Broadcast 1741 (Special Edition)

23 Mar 2012 Dr. Philip Chapman
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Guest: Dr. Phil Chapman. Topics: The status of our human spaceflight program, NASA, commercial space. 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 Dr. Phil Chapman to suggest ways forward to improve our space program, specifically the human spaceflight (HSF) program. Dr. Chapman started us off with an assessment that the NASA HSF program was at this time dismal. Among the reasons cited were the likely number of U.S. astronauts that would be flying to the ISS through 2020 per the Soyuz and the fact that the pilots for U.S. astronauts will either be Russian or working for Space X. All in all, he suggested that there might be 25-30 slots available and they would be filled by technicians. During this nearly hour long first segment, he continued to summarize the problems and challenges, then he switched to probable solutions from the commercial side with a focus on Space X, the Falcon 9, and Dragon. Phil had much to say about congressional support of SLS, the use of SRBs, and more. He talked about the commercial value in returning to the Moon or going to an asteroid for Platinum Group Metals (PGM). He indicated that future space activity had to be in support of settlement and commercialization. Dr. Chapman then took us into an economic discussion and the need for space to be expanding, growing and developing new markets. As part of this discussion, both of us and the listeners had much to say about our policy makers. This brought up the "sustainable" discussion that many of you have heard before. You do not want to miss Dr. Chapman's economic discussion in this segment. Near the end of the segment, we talked about RLVs and the probable cost difference between a commercial venture and one undertaken by NASA. In the second segment, Charles led off with a call suggesting a merger between Space X and Bigelow and simply bypassing NASA for everything. After Charles finished, Phil talked about one probable driver for changing the space game, space solar power (SSP). Dr. Chapman spent much of this segment laying out the case for SSP from a technical as well as economic/business perspective. We also talked about policy and Zero G Zero Tax. Public/Private partnerships were discussed and then Phil talked about international cooperation as compared to international competition. Don't miss this discussion. If you have comments/questions for Dr. Phil Chapman, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above. If you want to email Dr. Chapman, send your note to me and I will forward it to him.

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