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Rob Lowe, ShipInSpace, Sunday, 9-8-13 September 8, 2013

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Rob Lowe, ShipInSpace, Sunday, 9-8-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2083-BWB-2013-09-08.mp3

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Guest:  Rob Lowe.   Topics:  ShipInSpace space tourism company in the UK and their 48 passenger spacecraft.  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 Rob Lowe to the program to introduce us to and discuss ShipInSpace, a new entry in the suborbital space tourism industry.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 24 minute program, Mr. Lowe introduced us to ShipInSpace, he described their proposed space tourist flight adventure program, we talked about the vehicle, the entry and reentry g forces, the stacking system for passenger pods and the safety escape system.  Rob also described a typical parabolic flight profile for ShipInSpace once it starts operations in five years.  Rob answered questions about vehicle safety and certification, their two year passenger training program, the vertical launch and horizontal landing design, the hatch closure and opening procedures, plus the use of space suits for the occupants, and their pricing model which is significantly lower than their competition.  Rob also addressed listener questions about ShipInSpace financing, budgets, and the start of ticket sales.  Crowd funding was brought up in the financial discussion, our guest was asked about the competition not only from Virgin and XCOR but from other companies in the U.S., Canada, and across Europe. One of our listeners in India wanted to know how ShipInSpace was different from the AXE APOLLO space project.

In the second segment, Rob was asked about choosing one’s pod mates for the flight given each stacked pod had room for four passengers.  We also learned that initially the flight frequency would be weekly but that might increase over time.  Rob digressed to tell us about his book which is available on Amazon, “The Eccentric Universe.”  Remember, if you buy the book using The Space Show/OGLF Amazon portal (instructions are in all show summaries on the website and the blog plus the blog has a specific link to our Amazon portal), Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/OGLF.  His book sounds most interesting so check it out. Later, our guest was asked about the possibility of their using Spaceport America and our guest indicated that it was a possibility, as was the use of spaceports in Europe and elsewhere.  Near the end of our discussion, Rob gazed forward with an assessment of the potential of a future space tourism and development industry, then a listener asked them about plans to move toward orbital tourism.  We asked our guest about their proposed flight test program, Point to Point transportation, and a few more questions about their competition.  The last listener sent in an email saying he was a skeptic and wondered about their Plan B if the marketing survey they are counting on turned out to be invalid.  In response he said that the company and the spacecraft were designed to do other types of mission so not to worry. He also cited the demand Mars One has experienced in opening up the application process for their mission as solid evidence of the interest in space tourism and travel.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Rob Lowe through my email address.

 

Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12 October 10, 2012

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Dr. Jason Cassibry, Tuesday, 10-9-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1869-BWB-2012-10-09.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Jason Cassibry.  Topics:  A technical description and the potential of fusion propulsion.  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. Jason Cassibry to the program to guide us in our discussion of the potential for fusion propulsion.  At times, this was a very technical discussion.  To assist in following it, I have uploaded to the blog his published paper delivered at the AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, “The Case and Development Path for Fusion Propulsion.”  In addition, below are the URLs for several articles on fusion propulsion that Dr. Cassibry shared with us: www.uah.edu/news/items/10-research/2501-slapshot-to-deep-space#.UDrKn-iPVuY;
www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/rockets/the-big-machine-that-could-lead-to-fusion-powered-spaceships-9450996; http://io9.com/5921673/nuclear-slapshots-could-propel-a-spacecraft-to-mars-in-just-weeks; www.centauri-dreams.org/?p=23442
and http://nextbigfuture.com/2012/10/zpinch-nuclear-fusion-pulse-space.html.   Dr. Cassibry started out by providing us with a working definition of fusion propulsion.  We talked about nuclear propulsion as well and the overall state of development for fusion energy.  I asked Dr. Cassibry if in their economic projections for fusion propulsion, they considered the political and policy impact on fossil fuel pricing and supply availability.  As you will hear, generally such factors are not included in their studies though he concurred with me that such policies can strongly skew the economics one way or the other.  Several calls came in on a wide ranging group of associated topics.  We talked about the main fusion fuel, lithium deuteride, magnetic nozzles, and the use of a nuclear fission reactor to start the fusion propulsion unit.  Z-Pinch technologies were defined and discussed.  As the segment drew to a close, I asked about funding sources for this research and we learned that most all of the funding is from public sources.

In our second segment, more listeners called in regarding insitu resource usage, nuclear propulsion to start the fusion unit, and the power consumed for all of this.  We talked about using fusion propulsion for a Mars mission and what it did for travel times.  Jason also put forth a suggested time line and path to follow to operation in perhaps 25 years, depending on funding.  More calls came in with fuel questions, vibration impact, G force acceleration, thrust, and more.  Another topic discussed was fusion propulsion for the launch vehicle.  We then compared some real mission travel times such as Cassini, Voyager, and New Horizons, asking what the transit times would have been like using fusion propulsion.  As we were ending the program, I asked about the students entering aerospace engineering at UAH, both the undergrad and graduate level, plus the gender mix of the students.  There appears to be strong demand by the students to study these fields at all levels.  In conclusion, Jason suggested that we could look for breakeven with fusion in about ten years, maybe less.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog.  Dr. Cassibry’s faculty page at UAH is www.mae.uah.edu/faculty/cassibry.shtml.

 

Cassibry et al case for fusion 072812