Broadcast 1584 (Special Edition)

30 Jun 2011 Jim Maser
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Guest: Jim Maser. Topics: Issues relating to our national aerospace industry and workforce. 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 Jim Maser, president of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR), to discuss U.S. aerospace industry & workforce issues facing our country. You can read some of his comments on these issues: http://defense.aol.com/2011/06/19/crisis-grips-americas-space-program-as... www.dodbuzz.com/2011/06/21/pas11-a-warning-from-the-rocket-men; & www.pw.utc.com/media_center/executive_speeches/jim_maser_03-30-2011.asp. Note that our program was one hour without a break. Mr. Maser started our discussion with a concise summary of the problems facing our aerospace industry today, including a short history lesson on how we got from the 1960's to the space program of today, plus the differences between eras. Mr. Maser talked about the retiring of the Space Shuttle, the loss of about 10,000 jobs, and the uncertainty that exists today in not knowing what comes next. We addressed space policy issues with the White House, Congress, and segments of the space industry. At one point referring to Shuttle in 1972 with a gap, he said gaps are pretty much required in the transition from one government program to another but unlike in 1972 when we knew what we were transitioning to, now we don't know what we are going to be doing. This uncertainty is not good for business, strategic planning, employment, investment, and progress. Later in our discussion, we talked about old space, traditional aerospace, New Space, & Commercial Space. Jim suggested we really need to be focusing on Future Space, the new model that makes both commercial and civil space more effective and efficient. It allows for both segments to be effectively developed. At another point in our conversation, he addressed issues of launch demand & elasticity. Here, he referenced his experiences while at Sea Launch. Later on we talked about new industries going to LEO and the ISS, freeing up NASA to do what it can do best, taking us beyond LEO to deep space, Mars, and more. In talking about commercial launches, he went over demand, risk, and both fixed and variable costs. We also spoke about Department of Defense (DOD) space and its connection with NASA and civil space, plus the importance to our nation of these segments. Political leadership was discussed and a listener even asked Mr. Maser for his thoughts on some of the comments to his articles posted on blogs. Later in the segment, he talked about Pratt Whitney energy development projects built upon space technology, competition for engineers among different segments of the engineering community, and the importance of STEM education for our future. He also told us about the hypersonic work going on at PWR. As we neared the end of our discussion, Mr. Maser said it was possible that we were facing a day of reckoning. Another listener asked if he thought New Space & commercial space development would create an amount of jobs equal to those being lost at this time. Don't miss his answer to this question. In conclusion, Jim talked about Apollo and the Shuttle programs as part of the great heritage of our country. He said we needed to move forward to create the next great space programs for our future and there is urgency in doing this. If you have comments or questions for Jim Maser, post them on the blog URL above. I will forward email to him if you send it through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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