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Open Lines, Sunday, 5-18-14 May 19, 2014

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Open Lines, Sunday, 5-18-14


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Guest:  Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  The passing of Roger Easton, father of GPS, Russia, ISS, NASA, Ukraine, sanctions, space policy.  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 2 hour 1 minute program.  In our first segment, we started with the first caller, Richard Easton who told us about the passing of his Dad, Roger Easton, the father of GPS.  Richard has been a guest on the show several times &we were most fortunate to have Roger as a guest as well several years ago.  We took this opportunity to honor Roger Easton & talk about the early days of Roger’s timing work which formed the backbone of GPS.  Richard went through some of the early history with us as he has done on previous shows. I urge you to listen to this call plus go back and listen to Richard’s earlier shows, including his first one when Roger was with him. You will hear oral history at its best & from the major scientist/engineer who brought us GPS.  After Richard’s call, we took our first break.

In the second segment, I read a NASA PR announcement about the successful recovery of Dragon bringing back 3,500 lbs. of cargo from the ISS.  Congratulations to SpaceX and NASA!.  John from Ft. Worth called to talk about the U.S. sanctions on Russia regarding the Crimea/Ukraine, the Atlas 5, the RD-180 engine and various straggles that might unfold for the ISS.  John was asking thought provoking questions which neither of us could answer but we do know the situation is largely political rhetoric and posturing right now but could easily change.  I asked John if he thought we might fast track the development of HSF and Dragon.  As he said, we wait and see.  Next, I took a very short break to return with my attempt to respond to the questions about Russia, the ISS, and sanctions asked by Kelly in his email which I read on air.  Our next caller was first time caller John from New Jersey who took us through to the end of the program.  John’s call was an excellent one & I urge you to listen to what he had to say.  We talked about the old shuttle policy, the possible use of depots, lunar settlement & using the Moon for training and experience to go further out in space.  We also talked about Mars and asteroid mission, then the issue of leadership came up regarding policy & in particular, space.  Like so many of us frustrated by our current situation, John was unable to find answers to how to advance policy.  I asked him if the militarization of space by another state actor might be a driver for the type of space activities we had been talking about.  He did not think so but listen to his answer.  One of his favorite comments  was to the effect that “we are having Star Trek dreams in a wagon train universe!”  Prior to ending our program, I went over our upcoming Space Show schedule.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach any of our callers/participants through me.

William (Bill) Mellberg, Tuesday, 1-31-12 February 1, 2012

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William (Bill) Mellberg, Tuesday, 1-31-12


Guest:  William (Bill) Mellberg.  Topics:  Comparing aviation to commercial space regarding markets, safety, and more. Explorer 1 54th anniversary.  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 Bill Mellberg to the program to compare the early days of aviation with today’s commercial space industry. We also honored the 54th anniversary of Explorer 1.  Mr. Mellberg started the discussion with Explorer 1 by talking about the early history of Vanguard, Explorer 1, Werner Von Braun, Ernst Stuhlinger & more. Richard Easton called & we talked about timing, GPS, clock synchronization, his Dad’s work, and Vanguard early history.  Turning to our main topic, comparing the early days of aviation history to the commercial space industry today, our guest said it was a flawed comparison.  During the first segment, he explains in detail his reasoning which has to do with commercial markets, what the government is paying for regarding commercial space as compared to what it paid for with aviation, specifically the Kelly Air Mail Act of 1925.  We also talked about the early history of Fokker Aircraft Company which he tied into our discussion on markets, market timing, and production capabilities.  Mr. Mellberg addressed human spaceflight safety from the point of view that it would be extremely hard for the commercial companies to master safety given the complexities & costs of human spaceflight & the potential damage or even ruination of the company should there be a fatal accident.  Before the segment ended, our guest drove home the lack of commercial markets for human spaceflight.  There must be HSF markets other than the government market for the ISS.  

In our second segment, our guest cited some airplane examples that were ahead of the market and suffered from bad market timing.  He then used the SST as an example of the points he was making about high operating costs, no or limited markets, government subsidies, etc.  He went over the economics of why the Boeing SST was killed by our congress and what happens when the ticket price is so high that a broad market cannot be realized.  Listeners and callers asked about government regulation crippling innovation.  Bill then suggested the path to commercialization was with a program such a what Dr. Spudis and Dr. Lavoie have proposed in their paper “Using the resources of the Moon to create a permanent, cislunar space faring system” as well as on The Space Show. You can read their paper at www.spudislunarresources.com/Bibliography/p/102.pdf.  Bill said that eventually as cislunar economic develop evolves, so would commercial markets and opportunities.  He also recommended the NASA reorganization plan proposed last year by Dr. Harrison Schmitt. You can read his plan at www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=37176.  Our guest suggested that we should use the money being invested in commercial human spaceflight to do space exploration projects because commercial space today is an unnecessary diversion of scarce resources in a tight economy.  Throughout our discussion, he talked about government contracting and why it is different today, not commercial, and unlike what was done in early aviation and with airmail.  At the end of the program, our guest treated us to some of his political humor and impersonations per his program, “An Evening With The Presidents.”

Post your comments/questions on our blog URL above. You can hear his humor at www.aneveningwiththepresidents.com/live