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Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14 November 15, 2014

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 11-14-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2356-BWB-2014-11-14.mp3

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Guest:  Rand Simberg.  Topics:  Test flights, space tourism, policy, recent accidents,  rockets, rocket motors, heavy lift & 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 Rand Simberg back to the show for a wide ranging discussion on top space news items, the SS2 accident update, space policy issues, and more.  During the first segment of this 96 minute program, Rand led off with the mentioning of the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 12 launch.  Next up was a short discussion about Comet 67P and the Philae lander, then Rand mentioned his current article in PJ Media, http://pjmedia.com/blog/commercial-spaceflights-terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-last-week-of-october.  Rand talked about what is currently known about the SS2 accident, the NTSB investigation, & that nothing has been ruled out as a cause or partial cause for the accident.  When asked if he thought the accident would cause the FAA to start regulating the industry, he did not think so but listen to his reply.  This topic also came up in the last segment of our show. Rand mentioned that XCOR was moving ahead & there technology is different from the one employed by Virgin.  He also made a point of explaining multiple times that a test flight was not a commercial flight.  Rand got some listener emails about investment in Virgin and if it was waning.  Helen emailed in asking about a possible lapse in the Virgin safety culture.  Carl emailed in about the impact of the SS2 accident on Spaceport America.  We switched gears and talked about Antares, the Orbital-ATK merger, & the use of Russian rocket motors.

In the second segment, Rand was asked about the possible impact on Virgin’s customer base.  Rand said that the bigger risk was the investment risk.  The RD180 came up again as did the Atlas 5, Delta 4, and the Falcon 9.  We talked about possible midterm election impact and here Rand thought there might be more impact on the DOD side than NASA.  We discussed projects that might be cancelled as a result of the election and the ARM topped the list.  he did talk SLS and thought that eventually it would be shut down, especially if SpaceX gets Falcon Heavy flying.  Rand also mentioned the NRC Pathways Human Spaceflight Study but was critical of it, especially the part that said there had been no and will be no launch vehicle advances for the past 30 years.  Dr. Lurio was our first caller & he wanted to discuss possible FAA regulations, his understanding of the test flight vs. commercial flight policy application & more.  They talked about hybrid rocket motor vibrations and the unknowns regarding the current test flight.  Toward the end of their discussion they joked about using SLS to launch many many cubesats.  Kirk emailed us with a question about methane engine.  Rand had much to say about methane rocket motors so don’t miss his reply.  Rand talked about hybrid rocket motors and some of their problems, specifically for SS2 and Dream Chaser.  I asked our guest about the upcoming Orion test flight and the heat shield comments offered earlier in the week by Bob Zimmerman.  I then asked if he thought there would be a surge in return to the Moon projects.  Michael Listner called in regarding the likelihood of safety regulations coming to pass as a result of the accident.  Rand and Michael had an active discussion about this possibility.  As the program was ending, Rand talked about his book, “Safe Is Not An Option” which is available online and in the ebook format.  Remember, if you buy it through the OGLF Amazon portal, Amazon makes a contribution to TSS.  Rand mentioned he might update the book once the NTSB report on the accident is finalized.  Read Rand’s blog, Transterrestrial Musings at  http://transterrestrial.com.

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

Rand Simberg, Monday, 6-9-14 June 10, 2014

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Rand Simberg, Monday, 6-9-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2259-BWB-2014-06-09.mp3

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Guest:  Rand Simberg.   Topics:  HSF safety, risk taking, our space dependency on Russia, and much 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 Rand Simberg for a 1 hour 36 minute discussion regarding our HSF dependency on Russia, risk taking space safety, and more.  In our first segment, Rand talked about his book, “Safe Is Not An Option” (see http://www.safeisnotanoption.com), as well as his pointing out that what he said in his book about our growing dependence on Russia for our HSF is coming to pass.  This led to a discussing of the Sen. Shelby language in the proposed NASA funding appropriations bill to account for fixed costs in a similar way such costs are accounted for in the FAR.  Rand summarized his HSF safety comments by repeating one of his better known statements that many of us agree with, that is HSF is not important!  He discussed his meaning of this statement throughout today’s program.  Rand talked about HSF being worth the risk, 16 years of ISS and only now starting to do useful things, one of which he identified as an important drug project for curing MSRA.  This discussion prompted several listener emails including one from Jim asking if we were seeing the end of NASA/government HSF?  Tony asked Rand what he would favor were he the supreme space dictator of the country.  Rand suggested returning to the old NACA model.  Later, he said HSF is not a mature industry and compared to the 1920s airplane design as that is where spaceflight design is today.  He had much to say about safety as a priority and safety regulations.

In the second segment, Ben asked him about SpaceX being qualified for AF spy satellite launches.  I asked Rand about the Dragon V2 as he was present at the unveiling.  He went inside the capsule and shared his perspectives with us.  Space settlement came up and Rand received many email questions referring to it.  He was asked about SpaceX fast tracking Dragon V2 depending on what happens with the Russians.  We talked about influencing congress and Rand suggested writing to members of congress as the count is totaled by the members.  Given the overall low numbers for the space advocacy community, getting letters to congress is important.  Near the end of the segment, he was asked about Inspiration Mars and Mars One, he talked about the serious need for a gravity lab to determine the minimal gravity prescription.  Before our discussion ended, we talked about the NRC Pathways study on HSF and Mars.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can contact Rand through his book website, Transterrestrial Musings (www.transterrestrial.com), or me.

Rand Simberg, Bill Simon, EVOLOTERRA, Tuesday, 7-16-13 July 17, 2013

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Rand Simberg, Bill Simon, EVOLOTERRA, Tuesday, 7-16-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2050-BWB-2013-07-16.mp3

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Guests:  Rand Simberg, William (Bill) Simon.  Topics.  We talked about Evoloterra (www.evoloterra.com) & its meaning.  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 Rand Simberg and Bill Simon for our annual Evoloterra program which remembers and honors the first time humans left Earth for another planet.  Apollo 11 launched for the Moon on July 19, 1969 and landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969.  You can learn more about Evoloterra and actually do the ceremony this Saturday evening, July 20, with your friends and families by visiting www.evoloterra.com.  Click on the astronaut’s helmet to go to the pdf of the Evoloterra ceremony.

In the first segment of our 1 hour 33 minute program, we started out by asking Rand if his new book, “Safe Is Not An Option: Overcoming The Futile Obsession With Getting Everyone Back Alive That Is Killing Our Expansion Into Space” was completed and if he would have it with him for autograph sales at the upcoming NewSpace Conference. Rand and Bill talked about the focus of the book for those not familiar with it, I offered Rand comments from various Space Show guests, and we then connected the dots with the primary focus of the book to the purpose of our program tonight, Evoloterra.  You can find out more about Rand’s book by visiting http://safeisnotanoption.com.  Bill and Rand then discussed Evoloterra and its significance, plus they talked about the story being told in Evoloterra from the beginning of Earth 14 billion years or so ago to our first leaving Earth for the Moon. This year, we wove in space policy, the budget, and also human spaceflight risk taking which is what Rand talks about in his book.  Rand repeated many times over what he has been saying for a long time, including on The Space Show, that space is not important to the policy planners in the government unless they have space jobs in their districts.  Rand brought up the issue of space settlement and he cited Steve Wolfe’s new book, “The Obligation,” as a must read on the subject.  Listeners asked about the ceremony, & if it was attempting to make space & the Moon landing into some sort of religion.  Rand talked then talked about government policies that took us to the Moon for the wrong reasons (military in the Cold War) and subsequent policies that have hobbled us in opening up the space frontier.  As the segment was ending, our guests talked about Evoloterra celebrating a long time line of individual accomplishments, all of which together, enabled us to leave Earth for the Moon for the first time.

In our shorter second segment, our guests talked about delegating space policy to congressional committees and what the significance of doing that has meant for space policy.  They spoke about the VAB at KSC and our failure to make use of it to maximize our space policy after the Apollo program ended.  Rand had more to say about our Cold War policy and its impact on space policy and development.  He suggested there have been many possible alternative trajectories for technology development over the years which we missed out on.  Our guests talked about the fact that the entrepreneurs will lead the way to space development but they also explained the ongoing importance of constructive government policy.  In response to several questions, our guests said many times over that the Evoloterra ceremony does not solve problems and we should not expect it to influence policy makers.  Rand mentioned an earlier Evoloterra Space Show program where we read the ceremony. You can find that program at http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1818-BWB-2012-07-20.mp3.  Margaret Jordan, the additional Evoloterra author was with us for this program and the reading of the Evoloterra ceremony.

If you have comments/questions for our guests, please post them on The Space Show blog.  You can email Rand & Bill through me.

Rand Simberg, Tuesday, 6-25-13 June 26, 2013

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Rand Simberg, Tuesday, 6-25-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2036-BWB-2013-06-25.mp3

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

Guest:  Rand Simberg.   Topics:  Rand’s new book release, “Safe Is Not An Option,” human spaceflight potential regulation.  Please direct all comments/questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments & questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright & 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 of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.   Please remember that your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm).

We welcomed Rand Simberg back to the program for this 1 hour 47 minute discussion regarding his about to be released book, “Safe is Not An Option.”(http://safeisnotanoption.com).  Check out the book summary: http://safeisnotanoption.com/book-summary.  During our first hour, Rand explained the production challenges he has had with the book, the name change from last fall, & delays. He compared similarities with a book printing production run to the launch/flight rate.  With both he said one needs to get the rate way up there for economies of scale.  For the balance of our discussion, we talked about human spaceflight risk taking, the regulatory environment of today, &  potential risks to this regulatory environment down the road after 2015.  Rand supports individual choice & believes that regulation regarding flight safety would be detrimental to this developing industry. The subtitle of the book makes Rand’s case:  “Overcoming The Futile Obsession With Getting Everyone Back Alive That Is Killing Our Expansion Into Space.” Jim emailed to ask Rand to compare the risk taken by Virgin & XCOR flight participants with risky terrestrial ventures.  Rand suggested this would depend on the informed consent documents required under current FAA regulations.  Trent asked about one way trips to Mars & Mars One.  This brought up the discussion of space ethics & the Mars One position of pregnancy & childbirth as an ethical issue, not a personal choice issue as is the decision to do a one way trip to Mars.  Rand stressed that his book has to do with people taking their own risk, not the government, regulators, or policy makers dictating risk taking.

In the second segment, we fielded several questions from Curt on risk taking & Congress, plus he asked Rand about the nomad gene.  Another listener emailed in a question focused on the role of the media in helping to make space important beyond the space community.  Another listener wanted to know if Rand could see a day where to avoid government regulation, private human spaceflight would take place outside the United States.  I asked Rand about feedback he has received regarding his book & thesis, his interest in a Washington, DC media event upon the book’s release, selling the book at the upcoming NewSpace 2013 Conference, & if in his research, he came across papers, books, or other works advocating similar positions to his. During the entire discussion, Rand repeated his understanding that space is not important to the policy makers.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. Rand can be reached through his own blog on the About page at Transterrestrial Musings at www.transterrestrial.com.