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AIAA Space Policy Program, Wednesday, 3-15-12 March 15, 2012

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AIAA Space Policy Program, Wednesday, 3-15-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1736-BWB-2012-03-15.mp3

Guests:  Steven Howell; John Rose.  Topics:  AIAA Space Policy Activities.  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 Steve Howell and John Rose to this special hour long American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) program on key issues of space policy for the U.S.  Please note that about 17 minutes into the discussion, our conversation was interrupted by music from an unknown source. I had to remove about a three minute section from our discussion due to the unwanted music which is why you will hear a rough edit in the recording.  We started the discussion with Steve giving us an overview of AIAA and its role in both aviation and space policy.  We talked about public space policy, Congress, and the role of industry.  In response to my asking him for the main areas of AIAA policy focus, he listed for us the key issues that have the attention of AIAA.  Don’t miss what he listed and said about each one.  We also talked about the fact that most of the key issues were long term issues.  I focused in on human spaceflight and our guests said we needed a sustainable human space transportation system that was safe and cost effective.  Also such a system should be a high priority.  Our guests were asked if they addressed specific projects such CCDEV or SLS. As you will hear, the AIAA focuses more on the policy, it does not attempt to pick the winners or specific programs relating to a policy.  One of the main discussion points from our guests dealt with workforce issues and making sure we do not lose vital skill sets for both the industry and our nation.  In response to other questions, our guests said that there was a “perfect storm” in Washington, DC regarding space policy, research programs, & civil space.  The lack of a vision was mentioned along with there being no defined mission, goals, or timelines.  Our guests then told us about the AIAA Congressional Visits Day which is open for your participation.  Find out more about it and their plans to personally lobby members of congress by visiting www.aiaa.org/cvd2012.  Listener Mike Snead asked our guests about AIAA policy regarding NASA human spaceflight standards & the NASA level of acceptable risk.  Both our guests had much to say in response to Mike regarding this issue, but for the most part they said AIAA provides technical support and analysis for the policy makers to use in making policy.  This is an important discussion you do not want to miss.  Space workforce issues came up again in our conversation.  Both John and Steve pointed out the key issues, including how the market has changed over the years. Also, how we now compete with countries that used to provide us with much of our special workforce labor.  We also talked about other fields of engineering being more popular with students than space.  Near the end, Dale called in on a bad phone line but he was able to ask about using modern green rocket technology, engines, and fuel rather than old technology and outdated chemical rocket propulsion.  I’m sure you will find the response to be interesting.

If you have questions/comments, post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to email either of our guests, send your note to me and I will forward it.

Mark Bray, Sunday, 3-4-12 March 4, 2012

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Mark Bray, Sunday, 3-4-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1726-BWB-2012-03-04.mp3

Guest:  Mark Bray.  Topics: Space industry standards, policy, politics, & space workforce attitudes. 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 back Mark Bray for what was a most interesting and wide ranging 2.5 hour discussion divided into two segments.  We started off with Mark talking about the need for industrial standards both in the public and the private space sectors.  A good portion of this initial hour long segment was about design and quality standards.  Mark explained by example why there were needed and what he was talking about.  His Florida concrete company example made it very clear why the standards he was talking were and are needed.  Mark made some very good points, we had good listener participation both on the phone and with emails.  I promise that you will think differently about standards and the space industry after you listen to this segment.

We started the second segment talking about SLS as Mark works on the SLS project.  I asked him if the workforce was aware of the opposition to SLS and what they thought about it. This opened the door for Mark to talk about space workforce issues, their fears and concerns, and what is happening to the workforce given the current political, election year politics, economic condition, and the fact that they are not working on a space mission with goals and a destination.  Listen to what Mark had to say on all these issues.  While you may not like what you hear, keep in mind that Mark in engaged as part of this workforce and speaks from experience.  In response to a listener question, Mark had much to say about Huntsville, Marshall, and Alabama space politics.  Part of this discussion focused on NewSpace and why Alabama has been slow in seeing opportunities with NewSpace rather than trying to block elements of it. Jon called in from Jersey   City and had a good discussion with Mark about these & other issues and then he introduced space enthusiasts to the mix in terms of what this community wants and expects for policy.  This brought me to one of my rants on policy and my playing the Devil’s Advocate with both Jon and Mark.  Eventually, the three of us talked about how we seem to be forced into selecting one way or the other for space development and dismissing that which is not the “preferred” one way.   We also talked about congressional responsibility for how they handle taxpayer money while enthusiasts have no such responsibilities.  Next, we arrived at why we all seem to be fighting over shrinking resources and getting “our” piece of a smaller and smaller pie.  We talked about the need to grow the economy, to grow the space sector, and to grow the economic pie, not shrink it.  We agreed that while there may be many solution paths to the problems facing the U.S., space provides a clear path and solution set that seems hard to match by other possible directions and choices if economic expansion and wealth creation are to be the goals of our national policy.  Also mentioned was how NASA is not considered one of the key science and technology agencies,  Near the end, Mark got an interesting question about long duration storage requirements for SRBs.  Don’t miss Mark’s closing comments.  Finally, the paper he mentioned during this interview is on his website at http://braynstorms.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Achieving-Innovation-and-Affordability.pdf.

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

Tom Olson, Tuesday, 12-27-11 December 28, 2011

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Tom Olson, Tuesday, 12-27-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1679-BWB-2011-12-27.mp3

Guest:  Tom Olson.  Topics:  The year 2011 in review regarding all space 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 Tom Olson back to the show for his annual yearly summary of space events.  We had much to cover in this 105 minute program.  Tom started out reminding us that 2011 was the 50th anniversary of human spaceflight.  He told us about the banner year for Yuri’s Night parties around the globe celebrating this important milestone and specifically about the even he attended in New Your City.  Next, he pointed out the recent National Press Club talk given by Elon Musk on going to Mars and building the rockets to take us there, plus his recent New Scientist interview which you can read in full on the Mars Society website.  Tom commented that the sky was actually falling in 2011 with two large junk satellites coming back to Earth.  We also talked about the return of Phobos Grunt to earth probably in early to mid-January 2012.  One of the big events we discussed for 2011 was the retirement of the shuttle.  This led us to discussing the recent Chinese space rendezvous and the fact that China is now the number two launching country behind Russia having overtaken the U.S. this year.  Planetary missions were part of our year in review with Vesta and Dawn, the Kepler Space Telescope, MSL with Curiosity.  New Horizons continued its journey to Pluto and Explorer 1 continued beyond our solar system.  Tom talked about SLS and the ORION MPC Vehicle, plus the James Webb Space Telescope and its cost issues in the context of its impact on the NASA budget.  Soyuz rocket problems along with all the Russian rocket failures this year were fair game for our discussion.  I asked Tom what he thought of the idea of SLS as a place holder for skill sets and technology until our space program improves.  Don’t miss his answer.  He brought up Virgin Galactic’s drop tests this year, especially the last one where trouble showed up.  Making news for 2011 were NASA and space industry workforce layoffs and the successful Falcon 9 and Dragon launch.  At the end of the first segment, Bigelow Aerospace was in our spotlight.  In segment two, Tom led off with XCOR news, Terry called wondering about CCDEV3 and Tom suggested program winners!  Don’t miss his prediction.  He also was asked to predict the cancellation year for SLS.  Don’t miss this prediction as well.  We talked about the upcoming New Space Business Plan Competition for 2012, the prizes which are the largest ever, and the timing.  If this interests you, make sure to stay tuned for more information.  Later in the segment we began a summary of our discussion and 2011.  Tom was asked about the space elevator and the Lunar Space Elevator.  We wrapped up our discussion talking about growth in the space conferences even in the tough economic year of 2011.  Post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.