Broadcast 1631 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Tim Pickens. Topics: Rocket City Space Pioneers, space policy, commercial space, space business plans, making money with space projects. You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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 Tim Pickens back to the program for updates with Rocket City Space Pioneers & commercial space business planning. In our first 45 minute segment in this two hour plus discussion, Tim brought us current with the Rocket City Space Pioneers Google Lunar X Prize venture. He said that there was a mixture of good times with challenging times. Their team is solid, they have a high confidence factor, they have a great business model, but the U.S. & global economies are in bad shape & it impacts everything thing & everyone. He talked about secondary payload space they want to sell to finance their plan, the Falcon 9 & possibly using the Falcon heavy. Due to the economic crisis, R&D is off, even with DOD & others. He explained the Rocket City plan/goals so don't miss this discussion. Several listeners asked about a sustainable lunar business model. Don't miss his response. Tim also had much to say about the choice of a lunar landing site. We talked about the ESPA ring & secondary payloads, plus longevity of missions beyond their expected lifespan. Tim was asked if fuel depots would be helpful to his project. He had quite a bit to say about this so don't overlook this discussion near the end of the first segment. In our second segment, I asked Tim about his upcoming talk in New Mexico at the Personal Spaceflight Symposium. Tim went into great detail to describe the supply chain problem, solutions & why he thinks this is an important approach to take to develop emerging space companies & the industry. See what you think about what he had to say. Share your thoughts with us on the blog, OK? He was asked about radiation shielding going to the Moon. The short answer was that its not such a big problem as they travel very fast & are not gone for long. He did talk about not having shielded hardware on the surface of the Moon & probably not being able to survive more than one lunar night but to shield means lots of added mass. Were he to add mass to their project, it would be in the form of more propellant. We then talked about innovation & we used Steve Jobs as an example. He told us a most interesting story about Boise speakers. Don't miss it. Based on a listener question, we returned to the topic of government funding & involvement in projects & he said it had the potential to be a slippery slope for the business. Elliott called & asked Tim if his company & he would have planned & built a lunar mission were it not for the Google Lunar X Prize. Tim's response might surprise you. Toward the end, I asked Tim, given his background, if has knew how best to talk with the space enthusiasts to minimize Kool Aid & fantasy in the industry. This started a rather intensive discussion with one of my very intense rants. At the end of the program, Tim supported Teachers in Space saying if government does fly teachers, it is a good value. He concluded his comments by saying we needed a balanced government & commercial space program & we needed to fuel innovation. Before ending the discussion, he said made in America was best. For rockets & technology, that was not yet a problem due to ITAR restrictions but we need to do this in our country to continue being the space & technology leader of the world. Post your comments or questions for Tim on the blog URL above. Visit for more information on his Google Lunar X Prize team.



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07 Oct 2011 Tim Pickens
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