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Janet Stevens, National Space Symposium, Thursday, 3-14-13 March 15, 2013

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Janet Stevens, National Space Symposium, Thursday, 3-14-13


Guest: Janet Stevens.  Topic: The National Space Symposium sponsored by the Space Foundation, Colorado Springs, CO.  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 Ms. Janet Stevens to the program, the Space Foundation’s marketing and PR program manager for a discussion about the upcoming National Space Symposium to be held in Colorado Springs from April 8-11, 2013.  For more information about the National Space Symposium, please visit www.nationalspacesymposium.org/top-reasons-to-attend.  For additional information regarding the Space Foundation, visit www.spacefoundation.org.  We started our one hour discussion with Ms. Stevens by addressing the 29th National Space Symposium, its history, relevancy to everything we do in space, the program agenda, some of the keynote speakers and events, plus the conference location and registration information, all of which is available online on the conference website.  Ms. Stevens talked about the broad reach of this particular conference/symposium, including a significant international support both in the form of attendance but in speakers and programming.  We also talked about the constraints on NASA and other government agencies this year as a result of sequestration & how each department and government organization seems to be handling the very tight money situation.  Janet highlighted the agenda starting the first day with the Cyber 1.3 programming followed by the opening events for the conference at the end of the day.  Use the conference website for a full description of the daily agenda, the main speakers and their bios, plus the general discussion topics that will be addressed during the program.  Listeners asked logistic and registration questions and one person even wanted to know the reason for Sigourney Weaver serving as the gala event speaker.  In addition to her work in space and sci-fi related films, Ms. Weaver is also engaged in education outreach which is a main focus of the Space Foundation.  Janet talked about the Space Report 2012 which is available from their online store, www.nationalspacesymposium.org/about/space-foundation-online-store.  For those interested in attending, note that today is the day Early Bird Registration ends so best to register at the lower price today, Friday, 3-15-13, if at all possible.   Other related topics address commercial space which is now about 70% of total space revenue.  We also talked about the excellent networking opportunities with the top people speaking and attending plus the Exhibit Hall which as you will hear is second to none.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  For National Space Symposium information, you can send your questions via their website using www.nationalspacesymposium.org/about/contact-us.

Michael Ciannilli, Leonard David, Tuesday, 7-17-12 July 17, 2012

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Michael Ciannilli, Leonard David, Tuesday, 7-17-12


Lessons Learned from the Columbia accident & NASA’s human spaceflight experience

Guests:  Michael Ciannilli, Leonard David.  Topics:  Columbia lessons learned & human spaceflight safety issues.  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 Michael Ciannilli of NASA to the program to discuss lessons learned from the Columbia accident & NASA’s history of human spaceflight. Leonard David of Space.com returned as a co-host for this program.  Our nearly two hour no break discussion started with Michael providing us with an historical overview of the Columbia accident.  We talked about the debris retrieval process & the fact that about 38% of Columbia was retrieved.  Michael was asked about surprises & among the many he mentioned, one in particular dealt with the tile & thermal impact showing burning on the inside & how that was a clue to what happened to Columbia.  Michael then listed several lessons learned.  When I asked if he could prioritize the items he mentioned, he said they were all important.  We talked about the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), return to flight, incorporating lessons learned, & more.  Leonard asked about the idea of NASA HSF safety excesses & we asked Michael if lessons learned & HSF safety issues were shared with both the private sector companies & the Russians.  I asked Michael about educational outreach & he had some interesting things to say about the international internet audience as well as the local audience.  The subject of urban legends came up in the outreach discussion & we honed in on the idea of the possibility of a rescue mission.  You do not want to miss this important discussion.  Other issues discussed included the foam problem, Leonard asked about the “bone matrix” he saw in use at the CAIB hearings, & I mentioned the need to really know & understand the hardware given our recent intimate visit with Endeavour.  Cultural issues were a part of this discussion, including the risk of workforce lulls & the need to avoid complacency.  Michael cited tile issues as an example going back to STS 1 and studying all missions to really understand tile concerns.  One email dealt with NASA risk aversion & some space enthusiasts saying that to open the space frontier we need to “kill more people.”  Michael addressed these issues, going over the NASA mission & imperatives, their responsibilities, and the risks of all sorts of consequences coming to life.  We talked about individual worker responsibility and accountability with Michael giving us both NASA and personal insights into this subject.  We then talked about the balancing act required in weighing the risk trades of cutting costs, cutting corners, taking more risks, taking less risks, etc.  He suggested private companies will go through a similar process and talked about the consequences of decisions which can be devastating with the loss of a crew to the termination of a program or the loss of the company.  Michael explained the Criticality One status and what it means in the risk analysis process.  Another listener asked if shuttles still had life left in them at the time of retirement. The short answer was yes but don’t miss what Michael has to say about the condition of space shuttle fleet at the time of retirement.  Another issue discussed dealt with trying to find a lower cost way of operating shuttle and dealing with all their infrastructure without compromising safety.  Near the end of the program, we took a Southern California call asking about potentially different standards for government astronauts and private-sector astronauts.  I was asked to lead off with my opinion which I did from a business liability perspective, then Michael and Leonard discussed the subject. We had lots to say about informed consent, litigation, & the uncertainties inherent when involved in a jury trial.  As we were winding down the program, Michael provided us with his closing comments, then I added in my own comments that focused on the sports inspirational speaker, Ray Lewis, linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens, who gives a terrific inspirational speech to teams around the country, “Pissed Off For Greatness.”  You can find lots of information about this by using Google for his name or the speech title.  Essentially, this is about not accepting mediocrity in what you do & I extrapolated it to space.  HSF workers, regardless of being with NASA or any company as well as others involved in the space field cannot accept mediocrity.  Being pissed off for greatness implies that if you are not pissed off for greatness, then you willing to settle for being mediocre in what you do.  Michael, Leonard and I talked about this at the end of the program.  I hope you will concur with me that extrapolating this inspirational sports talk to space fits.  Michael closed us out by saying it takes courage to stand up and say something if you believe something is off or not right in the program.  He further said it takes a lot to challenge the bureaucracy and stand up but that we all have to do it when the situation arises.

Please post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to email Michael or Leonard, do so through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com and I will forward it to the person of your choice.

Col. Carol Welsch (USAF), Monday, 7-9-12 July 10, 2012

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Col. Carol Welsch (USAF), Monday, 7-9-12


Guest:  Col. Carol Welsch (USAF).  Topics:  Space Development & Test Directorate, Space Test Program, DOD small satellite launch assist programs.  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 Col. Welsch back to The Space Show to discuss the Air Force Space Development & Test Directorate, the Space Test Program, and other DOD launch and small satellite assist programs.  During our first segment, Col. Welsch introduced us to the program and we talked about several of their satellite projects, their R&D program, and their launch and satellite parameters for participating in their program.  We talked about civilian as well as Air Force career opportunities within this Directorate.  Civilian jobs are listed at www.USAjobs.gov site under the name of this directorate.  We also talked about funding and congressional budget cuts, the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program and office, as well as the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL).  We took listener calls and emails about the hyperspectral imaging (ARTEMIS) satellite, TacSat-3, and even the Civil Air Patrol and their airborne imaging sensor.  We talked about university launches, the requirements for their participation and even the need for security clearances as warranted by the specific project.  As this segment ended, Jack asked about suborbital launches and the emerging suborbital industry.

In our second segment, we talked about the future of ORS and the FY 13 proposed budget cuts.  We talked about the Army getting back into the small satellite business with KESTREL EYE and the Air Force support to the Army in these satellite programs.  I asked Col. Welsch about future plans five years out and longer and we got a glimpse of their strategic planning ideas and projects.  We talked about the possible use of foreign launchers and their educational outreach programs to school kids.  A caller asked about the Space Experiments Review Board and another wanted more information about the use of sounding rockets with NASA or in the private sector. We learned that the lead period for a NASA sounding rocket could be two years and cost a few million dollars.  If the emerging suborbitals can do the mission, this will be a real cost plus for the program and save it lots of lead time.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.  If you want to reach Col. Welsch, please send your email to me and I will forward it to her.