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Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 6-24-12 June 24, 2012

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Dr. Paul Spudis, Sunday, 6-24-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1803-BWB-2012-06-24.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Paul Spudis. Topics:  Return to the Moon, lunar ice & water, space policy, NASA space program.  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. Paul Spudis back to the program.  Visit his website and blog for additional information, www.spudislunarresources.com & http://globs.airspacemag.com/moon. We started out by discussing a new report claiming that there is a low amount of water ice at Shackleton crater on the Moon.  Dr. Spudis explained this study/report and introduced other data points indicating the low amount of water theory is not a valid conclusion.  This discussion led to questions about science & media reporting and how best for the public to follow up on a story to not be mislead.  I asked Paul about the influence of such articles on policy makers and congressional staffers as well as those outside the U.S., citing the Chinese space program as an example.  I also asked our guest if we were in a space race with China. Dr. Spudis had much to say about this issue.  We talked about why American space leadership on the space frontier is important.  See if you agree with what our guest had to say on this important subject.  Dr. Spudis then talked about the difference with a PR stunt type of mission as compared to a mission which developed & enabled capabilities to move us forward in space development, exploration, and economics.  This brought up a June 20, 2012 Space News op-ed (http://spacenews.com/commentaries/120618-administration-legacy-nasa.html) by Frank Van Rensselaer, What Will Be This Administration’s Legacy for NASA?  This then led to a discussion about our not having a space vision direction or strategy for our civil space policy.  Much was said about this with callers and email questions during the balance of the first segment and throughout the second segment.  Our guest made a point of saying we need to ask what the purpose of the mission is, what are the goals, and what is the value of the mission?  These are important questions to always ask about what we are doing with our civil space missions.  This is an important discussion so do listen closely to what Dr. Spudis had to say.  NASA budget issues were part of this discussion with Dr. Spudis making the case that money was and is not really the issue.  Instead, its the politics of how we choose to spend tax payer money.

In the second segment, Marshall called to ask about lunar lava tubes and water, along with the need for lunar rovers.  Don’t miss what Paul had to say about these topics.  Paul was asked about his cislunar economic plans and he talked about NewSpace given the question he received from Wayne in Las Vegas asking him if he was in conflict with NewSpace.  Later, Crystal from Tulsa emailed Paul with a question about space property rights. Paul said this was extremely important so do listen to the complete discussion on this topic.  More was said about NASA budget issues & making sure taxpayers get something back for what they spend on space.  Andrew sent in an email addressing the technology development problems going back decades with military airplanes & large engineering projects.  Near the end of our two hour program, Dr. Spudis mentioned the tyranny of the rocket equation and what this means for space access and costs.  We also talked about on orbit fuel depots.  Reaching a critical mass for making a difference in space policy was our last discussion topic.

If you have a comment/question for Dr. Spudis, please post it on The Space Show blog.

Henry Vanderbilt, Thursday, 3-22-12 March 23, 2012

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Henry Vanderbilt, Thursday, 3-22-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1740-BWB-2012-03-22.mp3

Guest:  Henry Vanderbilt.  Topics:  Space Access Society Conference, Phoenix, ArizonaApril 12-14, 2012.  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 back Henry Vanderbilt to the program to discuss the upcoming Space Access Society Conference, April 12-14, 2012 to be held at the Grace Inn in Phoenix, Arizona. For the conference agenda, registration and full hotel information, visit www.space-access.org.  During the first part of our initial segment, Henry provided us with an historical overview of not only the development and evolution of the Space Access Society meetings and conference, but also his own personal work in the space arena leading up to his excellent space activism of today which focuses on the space transportation issue.  This is a comprehensive look at activities that have brought space exploration and development to today since about 1986.  While Henry has been a frequent Space Show guest, this is perhaps the most detailed look we have had from him regarding his space evolution and the rise in importance of the Space Access Society (SAS).  Later in this nearly hour long segment and until our break, Henry highlighted many of the speakers that will be at the conference.  You can see the full list and the three day agenda at www.space-access.org/updates/sa12info.html.

In our second segment, we talked about more of the speakers but mainly focused on those that would address policy and budget issues as not all of the SAS speakers are on the business/entrepreneurial side of space development.  Some of the highlights included the NASA Chief Technology Office, ULA, policies for going beyond LEO, and advocacy on issues supported by SAS.  As part of this discussion, we talked about SLS, ISS, Space X, depots, and budgetary pressures on NASA and key members of congress.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog URL.  If you have questions for Henry about SAS, you can email him at space.access@space-access.org.

Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12 February 26, 2012

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Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1721-BWB-2012-02-26.mp3

Guest: Mark Whittington.  Topics: Space Budgets, policy, & politics.  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 Mark Whittington back to the show for this 2.5 hour wide ranging discussion on space budgets, the economy, space policy and space politics, plus economic issues facing the nation and others around the world.  We also talked about space perspectives of all those running for president including President Obama and the Republican party challengers.  Mark talked about two article he wrote that were pertinent to our discussion.  These articles are (1) “Moon Base Supporters Struggle to Justify the Project:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/moon-base-supporters-struggle-to-justify-the-project; and (2) “A Lunar Exploration Reading List for Mitt Romney:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/a-lunar-exploration-reading-list-for-mitt-romney.  In our first segment of 45 minutes, we talked about Texas space politics & redistricting, the Johnson Space Center, & the proposed FY 13 budget.  Mark suggested Congress would rewrite most of the budget but that the Senate would likely not pass a budget so we would end up on CR.  I asked Mark how that would lead to programs being cancelled such as ExoMars if we are still on CR as those programs are embedded in the CR from year to year.  Mark described the process through administrative acts by NASA, Congress, or the President re cancellation, and what the Appropriations Committee would have to do to avoid them. For the most part, more money would need to be found for NASA but that was not likely. Mark talked about what constitutes commercial saying that for something to be really commercial, it has to be able to fail. We compared today’s commercial space programs to gov. programs in terms of Mark’s criteria.  Listeners asked about SLS & Orion, wondering if it & when SLS would be cancelled. The idea of a lunar base was discussed in light of the comments made a few weeks ago in the Florida debate by Newt.  Mark also talked about what he thought might be the space policy of the other candidates though not that much is known other than for Newt, Mitt, and President Obama.  Mark talked about cutting out other budgetary items to make room for a quality space program & he highlighted the high speed rail program.

In our long second segment, Marshall called with a question about the original Mercury astronauts still alive.  We  talked some about human factors, microgravity, and life support issues.  Listeners asked about the Chinese space program & their military buildup.  Here, I referenced the recent congressional testimony of Ronald Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  The article I referenced is at http://bigthink.com/ideas/42630.  Mark spoke at length about exploration, citing his favorite history story involving Prince Henry The Navigator of Portugal. Jim asked Mark that if he believed commercial space was the best path forward & that SLS was a bad idea, how would he go about getting more support for commercial space even at the expense of SLS.  Mark offered some concrete ideas in response to Jim’s question. John from Billings sent in a few notes & then later called to talk about why there is such an argument about SRBs as compared to liquid rocket motors.  Challenger was mentioned along with Constellation but mainly Mark said that people’s behavior tends to find ways to support their beliefs. Terry, another Texan like Mark, called to ask why Sen. Hutchinson so strongly opposes commercial space.  Mark offered a pretty good answer.  Risk taking, more on SLS, Dream Chaser & the CST 100 were discussed along with the new project, Stratolaunch. As our program drew to a close, I asked Mark to summarize space policy for 2012 which he did do but then more questions came in.  Becky wanted Mark to connect the dots vis a vis our economy & how this might impact NASA & all space development.  This led to quite a little economic discussion with Mark, myself, and Dr. Jurist who called in about that time.  As usual, I went off on my rant about space as an investment, not an expense.  Jack got in the last word asking for three key events impacting space for 2012 other than the election.  Mark said the upcoming Space X flight, what Congress does with the budget, and the planned Chinese mission later this year.  In his concluding remarks, Mark talked about the economic options facing the country & he left us with a few points to consider.  He urged us to participate in Town Hall meetings and ask the candidates space questions.

If you have comments/questions please post them The Space Show blog.  Marks blog, Curmudgeons Corner, is at http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com.