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Dr. James (Jim) Vedda, Friday, 9-28-12 September 28, 2012

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Dr. James (Jim) Vedda, Friday, 9-28-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1861-BWB-2012-09-28.mp3

Guest:  Dr. James (Jim) Vedda. Topics:  Dr. Vedda’s new book addressing cislunar development rather than destinations.  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. Jim Vedda back to the program to discuss his new book, “Becoming Spacefarers: Rescuing America’s Space Program.” If you order the book using this Amazon link, Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show:  www.amazon.com/Becoming-Spacefarers-James-A-Vedda/dp/1477130918/ref=onegiantlea20. Dr. Vedda started our discussion by responding to my question about what he meant by “rescuing America’s space program.”  This opened the way for most of the first segment to lay out the recent history of our space program and how we arrived at where we are today, Sept. 29, 2012.  Issues talked about during this narrative included Obama Space, Constellation, SLS, congressional actions, partisan divides, space vision, goals, timelines, space telescopes, Orion, Earth/Moon libration points as a destination, and much more.  We talked about the purposes of various missions & plans and if the stated purpose was sufficient or not for spending public money on it and carrying it out to completion. We then shifted to the Romney Presidential Campaign Space White Paper (www.scribd.com/doc/106652769/Space-Policy-White-Paper?secret_password=a0i3o1yj25ed5ycop3w). Dr. Vedda mentioned that space policy has not always been bipartisan & he provided examples to support his statement.
    We started the second segment by talking about our being in the training or initial phase of his three stages of space development.  The other two phases include cislunar development followed by space settlement & expansion throughout the solar system.  Dr. Vedda made the case for proximity operations in our space development program plus the need for strong public/private partnerships and when warranted, international cooperation with space projects.  Later in this segment, I asked Jim to outline for us his action plan, just how he would initiate a space development program per what he outlines in the book & discussed with us.  In response to my question, Jim outlined several initial steps that need to be taken to get the ball rolling.  See what you think of them and let us know with your blog comments.  We also talked about the general public, how Jim would make his case were he speaking at a Rotary lunch, and the best way to have a say & impact policy makers.  One of our final topics included the newly proposed bill to do multi-year congressional funding of space projects, make use of a to be created space project oversight panel, and have the Administrator serve a ten year term.  As you will hear, we supported the multi-year funding part of this proposed legislation.
Note below that you will find a special PDF slide presentation supporting Dr. Vedda’s book.  I strongly urge you to follow along with it during our discussion.
Becoming Spacefarers briefing
     Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can email Dr. Vedda through me.

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-18-12 September 19, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-18-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1856-BWB-2012-09-18.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Commercial crew, space policy, commercial space 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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program to discuss a variety of space news topics and issues including commercial crew, commercial space, space politics, SLS, and more.  For those of you familiar with Bob Zimmerman on The Space Show, you will not be disappointed by this vintage-like Zimmerman discussion.  In our first segment of this slightly more than 2 hour program, we talked about the recent congressional hearings on commercial crew safety.  Bob’s response to these hearings and the commercial crew safety issues won’t surprise those of you familiar with Bob on these subjects.  Bob then talked about SLS and I mentioned the NASA pamphlet/booklet they gave out at the AIAA Space 2012 showing missions and objectives for SLS and more.  You can download this report at www.nasa.gov/exploration/whyweexplore/voyages-report.html. Bob also talked about NASA budgets from his perspective of needing budget cuts for the country as a whole given our $16 trillion debt. Later in the segment, we talked about some of the developing & emerging companies & their vehicles, Sierra Nevada, XCOR, Virgin, and then we talked about possible new spaceports under consideration/development.  Bob then took us to the subject of sequestration which is set for Jan. 1, 2013 unless the law is reversed.  Bob spent considerable time telling us why these cuts are not as bad as the media and the agencies make them out to be.  See if you agree with his analysis.  As the segment ended, we talked about planetary science missions with NASA in the budget context along with the budget consequences of continuing SLS.
        In our second segment, Bob continued talking about SLS along with heavy lift, including the proposed Falcon Heavy.  Listeners began emailing and calling with comments about space politics, policy, and heavy lift as compared to smaller rockets doing the same mission.  I then provided everyone with a glimpse of our planned rocket building webinar set for Oct. 28 and talked about how one costs out and plans a rocket for the mission at hand as you cannot just say heavy lift bad, smaller rockets good or something similar.  I provided a quick and very simple overview of the process used in doing this type of analysis and trade study (running the numbers).  If this interests you, don’t miss our Oct. 28th webinar on this entire process. We are using an interactive spreadsheet so you can design your own rocket and mission and compare it to any other rocket with known parameters.  I suspect I was not completely convincing regarding heavy lift as compared to smaller lift rockets and the mission planning process but listen and see what you think about the discussion. As the discussion continued, one of the points I was making about matching the rocket to the mission seemed to get attention.  Also, I made it clear this was not about bad and good.  Let us know your thoughts by posting them on the blog.  Later in the segment, Bob talked extensively about the private sector being preferable to the government doing things related to space.  We also talked about space telescopes, Cis-lunar development and more.  We concluded with Bob pointing out what is still ahead for space during the balance of the year and with the developing companies.
         Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to email Bob, you can do so through me or through his excellent blog, Behind The Black (http://behindtheblack.com).

Dr. Jeff Bell, Tuesday, 7-10-12 July 11, 2012

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Dr. Jeff Bell, Tuesday, 7-10-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1811-BWB-2012-07-10.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jeff Bell.  Topics:  Vintage Jeff Bell.  We discussed a wide range of space history and current space projects from Dr. Bell’s perspective.  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 the return of Dr. Jeff Bell to The Space Show.  This 2.5 hour marathon discussion with Dr. Bell was classic Jeff Bell with space history, his analysis of current projects, new space ideas, NASA, Congress and well, you name it.  Dr. Bell had lots to say about many topics and for those of you familiar with Dr. Bell & his analysis, I promise you, you will not be disappointed with this discussion.  Those of you new to Dr. Bell, hold onto your seat!  Jeff started off with the cold war space history, X-33, and DCX. In doing so, he offered up his critique of the classic space book by G. Harry Stine, “Halfway To Anywhere: Achieving America’s Destiny In Space.”  As to be expected, Dr. Bell provided a very hard hitting, factual, and critical analysis of these topics & the book.  We also talked about the new company in Florida, Project Speed, and air breathing engines for space vehicles.  Dr. Bell spent some time on this analysis including scramjets, ramjets and the National Aerospace Plane.  When asked to confirm that little progress was being made from his perspective re space vehicles & even aviation, he cited the current military games going on in Hawaii, referencing the planes being used by the Air Force, Navy, & other military services, all to illustrate by example the points he was making.  He put out the fire on nuclear propulsion based on economics & costs, & then in discussing human spaceflight (HSF), like so many others, he said the rational for it was difficult justify to Congress & the taxpayers.  A listener asked Jeff he was biased in his analysis.  Jeff said he was unbiased in his examination of the facts. This issue surfaced again later during our program.  We then talked about a Washington Post article saying that our science field was over populated by excessive PhDs that cannot find work in their discipline (www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/us-pushes-for-more-scientists-but-the-jobs-arent-there/2012/07/07/gJQAZJpQUW_story.html?hpid=z1).  This prompted listeners to reply and John made some excellent points about science PhDs that Jeff missed.

In our second segment, we started off with space visions, including the one from this program, followed by a discussion of the “Sputnik Panic” following theUSSR launch of Sputnik.  We both had much to say about this event & its aftermath. Returning to the HSF rational, Jeff said there were two main problems with it. First, the very high cost.  Second, the is no place to go that does not require massive technology & support to sustain life.  He spent some time elaborating on this & responding to listener comments.  Next up, Planetary Resources, asteroid mining, space telescopes, & Earth imaging.  Dr. Bell took no prisoners in sharing his analysis with us.  He did talk about several serious projects including the B612 project & Pan Starrs.  As the program was ending, Dr. Bell had many positive things to say about the recently completed SpaceX Dragon & Falcon 9 flight, & the pork as he called it, SLS.  Dr. Bell was very strong & clear in his support for SpaceX and their accomplishments.

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

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 4-30-12 April 30, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 4-30-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1764-BWB-2012-04-30.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space X static test, Congress & commercial crew, Planetary Resources & space property rights.  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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program to discuss today’s Falcon 9 static test, Congress & commercial crew, and the Planetary Resources announcements of last week.  Visit Bob’s website for more information, http://behindtheblack.com.  During the first segment, Bob talked about congress and its proposed treatment of commercial crew including down selecting the companies, reducing funding, and moving to the FAR instead of remaining with the Space Act Agreement.  Bob got lots of questions about markets in space and why commercial companies need government money in the first place.  In this segment, we also talked about the Falcon 9 static test today and its relevance for congress.  Bob targeted SLS for discussion. As you will hear, there was not much support for SLS among those of us listening to today’s program.

In the second segment, we talked about the Planetary Resources venture announced last week.  Part of our focus was on the 9″ space telescope, its likely uses and resolution.  We talked about it for asteroid finding and Earth imaging – with serious reservations.  Bob suggested that the real business for the company was in selling the space telescopes to customers wanting that product or service as the mining was still a decade or so out into the future.  In talking about the telescope, we discussed pointing, stability, resolution, being placed on the Moon, and less than ideal light coming from the asteroids.  In talking about space telescopes, we discussed Hubble and the JWST.  In other space news updates, Bob talked about Orbital moving Antares to the pad for its testing and there is an article on his blog about it being seriously over budget: www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/orbital-sciences-development-costs-increase-371291.  Another topic we discussed was the Chinese political system and its turmoil, also its economy and how this might impact their space program.  Bob had much to say about this as well as India and its space program which he said might prove to be the dark horse in space development.  Toward the end of this 2 hour 8 minute program, Michael Listner called in to talk about legal issues for Planetary Resources in their resource extraction stage of development, plus property rights, the Outer Space Treaty and even the impact of the Moon Treaty. Bob and Michael had a spirited debate about these issues, including the potential influence of the Moon Treaty and international customary law which Bob completely dismissed.  Michael has an excellent article on the subject at www.spacesafetymagazine.com/2012/04/26/commercial-space-leap-earth-orbit-legal-implications/.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can reach Bob Zimmerman through his website.

The John Batchelor Show, Hotel Mars, Friday, 4-27-12 April 28, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show, Hotel Mars, Friday, 4-27-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1762-BWB-2012-04-27.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Mary Kissel, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Commercial space, Congress, asteroid mining, space telescopes, entreprenurism.  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. Written 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. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. The John Batchelor Show broadcast live from Stanford and the Hoover Institution this week and I drove down to do a special Hotel Mars segment Friday evening live in the studio with John and Mary.  Our topics were commercial space and crew, Rep. Frank Wolf and the potentially dangerous changes his subcommittee wants to make with regards to commercial crew contracting, downselecting participants, and funding reductions.  During our discussion, I offered a public invitation to Rep. Wolf to be a guest on The Space Show to explain the purpose behind and the need for the changes that have been reported and that we have been reading about.  If any of you the listeners know Rep. Wolf or have connections in his office, help us get him or one of his top staffers to be a guest on The Space Show.

If you want to email either John Batchelor or Mary Kissel, you can do so through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.