Broadcast 1646 (Special Edition)

31 Oct 2011 Ian Christensen, David Vaccaro
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Guests: David Vaccaro, Ian Christensen. Topics: We discussed the Futron 2011 Space Competitiveness Index for ten space industrial space nations. 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. You are invited to download the Executive Summary from the 2011 report at www.futron.com/SCI_2011.xml. Our guests started off with an overview of the four year history of the Space Competitiveness Index (SCI) noting that of the ten countries making up the analysis, only the U.S. showed a consistent decline from year to year. That said, the U.S. is so far ahead of the other nations, that it remains in a solid first place. Still, the trend for the U.S. is going downward in this study. The ten countries comprising the study in addition to the U.S. are Brazil, Canada, China, Europe as one entity, India, Israel, Japan, Russia, and South Korea. Our guests talked about expanding the list of nations in future reports, possibly to include 2nd and 3rd tier nations such as Iran as they have had an orbital launch, Argentina, and Australia. We also talked about additional South American countries and Mexico. Our guests took us through the three categories in the report, human capital, industry, and government, then about 50 individual qualitative and quantitative metrics for each of the ten nations in these three categories. We talked about the overall impact of space policy, domestic and global economics, how other nations see and value space as compared to the U.S. and more. In the second longer segment, we talked about military space and not surprising, the leaders were the U.S., Russia, and China. In terms of launches, Russia leads the pack and now for the first time, China has tied the U.S. for second position regarding launches. Our guests were asked about measuring commercial space and we learned that it was not easy to measure it but our guests told us the metrics that do strive to account for it. Cubesats were discussed, space workforce issues and even space graduate school academics were discussed among the targeted nations. Listeners wanted to know about any measurable impact from ITAR, and the role of ego in driving other nations to increasing their space investment as compared to the U.S. Also, the role of international cooperation was discussed and we learned how the metrics reflected this behavior among the ten nations in the SCI. Our guests also mentioned niche actors in the space arena with a focus on the Isle of Man. One listener asked if the threats to U.S. space leadership were internal, external, or both. Our guests suggested both. Near the end of our discussion, our guests made it clear that space was not a zero sum game and the good news was that the U.S. and the other players are acting smarter, interacting more with others to do more, and engaging additional players. Definitely download and take a look at the Executive Summary for this year's report. In 2012, it will be the fifth year of the SCI and they are planning a five year summary and comparison and that will be most valuable for us all. If you have comments or questions, post them on the blog. Our guests would like feedback and suggestions and you can email them at sci@futron.com.

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