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, 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 I will forward your comments to the person of interest.


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