Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tim Pickens, Friday, 9-17-10

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,  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 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 and reference The Space Show in the subject line.  Janet will make sure it gets to Tim or the appropriate person at Dynetics.

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