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Brian Mosdell, Friday, 9-21-12 September 22, 2012

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Brian Mosdell, Friday, 9-21-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1858-BWB-2012-09-21.mp3

Guest:  Brian Mosdell.   Topics: SpaceX Florida operations with Falcon 9, Dragon, Heavy, and more.  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 Brian Mosdell, Director of the SpaceX launch operations in Florida.  During our one hour discussion, we talked extensively about the Falcon 9, Dragon, Heavy, the upcoming Oct 7, 2012 launch to the ISS for a cargo resupply mission, and much more.  Other topics included getting ready for the Heavy, pad modifications, the Merlin engine 1.1 upgrade, launch range issues, human spaceflight safety, Congressional hearings on human spaceflight safety, and more.  Listeners asked many questions by both email and the toll free phone line.  Dragon life support issues were discussed along with possibly speeding up the human rating and Dragon HSF flights to the ISS. Brian said these matters were in the hands of NASA and others and then he told us the timeline they were currently working on.  We talked about the Soyuz problems and delays and asked if any of this would alter the timeline for commercial crew development.  We also talked about differences and preferences in contracting formats between the FAR & the SAA.  Another listener asked Brian to compare and contrast his work experience on the Delta launch vehicles and now the Falcon.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Additional potential commercial spaceports were discussed, including possibilities in Texas and Georgia.  A listener wanted to know about Falcon manufacturing facilities and how the Falcon 9 was transported to Florida.  Brian broke the process down into components and said it all goes by private carrier over land to Florida or Vandenberg, mainly from California to Texas & then on to the final destination.  Brian talked about the upcoming Falcon Heavy and he got several listener questions about it.  Toward the end, Brian provided us with a rough schedule of planned events that we should keep our eyes on for the next year to two.
     If you have comments/questions for Brian Mosdell, please post them The Space Show blog.  Emails to Brian can be sent to me for forwarding.

Cristina Chaplain, Friday, 8-3-12 August 4, 2012

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Cristina Chaplain, Friday, 8-3-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1828-BWB-2012-08-03.mp3

Guest:  Cristina Chaplain.  Topics:  Government Accountability Office (GAO) and its work for DOD military space, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), and NASA.  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 Cristina Chaplain to the program to discuss with us how the GAO works and what it does for space and NASA along with the DOD and MDA at the request of Congress.  Ms. Chaplain started with an overview of the GAO, its Congressional mandate followed by the use of examples to illustrate how the GAO operates.  Our guest referenced the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), NASA programming, & the fact that GAO investigations/audits are meant to answer the specific question being asked by Congress.  As you will hear during the show, this is important because the organization only addresses the question being asked regardless of it being the right question.  Make sure you note this discussion as it will likely impact how you process news reports about GAO reports in areas that interest you.  My suggestion is to go directly to the GAO website, www.gao.gov, find the report in question, then check to see what the GAO is answering in terms of the mandate given them by Congress.  During our initial segment, we discussed, the GAO Cost Estimating Guide and their Best Practices Guide. Cristina talked about the new EELV July 2012 study, EVOLVED EXPENDABLE LAUNCH VEHICLE: DOD Is Addressing Knowledge Gaps in Its New Acquisition Strategy.  You can find this study at www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-822. Ms. Chaplain also talked about the Bid Protest process, then I asked about GAO audits/investigations & about the new private space companies, SpaceX and the emerging new industry.  I also inquired about GAO findings regarding the use of the FAR contract as opposed to the SAA.  This is a most interesting discussion & analysis.  Later in the segment, Cristina received a question about the GAO role in the DOD EELV block buy program and if they considered the impact on the competition.

In the second segment, we talked about Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) & the GAO analysis, conclusions & FY 13 budget cuts.  This led us to talking about mission and program goals & is the project in question meeting these goals.  Return to the Moon and Constellation came up as did the Shuttle cancellation, along with questions pertaining to the MDA.  Whistle blowing was an important part of these discussions. Our final topics included vertical integration, suppliers, quality control, and the SLS program.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to email our guest, you can do so at chaplainc@gao.gov. You can also subscribe to GAO reports, including their specific space, defense, science & technology reports, www.gao.gov/subscribe/index.php.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 7-3-12 July 4, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 7-3-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1807-BWB-2012-07-03.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.   Topics:  Recent space news and announced projects.  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 Bob Zimmerman back to the show.  Check out his blog at www.behindtheblack.com.  We started off our first long segment (90 minutes) by mentioning the 50th anniversary of Telstar 1, the death of our friend, Al Zaehringer, AT&T and our early space program, plus the word coming from CERN that they may have found the Higgs-Boson particle.  I then asked Bob to comment on the global warming statements being made about the current East Coast heat wave, followed by comments by Newt about the power grid outages and a taste of what an EMP would be like.  We then turned to space and Bob talked about the recent success with Dragon and Falcon 9.  He then talked about government space programs as compared to private programs.  Throughout our 135 minute discussion, he reiterated his opposition to space programs, making it clear that he does not want a “program” and why.  Let us know on the blog if you agree with him.  Bob suggested we were in a period of space revolution and that it would be very exciting over the next five years.  He talked about SpaceX compared to the Russians and the Chinese.  He did say we were in competition with them for control of space and this led us to a discussion about culture and the space frontier.  We talked about recently announced projects, Planetary Resources, Mars One, and one by the B612 Foundation.  He thought B612 was the only real one of the three.  Terry called from Texas to discuss using an Orion for a LEO mission, the Falcon Heavy for a Moon mission, Delta IV heavy and SLS.  Jerry called in from Florida and among our topics were frontier development, the Oregon Trail, the CERN reactor in Switzerland rather than in Texas, and more.  No space programs per Bob’s preferences again came up.  Let us know your thoughts about these issues on the blog.  As the segment ended, Bob was asked about Skylon which was the subject of yesterday’s program.

Tim’s call started our second segment & he asked about a lox paraffin hybrid rocket motor. We also talked about the space shuttle & its capabilities.  While Bob praised aspects of shuttle, he said the program was a failure.  I did not agree with him but listen and let us know what you think regarding this issue. Note that as the program ended, Martin sent us info on the hybrid motor mentioned earlier by Tim so check out  www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9erCLJ5KVg as Brian Cantwell delivered a presentation at Stanford on the state of the art of hybrid rockets.  Bob then updated us on the bat situation with the white nose fungus. As our program ended, Bob talked about upcoming events starting with Orbital’s Cygnus/Antares debut, Dream Chaser and other competitors.  He had some brief comments about the suborbital industry and citizen science projects and concluded by saying we were no longer in a holding pattern re commercial space.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on our blog.