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Broadcast 1921 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on December 31st, 2012
Guest: Thomas A. Olson
Guest: Tom Olson. Topics: The year 2012 is reviewed from the space perspective and we look forward to space development in 2013. 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 back Tom Olson for his annual Space Show year in review analysis with a look forward to 2013 for space development. We started our discussion by remembering those in our space community that are no longer with us. We specifically mentioned three dear friends though we know that others have also left us. Our program was dedicated to Neil Armstrong, Jesco von Puttkamer, and Reda Anderson. We certainly miss our friends but space development marches on like everything else in life. A few of the early issues Tom brought up in the 2012 annual overview of space included the Falcon 9 launches and Dragon missions. He also talked about ISDC and birthing of Dragon during the keynote by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. While on the subject of SpaceX and its mission to the ISS, Paul sent in a question asking if SpaceX dropping out of the Stratolauncher project indicated that perhaps they had "bitten off more than they could chew." Tom and I have no inside information about SpaceX and Stratolaunch but we both thought that Paul's comment was reasonable as SpaceX is certainly busy enough with game changing projects & technology. Cubesats were discussed given their rise in popularity and importance in 2012. It seems as if their potential is more than on the rise! Cubesat growth also cuts across many diverse space industry segments and niche markets. Bev asked about the future of 3-D printing and its potential impact on future human spaceflight (HSF). 3-D printing is certainly experiencing space industry growth & there will soon be a small 3-D printer on the ISS. Heavy lift came up and much was said about the Falcon Heavy and SLS, both looking back over 2012 & forward to 2013. In our second segment, I asked if fuel depots would evolve from the Power Point & rhetoric stage to something more tangible in 2013. We talked about depots as many of the projects announced in 2012 use depot technology to enable their plan. Tom talked about warp drive becoming more possible due to the 2012 work of Dr. Sonny White. Dr. White will be a guest on The Space Show Friday, January 4, 2013. Tom next brought up NASA budget issues & possible cuts. He talked about science mission cuts, the JWST, and on the HSF side, SLS eating up much of the budget with commercial crew still needing funding. I asked Tom how he thought space advocacy made out during 2012. Mixed was a one word summary of this discussion. Next, we talked about space settlement being made part of the U.S. space policy in 2013. Tom went over the pros & cons surrounding this effort. Doug called in about space settlement & I referred him to earlier programs with Steve Wolfe who authored the Space Settlement Act of 1988 which is part of public law. Tom said space settlement was SLS dependent & that makes the potential policy controversial to many space enthusiasts since many oppose SLS. Tom said 2012 was a good year for new commercial space grandiose missions such as Golden Spike, Planetary Resources, Mars One, a lunar base, Shackleton Energy, even EML2 missions. He kept asking the questions regarding objectives, who pays, the reasons for the missions, and more. He said most of these missions rely on some form of large launcher, either the Falcon Heavy SLS. Tom talked about ITAR reform that has been signed by both houses of Congress & is applicable to the U.S. satellite industry. Human rating of the Atlas came up for a 2012 progress report, then Dave in San Antonio inquired about cyber warfare & the space industry in 2012 & the future. 2012 marked the year the space shuttles went on display in museums & Tom talked about the Russian space program investments for modernization over the coming decade. He also talked about other national space programs. Near the end of our program, we brought up the Spaceport America liability issue & the risks facing the New Mexico spaceport. Tom updated us for 2013 on the NewSpace Business Plan Competition & his work with the Exodus Group for space business consulting. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can email Tom through

About our guest...

Thomas A. Olson
For over a quarter-century, Mr. Olson has been a business systems engineer and analyst in the Communications, Aerospace, and Publishing sectors. In addition, he has worked in an investment analysis and operations capacity in the Financial Services area (cash and fund management). A serial entrepreneur, he helped found Exodus Group as a way to bridge the gap of understanding between entrepreneurial space tech startups and Angel/VC/Institutional investors seeking new opportunities. He has served on the organizing committee for the "Space Investment Summits", an event bringing together interested investors and entrepreneurs for knowledge sharing and professional networking. Currently he is an adviser to, and investor in, three tech startups.

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