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Donald (Don) Beattie, Friday, 5-31-13 May 31, 2013

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Donald (Don) Beattie, Friday, 5-31-13


Guest:  Donald (Don) Beattie.  Topics:  Don discussed his book, “No Stone Unturned” which details his NASA, Navy, NSF, and private sector careers.  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 Don Beattie back to the program for this riveting 1 hour 25 minute discussion relating to Don’s experiences and careers with NASA on the Apollo program, NSF, the early days of flight with the U.S. Navy, a Mobil Oil energy expert in Columbia, plus a host of other experiences.  I urge you to buy his book, “No Stone Unturned: A Life Without Bounds” at www.cgpublishing.com then clicking on the Apogee logo link.  We talked about Don’s NASA experiences with the Apollo program for a good part of the first segment as well as the second segment.  Since Don was a geologist, he worked with lunar maps, helped plan the lunar science missions, and even trained the astronauts in geology by going to analog sites with them all over the world.  I asked him about his experiences with the different Apollo crews, his favorite missions & crews, and even to compare the NASA of the Apollo era to the NASA of today.  Don had much to say about the importance of NASA and having a focused mission to carry out.  He was asked about the SLS rocket which he said would be important if we ever go to NEOs or beyond, but he expressed concern over the very low launch rate planned for SLS.  Don was also asked to compare NASA to NSF since he was with both organizations.  Near the end of the first segment, a listener wanted to know about Werner Von Braun and his work with the MSFC.  Don had quite a bit to say about Von Braun and even more about his relationship with MSFC teams. 

In the second segment, the subject of the Boy Scouts and astronauts came up as a result of comments made at the Montana Rocky Mtn College astronaut panel discussions which Don viewed.  Scouting has always had strong representation with the types of people who are attracted to NASA, space exploration, and being an astronaut.  Also in this segment, we talked more about a NASA mission and NASA’s management.  He told us about the NASA management and teams in place during Apollo and stressed that they made the program successful.  Another listener asked what he did during the Apollo 13 mission.  We also talked about the possibility of nuclear electric propulsion.  I asked him for his favorite NASA Administrators and he named two.  Late in the segment, we talked with Don about his energy work, Mobil Oil, Columbia, wind turbans & NASA, and the fracking of wells.  Near the program’s end, a listener asked if had changed any of his views on the ISS per his book, ISScapades from a few years ago.  Don said no, we talked about ISS crew size and the need for the centrifuge which was a priority but never materialized.  At various times during our discussion we talked about our technical capabilities to go to Mars, Mars One, Inspiration Mars, commercial lunar missions, and human medical factors for long term spaceflight. 

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to email Don Beattie, you can do so through me.