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Col. Carol Welsch (USAF), Monday, 7-9-12 July 10, 2012

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Col. Carol Welsch (USAF), Monday, 7-9-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1810-BWB-2012-07-09.mp3

Guest:  Col. Carol Welsch (USAF).  Topics:  Space Development & Test Directorate, Space Test Program, DOD small satellite launch assist programs.  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 Col. Welsch back to The Space Show to discuss the Air Force Space Development & Test Directorate, the Space Test Program, and other DOD launch and small satellite assist programs.  During our first segment, Col. Welsch introduced us to the program and we talked about several of their satellite projects, their R&D program, and their launch and satellite parameters for participating in their program.  We talked about civilian as well as Air Force career opportunities within this Directorate.  Civilian jobs are listed at www.USAjobs.gov site under the name of this directorate.  We also talked about funding and congressional budget cuts, the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program and office, as well as the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).  We took listener calls and emails about the hyperspectral imaging (ARTEMIS) satellite, TacSat-3, and even the Civil Air Patrol and their airborne imaging sensor.  We talked about university launches, the requirements for their participation and even the need for security clearances as warranted by the specific project.  As this segment ended, Jack asked about suborbital launches and the emerging suborbital industry.

In our second segment, we talked about the future of ORS and the FY 13 proposed budget cuts.  We talked about the Army getting back into the small satellite business with KESTREL EYE and the Air Force support to the Army in these satellite programs.  I asked Col. Welsch about future plans five years out and longer and we got a glimpse of their strategic planning ideas and projects.  We talked about the possible use of foreign launchers and their educational outreach programs to school kids.  A caller asked about the Space Experiments Review Board and another wanted more information about the use of sounding rockets with NASA or in the private sector. We learned that the lead period for a NASA sounding rocket could be two years and cost a few million dollars.  If the emerging suborbitals can do the mission, this will be a real cost plus for the program and save it lots of lead time.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to reach Col. Welsch, please send your email to me and I will forward it to her.

Dr. Perry Ballard, Friday, 1-13-12 January 13, 2012

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Dr. Perry Ballard, Friday, 1-13-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1689-BWB-2012-01-13.mp3

 Guest:  Dr. Perry Ballard.  Topics:  Space Test Program, Secondary payload capacity 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 Dr. Perry Ballard, Chief Engineer, DOD Manned Spaceflight Payloads Office, Space and Missile Systems Center, JSC.  Dr. Ballard began our discussion with an overview of the DoD Space Test Program (STP), why it was created, its purpose, and some of the experiments that have flown with great success because of STP efforts.  Dr. Ballard also spoke about the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) imaging spectrometer mission which with the help of STP flew on the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) on the ISS.  Dr. Ballard responded to listener questions about the impact on STP of budget cuts as well as payload capacity downgrades due to the retirement of the shuttle.  You might be surprised by his response to these questions.  Another issue that was addressed was the NASA two year integration period for ISS missions.  Lots of questions came in about this, most wondering if a private company such as Bigelow could substantially reduce the two year period.  This prompted a more thorough discussion about integration and each rocket’s environment as well as the way it rides.  Professor Fevig from UND Space Studies asked about opportunities for student-built spacecraft to be launched as a secondary payload into GTO.  Launching to GTO, specifically cubesats, also turned into a significant discussion that you will not want to miss. At the end of this segment, Perry received some questions about assisting with payloads for sounding rockets.  In his response, he said they also work with balloon launches and sometimes even with high altitude aircraft. 

In our second segment, we talked about secondary payload capacity and the need for the payloads to be ready when the capacity is ready.  If the payloads are not ready, the capacity can go elsewhere.  This is quite a challenge for the university and cubesat community.  When you listen to what Dr. Ballard had to say about this issue, some of the challenges, the relationships with payloads, integration, timing, missions, and orbital dynamics, will become much clearer.  Later in this segment, Perry was asked about STP using foreign launchers and also finding rides for foreign payloads. 

In our final segment, we talked about the work of his office with the amateur satellite network, the challenges to provide ground stations for schools, and to increase broadband capacity.  He talked about the mission priority list he gets that he has to work with and the priorities for science missions above all else. Later in this segment, he put forth his own idea of getting sponsors, Space Grant, and others to supply rocket motors to student groups, classes, organizations, to help inspire students by actually doing things rather than just hearing a lecture or reading a book.  See what you think of his idea and run with it if you like it.  His idea is centered around getting students to build spacecraft, to bend metal so to speak.  Since the rocket motor may be the most expensive part needed, if it can be furnished by a sponsor, he believes it can be a driver for STEM education at different grade levels through college.  If you have comments or questions for Dr. Perry Ballard, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  Any notes you have for Dr. Ballard can be sent through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.