Broadcast 1787 (Special Edition)

03 Jun 2012 James A. M. Muncy
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Guest: Jim Muncy. Topics: Space policy, COTS, SpaceX, Commercial Crew and more. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed back Jim Muncy to discuss space policy in light of the very successful COTS flight by SpaceX with their Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon capsule. During our fist segment, we talked about this COTS flight, the berthing with the ISS and what this might mean for the COTS program, space policy and funding issues, and commercial crew. Jim had much to say covering many aspects of our policy and budget concerns, plus NASA policy now and what we hope for in the future. We talked about challenges ahead, members of congress, resistance points, and human safety. Toward the end of the first segment, we asked Jim about the confidence level in the mission before and during it and if either Jim or others were surprised by the outcome. This is an interesting discussion, don't miss it. As our segment ended, we were addressing HSF safety issues, NASA oversight and contracting methods. In our second segment, we talked about ULA and human rating the Atlas and Delta rockets. We then discussed using the successful COTS model being used to move commercial crew forward. We again discussed down selecting as a possible result of congressional funding action/policy as opposed to the process currently in place that will eventually allow NASA to pick the program from all the contenders - the one NASA thinks may be best. Markets for HSF beyond the life of the ISS were discussed in detail and we had more to say on crew safety on the HSF rockets under development. Another issue talked about was the public option for launch vehicles that some policy people support and how to be an advocate with the most impact on our members of congress regarding space issues. I asked about the impact on space policy & programs given our national and global economic issues. In short, don't expect more funding for NASA & space which leads us to now more than ever having alternative means of financing space missions. Commercial space programs & partnerships clearly provide an important & needed alternative. Toward the end, a caller brought up the Romney Space Advisory Committee. Jim suggested that things will change & not to assume anything as final at this point in time. He hoped that we had a good national debate in the coming campaign as to just what our space policy should be for the future. If you have comments/questions, please post them on The Space Show blog. If you want to email Mr. Muncy, you can do so through me.

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