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Wayne Eleazer, Monday, 11-16-15 November 17, 2015

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Wayne Eleazer, Monday, 11-16-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2586-BWB-2015-11-16.mp3

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Guest:  Wayne Eleazer. Topics:  Launch failures and why they happen.  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 Wayne Eleazer to the show to discuss the history and why of rocket launch failures per the many articles he has written over the years on these subjects for The Space Review.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 58 minute discussion, Wayne started us off responding to my question about the most dramatic launch failure he has seen or studied.  He talked about a spectacular Titan failure so don’t miss his story.  Michael Listner called and talked about many topics including Air Force mishap reports.  What Wayne had to say about the mishap reports and the Air Force candor regarding launch failures was very interesting and informative.  Wayne introduced us to the Oops Factor regarding failures, a concept he used in an earlier Space Review article.  This refers to one thing causing the launch failure but the people down the line with oversight responsibility all miss it or “oops!”  SpaceX and the Falcon 9 problems came up many times but here Wayne talked about the needed culture in a company to deal with launch failures, learn from them, and work to keep them from happening again.  He thought SpaceX was doing all of that.  He also talked about Orbital ATK and the Antares and their culture, then I asked him about the SpaceShip2 failure/accident.  Near the end of the first segment, Jay asked Wayne if military rockets had similar launch failure problems.  Wayne’s response about the military rocket motor, its reliability, testing, and costs was most illuminating.  As we learned, the military rocket motor stands alone in quality.

In the second segment, Wayne was asked if he could spot trends that cause launch failures over and over again.  He said no but listen to his complete answer.  He called this the “Predictables” and is completing a new Space Review article on this subject.  He listed several examples including his use of the Challenger loss as well as Delta and Atlas failures.  I asked him if on the military side, there were consequences for military personnel with responsibility and oversight duties, maybe a demotion, court martial, anything.  You might be surprised by his answer to this question.  We talked more about the Falcon 9 and EELVs in this segment, plus the old Thor and the Atlas.  Barry asked Wayne about Russian launch failures.  Wayne talked about the Russian culture and problems.  Near the end, he said EELV reliability was improving.  He made some additional Atlas and Falcon 9 comparisons, then I asked if there was an expected failure rate for these rockets.  Wayne suggested if a company survives ten launches, their odds for survival improve greatly.  Doug asked about fairing issues. Wayne talked about the ways that a fairing can open up and we talked about the recent Taurus failures due to fairing problems.  Doug followed up his question asking about the reliability for the Falcon Heavy.  Wayne had much to say about reliability and strap on rockets &the odds of a failure by strapping rockets together.  You might be surprised by what he said.  I asked him about modular all purpose, all mission rockets, complexity vs. simplicity, small start-up launch operations and the SLS.  In concluding the show, he talked about the value in understanding launch failures.  He talked about education on launch failures and why it has been so hard for people to be open minded and learn from rocket failures.  At one point, he mentioned an older German rocket company building an ugly pipe rocket, OTRAG.

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

Charles (Charlie) Precourt, Friday, 8-7-15 August 8, 2015

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Charles (Charlie) Precourt, Friday, 8-7-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2521-BWB-2015-08-07.mp3

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Guest: Charlie Precourt. Topics: Human spaceflight, SLS-Orion, Mars, Moon, technology & 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. 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 Charlie Precourt back to the show to discuss SLS-Orion progress and milestones, human spaceflight, technology advancement, & much more. During our one segment 63 minute discussion, I first asked out guest about the Orbital ATK merger and business under the combined companies. We soon shifted to the SLS-Orion discussion which included information on the 5 segment solid rocket booster (SRB), tonnage to escape which our guest explained, possible missions, and opportunities that will become available as a result of having this heavy lift rocket available for missions that need the lift & high energy capacity of SLS. We talked about shorter travel times, larger payload mass & volume, plus higher energy transfer orbits using SLS as compared to an EELV. Charlies was asked about SRB safety for human spaceflight. Don’t miss his comments on this issue. He talked at length about the benefits of marrying the SRB for lift out of a gravity well to liquids for propulsion once in space. Our guest provided statistics on SRB launches and uses to support what he was telling us. Charlie also talked about his Space Shuttle flight experience and the Shuttle’s SME, especially when there was an SME problem on one of his shuttle flights. We talked about going BLEO and he introduced us to the concept of One Space. As a result of listener questions, our guest talked about SLS costs, its design for multiple destinations and missions, and the launch “sweet spot” that it would fill. BJohn asked if there were uses for an SRB or solid rocket motor in space. Charlie said for liftoff from a gravity well, yes, but otherwise the SPI for a solid was likely too low for in-space propulsion. I asked our guest about Orbital ATK meeting the SLS -Orion milestones and upcoming flight testing. Jeff from Tucson called in about the use of modern technology including light weight epoxy material for SRBs & other spaceflight hardware. Near the end of the program, I asked Charlie about the justification for HSF to see what he had to say about it. Don’t miss his reply. We then talked about technology challenges in going to Mars, choices that were made to do the shuttle and ISS over deep space missions, and destinations that were still Earth dependent as compared to those being Earth independent such as Mars. Jack emailed in a question based on a show earlier in the week where the guest said that for putting SPS infrastructure in space, SLS was too sophisticated. What was needed was big rockets that had a 2% failure rate as that rocket would be lots cheaper than an SLS. Charlie did not specifically comment on SPS infrastructure but did take issue with the notion that it would be fine to have a rocket with a high failure rate to make it cheaper than something like SLS. Listen to how he explained this. Tell us what you think on TSS blog. As the show was about to end, a listener ask Charlie, based on his F15, Air Force, and test pilot experience, what he thought of the new F35 Joint Strike Fighter and the shortcomings of the new fighter that are reported in the press. Charlie had interesting comments about this so don’t miss them.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Charlie Precourt through The Space Show.