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Open Lines, Tuesday, 8-12-14 August 13, 2014

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Open Lines, Tuesday, 8-12-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2295-BWB-2014-08-12.mp3

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Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Space conferences, SLS, 3D Printing in space, launch systems & 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.

Welcome to this two hour open line discussion covering a wide range of space topics.  During the first segment which was half an hour, I introduced the program and some possible topics, plus I spoke about having attended AIAA Space 2014, the SmallSat 2014 Conference which was held the same time as AIAA, and I referred back to my having also been at the NewSpace 2014 conference.  Some possible topics of interest for discussion included a recent news story about astronauts usage of sleeping pills while on orbit.  Nobody seemed interested in that topic as it was not discussed during this program.  I also noted the huge gap between those working SLS or having an interest in it and those on the side that hate it and think it’s a huge waste.  As I said, the gap was wider than the Grand Canyon with no signs of narrowing.  This issue was raised during the second segment of tonight’s program.  You can read Duane’s article on the lessons learned astronaut panel I mentioned on air at http://www.aiaa-space.org/Forum.aspx?id=24589.

We paused for a short break and we opened the second segment with a call from John in Ft. Worth.  John remained on the phone for quite some time and we covered lots of topics.  Initially, SLS John, as I like to refer to him, went over his SLS place holder theory again.  We did spend lots of time talking about SLS, the gap between supporters and haters of the project, its operational plan, congress, and more.  We also talked Falcon Heavy which John suggested was potentially less real than SLS though I countered that thought.  We talked about the RD-180 rocket motor problem, and I told him & the listeners about some of my AIAA discussions, interviews including my breakfast with Dr. Mike Griffin & Frank Van Rensselear of Schafer Corp.  We also talked Dream Chaser and the press conference SNV held at AIAA, plus I talked about my interview with Larry Price, Deputy Director of Orion.  John said his real interest in space was advanced propulsion, specifically nuclear. Somehow our conversation ended up talking about Area 51 and the Clinton era lawsuit against the government by workers exposed to toxic materials.  As soon as John got off the phone, Dwayne called in.  He clarified the Area 51 story for us as well as the old litigation that the workers won but then Pres. Clinton used an Executive Order to overturn the court decision.  Dwayne also spoke about 3D printing in space and the recently concluded NRC 3D Printing In Space(http://www.nap.edu/download.php?record_id=18871  note you may need to open a free account to download the report for free).  There are also lots of news stories about the report should you care to research it.  We talked about 3D printing in space, how it might be used, and the possibility of a later metal printer in space.  Dwayne then spoke to the old Coke and Pepsi wars in space several years ago and he addressed the gap with SLS supporters and those that are against it.  He said it was a huge gulf and that he thought both sides may have less than a firm grip on reality regarding SLS.  In addition to the two calls, we fielded an email from Doug who brought up space settlement, the value of attending space conferences, and the commercial crew down select process.  Tim was our last caller and he brought up SLS again, we talked about the congressional candidate on the independent side in the Huntsville district, Mark Bray in that Mark works on the SLS project and that it would be interesting to know his space policy views since he might win the congressional election.  Tim also mentioned a article about Elon Musk in the NextBigFuture.com re an eighty thousand person Mars City by 2040.  You can download the article at http://nextbigfuture.com/2014/08/elon-musk-timeline-and-extrapolation-of.html.  The final email was from Joe in Houston wanting to know the NASA down select process & who might be responsible for it.  I could not answer his question but please, if any listeners know the answer, post it on the blog.

As always, please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  You can reach any of the email listeners or the callers through me.

James Schier, Sunday, 8-5-12 August 5, 2012

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James Schier, Sunday, 8-5-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1829-BWB-2012-08-05.mp3

Guest: James Schier.  Topics:  U.S. space policy, NASA and human spaceflight goals, hardware, programs, and upcoming test flights, commercial space development. 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 NASA’s James Schier to the program to discuss the future of human spaceflight.  As the NASA Chief Architect and Planning Systems Manager plus a team member of the NASA Commercial Space Team, Mr. Schier spent two hours with us discussing our human spaceflight programs & future in detail.  In our first segment, we started back at the Columbia accident when a year later, it was announced that we needed a “bold new approach” to our HSF program.  Constellation was being developed, we changed administrations and then the Augustine Commission concluded that either NASA needed more funding to accomplish the program in place or it had to be stretched out if the budget remained the same or shrunk.  A flexible path was adopted and funding was left as is.  Our guest said there were three goals of the program including private sector development & participation in our HSF program, operating a fully developed & functioning ISS to 2020 and possibly beyond, & implementing a crew flyby of a NEO around 2025 with a humans to Mars mission around 2030.  This was the flexible path with a multi-program approach.  Our guest talked about the ISS becoming fully operational as an exciting national lab and he received several listener questions asking him why so many have said or written that our space program is at best in a state of confusion & at worst in a state of deterioration as we were not hearing anything like that with our guest.  Don’t miss this important discussion.  When Jim talked with us about SLS, he got similar listener questions that differed from what we were hearing about the program, the commitment to it, and its progress. Again, don’t miss what our guest had to say about the SLS program, its mission, capabilities, & the ongoing planning with the project.
In our second hour, we took a call from John about SLS as well as the program being more a congressional program rather than the President’s program.  SLS was compared to the cancelled Aries V, then we talked about the biggest risk to the program, ongoing congressional support & funding. Jim talked some more about Orion heat shield testing and reentry speeds, plus the upcoming heat shield test flight. Other Orion & SLS test flight programs were reviewed in this segment.  Listener Terry wanted to know if Orion could be flown on the Falcon 9 Heavy if SLS got cancelled.  Dr. Rowe called in to talk about specific cardiac stress issues for the returning astronauts. Mr. Schier then summarized many of the human spaceflight medical challenges facing us as we move out toward a lunar base, NEOs, and Mars. In this discussion, our guest did say that so far they were not seeing any show stoppers for extended long duration human spaceflight.  Near the end of our discussion, we talked about future missions under study, deep space habitat elements & large in-space transportation systems plus faster space travel with nuclear & possibly solar propulsion.  Standardized docking issues were mentioned along with international cooperation, citing the importance of the Russian support after the Columbia accident, highlighting the need for diverse crew space transportation.
Please post your comments/questions on the blog.  You can email Mr. Schier through me & I will forward your note to him.

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.

Tim Pickens, Thursday, 8-2-12 August 2, 2012

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Tim Pickens, Thursday, 8-2-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1827-BWB-2012-08-02.mp3

Guest:  Tim Pickens.  Topics:  Pickens Innovations, commercial space, space economics & policy.  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 Tim Pickens back to the program to tell us about his new company Pickens Innovations.  As Tim explained, he has left Dynetics and formed his own consulting business.  Learn more about his new consultancy and activities by visiting www.timpickens.com.  We started our discussion by my asking Tim about some of the comments I made yesterday in a USA Today telephone interview regarding commercial/private space development.  Since I forgot to record the interview (something I have learned to do for my own protection given edit rights are seldom permitted re the articles or programs), I bounced some of my comments off Tim to see if I was drinking my own Kool Aid about the state of the private space industry, its potential, the positive changes I see happening, and more.  Tim confirmed that I was on the right track so now I await the USA Today article.  In the process of this discussion, Tim had much to say about the emerging commercial space industry, the companies involved, the economics and the markets.  We talked about how things have changed for the better over time and in recent years.  I then asked Tim about Rocket City Space Pioneers, his Google Lunar X Prize entry, for which he remains the team leader.  Tim was quite frank in discussing the program with us, the Google Lunar X Prize in general & many of the critical issues facing the contest & all the contestants.  Do listen carefully to what he said as it goes right to the heart of issues facing the broader commercial & private space development efforts/industry.  Part of our discussion focused on the value chain available for sustainable lunar business, the problems with ride sharing at this time to the Moon and much more. We also talked about essential time lines for the contest.  He said many times that affordable systems were needed, viable and sustainable business models were needed, and he was thinking about a merger or joint venture with other contestants to make it happen.  Tim fielded many questions about his new consultancy, Pickens Innovations. We learned that he was getting involved in other areas than space, specifically medical devices.  He described two such devices and why his company was pursuing their development.  How about market size and potential as compared to space?  In fact, cash flow & revenue from these successful non-space businesses are expected to fund many of his space development activities.  Also in this segment, our guest talked about space hardware issues.

In the second segment, he defined the Man Cave which he talks about on his website.  Tim responded to a listener question about the potential of a Netscape Moment re investing in space businesses, plus he talked about the need to have more fun and be less nerdy, referencing conference presentations and similar things space people engage in from time to time.  As an example, he cited the Big Bang Theory TV show and a new show about to start, Top Engineer.  Later, we talked about SLS and its future, its mission, and its likelihood of being funded to completion.  Suborbital space and vehicle issues were a discussion topic followed by Tim talking about the Space & Missile Defense Conference in Huntsville (www.udreg.com/SMD) later this month. His closing comments were positive & upbeat for our future, especially by using disruptive technologies which he talked about at great length throughout the interview.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

Todd Halvorson, Friday, 5-18-12 May 18, 2012

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Todd Halvorson, Friday, 5-18-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1777-BWB-2012-05-18.mp3

Guest:  Todd Halvorson.  Topics:  Upcoming Falcon 9 & Dragon launch, Floridaspace policy, NASA & 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 Todd Halvorson, senior aerospace reporter for FLORIDA TODAY & USA TODAY to the show.  During our first segment, we mostly discussed the upcoming Falcon 9 launch scheduled for Saturday early morning, May 19 2012.  Note that Florida Today is having special coverage and programming starting at 3:30 AM EDT.  To tune in, visit www.floridatoday.com.  Todd detailed the coverage at the start of our next segment. Also in the initial segment, we talked about Congress, commercial crew, down selecting, the Space Act Agreement, and theU.S. human spaceflight program, such that it is a program.  Also mentioned was the SLS program along with Orion, then I asked about the space coast economy per the recent 60 Minutes segment last month.  Todd had much to say about the 60 Minutes Segment, especially the visuals they used.  Don’t miss it.  Listener Jane asked about the differences in policy ideas between NewSpace and the old space crowd, especially the very well known astronauts who are most vocal in support of a more traditional NASA program.  Todd had much to say about this and we talked about the future NASA as either a space tax service or an organization that explores BLEO.  Another topic of interest dealt with the Chinese space program and going to the Moon.  Our listener asked if Chinese space plans might start a space competition with theU.S.  We then talked about the FY 13 budget for NASA and the possibility of doubling NASA’s budget as proposed by Dr. Tyson.  As the segment ended, we discussed Planetary Resources and sought Todd’s perspective on what has been made public so far.

In the second segment, Todd went into detail about the Florida Today broadcast for the Falcon 9 launch.  Terry called in to ask about the ISS GPS issue and then we asked Todd to describe what happens when Dragon gets to the vicinity of the ISS.  The process goes on through Wednesday morning.  Another listener asked for Todd’s analysis of the space program over his 25 year history of reporting space news.  Our next topic honed in so the suborbital companies in Mojave, space tourism, and suborbital research.  This discussion included spaceports inFlorida,California,Virginia,New Mexico and elsewhere.  As our program was nearing its end, we talked about Constellation, Ares 1, SRBs, Dr. Mike Griffin, SLS, and civility.  In his closing comments, Todd again said we should have a space program that explores and is not a space taxi service.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Todd through the Florida Today website.

Jay Barbree, Monday, 3-5-12 March 5, 2012

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Jay Barbree, Monday, 3-5-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1727-BWB-2012-03-05.mp3

Guest:  Jay Barbree.  Topics:  Overview of the space program today, SLS, presidential politics 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 NBC veteran space reporter Jay Barbree back to The Space Show for a conversation that focused on our best options for today’s space program.  Our discussion was one hour forty minutes without a break.  We started out discussing Jay’s thoughts when he reported on the last shuttle flight given he had reported on every shuttle flight ever made.  He also told us he had updated and reissued his best selling book “Moonshot” which he co-authored with Alan Shepherd and Deke Slayton.  Remember, if you buy it from Amazon with this specific URL, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show: www.amazon.com/Moon-Shot-Alan-Shepard/dp/1453211977/ref=onegiantlea20.  Other topics discussed included a comparison of the original astronauts to astronauts today and the need to return to the Moon.  In fact, Jay told us about ideas being discussed to use the ISS to do a figure 8 loop to and from the Moon rather than crashing it into the ocean at the end of its life.  To do this, he said nuclear propulsion was needed and this led him to discuss the overall need for the nuclear rocket, especially for going to Mars.  A listener asked him if he favored a one way trip to Mars and he said yes.  Don’t miss his complete answer.  Next, we started talking about the Space Launch System which ended up as the main discussion topic for the balance of the program.  Jay strongly supports SLS and is concerned that it might be cancelled.  We talked about what the Obama administration would likely be doing with space and then he talked about his conversations with the Republican candidates and his impressions of each one and their interest in space.  He talked at length about Newt’s Florida primary comments and returning to the Moon in general. He also talked about the need for space settlement given the vulnerability of Earth.  Later, a listener asked Jay if he was familiar with the accusations being made against NASA for how they dealt with the chimps in the early space program and their idea to get KSC to donate space for a chimp museum documenting abuse during their NASA days and dedicating to stopping lab research.  Jay was not familiar with the story but listener Tim found the story on the PETA website:  http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/02/29/peta-to-launch-memorial-at-space-center.aspx.   Jay talked more about the SLS but also about Falcon 9, Dragon, the Boeing CTS 100, and the Atlas 5.  He expressed his concerns many times that the politicians might actually mess up NASA and our future, specifically by cancelling SLS, Orion, or both.  At the end, he told us about his MSNBC.com series “Getting to Mars” which is already underway.  Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.

Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12 February 26, 2012

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Mark Whittington, Sunday, 2-26-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1721-BWB-2012-02-26.mp3

Guest: Mark Whittington.  Topics: Space Budgets, policy, & politics.  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 Mark Whittington back to the show for this 2.5 hour wide ranging discussion on space budgets, the economy, space policy and space politics, plus economic issues facing the nation and others around the world.  We also talked about space perspectives of all those running for president including President Obama and the Republican party challengers.  Mark talked about two article he wrote that were pertinent to our discussion.  These articles are (1) “Moon Base Supporters Struggle to Justify the Project:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/moon-base-supporters-struggle-to-justify-the-project; and (2) “A Lunar Exploration Reading List for Mitt Romney:”

www.examiner.com/space-news-in-houston/a-lunar-exploration-reading-list-for-mitt-romney.  In our first segment of 45 minutes, we talked about Texas space politics & redistricting, the Johnson Space Center, & the proposed FY 13 budget.  Mark suggested Congress would rewrite most of the budget but that the Senate would likely not pass a budget so we would end up on CR.  I asked Mark how that would lead to programs being cancelled such as ExoMars if we are still on CR as those programs are embedded in the CR from year to year.  Mark described the process through administrative acts by NASA, Congress, or the President re cancellation, and what the Appropriations Committee would have to do to avoid them. For the most part, more money would need to be found for NASA but that was not likely. Mark talked about what constitutes commercial saying that for something to be really commercial, it has to be able to fail. We compared today’s commercial space programs to gov. programs in terms of Mark’s criteria.  Listeners asked about SLS & Orion, wondering if it & when SLS would be cancelled. The idea of a lunar base was discussed in light of the comments made a few weeks ago in the Florida debate by Newt.  Mark also talked about what he thought might be the space policy of the other candidates though not that much is known other than for Newt, Mitt, and President Obama.  Mark talked about cutting out other budgetary items to make room for a quality space program & he highlighted the high speed rail program.

In our long second segment, Marshall called with a question about the original Mercury astronauts still alive.  We  talked some about human factors, microgravity, and life support issues.  Listeners asked about the Chinese space program & their military buildup.  Here, I referenced the recent congressional testimony of Ronald Burgess, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.  The article I referenced is at http://bigthink.com/ideas/42630.  Mark spoke at length about exploration, citing his favorite history story involving Prince Henry The Navigator of Portugal. Jim asked Mark that if he believed commercial space was the best path forward & that SLS was a bad idea, how would he go about getting more support for commercial space even at the expense of SLS.  Mark offered some concrete ideas in response to Jim’s question. John from Billings sent in a few notes & then later called to talk about why there is such an argument about SRBs as compared to liquid rocket motors.  Challenger was mentioned along with Constellation but mainly Mark said that people’s behavior tends to find ways to support their beliefs. Terry, another Texan like Mark, called to ask why Sen. Hutchinson so strongly opposes commercial space.  Mark offered a pretty good answer.  Risk taking, more on SLS, Dream Chaser & the CST 100 were discussed along with the new project, Stratolaunch. As our program drew to a close, I asked Mark to summarize space policy for 2012 which he did do but then more questions came in.  Becky wanted Mark to connect the dots vis a vis our economy & how this might impact NASA & all space development.  This led to quite a little economic discussion with Mark, myself, and Dr. Jurist who called in about that time.  As usual, I went off on my rant about space as an investment, not an expense.  Jack got in the last word asking for three key events impacting space for 2012 other than the election.  Mark said the upcoming Space X flight, what Congress does with the budget, and the planned Chinese mission later this year.  In his concluding remarks, Mark talked about the economic options facing the country & he left us with a few points to consider.  He urged us to participate in Town Hall meetings and ask the candidates space questions.

If you have comments/questions please post them The Space Show blog.  Marks blog, Curmudgeons Corner, is at http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com.

Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 2-20-12 February 21, 2012

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Monday, 2-20-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1717-BWB-2012-02-20.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Dr. Bell’s assessment of NASA, the science missions, human spaceflight, the Russian space problems, & Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories.  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. Jeff Bell back to the program for his assessment of space today in theUnited States, along with the problems facing the Russian space industry and the Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories as to why the mission failed.  Those familiar with Dr. Bell and his Space Show programs will not be disappointed as this two hour plus discussion is vintage Jeff Bell.  Dr. Bell started with an assessment of the problems over the last year and half or so with the Russian space industry and its management.  Jeff does a good job of summarizing their history of manufacturing, technology, and engineering problems going back to the time of Sergei Korolev.  He also shares with us his experiences working with the Russians on the Phobos 88 mission.  He said typical characteristics of Russian missions leading to problems include being too ambitious, costly for their budgets, and the labor allocated to the projects.  He suggested that we in theU.S. do the same thing and cited MSL and Curiosity as an example.  He had much to say about the early Soviet Venus probes and how their data was widely discounted outside of theSoviet Union. He then said Space X might be overextending and he cited several ongoing Space X projects which might distract from their primary mission at hand which is to get Falcon and Dragon operational.  Listeners asked about the Russian problems driving customers away from doing business withRussia in favor of ULA in theU.S. Here, Dr. Bell had much to say about ULA pricing, overhead costs without NASA sharing them, and more.  He also mentioned what was happening to Delta 2 given the GPS system needing larger rockets as an example of the impact of government policy/spending in space industries.  Dr. Bell turned to the latest Phobos-Grunt conspiracy theories for the mission failure.  At the end of this segment, Dr. Bell talked about the JWST & Curiosity in terms of overly complex and costly missions.

In the second segment, Jeff talked about the Newt space policy suggestions and the idea of the Moon as the 51st state.  He had much to say about the ridicule in the media and was not surprised by it.  He used this as an example to say reality “conflicts with the space cadet world view.”   In talking about Mars missions, he said people had been conned by the Mars theory of life stories and promoters.  He said that Mars and HSF were not worth it.  Several listeners called in to debate Jeff on these comments but Jeff took no prisoners.  He then talked about the ISS and its less than full utilization and that the entire idea of HSF had come and gone.  At one point in response to a listener question/comment, Dr. Bell said that all Zubrin offered was a 60’s program!  Jeff did have good things to say about the science and robotic missions, said our planet exploration would be with robots, not humans, and that we needed more missions like the Kepler Space Telescope.  He repeated throughout the discussion that nothing useful has come form HSF nor would it.  He offered that the basic technology was from the70’s and had not changed.  He said overall interest in space had declined since Apollo.  In his closing comments, he said he was still hopeful that NewSpace would decrease the launch costs as that would be a game changer.

If you have questions/comments for Dr. Jeff Bell, post them on The Space Show blog URL above.

James (Jim) Muncy, Sunday, 2-19-12 February 20, 2012

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James (Jim) Muncy, Sunday, 2-19-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1716-BWB-2012-02-19.mp3

 

Guest:  James (Jim) Muncy.  Topics:  FAA Reauthorization Act, HSF regulation, the NASA FY 13 budget, SLC, Commercial Crew, & 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 Jim Muncy back to the program for a comprehensive two plus hour discussion on a variety of important topics including the FAA Reauthorization Act, the FY 13 proposed budget, SLS, commercial crew, ISS utilization, and much more.  We started out discussing the three year renewal of the 2004 Act that minimized HSF regulation to afford the industry the opportunity to get started, obtain real time safety information, and to do better and more accurate downstream safety regulation as it evolves.  During this discussion, Jim had much to say about flight safety for the crew, participants, and third parties.  Next, we jumped into Jim’s perspective on the FY 13 budget proposal for NASA.  He said it did a fairly good job of balancing competing interests and pressures, including the continued support of congressional favorites such as SLS, Orion, and the JWST.  Much of this first hour long segment was about the budget process, why NASA gets the amount of money it receives, why congress does not do more for NASA per the wishes of many in our community, and that the NASA budget likely does a good job of representing the public’s interest in these programs based on the feedback received from constituents by our elected representatives.  Later in the segment, Jim focused in on the ORS, the STP program, and potential sequestration cuts due early next year, and fuel depots as an alternative to heavy lift.

In the second longer segment, Jerry called in and the conversation changed to selecting only one commercial crew provider when we really should have multiple vehicles.  Boeing was talked about as a commercial company and the potential selected company.  Jack sent us an email asking Jim for his opinion on the three 2012 tipping points for NewSpace. He also asked about cubesats and the NASA $2-million NanoSat dedicated launcher prize.  Kim emailed us about the Mars program cuts and Jim had much to say about this and how the FY 13 budget was being allocated. Listeners asked about the Falcon Heavy, space vision, Newt’s space program, and even the UN space treaties.  As the program was drawing to a close, Jim again talked about SLS and its killing the budget along with the JWST.  When asked if other national space agencies were trying to open the frontier and develop commercial space, he said none were even trying.  At the end, he said the success of the upcoming Space X flight to the ISS will be a game changer and this will show that commercial space development is the best path to be on for the future of the space industry.

Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above.  You can email Jim at james.muncy@polispace.com.