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Jim Muncy, Monday, 7-6-15 July 7, 2015

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Jim Muncy, Monday, 7-6-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2502-BWB-2015-07-06.mp3

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Guest:  Jim Muncy:  Topics:  Space Policy, budget issues, company overviews, 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.  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 Jim Muncy back to the program to discuss current space policy and budget issues before the U.S. Congress, company updates, and much more.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 50 minute discussion, Jim provided us with the groundwork for most of our discussion by going back to the Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984, then the update to it known as the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.  He talked about both the House and Senate versions of the NASA and space budget bills and some of the differences between the two bills.  One difference which he explained in detail early in the second segment had to do with the learning period which is important for the developing industry.  Another difference between the two revolved around extending the ISS commitment to 2024 plus issues relating to BLEO space.  When asked if he thought the final bill would be signed or vetoed by the president, he said it was nonpartisan and he did not see problems getting it signed into law.  Listeners asked about funding SLS.  Much was said about SLS in both segments but one listener asked Jim why so many supported SLS given its shortcomings.  Jim explained the mindset of many SLS supporters in congress. As you will hear, SLS is hardly a black or white issue.  This discussion led to a related discussion on developing a new rocket engine, the issues involved, the competitors, methane versus other fuel, and more.  In particular, he used Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers as an example supporting is analysis of the situation.  Jim was asked about the impact of the Falcon 9 failure which led him to address the need for multiple launchers and competition.  Later, Alex asked him about his areas of concern regarding the pending budget legislation.  He talked about sequestration, spending caps, delays, and the problem with operating on a CR which is likely.  This is a lengthy but important discussion so don’t miss it.  Before the segment ended, Jim was asked about the lunar lander.  Jim then talked about the Flexible Path, Google Lunar XPrize, cislunar space development and Mars.  Jim advocated the need for public private partnerships, then he was asked about international partnerships.

 

In the second segment, we started with an email question from Doug inquiring about the Augustine Commission presenting an option for returning to the Moon with landers developed in a public-private program context.  After Jim’s response, I asked him to refer back to a comment he made in the first segment and to explain what was meant by the learning period.  This was an important discussion so don’t miss it.  As part of his response, he also provided a short overview of the suborbital industry and participants plus the orbital industry.  A good portion of this segment focused on the importance of the learning period.  Our last question of the evening was from Helen.  She asked Jim if it would be beneficial to ask political candidates in the 2016 races space related questions assuming they know nothing about space.  Jim supported the idea but he told us all to make the question broader than just what interests us in the space industry. He gave several examples of this.  What he said made sense to me so I urge all of you who get a chance to question a 2016 candidate, ask your space question the way Jim suggested.

 

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show Blog above.

Dr. Frank Martin, Tuesday, 9-23-14 September 24, 2014

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Dr. Frank Martin, Tuesday, 9-23-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2323-BWB-2014-09-23.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Frank Martin.  Topic:  The NRC “Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration” report.  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 Dr. Frank Martin to the program to discus the NRC human spaceflight study along with all aspects of human spaceflight including various destinations and missions.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 39 minute show, Dr. Martin introduced us to the NRC Pathways study which you can download for free by using Google.  He suggested it was a dose of reality as well as optimism.  He said the study was very clear in saying “show me the money” for those wanting to do humans to Mars missions now or fairly soon and then explained some of the high costs and trades involved in these missions.  One of his overriding themes throughout our discussion was the need to manage a very large mass in LEO in order to accomplish the goals of long duration human space mission.  During our segment, we kept coming back to the need to manage a large mass in LEO and how this translated to costs as well as the need for technology advancement.  Both myself and listeners asked our guest about doing human missions cheaper by using the private sector.  This subject kept coming up during both segments of the program.  We also addressed the rational for human spaceflight.  In addition, the issue of walking away from HSF was looked at for the US as a nation as that is an option. The report attempted to address this and related issues.   Joe sent in an email about the mice on the ISS and using them to determine the gravity RX for HSF.  He sent us several additional emails on this subject as well.  This prompted comments about the need to use the ISS for research in support of long duration HSF missions.  Dr. Martin said Mars was an horizon goal.  In this context, he talked about only a few other possible destinations near us, either the Moon or an asteroid.  He then proceeded to address the issue of managing the risk for a Mars mission.  Beverly asked a budget question and taking the lead from the most recent Mike Griffin interview, she asked Frank if it really was just a choice to be constrained by budget issues.  While Frank agreed it was a choice, he said there were very good ways and choices to spend taxpayer money so he did not see significantly more money for space in the future.  Another listener talked about nuclear propulsion which also crossed into the second segment.  Near the end of the first segment, we got a call from a New Zealand listener.  During his call, the idea of the Buzz Aldrin Mars cycler came up and there was a question or two about fuel depots.

In the second segment, I asked Dr. Martin why the study took 18 months, then SLS John called the program.  John wanted to talk nuclear propulsion thinking it would be a cost saver but what was not known was the accurate cost of the R&D program or the cost for jumping through political hurdles.  John suggested a new administration would make a difference and I challenged that.  I asked Frank given all his years of space industry experience if it was reasonable to expect big changes in space policy due to a change in administrations.  Don’t miss Frank’s reply.  Dwayne called back to question the HSF rational. One of the points made by Dwayne was that cooperation with the Russians on the ISS does not modify Russia’s behavior other than for space.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Dr. Frank Martin through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

James (Jim) Faist, Tuesday, 9-2-14 September 3, 2014

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James (Jim) Faist, Tuesday, 9-2-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2308-BWB-2014-09-02.mp3

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Guest:  James (Jim) Faist.  Topics:  Military space, commercial space, NASA, launches, military use of cubesats & UAVs.  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 Jim Faist to the program for this 63 minute discussion.  We started our first and only segment by inquiring about military space and possible synergies with commercial space.  Mr. Faist cited communication satellites of all types including Direct TV, high bandwidth space communications platforms and infrastructure, plus the push to deep space.  Our guest talked about the new optical coms with much higher bandwidth.  I asked Jim about the time lags from R&D to military space operations to NASA and civil space, then to commercial space companies.  Jim estimated about 5-8 years to military space and about ten years to civil space.  An email listener asked about DoD launches being able to serve as drivers for NASA and commercial space to increase by increasing the launch rate to drive down launch costs.  We then talked about priorities for military space.  Here, we learned that DOD is very concerned with costs but the priority is the mission.   Costs are just one part of the mission priorities..  In general, DOD likes and wants competition and lower prices are important.  One of the points our guest made was that other space nations can spend more on R&D and new projects than we do as a percentage of their budgets since we have to maintain older technology & infrastructure while others that are newer to space don’t have the legacy issues to support & finance.  This brought up a question by Carl who wanted to know if satellite on orbit servicing was worth it or would it be better to go for the new hardware.  The DOD usage of cubesats came up and we compared cubesats to smallsats and finally to the use of UAVs.  You will find the comparisons interesting.  A listener asked about the SpaceX-Air Force lawsuit.  Here, Jim talked about the process for DOD requirements for confidence in launchers and at one point suggested it might be a ten year long process.  I also asked our guest about our building a new rocket motor to replace the RD-180.  Another question focused on the possible DOD use of SLS and heavy lift.  AF Space Command came up as did responsive space and a comparison of that to UAVs.  We talked about DOD public/private partnerships or joint partnerships with civil/commercial space.  Lunar outposts and cislunar space were mentioned as well as the concept of a Space Guard modeled after the Coast Guard. Near the end, I asked about suborbital space tourism/science missions.  Jim mentioned using sounding rockets to test & flight qualify space hardware.  He thought the suborbitals would be good for that.  TRLs came up again & we talked about the role of the Schafer Corp in military space plus their current need for people & their current hiring needs.  Cubesats came up again, especially concerning enough launches and what it might mean for cubesats if they carry propulsion with them as that makes it hard to fly as a secondary payload.  In response to launch issues, he said it was not enough to just focus on the cubesats, the launch side of the business must also be considered & addressed.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Mr. Faist through me or the Schafer Corp website (www.schafercorp.com).

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 1-14-14 January 15, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 1-14-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2165-BWB-2014-01-14.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Bob Zimmerman covered a wide range of topics from commercial space to ground based telescopes.  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 Bob Zimmerman back to the show for this two hour discussion.  Bob started the first segment with an overview of commercial space progress to date in 2014 which includes Space X Falcon 9 launch, Orbital’s launch to the ISS, the recent Virgin Galactic demo test plus other events.  SLS came up again and unfortunately took up time throughout the show.  As you will hear me say, I am sick of the pro and anti-SLS comments on the show and really need an SLS break as I imagine most listeners do as well. Unfortunately, callers and email questioners kept bring it back to our focus and Bob was not shy on commenting on SLS as he wants it cancelled.  We talked some about Virgin Galactic and XCOR, then I asked about Dream Chaser given the news it has been seeking international partners to continue the project.  Bob was next asked about the Chinese policy and their lunar lander.  He started comparing the Chinese program of today to the early Soviet Union program and suggested that like all space programs, they will make a significant contribution to changing the culture of the country.  We talked about the new Omnibus 2014 Budget Bill before congress and the increases to NASA, planetary science, commercial crew and more.  As we neared the break, Bob in Berkeley asked Bob the guest to opine on Inspiration Mars and Mars One.  Doug from S. California called with multiple questions before the break, starting out asking about Bob’s comments on the negatives for taking government money and wanting to know if that applied to Space Act Agreement recipients.  His last question directed to Bob and me was based on our being part of the space media and about influencing policy, culture, programs, etc.  Bob’s and my response continued into the second segment.

During the second segment, Trent chatted in from Australia, then Dave called in from Chicago to asked about the J2X engine.   Bob and I talked some more about making a policy impact, then I asked Bob for key issues that will emerge for the balance of the year.  He talked about Russia competing with private companies, HSF and Dragon, astronomy, ground based telescope improvements, and NASA science programs.  At the end, I asked about the new mission for Kepler Space Telescope to have it continuing doing useful and productive research for the rest of its life.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog and visit Bob website often, http://behindtheblack.com.  You can reach Bob through his website or through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Marcia Smith, Friday, 4-12-13 April 12, 2013

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Marcia Smith, Friday, 4-12-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1993-BWB-2013-04-12.mp3

Guest:  Marcia Smith.  Topics:  NASA FY 2013 and 2014 budget and budget issues.  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 back Marcia Smith of SpacePolicyOnline to guide us through important NASA FY 2013 and FY 2014 budget issues.  For more information and the latest developments on current space policy and budget issues, check www.spacepolicyonline.com on a regular basis.

Our program started with a tribute to Cosmonauts Day, a celebration of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first man in space on April 12, 1961 aboard Vostok 1.  We then switched over to what has to be the most confusing and dysfunctional budget process ever, the NASA FY 2013 and 2014 budgets.  Ms. Smith guided us through the confusion which at times was no easy task.  We talked about the sequester cuts as well as “revisions” which adjust budget numbers at the end of a bill.  All in all, it is thought that NASA will face around a 7% cut for 2013 but this is still an unknown though it might be clarified on May 10 as that is when NASA & other government agencies submit their yearly operating plan to Congress.  During this first segment of our 1 hour 22 minute discussion, we also talked about the Budget Control Act of 2011 and its importance to NASA and the recently announced NASA Asteroid Retrieval Initiative.  In fact, our guest had much to say about this latest NASA program given it was announced in advance of NASA having the technology to be able to do the mission in the first place.  This subject came up multiple times in both segments of today’s program.  Josh asked about the NASA authorization expiring this year and if a new one would be put in its place.  Ms. Smith explained the authorization which is expiring at the end of FY 2013, making it clear what parts expire and what parts continue as law.  We then talked about both congressional authorizations and appropriations.  Returning to the newly announced NASA asteroid mission, Marcia broke down the estimated initial $105 million cost into specific categories.  It will be interesting to see how this plan is dealt with by OMB and Congress.  Marcia fielded questions about public/private partnerships & how they might do given our budget issues.  We also talked about commercial crew budgets for FY 2013 and the potential 7% cut which our guest said was not yet certain.  Also discussed was the funding for SLS, Orion and ISS.  Operating programs such as Curiosity on Mars were discussed but they work with specific program commitments and then go through a review process a few years later for any extensions.

In our second segment, Ben asked about the 2013 continuing resolution process which Marcia explained.  Don’t miss this discussion as you will hear about possible big decreases in the CR for the second half of this fiscal year.  A listener sent in a note asking our guest about the budget impact on DOD programs including space programs and NOAA.  This brought me to asking our guest about the state of the NASA budget this year as compared to previous years.  You might be surprised by what our guest said in response to my question.  The new NASA asteroid mission came up again, this time with caller Michael who offered us interesting points of view about NASA and this mission.  Part of this discussion focused on our thinking that NASA had not yet made a compelling case for the asteroid mission or the study initiative.  As the program ended, we talked about having public access to the NASA operating plan that will be submitted to congress on May 10.  In conclusion, we wait for May 10th and “crystal clear clarity” to a very confusing and dysfunction process for NASA and other agencies for FY 2013 and the proposed FY 2014 budget.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Ms. Smith through www.spacepolicyonline.com or me using drspace@thespaceshow.com as I will forward your note.