Broadcast 1353 (Special Edition)

29 Apr 2010 Alan Ladwig
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Guest: Alan Ladwig: Topics: Obama space policy, U.S. space policy, NASA outreach, NASA TV, NASA and politics. Alan Ladwig, Deputy Associate Administrator for NASA Public Outreach was our guest today. During this program, Mr. Ladwig referenced several useful and informative websites that I recommend for bookmarking. All of them start with a visit to www.nasa.gov. One site in particular that I suggest you visit often is their new video page, www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html. In our first segment, Mr. Ladwig summarized the new approach to space policy recommended by the Administration in its FY 2011 budget proposal. To provide more detail on the policy, we learned about the study teams being formed to review and study many aspects of space policy and how to implement them in the new direction NASA is heading. Briefings to congress to provide them with more detail are in process. Alan spoke at length about the technology development program and listed numerous space technologies that will benefit from the new program. We also talked about the risk of the new policy and I asked him about IP ownership rights. During this segment, we talked about having a destination as a goal and Alan said we needed flexible destinations, not one fixed destination. To make his point, he referenced the robotic and science mission program which is very successful and does have multiple destinations as goals. He also told us that that having a single destination as has been the case for the past 40 years has proven unsuccessful. He fielded questions about extending shuttle and the GAP and said to do so takes money away from other programs. He also talked about having extended ISS to at least 2020. In our second segment, we led with a call from Stephen of the Direct 3.0 team who asked a series of three excellent questions that you will want to hear. After responding to Stephen's questions, Alan provided us with registration information for the coming Industry Day which will be May 25-26 in Galveston, Texas. Based on a question about stimulus money going for community organizing, the listener asked why NASA could not be properly funded. This resulted in a discussion about the politics of space versus competing government projects and interests, and the problems space has in connecting with the general public. Here Alan talked about extensive outreach programs. This is an important discussion and everyone is searching for answers. Later we took a call from Rick regarding heavy lift and the Direct launcher. We started our third segment talking about the recent Everett Group’s “Space Poll” from March 27-April 12, 2010 (http://www.spacepoll.com/sumreport041610.pdf). One thing our guest said was that NASA needs to do a better job of relating NASA work to STEM, the health industry, national security among others. This discussion went forward for the majority of this segment. Bruce called in to discuss nuclear rockets and power in space. Alan summarized the administration position on this so listen carefully. Toward the end of this segment, Alan talked about public outreach, including a Buzz Lightyear. Program. You won't want to miss his comments. In our fourth and final segment, we focused on NASA TV. Our guest told us it was a mission support technology and its communication venue was an added benefit. NASA TV has four channels which Alan described for us. He also provided us with some background on the restraints and operating parameters for NASA TV. He then told us about the new NASA Video website so see the URL for this site above. Toward the end of the program, I asked him to describe the budget process which he did. This was a most informative and important procedural discussion. If you have questions or comments for Alan Ladwig, you can reach him at alan.ladwig@nasa.gov. Your suggestions on how better to engage the public in space and with NASA are most welcome.

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