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Steve Bouley, Wednesday, 1-18-12 January 19, 2012

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Steve Bouley, Wednesday, 1-18-12


Guest:  Steve Bouley.  Topics:  Wideband Global SATCOM launch, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne engines, hypersonics, commercial space markets & more.  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 Steve Bouley of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) to discuss the Delta IV medium launch of the DOD Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) communication satellite, hypersonics, lowing the cost of access to space, rocket safety and more.  We started our discussion with a focus on the Jan. 19th 7:38 PM EST launch of WGS on the Delta IV medium which uses PWR RS-68 and RL10B-2 engines.  Mr. Bouley provided us with thrust specs for the engines.  He also went over the very impressive and highly successful track record for their engines and fielded questions about their manufacturing and quality control process.  This took us to our next subject, equating reliability with experience and then understanding that the launch market is relatively flat with low launch rates which causes higher launch prices.  There were several listener questions during this special one hour interview.  The questions focused on human rating the rockets and what PWR would have to do to their engines to have them fly people to space.  Don’t miss Steve’s response to this line of questioning.  We talked some more about the flat demand and Steve was asked if PWR could easily and quickly ramp up their production line were demand to change quickly.  The short answer was “yes.”  We talked about hypersonics and the evolution of technology development.  We also talked about the likely path to commercial operation for a hypersonic vehicle.  Our guest took a call from Jerry about SLS, SRBs, the Saturn V, and bringing back the F1A engine.  Mike sent in a note asking about safety issues for a jet engine as compared to a rocket engine.  Toward the end, our guest was asked to provide the very early history of PWR and rocket engine development.  As our program drew to a close, I asked Steve to tell us about his work on launch day and if he still gets excited about a launch given he has seen hundreds of them during his career.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.