Broadcast 3221 Joe Pappalardo

Feedback: What did you think of this show?: 

Guest:  Joe Pappalardo;  Topics:  Joe's recent articles for Popular Mechanics on topics such as spaceports, European competition with SpaceX launchers, commercial space and more. 

Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,   Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See

We welcomed Joe Pappalardo to the show for this two segment 1 hour 29 minute program focusing on many of the space articles our guest has written for Popular Mechanics.  We started out talking about spaceports and the new edition of 2017 book, "Spaceport Earth."  After talking about his book and the new chapter he has added for the edition coming out in February 2019, we talked about spaceports in light of my question asking if there was real business for all the spaceports that seem to be cropping up around the country.  Joe and I had an interesting discussion about this including the non-space incentives to have a spaceport even if there will be no launches or space industry from the spaceport.  We also talked about the SpaceX Boca Chica location and SpaceX plans for it.  Other spaceports were discussed including the one at Midland, Wallops Island, and then Marshall called and wanted to talk about the Burns Flat, Oklahoma spaceport. 

Additional first segment topics included the small launcher market, possibly visiting the Boca Chica spaceport and SpaceX sensitivity in the area plus more on the European competition in the launcher market, primarily with SpaceX but also Blue Origin.  Don't miss what our guest said about this but better yet, read his Popular Mechanics article on the subject, "How American Space Launch Left Europe in the Dust" dated Oct. 18, 2018.  You can find the article here:

In the second segment, we carried forward our discussion regarding SpaceX and the European launch industry.  Joe talked about the Arianne business model which called for minimal risk.  Listen to what he said and share your thoughts with us on this topic on the blog.  In this discussion, Joe provided a brief history of how SpaceX pulled ahead and changed the game. 

Another topic in the second segment focused on the commercial space industry and possible regulatory and legislative changes depending on the mid-term election results.  Joe thought the biggest problem as a result of the election might deal with creating a space force.  Another topic was his upcoming Popular Mechanics interview with Jim Cantrell.  During this part of our discussion, Joe provided us with a startling bit of information. Listen for it.  You might want to comment on it on our blog.  Joe then mentioned another story he was researching on the Dallas Hackers Association.  Listen to this one, it should be a great read when he writes it up. 

As a way of a summary, Joe talked about the main points behind spaceports, lunar landers and a possible commercial market for them, and the Virgin group with Sir Richard Branson.  Before signing off, he once again told us about his revised edition of "Spaceport Earth" which will be on the market in February 2019.

Please post your comments or questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Joe through Popular Mechanics or me.




Space News issues by the Space & Science editor of Popular Mechanics

WARNING: Using Disqus Comments on the Space Show:

To ensure your comments do NOT get caught in the Disqus automatic spam filter systemplease login to your Disqus account or create a verified/approved Disqus account.

Posting multiple URL links WILL TRIGGER the Disqus automatic spam filter system.

06 Nov 2018 Joe Pappalardo
Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see

The Space Show Toll Free Number is only available on live broadcast programs. Please call 1-866-687-7223

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • moonwards-logo