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Jim Keravala, Shackleton Energy Co., Friday, 12-14-12 December 15, 2012

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Jim Keravala, Shackleton Energy Co., Friday, 12-14-12


Guest:  Jim Keravala.  Topics:  Shackleton Energy’s cislunar economic development plans.  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. We welcomed Jim Keravala to the program to talk with us about the Cislunar development plans for Shackleton Energy.  To learn more, visit their website at www.shackletonenergy.com. Jim started our discussion with an overview of Shackleton Energy and their Cislunar development plan.  As you will hear throughout our discussion, the plan involves the propellant depots near the ISS and in other locations, water ice development at the lunar north and south pole, the use of insitu resources and eventually Shackleton industrial astronauts.  Our guest spent most of the first segment describing the plan, the various stages of development, the use of robotic technology leading up to human spaceflight and benefit sharing ideas.  He talked about being able to solve or at least significantly contribute to solutions to our global energy usage problems which he said would be around 30 terawatt hours(TWh).  He talked about the viability of SSP at that point based on the cislunar Shackleton Energy development program. Jim also mentioned the risk of reaching the Kessler limits regarding space debris.  Ben sent in an email asking Jim for his thoughts on benefit sharing, a subject put forth on The Space Show by recent guest Dr. Edythe Weeks.  Jim was supportive of benefit sharing through technology exchanges and transfers as well as in helping under developed nations build an industry to allow them to compete and have a presence in the expanding space industry.  He cited his work with Surrey Satellite Company and their African space development program as an example, plus he talked about sharing to make sure everyone benefitted from space development which could significantly improve life in these countries.  We talked about government corruption problems and ITAR as issues that might get in the way of benefit sharing, but Jim was steadfast in the need to reach out to third world countries to engage them in space development for the commercial and industrial benefits.
     In our second segment, Doug called to ask about transitioning from telerobotic missions to human missions.  Here, Jim did a comprehensive explanation of the different phases of their development plan leading up to industrial astronauts in cislunar space. He talked about trades with humans based at EML1 as compared to the lunar surface regarding repair and maintenance missions of lunar surface hardware.  Charles wanted to know about their choice of launch vehicles.  Jim also got questions about their timeline and capital acquisition plans.  Randy wanted to know if they would be able to meet the 2020 timeline referenced in their website video.  Near the end, Jim got questions about the requirements for becoming an industrial astronaut.  In summary, Jim talked about their ambitious project, TRLs, and the importance of the project from many different perspectives.
      Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to email Jim Keravala, you can do so through me.

Brent Sherwood, Tuesday, 7-24-12 July 25, 2012

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Brent Sherwood, Tuesday, 7-24-12


Guest:  Brent Sherwood.  Topics: Human spaceflight to Mars: Is it on the path or a distraction?  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 Brent Sherwood back to the show to discuss his GLEX paper and ideas regarding human spaceflight (HSF), Mars, and alternative NASA goals/missions regarding HSF.  His GLEX paper, “Mars-On the Path or in the Way” is posted on The Space Show blog following this program summary.  Please read & review his paper as it contains far more detail regarding his proposal, analysis and his conclusion than what we were able to discuss during our program.  In our first segment, Mr. Sherwood provided us with the background and context for his having written this paper and for his conclusion that HSF to Mars is not the right path. He then outlined alternative paths for HSF missions that he believes can better “regain the cultural centrality of human space flight and grow by attracting private capital.” Our guest talked about the value proposition of a HSF mission to Mars, plus the value proposition of the alternatives he describes in his paper & on this program.  The value proposition is understood to refer to the value received by sending humans to Mars (or the alternative HSF missions) as compared to the value of the mission costs, the opportunity costs, risks, etc.  Mr. Sherwood assesses the value proposition for all of his alternative HSF proposals which include the Explore Mars mission, lunar settlement, space passenger travel, and SSP.  For most of this initial segment, Brent outlined his ideas and explained why he has concluded that HSF to Mars does not measure up as a value promise & why SSP is his first choice.  We began taking listener email questions and phone calls after he summarized his position  & as you can imagine, most all the listener questions/comments were of the challenging nature to his conclusion that HSF to Mars was not in the best interest of our space program.  I urge you read his paper and to pay attention to the technical, cost, time line, and historical information shared with us by our guest.

In the second segment of this nearly two hour program, Brent took questions and expanded more as to why he supports other options than HSF to Mars.  He also explained why he is calling for a debate on this issue within the space community.  At the start of this segment, I asked him if he thought discovering life on Mars would change his opinion and the value proposition.  He said no but did say it would expedite the Martian sample return mission, but would not alter the variables & unknowns involved in the magnitude of technology challenges needing resolution before sending humans safely to and from Mars.  Toward the end of our discussion, I asked how he might move forward to implement the industry debate he has called for on this show & in his paper.  Suggestions on how to do this are wanted so if you have any, post them on the blog.

Brent would like your feedback so after listening to this program and reading his paper, please post comments/questions on the blog.  You can email Brent Sherwood by sending your note to me & I will forward it to him.

Brent Sherwood’s GLEX Paper:

Mars-On the Path or In the Way?