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John Powell, Tuesday, 4-15-14 April 16, 2014

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John Powell, Tuesday, 4-15-14


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Guest:  John Powell.   Topics:  Updates on JP Aerospace and the Airship To Orbit program.  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 John Powell back to the show for updates and news with JP Aerospace. For more information, visit http://www.jpaerospace.com. Be sure to click on the Blog button at the top for even more information.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 32 minute discussion, John updated us with an overview of JP Aerospace. He has 160 missions to date & now flies PongSat missions with up to 2,000 PongSats on the flight.  I asked him how the students prepared their experiments using a ping pong ball.  We learned that the balloon typically climbs at 1,000′ per minute for a 110 minute flight to the designated altitude.  The entire trip including the landing is about 2.5 hours.  John also described the PongSat kit and all the benefits the student gets, plus he explained to us that his commercial projects, of which there are many, goes pays for the PongSats which are always free to the students.  This is his 10th year of doing PongSats but just before our break, I was surprised to hear that John has been working JP Aerospace for 37 years, starting when he was a teenager getting NASA contracts!  I next asked him for an update on his Airship To Orbit (ATO) plans.  John spent some time talking about ATO, including responding to listener questions about the likely impossibility of an airship being able to go to orbit.  This is debated in the second segment with John from Ft. Worth.  Back to our initial segment, he talked about making equipment for testing such as the Shock tube which he hoped to get up to Mach 4 in testing.  We talked about manned flight for JP Aerospace, then John told us about the submarine he was designing for use off Monterrey.  He had much to say about the sub, including the fact that its life support systems are the same as those in the ATO.  John spent some time explaining and describing the sub and outlining the mission for it.  John talked about using propellers to 90,000′, he talked about funding issues, and his volunteer labor force.  Before the break, we talked about his use of Kickstarter and his current campaign for September PongSats.

In the second segment, John spoke at length about his commercial projects and in specific the Corral Hamburger ad from Columbia (he said you could find the commercial on YouTube & he provided the search term for those interested).  He told another funny story about a live radio interview in Spain that went across Europe.  Listen for the punchline.  John from Ft. Worth called in and said he was taken back so to speak by the ATO plans which he thought were potentially possible though not possible in the way he understood physics.  The two John’s had a great discussion about this.  John Powell cited many examples of very high altitude balloons already having done some of the things he is working on doing with ATO.  Charles Pooley called next and said he still did not think ATO would work but did not revive his classic debate/argument with John on the subject.  Charles made a point of saying how impressed he was with JP success, programming and meetings its goals and missions.  He also applauded John for his being such a gentleman in their sometimes heated debate exchanges.  When asked about JP Aerospace around the world, John gave a shout out to those he knows in Poland.  For Pearls of Wisdom, John offered us “You Really Can Do This!”

Please post comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach John through his website or through me.