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Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12 June 20, 2012

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Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12


Guest:  Walter Cunningham.  Topics:  An inside view of the American space program from Apollo to today.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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 Walt Cunningham to discuss our space program from Apollo through today’s developing commercial space industry.  For more information, visit his website, www.waltercuningham.com.  You can buy “The All-American Boys: An Insider’s Look At The U.S. Space Program” from Amazon & they will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF if you use this URL: www.amazon.com/All-American-Boys-Walter-Cunningham/dp/1876963247/ref=onegiantlea20.  I started the discussion by asking Walt about his perspective on Apollo 7 today, 44 years later.  Walt had some interesting things to say about perspective, especially over the past 10-20 years as compared to when he actually carried out the mission.  A few times during our discussion, questions came up about the so called “mutiny” with the crew & NASA ground control so listen to how Walt described what was mostly a non-event despite media & blog reports to the contrary.  He did talk about Wally Schirra, his head cold & the Actifed commercials, but there was far more to the mission & to the significance of Apollo 7.  Dr. Jurist asked about the ride on a Saturn 1B, professors & experiences while both were at UCLA.  We discussed risk regarding his ride on the Saturn 1B. Walt had much to say about risk during the Apollo era as compared to now.  We extrapolated from this discussion to Columbia’s foam issues. We talked about commercial space.  Walt suggested that today’s commercial space efforts were not purely commercial given government funding & missions. He also said that retiring the shuttle when we did was a big mistake.  He then took us through a cost analysis process to illustrate that space is & always will be costly.  At the end of the first segment, one way trips to Mars & reality TV show funding were mentioned.

In the second segment, Terry called with questions about Von Braun. Walt had high praise & much to say about Von Braun & his experiences with him.  Commercial space came up again & I asked him about asteroid mining.  He did not think it would be a good investment & talked about the need to pay attention to the laws of physics.  We talked about He3 on the Moon, fusion energy possibilities & more.  I read an email from a London listener asking about the Apollo rocket & mission sounds on Apollo 7.  We talked some more about the problems on board Apollo 7, this time regarding Wally & the TV broadcast delay & the wearing of the newly designed helmets during reentry.  Walt talked about climate change & global warming, urging people to do their own research & examine the data rather than believing what people had to say regardless of their position.  John in Atlanta called in about global warming & said that there was no practical mitigation strategy. Our guest shared what he perceived to be the true motivation of global warming extremists.  John also talked about having built a next gen space shuttle from the old space shuttle to avoid retiring it or having to build an entirely new & very costly program.  Walt supported that idea but history proved otherwise.  Toward the end we discussed the pros & cons of international cooperation & competition, Ares 1 as a safe rocket for HSF, & the cost of the ISS being more due to international cooperation.  Our final topic was risk versus reckless behavior & the difference between the two.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.

Robert (Bob) Lancaster, Sunday, 12-4-11 December 5, 2011

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Robert (Bob) Lancaster, Sunday, 12-4-11


Guest:  Bob Lancaster.  Topics:  Suggestions on space policy leadership and space advocacy leadership.  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. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  We welcomed Bob Lancaster to the program to discuss space advocacy and policy leadership ideas.  Mr. Lancaster started our discussion with an explanation and short backgrounder of his interest in space and its connection to his profession in military police and security work.  Based on his interests and background, along with the leadership and management training he has had in the Air Force, Mr. Lancaster sees ways that such leadership and management training could benefit the space cause and especially the advocacy community.  Bob then talked about the need for strategic planning and excellent communications.  With regard to communications, he made a point about making sure people outside the “choir” were being reached and included in the discussion.  The tendency within the space community with our blogs, conferences, etc. is to talk too much to each other and not enough with the people outside our community.  Preaching to the choir is not helpful.  Bob said that understanding the need to communicate outside our group is fundamental to exercising better leadership and management within the space advocacy community. As the first segment ended, Bob said there were three main reasons for human spaceflight and exploration:  1) To become a multi-planet species were anything to happen to the home planet; 2) Our space efforts enhance our communities here; 3) Planetary protection/self-protection regarding NEOs.  As we started our second segment, we followed up on Bob’s earlier suggestion of using a consulting or outside strategic planning group to assist in the leadership changes being talked about.  He said it was important for this planning company to be independent of the space community.  Don’t miss his discussion on this important point.  Another listener asked about the need for charismatic leadership and Bob said being able to communicate and move the population was important.  Others asked him about the Space Guard idea and he said that at some point something like the Coast Guard in space would be needed.  Another listener asked about our differences over issues such as SLS.  Bob talked about finding common ground to speak with a more united voice to the public.  In our final segment, John asked Bob what he thought the ideal space policy might be given the country being bankrupt or at least on the verge of it.  Bob’s reply was very good as he talked about making the case for growing the economy through space rather than fighting over how to divide up a shrinking pie or tax more to fund different parts of the stagnant pie.  Listen to what he said and tell us on the blog what you think.  We then talked about space being the leader or one of the few leaders in the country/economy that can take us into a growth future.  At the end of the program, we explored Bob’s thoughts regarding forming a separate military service out of Space Command which is currently part of the Air Force.  We also talked about national security space and Bob suggested that our civil space program was very much a part of our national security.  At the end, we talked about space as a priority within the budget given areas likely to be cut in pending budget cuts.  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.