Broadcast 1250 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

02 Nov 2009 Miles O'Brien
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Guest: Miles O'Brien. Topics: NASA Advisory Council Input, space vision, space policy, Mars. We welcomed Miles O'Brien back to The Space Show for this program. We started our initial segment congratulating Miles for becoming a member of the NASA Advisory Council. Miles then told us about his NASA meetings so far, his discussions with the Charlie Bolden, the new NASA Administrator and the focus on education and outreach as a top priority for NASA. One of the goals is to energize and educate young groups of school kids across America to the importance and future of space in their lives. Later in this segment, Miles was asked about CNN terminating their science and technology reporting of which Miles was their anchor. In response to this question, our guest had much to say about cable news, how people today are getting their news, and the power of the internet over cable news. This is a fascinating discussion so don't miss it. Also in this segment, we talked about Ares 1-X and the Augustine Commission report. Miles had lots to say about Augustine as did I so again, don't miss our discussion. As we started our second segment, Miles invited listeners to give him feedback, questions, and comments that he could work with in his position on the NASA Advisory Council. He said he could be reached through all of the social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. You will find his email address at the end of this write up. During this segment, Mr. O'Brien was asked about space solar power. As you will hear, Miles strongly supports it and even stated that perhaps some of it could be done as a private business and he cited a type of test venture in supplying SSP to our military. In response to this discussion, we had a listener point out the vulnerability of an SSP system for our military in that this listener said it would be easy for an enemy to hinder or render the system useless. Another listener asked Miles if the billions being reported to be invested in SSP by the Japanese might just embarrass the U.S. Congress to take action on SSP and start an American program. This issue was also discussed in the final program segment. Both Miles and I laughed and said given the scandals and what goes on with our congress, nothing could ever embarrass them. Also in this segment, we talked about extending the life of the shuttle, the Gap and why the GAP is important. We also talked about the need to understand that space development was an investment, not an expense item. Miles was asked about our time frame for coming up with good space policy and he thought timing was now critical and that we were in a very crucial time frame. The Hubble Space Telescope was discussed as an inspiring space program and in terms of education, Miles cited the educational system, science programs, and journalism as a growth business in Poland which is just the opposite of the United States. As we kicked off the third and final segment, we talked some more about the Japanese SSP program and the 40th anniversary of Apollo. At one point, Miles said it was sad that we lived so much in the past and only had our past glorious space programs to honor and remember. This is an important discussions so don't miss it. In response to a question about Administrator Bolden's NASA vision, he said he wants to go to Mars but of course he is serving at NASA at the pleasure of the President of the U.S. so obviously he has to follow the administration mandate for NASA. Some questions came in during this segment about political partisanship and space and both Miles and I pointed that space has been seen as a unique program for the United States and has enjoyed bi-partisan support. Space does not normally fall into party divisions to the degree of some other programs. Miles again stressed his desire for the public to contact him with suggestions, feedback, and information in his new role with the NASA Advisory Council. As for closing comments, the bottom line: Don't Give Up!!! To contact Miles O'Brien, you can reach him at His website is



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