Broadcast 3538 Dr. James Vedda, Dr. George Pollock

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

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The Space Foundation Conference

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Guests:  Dr. Jim Vedda, Dr. George Pollock; Topics: The Cislunar paper by our guests, "Cislunar Stewardship: Planning For Sustainability & International Cooperation," plus a wide ranging cislunar related discussion including multiple additional topics.

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We welcomed back Dr. Jim Vedda and for the first time, Dr. George Pollock to discuss their Cislunar paper mentioned above.  You can download their paper at  Later in the discussion, Jim mentioned their historical archives going back to the initial days of the space industry.  You can freely access papers that are part of these archives by visiting  When you come to the Space Policy Archive page, fill out the search form to access the area of your interest.  For the record, we have another Aerospace Corporation guest coming on board Sunday, July 26, Dr. Michael Gleason.  His paper, "The Value of Space" can be found here:  If you can, please read this paper before our July 2th program. 

We started our one segment 70 minute discussion with Dr. Vedda introducing us to The Aerospace Corporation, the Center For Space Policy And Strategy, then to our cislunar topic for the day.  We covered many topics over our 70 minutes, plus we veered from the cislunar paper to talk about Mars, Starship, and the SpaceX plans.  Our guests had important things to say about why cislunar and lunar exploration was the priority, not Mars.  More about this later in the program.  That said, for starters, I am once again repeating the Tags/Key Words here so you can have a short summary of the discussion topics.  The order of our discussion is mostly correct per the order in the Key Words below but I did mix it up a bit near the end as we started going back and forth on some topics or topics we overlooked earlier in the discussion.

Here the Tags/Key Words:

The Aerospace Corporation, Center For Space Policy And Strategy, "Cislunar Stewardship: Planning For Sustainability And International Cooperation," defining cislunar space, sustainable behavior, lunar surface, resource usage, civil, commercial, national security, five lunar Lagrange points, L2, halo orbits, L4, L5, space hotels, lunar research outposts, space communications, needed infrastructure debris mitigation, LEO, Big Sky theory, space traffic management, debris/spacecraft disposal options, space settlement, gradual expansion, lunar propellants, lunar resources, Artemis, NASA budget cuts, international space project cooperation,  Mars mission, Starship, SpaceX, Elon Musk, cislunar and popular support, fuel depots, Starship refueling plan, cislunar transportation, space salvage challenges, lessons learned from our space experience, long term storage orbits, atmospheric reentry, multiple operator shared orbits, mitigation vs. remediation.

Our discussion elaborated on many of the above topics and mini discussions.  For example, regarding lunar Lagrange point orbits, much was said about what each orbit had as an advantage plus how best to make use of that advantage.  In addition, we talked about debris and the related handling of end of life hardware so not to clutter up cislunar as has been done with LEO.  Much was said on this subject, including the need for legal clarification, salvage rights, and mitigation compared to remediation.  Space traffic management played a large role in this discussion, as did the need for constructive and orderly regulations.  Don't miss what was said by our guests and questioned by some listener email questions. 

Space settlement was introduced to the discussion by listener Paul in Denver.  Jim responded to the email suggesting that cislunar development was key to space settlement, expansion, and related opportunities in tourism, hotel, and various commercial resource operations.  He compared cislunar and the Moon to doing something on Mars which he said was 145 times further away than the Moon.  Don't miss all of what he had to say on this topic.  Mars and SpaceX were discussed though our guests were not supportive or optimistic about going to Mars prior to developing cislunar and the Moon.  Don't miss all of what they said on this topic.

Doug sent in a note wanting to know if their cislunar definition including the surface of the Moon.  It did but listen to their full commentary.  Later Doug called the show to ask a similar question.   Jim started a discussion about Artemis.  This was a complex discussion but stay with it and then tell us what you think by posting on our blog for this show.  Our discussion included budget considerations, time lines, and overall costs plus international cooperation and participation.  After Artemis, Sharon sent a note asking if general population support was needed for their cislunar program.  Be sure to hear all of hour our guests responded to Sharon's email.  Our guests talked about the need to take the long view of things, not just the short term view. 

Doug called as indicated earlier.  He wanted to discuss international involvement, fuel depots, the Starship orbital refueling plan, and the focus on transportation as compared to the view Musk was bringing to the table.  Our two guests suggested they were talking about a much broader view of cislunar development rather than focusing on transportation.  Doug's call and discussion was extensive and took us to the end of the program with both guests providing us with concluding remarks.

Regarding concluding comments, Jim said we should have talked about space salvage challenges as space salvage was necessary for cislunar development but today not legally possible.  George also had much to say and then both guests gave a shout out to Mr. Aziz for his cislunar orbit graphics used in their paper.  In finishing the program, both George and Jim referenced the necessary steps for cislunar sustainability.  These four steps are summarized at the bottom of page 10 of their paper.  I urge you to read and consider them.

Please post your comments/questions for our two guests on our blog for this program.  You can reach either guest through me at The Space Show.




CISLUNAR Planning For Sustainability& International Cooperation

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10 Jul 2020 Dr. James A. Vedda, Dr. George Pollock
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