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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.

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Doug Messier, Tuesday, 2-18-14 February 19, 2014

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Doug Messier, Tuesday, 2-18-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2190-BWB-2014-02-18.mp3

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Guest:  Doug Messier.  Topics: We discussed a wide range of topics from Google space to space tourism, technology & 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htmFor those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating.  This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you.

We welcomed back Doug Messier, Managing Editor of ParabolicArc.com for this 1 hour 43 minute discussion.  During our first segment, Doug talked about the proposed Google space program involving up to 1,600 satellites for global communication and wifi.  Doug shared with us as much information as was currently known regarding this program, plus he talked about the Loon Project and explained why he referred to the multiple satellite program as “Son of Teledesic.”  While no launch vehicle has been identified Doug and listeners did talk about the possible impact launch services needed for such a large program.  Doug also reported on Masten Space Systems. He also talked about Masten in the second segment.  Many listeners sent in emails about the proposed Google program, some expressing skepticism, some wanting more information.  Doug then turned his attention to Virgin Galactic and he talked about their powered test flights, engine issues, possible hybrid replacement engines, and more.  We talked about the signed up Virgin passengers and PR efforts to keep them informed of Virgin’s progress.  Doug also briefed us on XCOR and the Google Lunar XPrize contest.  A listener emailed in about the decline of the California aerospace industry and state regulatory issues.  Doug had much to say about this.  Before the break, a listener asked for an update on Stratolaunch.

In the second segment, Doug talked about the management changes at Virgin given three executives have left in recent times.  In addition, he said some of the lower level employees were sending out resumes.  In response to a question, he updated us on Virgin’s Launcher One.  We talked about Dream Chaser test flights, the name change at Dryden, & the NASA Ames name.  Near the end he gave us a brief report on Garvey Space, then Dr. Lurio called in and they discussed at length the Virgin hybrid engine issues, vehicle modifications, & the possibilities for a replacement engine.  Doug commented that they may not make it to 100KM!  As the program was ending, Doug said it would be an interesting year, that he thought there would be crewed vehicle flights later this year, and then he shared his thoughts regarding possible commercial crew downsizing. During this segment, I asked Doug to comment on his most exciting and frustrating stories of last year.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. Doug can be reached through me or through ParabolicArc.com.

Charles Miller, Monday, 9-30-13 October 1, 2013

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Charles Miller, Monday, 9-30-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2096-BWB-2013-09-30.mp3

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Guest:  Charles Miller.  Topics:  Commercial space, small satellites, commercial crew, human spaceflight & 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed Charles Miller back to The Space Show for this 1 hour 31 minute program.  During the first segment, Charles talked about the future of commercial space, extending the life of the ISS, managing risk and uncertainty to maximize returns and benefits for commercial space, plus he used the company he co-founded, NanoRacks, as a commercial model utilizing the national lab ISS.  We talked about commercial crew, the success of the Space Act Agreement for contracting and pockets of congressional resistance to the commercial and Space Act programs.  In discussing commercial opportunities on the ISS, we also talked about CASIS and the role it is playing in bridging the gap and facilitating commercial companies using the ISS.  Charles then talked about his company, NexGen Space LLC and he referenced the DARPA XS-1 Reusable Spaceplane.  A listener asked our guest about a possible influx of commercial opportunities from outside the U.S.  In response to this question, Charles talked about competing cultures and why the U.S. is so strong with its culture of innovation.  Commercial crew, human spaceflight, and the need to spend 6 months training in Russia were discussed with the latter being an impediment.  Suborbital demand was a topic as were the commercial efforts by Boeing, Sierra Nevada, ATK and other mainstream aerospace companies.

In our second segment, we talked about Kickstarter and the use of crowd funding in the emerging commercial space industry.  Innovation and low cost space access were key topics and themes for this segment.  Listener Jack asked about space entrepreneurial management teams & what to look for in a quality team.  I asked Charles to tell us where he thought the industry would be in ten years.  Charles talked about small satellite constellations, far more affordability across the board, and a large growth space tourism industry.  He also mentioned that the turning point will come when we have cheaper access to space than today. Toward the end of our discussion, Charles was asked for his suggestion for the best path to pursue for those seeking commercial space careers. In response, he talked about getting real hardware and flight experience & mentioned high schools that provide this experience.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog per above.  Charles Miller can be reached through me using drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-17-13 September 18, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 9-17-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2088-BWB-2013-09-17.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: This was a wide ranging discussion starting with climate change & ending with budget, CR, & commercial crew issues.  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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the show for this one hour 55 minute discussion starting with the announcement regarding climate change and the upcoming IPCC report which has been leaked to the press.  The primary topic for this first segment was climate change, the leaked IPCC report and an analysis of it.  Bob fielded listener comments and questions including Marshall’s who had hands on experience with the very first computer climate model in the early 70’s.  Bob summarized all his comments saying that science needed to be skeptical and he was optimistic that skepticism was coming back to the field of climate science.  We then switched to space and NASA for the balance of this program.  As a transition, Bob talked about solar activity and the solar max.  In response to a listener question, he commented that if Mars or anyplace in space were developed using the Antarctica model, it would doom commercial space activity.  He stated over and over again that the model needed was the profit model for space and planetary development.

In the second segment, we talked about new commercial contracts for Arianne 5 recently announced, and how important these were to Arianne who needs to show a profit for the first time.  I asked Bob about NASA’s Redirect Asteroid Mission given all the attention it got last week at AIAA Space 2013.  Bob had much to say about this mission, most of it not supportive or positive, and then I mentioned the NASA press conference which is archived as part of the Space 2013 taped interviews and the fact that it is to be SLS dependent. This started Bob and others on SLS rants, mostly not supportive of it, and also Orion.  Bob was emphatic that Orion with SLS would not be a deep space mission & at one point he cited comments by Russian that their next generation Soyuz would have bathroom facilities on board and Bob said with Orion, it was strictly diapers for the crew.  We talked about Inspiration Mars and Mars One.  Bob was skeptical about both happening. Listen to the reasons he cited for his perspective.  Bob also talked about Bigelow Aerospace and its potential, listeners asked about Planetary Resources and the Redirect Mission, then we talked about the need to lower the launch costs to LEO.  Bob brought us current with SpaceShip2 & the latest powered demo flight, then John called in to argue about SLS with Bob.  This was an interesting give and take.  As Bob has done on other programs, he continued saying he does not want a space program which is a government program which in his eyes is doomed to failure.  He wants the private sector to prevail.  As the show was ending, I asked Bob for this thoughts on the budget, CR, and future commercial crew funding .

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Check out Bob’s website, www.beyondtheblack.com.  You can email bob through is website or using zimmerman at nasw dot org

The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 5-23-12 May 24, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show “Hotel Mars,” Wednesday, 5-23-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1779-BWB-2012-05-23.mp3

Guests:  John Batchelor, Dr. Scott Pace, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Falcon 9 launch, Dragon & the ISS, commercial space.  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. During our 11.5 minute segment, Dr. Scott Pace talked about the COTS program, the Falcon 9 launch and the expected Dragon Capsule rendezvous and birthing with the ISS.  We spoke about COTS expectations, the challenges still ahead for the COTS participants, commercial crew questions, and price points for Dragon which may give it a huge advantage over competition from the European and Japanese ISS cargo resupply programs and vehicles.  As our segment was about end, Dr. Pace talked about limited markets at this time but that the program was designed to help expand markets and opportunities beyond those of government.  Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  

If you want to email John Batchelor or Dr. Pace,  you can do so through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Pace will be The Space Show guest for Sunday, May 27, 2012.

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.

The John Batchelor Show, Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 5-2-12 May 3, 2012

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The John Batchelor Show, Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 5-2-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1767-BWB-2012-05-02.mp3

Guests: John Batchelor, Jim Muncy, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Commercial space, Congressional space policy, Falcon 9 static test.  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.  Our discussion topics this week for our 11 minute plus segment focused on the Falcon 9 static test and probable launch delays to the ISS. Jim discussed the delay and the need for Space X to do a thorough job in preparing for their important launch and first ever commercial rendezvous with the ISS.  Next, we talked about the commercial crew space policy, what congress has done and might do regarding down selecting to one or two companies and changing the contracting format from the Space Act Agreement to the FAR.  Jim explained the importance of competition in the commercial sector and discussed the commercial participants including Blue Origin, Boeing, Sierra Nevada, ATK , Space X, and Orbital.  We talked about how competition is beneficial for NASA as well as the industry and the country.

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

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.

Open Lines, Tuesday, 4-24-12 April 25, 2012

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Open Lines, Tuesday, 4-24-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1759-BWB-2012-04-24.mp3

Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  asteroid mining, Planetary Resources, Inc.  SLS.  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 an Open Lines discussion inviting calls and emails on all space related topics. As it turned out, two topics were primary during the program and as a result of that, I will not summarize this program by segment as I usually do.  First, the asteroid mining venture as put forth in the press conference for Planetary Resources, Inc. was primary throughout the program.  The second commanding topic was the SLS and Op-Ed in the Houston Chronicle on April 20, 2012 by the JSC former director, Chris Kraft & Tom Moser.  You can read the article at  www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Space-Launch-System-is-a-threat-to-JSC-Texas-jobs-3498836.php. You can read more about this Op-Ed on Space News at www.spacenews.com/commentaries/120423-fromwires-sls-threat-jsc-jobs.html.  Many of the callers throughout the discussion commented on the Op Ed, the SLS, and its future.  We also talked about the need for heavy lift, having a specific mission or missions for a rocket, destinations, and a time line for milestone accomplishment.  Our first caller was Charles in Las Vegas who commented that he thought Planetary Resources was more “sizzle than steak.”  Charles was not supportive of a business model relying on secondary payloads. Instead, he said the company had to control its own launch needs.  During our three segments, many listeners said they did not agree with Charles, including me. Many of us thought it was possible to use secondary payloads and during our 105 minute program, we covered this subject with the benefits and risks of relying on others, on sole source providers, etc.  As for the Op Ed, we talked about it at length, wondered about the NASA lunar study mentioned by Mr. Kraft as well as the existing rockets that could do HSF to the Moon or beyond LEO.  The consensus for those calling tonight’s show was that SLS in its present format using the current management program will probably be cancelled in 2013 or 2014 despite the support Congress appears to be giving it at this time.  Mixed in with the SLS calls, we did talk about the new launch date for the Falcon 9, there was lots of interest in asteroid mining and new technology development to make it happen, plus a few other topics that brought to the listeners attention.  When we came back from the final break which was at the 90 minute point, I used the remaining time to highlight some of the special upcoming Space Show programs for the rest of this month into early summer.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to email any of the callers or those sending in email questions for this program, send your note to me and I will forward it to you.

Doug Jones, Sunday, 4-22-12 April 23, 2012

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Doug Jones, Sunday, 4-22-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1757-BWB-2012-04-22.mp3

Guest:  Doug Jones.   Topics:  XCOR Aerospace and the Lynx.  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 Doug Jones to the program to update us on XCOR Aerospace, the Lynx suborbital vehicle, rocket engines, and more.  Doug is a co-founder of XCOR. You can find out more about the company at their website, www.xcor.com.  Doug started us off with a brief history of XCOR from the beginning to today.  After this historical overview, I brought up an email question from Andy in the UK about a scaled up version of the Lynx engine for a version of ULA’s Centaur upper space or space tug.  Doug had much to say about the ULA space tug idea in response to the listener question.  Doug then talked about the Lynx suborbital vehicle and the various versions of it, the Mark 1, Mark 2, and Mark 3.  He was asked if XCOR was planning to do anything with the newly announced Planetary Resources venture yet to be described. He did say there were ways XCOR could be supportive of some aspects of a deep space mission.  Doug addressed crew exit from the Lynx and described the seat lifter, using a parachute, and the exit strategy plus Lynx training before the flight.  Near the end of the first segment, Tony asked about Doug’s earlier comments regarding the nonburnite tank and Harry inquired about different pricing for the various Lynx vehicle versions.

We opened the second segment with a call from Jon in Jersey City regarding manufacturing and pricing targets with Space X as well as relating to XCOR.  Doug talked about production lines and more or less mass producing parts for the benefit of commodity pricing.  Bill from Virginia sent in a note asking about the relationship of test burn times to an operational flight with much longer burn times.  He wondered if short test burn times for the engines and systems was enough.  We also talked about the flight test program and backup vehicles.  Tony called in and wanted to know about the possibility of bringing back the Rotary Rocket engine.  Doug had some interesting comments on this issue.  The flight test program came up again and our guest provided us with a basic idea of how the test program would unfold.  ITAR was a big subject in this segment as were several listener questions dealing with piston and pressure pumps for XCOR engines.  Toward the end, we talked about spacesuits, 3D printers, vertical integration for manufacturing, and the Lynx serving as a space taxi vehicle, not a rental car.  This latter point was made when Doug was asked about independent operators buying and flying the Lynx as compared to XCOR flying and operating the Lynx.

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