Sunday, October 17, 2010
The Space Show Has Changed To A Wordpress Blog. Read Below. 10-17-10
Effective immediately, The Space Show has moved to using a new blog on Wordpress. The new blog is "The Space Show's Blog" and the URL is
Please post all comments for earlier shows on the new blog per above. Postings on the old blog below will not be carried forward to the new blog and will eventually be discarded. We made the move to Wordpress because of its added features and more professional approach and services for bloggers. If you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com. Do note that The Space Show program dated today with Dean Davis will only be archived at The Space Show and http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.
Dr. David Livingston, Host
The Space Show
Friday, October 15, 2010
Dr. Leik Myrabo, Friday, 10-15-10
Guest: Dr. Leik Myrabo. Topics: Beamed energy propulsion. We welcomed back to the program Dr. Leik Myrabo for updates and new information regarding his work in the area of beamed energy propulsion with his company, Lightcraft Technologies, Inc. (www.lightcrafttechnologies.com). Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, Leik brought us current on his activities since he was last on The Space Show on August 28, 2009. He told us about the Umea Institute of Design project in Sweden involving 33 students and 11 teams in a design project to look at replacing jet fuel driven aircraft with beamed energy craft in the future. We talked about an upcoming BBC-Nova series, The World of Invention, and he told us about the high power laser experiments at the Laboratory of Aerothermodynamics and Hypersonics, Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil. In this discussion, Dr. Myrabo was specific about the lasers, their power, and energy usage. He received questions about the Brazilian lab, and demos using beamed energy for commercial markets for micro to nano-satellites. Later in this segment, we talked about beamed energy work in China, its relationship to space solar power work, and even the potential of being useful for space debris mitigation. As we started the second segment, Anthony in the UK asked about safety issues and Leik share with us the safety protocols when working with the lasers. Our guest was asked if beamed propulsion was an attraction for students to study and we asked how his academic peers regarded this cutting edge work. Dr. Myrabo had much to say about both of these topics so don't miss this discussion. Later in this segment, we asked him to define the millimeter-wave laser as several listeners were emailing me for an explanation of it. After Leik explained the millimeter-wave laser, he was asked about applications for beamed energy for the space elevator project. Here he had much to say so don't miss this part of our discussion. I also asked our guest how weather sensitive the lasers were and we learned that atmospheric conditions were very important. Its even why placing a laser on the top of a mountain makes sense. Near the end of this segment, the subject of the laser or any form of beamed energy as a space weapon came up. Leik told us about the Laser Clearing House in the U.S. and also said that as this field develops, there would have to be an international regulatory regime for laser usage but that we were a long way from that point right now. He explained why such a regulator regime would be necessary so again, don't miss what he had to say on this very important subject. In our third and final segment, we fielded a question from the UK asking about UK and ESA laser research. Leik then told us about the upcoming international symposium in April 2011 in Germany. He was asked about adapting military lasers to commercial beamed energy propulsion and about competing and alternative forms of beamed energy that are in the mix. We also talked about beamed energy beyond LEO as the show was drawing to a close. If you have questions or comments for Dr. Leik Myrabo, please post them on the blog URL and you can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be forwarded to Dr. Myrabo.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Open Lines, Wednesday, 10-13-10
Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston. Topics: NASA and China space policy, human space flight, space policy overview. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, I put out some topics for general discussion during the show including information about NASA having an interest in returning to the Moon, a BBC report about a multi-nation effort to build a small spaceship, launch it from the ISS, then fly around the Moon. I also talked about an interview I am doing for a high school senior regarding a special project this student is undertaking. I read the four questions the student asked me about and suggested those interested reply to the student’s questions on the blog URL above and in the show. These four questions were discussed throughout this Open Lines program. Our first caller Jack wanted to discuss the NASA Administrator’s trip to China and why that was a good thing. Jack had much to say about the Bolden trip and why we should be talking and working with China, especially with regards to standardization of hardware to serve all nations in times of space emergencies. Jack talked some about the recent Congressional authorization bill and the CR. Before he left the line, I asked him for his forward looking view of things to come over the next few decades. Don’t miss his perspective. In the second segment, I read an email question asking me for my opinion to a question asked of Dr. Mendell the night before which was do I believe NASA can actually build a heavy lift rocket. I agreed with most everything Dr. Mendell said on the show and said its really an issue of being able to sustain policy and funding over a long time rather than an engineering or manufacturing question. John from Atlanta called in to respond to the Ohio high school senior and his four questions. John talked about the evolution of humanity into human space flight, the discovery aspect, and the space entrepreneurism component of moving out into space. John also talked about propellant depots and offered up an idea for fuel transfer using the second stage of the rocket. Perhaps some of you will be able to offer John quality comments on his idea using the blog. As we started the third segment of the program, our friend Charles in Mojave called in. He is still moving to Las Vegas. Charles provided us with his usual and customary insights, including the statement that NASA was like a “beached whale.” He talked about the space entrepreneurs and the risk they take by working with NASA in terms of their being assimilated. Andrew from Tucson then called in to talk about the high school senior’s questions. I asked him about the Tucson and U of A astronomy community and their thoughts on the space policy debate While he said human space flight did not directly impact their work, he noted that the astronomy community had been in recession for at least five years and he talked about the impact it has had on astronomy. Our next caller was Mark from Huntsville who is a NASA contractor. Mark shared his perspective on all things space from his Huntsville and contractor perch and had many interesting and relevant things to say so please listen carefully. Mark also attended the recent FAA-COMSTAC meeting in Washington, DC and he gave us a summary overview of the meeting and presentations. If you have questions or comments for any of the participants in today’s Open Lines show, please post them on the blog and email them to me at email@example.com. I will forward your comments to the person of interest.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Dr. Wendell Mendell, Tuesday, 10-12-10
Guest: Dr. Wendell Mendell. Topics: Planetary science, lunar development and habitats, NASA, Constellation, space politics, science fiction. We welcomed Dr. Wendell Mendell back to the show. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, Dr. Mendell gave us an insiders view of the Constellation project given his being part of the project at NASA JSC. He provided us with interesting program and personnel insights. When I asked him a question about the possibility of returning to the Moon, he broke my question down into parts and had much to say on the issue, essentially saying that our return to the Moon never was and will not be off the table and that planning already exists for a return to the lunar surface. Don't miss this important discussion and analysis. One of the most important points made was that no matter what else happens, we must keep technology development going! Dr. Mendell then referenced several programs and the people involved in lunar mission planning and development. When asked if he thought we would keep the technology development going, he said it required leadership, financing, and focus. In the absence of these qualities, there is reason to have a genuine concern about the future of technology development. Wendell got a question about heavy lift and if he thought NASA could do it. Wendell had much to say about the subject of heavy lift but he did say that technically NASA could do it. That said, it would require perhaps a decade of consistent policy and funding and that is where the risks are in such a long term project. In addition, he said by the very nature of NASA doing it, it would be complex and costly. This is yet another important discussion you do not want to miss. In our second segment, our first listener question dealt with the impact of science fiction on planetary and space scientists. This took us into an entirely different space related discussion that you will find interesting. Wendell and I both observed similar characteristics with space enthusiasts and that is that there is in existence or story or event that transformed the person's interest to include space. In this segment, we talked about religion, spirituality, space politics, and motivation. Later in the segment, a listener asked Wendell to balance the need for aerospace workers for national security and other reasons against a NASA jobs program. Don't miss what Dr. Mendell had to say about this issue. We talked some more about the space budget process, flying the extra shuttle mission, and the support NASA provided in the rescue of the trapped Chilean miners. In his concluding comments, he said he was hopeful and looked to the efforts of both the NewSpace and international space community to do interesting things in space in the future. If you have comments or questions for Dr. Wendell Mendell, please post them on the blog and I will forward them to Dr. Mendell.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Dr. Alan Stern, Monday, 10-11-10
Guest: Dr. Alan Stern. Topics: Pluto, Kuiper Belt, New Horizons, commercial space, commercial suborbital research. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. We welcomed back Dr. Alan Stern to the program. As Dr. Stern is a noted planetary scientist, we started off with a comprehensive discussions of planet definition issues, including Pluto, the Kuiper Belt, dwarf planets, the New Horizons Mission, the possibility of life someplace in the solar system given the rate of new planet discovery, and much more. As part of this discussion, Dr. Stern got questions from the listeners including one about the asteroid Ceres asking if it should be considered a planet. As you will hear, Dr. Stern does say that as the largest asteroid, it is a dwarf planet. Later he was asked about competition within NASA and the FY 11 proposed NASA budget between the robotic/science side and the human space flight side of NASA. We then took a question from Brian, a middle school student in Toledo, Ohio about the power used in transmitting to and from New Horizons and the speed of light. Dr. Stern had much to say in response to this question about the speed of light. We then transitioned into the year 2011 being the 50th anniversary of human space flight. In this discussion, Alan suggested that progress in human space flight had been disadvantaged by having had a government monopoly in the field but now a type of revolution was taking place. With human spaceflight being a government project, outside the box thinking had not flourished. Terry then called in to ask about the arrival of New Horizons and the impact on science with the Pluto winter. Dr. Stern had lots to say on this so don't miss it. We started the second segment talking again about commercial suborbital research flights. He said the key would be frequent and lower cost flights. During our discussion about commercial suborbital flights, many listeners sent in challenging questions regarding the market for the flights and comparing the cost with available sounding rockets that have more capability than the upcoming commercial suborbital flights will have. Dr. Stern answered these challenging questions given his perspective and understanding of the interest and potential demand for the flights and the cost models that are being used for the developing business plans. After hearing this discussion, post your comments on the blog above to let us know what you think about this developing industry. As we started the third and final segment, Alan told us about the upcoming Next Generation Suborbital Research Conference (NSRC-2011) in Orlando, Fl. Alan received a listener question about how government agencies and organizations might contract for services (flights) with a commercial company given that when they contract with a government agency, its a cashless transfer of funds from one agency to another. As the show ended, we talked about the largest possible market for the commercial suborbital industry which might be the foreign market. Don't miss this discussion. Please post your comments and questions on the above blog URL as Dr. Stern is inundated with email.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Josh Neubert & Hung-Jen Wu, Spirit of Innovatin Awards, Sunday, 10-10-10
Guests: Josh Neubert, Hung-Jen Wu. Topics: The Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation Awards Program. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. We welcomed back Josh Neubert of the Conrad Foundation and Hun-Jen Wu, Co-Chair, Alumni Committee for the Spirit of Innovation Awards Program. We started our program with Josh giving us an overview of the Conrad Foundation, Pete Conrad, and the Spirit of Innovation Awards. We talked about the award categories, the high schools that participated, and the participating teams. As you will hear, the awards were in three areas, aerospace exploration, clean energy, and the new section for cyber security. Hung-Jen spoke to us about the future business leaders and the commercial nature of the awards program. In our second segment, we talked about the complete experience of being involved in the awards program and the Alumni Committee and its work with the new contestants/participants. A listener asked how the Conrad Foundation leveled the playing field for schools that are not strong in science compared to those that have a quality science program. As you will hear, they level the field through their outstanding mentor program. Others asked how people find out about the awards and Josh said the main thing was their website. Visit their site, www.conradawards.org. Another listener asked Hung-Jen about high school peer pressure and how his team was regarded and viewed by the other students. This was a very interesting and encouraging discussion. In our third and final segment, we talked about the Innovation Summit held at NASA Ames each spring and we looked into the future to see what was being planned for the Spirit Awards five years out. The Foundation is considering going into middle schools and there is a pilot program underway to test that idea. Josh also talked about their portal concept which is about mentoring and connecting the winning teams with business professionals that can help transition the project into a commercially successful venture. Hung-Jen talked about his idea of goals for the future and both Josh and Hung-Jen focused on getting more responses and involvement with teachers. If you have questions or comments for either of our guests, you can post them on the Space Show blog URL above. You can also use mailto:%firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line reference The Space Show with Josh and Hung-Jen.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Dr. James Vedda, Friday, 10-8-10
In addition to listening to this program at the above URL, you can access Dr. Vedda's AIAA paper we discussed during the program, "An Alternative Approach to National Space Policy" using this URL:
Guest: Dr. Jim Vedda. Topics: Dr. Vedda proposes an alternative U.S. space policy driven by capability. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. Additionally, you may want to read Dr. Vedda's latest book, "Choice, Not Fate" which you can buy using the One Giant Leap Foundation Amazon link. Remember, if you buy the book this way, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF. Please see www.amazon.com/dp/1450013473?tag=onegialeafou-20. In our first of two segments, Dr. Vedda talked about his AIAA paper, "An Alternative Approach to National Space Policy" which makes the case for having a capabilities driven space program, not a destination driven program. This paper will be available for your reading and review on The Space Show Outside The Box blog for this program when I archive it on the blog. We talked about the possibility of congressional micro management of new rocket building projects with NASA and the possibility of reductions in the NASA FY 11 budget. We then returned to his AIAA paper and Dr. Vedda started explaining why the space program needed to be capabilities driven over destination driven. I also asked Jim about implementing his ideas and getting them into the policy system. As you will hear, it is an uphill battle. We started the second segment with a listener question asking about the origin of policy influence, where does it come from, who exercises it the most, and is it best to aim it at NASA, Congress, or another organization. Dr. Vedda said that history shows big ideas come from industry, professionals, and others outside the government and funnel through the administration back down to Congress. Dr. Vedda then talked about influence and which groups have the most of it. Interestingly, he had much to say about space advocacy groups and in short, said they have next to zero influence other than in culture shaping. Listen carefully to what he had to say on this subject and share your thoughts with us using blog comments and emails to Dr. Vedda. In making his case, he referenced several programs as examples supporting his analysis on this issue. Later in this segment, we talked about budget cuts again and what might be likely to be cut. Here we talked about the destructive budget process which Jim wrote about in "Choice, Not Fate." Later in this segment, we talked about a space race with China and how the US might respond if other nations go for the destination and we are working to develop capabilities. Jim had much to say about others going for the destination so don't miss this discussion. We also talked about the need for an international partnership on this alternative approach and for public private partnerships to share the responsibility for designing the program and determining how its financed. We spent considerable time discussing the potential role of the private sector in this new type of space policy. At the end of the program, I asked him about the US decline per our recent show discussing the Futron 2010 Space Competitive Index. If you have a question or comment for Dr. Vedda, please post it on the blog mentioned above. You can also send them to me at email@example.com and I will forward it to Dr. Vedda.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Dr. Lee Valentine, Space Studies Institute, Wednesday, 10-6-10
Guest: Dr. Lee Valentine. Topics: Space Studies Institute Space Manufacturing 14 Conference. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. We welcomed Dr. Lee Valentine to this special Space Show program to discuss the upcoming Space Studies Institute (SSI) Conference, Space Manufacturing 14: Critical Technologies for Space Settlement. This conference will be at the NASA Ames Conference Center in Mountain View, CA from Oct. 29-31, 2010 with the Friday night event taking place at the nearby Sunnyvale Sheraton Hotel. You can find out more about this important conference and the Space Studies Institute by visiting http://ssi.org. This one hour fifteen minute discussion took place in one segment. My first question to Dr. Valentine dealt with his work on defeating the Moon Treaty three decades ago. I asked for his reflections on that important work. From there, Dr. Valentine provided us with an introduction to SSI which was previously located at Princeton. Lee also talked about the work of Dr. Gerard K. O’Neill, the founder of SSI, and then provided a brief history of their conferences. Please note what Dr. Valentine said about attendees needing to be badged and the government requirements for non-US citizens as time is short for the applications. All the needed registration and hotel information can be found on the SSI website. From this point forward in our discussion, Lee took us through many of the guests, panels, and highlights for the conference. You can follow along with our discussion at http://ssi.org/2010-conference-space-manufacturing-14/sm14-agenda. As Lee tells us about the panels and the guests, you will hear my comments as I know many of the speakers and their expertise. This is a high powered conference with amazing networking opportunities with speakers as well as attendees that are at the top of their field. This is all to take place in a personal and warm setting as I am very familiar with the NASA Ames Conference Center facility and since lunch is provided in the facility to enhance networking, I urge those of you who can attend to be there. Listen to our discussion and the programs we highlight, and the comments offered by both Lee and myself. Some interesting non-conference related questions came in from listeners. One listener asked Lee about his interest in space given his being an ER doctor and if his medical background aided him in his space interests. As you will hear, Lee said it was the opposite but I will let you hear Dr. Valentine's response to this listener for yourself. Its very interesting. Later in the program, I asked Lee to prioritize the most important sessions or issues for space settlement. As you will hear him say, the first, second, and third priorities are to reduce the cost of Earth to orbit transportation. You don't want to miss this discussion as we talked about reducing launch costs and he responded to listener questions about his comments on just how much we might be able to reduce costs within a decade or so. Later in the program, Lee said the most needed thing in lowering the cost was the use of highly reusable rocket engines. Don't miss our full discussion on this subject. As we neared the end of our program, we talked about the need for space property rights and that Wayne White would be making a presentation on this subject at the conference. Please remember that SSI is a membership organization and as the program was winding down, we talked about membership options. If you have comments or questions for Dr. Lee Valentine about the conference, SSI, or anything we discussed, don't forget to post them on the Space Show blog URL above and you can send them to our guest at Lee@ssi.org.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Dennis Stone, World Space Week, Tuesday, 10-05-10
Guest: Dennis Stone. Topics: World Space Week, space education in the classroom. We welcomed Dennis Stone back to the program to discuss World Space Week which is Oct. 4-10 of each year. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, Mr. Stone provided us with the background for World Space Week, including when it became part of the United Nations which was in 1999. You can learn more about World Space Week by visiting www.worldspaceweek.org. We also talked about the independence of the various events supporting World Space Week and the EADS Astrium commitment to the program throughout Europe. As you will hear, new events can be added all the time and since World Space Week continues through this weekend, there is still time to do something during this week and add it to the their website calendar. We talked about NASA and other national space agency support for World Space Week and why its always Oct. 4-10 each year. As you will hear, Oct. 4 honors Sputnik and Oct. 10 honors the Outer Space Treaty. We concluded this segment with a discussion about volunteering to help out during World Space Week. In our second segment, we continued talking about volunteering, then Dennis fielded listener questions about his NASA job regarding COTS and commercial crew challenges. I then asked Dennis about the aerospace industry support for the program and the Bangladesh Astronomical Society. Dennis had quite about to say about this astronomical society and World Space Week in developing countries around the world. Later in this segment, we talked about the Heinlein Teacher Guide along with the ESA Teacher Guide, suggestions for using them in schools, and how best to get the teacher to mention this in the classroom during World Space Week. Dennis also mentioned Earth Day as a model for the space week program. Commercial space issues were mentioned along with international cooperation. As we started our third segment, Dennis cited the ISS as a great asset and example for international cooperation in space. A listener asked about uploading pictures from World Space Week events to the website and another asked about White House support for World Space Week. Another listener asked about holding events at various military bases in the US and abroad. I asked about plans for the 2011 World Space Week and we learned that it was going to be special since it was the 50th anniversary of human space flight. Many historical and forward looking programs and events are being planned for next year. Dennis was asked about joint programming with those behind Earth Day and about originating ISS programs for World Space Week. If you have questions or comments for Dennis Stone about World Space Week, you can post them on the Space Show blog URL above. You can also use firstname.lastname@example.org. Please reference The Space Show and Dennis Stone.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Futron 2010 Space Competitive Index, Monday, 10-4-10
Guests: Peggy Slye, Jay Gullish. Topics: Futron's 2010 Space Competitive Index: A Comparative Analysis of How Countries Invest In and Benefit from Space Industry. We welcomed back Jay Gullish and for the first time, Peggy Slye, the COO and Director of the Space & Telecommunications Division at Futron. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In the first segment of this two segment program, Jay provided us with an introduction to the Futron Corporation and its space analysis work including the Space Competitive Index. Jay then provided us with a quick overview of the status of the space industry as measured over the past five years, proving to everyone that the space industry does incur global economic growth and that it is a wealth creating industry. During this introduction, he broke this analysis down into industry segments and U.S. national agencies. A big part of this analysis was the growth in the commercial side of the space industry. Additional topics included the aerospace workforce and how technology has changed the industry by reducing the need for some jobs but increasing the need for skilled jobs in related areas. Our guests talked about military services, distance learning, and telemedicine as examples. This is an important discussion you do not want to miss. This discussion brought us to the educational problems in the U.S., specifically with regards to STEM. This discussion was also very important and certainly shed light on some major challenges we in the U.S. are facing and will be facing for years to come. In returning to the Space Competitive Index, Jay said that they used 50-60 indicators for the report and they now have three years of trends in the space industry which enables better analysis. He then talked about the report's focus on the major nations, breaking them into three tiers. One of the important trends discussed was the loss by the U.S. of relative space competitiveness over the years to other nations. We talked about this in detail and I asked about the impact on policy decisions influence this declining trend. Our guests had much to say about this, including the lead we have in military space, the impact of ITAR, and then the issue of policy and leadership. This is a must listen to segment so no matter what, do not miss it. Later in this segment, listeners asked about obtaining reliable data for their report and how such data was obtained, especially from several of the countries included in the report. In our final segment, our guests were asked about space as a wealth creation investment and if that was a fact, why government policy does not invest what it takes to produce more wealth by increasing the value of our space industry. This is another discussion you do not want to miss. Here we talked about the opportunity cost for investing in space over other government activities. We then talked about space in China, Japan, Israel, and India. Our guests told us the full report was available for purchase from http://www.futron.com/ for $199.00. The Executive Summary is on their website and is a free download. Later in the final segment, a listener asked about detecting upticks in the Russian military space budget. Near the end of the program, our guests outlined four key trends for our attention. If you have questions or comments, please post them on the blog URL above and you can send them to our guests at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Pat Duggins Discusses "Trailblazing Mars: NASA's Next Giant Step," Sunday, 10-3-10
Guest: Pat Duggins. Topics: Mars, "Trailblazing Mars," space policy. We welcomed Pat Duggins, the news director for Alabama Public Radio to the show to discuss his new book, "Trailblazing Mars: NASA's Next Giant Leap." Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. His book is available at the One Giant Leap Foundation website and if you order it from OGLF, Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show. Please use this UR:: www.amazon.com/dp/081303518X?tag=onegialeafou-20. We began our first segment by talking about the retirement of the shuttle per the FY11 budget, the addition of a third shuttle flight referred to as a suicide flight, heavy lift, and space policy. Pat also spoke about the challenges in carrying out a humans to Mars mission, not just from the human factors and engineering perspectives, but with the will of the American people given the costs and risks involved in such a mission. In response to listener questions, our guest talked about covering more than 100 shuttle missions and many of the spin-offs from NASA programs that are now commercially successful products. I asked about nuclear propulsion for going to Mars and our guest had much to say about the probability of this. Commercial space came up as he talked about his talks and associations with MSFC. Other topics discussed during this segment included Space X, possible contamination of Mars from Earth, EELVs as commercial launchers, Constellation, and the GAP causing us to rely on Russian rockets. A listener asked about the layoffs taking place at KSC, MSFC, and other NASA centers. Pat had much to say about this, especially for Florida. John in Atlanta called in to talk about space shuttle LEO access and missions based on Pat's comments about shuttle missions. We started our second segment by asking Pat about the need to return to the Moon. We then talked about the Viking experiments and new information that may end up validating the work by Dr. Gil Levin. Pat was asked to compare robotic Martian missions to boots on the ground for Martian science. Our guest had much to say about this so don't miss this discussion. Later in the segment, we talked about other national space programs going to the Moon and Pat mentioned the problem of being able to collect Apollo lunar artifacts, returning them to their own country. Bigelow Aerospace and private astronauts were discussed in the context of the NASA oversight discussion that was an overriding theme of this show, especially with NASA oversight on human rating commercial launchers. All of these topics and more are included in Pat's book which is an excellent read for valuable space history plus a look at what may be our space future. You can reach Pat Duggins through www.apr.org, his Facebook page, or through email@example.com. Post show comments and questions at the blog URL above.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Shawna Pandya, Friday, 10-1-10
Guest: Shawna Pandya. Topics: CiviGuard and smartphone applications, the space connection. We welcomed Shawna Pandya to the program. Note that there was a telephone line problem responsible for less than clear audio noise which you will hear, especially during the first segment of the program. We do apologize for this. In addition, please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, Ms. Pandya provided us with her background that enabled her to leverage technology and help create the concept of CiviGuard. Her attendance at the Singularity University was instrumental in shaping her thoughts in this direction as they were challenged to develop ideas and technologies that would be important to one billion people in a ten year period of time. CiviGuard is a direct outgrowth of that challenge. As she explained it, its now in one city in Manor, Texas but will soon be rolled out elsewhere. As you will hear, CiviGuard is a new way to get disaster information to people using smartphones with far more detail and relevant info than other means now in existence. In our second segment, Shawna connected using space to CiviGuard through Earth Imaging. She explained how they are doing it, the push technology being used, and more. Since we were talking about NASA and space spin-offs, a question was asked why the spin-off argument does not do that well in selling space to the larger public. We also talked about differences in Canada as compared to the US, especially Silicon Valley. I believe you will find this discussion most interesting. In our third segment, Shawna pointed us to the two key websites, www.civiguard.com and also http://www.civiguard.me/. The latter site allows one to sign up for information even if their cell phone, smartphone or other communication device is not yet supported by Shawna's company. In this segment, I asked Shawna about human factors and the life sciences for long duration spaceflight and going to Mars. In addition, we talked about Canadian and Europeans playing larger roles with European citizens in achieving portable medical data, including telemedicine and teleradiology using space resources. Shawna had much to say on these subjects so don't miss her comments. A listener asked Shawna if she actually had classes at the Singularity University with Dr. Ray Kurzweil and what the students had to say about his known attitudes on space travel, humans, and robotics. This was a fascinating discussion you will want to hear. Toward the end of the program, I asked Shawna for her take aways from her education and work. She talked about empowerment and passion. If you have comments or questions for Shawna Pandya, post them on the above blog URL and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Robert Zimmerman, Thursday, 9-30-10
Guest: Robert Zimmerman. Topics: U.S. Space policy, heavy lift, commercial space. We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to The Space Show to discuss the passage by the House of Representatives of S.3729 known as the NASA Authorization Bill. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. As we started our first segment and throughout this two segment two hour show, Bob expanded on his thesis that the Authorization bill was nothing but pork, that NASA would likely screw up most parts of it including heavy lift, that because of our economy, we cannot afford heavy lift at this time and should not be doing it, and that the best hope for U.S. human spaceflight lies within the private sector for developing and expanding a successful commercial space industry without oversight from NASA where NASA simply buys the ride from different commercial vendors. Bob takes us through his analysis and how he has reached these conclusions so you can see if you agree with him or not. We talked about the coming Lame Duck Congress, how the elections will tell us much because if the nation's deficit turns out to be the focus of the election and the new congress, he expects NASA to be included in budget cuts. We talked about FY 11 and subsequent years and Bob clarified what would likely happen for FY11 as compared to future years or the out years. He did say that aware of space was in his opinion, at an all time high and the public was interested in space but as others have said, it has to start being relevant to the people. We talked about Constellation, the details in S.3729 and order NASA to be only marginally different than Constellation and more. In the second segment, Bob continued these themes but we also talked about the Russian space program and some about China as Bob was asked if other national space agencies could fill the void he sees coming because of what is going on with NASA and our economy. I asked Bob for an assessment of the science and astronomy side of NASA and he said those budgets were flat. Later in this segment, we turned our attention to the discovery of the most Earthlike planet yet found, Gliese 581d which orbits its red dwarf star is 66.8 days, is about 20 light-years from Earth, and is in the constellation Libra. In the second segment, Bob broke the space policy discussion down into three groups and he talked about commercial space including the large aerospace firms such as Boeing and Lockheed, not just the NewSpace companies. If you have questions or comments for Bob, please post them to the Space Show blog URL above and you can send them to Bob zimmerman at asw dot org. Visit and post at Bob's blog as well, http://behindtheblack.com.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
John Garvey, Garvey Spacecraft Corporation,Tuesday, 9-28-10
Guest: John Garvey. Topics: Garvey Spacecraft Co. updates, students, nanosats, cubesats, building & launching rockets. We welcomed John Garvey, CEO of Garvey Spacecraft Corporation back to the program. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, John reviewed the activities of Garvey Spacecraft since his last visit with us in 20007. The company is now focusing on a nanosat capability. John described their goal in detail and explained the evolution of the company and his activities toward this new goal. We talked about the NASA FASTSAT program which John said needed to be supported as it represents an important path to the future. A listener asked him what type of launch costs he was focusing on and John talked about the difference between a launch price and the launch costs. We talked about costing a project out using students as a major source of labor. John had much to say about this so don't miss this discussion. Even in a student program, students do not always carry out all the labor and functions required to build and operate the rocket. Next, we focused on the use of federal ranges. As most of the Garvey Spacecraft customers are government and DOD, the use of a federal range is specified. He said it is a big mountain to climb to be able to use one but that its just part of doing business to go through all paperwork, regulatory and related requirements. I asked him about using commercial launch facilities such as Spaceport America and he said he mostly is launching orbital so that leaves out inland spaceports. Also, were he to be doing suborbital, he said it would likely be as a test for an eventual orbital mission so he would want to start the regulatory requirement process for that orbital launch early on so using the federal range from the outset makes sense to him. He had many interesting observations and facts to share with us on this issue so don't miss this segment. As we began our second segment, we talked about commercial versus government. John said he does not see a commercial market at this time given the government is the primary or only customer. We spent a good portion of this segment discussing the issue of potential commercial markets and again, this is a discussion you will want to hear as he shares with us his experience on the ELV team and the fact that ELVs were largely sold as a commercial program which never materialized. We concluded this segment by examining the market potential for nansoats and cubesats. In our third and final segment, I asked John what he would do differently going forward from what he has done in the past. This led us to a discussion of doing things incrementally and slow as compared to one big aggressive shot at the end result. We talked about this in terms of investors and due diligence. John said it may depend on what the goal is, raising money for example may define the program as a success. I suggested success was implementing the program and seeing it become a revenue producer. Again, a reason for would be investors to exercise extreme due diligence with space related investment opportunities. Another listener asked him to identify the problems and challenges that he dealt with in his aerospike engine. This then led us to a discussion of various rocket fuels and his ease in using and transporting them. Toward the end of the program, I asked John about cost accounting and the DCAA requirements. John shocked us by saying he now spends 80-90% of his time on accounting and DCAA issues. I asked him to elaborate on this and boy did he ever give us a glimpse of this cumbersome and burdensome process! Do not miss this discussion. If you have a question or comment for John Garvey, you can post it on the blog URL above. John can be reached by email at email@example.com. His website is www.garvspace.com.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
NASA FASTSAT, NanoSail-D, Monday, 9-27-10
Guests: Joseph Casas, Dean Alhorn, Mark Boudreaux. Topics: NASA FASTSAT, NanoSail-D Programs. We welcomed our three guests from NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to discuss the Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite (FASTSAT) and the NanoSail-D program, but we also talked about many other subjects. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. These three websites will be useful in furthering your interest in these programs. (1) www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/pdf/480065main_FASTSAT_Facts_Final.pdf; (2) www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/smallsats/fastsat; (3) www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/smallsats/nanosaild.html. During our first segment, each of our guests provided a short opening statement about their participation in these programs and a description of the overall FASTSAT and NanoSail-D missions. We talked about the upcoming Nov. 19 launch on a Minotaur IV rocket from the federal Kodiak, Alaska launch complex. Our guests described the secondary payloads consisting of a 400 lb. satellite, the use of the ESPA ring and the capability to do secondary payloads across a wide array of multiple launch platforms. Regarding the NanoSail-D satellite, we discussed debris mitigation through the use of the solar sail which will add to drag at its orbital altitude and slow it down. During this segment, we discussed many other characteristics of the mission and the hardware. Later in the segment, we addressed the issue of the value proposition for fast tracking the project, including a risk vs. reward analysis to see if a mission could be created and actually flown while a student was still in school. You do not want to miss this value proposition discussion. One of the listeners asked about relationships between working on human spaceflight and the type of work and projects being discussed on today's program. Each of our guests responded to this question which took us into a broader discussion of education, skill sets, NASA interns, and student opportunities to learn and work on NASA projects. This is a must listen to discussion. Our guests listed several NASA programs and websites that focus on students. As a result of this discussion, The Space Show will work to produce a special program in support of NASA educational and intern programs. Our lead item in the second segment was about observing opportunities from the ground with NanoSail-D. Initially, its 650 km orbit will be too high but as the orbit decays and it gets lower, there will be armature astronomer viewing opportunities. To support this, a website has been established for posting pictures. Please visit www.nanosail.org as the site is already up and running. We then spent some time talking about the collaborative effort with Ames, Goddard, the Air Force, the Von Braun Center, and private companies such as Dynetics. A listener asked our guests for their take aways , both positive and negative, and lessons learned for fast tracking a project. This was yet another superb discussion which focused on the problems of controlling mission creep. All of our guests talked about the need to control mission creep and some of the rules and parameters they worked with to avoid the problem. Our mission creep discussion points can be extrapolated to other space projects so I urge everyone to be extra attentive as we learn that resistance is not futile with regards to mission creep. As we ended our program, each of our guests left us with excellent closing statements. I would like to offer a special thank you to Kimberly Newton, NASA Public Affairs, Marshall Space Flight Center who worked very hard to arrange this program with me and to bring these three guests to The Space Show audience. If you have questions or comments about this program, FASTSAT, NanoSail-D, or for any of our guests, email Kimberly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, September 27, 2010
Jim Muncy On Space Policy, Sunday, 9-26-10
Guest: Jim Muncy. Topics: U. S. space policy. Jim Muncy returned to The Space Show for space policy updates, policy related information, and how to make space relevant for the American people and Congress. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. As we started the first of two segment for this two hour program, I suggested to Jim after reading his bio on air that things in the space policy and accomplishment arena had not advanced that much referring back to the issues Jim worked when he was on the staff of the House Science Committee's Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee a decade ago. Jim said that things had actually devolved from that older period. He then talked about space being about jobs and that what was missing was the connection to space, the relevance of it to the rest of us and certainly to members of Congress. This discussion took us through most of the first segment and its an important discussion. We also talked about the two compromise bills, the Senate and House versions, and Jim explained them to us, as well as why the Administration program was the right program and still is the right program. Jim brought up heavy lift and had much to say about this topic including that we really cannot afford it at this time. We talked space infrastructure, partnering with DOD and the commercial companies, and working to break the paradigm of fixed infrastructure which is very costly. We took several listener questions and a call by Charles in Mojave . Toward the end of this segment, we talked about the private companies taking federal money and the risk in their doing so. Jim had much to say on this issue so do not miss this important discussion. At the end of the first segment, we were talking depots, Jim referenced the HEFT report and the NASA plan to do a sort of inline shuttle derived heavy lift as opposed to the depot model. In segment two, a listener brought up the recent Thalia program and her comments on the frontier analogy. Jim then explained what was meant by the term frontier in space. Another listener asked about international partners for space development. This led to another important and substantive discussion with our guest. Later in this segment, we focused in on the NASA Authorization and the NASA Appropriation requirements by Congress. Jim explained that the authorization is not essential and we talked about why the House should accept the Senate version and vote on it this week. During the balance of the program, Jim talked about policy strategy, the need to develop the commercial segment and the fact that space must become relevant to both Congress and the people if we are to have a space program, especially in the context of future budget requirements for NASA. I believe this to be an important discussion and urge you to listen to it and tell others about it. Even if you disagree with Jim Muncy, the issues he is talking about strike at the core of our space policy debate. If you have a comment or question for Mr. Muncy, you can email him at email@example.com.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
OPEN LINES, FRIDAY, 9-24-10
Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Space policy, congress, FY 11 NASA budget. This program was an unplanned Open Lines program due to the last minute rescheduling of the planned program. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. I read a policy update statement from our friend Henry Vanderbilt of Space Access Society, pertaining to the differences in the House and Senate compromise bills being discussed, and the timing for a House vote on their bill. We also talked about an Orlando Sentinel article indicating that the House and Senate versions were now very close to one another. Our first caller was Bob Zimmerman who talked about the differences between the House and Senate versions of the compromise NASA plan to the plan proposed by President Obama on Feb. 1 of this year. Bob did not think the differences were all that much, that there was a real risk for budget cuts, including cuts of the NASA budget for FY 11 and that the FY-11 proposals represented "pork." He supported many of the provisions that President Obama put forth but they did not translate over to Congress. Bob is the Space Show guest on this subject and more on Thursday, Sept. 29 at 9:30 AM PDT. Following Bob, Amnon called to tell us that Astronauts4Hire has its first customer, an Australian beer company that will do zero-g experiments. You can learn more about this project from the press release his organization put out, www.astronauts4hire.org/2010/09/press-release-astronauts4hire-selected.html. Amnon also created a short survey for space enthusiasts and their friends and families to assess their knowledge about space and issues pertaining to space. He is interested in finding out if we in the space industry are doing a good job of getting the space word out about space. If you want to see and use his survey, you can find it on Amnon's Spacepirations blog at www.spacepirations.com/2010/09/next-space-shuttle-launch-informal-poll.html. Briefly, he is asking us to ask our family, coworkers and friends which Space Shuttle is getting ready for launch, when is the next launch, how many Space Shuttle launches remain after this one and what mission number is it going to be? If you have thoughts or suggestions about his survey, you can post them on his blog. I'm not so sure how many of us space cadets could answer these questions nor am I convinced that this is the priority info that we should have rolling off the tip of our tongues. Let Amnon know your thoughts and results should you use the survey. Our friend Charles called in from Mohave as he has not yet crossed the state line to Nevada on a permanent basis. He commented on the Space Access Society update and kept saying that it was like flogging a dead horse and then repeated his usual comments about policy, how to start off correctly in space development and the Microlauncher concept. He also provided a short personal history of how he landed in Mojave in the first place. During the balance of Open Lines, we continued to talk space policy, the likelihood of the NASA budget being cut depending on the outcome of the November 2nd elections, comments made by Dennis Wingo on his recent Space Show program about the dangers and risks of space companies taking federal money and more. In support of what Dennis said several weeks ago, I again referenced one of the panel discussions from the recent NewSpace conference and earlier comments on the subject by our friend Tom Olson. If you have questions or comments for any of the callers or those asking questions, its best to post them on the Out of the Box blog URL above. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Don A. Nelson, Monday, 9-20-10
Guest: Don Nelson. Topics: NASA management problems and resolutions. We welcomes Don Nelson of Nelson Aerospace Consulting to the program. You can learn more about what Don Nelson spoke about on this show by visiting his website, www.nasaproblems.com. In addition, please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, Mr. Nelson introduced us to NASA management problems, their origins, and provided us with many examples of what he was talking about. One of the recurring themes throughout today's program focused on the need for accountability and oversight. He shared with us his experience with his shuttle work where his sign off signature needed to be reviewed by 22 oversight individuals who just rubber stamped his signature. He talked about growing the shuttle program to 24,000 people and why the larger number created more problems. This led us to a discussion about our national aerospace workforce and he said that the workforce was regarded as a national treasure. He defined that in a way that may surprise many of you so listen to what he said. During this segment, Don had much to say about Ares 1, Constellation, and Orion. He challenged the safety, especially with Orion, and said that to meet the changing flight characteristics of Ares 1 to solve those problem, NASA took out safety features in Orion to lighten the mass. He then talked about the static margin for Orion. About midway through this discussion, I asked Don to define static margin which refers to center of gravity. He said the static margin was very sensitive and every time a change came in, the static margin had to be redesigned. Don talked about the idea that NASA centers were not so team oriented and often individually focused for the center only, not for NASA as a whole. He said this was part of the management set of issues. In the second segment, he again stressed accountability and oversight. One of the listener questions dealt with the younger engineers and employees at NASA having a say in things and Don suggested no, they typically go along and don't rock the boat. In returning to the oversight issue, he said it needed to be independent with clout. I suggested this was needed across the board with government today and that pointing only to NASA was unrealistic since NASA is reflecting problems throughout government and today's society and culture. Jim in Alabama sent in a note asking why he was targeting Marshall in his comments. Don replied that he was not targeting Marshall but did say Marshall and JSC are the biggest contributors to the problems he was talking about, followed by KSC. Don was asked if he had any conflict of interest or financial interest in any outcome for NASA or any of its centers. Don said no to both. Don is supportive of keeping shuttle flying but as an unmanned robotic vehicle to hold the costs down. He said shuttle already has that capability. It would reduce about 2,000 lbs of mass in the front end, freeing that up for payload and adding crew escape to shuttle. Don then said we would be unable to solve the launch cost problem using expendable rockets. When asked about transitioning to commercial rockets, he said as long as they were expendable, the launch costs would remain very high. Near the end of the program, we talked about media reporting and suggested that the general interest news media would need to report a story such as NASA management issues. Listen to hear why. Our guest made it clear he was not NASA bashing, but was in fact a strong supporter of NASA, but one who wants to get it on track in solving the problems he highlights. He says he talks to top NASA people all the time and frequently goes to Congress with his message. If you have questions or comments for Don Nelson, you can email him through his website or by using email@example.com.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Bill White, Author of "Platinum Moon," Sunday, 9-19-10
Guest: Bill White. Topics: "Platinum Moon" and lunar development. We welcomed Bill White to the program to talk about his best selling book, "Platinum Moon." This book is available on the One Giant Leap Foundation Amazon book page and if you buy it from this page, Amazon contributes to The Space Show. Please use www.amazon.com/dp/0984405801?tag=onegialeafou-20. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, author Bill White told us how he got the idea for his book back in 2005 and said the idea evolved from thinking Mir Corp meets "Moonrush" which was a book authored by Dennis Wingo. He got the idea that there might be a high probability of platinum group metals (PGM) on the Moon. PGM consists of six metallic elements, ruthenium, palladium, iridium, rhodium, osmium, and of course platinum. Thus, Bill developed his story about a private business billionaire who puts together a private company consortium composed of representatives from various national space agencies to go to the Moon for PGMs. He develops a propellant depot at the Earth-Moon Lagrange Point 1, EML-1 and he named the spaceship for this project PGM-1. During this segment, Bill explained the makeup of Harold Hewitt, his main character and the force behind the company Lunar Materials LLC. A few listeners asked him why his book had such a strong Indian perspective to it to which Bill replied researching India and their space program was easy because it was based on the English language. We also talked about Singapore as the corporate headquarters and why Singapore. In the second segment, Bill told us why he chose the rocket fuels that he did and what he might do in a sequel to this book. He talked about water ice on the moon and we had a discussion about bringing PGM back to Earth, skewing the supply and demand curve and what that might do to the economics of any plan to bring PGM back here. We talked about using PGM and other materials and resources within space, i.e. In-Situ Resource Utilization, and then Bill told us how in his book the landing sites were chosen for his story. ITAR came up which is why he said his story focused on using Russian rockets. Later in this final segment, he got some questions about self-publishing books and he talked about the Amazon service, CreateSpace. For more information about the book including technical information, please visit www.platinum-moon.com If you have a question or comment for Bill White, you can reach him through his website or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bill's Twitter account is xplatinummoon.twitter.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
TIM PICKENS, Friday, 9-17-10
Guest: Tim Pickens. Topics: Dynetics, rocket propulsion, space policy, and more. We welcomed Tim Pickens back to the program for the first time since he sold his company, Orion Propulsion, to Dynetics, Inc. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. In our first segment, Tim started out talking about the need to have fun in business but that fun is not a business or policy entitlement. This was in the context of his now being employed with Dynetics after the sale of his own company. Tim did a terrific job in outlining the differences, the responsibilities, accountability and much more so pay attention to what he has to say on this issue. Next, we shifted focus to the Dynetics Google Lunar X Prize entry, Rocket City Space Pioneers. Tim explained their entry, talked about their team partners and the use of a partial payload capability on the Falcon 9. During this segment, Tim talked about the NanoMissile System (MNMS) project, microsats and related topics. He suggested we read a related recent article in the Huntsville Times at http://blog.al.com/huntsville-timesbusiness/2010/09/huntsville_company_working_to.html. In the second segment, listener John asked about outsourcing manufacturing and product acquisition. Tim had much to say on this topic which included a slightly different take on ITAR reform which you must hear as he called it a two headed sword. Heavy lift was an important discussion topic in this segment as were propellant depots. In our third and final segment, Tim was asked if he was consulting on the SS2 rocket motor and this led to a detailed discussion about hybrid rocket motors. After the hybrid discussion, I asked Tim about his education and if he learns mostly from the on the job training, books, articles, or from his college classes. Tim had lots to say about this, speaks on these subjects frequently to students and he shares with us the advice he gives to aerospace engineers entering their careers. He was asked about his work with Bigelow Aerospace and then he told us about building a water fueled rocket belt with parts from Home Depot and having his daughter fly it over the lake. We concluded our discussion with Tim Pickens talking about Dynetics, how it sees the future, its hiring, and more. If you have a question or comment for Tim Pickens about this show or Dynetics, please send it to Janet Felts at email@example.com and reference The Space Show in the subject line. Janet will make sure it gets to Tim or the appropriate person at Dynetics.