jump to navigation

Dr. James (Jim) Wertz, Monday, 2-11-13 February 12, 2013

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Dr. James (Jim) Wertz, Monday, 2-11-13


Guest:  Dr. James (Jim) Wertz:  Topics:  Methods for dramatically reducing space mission costs, schedules, & 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. Jim Wertz, President of Microcosm, back to the show to discuss various methods & tools for reducing total space mission costs.  Our guest talked about successful programs and tools that have so far contributed to total mission cost reduction.  In the first segment of our 1 hour 33 minute program, Dr. Wertz started by defining what he meant by reinventing space.  He said this refers to a dramatic reduction in total space mission costs by a factor of 2::10 for schedule related reductions and 2-5 times for space access related costs.  Early on he was asked about reducing costs by increasing the launch rate, a common argument heard in various sectors of the space industry.  His response might surprise you.  Dr. Wertz cited examples to support his comments, specifically Surrey Satellite in the UK (SSTL) as they have been reducing costs successfully for 25 years.  He said modern technology must be used. He also pointed us to his Reinventing Space Project with the USC Astronautics Department.  Also, he pointed us to these websites for more information, www.smad.com/ie/ieframessr2.html and www.smad.com/ReinventingSpace.html.  Dr. Wertz mentioned disaggregation regarding the military using smaller spacecraft and different orbits.  He was asked about cubesats and cubesat launchers, the Scorpius launch vehicle, and NanoEye.  Jim offered sequestration and budgetary comments and pointed out the difficulty in mission planning and more when the nation continues to operate on CR rather than a budget.  He talked about the potential seriousness of the sequestration cuts.  In response to questions about the private sector and SAA type agreements, he pointed out that they exclude the smaller, more creative and innovative cutting edge companies as they are often unable to contribute the required financial portion of the agreement.  Jim pointed out that the goal was to reduce total mission costs, not just launch costs. He said that the launch cost was not always the most costly component of the mission.  As the segment ended, he talked about emergency response and the need for a rapid response, something that is today unavailable.

    In the second segment, we talked about the Cassini Resource Exchange as an effective policy that reduced mission costs and enabled an on time project.  Don’t miss the details about this program.  He again talked about SSTL and pointed out that their attitude is what makes them special & so good.  SSTL has pride in reducing mission costs. We don’t have such pride.  Dr. Wertz talked about Trading on Requirements and why it is risky.  During the first segment, fuel depots were offered up as a possible way to reduce mission costs but Dr. Wertz put them in the marginal category. During this segment, listeners had lots of questions about fuel depots.  In fact, it was as if they cared more about their vision and beliefs regarding fuel depots than the overall message Dr. Wertz was putting out. Clearly fuel depots have the attention of space enthusiasts & sectors of the industry no matter what.  A listener also asked about advanced propulsion concepts as represented by several companies pushing very advanced designs.  Dr. Wertz mentioned that the amateur satellite network could be used to reduce mission costs and talked about the success of AMSAT.  More listener questions came in regarding fuel depots, by far the most common discussion and question topic of the day.  Jim talked about future programs that may offer economies of scale such as SSP.  The last questions came in from Tim regarding our discussion of using pressure fed systems over the use of systems with a turbo pump.  He also wanted to know about rocket reusability.  Jim’s answers may again surprise you.

     Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can email Dr. Wertz through me using drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Charles Pooley, Sunday, 7-15-12 July 15, 2012

Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Charles Pooley, Sunday, 7-15-12


Guest:  Charles Pooley.  Topics: Microlaunchers, LLC, focusing on the means to achieve space development, not the end result, and his action plans for launching microlaunchers. 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 Charles Pooley back to the program to discuss his Microlaunchers concept in detail.  You can follow along and learn more about the program from visiting www.microlaunchers.com.  Charles started the discussion with his comments on the NANOSAT Challenge and the logo design winner.  From there, he directed us to his website and began talking about the initial project, the ML-1 launcher.  Charles spent most of the first segment talking about his Microlauncher plans.  Callers asked him about the technology, RC airplanes, liquid fuel motors, amateur launches, FAA AST rules, his three stage design, and even his having wanted to use irrigation tubing for his launchers.  I asked Charles for his time line for getting Microlaunchers off the ground and he talked about this on and off for the entire discussion.  Funding idea were tossed around, including the use of crowd sourcing and Kickstarter.  The Small Sat Conference came up with lots of pressure on Charles to attend.  Guidance systems and ITAR came up and there was more discussion about FAA AST launch rules, range fees and tracking.

In our second segment, a listener called in to suggest that Charles start writing articles for The Space Review and use social media including Facebook and Twitter.  A listener asked about tracking and data collection for his rockets, and more comments came in directing Charles to learn & start using Twitter to help get the word out about his ideas.  I then asked Charles to give us his step by step action plan.  In response, he outlined the first four or five steps of his plan.  Charles got more feedback for the usage of Twitter & social media and then Charles took us through ML-1 through ML-3.  Near the end of the show, Charles was asked about Google Lunar X Prize as compared to his model. He had much to say about this comparison.  We talked about N-Prize and Charles offered us a good summary of the Microlaunchers concept for his closing comments.

Please post your questions/comments on The Space Show blog.  You can email Charles at ckpooley@microlaunchers.com  Follow him on Twitter at Charles Pooley@microlaunchers.