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Guest: Mark Wihittington. Topics: Updates for the current state of affairs in the space industry; Mark's novella, "Dreams of Barry's Stepfather." Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.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. We welcomed Mark Whittington back for space industry updates and for information about his new novella available on Amazon. Mark's blog, Curmudgeons Corner is at http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com. In the first hour of our two hour discussion, Mark talked about the commercial space ventures announced in 2012 and so far in 2013. He focused on Inspiration Mars but also talked about many of the other ventures. We talked about the possible impact of a tragic accident on the Mars mission and its probable impact on the industry which we did not think would be great based on what happened after both Challenger and Columbia. Mark also talked about asteroid mining and returning to the Moon. Later, the subject of the possibility of a new spaceport for SpaceX in Brownsville, Texas was discussed and Mark told us about a few possible wrinkles with the establishment of that spaceport. He also mentioned the Mars One mission out of Holland, then we talked some space politics regarding many in Congress. The NewSpace sector came up and Mark has some interesting observations about this part of the industry. In our second segment, we continued talking about space politics but we brought in critical comments about the media as well. Mark then cited the NRC study on NASA's Strategic Direction and the Need for a National Consensus as an example of the problems within NASA, the absence of a real HSF asteroid mission and more. Mark also mentioned the four options talked about in the NRC NASA study. John called in from Atlanta and talked about the newly announced NASA-Lockheed program to have K-12 students around the world work on space radiation issues. We talked about this effort in some detail and were supportive of it. You can read about it at www.govconexecutive.com/2013/03/lockheed-nasa-seeking-k-12-student-radia.... Mark then told us about his new novella, "Dreams of Barry's Stepfather." If you get it from this Amazon URL, http://www.amazon.com/Dreams-of-Barrys-Stepfather-ebook/dp/B00BO9D3NC/re..., Amazon will make a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF. We spent most of the rest of our discussion going over the alternative time line which Mark developed to make this a most interesting novella with broad space industry impact. At the end of the program, we talked about Nasa and the space budgets and sequestration, heavy lift, and fuel depots. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can reach Mark through his own blog or through me at firstname.lastname@example.org.