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NOTE: This program hadt a phone line glitch took place early in the program. I used a backup copy of the recording to replace a lost 13 minutes or so early in the show. The backup audio is not as good as original audio but nothing was lost in the interview. When the program was restored, Roman quickly summarized the 13 minutes in case the back up recording missed it. Thus, you have the original part of the interview plus a few minutes of Ruman's summarizing what was missed as a result of the phone system going offline. The written summary for this program will post later this day.
Guest: Roman Chiporukha; Topics: High end space, earth and ocean adventures, space missions, marketing, educational outreach, educating the general public about space, STEM goals.
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We welcomed Roman Chiporukha to the show from SpaceVIP. Follow along with us from their webpage, www.spacevip.com. In addition, note my comments on the audio issue due to a phone line glitch. We apologize for that problem. Despite the lower quality audio with the use of the emergency backup recording, nothing was lost in the interview.
Roman introduced us to SpaceVIP along with his background and experience in marketing adventure to very high end individuals. During his introduction, he explained why and how he evolved to space and marketing space programs, plus working to educate the general public on the value and benefits of space for humanity. I asked Roman several business questions such as wanting a definition of his target market customer, was he targeting the space audience, the general public or both plus later a listener and I both asked him what the most popular items were with his customer base.
Listener email questions came in before we took phone calls. Todd was first to ask a question which pertained to the minimum age requirement for various space missions. Roman was not sure and thought there might be different age requirements for different space missions. He did comment that an 18 year old flew with Blue Origin a few weeks ago. Roman spoke about his special high school outreach program for girls in engineering and stem, a program funded by a donor for this particular purpose. This was referred to later in the show as the Space Prize. As the result of a follow-up question late in our discussion, Roman brought up the Overview Effect. Don't miss his transition to this topic.
Jacob was the listener who besides me asked what Roman's most popular missions were. Roman said the Zero-g flights at $7500 were the most popular. He also mentioned the astronaut training class which included a zero-g flight at $30K. Roman was then asked about the demand for suborbital flights. He said it was still an unknown as Virgin has a big backlog of paid customers to work through plus they just got grounded by the FAA for an investigation relating to their earlier flight. Not much was known about future Blue Origin flights so suborbital demand was still a bit of an unknown.
Roman spoke about the high altitude balloon flight by Space Perspective. He had much to say about this mission and how it would play out. The flights are set to start in 2024 from Florida. A few listeners brought up SpaceX but Roman said he was not working with SpaceX as people generally work directly with the company. He cited the Inspiration 4 mission coming up as an example.
Listener Jane in Tucson asked Roman about his ocean voyages, specifically the ride to the Mariana Trench. Roman spent time describing that mission, the special two person submarine used for the mission and the history behind that mission. Another listener asked Roman for some additional details Earth missions. I commented on his website page with the title Infographic as it was and is a great source of useful information. Make sure you check it out. Since SpaceVIP intends to update that page and make it interactive, I suggest bookmarking it as an excellent source of information on space missions.
Roman talked about the space walk mission with the Russians, a mission that interested many of us listening to this show. Fremont John called to find out when adventure mission prices might drop so that ordinary folks could afford them. While Roman did not have a specific answer, he thought that some missions might see cost reductions in a 10-20 year period. John said that the more that go, the more likely and faster prices will come down.
Phil emailed us from Canada about Mars settlement missions and financing costs. Ft. Worth John called to get more information about visiting the Mariana Trench. He wanted to know if this mission had anything to do with James Cameron who built a sub several years ago to take him down to the trench. Listen to what Roman had to say about Cameron, the mission, the submarine, all of it.
Roman provided us with a short program summary, provided us with his email for follow up contact plus we talked about becoming a Space VIP. Please post your comments/questions on the blog for this show. You can reach Roman through me or the email address he provided at the end of this program.