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Broadcast 1909 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on December 7th, 2012
Guest: Dr. Robert F. Brodsky
Guest: Dr. Robert (Bob) Brodsky. Topics: We discussed his new book, "Catch A Rocket Plane: More Tales from the Cutting Edge & Beyond," plus his aerospace history & overview. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, 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 Dr. Bob Brodsky back to the show to discuss his new book which you can order at Remember, if you buy the book using this URL, Amazon donates to The Space Show/OGLF. Dr. Brodsky started out by telling us how he came up with the title to his new book, a story which you will find most interesting. He then told us stories from his book dating from WW2 through the rocket and space age to current times. During the segment, listeners asked him many questions about our former space program as compared to our program today. As today was the anniversary of the launch of Apollo 17, Bob was asked quite a few questions about Apollo, the mood of the country back then, space and the Cold War, and going back to the Moon or other another destination. He talked about his experience on the NERVA nuclear rocket program and why he included a chapter about false starts since so many programs were started, then cancelled by NASA and Congress. Another issue discussed was learning to live on the Moon so we could push further out into space. Bob was asked about the quality of teaching in the earlier years as compared to today. He talked about ABET which is the accrediting board for engineering education and how that body has changed (lowered) the standards over the years. Doug called in to ask if we had lost so much of our labor and technical expertise that we might not be able to do an Apollo like mission today. Note the answer by Dr. Brodsky. You might be surprised by it. Bob also advocated the use of cost plus contracting over fixed price contracting because he said without cost plus, the boldness, creativity, risk taking, and out of the box thinking/planning gave way to traditional, conservative, and less pushing of the window in order to avoid financial risks and losses. He suggested that fixed price contracting produced just the opposite of what we needed from our aerospace industry. Let us know what you think about Bob's perspective by posting on the blog. In our second segment, our guest told us about a movie he once pitched regarding the terrorist takeover of the ISS. We also talked about his role with European launch alternatives with pointing systems and sounding rockets. A listener asked him about ITAR and would it have prevented much of what he was talking about in terms of European sharing of technology early on in our space history. He thought it would have and since our guest said he was a strong proponent of international space cooperation, ITAR is seen as a probable hindrance. In his concluding statements, Dr. Brodsky said that man was destined to do great things and go into space and settle and live there. He was optimistic this would happen. He did suggest the 60's as the greatest space period in our history. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. You can email Dr. Brodsky through me.

About our guest...

Dr. Robert F. Brodsky
Robert F. Brodsky is a pioneer in both spacecraft design and the teaching of astronautics. Until his retirement in 1996, he was a professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Southern California, and he has held executive engineering positions at Sandia Corporation, Aerojet, Convair, and TRW Space and Technology. He was named Outstanding Aerospace Educator and University Professor of the Year, among many honors.

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