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Rand Simberg, Friday, 9-11-15 September 12, 2015

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 9-11-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2550-BWB-2015-09-11.mp3

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Guest: Rand Simberg. Topics: The Roadblock to Mars and Rand’s recent Kickstarter campaign success. 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 Rand Simberg back to the show to discuss his recent successful Kickstarter campaign, “Clearing The Roadblock To Mars.” Check it out at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1960236542/clearing-the-roadblock-to-mars. During the first segment of our 1 hour 32 minute show, Rand introduced us to the purpose of this campaign which was to show how much better and wiser NASA could use the funds now being spent on SLS. Or as Rand said throughout our discussion, to get more bang for the buck. Of course this assumes NASA would use the savings wisely. In this segment, Rand spent considerable time addressing the lack of SLS missions, the types of missions SLS might be used for but so far no such SLS missions have been settled on, plus he talked about having more efficiency by using smaller rockets, more launches and fuel depots. He also said we were not serious about space as evidence by the SLS program. Several listeners asked him about the trades between heavy lift and a smaller rocket, the risks involved, costs and more as this is a common debate topic in the industry. Rand said the debate would eventually be settled by market forces. I added in that the characteristics and performance of the rockets being used to settle the heavy lift or not question will also factor into any conclusions reached on this subject. Rand then talked about the Aerojet Rocketdyne announcement that they wanted to acquire ULA for $2 billion. This led to an additional discussion about the Atlas rocket, Russian rocket engines, Vulcan, and Blue Origin. He also answered specific questions about his Kickstarter project which he said was to show how much more could be done wit h the SLS money rather than spending it on SLS. In response to listener questions wanting him to compare SLS to Falcon Heavy, he said about three Falcon Heavy launches would equal one SLS launch. He advocated SpaceX do an Apollo 8 type of flight with the Falcon and Dragon but then said it probably would not happen because of their relationship with NASA.

As we started the second segment, Dr. Doug called from S. California to inquire about the technical capability of SLS and Falcon Heavy plus the ULA Vulcan medium to heavy lift rocket. In addition, Rand discussed the reusable Vulcan concept as compared to the SpaceX concept of landing on a barge. Rand was asked about the need for heavy lift for Mars. He made it clear he was not interested in Mars per se, instead, he wanted to lower the cost of space access to make it possible for anyone to go anywhere in the solar system, including Mars. Rand said over and over again that he was destination agnostic. He continued getting questions about heavy life vs. many smaller rocket launches. Rand said things like it was too risky to put all your eggs in one basket, i.e. the one big heavy lift launcher. Several listeners wanted to know the best path to try to influence the direction of space policy. Rand focused on congress and suggested visiting local congressional offices. Other listeners asked him about a possible increase in the NASA budget. He said money was not the issue for NASA. The issue was using the money wisely to do more with it than we are doing now. He repeated many times during the program that we were not going to have a replay of the Apollo program. Don’t miss his comments on this as they are scattered throughout our discussion. Near the end of the show, Rand was asked about the 2016 elections and space policy, rocket staging, even SSTO rocketry. When offering us concluding comments, he repeated we would not be repeating Apollo, that it was never that popular and much about it is a myth. Don’t miss what he had to say about the Apollo program and missions.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Rand can be reached through me or his blog, www.Transterrestrial.com.

 

Open Lines, Sunday, 11-2-14 November 3, 2014

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Open Lines, Sunday, 11-2-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2348-BWB-2014-11-02.mp3

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Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  SpaceShip2 accident, Antares accident, NewSpace, Legacy Space, ULA, Air Force, SpaceX & 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.

Welcome to our Open Lines show.  During our first segment of this 2 hour 20 minute program, we mostly talked about both the recent Antares rocket explosion a few seconds after launch and the Virgin Galactic SS2 accident resulting in the loss of one crew member.  After my opening statement about not engaging in accident speculation and my reading an op-ed by Dennis Wing on the accident titled “Thoughts on the SS2 Crash” (http://denniswingo.wordpress.com), we opened the lines for callers. Dr. Jurist called first to strongly urge against speculation.  Michael Listner called & updated us regarding the Air Force-SpaceX litigation, then Michael talked about the SS2 accident & to guard against speculation.  He did give us the relevant parts of the commercial space law pertaining to the Dept. of Transportation and FAA having regulatory oversight of the suborbital industry.  He cited 51 U.S.C. § 50903(c) & pointed out this paragraph:  “(c) SAFETY.-In carrying out the responsibilities under subsection (b), the Secretary shall encourage, facilitate, and promote the continuous improvement of the safety of launch vehicles designed to carry humans, and the Secretary may, consistent with this chapter, promulgate regulations to carry out this subsection.”  Dr. Rowe called and talked about cardiovascular risks for longer spaceflights as well as the problems associated with using pharmaceuticals in space.  Bill also addressed some space tourism issues.  During this segment, I read an anti-space tourism article from Wired.com which you will see on the Dennis Wingo Blog as Dennis commented on the Wired article.

In the second segment, Kirk called from Trinidad.  He mentioned the SR71 flight breakup with Bill Weaver and the loss of the other pilot, plus I asked questions about the interest in space in Trinidad.  Dr. Dwayne Day called next to resist speculation on the SS2 accident, plus he shared some of his experiences in accident investigation and how things progress as he was part of the Columbia investigation team.  We then talked about really bad network and cable news reporting on both the Antares rocket failure and the SS2 coverage.   Dwayne recently did a tour of SpaceX and ULA so he told us about each one and highlighted some of the differences that he saw regarding each company.  I think you will find this discussion very interesting.  Dwayne mentioned early commercial spaceflight history, problems, and setbacks as points of reference for us.  Tim called from Huntsville about the SS2 crash and the Russian engine used by Antares.  He wondered if the British Skylon space tourism vehicle would be an alternative.  SLS John was our final caller who again urged against speculation on the cause of the accident.  He mentioned risks to the space tourism industry and concluded saying what others have said and that is that rockets are a risky business no matter what.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach any of the callers or people mentioned on the show through me.

Robert Sackheim, Monday, 4-1-13 April 2, 2013

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Robert Sackheim, Monday, 4-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1986-BWB-2013-04-01.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Sackheim.  Topics:  Commercial space, propulsion, U.S. 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.

We welcomed Robert Sackheim to the program to discuss NASA, commercial space, the current state of rocket propulsion and advancements in the field.  During our first segment of this 1 hour 47 minute discussion, Mr. Sackheim talked about his background and experience at TRW, NASA MSFC, and his current consulting.  I asked him several questions about the current state of rocket propulsion. Bob had much to say about this, focusing on chemical rocket propulsion, satellite propulsion, electric propulsion, and the need for nuclear propulsion.  He talked about booster rockets, various rocket stages and their propulsion, rocket engines, and even SRBs.  Several questions came in asking him if we had the current technology for HSF to Mars or even the Inspiration Mars flyby mission talked about so much in the recent press.  Listeners wanted to know if our current levels of propulsion were up to the task.  After a rather thorough propulsion discussions, Bob turned to commercial space, lowering total space mission costs, regulatory policy, and commercial spaceports.  He also talked about budget issues and raised the question a few times as to why ten NASA centers were needed given their often overlapping, competitive, and duplicate work.

In our second segment, commercial space took the lead with a discussion on public/private partnerships & the belief that Americans can do anything if we set our mind to it, including space travel.  Of course here the problem as we know lies in leadership and today it appears that leadership in space & other areas is sparse at best.   Bob then focused on geo satellites and the increasing development and capabilities applicable to cubesats.  HSF came up for discussion as did the robotic missions. You might be surprised by what our guest had to say about HSF.  Other issues in this segment included the lunar space elevator, the congressional and NASA track record in canceling ongoing projects & taking lessons from history, SSP, & ways to reform & move NASA forward.  Bob spoke about evolving toward the old NACA model.  I asked about the impact of space advocacy from his perspective given his leadership experience and past positions in leading organizations and projects.  We also asked him about space tourism and hybrid rocket engines. He had much to say about hybrids, don’t miss the discussion.  Bob talked about the Falcon rockets, testing including static fire tests, and SRBs as related to the Constellation project and safety.  Toward the end, our guest was asked about NewSpace, fuel depots, & cryo transfer.  For closing comments, he talked about commercial space being the way to go & the path to our space future.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can reach Mr. Sackheim through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.