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Guest: Dallas Bienhoff; Topics: Cislunar development, rocket fuels, life support, gateways, exploration, and much 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, www.thespaceshow.com. 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Dallas Bienhoff back to the show to discuss his new company, Cislunar Space Development Company, LLC (see https://csdc.space). During the first segment of our two segment 89 minute discussion, Dallas introduced us to cislunar development and his new company which he founded in June 2017 upon retiring from Boeing. For a major part of the first segment Dallas talked about the importance and value of cislunar development with a focus on why it was essential that we develop it, primarily on a commercial basis rather than through government support and help. He had much to say about the role of governments and the private sector so you will hear this topic come up several times during our discussion. Many issues and concerns were brought up by both listeners and Dallas. Our guest talked about water on the Moon, the need for hardware to be reusable and of course affordable. Fundamental to this discussion was the need for there to be commercial markets. As you will hear, Dallas and his company are in discussions with potential customers that as he said, have specific interests in four cislunar locations. Later in the show he mentioned the locations so do listen for that. Also note that the company will contract for space transportation with launch providers and that is a key service to be provided by his company. Another topic mentioned was the possible use of anchor tenants to jumpstart or kickstart cislunar development. Don't miss what Dallas said about anchor tenants. Let us know what you think by posting on our blog.
BJohn sent us a few emails. His first one asked "why not launch all fuel from Earth instead of setting up chemical industries in space?" Dallas had much to say in his response to this question so once again, listen carefully and let us know what you think by posting on the blog. You will hear Dallas talk about economic and market driven decision making.
Marshall called to ask about nuclear and space solar power for use in space and/or on the Moon. Some of what Marshall asked about was potentially controversial (nuclear) so solar seemed a better way to start out. Dallas was thinking solar in a similar way to how it is used within space as on the ISS, not beaming power back to Earth. Marshall asked about the possibility of nuclear fuel on the Moon. Dallas was unsure but did say thorium was on the Moon.
I asked Dallas about the role of tourism in cislunar development. Dallas said it was major commercial component of cis lunar development but it would likely unfold down the road. He mentioned the need for customers and was uncertain as to the timelines. I then asked Dallas about competition. He said there plenty of it and mentioned the example with the ULA Cislunar 1000 program.
John called from Ft. Worth to talk with Dallas about some of the older concepts on fuel and depots that Dallas had mentioned on earlier Space Show program. Dallas cited his experience with the RL 10 and SSME's. He talked about the propellant mix of 6::1 for O@ and hydrogen. He made the case for burning at an 8::1 ratio. He talked cargo solutions and later technologies for human spaceflight. Later in the discussion with John, he mentioned four studies that had been made relevant to their discussion topic. I asked him for a funding estimate which he said could $2-$500 million for a flight demo. I asked if customers might also be investors and John asked if NASA was a potential customer. Dallas had much to say on this topic. Dallas then mentioned lunar cots projects and John commented on the Gateway orbit and asked why Orion was limited to that location. Don't miss what Dallas said in response to this question.
We started the second segment with another BJohn email, this time asking about solar electric power (SEP) for cislunar space. Dallas said yes but there were limitations due to thruster technology. Don't miss what Dallas said about SEP for cislunar applications. Our discussion evolved into the use of space tugs with SEP, the need for capital assets and SEP trades between gravity wells but not between Earth and the Moon. He talked current thruster power levels and the possibility of breakthroughs in the future.
Listener Karen asked Dallas if it mattered what congress and the general public thought regarding cislunar development. The simple answer was yes but don't miss all of what Dallas said on this topic. Dallas was quick to point out that his company approach was for customers to pay, not to rely on government or taxpayers. Randy from Denver then sent in a note asking about space settlement, wanting to know if cislunar was a digression from establishing space settlements. Again, don't miss what Dallas said in his reply to Randy. You may be surprised by his comments.
Other topics came up during the remainder of the show. We talked about investment opportunities, giggle factors in the general audience regarding cislunar development, IT development and projects such as the Gateway that may distract from getting to the Moon or Mars or that settlement. Dallas had interesting things to say about competing projects, distractions and stepping stones that may slow things down but at the same time enable the settlement.
One topic that came up before the show ended was the need for closed loop life support for cislunar development. Dallas said no, life support on the order of the ISS would be OK but definitely closed loop or advances in life support would be needed for a longer duration mission like going to and from Mars. Carol then asked for some suggestions on what advocates and interested people could do to help move the bouncing ball toward cislunar development. Dallas offered a few suggestions that you will want to hear.
Before the program ended, Dallas was asked if he was glad he had an aerospace engineering career. Dallas provided us with a very interesting response to this question. Don't miss it.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. You can reach Dallas through his company website (see the address above) or through me.