Friday, September 17, 2010



Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Space markets, NASA budget, heavy lift rockets, congressional continuing resolution, launch pricing strategy. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, At the opening of the program, the question I put to the audience for comment dealt with the possibility of a new deficit hawk focused congress cutting the NASA budget from the proposed $19 billion to $13 or $14 billion. As you will hear, listeners both called and used email/chat to share their thoughts on the probability of NASA's budget being cut by a new congress. Listeners were all over the place with their thoughts and analysis on this subject. What do you think is likely to happen with a new congress and the NASA FY 11 budget in the context of budget cuts should such cuts actually take place? Another issue that was discussed focused on heavy lift rockets and the difference between the House and the Senate versions of compromise bills for our space policy. We had a few calls from listeners in Huntsville offering us their thoughts on the policy debate from their Huntsville vantage point. When talking with Mark, one of the Huntsville callers, we talked about the recent article that appeared in the Decatur Daily titled "Decatur loses out in NASA bill." You can read this article which addresses competition in the NASA bill among ULA in Decatur, Marshall and ATK in Utah at,68150?content_source=&category_id=&search_filter=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=stories&town_id=. Trent called in from Australia and asked me which I thought was more important, new markets or improvements in chemical rockets. I suggested markets because its very hard to plan and develop a new business without a market, but also its a real challenge when the transportation costs to and from the market are unknown. We then discussed possible improvements in chemical rockets as well as pricing strategy for commercial launchers. Listeners asked me what I thought would be best for the CEO background of an entrepreneurial or start-up space company, an engineer or a business type. I suggested the business, finance, and marketing type who then brings on board the engineers to help out but that control was with the business person. I also stressed the need for excellent communication between the business people and the engineering/scientific members of the team. Toward the end of the program I brought up the issue of government money and intervention to help enhance or facilitate the development of a new industry along with individual companies and we addressed the risks in taking government money and support. In this context, we talked about the transcontinental railroad and steam ship models from the early history of the United States. I then announced we would soon be doing a special show with a historian/economist on this important subject. If you want to send a note to anyone who called the show or sent in an email or chat, send it to me at and I will forward it to the person you designate. Please remember to comment and participate using the new Space Show blog referenced above.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed the open line show. A lot of good comments on how the new conservative Congress might impact NASA. I really don't know how it will go down. I agree that NASA might take a hit. I just hope it isn't a bad cut.
    I couldn't hear the show live. I guess it was my computer. I hope to call in on the next show.