings (www.transterrestrial.com), or me.

Dr. Bruce Damer, Tuesday, 7-9-13 July 10, 2013

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Dr. Bruce Damer, Tuesday, 7-9-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2045-BWB-2013-07-09.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Bruce Damer.  Topics: Human NEO mission study & design project, asteroids, planetary protection & 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.  Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

We welcomed Dr. Bruce Damer back to the show to discuss his 3D real time simulations, the human NEO mission study & design project, planetary protection, astronaut safety and much more.  Here are the websites Bruce mentioned on air:  www.damer.com, www.levityzone.com, and www.digitalspace.com.  In addition, later in our discussion Bruce also talked about a Dave Brody YouTube video that was relevant to our discussion.  You can find this video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAm9escDxu0.   In the first segment of our 1 hour 31 minute discussion, Dr. Damer talked about the renewed interest in asteroid projects within NASA and by others, especially after the Russian event a few months ago.  Dr. Damer had lots to say about a recent meeting he attended at AMES, budgets, and the renewed interest in the subject.  Listeners started asking him questions early on, including questions about docking with an asteroid with little or no gravity, the use of aerogel to collect micrometeorite particles, plus the recently announced commercial asteroid missions being planned.  Robots versus humans came up many times, Curt asked about the use of the ISS, prioritizing budgets, lunar basis, etc.  Doug called in regarding the incremental approach Dr. Damer had mentioned or as referred to in our discussion, stepping stones.

In the second segment, we talked about the designs on www.digitalspace.com and the Brody YouTube video per the above URL.  Also discussed was planetary protection with the use of the gravity tractor. We talked about needed lead times to interfere with a potentially dangerous NEO that might be headed for Earth,  then more questions came in about a lunar base and what Bruce thought to be more important, the lunar base, Mars, or the NEO mission.  Doug called in to discuss and challenge some of the mission planning ideas Bruce put forth, especially around trial and error, R&D, incremental development and long time lines.  Near the end, we talked about human spaceflight safety & the ideas put forth by Rand Simberg & others that we needed to take more risks, not make safety the extreme priority.  Bruce had many relevant & important comments on this subject.  Final comments focused on 50-100 years in th future with asteroid & other capabilities but only if we keep moving forward today.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  Email Bruce through his websites or me.

Gerald (Jerry) Carr, Friday, 6-28-13 June 28, 2013

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Gerald (Jerry) Carr, Friday, 6-28-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2038-BWB-2013-06-28.mp3

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Guest: Gerald (Jerry) Carr.  Topics:  Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, the Skylab space station.  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 of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.  Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

We welcomed retired Skylab astronaut Jerry Carr back to the program to discuss the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (www.astronautscholarship.org) and the 40th anniversary of the Skylab space station.  Jerry the discussion with an overview of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, the STEM college scholarships it awards each year, auctions held to support the scholarship program as well as sales off the gift store on their website.  We then switched over to Skylab nothing that there will be a 40th anniversary celebration at KSC on July 27.  You can find out more about this celebration on the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation website.  I asked Jerry to describe for us one of his most memorable Skylab experiences and he talked about going into the command module flying over the Pacific and the views he saw as Skylab traveled in its orbit from Japan to the Pacific Northwest and more.  This is a great description of his view, don’t miss it.  Listeners asked Jerry multiple questions about Skylab, his experiences on board, comparing Skylab to the ISS and Skylab to the Mir.  We even talked about Skylab food and butter cookies, 0 g adaptation, close calls, and getting stuck in the center of Skylab.  Later in the segment, Jerry talked about consulting for space station human design factors for the ISS, then budget issues for Skylab as compared to NASA budget issues of today. We also talked about lessons learned throughout the program.  He was asked about inflatable commercial space stations & the time capsule they left on board when they departed the station.

In the second segment, a listener asked if the time capsule was recovered or could have survived reentry.  Another listener asked about the Skylab data still coming under analysis, then I asked about his public speaking engagements and if he could spot trends over time in terms people’s interest in space and science.  Jerry had much to say in response to several questions on this theme so don’t miss them.  Tony wanted to know about space radiation issues, Mars One, & artificial gravity with tethers.  Near the end, a listener brought up the recent interview with Rand Simberg and his space safety argument in his new book, “Safe Is Not An Option.”  We talked about risk taking, the mission, even risk taking landing on carriers and flying combat missions with the Marines.  He thought there might be too much risk averseness out of politically correct thinking but don’t miss all of his comments on this subject.  Our final topic focused on art with his wife Pat.  Check out their exhibit, OUR FRAGILE HOME at www.camusart.com.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact our guest through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Brian Mosdell, Friday, 9-21-12 September 22, 2012

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Brian Mosdell, Friday, 9-21-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1858-BWB-2012-09-21.mp3

Guest:  Brian Mosdell.   Topics: SpaceX Florida operations with Falcon 9, Dragon, Heavy, 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 back Brian Mosdell, Director of the SpaceX launch operations in Florida.  During our one hour discussion, we talked extensively about the Falcon 9, Dragon, Heavy, the upcoming Oct 7, 2012 launch to the ISS for a cargo resupply mission, and much more.  Other topics included getting ready for the Heavy, pad modifications, the Merlin engine 1.1 upgrade, launch range issues, human spaceflight safety, Congressional hearings on human spaceflight safety, and more.  Listeners asked many questions by both email and the toll free phone line.  Dragon life support issues were discussed along with possibly speeding up the human rating and Dragon HSF flights to the ISS. Brian said these matters were in the hands of NASA and others and then he told us the timeline they were currently working on.  We talked about the Soyuz problems and delays and asked if any of this would alter the timeline for commercial crew development.  We also talked about differences and preferences in contracting formats between the FAR & the SAA.  Another listener asked Brian to compare and contrast his work experience on the Delta launch vehicles and now the Falcon.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Additional potential commercial spaceports were discussed, including possibilities in Texas and Georgia.  A listener wanted to know about Falcon manufacturing facilities and how the Falcon 9 was transported to Florida.  Brian broke the process down into components and said it all goes by private carrier over land to Florida or Vandenberg, mainly from California to Texas & then on to the final destination.  Brian talked about the upcoming Falcon Heavy and he got several listener questions about it.  Toward the end, Brian provided us with a rough schedule of planned events that we should keep our eyes on for the next year to two.
     If you have comments/questions for Brian Mosdell, please post them The Space Show blog.  Emails to Brian can be sent to me for forwarding.

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

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

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1702-BWB-2012-01-31.mp3

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