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Frank Van Renesselear, Tuesday, 6-10-14 June 11, 2014

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Frank Van Renesselear, Tuesday, 6-10-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2260-BWB-2014-06-10.mp3

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Guest:  Franklin (Frank) Van Rensselaer, Jr.  Topics:  Schafer Corp Aerospace & Strategic Business Development, commercial space, markets, capital.  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.

We welcomed Frank Van Rensselear to the program to discuss Schafer Corp and various commercial space topics and issues.  Our program was an hour long so we had only one segment.  We started our discussion with by talking with our guest about his experience as an Apollo Flight Controller and he described his position as The Booster.  He shared some of his experiences with us, especially for Apollo 8 and Apollo 12 which was hit by lightening shortly after launch.  Frank was also on the job through Skylab and the ASTP.  Listen and enjoy the history.  We then jumped into his experiences in commercial space and his having developed over $300 million in new business when he was with the Harris Corporation.  Our guest was asked about the newly released NRC Pathways Human Spaceflight Study and he said he basically agreed with it in that we do not have enough money, we can’t do meaningful and inspiring projects, and overall he suggested this was demeaning to the country.  We talked for several minutes about tight budget issues for NASA and the way congress and the American people set priorities which do not seem to include human spaceflight.  I suggested this is a choice & asked how we get policy and budget pros within the system to make different choices in support of HSF. Frank was asked if Constellation had not been cancelled if we would be in a similar position today with our dependency on Russia and related issues.  He did not think so but listen to his full response.  We talked about the RD-180 engine and the likelihood that congress will appropriate funds to make a U.S. replacement engine.  This brought up the need for such an engine if we have Delta and soon will have Falcon 9 which still gives us two independent launchers for high value national security payloads.  Frank had lots to say on this subject, on SpaceX and ULA, along with the importance of these national security satellites and launches.  John in Tucson emailed him about SLS on which our guest also had much to say.  But as long as we are focused on tight budget issues, the program has been & will be disappointing. Again, you don’t want to miss all of his comments on this issue.  Military space was a discussion topic as was public opinion suggesting space is not that relevant any more. We talked about Inspiration Mars being able to inspire but we both doubted it would happen.  Tony called in to ask about reusability & why the space shuttle was compromised and reusability taken out. In the end, our guest suggested that reusability would be key to our space future.  Next, we talked about Schafer Corp and its activities.  We learned that they consult and work with several NewSpace companies and they are hiring but typically they go for experienced engineers, not fresh out college grads.  I asked Frank for his perspective on the recently announced Google purchase of Skybox Imaging for $500 million.  This too was a most interesting discussion you do not want to miss.  Other topics during our program included billionaire space investors, suborbital tourism, space settlement, and commercial space growth by sectors.  Here we talked markets, needed infrastructure and capital acquisition for lunar projects and the like.  Our guest talked about the need for government sponsored infrastructure in advance of lunar commercial projects and suggested only government was capable of footing the bill for the needed  infrastructure.  He said raising the actual capital was a challenge and that at this time, it would really be uphill for lunar ventures.  In his concluding remarks, he said he was bullish for commercial space and private space companies and that going commercial was a good thing as it has & will bring in fresh ideas & projects.  His final question was about 3D printing for space.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach our guest through the Schafer Corp website, http://www.schafercorp.com or me.

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Jeffrey (Jefff) Smith, Tuesday, 3-18-14 March 19, 2014

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Jeffrey (Jefff) Smith, Tuesday, 3-18-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2210-BWB-2014-03-18.mp3

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Guest:  Jeffrey (Jeff) Smith.  Topics:  Space Expedition Corp Griffith Observatory event, XCOR, Lynx, NewSpace.  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 Jeff Smith to the program to discuss the recent Space Expedition Corp program held at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.  We initially learned of this event when Doug Messier was recent a guest on the program and since Jeff was going to be in Los Angeles, he decided to attend the event while in Los Angeles.  During the first segment of our 91 minute, Jeff introduced us to Space Expedition Corp (www.spacexc.com) which is a Netherlands based space service company wanting to sell & service flights on the XCOR Lynx suborbital vehicle in Curacao.  Jeff described the audience attending the event, spoke about the qualifications, expertise, and knowledge regarding the Space Expedition Corp’s (SXC) speaker at the event and others in the company.  Listeners asked many questions, including environmental questions regarding rocket pollution in the atmosphere.  Jeff said this was discussed at the event.  Another listener asked about ITAR given XCOR was working with a company in the Netherlands. Both Jeff and then later another listener, Carl, responded and explained the ITAR situation vis a vis XCOR.  Jeff also talked about opportunities in aerospace as a result of many leaving the Air Force or other services after their 20 years.  Another observation Jeff offered was that he thought more companies were interested in marketing space, not doing space.  Jeff was asked if SXC planned Lynx flights at locations other than Curacao.  Listener Carl responded that XCOR was planning flights in the States and elsewhere but it was not clear if SXC would be operating in locations other than Curacao.

In the second segment, I asked Jeff for his thoughts on the NewSpace industry in general, plus the emerging suborbital industry.  Here, Jeff had lots to say, including some concern for market issues and the low barrier to entry for parts of the industry.  Betsy in Tulsa asked him what inspired his interest in NewSpace and like many of us, Jeff was addicted to space everything at a very early age, chose to get an education in a related field and follow a career in aerospace.  He also wanted to follow the entrepreneurial side of things through NewSpace.  He said NewSpace seems to be more ideologically driven than traditional aerospace.  We talked about star gazing in Tucson, the Planetary Science Institute plan for telescopes on a Lynx, & the ability of students, especially at the high school level, to do science experiments that were space related through cubesats and more.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  Jeff can be contacted through me.

Dr. Jason Reimuller, Tuesday, 10-22-13 October 23, 2013

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Dr. Jason Reimuller, Tuesday, 10-22-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2109-BWB-2013-10-22.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Jason Reimuller.  Topics:  Project PoSSUM, manned suborbital polar research flights, noctilucent clouds, rescue & recovery.  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 Dr. Jason Reimuller to the program to discuss Project PoSSUM (Polar Suborbital Science in the Upper Mesosphere).  For more information, please visit their website, www.projectpossum.org. In the first segment of this 1 hour 29 minute discussion, Dr. Reimuller started off by telling us the history of Project PoSSUM and its focus on noctilucent clouds.  Jason described noctilucent clouds and their importance.  I also suggest you read about them on their website at http://projectpossum.org/2015-possum-nlc-campaign/about-noctilucent-clouds.  We talked about the high latitudes, the short window for observing these clouds, and the interest in using the XCOR Lynx vehicle as the RLV of choice though other suborbital RLVs are also being considered.  We talked about funding as a NASA Flight Opportunities Program and down the road a specialized Kickstarter program.  Jason also described the payloads, missions and the Aeronomy Lab, the PoSSUM observatory and much more.  He described the types of experiments the scientists want to do during the suborbital flight. Jason also pointed out the use of a general aviation turbo-Mooney aircraft for noctilucent cloud observation, plus the rocket flight profile for maximum viewing and studying during the science mission.

In the second segment, we talked about how Project PoSSUM can enable and influence science globally plus the international interest in science missions to study these clouds.  Here, Jason pointed out that their choice vehicle was actually the Lynx Mark II.  A listener asked if the clouds were also present in the deep southern latitudes and they are during the southern hemisphere summer as they are in the northern hemisphere summer.  Given that Jason had worked on the NASA Constellation program, I asked him questions about Constellation of which he had much to say.  He also expressed a concern regarding the private rocket companies and their astronaut rescue and recover programs. He talked about the Constellation rescue and recovery program, the trades they had to consider, plus all the variables that had the potential to impact a crew rescue & recovery attempt. He also described the infrastructure in place to aid in rescue and recovery for government missions but that this infrastructure may not be applicable or available to private launch vehicles and commercial astronauts.  Connie wanted to know if there was any difference in the noctilucent clouds over land as compared to the oceans.  We also talked about science mission conclusions regarding climate change issues.

For more information, Dr. Reimuller can be reached through the PoSSUM website plus each of the Project PoSSUM programs has contact info on the website. Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.

Dr. Perry Ballard, Friday, 1-13-12 January 13, 2012

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Dr. Perry Ballard, Friday, 1-13-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1689-BWB-2012-01-13.mp3

 Guest:  Dr. Perry Ballard.  Topics:  Space Test Program, Secondary payload capacity 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 Dr. Perry Ballard, Chief Engineer, DOD Manned Spaceflight Payloads Office, Space and Missile Systems Center, JSC.  Dr. Ballard began our discussion with an overview of the DoD Space Test Program (STP), why it was created, its purpose, and some of the experiments that have flown with great success because of STP efforts.  Dr. Ballard also spoke about the Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) imaging spectrometer mission which with the help of STP flew on the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility (JEM-EF) on the ISS.  Dr. Ballard responded to listener questions about the impact on STP of budget cuts as well as payload capacity downgrades due to the retirement of the shuttle.  You might be surprised by his response to these questions.  Another issue that was addressed was the NASA two year integration period for ISS missions.  Lots of questions came in about this, most wondering if a private company such as Bigelow could substantially reduce the two year period.  This prompted a more thorough discussion about integration and each rocket’s environment as well as the way it rides.  Professor Fevig from UND Space Studies asked about opportunities for student-built spacecraft to be launched as a secondary payload into GTO.  Launching to GTO, specifically cubesats, also turned into a significant discussion that you will not want to miss. At the end of this segment, Perry received some questions about assisting with payloads for sounding rockets.  In his response, he said they also work with balloon launches and sometimes even with high altitude aircraft. 

In our second segment, we talked about secondary payload capacity and the need for the payloads to be ready when the capacity is ready.  If the payloads are not ready, the capacity can go elsewhere.  This is quite a challenge for the university and cubesat community.  When you listen to what Dr. Ballard had to say about this issue, some of the challenges, the relationships with payloads, integration, timing, missions, and orbital dynamics, will become much clearer.  Later in this segment, Perry was asked about STP using foreign launchers and also finding rides for foreign payloads. 

In our final segment, we talked about the work of his office with the amateur satellite network, the challenges to provide ground stations for schools, and to increase broadband capacity.  He talked about the mission priority list he gets that he has to work with and the priorities for science missions above all else. Later in this segment, he put forth his own idea of getting sponsors, Space Grant, and others to supply rocket motors to student groups, classes, organizations, to help inspire students by actually doing things rather than just hearing a lecture or reading a book.  See what you think of his idea and run with it if you like it.  His idea is centered around getting students to build spacecraft, to bend metal so to speak.  Since the rocket motor may be the most expensive part needed, if it can be furnished by a sponsor, he believes it can be a driver for STEM education at different grade levels through college.  If you have comments or questions for Dr. Perry Ballard, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  Any notes you have for Dr. Ballard can be sent through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.