Broadcast 1380 (Special Edition)

Feedback: What did you think of this show?: 

Guest: Dr. Scott "Doc" Horowitz. Topics: Ares 1, space policy, SRBs, rocket safety, commercial space, COTS. Dr. Scott "Doc" Horowitz was our guest for this Space Show program to discuss NASA today, the current space policy debate, rocket safety and much more. As the inventor of Ares 1, Doc had much to say about all of these issues. For more information about him, please visit his website at In our first segment, Doc started us off by congratulating Space X for a very successful Falcon 9 launch on June 4th. Doc then took us on an historical tour of when he was with NASA regarding the development of the VSE, the Space Act Agreements of 2005 and 2008, and the manner in which both a Republican and Democratic congress responded to and supported space. He talked about human spaceflight funding issues even back then and the role of OMB in the funding process. He talked about the need to be representative of and listening to all the stakeholders, something that does not appear to be the case with the current administration policy proposals. Doc was asked about extending Shuttle, he got lots of questions about Ares 1 and he received a call early in the segment from Dr. Jurist about SRB rocket safety as compared to liquids. This proved to be a thorough discussion of the topic, including why Doc selected SRBs for Ares 1 and what that process and methodology was like. Don't miss this discussion which as you will hear, focused on the need for the human spaceflight system following shuttle to be an order of magnitude safer than Shuttle. This requirement led them to using SRBs. We talked about the Gap and timelines for Ares 1 and Commercial to deliver crew to the ISS. Listen to the comparisons. Doc fielded many questions asking about SRB failure rates and the risks as compared to flying a fighter jet in and out of combat missions. Toward the end of this segment, a listener asked about the testing program for Ares 1 should it survive the policy changes and I added in a question or two about the testing required for both an EELV and the Falcon 9 to fly crew to station. You will hear his rough estimates of how many flights might be required by each of these systems. The Ares 1 X was discussed and I asked Doc about the launch which many consider a bogus or phony launch. Doc explained the 1X test which was part of the needed build up approach to Ares 1 development. Mars was mentioned as a target and goal of our space program. In our second segment, I asked Doc why Ares 1 has been called one of the worst rockets ever by so many people from various parts of the space community. Listen to his reply to this question. He also shared his views with us on the role of government in opening up the space frontier and we discussed the role of government in space development and national defense. A listener followed up on our comments about the space workforce, job layoffs and that was an important discussion as well. Don't miss hearing what both Doc and I had to say about our space workforce. Later, we talked about space policy with and without specific goals, objectives, and timelines. STEM education came up and I again referenced the recent Marzwell program. Doc got several questions about commercial space and he talked about commercial markets, sustainability, and today's reality concerning commercial space. Near the end of this segment, we addressed a recent article by Jim Oberg on possible Soyuz safety issues. Doc said the biggest risk in relying on the Soyuz was that it gives us a single string with no backup for ISS access. If you have a comment or question for Doc Horowitz, you can send it to me at and I will forward it to him.



WARNING: Using Disqus Comments on the Space Show:

To ensure your comments do NOT get caught in the Disqus automatic spam filter systemplease login to your Disqus account or create a verified/approved Disqus account.

Posting multiple URL links WILL TRIGGER the Disqus automatic spam filter system.

18 Jun 2010 Dr. Scott "Doc" J. Horowitz
Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see

The Space Show Toll Free Number is only available on live broadcast programs. Please call 1-866-687-7223

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • moonwards-logo