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Guests: Jay Wittner, Josh Powers; Topics: Integrated Space Plan (ISP), space policy, settlement, commercial industry update, equatorial space stations, Earth magnetic field info & more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com.
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During the first segment of our 93 minute program, our guests both introduced us to the Integrated Space Plan (ISP) and updated us with the changes since 2015. We learned about the addition of the new student ISP and more. Listeners sent our guests several emails asking about the ISP and subjects like interstellar flight, exoplanet discoveries, space policy changes with a new administration and more. Both our guests talked about and addressed flexibility issues with the ISP. Another part of this discussion focused on how items were added to the ISP, feedback and making the plan available free of charge to schools around the country. Jay provided listeners with instructions on how to contact him regarding getting a free copy of the plan for your favorite school so don't miss out on this great opportunity.
Before the first segment ended, our guests were asked about 2017 as a banner year for commercial space. Both seemed to think it was as did I. We talked about this for several minutes, including they which we attributed to SpaceX, Blue Origin, satellite industry growth and development and much more. Listen to what the three of us had to say as to why 2017 was in our opinion a terrific space year. In addition, we looked forward to 2018. While we agreed that 2017 would be a hard act to follow, we were optimistic. Listen to the why behind our viewpoints. Hint: New 3D printing expansion by Made in Space, dedicated small launchers by Vector, Rocket Labs and others, Falcon Heavy flights, and more. So listen to all of what we said to hear the full list of why we think 2018 will be as good as 2017 if not better.
Before we ended the first segment, we talked about the possibility of seeing the Georgia spaceport happen, we talked about possible Hawaii launch facilities, and Marshall called to talk about equatorial LEO space stations which opened the door for a brief commercial space station discussion. Josh brought in orbital and launch inclinations were brought into this final Part 1 segment discussion.
We started the second segment with Jay and Josh talking about the changes in the ISP from 2015 to 2017 as modifying the plan was now based on a two year cycle. Jay took us through the changes in the ISP, both the substantive changes and those that were more cosmetic. He also talked about the development of the student plan which was much simpler than the full plan. Both Jay and Josh spent a good portion of the second segment going over the changes and documenting the upgrades and improvements with us. Don't miss the details in their discussion.
Later in the segment, Roger from Tucson asked our guests about the possibility of an Open Source ISP. Both Jay and Josh talked about how much they wanted feedback but both said the plan needed structure and control so it would not go open source. I agreed with them but if you have comments about their strategy, feedback loop and plan management, post a comment about it on our blog.
Alan in Houston asked our guests about flexibility with the plan, something that was addressed earlier in the show. The example Alan gave was finding an exoplanet where some sort of life was confirmed. That discovery then changed the focus, the intensity, funding, and direction of our space program. Alan wanted to know how those changes would be reflected in the ISP. Don't miss what both Josh and Jay said in response to this question. By the way, before the program ended, our guests were asked the other side of the question. That is something bad happens that delays, distracts, forces some sort of negative industry change on space development. How would that side of the equation get reflected into the plan.
Adrian sent in a note as a follow up to the launch information from the earlier segment and the comments about the newly proposed Georgia spaceport. He suggested being nice with the French and launch out of the French Guiana Kourou launch site. Our guests did not think that would work given the likely competitive response by Arianne. I chimed in about the lack of infrastructure and transportation there making it a hard access spot from the US. Changing that access would likely be very costly.
Before the program ended, we talked about capital availability for commercial space and the financial industry reports on the commercial space industry for 2017. I believe there were three such reports. One was by Bank of America, another by Goldman Sachs, and the other was by Morgan Stanley. Prior to ending the program, I brought up previous Space Show comments by Adrian about declining changes in Earth's magnetic field which might impact in a bad way an equatorial space station, especially if it was lightly shielded. Also, the subject of a possible EMP was discussed along with commercial satellite shielding for such an event.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach our guests through me.