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John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 5-20-15 May 21, 2015

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John Batchelor Show Hotel Mars, Wednesday, 5-20-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2477-BWB-2015-05-20.mp3

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Guests: John Batchelor, William (Bill) Harwood, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Air Force X37-B, ULA, SpaceX & more. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written 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 do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm). For those of you listening to archives on live365.com & rating the programs, please email me the reasons for your rating. This will definitely help improve Space Show programming. Thank you. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.

 

John Batchelor and I welcomed back William (Bill) Harwood, CBS Space News Reporter, to update us on the X37-B Air Force launch by ULA on an Atlas 5, the 10 cubesats that were on board, and the Planetary Society LightSail mission which was also launched on the same Atlas 5 rocket. Bill talked about the secrecy of the X37-B project, the cubesats, and the solar sails which make up the LightSail mission. We then talked about SpaceX and their recent pad abort test, the progress being made on the spaceport work at Boca Chica near Brownsville, TX. Other topics included the Dragon capsule taking cargo to and from the ISS plus the differences in the cargo Dragon and the human Dragon once it starts operations.

 

You can email Mr. Batchelor or Bill Harwood through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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James (Jim) Faist, Tuesday, 9-2-14 September 3, 2014

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James (Jim) Faist, Tuesday, 9-2-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2308-BWB-2014-09-02.mp3

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Guest:  James (Jim) Faist.  Topics:  Military space, commercial space, NASA, launches, military use of cubesats & UAVs.  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 Jim Faist to the program for this 63 minute discussion.  We started our first and only segment by inquiring about military space and possible synergies with commercial space.  Mr. Faist cited communication satellites of all types including Direct TV, high bandwidth space communications platforms and infrastructure, plus the push to deep space.  Our guest talked about the new optical coms with much higher bandwidth.  I asked Jim about the time lags from R&D to military space operations to NASA and civil space, then to commercial space companies.  Jim estimated about 5-8 years to military space and about ten years to civil space.  An email listener asked about DoD launches being able to serve as drivers for NASA and commercial space to increase by increasing the launch rate to drive down launch costs.  We then talked about priorities for military space.  Here, we learned that DOD is very concerned with costs but the priority is the mission.   Costs are just one part of the mission priorities..  In general, DOD likes and wants competition and lower prices are important.  One of the points our guest made was that other space nations can spend more on R&D and new projects than we do as a percentage of their budgets since we have to maintain older technology & infrastructure while others that are newer to space don’t have the legacy issues to support & finance.  This brought up a question by Carl who wanted to know if satellite on orbit servicing was worth it or would it be better to go for the new hardware.  The DOD usage of cubesats came up and we compared cubesats to smallsats and finally to the use of UAVs.  You will find the comparisons interesting.  A listener asked about the SpaceX-Air Force lawsuit.  Here, Jim talked about the process for DOD requirements for confidence in launchers and at one point suggested it might be a ten year long process.  I also asked our guest about our building a new rocket motor to replace the RD-180.  Another question focused on the possible DOD use of SLS and heavy lift.  AF Space Command came up as did responsive space and a comparison of that to UAVs.  We talked about DOD public/private partnerships or joint partnerships with civil/commercial space.  Lunar outposts and cislunar space were mentioned as well as the concept of a Space Guard modeled after the Coast Guard. Near the end, I asked about suborbital space tourism/science missions.  Jim mentioned using sounding rockets to test & flight qualify space hardware.  He thought the suborbitals would be good for that.  TRLs came up again & we talked about the role of the Schafer Corp in military space plus their current need for people & their current hiring needs.  Cubesats came up again, especially concerning enough launches and what it might mean for cubesats if they carry propulsion with them as that makes it hard to fly as a secondary payload.  In response to launch issues, he said it was not enough to just focus on the cubesats, the launch side of the business must also be considered & addressed.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Mr. Faist through me or the Schafer Corp website (www.schafercorp.com).

Michael Listner, Monday, 5-5-14 May 6, 2014

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Michael Listner, Monday, 5-5-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2238-BWB-2014-05-05.mp3

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Guest:  Michael Listner.  Topics:  Space law issues regarding the SpaceX litigation against the Air Force/U.S. Government & Russia & NASA re moving forward on ISS & more.  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 Michael Listner back to the program to explain the legal issues involved in the SpaceX-Air Force lawsuit and to discuss the Russian-NASA issues regarding the ISS as a result of U.S. sanctions on Russia and Russian leaders due to the crisis in the Ukraine & Crimea.  In the first segment of our 90 minute program, Michael addressed the SpaceX law suit.  He explained that it was a bid protest law suit, he explained the background and the legal issues involved.  He also said SpaceX was not asking for money but for a Declaratory Judgment that they are eligible to bid on bulk buy launch services which up to now have been the exclusive domain of ULA.  He also said it was the court that picked up on the national security issue regarding ULA, the RD180 engine and the continued purchase of the engines from Dmitry Rogozin & Russia in spite of the Executive Order that may prevent such new purchase activity.  On this issue, the court issued a temporary injunction in favor of SpaceX.  He also explained the process wherein ULA has joined the action as an interested party.  Our entire first segment was devoted to Michael responding to listener questions, explaining the legal concepts, and making sure we understood what this law suit was about and the legal issues the lawsuit focuses on.

In the second segment, Michael started off with a few clarifications dealing with the lawsuit and mentioned that as he understood it, ULA had offered the Air Force a guarantee to replace the launch and satellite if one of their launches failed.  Given ULA resources, that would not be that unusual but it would be a hard act for SpaceX to follow given the fact that SpaceX is young and still growing/developing.  We then switched to the topic of Russia and NASA.  Here, Michael talked about legal agreements and treaties, including the ISS Agreement among partners known as the IGA (he said it amounts to a treaty).  He did not think it would be that easy for the current problems with Russia as a result of our sanctions given the Ukrainian and Crimean issues to escalate to taking down the ISS agreement and other space activities underway with Russia and NASA.  Michael was asked about the likelihood of NASA getting more funding and working with SpaceX to fastback the Dragon development for taking humans to the ISS.  Other questions took us back to the lawsuit discussed in the first segment.  As we neared the end of the program, Michael also talked about the PR campaigns by SpaceX and ULA and how this was a high stakes lawsuit.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Michael through me.  For Twitter use Michael J. Listner@ponder68.

Brian Weeden, Wednesday, 10-23-13 October 23, 2013

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Brian Weeden, Wednesday, 10-23-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2110-BWB-2013-10-23.mp3

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Guest:  Brian Weeden.  USAF Space Fence for national security.  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 Brian Weeden back to the program to discuss the issue of the shutting down of the USAF Space Fence.  Our discussion was based on Brian’s August 26, 2013 Space Review article, “Gambling with a Space Fence: An analysis of the decision to shut down the Air Force Space Surveillance Fence” at www.thespacereview.com/article/2357/1.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 29 minute discussion, Brian provided us with a brief history of the Space Fence, what it has been used for, its technical characteristics, and it recent cancellation partially due to sequestration regarding its approximate $15 million annual budget expense.  Brian also explained its capabilities in detecting spy satellites, space debris and other objects and the size of objects which it can detect.  He discussed both continuous wave radar and pulsed radar, pointing out that the fence which dated from the late 1950’s, was uncued.  Richard Easton called in as his father Roger was one of the developers for the space fence in January 1958.  Richard contributed greatly to our discussion.  Brian then talked about the probable replacement for the fence, an S Band fence which would result in higher frequencies enabling the detection of smaller objects, probably with a very high rate pulsed radar. Right now the S Band fence is estimated to cost about $1.8 billion but as you will hear, it may never be built.  As to how our national security has been impacted without the fence operating, Brian said it was difficult to assess so listen carefully to his analysis.  Brian also talked about challenging DOD budget issues, the difference in budget years with DOD as compared to the government as a whole, and again, sequestration.

In our second segment, Brian addressed several of the political issues surrounding the space fence issue.  When asked how long it would take for the S Band system to become operational were it funded, he said around 2018.  Two companies are competing to do it if and when the project is authorized and funded.  We also talked about the U.S. sharing satellite tracking information with all satellite operators including private companies, thus using an international partnership to finance the space fence since it benefits everyone. As you will hear, there appears to be control and sensitivity issues which prevent the air force from going that route. Later I asked Brian about stealth satellites and then he took a listener question about the way space debris was portrayed in the movie Gravity.  We spent some time discussing the impact of a movie like Gravity on the public regarding the space debris issue. As the program was ending, Brian said he was not that optimistic about a replacement fence and brought to our attention the need to upgrade computer systems that process the data.  As you will hear, this is a substantial problem that is not being addressed.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can reach Brian through me or SWF.