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Michael Belfiore, Sunday, 9-21-14 September 22, 2014

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Michael Belfiore, Sunday, 9-21-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2320-BWB-2014-09-21.mp3

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Guest:  Michael Belfiore.  Topics:  Current events for space topics, selection of Dragon & CST100, 3D printing in space, 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 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 Michael Belfiore back to the show to discuss a variety of space news and current events items, plus trends in the industry.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 41 minute program, Michael talked about DARPA given his recent book on the agency, then we turned to the recent commercial crew down select NASA announcement naming the Boeing CST100 and SpaceX Dragon as the two companies that NASA will continue supporting for commercial crew.  We spent lots of time talking about Boeing and SpaceX plus everyone was wondering if Sierra Nevada and Dream Chaser would find a way to stay in the game.  The next topic was the Google Lunar X Prize challenge. Michael pointed out that a government had gotten to the Moon fist with a rover, the Chinese, thus the rules of the contest were changed to allow the contest to continue.  Marshall called to talk about the down select process and winners. SLS John called to tell us that he thought Dream Chaser and SpaceX would be the winners.  He and others suggested Boeing was the conservative choice.  He also asked about the news that a Boeing-Bezos deal was in the making for the new American made RD180 engine replacement.  Michael suggested throughout our discussion that the old guard or the traditional aerospace industry and participants were under lots of pressure from NewSpace.

In the second segment, we took a call from Doug who commented on the down select process.  Michael then talked about the Tesla deal for Nevada and their proposed gigafactory for electric car batteries.  We talked about electric cars in general, then Tim called to suggest a conversion kit for conventional autos to turn them into electric cars.  I questioned that from a market perspective.  Michael then introduced space manifesting and we talked about the 3D printer on the way to the ISS.  Michael mentioned Maven which was to be inserted into Mars orbit Sunday evening, 9:37 EDT.  News update:  Maven’s orbital insertion was a big success!  Congrats to NASA and the entire Maven team.  We also talked about Comet Siding Spring,  Suborbital flights came up and we heard Michael express concerns about Virgin Galactic & confidence with the Lynx and XCOR.  He talked about the early spaceflight participants and the risks they would be taking.  Visit his website, http://www.michaelbelfiore.com. You can also subscribe to his email newsletter and join him on social media, all through his website.

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

Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 9-16-14 September 17, 2014

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Dr. Mike Griffin, Tuesday, 9-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2317-BWB-2014-09-16.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Mike Griffin.  Topics: Human spaceflight policy, political choices, space technology, Mars, Moon, Asteroids and 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 to the program Dr. Mike Griffin.  During the first segment of our 90 minute discussion, Mike talked about human spaceflight (HSF) and the commercial space market.  He said exploration would be a government project or at least with government in the lead, especially if the commercial market was not there.  He threw water on the argument that our space policy was budget driven.  Instead, he talked about it being based on choices we make. It was not and is not about the money.  His comments throughout or discussion on this topic supported his argument.  He even said the cost of space for the U.S. taxpayer was around 15 cents/day.  This discussion evolved to one on the importance of leadership which we agreed was in short supply today.  Included in this discussion was Mike’s vision for our space policy & program, plus he explained its importance and value to our nation both today and for the future.  He spoke to the issue of what society wants and the choices it makes that shape our future.  Space should be part of our national policy debate and hopefully such a debate would enable quality choices to be made that keep us on the leadership edge with all nations.   Mike was asked who he thought would be next on the Moon and he said China.  We also talked about the private sector taking us back to the Moon with HSF.  He said that the private sector could do this, capital was not an issue, but for the private sector to do it there needs to be a closing of the business case which he did not see at this time.  SLS John called in & asked about space advocacy diversity which he said seemed to be at war with NASA & whatever the program of record might be.  Mike had much to say about this, especially about inefficiencies in government organizations and projects.  He also said if the private venture or industry cannot make money, then it should be a federal project. Many times during our discussion he said that there are things that a society should do just because they are hard & they don’t have to look good on the balance sheet.  John also asked about the RD-180 engine, Mike offered us his conclusion as to why we should be a new version of the RD-180 so that we do not continue being dependent on Russia for space related hardware, etc.  Later, he was asked about cislunar space development which he said should be a public enterprise.  He cited many examples and models supporting the public development of this important space infrastructure.  SLS was discussed.  Mike very clearly articulated the case for SLS today and again repeated that SLS future missions are about choices, not the budget.  Don’t miss his comments.  As the segment ended, Randy emailed a question asking for the rational & silver bullet for HSF.  In my opinion, Mike gave an excellent response to this question so don’t miss it.

In the second segment, Mike got some questions about NASA doing more R&D and even forming a NACA-like division or program.  We talked about NASA R&D, the need for a NACA-like program and more.  Dave, our caller, commented on leadership, then Bill in Denver emailed in a question about using fuel depots and smaller launch vehicles rather than heavy lift vehicles like SLS.  Again, Mike had much to say about heavy lift, including that while possible to do smaller vehicle launches., the numbers don’t pan out for efficiency.  You need to listen to this full discussion which also addressed some bogus assumptions regarding inefficient heavy lift decision making.  Nuclear propulsion and Vasimr came up, , then we again focused on vision that takes on big challenges because we can!  More was said on lunar colonies evolving to longer BLEO missions plus cislunar commerce, especially cislunar cargo missions.  Another listener asked about being dependent on the Russians for HSF to the ISS and if shuttle was retired too early.  Mike talked about having wanted to fly shuttle at a minimum rate annually until a new vehicle was operational.  We talked about the role of the congress and White House as compared to the role of the NASA Administrator.  Later, we talked about the role of public support and individuals petitioning congress on space policy.  Listen to his story about the Hubble repair mission.  I even asked if poorly written and fantasy driven letters to informed staffers helped or hurt the cause.  Listen for Mike’s response. In summary, Mike said his wish was that people would share is view that there are important things for society to do but that don’t look good on a balance sheet.  In the end, he said he was optimistic that his positive views on space would prevail and that when policy makers realized that China was going to put people on the Moon and what that would mean for the US, it would not be allowed to happen.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 8-26-14 August 27, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 8-26-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2304-BWB-2014-08-26.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space news events and updates on a variety of current topics.  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 Zimmerman to discuss current and hot topics happening in space at this time.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 6 minute discussion, Bob asked me about the recent Bay Area-NAPA earthquake on Sunday morning, August 24, then we switched over to space topics starting with SpaceX and the Falcon 9R test launch explosion.  Next, Bob talked about the failure of the ESA Galileo GPS launch involving the Soyuz-Arianne.  Several questions came up regarding the ESA GPS system. We also talked about other regional GPS systems.  Bob moved us to the launch failure (booster rocket) for the Air Force Hypersonic vehicle, then to the decision by Sea Launch to take a break.  Bob had much to say about the Sea Launch partnership now involving mostly Russia and the Ukraine.  Russia and the ISS came up and here Bob also had much to say, including going over the news that Russia may now be interested in extending the life of the ISS.  Bob suggested some important Russian reasons for wanting to do this, see what you think.  The Atlas RD-180 rocket engine came up for discussion as did the upcoming NASA down select for commercial crew with Dream Chaser, SpaceX, and Boeing with their CST 100.  Next up was SLS which I permitted to be discussed for a while, including a call by SLS John in Ft. Worth, then I stopped it and said that SLS was a beaten to death topic on the show and that listeners and I were sick of it.  I said no more SLS talk unless there was something new on one side or the other of the SLS issue.  At one point I even assigned SLS John a new topic to research and call in about.  Let us know with your blog comments, are you sick of SLS discussions on TSS? Do you want to keep hearing them or not?  Luis emailed in about having GPS redundancy and backup systems re the European system as an example. Bob had specific ideas about this but thought the better route would be to be able to quickly replace a lost or destroyed satellite.  As the segment neared its end, Joe asked about CST and Falcon 9/Heavy & Bob had more to say about ISS modules & Doug asked a series of questions about the benefits of extending ISS to 2028.  Don’t miss Bob’s response.

In the second segment, Joe asked about small sats taking over market share from the previous big satellites.  Bob provided an interesting short discussion on this topic.  SLS John called back about the Falcon Heavy flying and then somehow the discussion focused in on presidential candidates and their space policy in upcoming elections.  After a short non-partisan review of what Bob thought might unfold depending on which party wins in November, we moved on to Rosetta and 67 P.  Bob talked about the lander and the landing sites.  Tim called in to talk about a proposal announced for space debris tracking with Lockheed and Electro Optic Systems in Australia (see http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/august/0825-ss-electro.html).  Also discussed was nuclear propulsion, the Space Fence, then we got emails about fusion energy progress.  Near the end of the program, Bob talked about Curiosity, some of the electrical issues with using the on board drill, and of course the tire problem.  As the show was about to end, Kirk emailed about the recent Chinese ASAT test and Bob suggested we look for an end of the year Dragon abort test, another Falcon 9 flight and more flight tests, and the Rosetta landing on 67 P scheduled for November.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS Blog above.  You can email Bob through me or his address through his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.

 

Michael Listner, Monday, 8-25-14 August 26, 2014

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Michael Listner, Monday, 8-25-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2303-BWB-2014-08-25.mp3

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Guest:  Michael Listner.  Topics:  Space law, ARM & property rights, SpaceX-AF litigation, RD-180 engine & 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 Michael Listner back to the program for this update regarding specific space law issues and theories.  In the first segment of the this 1 hour 48 minute program, Michael talked about the proposed Asteroid Bill in Congress and how to maybe get some limited property rights for asteroid mining by being able to move a small asteroid as in the NASA ARM project.  Michael theorized that if one moves an asteroid, its no longer in its natural orbit and then no longer defined as a celestial body.  We spent most of the first segment and a good part of the second segment discussing this theory and why it might work.  When asked if it would apply to lunar property rights or other space property rights, Michael was clear that it only applied to a small asteroid that could be moved.  He also said it would require an administration to endorse such a plan and that it would be difficult to establish as customary and it would certainly be an uphill effort.  BJohn and others sent in email comments about this.  As you will hear from BJohn’s emails which I read on air, not every thought positively about Michael’s idea.  Michael also talked about other forms of international agreements being much easier to obtain than treaties.  He also said the property rights policy battles would be fought diplomatically.

In the second segment, we talked about the SpaceX-US Air Force litigation and the AF Motion to Dismiss.  Next, we covered the RD-180 rocket motor issue and Michael noted that a new shipment of RD-180 motors had been received.  He also said there was new information suggesting Russia might want to expand the mission time for the ISS (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2014/08/25/russia-agree-iss-extension).  Property rights and moving an asteroid came back as a topic in this segment & Michael again talked about treaties which he said were top down in policy making while transparency, etc. was considered bottom up policy making.  We talked quite a bit about property rights being US one sided and he said that the Asteroid Bill actually enabled those outside the U.S. to put their projects under U.S. law for U.S protection.  We moved on to cubesats and oversight/regulation issues.  Near the end, Michael updated us on the Code of Conduct in which there should be another draft emerging in the near future.  As the program was drawing to a close, I asked Michael for remaining 2014 legal issues that might get a 2014 resolve.  We looked forward to early next year & our guest commented on issues involving Russia, China, and ESA.

Please post your comments on TSS blog above.  You can reach Michael through me or using the email address he gave out on air as the program was ending.

Greg Cecil, Friday, 6-27-14 June 28, 2014

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Greg Cecil, Friday, 6-27-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2269-BWB-2014-06-27.mp3

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Guest:  Greg Cecil.  Topics: STEM for Middle School students, human spaceflight, Mars & 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 Greg Cecil back to the program for this 1 hour 37 minute discussion.  During our first segment, Greg summarized his space shuttle experience when working on the thermal protection system at KSC, talked about keeping in touch with former shuttle employees and letting us know that in his opinion, shuttle was retired too early.  After the shuttle program was closed down, Greg began consulting and teaching science to middle school students.  He talked about the difference in a public inner city school as compared to teaching in a private school.  His observations are important, especially about parent involvement  & support in the student’s education.  Greg devised space related projects for the students & created scientific experiments to fly with the J.P. Aerospace high altitude balloon flights.  Greg described some of the experiments and the benefits in working with John Powell of J.P. Aerospace.  We talked about the impact of the flights and making the payloads.  I asked if the impact will remain with them as they go through school, possibly in selecting a space or science education and career.  Greg also attended the recent Explore Mars Humans2Mars Conference and here he offered us many valuable observations.  Listen to what he had to say about NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden’s talk, then later the talk given by NewSpace advocate and co-founder of the Space Frontier Foundation, Rick Tumlinson.  The differences between the two talks and approaches led to Greg’s conversion to being a NewSpace proponent.  Greg talked about SpaceX and suggested it was risky for any one company to be the face of NewSpace, either intentionally or by chance.

In the second segment, Greg talked about the movie, “I want To Be An Astronaut.”  Doug emailed in a comment based on our first segment discussion given Greg’s comment about NASA budgets being tight & being a show stopper for grandiose HSF missions such as those to Mars & as reported in the NRC Pathways HSF study.  Greg responded to Doug, then I let got with one of my infamous rants directed not just at Doug but we space enthusiasts in general for having lousy communication skills.  In this instance, my rant was about Doug focusing on technology and never ever making the case for the WHY or the need to do what he suggested in his question.  Greg then spoke to the importance of knowing your customer, congressman, market, and effectively communicating the WHY & the NEED.  Later, after the rant and aftermath of the volcanic eruption, Greg spoke to how best to approach members of congress and state legislatures.  We then talked about the RD-180 engine, SLS, & HSF spaceships.  As our discussion was ending, Greg pointed out the risks associated with putting all our HSF eggs in one basket and one company.  He closed by saying never give up plus he provided his email address at the end of the show.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Greg through me or the address he gave out on air as the show was ending.

Dr. Paul Spudis, Friday, 6-20-14 June 19, 2014

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Dr. Paul Spudis, Friday, 6-20-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2266-BWB-2014-06-20.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Paul Spudis.  Topics:  Dr. Spudis provided us with an overview and analysis of the NRC “Pathways to Exploration: Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration.”  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 to the show Dr. Paul Spudis to discuss the NRC Human Spaceflight Study report recently released. You can download the report for free at http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=18801.  Please note that this program was broadcast and recorded live on Wednesday, June 18, 2014.  It is being archived on Friday, 6-20-24 as there will be no live show on Friday due to the host travel schedule.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 36 minute program, Dr. Spudis first walked us through the NRC nearly 300 page study, hitting the highlights, raising questions, talking about what was good in the report and disappointing in it.  We talked about the rational for human spaceflight, for Mars, also the Moon.  We noted the absence of economic development in the report and this gave Dr. Spudis several openings to talk about his ideas for cislunar economic development.  Listeners asked lots of email questions ranging from budget issues, to SpaceX and rocket reusability.  Paul described much of what the study suggested as a form of “Apollo to Mars.”  Near the end of this segment we talked about public/private partnerships and learned that the Pathways study was only addressing public programs.  A listener asked Dr. Spudis what he thought the impact of the study might be and sitting on a shelf somewhere seemed a plausible answer.

In the second segment, Dr. Spudis focused on the response to the report and ways to actually develop a quality space program.  He talked about the need for a space transportation system, space infrastructure, and to use an incremental approach.  Robotics were discussed, we talked about the space media, and Dr. Spudis reminded us a few times that if there is no infrastructure, there can be no institutional use and capability.  We also compared the Apollo period and JFK’s goal for the Moon compared to now.  Its an interesting discussion, especially since we no longer have many of the skill sets we had back then.  The value of the Moon and commercial space came up & we talked about promoting the value to policy makers.  In supporting his incremental approach, Paul referenced a bit of US naval history.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  Check out Paul’s blog, http://www.spudislunarresources.com.  You can contact Dr. Spudis through his blog or me.

Doug Messier, Monday, 6-16-14 June 17, 2014

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Doug Messier, Monday, 6-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2263-BWB-2014-06-16.mp3

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Guest:  Doug Messier.  Topics:  Space news reporting, suborbital, Virgin Galactic, XCOR & 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 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 Doug Messier back to the show to discuss featured news articles of late on his blog, http://www.parabolicarc.com.  Please note that Doug used a cell phone and we did have audio issues at various times during the show.  During the first long segment of our 1 hour 38 minute program, Doug talked about the Mojave Air &Spaceport, Stratolaunch and then Doug got called to task by listeners for his recent reporting & comments regarding Virgin Galactic per his blog, his recent Space Show program and his appearance on the Hotel Mars John Batchelor segment last week.  The gist of the hard questions asked Doug centered around asking him if he had a conflict of interest reporting on other companies given the XCOR book he is writing.  They asked this because to them, his reporting seemed unfair to Virgin while giving XCOR a pass on many of the same issues he talked about with Virgin.  We spent most of the first segment talking about these issues.  Doug spoke freely and talked about how he reports on these issues and why he reports the way he does.  He mentioned several Virgin stories as examples but he also made it very clear that he wants all the companies to be successful and for the industry to develop.  As you will see in the last segment, this particular type of question was asked of him as the program was drawing to a close.  Doug was in the hot seat for much of the first segment so you listen and you decide.  Let Doug know your thoughts on his Virgin reporting by posting on TSS blog or emailing him.  I then moved us to other topics & other companies at Mojave, the FAR for amateur rocketry, but the forces to be kept drawing us back to Doug, his Virgin reporting and XCOR comparisons.  Doug managed to talk about recent SFF and Space Access alerts about language in the Senate NASA funding bill that these organizations and others believe to be a poison pill.  Listen for details.  Also, I asked about Congress planning to fund at least $200 million for a new engine replacement for the RD-180.  We also talked about the Falcon 9 & AF SpaceX certification.  Dr. Doug called near the end of the segment.  During his call, he was sent an email question about the Moon by Tony in Seattle.

In the second segment, we talked about the NASA budget for FY 2015 in some detail.  Doug talked about SLS, Orion, commercial crew funding issues and SpaceX possibly expediting some flights prior to the 2017 schedule.  Doug went into detail about the Sen. Shelby amendment which many believe to be the poison pill mentioned in the first segment.  I took us through several of the top stories being reported on Parabolicarc.com including changes to the Arianne launcher, the Decelerator Flight Test, the NASA Centennial Challenge for Cubesat Deep Space, plus we talked about the Google acquisition of Skybox Imaging and their global broadband plans with Worldview.  Also mentioned as the show was drawing to a close was the GLXP, Doug’s visit to the Dragon V2 unveiling, & then Sally’s final email question asking Doug if he wanted Virgin Galactic to fail given how he reports on the company.  Don’t miss his response to Sally, plus my related comments.

Post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Doug through his website or me.

Frank Van Renesselear, Tuesday, 6-10-14 June 11, 2014

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Frank Van Renesselear, Tuesday, 6-10-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2260-BWB-2014-06-10.mp3

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Guest:  Franklin (Frank) Van Rensselaer, Jr.  Topics:  Schafer Corp Aerospace & Strategic Business Development, commercial space, markets, capital.  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 Frank Van Rensselear to the program to discuss Schafer Corp and various commercial space topics and issues.  Our program was an hour long so we had only one segment.  We started our discussion with by talking with our guest about his experience as an Apollo Flight Controller and he described his position as The Booster.  He shared some of his experiences with us, especially for Apollo 8 and Apollo 12 which was hit by lightening shortly after launch.  Frank was also on the job through Skylab and the ASTP.  Listen and enjoy the history.  We then jumped into his experiences in commercial space and his having developed over $300 million in new business when he was with the Harris Corporation.  Our guest was asked about the newly released NRC Pathways Human Spaceflight Study and he said he basically agreed with it in that we do not have enough money, we can’t do meaningful and inspiring projects, and overall he suggested this was demeaning to the country.  We talked for several minutes about tight budget issues for NASA and the way congress and the American people set priorities which do not seem to include human spaceflight.  I suggested this is a choice & asked how we get policy and budget pros within the system to make different choices in support of HSF. Frank was asked if Constellation had not been cancelled if we would be in a similar position today with our dependency on Russia and related issues.  He did not think so but listen to his full response.  We talked about the RD-180 engine and the likelihood that congress will appropriate funds to make a U.S. replacement engine.  This brought up the need for such an engine if we have Delta and soon will have Falcon 9 which still gives us two independent launchers for high value national security payloads.  Frank had lots to say on this subject, on SpaceX and ULA, along with the importance of these national security satellites and launches.  John in Tucson emailed him about SLS on which our guest also had much to say.  But as long as we are focused on tight budget issues, the program has been & will be disappointing. Again, you don’t want to miss all of his comments on this issue.  Military space was a discussion topic as was public opinion suggesting space is not that relevant any more. We talked about Inspiration Mars being able to inspire but we both doubted it would happen.  Tony called in to ask about reusability & why the space shuttle was compromised and reusability taken out. In the end, our guest suggested that reusability would be key to our space future.  Next, we talked about Schafer Corp and its activities.  We learned that they consult and work with several NewSpace companies and they are hiring but typically they go for experienced engineers, not fresh out college grads.  I asked Frank for his perspective on the recently announced Google purchase of Skybox Imaging for $500 million.  This too was a most interesting discussion you do not want to miss.  Other topics during our program included billionaire space investors, suborbital tourism, space settlement, and commercial space growth by sectors.  Here we talked markets, needed infrastructure and capital acquisition for lunar projects and the like.  Our guest talked about the need for government sponsored infrastructure in advance of lunar commercial projects and suggested only government was capable of footing the bill for the needed  infrastructure.  He said raising the actual capital was a challenge and that at this time, it would really be uphill for lunar ventures.  In his concluding remarks, he said he was bullish for commercial space and private space companies and that going commercial was a good thing as it has & will bring in fresh ideas & projects.  His final question was about 3D printing for space.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach our guest through the Schafer Corp website, http://www.schafercorp.com or me.

Mark Fisher, Friday, 5-16-14 May 17, 2014

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Mark Fisher, Friday, 5-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2244-BWB-2014-05-16.mp3

Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

If you are listening to archives & rating programs on live365.com, email me the reasons for your rating to help improve the show

Guest:  Mark Fisher.  Topic:  Commercial & Civil space, Schafer Corp space activities, space exploration/development.  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 Fisher, VP, General Manager & Director of Huntsville Operations for Schafer Corporation (www.schafercorp.com.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 25 minute discussion, Mark Fisher introduced us to the Schafer Corporation which has in excess of 40 years experience and activity in the civil, commercial, DOD, & the government space industry.  We honed in on civil and commercial and Mark talked about Bigelow Aerospace, Stratolaunch, the entrepreneurial community, and NewSpace.  This discussion took us to new technologies and here Mark said that NewSpace was providing lots of new technology.  We also talked about human spaceflight and its growth, particularly on the NewSpace side of things.  Listener Jack emailed in a question about the wisdom of international partnerships to which Mark had much to say.  I asked our guest about overlapping areas with DOD & commercial space, then about pursuing ROIs from space activities & projects & if that was a big switch from just a decade ago.  That brought up a discussion about business models and the role Schafer plays with clients in business as well as with engineering as Schafer is an engineering company.  One point made continuously by our guest was that space investment leads to results but its an ebb & flow over the long haul.  We talked about space technology, computer, and electronic advances, plus changes over time in materials and optics.  The subject of launch vehicles & the industry came up, especially with cubesats, SpaceX & Orbital.  Pooley called in to talk once again about small launchers & Microlaunchers.  At one point he commented that Leo, being too crowded, should be abandoned for escape orbital opportunities.  Both Mark & I had some interesting comments per what Charles was talking about.

In the second segment we talked about the U.S. capability to build new launchers & engines but we also talked about the high costs and long development & testing time in doing so.  Mark shared with us his rocket motor development experience.  We talked about Mark’s Schafer team, the development of an internship program at Schafer, and Shafer employment opportunities.  A listener asked about difference in approach to the public, civil, & commercial side of space projects & the need for commercial to fund itself.  We talked about wireless medial monitoring, miniaturization, & other space spinoff technologies.  Much was said about the biomedical push by NASA.  I asked about the once robust Huntsville space economy which has had some issues in recent years. An inquiry was made about DOD, Mars technology development, sharing tools with NASA, and if we needed to make weapons to advance technology.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. If you want to contact our guest, you can do so through me.

Dr. George Sowers, Monday, 11-12-12 November 13, 2012

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Dr. George Sowers, Monday, 11-12-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1892-BWB-2012-11-12.mp3

Guest:  Dr. George Sowers.  Topics:  United Launch Alliance, Atlas 5, Delta IV, human rating Atlas and Delta.  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. We welcomed Dr. George Sowers, VP of Human Launch Services at ULA back to the show for a special one hour report on Atlas, Delta, human rating rockets, and much more.  Dr. Sowers started off by letting us know that ULA recently created the Human Launch Services Division with Dr. Sowers as the Vice-President.  Dr. Sowers then updated us on some of their more visible ULA activities since his last visit to The Space Show in January 2011, including probable SLS and Dream Chaser time lines, commercial crew participation and Orion tests in 2014.  We talked about the ULA role in commercial crew and what was needed to human rate the Atlas as well as the Delta IV.  I also asked about needed pad modifications for HSF with an Atlas and Dr. Sowers told us about modifications to Launch Complex 41 at the Cape for the upcoming crewed flights.  Listeners asked our guest lots of questions about safety, pad modifications, range safety issues, and the difference in human rating the Atlas as compared to a Delta.  Another question asked of our guest was to understand the contributing factors to the impressive launch success and safety rate for the Atlas rocket.  Dr. Sowers answered this in some detail with attention being paid to what is known at the 3 P’s.  Charles wanted to know about the Russian RD-180 engines & another listener wanted to know if ULA was feeling competitive “heat” from SpaceX. Yves in Montreal asked about the dual centaur having uses other than for commercial crew and Barbara wanted to know about the role of an Atlas for possible orbital tourism with a Bigelow space station module.  We talked about ULA’s potential interest in new spaceports which seem to be developing around the country, then I asked Dr. Sowers about what constituted a commercial space project. Here, we learned that commercial implies largely financed by private funds, not government money.  He said that EELV was developed by 80% private sector funding.  We also talked about the Arianne family of rockets and their pricing which is subsidized by European governments.  Dr. Sowers explained why it was so hard to compete against government subsidized pricing.  Another topic of interest in our discussion was launch vehicle market and pricing elasticity and how to drive up launch rates and lower launch costs.  We also talked about human spaceflight having the government as the primary leader for the market and cargo as having only an ISS market at this time.  On orbit propellant depots were discussed as was SLS and heavy lift.  As we neared the end of the hour, we talked about SRBs for the human rated Atlas.
     In our brief second segment, I went over the near term Space Show schedule and our last caller John from Florida called in to wonder if a real emergency came up if we would launch a crewed rocket/vehicle to try to save the ISS for example or would we be unwilling to take the risk and let the ISS deorbit in the example given.  Hopefully such a predicament does not arise.
     If you have comments/questions about our discussion with Dr. Sowers, please post them on The Space Show blog.