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Mark Bray, Tuesday, 2-11-14 February 12, 2014

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Mark Bray, Tuesday, 2-11-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2185-BWB-2014-02-11.mp3

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Guest:  Mark Bray.  Topics:  Huntsville area space update, SLS from the inside, U.S. space policy, leadership issues. 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 back Mark Bray for a Huntsville space area update and a unique view from the inside on SLS and U.S. space policy.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 49 minute discussion, Mark shared his personal assessment of the Huntsville area space economy, the moods of contractors and NASA workers, & the space IQ for the Huntsville general population.  For the most part, Mark reported stability but lots of uncertainty.  In contrast, the last time Mark did an area update for us, there were still layoffs happening, lots of uncertainty and personal stress, and stability was far from the scene.  We then switched to SLS which was a topic through most of the show because Mark is a contractor working on SLS.  Its important to note that Mark was speaking for himself on the program, not for his employer, NASA, or his fellow workers and area space employees.  Mark works in the SLS materials lab so we asked him all sorts of questions about the big rocket.  For example, I drilled him on the mood of SLS workers given they certainly had to know about the hate-love war going on over SLS within the space community.  Mark answered all these questions for us, including questions about possible competitive pressure from SpaceX.  We talked extensively about commercial space development and the need for commercial markets.  Mark spent some time on the issue of markets because without them, one has no viable commercial activity.  Mark then honed in on the problem of political leadership regarding space saying that NASA and related organizations were not the problem. This opened the door for multiple discussions during the balance of the program going after what Mark and I both thought was an absence of quality political leadership in the country and the partisan warfare between the two main parties preventing workable solutions for many if not all the nation’s problems.  Before the segment ended, I asked Mark about the Chinese lunar lander & robot and what people thought about it.  He said most were frustrated that we (the U.S.) was not doing more as we were not operating even close to our potential.

In the second segment, Doug called to ask about public/private partnerships, COTS like programs, and he talked about his Lunar Cots ideas.  Doug asked about reducing costs.  Mark seized the opportunity to again state that engineering technology & NASA management were not the real problems but that leadership issues in Washington were at the center of the problems.  John then called from Ft. Worth.  He wanted to talk about SLS cost numbers & asked Mark why it was so expensive given the assumption that much of it came from already developed projects including Ares components and more. Don’t miss what Mark had to say about this.  John then asked Mark for his personal thoughts on the news that SpaceX will build a rocket larger than the Saturn V in about ten years.  Again, don’t miss his answer.  Near the end of the show, in summary mode, Mark repeated that the biggest challenge was a market challenge.  What is the market? Is there a long term market? How big is the market?  As the show was ending, we asked Mark about the viability of human spaceflight.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Mark Bray through me.

Donald (Don) Beattie, Friday, 5-31-13 May 31, 2013

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Donald (Don) Beattie, Friday, 5-31-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2020-BWB-2013-05-31.mp3

Guest:  Donald (Don) Beattie.  Topics:  Don discussed his book, “No Stone Unturned” which details his NASA, Navy, NSF, and private sector careers.  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 Don Beattie back to the program for this riveting 1 hour 25 minute discussion relating to Don’s experiences and careers with NASA on the Apollo program, NSF, the early days of flight with the U.S. Navy, a Mobil Oil energy expert in Columbia, plus a host of other experiences.  I urge you to buy his book, “No Stone Unturned: A Life Without Bounds” at www.cgpublishing.com then clicking on the Apogee logo link.  We talked about Don’s NASA experiences with the Apollo program for a good part of the first segment as well as the second segment.  Since Don was a geologist, he worked with lunar maps, helped plan the lunar science missions, and even trained the astronauts in geology by going to analog sites with them all over the world.  I asked him about his experiences with the different Apollo crews, his favorite missions & crews, and even to compare the NASA of the Apollo era to the NASA of today.  Don had much to say about the importance of NASA and having a focused mission to carry out.  He was asked about the SLS rocket which he said would be important if we ever go to NEOs or beyond, but he expressed concern over the very low launch rate planned for SLS.  Don was also asked to compare NASA to NSF since he was with both organizations.  Near the end of the first segment, a listener wanted to know about Werner Von Braun and his work with the MSFC.  Don had quite a bit to say about Von Braun and even more about his relationship with MSFC teams. 

In the second segment, the subject of the Boy Scouts and astronauts came up as a result of comments made at the Montana Rocky Mtn College astronaut panel discussions which Don viewed.  Scouting has always had strong representation with the types of people who are attracted to NASA, space exploration, and being an astronaut.  Also in this segment, we talked more about a NASA mission and NASA’s management.  He told us about the NASA management and teams in place during Apollo and stressed that they made the program successful.  Another listener asked what he did during the Apollo 13 mission.  We also talked about the possibility of nuclear electric propulsion.  I asked him for his favorite NASA Administrators and he named two.  Late in the segment, we talked with Don about his energy work, Mobil Oil, Columbia, wind turbans & NASA, and the fracking of wells.  Near the program’s end, a listener asked if had changed any of his views on the ISS per his book, ISScapades from a few years ago.  Don said no, we talked about ISS crew size and the need for the centrifuge which was a priority but never materialized.  At various times during our discussion we talked about our technical capabilities to go to Mars, Mars One, Inspiration Mars, commercial lunar missions, and human medical factors for long term spaceflight. 

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to email Don Beattie, you can do so through me.