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Rand Simberg, Friday, 9-11-15 September 12, 2015

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Rand Simberg, Friday, 9-11-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2550-BWB-2015-09-11.mp3

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Guest: Rand Simberg. Topics: The Roadblock to Mars and Rand’s recent Kickstarter campaign success. 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. 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.

We welcomed Rand Simberg back to the show to discuss his recent successful Kickstarter campaign, “Clearing The Roadblock To Mars.” Check it out at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1960236542/clearing-the-roadblock-to-mars. During the first segment of our 1 hour 32 minute show, Rand introduced us to the purpose of this campaign which was to show how much better and wiser NASA could use the funds now being spent on SLS. Or as Rand said throughout our discussion, to get more bang for the buck. Of course this assumes NASA would use the savings wisely. In this segment, Rand spent considerable time addressing the lack of SLS missions, the types of missions SLS might be used for but so far no such SLS missions have been settled on, plus he talked about having more efficiency by using smaller rockets, more launches and fuel depots. He also said we were not serious about space as evidence by the SLS program. Several listeners asked him about the trades between heavy lift and a smaller rocket, the risks involved, costs and more as this is a common debate topic in the industry. Rand said the debate would eventually be settled by market forces. I added in that the characteristics and performance of the rockets being used to settle the heavy lift or not question will also factor into any conclusions reached on this subject. Rand then talked about the Aerojet Rocketdyne announcement that they wanted to acquire ULA for $2 billion. This led to an additional discussion about the Atlas rocket, Russian rocket engines, Vulcan, and Blue Origin. He also answered specific questions about his Kickstarter project which he said was to show how much more could be done wit h the SLS money rather than spending it on SLS. In response to listener questions wanting him to compare SLS to Falcon Heavy, he said about three Falcon Heavy launches would equal one SLS launch. He advocated SpaceX do an Apollo 8 type of flight with the Falcon and Dragon but then said it probably would not happen because of their relationship with NASA.

As we started the second segment, Dr. Doug called from S. California to inquire about the technical capability of SLS and Falcon Heavy plus the ULA Vulcan medium to heavy lift rocket. In addition, Rand discussed the reusable Vulcan concept as compared to the SpaceX concept of landing on a barge. Rand was asked about the need for heavy lift for Mars. He made it clear he was not interested in Mars per se, instead, he wanted to lower the cost of space access to make it possible for anyone to go anywhere in the solar system, including Mars. Rand said over and over again that he was destination agnostic. He continued getting questions about heavy life vs. many smaller rocket launches. Rand said things like it was too risky to put all your eggs in one basket, i.e. the one big heavy lift launcher. Several listeners wanted to know the best path to try to influence the direction of space policy. Rand focused on congress and suggested visiting local congressional offices. Other listeners asked him about a possible increase in the NASA budget. He said money was not the issue for NASA. The issue was using the money wisely to do more with it than we are doing now. He repeated many times during the program that we were not going to have a replay of the Apollo program. Don’t miss his comments on this as they are scattered throughout our discussion. Near the end of the show, Rand was asked about the 2016 elections and space policy, rocket staging, even SSTO rocketry. When offering us concluding comments, he repeated we would not be repeating Apollo, that it was never that popular and much about it is a myth. Don’t miss what he had to say about the Apollo program and missions.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. Rand can be reached through me or his blog, www.Transterrestrial.com.

 

Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, Sunday, 6-9-13 June 10, 2013

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Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, Sunday, 6-9-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2025-BWB-2013-06-09.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich.  Topics:  Escape Dynamics microwave beam propulsion for launches.  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.

We welcomed Dr. Dmitriy Tseliakhovich, CEO & CTO of Escape Dynamics (http://escapedynamics.com) to discuss their work on making microwave beamed propulsion possible for space launch.  During our 1 hour 39 minute discussion, Dr. Tseliakhovich talked about his background and passion for space, including helping to open up commercial space.  His work and experience led him to creating Escape Dynamics in 2010 to find a better and more efficient way to space than by using chemical rockets.  Dmitriy then took us through many of the benefits of external launch, including a higher specific impulse, better payload ratios, and even the ability to use an SSTO frame for the vehicle.  During this segment, we also talked about safety issues and using the possibility of using the technology as a space weapon.  During this discussion, Dmitriy was very focused and precise in saying that their systems had to prove out as being safe on all of the issues we were discussing. Next, we learned that the initial beamed propulsion vehicles would be robotic but at some point in the future, eventually crewed launch vehicles would be possible.  We talked about their step by step incremental development and testing plan, including starting with suborbital launches.  I asked our guest about the probable cost of electricity and support from the existing electrical grid.  Our guest had much to say about the cost of electricity, the use of the grid for their power needs & the capability of existing systems to support their needs.  He also did not rule out partnerships with utility companies.  Listeners sent him emails asking about competition and markets as well as the use of hydrogen for fuel.  Our guest was also asked about their heat exchanger, a key component on the vehicle.

In our second segment, Dmitriy was asked about weather issues for launch & we learned that there were concerns and requirements suggesting launching in dry areas would be best.  Another listener asked about ocean launch possibilities & Charles called in expressing skepticism, to support chemical rockets, and to raise questions about the high g force, boost stations, and the size of the ground array needed for the beam propulsion launch system. Roger emailed us to ask about orbital fuel depots & beamed propulsion.  We then talked about the company timeline & learned about 2015 as a suborbital launch target date.  In response to an email about the main challenges, our guest said the challenges to the system were mostly non-technical.  John was our last caller asking about DARPA, project financing, fuels, and more. In closing we talked about available internships and the hiring opportunities at Escape Dynamics.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact our guest through his website or by using drspace@thespaceshow.com.

DC-X 20th Anniversary Program, Sunday, 5-26-13 May 27, 2013

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DC-X 20th Anniversary Program, Sunday, 5-26-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2016-BWB-2013-05-26.mp3

Guests:  Dr. William Gaubatz, Cathy Harper, Nino Polizzi, Chris Orwoll.  Topics:  We discussed the DC-X SSTO rocket & its 20th anniversary celebration.  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.

We welcomed Dr. William Gaubatz, Cathy Harper, Nino Polizzi, & Chris Orwoll to the program to discuss the 20th anniversary of the DC-X SSTO prototype rocket and the celebration planned for August 16-18 at Spaceport America and the New Mexico Museum of Space History in Alamogordo, NM.  Please visit their website for more information about the celebration and the DC-X: www.dc-xspacequest.org.  Our program was 1 hour 38 minutes in one segment.  Dr. Gaubatz started off with a DC-X overview and information about the anniversary celebration.  Bill was followed by Nino who talked about the DC-X team and participants in the event.  He also provided us with his email address for specific follow up per his discussion.  Please contact him directly about this program. Next, we talked with Cathy. She provided us with information about the conference, the logistics for the first day at Spaceport America, then the balance of the event in Alamogordo at the NM Museum of Space History.  We talked about the International Space Hall of Fame and the first ever team induction to the Hall of Fame.  The listeners and I asked several questions about a team induction and Cathy and then later the other guests explained the idea behind a team induction in addition to telling us who the DC-X team members were, including specific companies/contractors for the project.  Chris Orwoll spoke about the museum and its new relationship with the Smithsonian Institution as it is now a Smithsonian Affiliate.  We talked about the benefits for the NM museum with this new relationship.  Chris outlined new museum plans for the NewSpace addition with the DC-X SpaceQuest exhibit.  Listeners asked many questions via email and by telephone.  Jack from VA called in with questions about the team and the government contracting method used with DC-X.  Dave Ketchum called in to talk about the impact of DC-X on hobby rocketry.  Several listeners email in questions about why DC-X was cancelled, the politics of it, and one wanted to know who designed the aeroshell for the rocket.  Montana John emailed in asking about the payload mass fraction to the GTOW of the vehicle.  Chris also talked more about the museum and its plans, funding plans, and development already underway.  Listeners and the guests did spend time talking about the politics of the DC-X, SSTO, and low cost launches to LEO, along with the politics of it all then and now.  One question asked our guests had to do with why there was so much support & interest for DC-X 20 years after the project was cancelled.  Don’t miss our guest responses.  Toward the end, our guests summarized the conference logistics and plans for the DC-X celebration. Chris and Cathy then told us that the museum had been selected to house the NSS archives.  This is important so listen to what they had to say. If you have NSS or L5 archives, please contact them or the curator per their instructions.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to email either of the guests, you can do so through me.