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Mark Whittington, Sunday, 9-6-15 September 7, 2015

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Mark Whittington, Sunday, 9-6-15

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Guest: Mark Whittington; Topics: We discussed Mark’s new book, “Why Is It So Hard to Go Back to the Moon.? 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 Mark Whittington back to the show for this 1 hour 56 minute discussion of his new book, “Why Is It So Hard to Go Back to the Moon?,” During the first segment of our program, Mark introduced us to the book and immediately said that the missing element in being able to go back to the Moon is the lack political support and leadership to drive the return to the Moon program. Mark also spoke to the need for the president to lead the effort, then he did a brief historical overview over both Bush presidencies plus the Clinton administration. He talked about the Space Exploration Initiative, Constellation, and the ISS. As you will hear, listeners had much to say about Mark’s examples as they added to this short historical summary of this part of the space program. Doug called to mention the high costs of the Altair lander as a cause for shutting down Constellation. Mark disagreed with Doug to some extent because with a president that wanted to keep the program, the problems would have been fixed. Michael Listener emailed us about the drawbacks of international partners and policies per the return to the Moon effort. Michael said The ISS was completed over many administrations because it was the result of an international treaty so it was not a good example of a program surviving multiple administrations. Before the break, Kelly sent in an email to make the point that Constellation was not really cancelled. Instead, surviving components were given a new name but the projects continue.

 

In the second segment, Mark started out by talking about his book which can be ordered from most bookstores but it is also available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. The book is also available as Kindle on amazon. He said it was a short book, an easy read. The paperback sells for $6 while the Kindle version sells for $2.00. Remember, if you use The Space Show/OGLF portal, Amazon will make a contribution to the show. Instructions for doing this are on all archived summary statements on the website and the blog, plus you can see them on both The Space Show website and the One Giant Leap Foundation site. Mark talked about getting the book in the hands of congressional members and staffers, then talked about individual space lobby efforts for returning to the Moon and even sending a copy of the book to one’s representatives or their staffers. Policy making and the 2016 elections were a big part of this segment of the show. Later he was asked for his thoughts on settlement which he supported. He was also asked about HE3, fusion, and a permanent resource base on the Moon. The recent ELA study on more efficient ways to go back to the Moon came up along with a few other topics. In talking about his book’s recommendations, he talked about outreach to the public, the media, international partners, the commercial sector, and students.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Mark through me or his blog which is referenced in his bio.

Mark Whittington, Sunday, 11-9-14 November 10, 2014

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Mark Whittington, Sunday, 11-9-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2352-BWB-2014-11-09.mp3

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Guest:  Mark Whittington.  Topics:  Commercial space news updates, mid-term elections & space policy/budgets, & much 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 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 Mark Whittington back to the program for a wide ranging discussion on space news, policy, & technical matters.  You can follow Mark on his blog, http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 46 minute program, Mark focused on the SpaceShipTwo accident, the Orbital Antares loss, the Mid-Term elections and what that may mean for space policy, Texas and the commercial space industry including the planned SpaceX spaceport, plus the space interest level of Texas Republicans taking over in the Senate and continuing in the House.  He also spoke the NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) as a possible program to be cancelled referencing the work by Dr. Binzel at MIT who wants it cancelled in favor of finishing the NEO survey.  Later in the segment, Mark mentioned the Falcon Heavy to Mars, Inspiration Mars, and SLS.  He also talked about possible renewed interest in some sort of return to the Moon program.

In segment two, Dr. Doug called to talk about a Lunar Cots like program & a reusable lunar lander.  We addressed Dr. Dava Newman of MIT being nominated for the position of NASA Deputy Administrator.  Dava was a January 2014 guest on The Space Show and as you will hear, I think this was an excellent choice for the position.  We spoke more about SLS, then Mark mentioned the recent Whitehouse.gov call for feedback  on lunar & space policy by Tom Kalil, the Deputy Director for Policy for The White House Office of Science & Technology.  Dr. Doug and Mark talked about the ULA-Masten Zeus lander.  Mark updated us on the Lunar XPrize , we spoke about the book “The Martian” and concluded by talking about upcoming Sci-Fi TV channel space related programming .  As the program was concluding, Mark said space tourism will survive the Virgin accident but Virgin’s survival will come down to investors and customers.  He also suggested their might be congressional hearings which he thought would be fine providing they did not go to the extreme to strangle the industry with regulations & oversight.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Mark Whittington through his own website or me.

Mark Whittington, Tuesday, 3-12-13 March 13, 2013

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Mark Whittington, Tuesday, 3-12-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1971-BWB-2013-03-12.mp3

Guest:  Mark Whittington.  Topics:  Updates for the current state of affairs in the space industry; Mark’s novella, “Dreams of Barry’s Stepfather.”  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 Mark Whittington back for space industry updates and for information about his new novella available on Amazon.  Mark’s blog, Curmudgeons Corner is at http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com.  In the first hour of our two hour discussion, Mark talked about the commercial space ventures announced in 2012 and so far in 2013.  He focused on Inspiration Mars but also talked about many of the other ventures.  We talked about the possible impact of a tragic accident on the Mars mission and its probable impact on the industry which we did not think would be great based on what happened after both Challenger and Columbia.  Mark also talked about asteroid mining and returning to the Moon.  Later, the subject of the possibility of a new spaceport for SpaceX in Brownsville, Texas was discussed and Mark told us about a few possible wrinkles with the establishment of that spaceport.  He also mentioned the Mars One mission out of Holland, then we talked some space politics regarding many in Congress.  The NewSpace sector came up and Mark has some interesting observations about this part of the industry.

In our second segment, we continued talking about space politics but we brought in critical comments about the media as well.  Mark then cited the NRC study on NASA’s Strategic Direction and the Need for a National Consensus as an example of the problems within NASA, the absence of a real HSF  asteroid mission and more.  Mark also mentioned the four options talked about in the NRC NASA study. John called in from Atlanta and talked about the newly announced NASA-Lockheed program to have K-12 students around the world work on space radiation issues. We talked about this effort in some detail and were supportive of it.  You can read about it at www.govconexecutive.com/2013/03/lockheed-nasa-seeking-k-12-student-radiation-protection-ideas-marillyn-hewson-comments.  Mark then told us about his new novella, “Dreams of Barry’s Stepfather.”  If you get it from this Amazon URL, http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-of-Barrys-Stepfather-ebook/dp/B00BO9D3NC/ref=onegiantlea20, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF.  We spent most of the rest of our discussion going over the alternative time line which Mark developed to make this a most interesting novella with broad space industry impact.  At the end of the program, we talked about Nasa and the space budgets and sequestration, heavy lift, and fuel depots.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach Mark through his own blog or through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

 

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.