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Open Lines, Monday, 12-26-11 December 27, 2011

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Open Lines, Monday, 12-26-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1678-BWB-2011-12-26.mp3

Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Elon Musk New Scientist interview on his Mars plans, rocket development costs, policy issues.  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.  The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  We welcomed the final 2011 Open Lines program.  During our two hour discussion with one break, I outlined discussion topics up front but as you will hear, one topic struck home. Listeners wanted to talk about the New Scientist interview with Elon Musk entitled “I’ll Put Millions of People on Mars, says Elon Musk.”  You can read the full interview on The Mars Society website, www.marssociety.org/home/press/news/illputmillionsofpeopleonmarssayselonmusk.  Callers honed in on the reported development costs for the Mars spaceship ranging from the $2-$5 billion.  Those that called the program thought this was inadequate funding.  At one point I looked up the development costs for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner which so far was estimated at $32 billion.  Since all of us thought a Mars spaceship was more complicated and involved in R&D than a new Boeing jetliner, listeners seemed to be more convinced that the projected costs were too low.  One listener brought up the costs of military projects such as the F22, the JSF, nuclear powered carriers and submarines, etc.  Another listener wanted to know if Space X was planning to open up additional launch sites to those that are publicly known.  In the second longer segment, not only did the military hardware come up for cost comparisons, but John in Atlanta wanted to talk about the Space News Op-Ed by Christopher Kraft (http://spacenews.com/commentaries/111219-nasa-needs-wake-reality.html).  Mr. Kraft wrote about the need to internationalize projects and make use of publicly available international hardware rather than build the SLS.  Tim called in from Huntsville to talk about the Musk interview, the rocket development costs, and using space resources to lower the costs.  He even suggested Elon make use of the QuickLaunch idea to put lox/kerosene in orbit for refueling.  Dr. Jurist called in to talk about the human factors for a Mars mission and that they seem to be understated by the Mars advocates.  Dr. Jurist speculated that it might take 5-10 years just to be able to address most of the human factor issues, not including what might be involved in implementing solutions.  We then talked about Stratolaunch and air launch.  We talked about the small payload capacity of the proposed vehicle and the need for multiple flight depending on the mission and the needed total payload.  Our next topic was yet another Soyuz failure and what this might mean for the ISS if the Soyuz problems are not fixed.  Terry called in again from Corpus Christi to talk about the Falcon 9 & Dragon flight in early February and how the success of the flight might become a driver for more commercial crew funding from the government.  With Dr. Jurist, we also explored the idea of inviting a certain UC Davis aerospace engineering professor to the program to discuss horizontal versus vertical launch and reusability.  I concluded this program with my own wish list for more civility within our space advocacy family and for real leadership with responsibility and accountability to emerge at all levels in Washington, DC, not just for space, but for the future of our nation.  If you have comments or questions, post them on The Space Show blog URL above.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Wednesday, 12-21-11 December 22, 2011

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Wednesday, 12-21-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1676-BWB-2011-12-21.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space Act Agreement, private compared to government space, Kepler planet discovery, bats.  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. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  Merry Christmas to all of you from The Space Show.  We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the show for policy, news, and bat updates.  Make sure you visit his blog for interesting and timely news and posts, http://behindtheblack.com. We started our two hour discussion with Bob saying that NASA reverting back to using the SAA instead of the FAR was perhaps the most significant moment in space since the Apollo landings. Listen to his explanation which he talked about multiple times during the program. Do you agree?  In talking about the SAA, we also talked about the new NASA budget of $406 million for crew, including the amounts already allocated, leaving about $100 million less for the companies.  We talked about the need to have launch competition with at least two companies.  In addition, since NASA will “certify” the private HSF vehicles, we talked about what that might be like and the continued control over the companies by NASA.  As you will hear over and over again, Bob does not look favorably on government space programs and believes the future is to be found within the private sector.  Do you agree with Bob?  Another point Bob made in discussing the SAA was that it probably sounded the death knell for SLS.  Again, listen to what he had to say on this subject.  Kelly called in and sent us information about another effort to commercialize the remaining two space shuttles.  We talked about this and similar plans in detail.  The new Stratolaunch concept came up and Bob got a few questions about air launch and the performance gain from doing an air launch. Our discussion closed in the management team involved in the project as being a “dream team.”  In the second segment, we talked about the new Earth-like planet discoveries by the Kepler Space Telescope, including two in the habitable zone.  Later, we talked about human rating the Atlas and Delta rockets, and the DOD-ULA deal which may not happen.  Listeners asked Bob about the Russian space program in light of Phobos-Grunt, about SETI, and even possible one way missions to Mars.  Alistair asked about the possible impact on US policy makers if China was about to go to the Moon & establish a lunar base.  Later we talked about Telstar, ATT, airmail, and space politics..  We concluded with a bat update on White Nose Syndrome.  Bob suggested three areas to look for in 2012: the Falcon 9 launch, the test flight of Antares, and Virgin Galactic SS2 engine tests and flights.  Please post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.

John Batchelor “Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-21-11 December 22, 2011

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John Batchelor “Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 12-21-11

Special Guest:  Mike Gold, Bigelow Aerospace

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1675-BWB-2011-12-21.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Mike Gold, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  John Bachelor discussed Bigelow Aerospace and NASA’s deciding to go with the Space Act Agreement for continued commercial contracting.  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. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  As many of you know, I have been doing a weekly eleven minute segment on the John Batchelor Radio Show with Mr. Batchelor on various space topics. Sometimes I appear with John as the only guest on the segment, at other times I co-host the segment with John and bring on board an expert in the subject being discussed. Mr. Batchelor has given The Space Show permission for these segments to be archived on The Space Show site and blog. Mr. Batchelor calls these segments “Hotel Mars” and they are targeted toward his significant live and podcast highly educated general audience. Find out more about the excellent John Batchelor Show and listen to his archived segments at http://johnbatchelorshow.com. You can hear the live stream of his show if it is not carried live in your radio market at http://www.wabcradio.com/article.asp?id=531472. For this segment of Hotel Mars, his special guest was Mike Gold of Bigelow Aerospace. John and I discussed the BA 330 expandable habitat with Mike, the need for commercial crew transportation to the ISS, and Bigelow Aerospace readiness were there available rides to space for Bigelow space stations, crew & passengers.  We talked about NASA’s decision to stay with the Space Act Agreement for contracting, NASA certification, and the allocation of the NASA commercial crew budget of $406 million, much of which is already allocated.  Other topics in this 11 minute plus segment included the Falcon 9, human rating the Atlas or Delta, and even international launch options if U.S. launchers are not available.  Please post your comments/questions on the blog.  If you want to send a note to Mr. Batchelor or Mike Gold, send it to me and I will forward it for you. Special thanks to Dr. Charles Lurio of the Lurio Report for suggesting this program to me.

Dr. Jeff Bell, Friday, 12-9-11 December 9, 2011

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Friday, 12-9-11

(Note: This interview aired live on 11/30/11)

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1669-BWB-2011-12-09.mp3

GuestSearch:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Phobos Grunt mission, space policy, commercial crew, rocket reusability & 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. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign . Please note that this program was recorded live on Nov. 30, 2011 and is being archived today, Dec. 9, 2011.  We welcomed Dr. Jeff Bell back to the show for a wide ranging discussion on multiple topics starting with the troubled Russian Phobos Grunt Mission.  This Space Show  program is vintage Jeff Bell with something to say about most everything, hard hitting, critical, take no prisoners, and of course, thought provoking. Dr. Bell started our discussion talking about the Phobos-Grunt Mission.  To put it in context with Russian lunar & planetary missions, he gave us a brief history of the Russian exploration program starting in 1958.  This is an interesting history lesson you do not want to miss. In bringing the history current to Phobos Grunt, the problems faced by the Russian program seem a bit clearer.  We then talked about some of the many space blog comments with suggestions for rescuing or saving the mission and he totally debunked them.  Jeff mentioned shuttle rescues, X-37B rescues, even Virgin suborbital rescues.  He also mentioned some of the conspiracy theories out there (he spent more time on them later in our discussion),  finger pointing the blame for the mission problems.  Next, Dr. Bell addressed the recent SpaceShipTwo drop test that was a problem and he wasted no time in stating what is wrong with the SS2 design as well as what he said was a problematic track record for the project.  He also had much to say about the use of composites and fundamental design flaws.  Space debris issues came up and Dr. Bell referenced USA 193.  Terry called in to ask about the hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide (NTO) or nitric acid on board Phobos Grunt. When we started the second segment, Dr. Bell again went over the conspiracy theories re Phobos Grunt that appeared in some news articles.  One he mentioned was the HARP theory which he debunked as well as the biological warfare theory.  We then talked about commercial crew and Dr. Bell said Congress does not want it to be successful and he explained why.  Near the end of this discussion, Trent called in from Australia.  He wanted to know at what point Jeff thought commercial crew was changing from maybe working out to going down for the count.  What was the turning point for our guest?  During their exchange, Jeff said that space travel was not politically important anymore, instead political pork was the priority.  Trent mentioned his blog, QuantumG, http://quantumg.blogspot.com.  Check it out for his comments on Space X, Commercial Crew and more.  Jeff read his Space X comments and then started discussing the Space X reusability plan.  As the program ended, we talked about the JWST and I asked Dr. Bell what part of the space program he liked, if any.  He did have something he liked, the science and robotic missions.  If you have a comment/question for Dr. Bell, please post it on the blog URL and I will make sure he sees it.