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Scott Lowther, Monday, 12-2-13 December 3, 2013

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Scott Lowther, Monday, 12-2-13


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Guest:  Scott Lowther.  Topics:  Historical archiving and documenting cancelled aerospace projects.  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 Scott Lowther to the program to discuss his Aerospace Projects Review work for cancelled aerospace projects.  In the first segment of our 90 minute program, Scott introduced us to his work and his website http://aerospaceprojectsreview.com.  Also check out his blog at www.aerospaceprojectsreview.com/blog.  In explaining what he does, he talked about the larger aerospace companies, their dismissal of old records and materials, their lack of saving and archiving even important files and plans.  Boeing was the one exception to this practice.  He then described his experience at the Boeing archive library & the type of data he found there, including hardware samples.  We talked about why companies don’t save and archive material. Besides the more typical reasons including costs, space, and things like that, he said that there might be some documents that an attorney could get a hold of in researching a liability case and use something in the report, even a 20 year old report, as cause against the company in possible litigation.  Scott also talked about companies using a storage facility under control and management of Iron Mountain Data and Storage Backup.  One of his favorite projects was the X-20 Dyno-Soar and we talked about this vehicle project in detail.  On his website, you will also see his U.S. Bomber Series drawings and information.  In discussing this series, our guest was asked what the first U.S. bomber was.  He cited a biplane bomber used against Pancho Villa.  We talked about specific aviation projects such as the A-12 Flying Wing.  Another favorite project was the Orion nuclear propulsion vehicle of which our guest had much to say.  Toward the end of this segment, Anthony called in to talk more about the X 20.

In the second segment, we started out with Scott providing us with the mechanics of his website, products he sells, signing up for info on his email list, blue prints for famous projects such as the Saturn 5, and more.  Scott was asked about the impact of ITAR regulations on archiving material and he shared a KSC story about this with us.  Later in the segment, we talked about the smaller private companies saving material and projects that were cancelled or not developed.  He said this was up to the companies and they may not do it for cost and space reasons.  He mentioned that he did have good information on the Kistler Aerospace project.  He was then asked about the NASA HL20 lifting body.  Toward the end, he talked about the NASA Technical Reports Server (http://ntrs.nasa.gov).

Please post your comments on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Scott through my email address.

Mark Hempsell, Monday, 7-2-12 July 3, 2012

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Mark Hempsell, Monday, 7-2-12


Guest:  Mark Hempsell.  Topics:  Reaction Engines, LTD & their Skylon space propulsion system.  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 Mark Hempsell for Skylon updates and progress reports since his last visit on August 6, 2009.  During our first segment, Mark started with an update saying they are nearing the end of the technology development stage for their space vehicle system.  We then went back to the basics and he described the Skylon project for us.  Mark talked at length about the Sabre engine, the radiator, their SSTO plans, and more.  Several listener emails came in wanting to know about the market and business plan model for Skylon, the space tourism module and profile, and if it could be used for point to point transportation.  We learned that for cargo, Skylon flies without a crew.  With passengers on board, there will be a crew.  Also discussed were orbital characteristics for the vehicle, docking with the ISS and the new ISS docking standards which may present problems for Skylon. You can check out these standards at http://internationaldockingstandard.com.  Mark mentioned the various rocket fuels, tonnage to LEO and GEO, crew and passenger configuration, and the two day turnaround period.  In the second segment, we resumed talking about the vehicle operating costs.  Michael called in to talk about emergency landing options given runway constraints discussed in the first segment.  Next up was the thermal protection system (TPS) and we learned that the skin was a type of glass, silicon carbonate that can take1,000 C and that is why Skylon is black.  Later, we talked about funding, government subsidies, & private investment.  Mark got a question about using scramjet technology and he had much say about this.  Another topic was the flight profile and G-loads to be placed upon Skylon occupants.  Near the end, we talked about ITAR and potential U.S. investor investment.  Skylon test flights will likely be in 2020.  Our guest also talked about ESA and other organizational oversight.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  Visit Skylon’ s website, www.reactionengines.co.uk.