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Webinar: SLS Debate with John Hunt, Rick Boozer, Sunday, 11-16-14 November 17, 2014

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Webinar: SLS Debate with John Hunt, Rick Boozer, Sunday, 11-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2357-BWB-2014-11-16.mp3

http://vimeo.com/channels/thespaceshow — Video

 

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Guests:  Webinar with Rick Boozer, John Hunt.  Topics:  Our guests debated the merits of the SLS rocket.  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 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 Rick Boozer and John Hunt to the program for our special WEBINAR SLS Debate.  You can hear the audio only for this debate as you would any Space Show program.  The video can be found on our Vimeo Space Show Channel, http://vimeo.com/channels/thespaceshow.  Regarding the video, my microphone lock was not working so you will see the mic swing to in front of my face from time to time.  Also, I look down a bit as I take notes to be able to summarize  the discussion.  These issues will be corrected for the next webinar. Rick’s book on the subject, “The Plundering of NASA: An Expose” is available on Amazon.  If you purchase the book and I hope you do, please use the OGLF/Space Show Amazon portal so Amazon will make a contribution to TSS.  Instructions are on the website, the blog, and all program archive summaries.

During the first segment of our two hour webinar, both John and Rick made five minute opening statements followed by a 2.5 minute rebuttal of the position statement by the other guest.  Rick Boozer does not support SLS and John Hunt does support it.  John went first, putting forth a good summary of why he supports SLS, the benefits it provides, and the importance of the project.  Rick’s opening statement outlined why he opposes the SLS rocket, calling it an “existential threat.”  He also said SLS was a “rocket to nowhere.”  The opening statements provided the basic positions for both guests as they debated all aspects of SLS so do carefully listen to their respective position comments.  We took both calls and emails from listeners.  Evon emailed in wanting to know what the money saved from SLS would best be spent on.  John pointed out that there was no assurance that any savings would even be spent on space let alone his priorities.  While Rick agreed, he did list several projects he felt far more deserving of funding, including using the funds to speed up the commercial crew program since it has never been funded to the level requested by the President.  Rick took the opportunity to bring up cost plus contracting and why it was not suitable for a more mature manufacturing project, instead being best suited for R&D projects.  He said that was a driver in the high cost of SLS.  In contrast, John cited his aviation experience with the A12 and P7 aircraft using fixed price contracts, cancellations, and more.  Dr. Doug sent in a note asking about the fundamental need for a heavy lift rocket.  Our guests had a different take on Doug’s question so listen to how they answered it.  Rick pointed out the advantages of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy as compared to the initial SLS version.  In fact, comparisons to Falcon Heavy plus future SpaceX plans and public remarks made by Elon Musk were cited frequently by Rick throughout the program.  John, while applauding the SpaceX accomplishments so far, strongly suggested that we see what the performance actually is on the SpaceX  rockets yet to be tested & flown.  John said we should not be in a hurry to cancel SLS in favor of unproven and as of yet nonexistent technology.  Tim from Huntsville called during this segment to inquire about SLS in light of Falcon 9 success, reusability success and more.  John suggested that reusability would be an important step forward but wanted to wait to see what it looked like when & if it becomes operationally successful.

In the second half of our webinar, Dr. Doug called & inquired about both the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy as compared to SLS.  Rick referenced an Elon Musk MIT video talk, www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/elon-musk-mit-interview-video-24-oct-2014.  Rick referenced this talk several times during this segment.  Rick also said SLS would not be going anywhere as there was no budget for its completion.  He cited the references to back up his claims.  Doug also inquired about public/private partnerships, ULA working with Blue Origin, and ULA with Masten.  Andrew sent in an email asking each guest to outline a viable sequence of launch vehicle development and payloads using what hardware.  John took the opportunity to reply to Rick’s budget comments and said there was no way to know what a future congress and administration would do and he listed the rational for keeping SLS going given our state of uncertainty with many space and international issues.  Jerry called from Florida to inquire about the SpaceX super heavy rocket with methane engines as well as the possibility of using a Dragon as a lander.  Adrian emailed a question to our guests wondering if the Chinese lunar program would create a space race or urgency here in the U.S.  Rick then talked about the likelihood of SpaceX getting to deep space before NASA & this would be an embarrassment for NASA and the SLS/Orion gang.  John did agree that if that happened, it would be an embarrassment for NASA.  Kirk emailed in asking Rick about his opening statement when he said SLS would cause the US to rely on Russian in ways other than eating into the commercial budget. He wanted Rick to tell us the other ways such Russian reliance might unfold.  Listen to how Rick responded to Kirk’s question.  Each of our guests provided us with an excellent five minute closing statement.  Rick said the situation was very serious and had the potential to adversely impact the prominence and leadership of the U.S.  Don’t miss his concluding comments.  John reminded us that SLS was the program of record approved on a bipartisan basis, that it was important to have heavy lift capability, and that it preserved skills, work force talent, and needed capabilities for the nation for times when space would be better appreciated & valued.  He said the problems with SLS were all solvable & would be solved as the project moved forward.  Rick quickly got in a question on what capabilities were needed and being preserved!

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach each guest through me.

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Rick Boozer, Monday, 1-27-14 January 28, 2014

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Rick Boozer, Monday, 1-27-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2174-BWB-2014-01-27.mp3

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Guest:  Rick Boozer.    Topics:  SLS, NASA, Commercial Space, Space Development Steering Committee.  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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed back Rick Boozer to continue discussing his premise that congressional mismanagement as adversely impacted NASA and that money going to SLS is money better spent elsewhere.  During the first segment of this 1 hour 45 minute program, Mr. Boozer reintroduced his book to us (he was a guest on TSS regarding his book on August 12, 2013), talking to us about adverse congressional management of NASA the why he believe SLS is damaging to NASA.  Mr. Boozer is very effective in sating his case, with lots of passion.  He references earlier proposals by ULA and SpaceX to build larger heavy lift rockets than the full size SLS for a fraction of the SLS cost but those proposals were dismissed, paving the way for SLS.  We also talked about private sector efforts in making rockets rather than the government doing it, also COTS and Commercial Crew.  At times I countered Rick’s perspective with a few of the better known pro-SLS arguments such as SLS is a place holder for key parts of the aerospace workforce.  Don’t miss what Rick had to say about this idea.

In the second segment, Doug called in with SLS questions based on the assumption that SLS does fly.  Our guest talked about a heavy lifter not needed for the Moon but most likely needed for human spaceflight to Mars.  Another listener asked Rick if he had a Plan B if SLS continued to be funded.  Rick said the Plan B is today’s status quo.  During both segments of this program, our guest mentioned SLS & competing private heavy lift vehicle studies carried out by Dr. Alan Wilhite of Georgia Tech.  Rick provided me with several URLs to this information.  Check out this information at www.newspacewatch.com/docs/IAC-12.D3.2.3.x15379-NASAStudy.pdf & http://spirit.as.utexas.edu/~fiso/telecon/Wilhite_2-13-13/Wilhite_2-13-13.pdf.  Also, Rick suggested a debate on the SLS topic.  I would be willing to do a Space Show debate with Rick opposing SLS.  If you have a suggestion for someone to represent support for SLS, please let know.  Toward the end of the program, we asked Rick about his future book plans and he talked about a crowd funding program regarding the preservation of valuable astronomical data.  Also, visit Rick’s own blog, http://astromaven.blogspot.com.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Contact Rick through his blog or through me.  If you buy his book and I strongly suggest you do so, please go through the OGLF/The Space Show Amazon portal as described at www.thespaceshow.com, www.onegiantleapfoundation.org and all archive summaries on the website and blog, Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchase to The Space Show.

Rick Boozer, Monday, 8-12-13 August 13, 2013

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Rick Boozer, Monday, 8-12-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2067-BWB-2013-08-12.mp3

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Guest:  Rick Boozer.  Topics:  We discussed Rick’s book, “The Plundering of NASA: An Expose How Pork Barrel Politics Harm American Spaceflight Leadership,” SLS, space policy & 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed Rick Boozer to the program to discuss his new book, “The Plundering of NASA: An Expose How Pork Barrel Politics Harm American Spaceflight Leadership.”  The paperback version of the book is only available through Lulu Press at this time but the Kindle ebook is available through Amazon.  Remember, if you use the Amazon OGLF/Space Show instructions on our website & blog, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show.  Also, we apologize for audio issues due to cell phone usage with our guest and callers. During the first segment of our 1 hour 49 minute program, Rick introduced us to his book and I asked him to tell us why he structured the book as an exploration of certain common myths about many aspects of space, our space policy, engineering, economics, and physics.  Our guest suggested a lack of economic application and understanding  among certain levels of those making policy and working with rocket and mission design and he referenced an Air Force-NASA study on launch costs plus other facts in support of his research & discussion points.  His book is well documented so make sure you note his references, a few of which we talked about during our program.  Rick was asked about suborbital space but as we heard, his focus was on orbital.  He then mentioned SLS and various contracting options for commercial companies and NASA.  We received several email questions, including one that addressed FOIA limitations regarding NASA, launch cost data, and more.  The Ares rocket came up and Rick talked about going from Ares to SLS.

In the second segment, Rick continued the SLS architecture history and discussion & as it turned out, SLS, Falcon Heavy, heavy lift, and depots turned out to constitute most of the discussion for the remainder of our program.  Most of this discussion was not supportive of SLS for a variety of reasons. The discussion strongly supported the Falcon Heavy as being able to do any mission that might come up requiring heavy lift.  SpaceX reusability and first stage hovering was discussed, but listeners and our guest definitely focused on SLS costs or the absence of real SLS cost information.  John Strickland called in to provide his analysis of why SLS is flawed.  Doug called to ask about Earth-Moon commercial systems and keeping space infrastructure, etc. as a reason for SLS.  At my request, Rick clarified his position on these issues after Doug’s call.  Rick also cited the Kraft-Moser report on potential damage to space policy by SLS, plus we quickly went over other sections & topics in his book before the interview ended.  Near the end, we talked about advanced SpaceX manufacturing and cost reduction techniques.  As part of Rick’s closing comments, we talked about his PhD work, Magellanic Clouds, and more.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog. Rick’s website is http://astromaven.blogspot.com.