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Charles (Charlie) Precourt, Friday, 8-7-15 August 8, 2015

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Charles (Charlie) Precourt, Friday, 8-7-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2521-BWB-2015-08-07.mp3

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Guest: Charlie Precourt. Topics: Human spaceflight, SLS-Orion, Mars, Moon, technology & 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 Charlie Precourt back to the show to discuss SLS-Orion progress and milestones, human spaceflight, technology advancement, & much more. During our one segment 63 minute discussion, I first asked out guest about the Orbital ATK merger and business under the combined companies. We soon shifted to the SLS-Orion discussion which included information on the 5 segment solid rocket booster (SRB), tonnage to escape which our guest explained, possible missions, and opportunities that will become available as a result of having this heavy lift rocket available for missions that need the lift & high energy capacity of SLS. We talked about shorter travel times, larger payload mass & volume, plus higher energy transfer orbits using SLS as compared to an EELV. Charlies was asked about SRB safety for human spaceflight. Don’t miss his comments on this issue. He talked at length about the benefits of marrying the SRB for lift out of a gravity well to liquids for propulsion once in space. Our guest provided statistics on SRB launches and uses to support what he was telling us. Charlie also talked about his Space Shuttle flight experience and the Shuttle’s SME, especially when there was an SME problem on one of his shuttle flights. We talked about going BLEO and he introduced us to the concept of One Space. As a result of listener questions, our guest talked about SLS costs, its design for multiple destinations and missions, and the launch “sweet spot” that it would fill. BJohn asked if there were uses for an SRB or solid rocket motor in space. Charlie said for liftoff from a gravity well, yes, but otherwise the SPI for a solid was likely too low for in-space propulsion. I asked our guest about Orbital ATK meeting the SLS -Orion milestones and upcoming flight testing. Jeff from Tucson called in about the use of modern technology including light weight epoxy material for SRBs & other spaceflight hardware. Near the end of the program, I asked Charlie about the justification for HSF to see what he had to say about it. Don’t miss his reply. We then talked about technology challenges in going to Mars, choices that were made to do the shuttle and ISS over deep space missions, and destinations that were still Earth dependent as compared to those being Earth independent such as Mars. Jack emailed in a question based on a show earlier in the week where the guest said that for putting SPS infrastructure in space, SLS was too sophisticated. What was needed was big rockets that had a 2% failure rate as that rocket would be lots cheaper than an SLS. Charlie did not specifically comment on SPS infrastructure but did take issue with the notion that it would be fine to have a rocket with a high failure rate to make it cheaper than something like SLS. Listen to how he explained this. Tell us what you think on TSS blog. As the show was about to end, a listener ask Charlie, based on his F15, Air Force, and test pilot experience, what he thought of the new F35 Joint Strike Fighter and the shortcomings of the new fighter that are reported in the press. Charlie had interesting comments about this so don’t miss them.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Charlie Precourt through The Space Show.

Dr. John Jurist & Kobi Hudson, Sunday, 4-19-15 April 20, 2015

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Dr. John Jurist & Kobi Hudson, Sunday, 4-19-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2456-BWB-2015-04-19.mp3

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Guests:  Dr. John Jurist, Kobi Hudson.  Topics:  Orbital ATK 5 segment booster test and the ISS Algae experiment.  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 Dr. John Jurist and Kobi Hudson to the program to discuss their recent experiences at the Orbital ATK 5 segment booster test in Utah and the ISS algae experiment Kobi and his teammates are working on at this time.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 58 minute discussion, John and Kobi talked about viewing the Orbital ATK 5 segment booster test this past March in Utah.  John has attended all the 5 segment booster tests but this was the first one for Kobi who is one of John’s students at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT.  Kobi described the test, what it looked like and how it felt from the viewing area, the networking opportunities he had with those attending the test including many executives from across our aerospace industry & NASA.  I asked John and Kobi if they sensed that the Orbital ATK team was aware of the controversy surrounding the final destination for the booster, SLS.  We talked about this for several minutes.  I think you will find what both John and Kobi had to say about this to be very interesting.  This discussion took us into an SLS discussion but from a slightly different perspective than our usual Space Show SLS discussions.  A listener asked our guests if either of them noticed a cultural difference in the test team given the Orbital and ATK merger.  Kobi was asked if the test and the experience inspired him to want to work in the aerospace field which it did.

 

In the second segment, Marshall called to inquire about the use of liquid rocket motors as compared to solids and wanted to know which type was more efficient. Both John and Marshall seemed to agree that it might depend on which type of propulsion system gets more launches and usage though the solids are far simpler.  As part of this discussion, the political dimensions of decision making were brought up as they play a role in the propulsion system and thus influence efficiencies.  Next, we turned to Kobi to explain to us the algae experiment he and others are working and which will fly to the ISS on the SpaceX 7 launch.  Behind this experiment is the goal of testing how well algae grows and how much carbon dioxide it consumes in a zero-gravity environment.  They want to see if it can influence the presence of oxygen in the spaceship.  The algae is grown in an agar solid media.  Kobi went into details on this experiment which I believe you will find of interest. When the team gets the data back from the 28 day test, Kobi will come back to the show to update us on what they found out.  Later in the segment, SLS John called in to follow up on our earlier SLS conversation and the proposed NASA ARM.  Several listener questions came in by email regarding both the issue of solids vs. liquids and the algae experiment.  Kobi also got a question or two about this work on the Firebird cubesat program.  He said it used a polar orbit , was then asked if cubesats could go to the Moon or elsewhere and he said probably but challenging. Doug called to talk closed loop life support and related issues.  The last question came from a high school senior asking Kobi about the need to attend a Tier One school and the consequences for going to a school not as well known and not as highly ranked.  All three of us, Kobi, myself, and John responded to this question saying about the same thing but in different words.  Both John and Kobi offered concluding comments you don’t want to miss.

 

Please post your comments and questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach both guests through me.

 

 

Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 10-29-13 October 30, 2013

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Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 10-29-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2112-BWB-2013-10-29.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Mike Griffin.  Topics:  This was a wide ranging and broad discussion re US space policy, commercial space, HSF, lunar issues, & 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

During the first segment of our 91 minute discussion with Mike, we talked about the lack of a coherent national space policy and how best to use tax payer dollars for the public good.  Mike discussed the fact that there was no credible alternative to the RTM program, no clear path to any set of discernible goals.  I asked Mike about NASAs asteroid redirect mission.  He did say it had interesting potential and it was better than nothing but as listeners agreed, it was not a grabbing and inspiring program.  Listeners asked Mike about Constellation which he said was a space system architecture.  We talked about a lunar base and access to Mars.  I asked Mike about the public’s interest in space & you don’t want to miss his response.  Daniel brought up budget issues, commercial ventures, and the current administration.  We also talked public/private partnerships and multi-year programs and policy challenges.  Mike was asked about the VSE and bipartisan support though Jon emailed in his disagreement on that issue.  Mike talked about goals as being important to congress and the need for an effective policy to have bipartisan support.  Mike was asked about the ISS and the potential for discovery and we he responded to a listener question about the mass needed in orbit to support a lower mass on the Moon.  The ratio is 10::1. 

In the second segment, June asked about economies of size in launch vehicles and heavy lift.  Barbara emailed in about a COTS like program for HSF.  Trent called from Australia to inquire about Stratolaunch.  Doug called to ask about cislunar development and what a program that supported that development might look like.  Mike had much to say on this subject, don’t miss it.  We talked extensively about the role of government and the private sector, including government subsidies.  A listener talked about scientific discovery and serendipity.  John asked about the Ares 1 vibration and solids in comparison to liquids for safety.  John in Ft. Worth asked Mike about SLS and Orion as a capabilities holding program and Mike agreed.  The idea is to maintain capabilities until the time they can be used.  During the entire program, I asked Mike about his public service, how he dealt with attacks and criticism, and how he got his interest in space.  This is an important discussion. 

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

Gerald (Jerry) Carr, Friday, 6-28-13 June 28, 2013

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Gerald (Jerry) Carr, Friday, 6-28-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2038-BWB-2013-06-28.mp3

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Guest: Gerald (Jerry) Carr.  Topics:  Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, the Skylab space station.  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 of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.  Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

We welcomed retired Skylab astronaut Jerry Carr back to the program to discuss the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (www.astronautscholarship.org) and the 40th anniversary of the Skylab space station.  Jerry the discussion with an overview of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, the STEM college scholarships it awards each year, auctions held to support the scholarship program as well as sales off the gift store on their website.  We then switched over to Skylab nothing that there will be a 40th anniversary celebration at KSC on July 27.  You can find out more about this celebration on the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation website.  I asked Jerry to describe for us one of his most memorable Skylab experiences and he talked about going into the command module flying over the Pacific and the views he saw as Skylab traveled in its orbit from Japan to the Pacific Northwest and more.  This is a great description of his view, don’t miss it.  Listeners asked Jerry multiple questions about Skylab, his experiences on board, comparing Skylab to the ISS and Skylab to the Mir.  We even talked about Skylab food and butter cookies, 0 g adaptation, close calls, and getting stuck in the center of Skylab.  Later in the segment, Jerry talked about consulting for space station human design factors for the ISS, then budget issues for Skylab as compared to NASA budget issues of today. We also talked about lessons learned throughout the program.  He was asked about inflatable commercial space stations & the time capsule they left on board when they departed the station.

In the second segment, a listener asked if the time capsule was recovered or could have survived reentry.  Another listener asked about the Skylab data still coming under analysis, then I asked about his public speaking engagements and if he could spot trends over time in terms people’s interest in space and science.  Jerry had much to say in response to several questions on this theme so don’t miss them.  Tony wanted to know about space radiation issues, Mars One, & artificial gravity with tethers.  Near the end, a listener brought up the recent interview with Rand Simberg and his space safety argument in his new book, “Safe Is Not An Option.”  We talked about risk taking, the mission, even risk taking landing on carriers and flying combat missions with the Marines.  He thought there might be too much risk averseness out of politically correct thinking but don’t miss all of his comments on this subject.  Our final topic focused on art with his wife Pat.  Check out their exhibit, OUR FRAGILE HOME at www.camusart.com.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact our guest through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Jerry L. Ross, Tuesday, 4-30-13 May 1, 2013

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Jerry L. Ross, Tuesday, 4-30-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1999-BWB-2013-04-30.mp3

Guest:  Jerry L. Ross.  Topics:  “Spacewalker: My Journey In Space And Faith as NASA’s Record-Setting Frequent Flyer,” HSF safety, NASA & space policy.  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 retired astronaut Jerry L. Ross to our program to discuss his new book, “Spacewalker: My Journey In Space And Faith as NASA’s Record-Setting Frequent Flyer,” space policy and leadership, HSF safety, and much more.  If you buy his book which I recommend, use this Amazon link as Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/One Giant Leap Foundation: www.amazon.com/Spacewalker-Journey-Space-Record-Setting-Frequent/dp/1557536317/ref=onegiantlea20.  Please visit Jerry’s website for more information, www.jerrylross.com.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Mr. Ross spoke about the Space Shuttle & retirement, Constellation, returning to the Moon, going BLEO, the ISS, and his test flights on the B1 bomber.  This led us to talking about the safety test program used by NASA, the B1, and the private spaceships.  I asked if NASA was overkill in this area and if the privates would be able to engage in comprehensive flight safety testing with programs radically different from those NASA has used. You do not want to miss this discussion, especially when I asked about the complexities of the B1 as compared to a spaceship.  We talked about SLS, Orion, & Inspiration Mars which Jerry supports.  In response to an email from Becky, we talked about the NASA astronauts, the fact that there are more astronauts than flight opportunities, and the current situation for NASA astronauts.  Our guest mentioned two year training missions and when I inquired about that time period, we learned that it included learning Russian, training with ESA, Japanese, Canadian, and Russian hardware and more.  Jerry was asked if he rode on a Soyuz. He said no but was in a Soyuz and talked about his going on board MIR.

In our second segment, we started out asking him about faith which is part of the subtitle of his book.  Here again our guest had much to say so listen carefully to this discussion.  As Jerry was part of the team that recovered debris from the Columbia accident, I asked him about it. He told us about his experience in learning about the disaster, crew families and more.  This is a first hand accounting of getting the news and working with the families and the people involved in finding the debris.  Another topic discussed was on orbit construction, mainly with the private companies.  Jerry talked about this at length given his work in establishing how to do it for the ISS and actually doing multiple missions making and assembling parts in space.  We also talked about gender differences in these space walks.  Toward the end of our discussion, space leadership came up as did missions and goals.  The shuttle thermal tiles were discussed and he referenced tile damage on his Atlantis flight which was the third flight after Challenger.  This was an amazing story and luck was really shining on the Atlantis crew.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.

Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12 June 20, 2012

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Walter Cunningham, Tuesday, 6-19-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1799-BWB-2012-06-19.mp3

Guest:  Walter Cunningham.  Topics:  An inside view of the American space program from Apollo to today.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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 Walt Cunningham to discuss our space program from Apollo through today’s developing commercial space industry.  For more information, visit his website, www.waltercuningham.com.  You can buy “The All-American Boys: An Insider’s Look At The U.S. Space Program” from Amazon & they will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF if you use this URL: www.amazon.com/All-American-Boys-Walter-Cunningham/dp/1876963247/ref=onegiantlea20.  I started the discussion by asking Walt about his perspective on Apollo 7 today, 44 years later.  Walt had some interesting things to say about perspective, especially over the past 10-20 years as compared to when he actually carried out the mission.  A few times during our discussion, questions came up about the so called “mutiny” with the crew & NASA ground control so listen to how Walt described what was mostly a non-event despite media & blog reports to the contrary.  He did talk about Wally Schirra, his head cold & the Actifed commercials, but there was far more to the mission & to the significance of Apollo 7.  Dr. Jurist asked about the ride on a Saturn 1B, professors & experiences while both were at UCLA.  We discussed risk regarding his ride on the Saturn 1B. Walt had much to say about risk during the Apollo era as compared to now.  We extrapolated from this discussion to Columbia’s foam issues. We talked about commercial space.  Walt suggested that today’s commercial space efforts were not purely commercial given government funding & missions. He also said that retiring the shuttle when we did was a big mistake.  He then took us through a cost analysis process to illustrate that space is & always will be costly.  At the end of the first segment, one way trips to Mars & reality TV show funding were mentioned.

In the second segment, Terry called with questions about Von Braun. Walt had high praise & much to say about Von Braun & his experiences with him.  Commercial space came up again & I asked him about asteroid mining.  He did not think it would be a good investment & talked about the need to pay attention to the laws of physics.  We talked about He3 on the Moon, fusion energy possibilities & more.  I read an email from a London listener asking about the Apollo rocket & mission sounds on Apollo 7.  We talked some more about the problems on board Apollo 7, this time regarding Wally & the TV broadcast delay & the wearing of the newly designed helmets during reentry.  Walt talked about climate change & global warming, urging people to do their own research & examine the data rather than believing what people had to say regardless of their position.  John in Atlanta called in about global warming & said that there was no practical mitigation strategy. Our guest shared what he perceived to be the true motivation of global warming extremists.  John also talked about having built a next gen space shuttle from the old space shuttle to avoid retiring it or having to build an entirely new & very costly program.  Walt supported that idea but history proved otherwise.  Toward the end we discussed the pros & cons of international cooperation & competition, Ares 1 as a safe rocket for HSF, & the cost of the ISS being more due to international cooperation.  Our final topic was risk versus reckless behavior & the difference between the two.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.

Jay Barbree, Monday, 3-5-12 March 5, 2012

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Jay Barbree, Monday, 3-5-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1727-BWB-2012-03-05.mp3

Guest:  Jay Barbree.  Topics:  Overview of the space program today, SLS, presidential politics and NASA.  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 NBC veteran space reporter Jay Barbree back to The Space Show for a conversation that focused on our best options for today’s space program.  Our discussion was one hour forty minutes without a break.  We started out discussing Jay’s thoughts when he reported on the last shuttle flight given he had reported on every shuttle flight ever made.  He also told us he had updated and reissued his best selling book “Moonshot” which he co-authored with Alan Shepherd and Deke Slayton.  Remember, if you buy it from Amazon with this specific URL, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show: www.amazon.com/Moon-Shot-Alan-Shepard/dp/1453211977/ref=onegiantlea20.  Other topics discussed included a comparison of the original astronauts to astronauts today and the need to return to the Moon.  In fact, Jay told us about ideas being discussed to use the ISS to do a figure 8 loop to and from the Moon rather than crashing it into the ocean at the end of its life.  To do this, he said nuclear propulsion was needed and this led him to discuss the overall need for the nuclear rocket, especially for going to Mars.  A listener asked him if he favored a one way trip to Mars and he said yes.  Don’t miss his complete answer.  Next, we started talking about the Space Launch System which ended up as the main discussion topic for the balance of the program.  Jay strongly supports SLS and is concerned that it might be cancelled.  We talked about what the Obama administration would likely be doing with space and then he talked about his conversations with the Republican candidates and his impressions of each one and their interest in space.  He talked at length about Newt’s Florida primary comments and returning to the Moon in general. He also talked about the need for space settlement given the vulnerability of Earth.  Later, a listener asked Jay if he was familiar with the accusations being made against NASA for how they dealt with the chimps in the early space program and their idea to get KSC to donate space for a chimp museum documenting abuse during their NASA days and dedicating to stopping lab research.  Jay was not familiar with the story but listener Tim found the story on the PETA website:  http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/02/29/peta-to-launch-memorial-at-space-center.aspx.   Jay talked more about the SLS but also about Falcon 9, Dragon, the Boeing CTS 100, and the Atlas 5.  He expressed his concerns many times that the politicians might actually mess up NASA and our future, specifically by cancelling SLS, Orion, or both.  At the end, he told us about his MSNBC.com series “Getting to Mars” which is already underway.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.

Mark Bray, Sunday, 3-4-12 March 4, 2012

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Mark Bray, Sunday, 3-4-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1726-BWB-2012-03-04.mp3

Guest:  Mark Bray.  Topics: Space industry standards, policy, politics, & space workforce attitudes. 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 Bray for what was a most interesting and wide ranging 2.5 hour discussion divided into two segments.  We started off with Mark talking about the need for industrial standards both in the public and the private space sectors.  A good portion of this initial hour long segment was about design and quality standards.  Mark explained by example why there were needed and what he was talking about.  His Florida concrete company example made it very clear why the standards he was talking were and are needed.  Mark made some very good points, we had good listener participation both on the phone and with emails.  I promise that you will think differently about standards and the space industry after you listen to this segment.

We started the second segment talking about SLS as Mark works on the SLS project.  I asked him if the workforce was aware of the opposition to SLS and what they thought about it. This opened the door for Mark to talk about space workforce issues, their fears and concerns, and what is happening to the workforce given the current political, election year politics, economic condition, and the fact that they are not working on a space mission with goals and a destination.  Listen to what Mark had to say on all these issues.  While you may not like what you hear, keep in mind that Mark in engaged as part of this workforce and speaks from experience.  In response to a listener question, Mark had much to say about Huntsville, Marshall, and Alabama space politics.  Part of this discussion focused on NewSpace and why Alabama has been slow in seeing opportunities with NewSpace rather than trying to block elements of it. Jon called in from Jersey   City and had a good discussion with Mark about these & other issues and then he introduced space enthusiasts to the mix in terms of what this community wants and expects for policy.  This brought me to one of my rants on policy and my playing the Devil’s Advocate with both Jon and Mark.  Eventually, the three of us talked about how we seem to be forced into selecting one way or the other for space development and dismissing that which is not the “preferred” one way.   We also talked about congressional responsibility for how they handle taxpayer money while enthusiasts have no such responsibilities.  Next, we arrived at why we all seem to be fighting over shrinking resources and getting “our” piece of a smaller and smaller pie.  We talked about the need to grow the economy, to grow the space sector, and to grow the economic pie, not shrink it.  We agreed that while there may be many solution paths to the problems facing the U.S., space provides a clear path and solution set that seems hard to match by other possible directions and choices if economic expansion and wealth creation are to be the goals of our national policy.  Also mentioned was how NASA is not considered one of the key science and technology agencies,  Near the end, Mark got an interesting question about long duration storage requirements for SRBs.  Don’t miss Mark’s closing comments.  Finally, the paper he mentioned during this interview is on his website at http://braynstorms.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Achieving-Innovation-and-Affordability.pdf.

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

Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12 February 26, 2012

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Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1721-BWB-2012-02-26.mp3

Guest: Mark Whittington.  Topics: Space Budgets, policy, & politics.  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 Mark Whittington back to the show for this 2.5 hour wide ranging discussion on space budgets, the economy, space policy and space politics, plus economic issues facing the nation and others around the world.  We also talked about space perspectives of all those running for president including President Obama and the Republican party challengers.  Mark talked about two article he wrote that were pertinent to our discussion.  These articles are (1) “Moon Base Supporters Struggle to Justify the Project:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/moon-base-supporters-struggle-to-justify-the-project; and (2) “A Lunar Exploration Reading List for Mitt Romney:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/a-lunar-exploration-reading-list-for-mitt-romney.  In our first segment of 45 minutes, we talked about Texas space politics & redistricting, the Johnson Space Center, & the proposed FY 13 budget.  Mark suggested Congress would rewrite most of the budget but that the Senate would likely not pass a budget so we would end up on CR.  I asked Mark how that would lead to programs being cancelled such as ExoMars if we are still on CR as those programs are embedded in the CR from year to year.  Mark described the process through administrative acts by NASA, Congress, or the President re cancellation, and what the Appropriations Committee would have to do to avoid them. For the most part, more money would need to be found for NASA but that was not likely. Mark talked about what constitutes commercial saying that for something to be really commercial, it has to be able to fail. We compared today’s commercial space programs to gov. programs in terms of Mark’s criteria.  Listeners asked about SLS & Orion, wondering if it & when SLS would be cancelled. The idea of a lunar base was discussed in light of the comments made a few weeks ago in the Florida debate by Newt.  Mark also talked about what he thought might be the space policy of the other candidates though not that much is known other than for Newt, Mitt, and President Obama.  Mark talked about cutting out other budgetary items to make room for a quality space program & he highlighted the high speed rail program.

In our long second segment, Marshall called with a question about the original Mercury astronauts still alive.  We  talked some about human factors, microgravity, and life support issues.  Listeners asked about the Chinese space program & their military buildup.  Here, I referenced the recent congressional testimony of Ronald Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  The article I referenced is at http://bigthink.com/ideas/42630.  Mark spoke at length about exploration, citing his favorite history story involving Prince Henry The Navigator of Portugal. Jim asked Mark that if he believed commercial space was the best path forward & that SLS was a bad idea, how would he go about getting more support for commercial space even at the expense of SLS.  Mark offered some concrete ideas in response to Jim’s question. John from Billings sent in a few notes & then later called to talk about why there is such an argument about SRBs as compared to liquid rocket motors.  Challenger was mentioned along with Constellation but mainly Mark said that people’s behavior tends to find ways to support their beliefs. Terry, another Texan like Mark, called to ask why Sen. Hutchinson so strongly opposes commercial space.  Mark offered a pretty good answer.  Risk taking, more on SLS, Dream Chaser & the CST 100 were discussed along with the new project, Stratolaunch. As our program drew to a close, I asked Mark to summarize space policy for 2012 which he did do but then more questions came in.  Becky wanted Mark to connect the dots vis a vis our economy & how this might impact NASA & all space development.  This led to quite a little economic discussion with Mark, myself, and Dr. Jurist who called in about that time.  As usual, I went off on my rant about space as an investment, not an expense.  Jack got in the last word asking for three key events impacting space for 2012 other than the election.  Mark said the upcoming Space X flight, what Congress does with the budget, and the planned Chinese mission later this year.  In his concluding remarks, Mark talked about the economic options facing the country & he left us with a few points to consider.  He urged us to participate in Town Hall meetings and ask the candidates space questions.

If you have comments/questions please post them The Space Show blog.  Marks blog, Curmudgeons Corner, is at http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com.

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

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Steve Bouley, Wednesday, 1-18-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1692-BWB-2012-01-18.mp3

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.