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Dr. Scott Hubbard, Sunday, 9-2-12 September 3, 2012

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Dr. Scott Hubbard, Sunday, 9-2-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1846-BWB-2012-09-02.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Scott Hubbard.  Topics:  Our Mars mission projects from the perspective of our first NASA Mars Czar.  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. Welcomed Dr. Scott Hubbard to the program to discuss his new book, “Exploring Mars: Chronicles From A Decade Of Discovery.”  If your buy the book using the following Amazon URL, Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/OGLF:  www.amazon.com/Exploring-Mars-Chronicles-Decade-Discovery/dp/0816528969/ref=onegiantlea20.  In our first segment, Dr. Hubbard talked about being selected as the first Mars Program Director after we lost both the MarsClimate Orbiter (MCO) and the Mars Polar Lander (MPL).  He also told us the story of how he got dubbed the first Mars Czar.  His story is fascinating, from how he was asked to do this by then NASA Administrator Dan Goldin to what the Blue Ribbon Panels said about why we lost both MCO and MPL.  We talked at length about the lessons learned from these losses, the review panels, and from the Faster, Better, Cheaper program strategy.  Given Dr. Hubbard’s experience as the program director, I asked lots of questions about getting program approval and keeping that approval over time with Congress.  Dr. Hubbard was most insightful about this process.  Other related topics discussed in this segment included risk, planetary science budgets, private sector companies such as SpaceX, and mission oversight and its cost.  We talked about private missions to Mars and what is referred to as the Holy Grail for Mars missions, a sample return mission.  We went into some detail regarding the sample return mission and Dr. Hubbard let us know why it was so important as well as to outlining a three part strategy for doing a Mars sample return mission.  As our segment ended, we talked about internationalization of our Mars mission programs.
In our second segment, Dr. Jurist asked our guest for some comparisons with the robots versus humans to Mars missions.  You do not want to miss what Dr. Hubbard said in reply to this set of questions.  Doug called in to inquire about cost comparisons for more robots over one human mission.  Doug also raised some interesting points about the sample return mission planning.  I then asked our guest about advocate lobbying for Mars and space policy and if it was effective given his experience with Congress, staffers, and the legislative process.  The value proposition issue came up in this segment regarding both robotic and human missions.  A listener then asked about the focus on space settlement by several advocate organizations and many in the NewSpace community.  Don’t miss what Dr. Hubbard had to say about settlement as a goal, especially when compared to exploration as a NASA goal.  Toward the end, I asked about the follow the water theme throughout his book and why that was so important for the Mars missions to date.  As we learned, the next phase of Mars missions will likely focus on the fingerprints of life, following the signs that may lead to discovering organics or even more. As our discussion was ending, we did talk about finding life on Mars & educational outreach.
Please post your comments/questions on the blog.  If you want to email Dr. Hubbard, send your note to me for forwarding.

Stewart Money, Friday, 3-9-12 March 10, 2012

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Stewart Money, Friday, 3-9-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1731-BWB-2012-03-09.mp3

Guest:  Stewart Money.  Topics:  We discussed EELV issues, the Air Force desire for a bulk buy of EELV services, Space X and 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 Stewart Money to the program to discuss his recent Space Review articles.  The primary article he wrote which was the subject for today can be found at  www.thespacereview.com/article/1990/.  Stewart has Part 2 to this article coming up on The Space Review so be sure to look for it and read it when it is available.  During our first segment, Stewart talked about ULA and the proposed bulk buy of ULA rockets for the Air Force and the rising prices for EELV launches. This block buy has been raised into question by many including the GAO study with the thought that it should be expanded to allow for additional purchases from competing companies such as Space X or Orbital.  Google ULA Air Force bulk buy” for a list of news articles about this story.  Stewart received many questions about this because Falcon 9 is not yet operational and Falcon Heavy has not been built. Stewart talked about this in the context of Air Force requirements for availability, reliability, and the launch cost.  Our guest felt that since there was a gap of several years in the Air Force program, there should be time for Falcon 9 to prove itself without much of a downside to the Air Force or ULA if they needed to add in more EELV purchases due to any Space X problems that may arise. Part of our discussion centered on risk but as you will hear, Stewart was mostly focused on launch cost and believes that Space X will be a driving force to lower the cost of access to space.  Near the end of this segment, the stored Triana Satellite came up (It is now named the Deep Space Climate Observatory or DISCOVR) and how the Air Force might launch it on the Falcon 9.  During this segment, Stewart also referred to the Aerospace Corporation 3/7 Reliability Rule which says that if a failure occurs during the first three launches, the problem is probably a design issue. If failure occurs after the third successful launch but before the seventh, a production process issue is probable. Once a launch vehicle configuration launches successfully three times, its design has demonstrated maturity. If successfully launched seven times, the design & production process maturity are likely demonstrated. Check out this document for more detailed information on the 3/7 Reliability Rule: “Space Acquisitions: Uncertainties in the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program Pose Management and Oversight Challenges” by the GAO at www.gao.gov/new.items/d081039.pdf.

In the second segment, we talked about the recent congressional testimony on the FY 13 budget with Congress and Administrator Bolden plus the testimony of Neil deGrasse Tyson.  Stewart boiled the problems down to the cost of space access and remained with the theme of solving that problem for the balance of our discussion.  We then talked more about testing, high priority payloads and normal payloads, how many flights would be needed for the Falcon 9 to fly a high priority payload and more.  We also talked about the difference in theory with a yet to be proven, operational launch vehicle being considered real as compared to an actual operating and flying vehicle as many confuse the two, counting the first one as real with real pricing when it is not even operational.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above. If you would like to email Mr. Money, you can use the address at the end of his Space Review articles.

Dr. Roger Handberg, Monday, 1-16-12 January 17, 2012

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Dr. Roger Handberg, Monday, 1-16-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1691-BWB-2012-01-16.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Roger Handberg.  Topics:  Space policy, leadership, Asia space, ISS, & 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 Dr. Roger Handberg to the program for a comprehensive space policy discussion.  During this program, several of his recent Space Review articles were referenced and I urge you to read them.  See Dec. 19, 2011 “ISS Next: chasing humanity’s future in space and the ‘next logical step” (www.thespacereview.com/article/1993/1).  Also Nov. 21, 2011, “American human spaceflight and future options, short-and long-term” (www.thespacereview.com/article/1974/1. Our discussion started with a brief overview of U.S. space policy for the new year 2012.  Dr. Handberg said our policy was in a state of confusion and described the situation around the Kennedy Space Center as practically in shutdown mode. We talked history and what it was like in 1970 before shuttle.  Dr. Handberg then talked about our robust science missions and projects but  they don’t get the attention like HSF & it is the HSF missions that are the problem.  Dr. Handberg referenced the Augustine report and SLS. He also said the Chinese were moving ahead though they were still several decades behind the U.S.  We then talked about the need to think beyond the SLS & beyond the existing ISS which has a limited remaining lifespan.  In fact, thinking big and beyond the ISS is a major theme in his Dec. 19, 2011 Space Review article. We spent considerable time discussing what was next for the U.S. after the ISS.  Our guest said we were at risk of repeating one of the major failures of Apollo, that is, what to do after the program ends.  In this case, what does the U.S. do after the ISS ends?  His analysis of the problem pointed to our having no clear vision and a strong need to reorganize the political system because NASA budgets are done yearly so no budget is ever finalized.  He confirmed what many others have said and that was that president’s don’t care about space. We addressed commercial and private space, both for space stations and launch vehicles.  Anthony in the UK asked him what he thought the single event might be for people to say we’ve now been overtaken. Dr. Handberg suggested that point might come when the ISS ends its life and there is nothing else while the Chinese have their own space station and are still going forward. 

In the second segment, I asked our guest for his thoughts on how college students have changed over his long teaching career.  Don’t miss this discussion.  You might be surprised by what he had to say.  Listeners asked him if and when he thought SLS would be cancelled for budgetary reasons.  His response was most interesting.  Other listeners asked more questions about SLS, the shut down of Constellation, the private HSF effort, and space markets.  Near the end of the program, Maria asked him how to get Congress to consider space as an investment, not an expense.  He said that today, all government spending is considered an expense and while space is an investment, thinking it will be treated that way  by congress is to be in political denial.  As the program was ending, I asked our guest how to make space advocacy more effective. He said we needed to get space conscious (not necessarily advocates) in key positions within government & the administration.  He named a few positions as examples.  Finally, we talked about the Outer Space Treaty, the EU Code of Conduct, & bringing back the National Space Council. 

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

Wes Oleszewski, Sunday, 12-11-11 December 11, 2011

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Wes Oleszewski, Sunday, 12-11-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1670-BWB-2011-12-11.mp3

Guest:  Wes Oleszewski.  Topics:  Commercial versus government launch vehicles, space policy, civility.  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.  The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign. We welcomed back Wes Oleszewski to the show to discuss space policy, commercial as compared to government launch vehicles and much more.  Follow his space cartoon Klyde Morris at www.klydemorris.com.  You can also read the Aero-News article we discussed, “U.S. Spaceflight: Commercial Versus Federal at  www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=b3a012c0-812b-46d7-b58c-fb8959bd3509.  Our first segment was about 70 minutes out of this 2.5 hour show. We talked about the lack of civility in the space advocacy/enthusiast community as well as the Kool-Aid and lack of realism in some parts of the advocacy/enthusiast organizations.  This applied to space fans as well.  This discussion soon gave way to the SLS topic.  Our guest was supportive of it but got several listener questions stating why so many objected to it.  We talked about its lack of a mission but Wes did define its mission as a preliminary mission in that it was being built for beyond low Earth orbit (BLEO) with the rest to be decided later.  I asked our guests about the likelihood of it being built given the track record of NASA and Congress plus OMB in canceling these projects.  Wes then talked about the roles of Congress and OMB and our space budget. This brought us to our national spending and budget crisis and the space program in general  Other listeners phoned in and emailed us citing the NewSpace perspective on SLS. Don’t miss what Wes had to say about this.  Next, Space X came up as did the process of taking government money and how that might separate a new “commercial” company from other aerospace contractors.  Marshall called us about risk and demo flights, and then we got into a detailed discussion of thrust oscillation (TO) for the Ares 1.  We talked about some advocates making ATK into a villain and Space X and other new companies into saints.  I had much to say about ATK as being evil and Dr. Jurist called in to again tell what happened when he did real due diligence with ATK on the TO issue.  All three of us were very clear and definite in saying the attacks on ATK and other proven companies were unwarranted.  In our second long segment, Wes said we should not have retired the shuttle.  We talked about Mars missions and the origins of the MRI medical device.  Atlanta John called in to be supportive of SLS and its mission.  Jim sent in an email explaining why many are supportive of heavy lift but not supportive of SLS.  We talked about the lack of public awareness regarding space matters.  I then got off on one of my rants about the value of space which took us to STEM education.  We again returned to his theme that we in the advocacy/enthusiast community should be far more united.  When asked about individual organization goals such as the Moon, Mars, the frontier, etc, Wes clearly recommended we subordinate these interests to the overall good of speaking with a untied voice.  For his concluding Pearls of Wisdom, he cautioned us against being space groupies so to speak or running with the cyber pack.  We should avoid group think.  He said space was a team effort requiring all of us to be involved in supporting the team.  If you have questions/comments for Wes, please post them on the blog URL above.

Marcia Smith, Sunday, 11-27-11 November 28, 2011

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Marcia Smith, Sunday, 11-27-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1661-BWB-2011-11-27.mp3

GuestSearch:  Marcia Smith.  Topics:  U.S. Space Policy and budget issues.  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. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  We welcomed back Marcia Smith of SpacePolicyOnline.com to discuss the recently passed Minibus FY 2012 NASA budget as well as some of the issues for space policy as a result of the failure of the Supercommittee.  Here are some specific URLs from SpacePolicyOnline.com that you will find useful for this discussion as well as understanding what is going on:  1) Re the Minibus:   www.spacepolicyonline.com/pages/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2008:minibus-signed-into-law&catid=67:news&Itemid=27; 2) Re the Supercommittee: www.spacepolicyonline.com/pages/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2016:the-day-after-whats-next-for-nasa-after-the-supercommittee-failure&catid=67:news&Itemid=27; 3) The NASA FY 2012 Budget: www.spacepolicyonline.com/pages/images/stories/NASAs_FY2012_Budget_Request.pdf.  We started our discussion with the statement that we are in “unchartered territory.”  Ms. Smith described the Poison Pill which goes into effect from 2013-2021 regarding pending budget cuts which will be significant but are not clearly understood at this time. There might be a 7-8% across the board cuts.  The cuts also impact discretionary spending, not just defense or some entitlement programs.  Ms. Smith explained this to us so don’t miss the discussion.  NASA’s FY 2012 budget was down about 4% from what the President sought.  Commercial crew was cut by about one-half to $406 million. Marcia confirmed that thought is being given to funding only one commercial company due to the reduction in funding. We also discussed the current pricing for buying rides on the Soyuz to the ISS as compared to the current pricing quoted for the Space X Dragon.  Other topics in this segment includes SLS, MPCV and crew transportation in general.  We talked about funding for the SLS and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in the FY 12 budget.  Ms. Smith reported to us that NASA Administrator Bolden recently testified that the three top priorities for NASA were SLS/MPCV, ISS, and the JWST.  Marcia was asked about the OMB and their role in the budget process, specifically concerning future Mars missions.  In our second segment, we talked more about the Minibus bill and some of the specific funding project within the FY 12 budget.  Dave called in with a most interesting perspective on the issues from within NASA, asking us to focus on more than just the budget lines.  Don’t miss what Dave had to say.  As we approached the end of the program, we talked about DOD and National Security Space Policy  using NOAA and the DOD NPOESS satellite programs as an example of the challenges ahead.  Please post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above. You can email Ms. Smith through www.spacepolicyonline.com.

Open Lines, Friday, 11-25-11 November 26, 2011

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Open Lines, Friday, 11-25-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1660-BWB-2011-11-25.mp3

Guests:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston. Topics:  Space Show December schedule changes, Phobos-Grunt, MSL, OMB & Mars missions, Space X, NASA policy, human spaceflight & 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. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  Welcome to our Open Lines discussion.  We started the discussion with a few announcements. First, I talked about the Droid smartphone podcast timing issue that a few listeners have called to my attention.  For those experiencing this timing issue, I hope the information shared with you from other listeners was helpful. Please let me know either way. Also, listener Theron emailed me as I was preparing the archives and said “Google Listen after the show stops you can go back to the pod cast and it will start up again where it last stopped. They can also go to live 365 and listen there with no problem or listen to the archives and do the same thing.”  I next talked about my December 2011 schedule which is going to be weird to say the least given my need to be in S. California for a good part of the month for family and medical reasons.  Please listen to the discussion on the probable changes for the month and check the website newsletter as I will update everyone on live and replay programs & the use of the toll free phone line when I have updated information.  The first listener question after the announcements asked for my opinion on being able to save Phobos-Grunt (P-G) and the upcoming MSL launch scheduled for Saturday morning.  Regarding the Russian Mars venture, I was not optimistic about its success but like everyone else, I remain hopeful. I then mentioned some of the various blog comments I have seen on P-G and why most of the comments were absurd, showing a total lack of understanding of basic physics and engineering & the P-G mission architecture.  Our friend Charles called in to talk about the science missions of NASA & to offer his perspective on the human spaceflight part of NASA. He brought us current with the N-Prize and his Microlaunchers program.  He got a question asking for his perspective on the Google Lunar X-Prize. Charles & I disagreed as Charles does not think anyone can win it or be successful.  Charles addressed the blog comments re P-G which I mentioned earlier as Charles does understand the science & engineering involved in a space mission.  When we returned from our break, Arnie sent in an email about the OMB possibly killing future Mars mission. I read excerpts from a news release on the issue.  John called in, said we were in a space survival mode. He wanted to know more about the blog article by Trent, “The Case Against Space X.”  Making it clear that I disagreed with Trent, I read excerpts of his article on air as The Space Show airs all sides of issues regardless of my position on the issue.  I do hope Trent turns out to be wrong.  I suppose we will find out in time as Space X and our program continues it evolution.  John asked Charles a question about space debris from his Microlaunchers idea. Charles replied by email saying “main ML missions are to the space between orbits of Mars, Earth. Literally trillions as much space as LEO altitudes. Space exploration begins beyond escape.”  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above. If you have Droid suggestions, do put them on the blog.  December scheduling or fundraising questions, please email me.