Broadcast 1284 (Special Edition)

03 Jan 2010 Ross Tierney
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Guest: Ross Tierney. Topics. Direct 3.0, Constellation, NASA, political process. Ross Tierney returned for this two hour program to update us with Direct 3.0 in light of the Augustine report and the upcoming announcements regarding U.S. Civil Space Policy. In our first segment, Ross brought us current with Direct 3.0 and the Augustine Commission. This is a comprehensive discussion. We also talked about work force issues and job losses in the space industry as a result of potential space policy changes. At the end of this segment, in response to a listener question, Ross estimated the R&D costs for Direct 3.0 launchers. In our second segment, Ross opened up with the probable time table to flight testing and operations depending on the actual configuration for the Direct Launcher and external tank. Heavy lift was discussed as was the political mindset of all those involved in the process. SPS was mentioned by a listener and Ross suggested it as a mission. Listen to his idea and see what you think. As we started the third and final segment which was about an hour long, Ross opened saying "In God we Trust, all others bring data!" We then talked about the Direct 3.0 relationship, if any, with ATK, Marshall Spaceflight Center and others. The issue of comparing the safety of an SRB to a liquid rocket for human spaceflight came up so you will want to hear what Ross had to say about this. Ross brought in the life cycle cost issue and talked about the NASA culture. We also talked about economic growth and opportunity through space development. I asked him questions about what he would say regarding our civil space program to hurting communities across America as a result of the economic crisis using Detroit as an example. Ross told us what he would say to Detroit Rotarians. I think you will like how he makes the case for space. We should all borrow from what Ross had to say to those in Detroit and in similar situations across America. Ross spent much time stressing the ability to work the political process and system and to understand how things happen. As he said, the best idea or technology could very well fail if there was not a political momentum behind it. Toward the end of this segment, we talked about how Direct 3.0 would impact the GAP and the compatibility with the heavy lift Jupiter and EELV or the Falcon 9. If you have a question or comment for Ross Tierney, email him at You can find his frequent posts on under the screen name KRAISEE. Don't hesitate to join in the discussion.



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