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Robert (Bob) Meurer, ATK, Wednesday, 7-30-14 July 30, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Meurer, ATK, Wednesday, 7-30-14


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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Meurer.  Topics:  ATK Space Systems and small satellites, SmallSat 2014, business trends & 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 back Bob Meurer, VP of Business Development, Commercial & International Programs and Director Civil Space Programs for the Space Systems Division, ATK Aerospace Group.  During our 60 minute one segment discussion, we explored the small satellite market, its trends, and development/evolution over the years to where the industry is today.  As you will hear, the industry has undergone tremendous growth, capital is now showing up, large players are taking note of entrepreneurial companies such as Skybox, Google and Facebook are in the industry among others.  Bob took us back to his start of the industry in 1986 which was also the first year of the SmallSat Conference.  This historical overview is really interesting because back then, nobody could contemplate what we see in the industry today, plus a small satellite back then bears practically no relationship to a small satellite and cubesat of today regarding specs, capabilities, size, performance, etc.  I asked our guest if the SmallSat conference had influenced the industry or if the industry was influencing the conference.  We had an interesting discussion about this. We talked about the impact of Silicon Valley on the industry and Bob referenced several companies worth noting.  Given the global business presence of our guest and ATK, I asked how political instability around the world impacted international business.  Don’t miss this discussion.  ITAR came up and Bob noted new rules starting Nov. 10, 2014 that shift some items to commerce control instead of state dept. control.  This should ease some restrictions on commercial activities.  Toward the end, we talked about on orbit servicing and the ATK commercial venture ViviSat for satellite life extension. Check it out at http://www.vivisat.com.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Bob Meurer through ATK or me.

Reinventing Space Conference 2012, Tuesday, 5-8-12 May 9, 2012

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Reinventing Space Conference 2012, Tuesday, 5-8-12


Guests:  Open Mic at the Reinventing Space Conference 2012.  Topics:  Responsive space, low cost space access, Army satellite program, university projects, students & education, Dream Chaser, Women in Aerospace Southern California Chapter.  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.  This Space Show program was an “open mic” discussion for those attending the Reinventing Space Conference 2012.  The Space Show made its microphones available to those in attendance to speak on any topic of interest to them.  Our discussion topics included responsive space, low cost space access, pushing technology, the U.S. Army satellite program and the launch of the Army’s SMDC-One satellite, the first Army satellite launch in 50 years.  Others spoke about university projects, STEM education, the lack of interest in space /STEM subjects by among the younger population, challenges in the field of education, and the Women In Aerospace Southern California Chapter.  We started out with Dr. Jim Wertz providing us with an overview of the responsive space issues and what we can expect in the coming years.  George Vamos, Dr. Wertz & as Dr. Van Allen discussed offsets and technology trades in lowering launch costs.  Other participants talked about progress they have seen and experienced over their many years of working in the aerospace field.  We heard from Charles Kilmer on this subject.  He was followed by John London of the Army SMDC/ARSTRAT.  He talked about the first Army satellite launch in 50 years, the SMDC-One.  We also learned about future plans for Army satellites in support of the warfighter.  He  talked about the Army launching satellites the size of a loaf of bread and a bread box at 1/2000th the cost of a more traditional satellite.  Rachel and Krystal from Sierra Nevada spoke about Dream Chaser.  We learned more about their upcoming vehicle testing schedule as well as new agreements with Florida.  I also inquired about Dream Chaser for space tourism which as you will hear will follow their priority which is commercial crew to the ISS.  Larry Martin talked about his University of Hawaii project but we also had a participant from the University of N. Dakota and a recent graduate from Georgia Tech. I apologize for not getting their names for this program summary.  These students talked about the challenges in getting younger students interested and aware of space.  Our final participants represented Women In Aerospace and the Southern California Chapter.  Jeanne Innis Olson and Nicole Johnson spoke about the organization & their California chapter.  Those interested in learning more about the organization should contact Wendy Williams at wendy.williams@atk.com.

Please post your comments/questions regarding this program Space Show blog.  I have listed participant bios for those that have a bio on file with The Space Show.

Open Lines, Tuesday, 3-13-12 March 14, 2012

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Open Lines, Tuesday, 3-13-12



Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  An Open Lines program covers a wide variety of topics of interest to the listeners.  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. Welcome to this 2 hour 20 minute Open Lines discussion largely driven by listeners calling the program.  In our first hour segment, I listed the usual possible discussion topics which I won’t repeat here. As to be expected, listeners had their own ideas as to what they wanted to talk about though we did address some of the issues I previewed including NASA & the treatment of their chimps in the early space program given that PETA wants to establish a chimp empathy museum at KSC,  NASA budget cuts & the recent congressional hearings, the Defense Intelligence Agency Chinese space program wake up call, & more. The congressional hearings of last week made it to our discusses as listeners focused on what was said by Senator Nelson, Senator Hutchinson, NASA Administrator Bolden, & Dr. Tyson in his short presentation. Listeners also talked about the comments by Texas Congresswoman Eddie Johnson regarding commercial space/crew on the House side. Also in the first segment, Tim called in to inquire about a possible IPO for Space X.

In our second segment, Dr. Jurist called in to express his disappointment at the elimination of funding for the Operationally Responsive Space office/program.  This took us to a discussion about national security space & I asked Dr. Jurist about the Defense Intelligence Agency wake up call regarding the Chinese space program as expressed by their director Ronald L. Burgess.  Somehow we then got off on the topic of the planned retirement of the B-52 in 2040, about 88 years after it became operational.  While Dr. Jurist was talking with us, Tim sent in several email questions for him on microgravity experiments to determine what level of gravity was needed for humans for space settlement & long duration flights.  John Hunt followed with comments about VASIMR, nuclear propulsion, & even fusion powered spacecraft down the road in our future.  Tom Hanson of the Living Universe Foundation called in to let people know they are seeking Foundation board members (www.luf.org/contact).  I then introduced another topic from a current article in Popular Science, a 20,000 mph train to space (www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-03/all-aboard-20000-mile-hour-low-earth-orbit-express).  This article refers to a newer version of StarTram & this brought in several more callers including Trent from Australia. Other listeners chimed in on the train to space idea as well though most did not take the article very seriously.  I introduced the news that Turkey had agreed to the Moon Treaty & then Terry called in at the end to talk about the X-37C & that it might become a crewed vehicle.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above. If you want to contact any of our callers, send your note to me & I will forward it for you.  If you want more info on any of the news stories I mentioned, let me know & I will send it to you.