Broadcast 1634 (Special Edition)

12 Oct 2011 Dr. Stephen Johnson
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Guest: Dr. Stephen B. Johnson. Topics: Systems Health Management, failure plans, human spaceflight, cost analysis 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. For more information about Dr. Johnson and his publications as well as his new book, "System Health Management with Aerospace Applications" published by John Wiley, visit these websites: /www.uccs.edu/css/About-The-Center/Our-People/Research-Faculty/Johnson.html; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/book/10.1002/9781119994053. We welcomed Dr. Johnson back to the program to discuss not only his new book but aerospace engineering systems health management and failure analysis of space systems, rockets, hardware, etc. During our first segment, Dr. Johnson said it was unreasonable to expect no failure. What was important was to have plans to deal with the failures when they happen or better yet, to detect and prevent them from happening. He said Fault Protection as it is known is a black art. He listed several examples of where and how this field of engineering has been and is used. We then moved to talking about reliability and he mentioned three main factors in getting higher reliability. The three factors were experience, creating technically reliable and simpler missions with a breakthrough such as using solids for ICBMs instead of liquid rocket motors. The third area was bureaucracy Here he said the bureaucratic oversight compensates for deficiencies in the space industry in the first two items. Don't miss this important discussion. In our longer second segment, we talked about NASA oversight along with third party oversight. Dr. Johnson talked about company internal oversight known as insight and the experience the DOD had using it and why they changed back to external oversight. John from Atlanta called in to ask if we had any advanced technology ready to go regarding space missions given all the years we have been doing things in space. I then read a portion of a listener email regarding why we just can't do a human mission to Mars in say 10 years rather than waiting for the 2033 ideal launch window. Stephen had much to say, starting with the emailer having cited Apollo as an example of what we can do. Listen to what our guest had to say about Apollo, what was already known by 1961 and why Apollo was really a development mission, not a research mission. Stephen then went on to address mission costs as a major challenge to a manned Mars mission. He believes such a mission is possible, would likely be international in scope due to the costs, but that in the end, the costs will dictate much of the parameters of the mission. We talked about the difference between research, development, and their respective budgets. Stephen was asked for the payoff for the taxpayer for spending the money to do a manned mission to Mars. He listed multiple benefits, said there was not just one benefit, but the issue of the benefits being more valuable than the costs required to go to Mars remains an unknown. He suggested an incremental plan starting with lunar development and then on to a NEO, then Mars.. Toward the end of our discussion, we talked about good fortune, serendipity in research, and if a research plan can depend on it to show up and make a huge difference in the research. Before we ended, we talked about SLS, abort systems, space tourism, and the role uncertainty plays in the engineering, policy, and financing of space missions. Please post your comments/questions on the blog URL above.

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