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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 8-26-14 August 27, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 8-26-14


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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space news events and updates on a variety of current topics.  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 back Bob Zimmerman to discuss current and hot topics happening in space at this time.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 6 minute discussion, Bob asked me about the recent Bay Area-NAPA earthquake on Sunday morning, August 24, then we switched over to space topics starting with SpaceX and the Falcon 9R test launch explosion.  Next, Bob talked about the failure of the ESA Galileo GPS launch involving the Soyuz-Arianne.  Several questions came up regarding the ESA GPS system. We also talked about other regional GPS systems.  Bob moved us to the launch failure (booster rocket) for the Air Force Hypersonic vehicle, then to the decision by Sea Launch to take a break.  Bob had much to say about the Sea Launch partnership now involving mostly Russia and the Ukraine.  Russia and the ISS came up and here Bob also had much to say, including going over the news that Russia may now be interested in extending the life of the ISS.  Bob suggested some important Russian reasons for wanting to do this, see what you think.  The Atlas RD-180 rocket engine came up for discussion as did the upcoming NASA down select for commercial crew with Dream Chaser, SpaceX, and Boeing with their CST 100.  Next up was SLS which I permitted to be discussed for a while, including a call by SLS John in Ft. Worth, then I stopped it and said that SLS was a beaten to death topic on the show and that listeners and I were sick of it.  I said no more SLS talk unless there was something new on one side or the other of the SLS issue.  At one point I even assigned SLS John a new topic to research and call in about.  Let us know with your blog comments, are you sick of SLS discussions on TSS? Do you want to keep hearing them or not?  Luis emailed in about having GPS redundancy and backup systems re the European system as an example. Bob had specific ideas about this but thought the better route would be to be able to quickly replace a lost or destroyed satellite.  As the segment neared its end, Joe asked about CST and Falcon 9/Heavy & Bob had more to say about ISS modules & Doug asked a series of questions about the benefits of extending ISS to 2028.  Don’t miss Bob’s response.

In the second segment, Joe asked about small sats taking over market share from the previous big satellites.  Bob provided an interesting short discussion on this topic.  SLS John called back about the Falcon Heavy flying and then somehow the discussion focused in on presidential candidates and their space policy in upcoming elections.  After a short non-partisan review of what Bob thought might unfold depending on which party wins in November, we moved on to Rosetta and 67 P.  Bob talked about the lander and the landing sites.  Tim called in to talk about a proposal announced for space debris tracking with Lockheed and Electro Optic Systems in Australia (see http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/august/0825-ss-electro.html).  Also discussed was nuclear propulsion, the Space Fence, then we got emails about fusion energy progress.  Near the end of the program, Bob talked about Curiosity, some of the electrical issues with using the on board drill, and of course the tire problem.  As the show was about to end, Kirk emailed about the recent Chinese ASAT test and Bob suggested we look for an end of the year Dragon abort test, another Falcon 9 flight and more flight tests, and the Rosetta landing on 67 P scheduled for November.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS Blog above.  You can email Bob through me or his address through his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.


Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12 October 10, 2012

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Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12


Guest:  Dr. Jason Cassibry.  Topics:  A technical description and the potential of fusion propulsion.  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. Jason Cassibry to the program to guide us in our discussion of the potential for fusion propulsion.  At times, this was a very technical discussion.  To assist in following it, I have uploaded to the blog his published paper delivered at the AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, “The Case and Development Path for Fusion Propulsion.”  In addition, below are the URLs for several articles on fusion propulsion that Dr. Cassibry shared with us: www.uah.edu/news/items/10-research/2501-slapshot-to-deep-space#.UDrKn-iPVuY;
www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/rockets/the-big-machine-that-could-lead-to-fusion-powered-spaceships-9450996; http://io9.com/5921673/nuclear-slapshots-could-propel-a-spacecraft-to-mars-in-just-weeks; www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=23442
and http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/10/zpinch-nuclear-fusion-pulse-space.html.   Dr. Cassibry started out by providing us with a working definition of fusion propulsion.  We talked about nuclear propulsion as well and the overall state of development for fusion energy.  I asked Dr. Cassibry if in their economic projections for fusion propulsion, they considered the political and policy impact on fossil fuel pricing and supply availability.  As you will hear, generally such factors are not included in their studies though he concurred with me that such policies can strongly skew the economics one way or the other.  Several calls came in on a wide ranging group of associated topics.  We talked about the main fusion fuel, lithium deuteride, magnetic nozzles, and the use of a nuclear fission reactor to start the fusion propulsion unit.  Z-Pinch technologies were defined and discussed.  As the segment drew to a close, I asked about funding sources for this research and we learned that most all of the funding is from public sources.

In our second segment, more listeners called in regarding insitu resource usage, nuclear propulsion to start the fusion unit, and the power consumed for all of this.  We talked about using fusion propulsion for a Mars mission and what it did for travel times.  Jason also put forth a suggested time line and path to follow to operation in perhaps 25 years, depending on funding.  More calls came in with fuel questions, vibration impact, G force acceleration, thrust, and more.  Another topic discussed was fusion propulsion for the launch vehicle.  We then compared some real mission travel times such as Cassini, Voyager, and New Horizons, asking what the transit times would have been like using fusion propulsion.  As we were ending the program, I asked about the students entering aerospace engineering at UAH, both the undergrad and graduate level, plus the gender mix of the students.  There appears to be strong demand by the students to study these fields at all levels.  In conclusion, Jason suggested that we could look for breakeven with fusion in about ten years, maybe less.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Cassibry’s faculty page at UAH is www.mae.uah.edu/faculty/cassibry.shtml.


Cassibry et al case for fusion 072812

Dr. Phil Chapman, Friday, 3-23-12 March 24, 2012

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Dr. Phil Chapman, Friday, 3-23-12


Guest:  Dr. Phil Chapman.  Topics:  The status of our human spaceflight program, NASA, commercial space.  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 Dr. Phil Chapman to suggest ways forward to improve our space program, specifically the human spaceflight (HSF) program.  Dr. Chapman started us off with an assessment that the NASA HSF program was at this time dismal.  Among the reasons cited were the likely number of U.S. astronauts that would be flying to the ISS through 2020 per the Soyuz and the fact that the pilots for U.S. astronauts will either be Russian or working for Space X.  All in all, he suggested that there might be 25-30 slots available and they would be filled by technicians.  During this nearly hour long first segment, he continued to summarize the problems and challenges, then he switched to probable solutions from the commercial side with a focus on Space X, the Falcon 9, and Dragon.  Phil had much to say about congressional support of SLS, the use of SRBs, and more.  He talked about the commercial value in returning to the Moon or going to an asteroid for Platinum Group Metals (PGM).  He indicated that future space activity had to be in support of settlement and commercialization.  Dr. Chapman then took us into an economic discussion and the need for space to be expanding, growing and developing new markets. As part of this discussion, both of us and the listeners had much to say about our policy makers. This brought up the “sustainable” discussion that many of you have heard before.  You do not want to miss Dr. Chapman’s economic discussion in this segment. Near the end of the segment, we talked about RLVs and the probable cost difference between a commercial venture and one undertaken by NASA.

In the second segment, Charles led off with a call suggesting a merger between Space X and Bigelow and simply bypassing NASA for everything.  After Charles finished, Phil talked about one probable driver for changing the space game, space solar power (SSP).  Dr. Chapman spent much of this segment laying out the case for SSP from a technical as well as economic/business perspective.  We also talked about policy and Zero G Zero Tax.  Public/Private partnerships were discussed and then Phil talked about international cooperation as compared to international competition.  Don’t miss this discussion.

If you have comments/questions for Dr. Phil Chapman, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to email Dr. Chapman, send your note to me and I will forward it to him.