Broadcast 1456 (Special Edition)

08 Nov 2010 Derek Webber
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Guest: Derek Webber. Topics: Space tourism, aviation and rocket history per his book, "The Wright Stuff: The Century of Effort Behind Your Ticket to Space." Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, In addition, Derek's book can be purchased on the OGLF Amazon page and Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show. Please use Derek's website has lots of free information on it so take a look, In our first segment, Derek explained how he wrote the book in that he had to go backwards from today to 1903 in order to explain where we are today and how we got to where we are. As you will hear, he documents both aviation and rocketry back to 1903, the 1927 Lindberg flight across the Atlantic and more. He has lots of photos to support his information, some of which are rare. He also attended the Personal Spaceflight Symposium and Spaceport America runway dedication in Las Cruces, NM a few weeks back and he shared his thought with us on that, specifically the two mile runway in the middle of nowhere. When asked if he had updated his market research for the earlier Futron-Zogby Report, he said that he did not see a need to update it. Listen to his explanation for this. He also talked about the categories he used in the book for Aviators, Rocketmen, and Xmen. Taking risk was a common theme throughout this segment and the entire interview. Additionally, he told us some stories from his experiences as a docent for the Smithsonian. One story about a 12 year old and the Apollo 11 capsule was disconcerting since the kid had never heard of our having gone to the Moon. Derek received questions about the price for suborbital tourism coming down and the regulatory regime now in place for space tourism and how it might change in coming years. In our second segment, I asked Derek for the most influential US presidents that facilitated the growth of both aviation and space. On the aviation side, he said presidents did not lead but if he had to pick one, it would be FDR. For space, he said JFK stood out as did Bush 43. Listen to his reasons for making these selections. Tim in Huntsville called to ask questions about HOTOL and Reaction Engines with Dr. Alan Bond. Derek had much to say about Dr. Bond and his projects so don't miss this conversation. Later in this segment, Derek did say that the suborbital industry was "unstoppable" as he mentioned the various contenders in the developing industry. When asked about European companies, he mentioned the EADS project but we both questioned if it would ever be developed. In the context of EADS being able to make a space tourism plane, I brought the DHL Airbus 300 SA-7 missile attack from 2003 and the plane was able to be landed, a testament to both the Airbus and the DHL flight crew. We started the third and final segment with Derek telling us about the "Wright Stuff Awards" on page 151. Here, Derek issued awards to the heroes of each chapter in his book. He then received a listener question asking about the frequent comparisons of the space tourism industry to the days of barnstorming and also the DC3 era of flight. He got another question asking him if anyone on one of his Smithsonian docent tours ever challenged him our having gone to the Moon. As you will hear, Derek has never had that happen but the Smithsonian trains the docents to respond to that question. See what you think of that training to enable a response to someone saying we never visited the Moon. You can learn much more about space tourism and the subjects discussed today from Derek Webber's website. Please post your comments on the blog URL and send them to Derek at



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