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Don Nelson, Tuesday, 11-3-15 November 4, 2015

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Don Nelson, Tuesday, 11-3-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2578-BWB-2015-11-03.mp3

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Guest: Don Nelson.  Topic:  Development of a fleet of privately operated Commercial Space Shuttle Freighters (CSS Freighter) for commercial space, NASA & Air Force.  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.

We welcomed Don Nelson back to the show for this 90 minute discussion regarding his Commercial Space Shuttle Freighter (CSS Freighter) concept.  During the first segment, Don provided us with an overview of our current launch and human spaceflight situation, he talked about safety and reliability, then he started describing his CSS Freighter Concept.  You can learn more about it at his website, www.spacetran21.org.  He spent time explaining why wings were needed despite the common misconception that they become worthless mass in space.  He said over and over again that if one does the trades, wings come out far better than carrying additional propellant for a vertical landing.  He also said he was a strong proponent of full reusability, not just first stage reusability.  In response to several questions, he said his CSS Freighter was modeled after the shuttle but with new upgrade designs and technology though to save money and reduce development time, the freighters were to be based on existing technology.  He had much to say about the difficulty they had in upgrading space shuttle systems so this time around he said upgrades would be modular and as close to plug and play as possible.  His idea is that the freighters will be built and operated by the private sector.  He suggested the extensive use of composite materials to save on mass and to use reusable Space Shuttle Main Engines (SMEs).  He referenced the Air Force X-37B program, he talked about the advance state of the thermal protection systems (TPS) for this top secret spacecraft suggesting it would be the TPS of choice for the freighters.  Our guest was challenged in both segments regarding other reusability options including the advancement toward success represented by SpaceX and the Falcon 9.  Don said it was first stage only, he was talking about full vehicle reusability and making the case for his approach with wings.  Don’t miss the challenges and the replies. Don also spelled out the advantages of horizontal as compared to vertical vehicle landing regarding reusability.

In the second segment, BJohn asked about the Soviet version of the shuttle, the Buran.  Don mostly talked about lessons learned by their not having a reusable space shuttle main engine (SME).  Don was asked about international vehicle participation in his freighter project. He said not with this Congress and referenced our policy on not talking with China.  Don was also asked for the rational for doing this and he focused on competition.  Make sure you hear this discussion.  He said he was including the Air Force in his plan given the rapid turnaround time for the vehicle (five days).  He explained the Air Force market in detail and is in touch with key Air Force people.  In addition, he has made presentations to members of Congress and their staffs plus key people at NASA.  I asked him how they responded to the concept.  You don’t want to miss what he said about that.  Alex asked an email question about launch pads and NASA having altered or gotten rid of the shuttle launch pads.  Don said launch pads were not an issue, even suggested foreign launch sites, but did say KSC was a prime launch location in the U.S.  Don attacked expendable rockets over and over again in both segments so Ben from Seattle pressed him as to why his reusable freighter would be more reliable than an expendable rocket.  He said each flight of an expendable rocket was a test flight.  Our guest received a questions about suborbital flight evolving to orbital flight, listeners asked about private Bigelow space stations, and one listener wanted his thoughts on the Skylon.  Tim called in and talked about chemical rockets and rocket fuel. He also inquired about scramjets and Big Dumb Boosters.  Doug called in to challenge his reusability comments citing the Falcon 9 to make his case that wings were wasted mass.  Don’t miss this discussion.  When asked if he thought things would change as a result of the coming elections, he suggested that a new congress would likely terminate SLS given our budget & SLS problems.  Don’t miss the balance of his concluding comments.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Don Nelson through me or his website.

The NRC Pathways HSF Study Panel Discussion, Sunday, 10-12-14 October 13, 2014

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The NRC Pathways HSF Study Panel Discussion, Sunday, 10-12-14

Featuring Dr. Jim Logan, Dan Adamo, Dr. John Jurist

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2334-BWB-2014-10-12.mp3

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Guests:  Dan Adamo, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics:  Our three guests reviewed the NRC “Pathways To Exploration HSF study.  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.

Welcome to this 2.5 hour Space Show Classroom discussion with Dan Adamo, Dr. John Jurist, & Dr. Jim Logan regarding the recently released NRC “Pathways To Exploration: Rationales And Approaches For A U.S. Program Of Human Space Exploration.”  You can download the report for free at  http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18801.  In addition, the project referred to in the last part of this discussion by Dan and Jim, the “Aquarius interplanetary HSF transport” paper can be freely downloaded at  http://www.spaceenterpriseinstitute.org/2014/07/aquarius-a-reusable-water-based-interplanetary-human-spaceflight-transport.  Please note that our panel members used cell phones which caused audio issues which you may hear during the discussion.  Finally, as this program will also be archived on both The Space Show and The Space Show Classroom blogs, there will be two papers uploaded to each blog, one by Dan Adamo & the other by caller Dr. James Dewar. I will mention both in the summary below.  In the first segment, our panel members opened with their perspective on the NRC Pathways HSF study.  While there were similarities in their perspectives, there were also noteworthy differences.  After this comprehensive introduction, I asked our panel members about the study and space settlement or pioneering.  Each panel member had much to say on the settlement issue, including the need to solve the gravity prescription for long duration HSF or settlement.  Our panel members  said that for the most part, space settlement was out of scope for this report.  In this part of the discussion much was said about microgravity issues & the need to do on orbit experiments to determine the HSF gravity prescription.  Deimos was discussed as an initial better choice that the surface of Mars re microgravity issues.  Our guests spoke to the need of a short arm centrifuge on the ISS.  Jim spoke to the specifics of such an experiment such as 1 G at the head., 2.5 g’s at the feet for two hours a day to see how it serves as a microgravity countermeasure.  Our panel members mentioned that there already was such a short arm centrifuge built years ago by NASA and Wiley, http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/slsd/about/divisions/hacd/laboratories/short-arm_centrifuge_laboratory.html.  The guests talked about unknown human factor challenges for going to Mars and long duration spaceflight.  Jim provided us with interesting statistics on human spaceflight totals since the beginning in 1961.  The panel members had much to say about the budget issues discussed in the NRC study.  Another point brought up was the study’s assumption that if we are not going to the surface of Mars, why even do HSF?  Near the end of the first segment, listener Carl brought up the well known plans for Mars settlement with Elon Musk & SpaceX.  This sparked quite the discussion so don’t miss it.

In the second segment, our panel talked about the value of the Pathways study, international partnerships and what they saw as contradictory statements, especially regarding the mission cost impact of such partnerships.  John mentioned the study’s reference to NASA education & public outreach which he thought was more focused on STEM & the development of more engineers rather than on educating the general public to be more knowledgeable about science.  The panel members  noted that there was little attention paid to the societal impact of not even having a human spaceflight program.  Dan & Jim agreed on the importance of educational outreach and shared their experiences with us from the employment with NASA.  Adrian in San Diego sent in an email suggesting the panel was being pessimistic and that China would not overthink issues and just do missions without full disclosure.  All three panel members had much to say in response to Adrian’s charge of being pessimistic.  They talked about being reality based, not pessimistic & why it was so important to be reality based.  The panel hit back hard on the charge of being pessimistic.  Dan & Jim said to be other than realistic was reckless and irresponsible.  Jim also said that being called pessimistic suggested to him that reality had violated the person’s ideology.  Jim would be happy to debate the issues with anyone in open forum.  This discussion brought Jim and Dan to talking about their Aquarius project which you can download at the above URL.  They spent some time discussing the benefits of their approach, noting how it addresses & mitigates many of the problems associated with a HSF mission to Mars.  They also spoke to the need for nuclear propulsion and talked about using water as fuel and very high ISP ratings with high temperatures.  During this discussion, Dr. Jim Dewar called in to suggest their ISP ratings were low, he explained why, and he talked about starting small to start flying and then improving as you go.  We did not know it but we lost John from the connection but Jim, Dan, and Dr. Dewar spoke to the NERVA project, and specifics about nuclear propulsion.  This advanced nuclear propulsion discussion was close to a half an hour near the end of the program.  Dr. Dewar was a guest on the program in 2008 & 2009 regarding nuclear propulsion & its history. He also authored two books on the subject.  Use the GuestSearch tool on our website to find his interviews which I suggest you listen to if you have not already done so.  I will also upload to both blogs the paper Dr. Dewar referenced in his discussion.  After the nuclear discussion, Adrian sent in another email titled “rebuttal.”  He challenged the panel members to do the experiments, not just to talk about them.  Jim, Dan & I challenged Adrian for his solutions to doing many of the needed & essential experiments. All of the panel members supported doing the needed experiments & have said so for decades.  Getting funding for the experiments, NASA approval, etc. is a challenge.  I then challenged Adrian to come to The Space Show as a guest with his solutions for doing the essential work & experiments rather than his just talking about how badly they are needed per his second email.  I hope Adrian does have answers and will contact me about coming on the show to discuss them with us.  Jim & Dan each provided closing comments focusing back on the study report.  They thought the report was worth it from the taxpayer perspective and that it would be used for references.  Jim did think the report was not as good as other government studies he had seen because it was so speculative, something all three guests addressed in their opening remarks.  An 11th hour call came from SLS John to talk about the ISP formula & temperatures Dan and Jim used in their paper Aquarius paper.  Dan authorized me to upload to the blog his written comments on the NRC Pathways study so you will find that document on both blogs as well.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach the panel members through me.

A Technical Note on Nuclear Rockets-1

PathwaysCommentaryR3

Dennis Wingo, Sunday, 3-30-14 March 31, 2014

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Dennis Wingo, Sunday, 3-30-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2218-BWB-2014-03-30.mp3

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Guest:  Dennis Wing.  Topics:  The Wingo SpaceRef article, “The Path Forward In American Space-2014 Edition,” ISS, SLS, budgets.  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 Dennis Wingo back to the program to discuss his ideas as stated in his Space Ref Op-Ed of March 6, 2014, “The Path Forward In American Space-2014 Edition.”  Check  http://spaceref.com/the-path-forward-in-american-space—2014-edition.html.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 46 minute discussion, Dennis began with a space program historical overview going back to JFK, James Webb, early space policy, and the FY 1966 peak NASA budget.  He was making the case that budget problems are not the sole cause for problems in our space policy. Instead, government, NASA and policy makers are choosing programs to spend money on and space has shown a sharp decline in prioritization over a long period of time.  Dennis talked about the three programs consuming large amounts of NASA’s budget but with strong congressional support:  ISS, the James Webb Telescope, and SLS.  He says we muddle along not having sufficient funds to do any of these project properly so he makes the case for SLS and & ISS working together to maximize the potential benefit of each program.  When asked if the Russian political problems might be a game changer for Commercial Crew, he said it was possible but too early to tell.  During this segment, Dennis elaborated on this idea with information, facts, and assumptions.  He then shows how such a plan can produce practical benefits for the American people, a must in modern day space programs.  He also talked about Silicon Valley and their investments in commercial space companies and what this means to the industry.

In the second segment, we talked about needed American public support and ways to influence policy makers, congressional leaders, etc.  We also talked about the media, the specific science and space media, and problems with it.  Dennis mentioned the upcoming comet flyby of Mars and its potential impact on people.  Check out Comet Siding Spring.  Dennis was asked for his action plan to help implement his idea, then he was asked for his thoughts on international participation and for his level of concern over the Chinese lunar program.  He concluded saying that American citizens needed to see practical benefits from our space program, that inspiration, spinoffs, etc. had not worked all that well over the decades as space program drivers.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can contact Dennis directly or through me.

 

Chris Carberry, Sunday, 4-7-13 April 8, 2013

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Chris Carberry, Sunday, 4-7-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1990-BWB-2013-04-07.mp3

Guest:  Chris Carberry.  Topics:  Exploremars.org and their upcoming Humans2Mars Summit, the Mars Generation Opinion Poll.  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 the first segment of this 1 hour 46 minute program, we welcomed back Chris Carberry, Executive Director of Explore Mars (www.exploremars.org) to discuss their upcoming Humans 2 Mars Summit (H2M) from May 6-8 at GWU in Washington, DC (see http://h2m.exploremars.org).  Chris talked about the purpose of this conference, the logistics, registration, and the speakers.  We also went into some detail regarding the panels, their topics, and panel members, all of which are detailed on the H2M website.  We specifically talked about Inspiration Mars in both segments, risk taking, government regulation, and the level of the public’s interest in human spaceflight missions to Mars.  Financing HSF missions to Mars was another topic near the end of the first segment.

In the second segment, we focused on the Mars Generation Opinion Poll which can be found at www.exploremars.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Mars-Generation-Survey-full-report-March-7-2013.pdf.  Here, we went over several of the survey questions and the results, including questions pertaining to human spaceflight and Mars in light of our current budget constraints, why go to Mars in the first place, should we increase NASA’s budget to at least 1% of the federal budget, what are the biggest barriers to sending crews to Mars, the value of returning to the Moon as compared to going to Mars, and more.  I urge all of you to check out the opinion poll as it had some interesting and surprising results, at least from my perspective.  Later in this segment, a listener asked Chris about both the Mars One mission and the Inspiration Mars flyby mission.  Don’t miss what Chris had to say about both proposed missions.  Another listener asked if Explore Mars thought human spaceflight to Mars was near term, hence the H2M Summit.  Don’t miss what Chris said in response to this question and his idea of a time line for a human mission to Mars.  We also talked about the public’s view that any HSF Mars Mission would involve the public sector, preferably with the private sector.  We concluded our discussion by again referencing the upcoming Humans 2 Mars Summit.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Chris Carberry or get more information about the upcoming conference by visiting the Explore Mars website.

Dr. Claude Piantadosi, Monday, 3-18-13 March 19, 2013

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Dr. Claude Piantadosi, Monday, 3-18-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1976-BWB-2013-03-18.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Claude Piantadosi.  Topics”:  We discussed Dr. Piantodosi’s book, “Mankind Beyond Earth,” human spaceflight, Mars missions, radiation, microgravity.  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 Dr. Claude Piantadosi to the program to discuss his new book, “Mankind Beyond Earth: The History, Science, and Future of Human Space Exploration.”  If you buy the book using this Amazon URL, www.amazon.com/Claude-A.-Piantadosi/e/B001IU0QRS/ref=onegiantlea20, Amazon will contribute to The Space Show/OGLF.  During our first segment of this two hour discussion, we compared the space environment to the undersea environment, and live support and environmental issues with a nuclear submarine as opposed to what we have available today for space flight.  Our guest talked about the advantages of human spaceflight (HSF) over robotic missions, plus the contributions to advancing technology, science & our understanding of our own environment derived from HSF.  Radiation & microgravity issues were mentioned and listeners started asking detailed questions pertaining HSF and Mars missions.  Much of this segment focused the two planned Mars missions and the human factors challenges.  In addition to a comprehensive analysis from the medical perspective, listeners also pointed out that Inspire Mars would likely have indirect if not direct public money supporting the mission.  Most were less supportive of the mission if it included public money, direct or indirect.  Dr. Piantadosi talked about radiation & microgravity unknowns and variables. He also talked about our current time line for meeting human factors & life support challenges over the near term which was not good.

In our second segment, we talked about affordable space & how to achieve it. Heavy lift and SLS came up as did fuel depots and reusability.  A listener asked about older people being more radiation resistant or tolerant. Long duration spaceflight mental issues came up and our guest talked about them in the context of crew selection and training.  Procreation in space was discussed as was the mass needed for water radiation shielding.  Our guest suggested that since the shuttle retirement, our space program had lost its focus.  He said there were no plans to get us the next level of information needed for travel beyond the Van Allen Belts.  He also talked about a lunar first program to learn and get the needed information to go to an asteroid or Mars, suggesting this might be a 15-20 year research program.  In the context of lengthy missions, our guest addressed sequestration and the need for international projects and financing. When asked if the recently announced private deep space missions had an edge over public mission, he did not think so.  Don’t miss what our guest said about this.  In closing, he urged us to engage in critical reading and critical thinking about problems.  Space is essential & we need to move forward with it using a good development & exploration plan.

Please post your comments/questions for Dr. Piantadosi on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach our guest through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Josh Hopkins, Friday, 11-2-12 November 3, 2012

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Josh Hopkins, Friday, 11-2-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1886-BWB-2012-11-02.mp3

Guest:  Josh Hopkins.  Topics:  Stepping Stones for affordable human exploration missions & lunar far side exploration at Earth-Moon L2.  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 Josh Hopkins back to the show to discuss his Stepping Stones approach to affordable human spaceflight from Earth orbit to the Martian moons.  We also discussed exploring the lunar far side from the Earth-Moon L2 point.  In our first segment, Mr. Hopkins introduced us to a potential list of missions in sequence from LEO to the Moon and beyond.  We zeroed in on the lunar farside, both from the L2 Earth-Moon point and from the lunar surface.  Our guest focused our attention on the Aitken Crater Impact Basin and rock sampling for lunar and solar system science regarding different theories about the age and origins of the universe, all of which can tell us much about the Earth, the possibility for life elsewhere, and provide valuable science to further our understanding of the universe.  Mr. Hopkins was both detailed and comprehensive in this discussion, then we switched to robotic as compared to human missions, orbiting missions as compared to lunar surface missions.  Callers inquired about how such missions would be paid for and from which part of the NASA budget.  For example, does the NASA science budget fund the mission, does the cost come from the human spaceflight side if humans are involved, how would they share costs, & is there international cooperation.  One of the important issues brought up in this discussion dealt with the fact that in the science part of NASA, missions are competed for against one another, a process that seems to work well. Inquiring about mission competition with human spaceflight involvement is yet to be determined. Telerobotic missions were discussed and communication latency concerns were brought to our attention.  Josh talked about planned ISS telerobotic demos back on Earth at NASA Ames & with ESA.
      In our second segment, Josh talked about orbital telerobotic cost issues as compared to being on the lunar surface. A listener wanted to know about traversing the Moon from a habitat to the farside & Josh explained the challenges in doing that.  Josh talked in some detail about a radio astronomy observatory at the L2 point & on the lunar surface.  He talked about noise issues at each location & the advantages each brings to the table. Josh was asked about lunar tourism & its potential impact on a radio telescope observatory on the farside. A listener asked about the Google Lunar X Prize for sample return, another inquired about the lunar space elevator, and yet another called in to ask about Stepping Stones as part of the Flexible Path. ISRU lunar development was also a discussion topic.
     Please direct your comments/questions to The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to email Josh, you can do so through me.  Visit www.lockheedmartin.com/content/dam/lockheed/data/space/documents/orion/SteppingStones.pdf for more information on the Stepping Stones concept.

Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 6-24-12 June 24, 2012

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Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 6-24-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1803-BWB-2012-06-24.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Paul Spudis. Topics:  Return to the Moon, lunar ice & water, space policy, NASA space program.  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. Paul Spudis back to the program.  Visit his website and blog for additional information, www.spudislunarresources.com & http://globs.airspacemag.com/moon. We started out by discussing a new report claiming that there is a low amount of water ice at Shackleton crater on the Moon.  Dr. Spudis explained this study/report and introduced other data points indicating the low amount of water theory is not a valid conclusion.  This discussion led to questions about science & media reporting and how best for the public to follow up on a story to not be mislead.  I asked Paul about the influence of such articles on policy makers and congressional staffers as well as those outside the U.S., citing the Chinese space program as an example.  I also asked our guest if we were in a space race with China. Dr. Spudis had much to say about this issue.  We talked about why American space leadership on the space frontier is important.  See if you agree with what our guest had to say on this important subject.  Dr. Spudis then talked about the difference with a PR stunt type of mission as compared to a mission which developed & enabled capabilities to move us forward in space development, exploration, and economics.  This brought up a June 20, 2012 Space News op-ed (http://spacenews.com/commentaries/120618-administration-legacy-nasa.html) by Frank Van Rensselaer, What Will Be This Administration’s Legacy for NASA?  This then led to a discussion about our not having a space vision direction or strategy for our civil space policy.  Much was said about this with callers and email questions during the balance of the first segment and throughout the second segment.  Our guest made a point of saying we need to ask what the purpose of the mission is, what are the goals, and what is the value of the mission?  These are important questions to always ask about what we are doing with our civil space missions.  This is an important discussion so do listen closely to what Dr. Spudis had to say.  NASA budget issues were part of this discussion with Dr. Spudis making the case that money was and is not really the issue.  Instead, its the politics of how we choose to spend tax payer money.

In the second segment, Marshall called to ask about lunar lava tubes and water, along with the need for lunar rovers.  Don’t miss what Paul had to say about these topics.  Paul was asked about his cislunar economic plans and he talked about NewSpace given the question he received from Wayne in Las Vegas asking him if he was in conflict with NewSpace.  Later, Crystal from Tulsa emailed Paul with a question about space property rights. Paul said this was extremely important so do listen to the complete discussion on this topic.  More was said about NASA budget issues & making sure taxpayers get something back for what they spend on space.  Andrew sent in an email addressing the technology development problems going back decades with military airplanes & large engineering projects.  Near the end of our two hour program, Dr. Spudis mentioned the tyranny of the rocket equation and what this means for space access and costs.  We also talked about on orbit fuel depots.  Reaching a critical mass for making a difference in space policy was our last discussion topic.

If you have a comment/question for Dr. Spudis, please post it on The Space Show blog.