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Guest: Jay Barbree. Topics: Overview of the space program today, SLS, presidential politics and NASA. 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. We welcomed NBC veteran space reporter Jay Barbree back to The Space Show for a conversation that focused on our best options for today's space program. Our discussion was one hour forty minutes without a break. We started out discussing Jay's thoughts when he reported on the last shuttle flight given he had reported on every shuttle flight ever made. He also told us he had updated and reissued his best selling book "Moonshot" which he co-authored with Alan Shepherd and Deke Slayton. Remember, if you buy it from Amazon with this specific URL, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show: www.amazon.com/Moon-Shot-Alan-Shepard/dp/1453211977/ref=onegiantlea20. Other topics discussed included a comparison of the original astronauts to astronauts today and the need to return to the Moon. In fact, Jay told us about ideas being discussed to use the ISS to do a figure 8 loop to and from the Moon rather than crashing it into the ocean at the end of its life. To do this, he said nuclear propulsion was needed and this led him to discuss the overall need for the nuclear rocket, especially for going to Mars. A listener asked him if he favored a one way trip to Mars and he said yes. Don't miss his complete answer. Next, we started talking about the Space Launch System which ended up as the main discussion topic for the balance of the program. Jay strongly supports SLS and is concerned that it might be cancelled. We talked about what the Obama administration would likely be doing with space and then he talked about his conversations with the Republican candidates and his impressions of each one and their interest in space. He talked at length about Newt's Florida primary comments and returning to the Moon in general. He also talked about the need for space settlement given the vulnerability of Earth. Later, a listener asked Jay if he was familiar with the accusations being made against NASA for how they dealt with the chimps in the early space program and their idea to get KSC to donate space for a chimp museum documenting abuse during their NASA days and dedicating to stopping lab research. Jay was not familiar with the story but listener Tim found the story on the PETA website: http://www.peta.org/b/thepetafiles/archive/2012/02/29/peta-to-launch-mem.... Jay talked more about the SLS but also about Falcon 9, Dragon, the Boeing CTS 100, and the Atlas 5. He expressed his concerns many times that the politicians might actually mess up NASA and our future, specifically by cancelling SLS, Orion, or both. At the end, he told us about his MSNBC.com series "Getting to Mars" which is already underway. Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog URL above.