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James (Jim) Faist, Tuesday, 9-2-14 September 3, 2014

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James (Jim) Faist, Tuesday, 9-2-14


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Guest:  James (Jim) Faist.  Topics:  Military space, commercial space, NASA, launches, military use of cubesats & UAVs.  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 Jim Faist to the program for this 63 minute discussion.  We started our first and only segment by inquiring about military space and possible synergies with commercial space.  Mr. Faist cited communication satellites of all types including Direct TV, high bandwidth space communications platforms and infrastructure, plus the push to deep space.  Our guest talked about the new optical coms with much higher bandwidth.  I asked Jim about the time lags from R&D to military space operations to NASA and civil space, then to commercial space companies.  Jim estimated about 5-8 years to military space and about ten years to civil space.  An email listener asked about DoD launches being able to serve as drivers for NASA and commercial space to increase by increasing the launch rate to drive down launch costs.  We then talked about priorities for military space.  Here, we learned that DOD is very concerned with costs but the priority is the mission.   Costs are just one part of the mission priorities..  In general, DOD likes and wants competition and lower prices are important.  One of the points our guest made was that other space nations can spend more on R&D and new projects than we do as a percentage of their budgets since we have to maintain older technology & infrastructure while others that are newer to space don’t have the legacy issues to support & finance.  This brought up a question by Carl who wanted to know if satellite on orbit servicing was worth it or would it be better to go for the new hardware.  The DOD usage of cubesats came up and we compared cubesats to smallsats and finally to the use of UAVs.  You will find the comparisons interesting.  A listener asked about the SpaceX-Air Force lawsuit.  Here, Jim talked about the process for DOD requirements for confidence in launchers and at one point suggested it might be a ten year long process.  I also asked our guest about our building a new rocket motor to replace the RD-180.  Another question focused on the possible DOD use of SLS and heavy lift.  AF Space Command came up as did responsive space and a comparison of that to UAVs.  We talked about DOD public/private partnerships or joint partnerships with civil/commercial space.  Lunar outposts and cislunar space were mentioned as well as the concept of a Space Guard modeled after the Coast Guard. Near the end, I asked about suborbital space tourism/science missions.  Jim mentioned using sounding rockets to test & flight qualify space hardware.  He thought the suborbitals would be good for that.  TRLs came up again & we talked about the role of the Schafer Corp in military space plus their current need for people & their current hiring needs.  Cubesats came up again, especially concerning enough launches and what it might mean for cubesats if they carry propulsion with them as that makes it hard to fly as a secondary payload.  In response to launch issues, he said it was not enough to just focus on the cubesats, the launch side of the business must also be considered & addressed.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Mr. Faist through me or the Schafer Corp website (www.schafercorp.com).

Space Show-SWF Webinar, On-Orbit Satellite Servicing, Sunday, 8-19-12 August 20, 2012

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Space Show-SWF Webinar, On-Orbit Satellite Servicing, Sunday, 8-19-12


https://vimeo.com/channels/thespaceshow  – Webinar Video

Guests:  Brian Weeden, Richard DalBello, Major General, USAF (Retired) James B. Armor, Jr..  This is a SWF sponsored webinar addressing issues related to the on-orbit servicing of satellites.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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.  PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS A TWO HOUR WEBINAR PRODUCTION SPONSORED BY THE SECURE WORLD FOUNDATION (SWF).  YOU CAN VIEW THIS WEBINAR AT https://vimeo.com/channels/thespaceshow.  We welcomed Brian Weeden, Richard DalBello, & Major General, USAF (Retired) James B. Armor, Jr. to the program for an in-depth discussion of on-orbit satellite servicing. This is a new business/industry that is emerging with great interest from governments, the satellite industry, & many other interested parties.  During our first webinar hour, our guests explained satellite on-orbit servicing, why the interest in it, the values on the table, & the economics behind this developing industry.  We heard from the perspective of the satellite operator with Mr. DalBello, from General Armor with the perspective of a company wanting to provide these services plus what they are commercially doing now in this emerging industry.  Gen. Armor talked about the new ATK venture for satellite repair, Vivisat (www.vivisat.com).  He was followed by Mr. Weeden who connected the dots with us regarding the big picture implications for security, stability, & policy.  We talked about liability issues, insurance, & LEO & GEO satellites in terms of their respective economic value & lifespan.  A listener asked about GPS satellites, launch costs, & competition here & abroad.  In fact, Brian mentioned several projects outside the US with the Canadians, Germans, & JAXA.  Toward the end of the first hour, caller Jack asked about testing & reliability, wondering if repairing satellites would reduce reliability engineering & testing on the ground, thus lowering the satellite’s cost given the possibility of on-orbit repair.  Ben followed asking if satellites having a longer life would be sold, comparing this potential to selling real estate once a property has been fully depreciated.

In our webinar second hour, Brian described the DARPA Phoenix Satellite Service project, http://www.darpa.mil/our_work/tto/programs/phoenix.aspx.  The issue of satellite abandonment came up & as you will hear, there is no way to abandon any object in space.  Another issue in this segment was space situational awareness (SSA).  We talked about SSA in LEO, with the new entrepreneurial small satellite companies doing LEO ventures, & the implication of this new industry for launching to & operating in GEO.  Later in this segment, we learned that there was no commercial incentive to address the space debris issue. Don’t miss the analysis behind this statement as its important in understanding the space debris issue.  A listener asked Richard about launch vehicle insurance & premiums, specifically for the Falcon 9.  Also in this segment we talked about the NASA satellite servicing mission, the Restore Mission (http://ssco.gsfc.nasa.gov/robotic_servicing_mission.html).  As our webinar drew to a close, we addressed the importance of a STEM education for our young students & the exciting space projects that today’s students will get to do in their careers. Everyone’s closing comments reflected the future orientation & focus for this evolving industry.

Please post your comments/questions on the blog.  If you want to email our guests, send your note to me & I will forward it for you.