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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.

Open Lines, Sunday, 3-29-15 March 30, 2015

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Open Lines, Sunday, 3-29-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2443-BWB-2015-03-29.mp3

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Guest:  Open Lines.  Topics: We discussed a wide variety of space news and current topics of interest.  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.

Welcome to our final Open Lines show for March 2015.  During the first segment of the two hour show, I suggested topics addressing the modification of the NASA ARM with the boulder, the NASA proposed cancellation of the LRO and Opportunity missions. I read an email from BJohn about the ISS and our inability to get humans to Mars.  Michael Listner was the first caller. He addressed many topics including Russian-NASA ISS negotiations, Mars one, and I asked him about the topic for the Monday show regarding Tony Milligan and his new book, “Nobody Owns The Moon.  Doug was the next caller to talk about the NASA modified ARM and planetary defense, Mars One, space tourism, and then he promoted his special COTS 2 segment at the upcoming Space Access Conference at the end of this month in Phoenix.

In the second segment, Kris was our first caller and he addressed the ethical and legal issues mentioned around the Tony Milligan Monday show and his book and said China and Russia would ignore such issues which would only serve to restrain America and the west.  I asked Kris some follow up questions from our nuclear discussion last Friday and when I mentioned the Outer Space Treaty, he dismissed it as not being that effective with China and Russia should they choose to violate provisions in it.  Dwayne called to provide the details around the NASA ARM mission regarding the boulder & the baggie options. This is a good and comprehensive discussion so don’t miss it. Dwayne also mentioned Mars One and its PR machine, then he clarified some comments I made on the last Hotel Mars show regarding the Air Force Super Strypi rail small satellite launcher.  We talked in general about the small satellite launch industry as well.  Ft. Worth John was our final caller. He clarified some of his previous remarks regarding the Falcon 9 and the use of side boosters.  We also talked some about the proposed NASA budget leading to the cancellation  of LRO and Opportunity.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach any of the callers or participants through me.

 

Dr. Richard Binzel, Tuesday, 11-9-14 December 10, 2014

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Dr. Richard Binzel, Tuesday, 11-9-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2372-BWB-2014-12-09.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Richard Binzel.  Topics:  NEO Survey, NASA ARM, asteroids.  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 Dr. Richard Binzel to the show to discuss asteroids, the NASA ARM, and completing the NEO survey.  During the program, Dr. Binzel referenced two items. The first, his article in Nature is at http://www.nature.com/news/human-spaceflight-find-asteroids-to-get-to-mars-1.16216.  The National Academies study he mentioned is at http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12842.  During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Dr. Binzel introduced us to the asteroid topic, the asteroid belt, 1 km size asteroids and he responded to my questions about Asteroid UR 116.  Our guest then addressed the NASA ARM and explained why he is not supportive of it.  He referenced his above article in Nature on the subject.  You can get this article at the above URL.  He talked about visiting asteroids in their natural orbit rather than bringing a small one back to orbit the Moon.  He had much to say that was positive about visiting an asteroid, explaining as well why such a visit is on the path to HSF to Mars.  He then explained his program for completing the NEO survey which is to find and catalog specific NEOs.  Listeners asked him many questions including if radar was a good tool for finding asteroids.  He said no because it uses a very narrow beam.  He also said that were the NEO survey completed, most of the most accessible destinations for HSF and science missions would be cataloged and would open up space.  He goes into detail on this near the end of our show.  We talked about international NEO survey and planetary defense issues.  While the U.S. remains the leader, ESA is doing more and more.  He also said that rather than spending just $20 million on asteroid detection, we should be spending $200 million annually until the survey is completed.  Joe in Houston sent in a series of questions starting in this segment and ending when the show ended.  His questions, all of which were read on air, centered around ways to bring an asteroid into orbit around the Moon.  Listen to what our guest had to say about his multiple suggestions/questions.  Professor Binzel clearly likes and welcomes fresh ideas & also insists on running the numbers and doing the trade analysis.  John called from Ft. Worth asking about the size of an asteroid that should be getting our attention.  Time lines were brought up as we need time for the best way to deflect an asteroid on an Earth collision trajectory.  Near the end of the segment, our guest talked about a NASA Grand Challenge Mission around asteroid detection and intervention methods starting first with the survey, the concepts on how best to deflect an asteroid and then about 30 years out, a contest on an ISRU test for resource extraction on an asteroid.

 

In the second segment, Doug sent in multiple questions, then after I asked our guest a few of them, he called in to talk about some of the other questions on his list.  Doug asked Dr. Binzel good questions so listen carefully to their discussion.  One thing of note was that the size of an asteroid presenting the greatest risk to Earth is 140 meters.  Joe continued emailing evolutions of his initial three questions from the first segment.  Asteroid ISRU was again discussed in this segment, so was the likelihood of a comet impact on Earth, & a privately funded mission to complete the NEO survey was also discussed. As the program was ending, Dr. Binzel spoke to the issue of the NEO survey being a game changer and opening the gateway to our future.  This is important so do listen to his comments on this issue.

 

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Dr. Binzel through me or his MIT faculty page.

Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14 November 15, 2014

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2356-BWB-2014-11-14.mp3

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Guest:  Rand Simberg.  Topics:  Test flights, space tourism, policy, recent accidents,  rockets, rocket motors, heavy lift & 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 Rand Simberg back to the show for a wide ranging discussion on top space news items, the SS2 accident update, space policy issues, and more.  During the first segment of this 96 minute program, Rand led off with the mentioning of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 12 launch.  Next up was a short discussion about Comet 67P and the Philae lander, then Rand mentioned his current article in PJ Media, http://pjmedia.com/blog/commercial-spaceflights-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-last-week-of-october.  Rand talked about what is currently known about the SS2 accident, the NTSB investigation, & that nothing has been ruled out as a cause or partial cause for the accident.  When asked if he thought the accident would cause the FAA to start regulating the industry, he did not think so but listen to his reply.  This topic also came up in the last segment of our show. Rand mentioned that XCOR was moving ahead & there technology is different from the one employed by Virgin.  He also made a point of explaining multiple times that a test flight was not a commercial flight.  Rand got some listener emails about investment in Virgin and if it was waning.  Helen emailed in asking about a possible lapse in the Virgin safety culture.  Carl emailed in about the impact of the SS2 accident on Spaceport America.  We switched gears and talked about Antares, the Orbital-ATK merger, & the use of Russian rocket motors.

In the second segment, Rand was asked about the possible impact on Virgin’s customer base.  Rand said that the bigger risk was the investment risk.  The RD180 came up again as did the Atlas 5, Delta 4, and the Falcon 9.  We talked about possible midterm election impact and here Rand thought there might be more impact on the DOD side than NASA.  We discussed projects that might be cancelled as a result of the election and the ARM topped the list.  he did talk SLS and thought that eventually it would be shut down, especially if SpaceX gets Falcon Heavy flying.  Rand also mentioned the NRC Pathways Human Spaceflight Study but was critical of it, especially the part that said there had been no and will be no launch vehicle advances for the past 30 years.  Dr. Lurio was our first caller & he wanted to discuss possible FAA regulations, his understanding of the test flight vs. commercial flight policy application & more.  They talked about hybrid rocket motor vibrations and the unknowns regarding the current test flight.  Toward the end of their discussion they joked about using SLS to launch many many cubesats.  Kirk emailed us with a question about methane engine.  Rand had much to say about methane rocket motors so don’t miss his reply.  Rand talked about hybrid rocket motors and some of their problems, specifically for SS2 and Dream Chaser.  I asked our guest about the upcoming Orion test flight and the heat shield comments offered earlier in the week by Bob Zimmerman.  I then asked if he thought there would be a surge in return to the Moon projects.  Michael Listner called in regarding the likelihood of safety regulations coming to pass as a result of the accident.  Rand and Michael had an active discussion about this possibility.  As the program was ending, Rand talked about his book, “Safe Is Not An Option” which is available online and in the ebook format.  Remember, if you buy it through the OGLF Amazon portal, Amazon makes a contribution to TSS.  Rand mentioned he might update the book once the NTSB report on the accident is finalized.  Read Rand’s blog, Transterrestrial Musings at  http://transterrestrial.com.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Rand through his blog or through me.

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.