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Dr. Charles Lurio, Tuesday, 11-10-15 November 11, 2015

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Dr. Charles Lurio, Tuesday, 11-10-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2583-BWB-2015-11-10.mp3

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Guest: Dr. Charles Lurio.  Topic:  Commercial Space law updates, NASA, SLS, HSF, space leadership plus 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 back Dr. Charles Lurio for this comprehensive commercial space update plus Dr. Lurio took a hard look at human spaceflight.  During the first segment of our nearly 1 hour 55 minute show, Charles started with the news that broke just before airtime that congress had approved the new commercial space legislation.  The House and Senate compromised on the learning period extending it to 2023.  Charles hit on some highlights of the bill but said he had not yet had time to read the final version since the news literally broke minutes before air time.  Other first segment discussion topics included the return to flight for Falcon 9 and the Cygnus which will launch on an Atlas 5 until Antares has a return to flight sometime early next year.  Charles talked about the new Russian rocket motor for Antares and its relationship to other major Russian rocket motors.  Next, we talked about the NASA delay for the commercial cargo awards and their letter to Boeing saying that the cargo version of the CST 100 was no longer under consideration.  Charles speculated that the delay might have been taken to allow for return to flight for the Falcon and for the Cygnus on the Atlas 5.  Paul in NY emailed Charles asking for him to tell us his favorite commercial space company and his favorite NewSpace company.  Charles said he loved SpaceX and commented on them moving the ground in the launch industry.  He said he has always been a fan of XCOR and gave us some update at to the XCOR progress and challenges, especially in their wing production.  Charles also said that the asteroid mining companies, particularly Deep Space Industries, were starting to attract foreign capital as he mentioned investment interest from the Czech Republic.  I asked Charles if he was satisfied with the way the industry was developing so far.  He said he was amazed with it and what has happened so far, but made the point that commercial space was far from being on easy street.  He then explained his comments listing examples to support his comments.  I asked him about the NASA Roadmap to Mars and he repeated back to me, you meant the “Jokemap” to Mars?  That should provide you with a clue as to the rest of the discussion on this topic.  Before the break, Don called from New Hampshire to talk about radiation, Brookhaven, and human spaceflight.  Charles and Don talked about shielding, the lack of real quality experiments plus finding out answers to other needed questions for HSF BELO including life support systems, microgravity, plus lots more. Charles concluded that NASA was not serious about space, something many guests have said over and over again in recent years.  Don said the system management was shortsighted.  Charles said what we needed was a new NACA, not so much NASA.  This remained a theme for Charles for the rest of the show.  Before ending the call, Don talked about Japanese radiation experiments and equipment that NASA won’t use, citing NE213 and a newer version, EJ301.

 

In the second segment, I asked Charles what would be a reasonable set of expectations for our commercial and HSF program given the state of comprehensive matters facing the US and the world at this time in 2015.  Charles had some very interesting things to say in response to this question which actually commanded most of the second segment.  A subtopic in this discussion was the subject of technology and technology development.  Again, don’t miss what he said about technology.  I asked Charles about the development of cislunar space and the Moon.  He would welcome both but listen to all of what he had to say about this because he repeated himself that we were not doing anything.  Doug in S. California called in with multiple questions for Charles about what was needed for a flyby to Mars and more.  It appeared to me that Doug was not getting what Charles was talking about though Charles kept saying that Doug was not asking the right set of questions.  In summary, I think Doug was suggesting technology advancements lowering costs for example, would compel policy makers and the public to support and create the space policy we seem to yearn for when this subject comes up on the show. Charles kept repeating that the technology to be used was not the issue. Instead, the issue was political in that there was no will to do things, no leadership.  Since this is something I have ranted about on many Space Show programs, I supported Charles on the leadership issue and I do believe that having the will to do something serious in space and having the leadership to actually get policies in place that can be implemented are much bigger problems than the technology or even the financial side of things.  Once the policy and will are there, implementation is next and that is when technology will be looked at and decided upon.  See what you think about this discussion with Dr. Doug.  Later, on the same subject, Charles said it was very difficult to change society attitudes.  Doug Messier emailed in comments that it was easy to rant on NASA but pointed out the slow going of many commercial space projects from suborbital development to rocket development.  Doug suggested that had progress been faster, leadership and some of the issues Charles was bringing up would be there and the industry might be different today.  Both Charles and I agreed with Doug Messier except the reality on the ground is what has to be dealt with and for which solutions are needed regarding moving the commercial industry and HSF forward.  As the show was ending, Charles said development would not and does not follow a predicted path.  He also said that it was possible for there to be “moments of great acceleration” that could jump us forward.  This subject has not come up in recent years on TSS but it is worth noting that one cannot count on or build project around the hope for serendipity to change something.  Great if it happens but no way can one count on or plan  on it happening.  In the end, Charles and I both said that there is far more leadership awareness today than yesterday. I suggested that from Space Show interviews, lots of bright people were focused on solving this problem and I had faith that it would be solved though I had no idea of a timeline or what the solution would look like.  Charles concluded that commercial space and HSF will continue to evolve incrementally over time on an unpredicted path.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach Dr. Lurio through The Lurio Report at www.thelurioreport.com or through me at The Space Show address.

 

Eric Berger, Monday, 4-26-15 April 28, 2015

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Eric Berger, Monday, 4-26-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2462-BWB-2015-04-27.mp3

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Guest:  Eric Berger.  Topics:  Space policy, NASA’s future, commercial space, human spaceflight challenges, & lots 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 Eric Berger to the program for a wide ranging discussion on US space policy, NASA, our space future, commercial space and more.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 37 minute show, Eric started the discussion by talking about his early interest in space, his contacting NASA as a child, getting back a great set of photos and other information and being hooked and excited about space ever since.  Some of the early topics in this segment included his surprise that we are not yet beyond low earth orbit with manned spaceflight, then he addressed why it is taking so long to go to Mars , why Mars is the next big step for humans and why going to Mars is so hard.  In his discussion of these topics, he referenced Elon Musk and the SpaceX Mars plans, even Mars One.  I asked Eric for his perspective on the NASA ARM mission which led to one of many discussion of NASA budget constraints and the idea that this or that project is all that can be done within the budget permitted by Congress.  Eric started getting lots of listener emails.  Jenkins wrote in saying that its not the budget that is the problems, the choices we make as a country regarding how we spend money that is the problem.  Eric then referenced the human spaceflight study released last year by the NRC regarding the likelihood that we will be living with tight NASA budgets for the foreseeable future.  Paul in New Mexico asked Eric about the impact of commercial space on policy and NASA.  Eric said it was an important impact so don’t miss his full statement.  Later in the segment, we talked about his seven part “Adrift” series last year and I asked him what his biggest surprise was in researching the articles for the series.  He said it was finding a shift in his view on SLS and that SLS could very well be an important part of our spaceflight future but that it needs to be funded to launch real programs.  He also said that maybe Falcon Heavy could do most of what SLS could do, especially in the Earth-Moon systems but that remains to be seen.  We then talked about the time it took to do various parts of Apollo compared to how much time it takes to do just about anything in space today.  Michael Listner called to talk about needing both NASA & commercial space and some realities involved in policy and space issues.  As the segment was ending, a Portland listener asked if competition with China might develop and force the US to spend more and do more in space.  Don’t miss Eric’s answer.

In the second segment, Eric was asked about space settlement being the goal and the purpose of our National Space Policy through a change in law per March Storm and other groups who are advocating this.  Eric was OK with space settlement but listen to his comments for the full context of his message.  He also said it was hard to figure out what to do with SLS but that some changes might be a full ten years out from today.  We talked about space technology advancements and then Gerald Driggers called in to say we had lots more work to do. For example, we talked about the need to fly a centrifuge in space to determine the gravity RX for humans.  The issue of the lack of space leadership came up from the White House down to the congress.  Many times our guest said it would take a change in leadership to get a change in space leadership but that just changing leadership does not mean the new leader(s) will care about or prioritize space.  Regarding commercial space, he went a bit deeper in this segment.  He said there was lots of commercial space activity but that NASA was still the center of it.  He made the case for the industry needing a broader base than just NASA.  I asked about a Europa mission and another listener asked he could articulate the Senator Ted Cruz view on space policy.  We talked timelines for humans to Mars and for a return to the Moon, he was asked if NASA should be eliminated in favor for a return to something like the old NACA, then Benny in Denver asked about the Texas spaceport facilities being developed for SpaceX and the Blue Origin facility.  As we neared the end of the program, Eric again stressed the difficulty in going to Mars, he looked back at our space history including Gemini 4, and he talked about the Obama policy from 2010 about not going back to the Moon though many in NASA do want to go back to the moon.  Bottom line was Mars around 2050.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can reach Eric through me or the Houston Chronicle.

Dr. Henry Lambright, Monday, 7-7-14 July 8, 2014

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Dr. Henry Lambright, Monday, 7-7-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2274-BWB-2014-07-07.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Henry Lambright.   Topics: Dr. Lambright’s book “Why Mars” & the politics, policy, history, & methodology of our Mars program.  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 Professor Henry Lambright of Syracuse University to the show to discuss his excellent book “Why Mars: NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration.”  During the first segment of this 1 hour 33 minute program, Dr. Lambright introduced us to his book and what prompted him to write it.  Dr. Lambright then described three main motivating factors for having our Mars program starting with before NASA with the belief and cultural components suggesting some sort of life on Mars.  Next as a motivating factor dating back from the Von Braun time frame of humans going to Mars.  His third motivating factor had to do with political issues and competition.  Since we were talking about the possibilities of life on Mars, I asked our guest about Viking and the more recent pronouncements by Dr. Gil Levin who has been on TSS several times over the past few years.  Later, Dr. Lambright had many good things to say about our science and robotic program but said our human spaceflight program was in disarray.  Dr. Lambright got several listener emails & phone calls.  He was asked for the WHY behind human spaceflight and that led to a discussion about Big Science. I asked him to define Big Science which he did.  We talked about the NRC Pathways HSF study, then our guest talked about triggers leading to big events and progress, plus the more typical method of moving forward which he called slow evolution.

Jumping forward to our second segment, we talked about the Clinton years in the 90s for policy, Mars Observer & how that loss was turned into a plus for our Mars policy.  Other topics included astronaut risk taking, the void in leadership for space, Mars, and things in general.  Doug called to consolidate all the motivating factors and issues to just one, the need for more money.  He made a good case for this consolidation.  We also talked about the challenges for getting alternative theories seriously considered by NASA, Congress, and policy makers.  The NASA to NACA suggestion came up, we talked about the privates taking over LEO with NASA focusing on BLEO & advanced technologies.  As the program was ending, I asked our guest about the Syracuse student interest in space and Mars, plus our guest left us with an important closing comment.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. If you want to reach Dr. Lambright, you can do so through me.  Finally, if you buy his book from Amazon, do so through the OGLF Amazon portal so that Amazon will contribute to The Space Show.  Instructions are in each archive write up and on the blog, plus both The Space Show and OGLF websites.

Dr. James (Jim) Hansen, Tuesday, 10-1-13 October 2, 2013

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Dr. James (Jim) Hansen, Tuesday, 10-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2097-BWB-2013-10-01.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. James Hansen.  Topics: Retired astronaut John Young, space history, returning tothe Moon, astronaut safety & 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.

We welcomed Dr. James (Jim) Hansen back to the program to discuss the biography of retired astronaut John Young which Dr. Hansen helped in writing.  The book, “Forever Young A Life Of Adventure in Air and Space,” is readily available at bookstores and Amazon. Remember, if you go through The Space Show/OGLF Amazon portal (instructions are on the blog, our website & the OGLF website), Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show.  The first segment of our nearly two hour program, Dr. Hansen and I started out with an early aviation history overview as I asked our guest about the idea that in space we are as advanced today as was the DC-3 to where aviation is today.  This proved to be an interesting discussion, focusing not just on the DC-3 but NACA, the role of government in helping to develop advanced technologies and much more.  We then turned our attention John Young.  As you will hear, the book we are discussing was a biography written in first person and Jim was asked to help make it so.  We talked about Young’s focus on both astronaut safety and the NEO threat to Earth.  We talked about John Young both on Apollo and his shuttle flights.  The subject of space and aviation history came up again and we talked about the Enola Gay and what it took to display it at the Smithsonian as there was lots of opposition to doing so.  Dr. Hansen then returned to the John Young book, he told us about his suggestions to turn Young’s manuscript into a book & he described working with John and his wife on the project.  Space history was also a topic in this segment as we talked about historians and authors often having their work amended by later versions of the history.  Dr. Hansen cited some very famous examples when I said I wanted to rewrite my dissertation and correct my errors.

In the second segment, Jim was asked about John Young and Mars.  Jim said that John’s preference was returning to the Moon, plus his focus on his concern for NEOs hitting Earth.  But he did support being a multi-planet species.  We asked Jim about his preference or comparison of Apollo & the Saturn 5 to the shuttle.  Jim told us that John loved the shuttle and was fortunate to fly two shuttle missions.  Doug called in and wanted to know Jim’s perspective as a historian on the space frontier model common among space enthusiasts.  The frontier metaphor sparked quite the conversation with the three of us.  Dr. Hansen returned to talking about John Young’s interest in returning to the Moon and why.  Much was said in both segments about how shuttle should not have been cancelled nor should Constellation have been cancelled.  Ben emailed us about astronauts and role models and do they have a responsibility to us in being role models.  This also sparked an extensive conversation about astronauts, their role in society, what we make them into. Toward the end, Jim and I digressed into other areas of space, aviation, and political history.  We talked about the Cuban Missile Crisis, I cited memories of B 52’s at the ready at the Tulsa Municipal Airport, the remaining Moon Walker Astronauts, private sector lunar astronauts as a possibility before government astronauts return to the Moon, and digressions about Alabama, Oklahoma, and Jim’s next book about Robert Trent Jones and golf. Also in both segments, Dr. Hansen often referred to Neil Armstrong and his book about Neil which we discussed the last time Jim was our guest.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Hansen can be reached through me or his Auburn University faculty website page.

Robert Sackheim, Monday, 4-1-13 April 2, 2013

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Robert Sackheim, Monday, 4-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1986-BWB-2013-04-01.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Sackheim.  Topics:  Commercial space, propulsion, U.S. space policy & 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.

We welcomed Robert Sackheim to the program to discuss NASA, commercial space, the current state of rocket propulsion and advancements in the field.  During our first segment of this 1 hour 47 minute discussion, Mr. Sackheim talked about his background and experience at TRW, NASA MSFC, and his current consulting.  I asked him several questions about the current state of rocket propulsion. Bob had much to say about this, focusing on chemical rocket propulsion, satellite propulsion, electric propulsion, and the need for nuclear propulsion.  He talked about booster rockets, various rocket stages and their propulsion, rocket engines, and even SRBs.  Several questions came in asking him if we had the current technology for HSF to Mars or even the Inspiration Mars flyby mission talked about so much in the recent press.  Listeners wanted to know if our current levels of propulsion were up to the task.  After a rather thorough propulsion discussions, Bob turned to commercial space, lowering total space mission costs, regulatory policy, and commercial spaceports.  He also talked about budget issues and raised the question a few times as to why ten NASA centers were needed given their often overlapping, competitive, and duplicate work.

In our second segment, commercial space took the lead with a discussion on public/private partnerships & the belief that Americans can do anything if we set our mind to it, including space travel.  Of course here the problem as we know lies in leadership and today it appears that leadership in space & other areas is sparse at best.   Bob then focused on geo satellites and the increasing development and capabilities applicable to cubesats.  HSF came up for discussion as did the robotic missions. You might be surprised by what our guest had to say about HSF.  Other issues in this segment included the lunar space elevator, the congressional and NASA track record in canceling ongoing projects & taking lessons from history, SSP, & ways to reform & move NASA forward.  Bob spoke about evolving toward the old NACA model.  I asked about the impact of space advocacy from his perspective given his leadership experience and past positions in leading organizations and projects.  We also asked him about space tourism and hybrid rocket engines. He had much to say about hybrids, don’t miss the discussion.  Bob talked about the Falcon rockets, testing including static fire tests, and SRBs as related to the Constellation project and safety.  Toward the end, our guest was asked about NewSpace, fuel depots, & cryo transfer.  For closing comments, he talked about commercial space being the way to go & the path to our space future.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can reach Mr. Sackheim through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.