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Guest: Brad Bergan: Topics: We discussed Brad’s new book, Space Race 2.0: SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Orbit, NASA and the Privatization of the Final Frontier. In addition, Brad was asked for his opinion on the new commercial space personalities, business, the commercial space future, national security concerns with China and more.
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We welcomed Brad to the program to discuss his excellent new book, “Space Race 2.0: SpaceX, Blue Origin, Virgin Orbit, NASA and the Privatization of the Final Frontier.” The book contains many outstanding color photographs plus a most unusual Table of Contents which I asked Brad about soon after I started the show. First, however, we led off with my asking Brad how and when he got his interest in space. Like so many of us, it was from his childhood when he got a Celestron telescope. Like most of us, once hooked, we remain hooked!
After the introduction and the Table of Contents discussion, we turned our attention to asking him about the first chapter which focused on Elon Musk. I asked if he met Elon or only did research. As you will hear, the billionaire commentary was research focused as Brad was unable to meet or talk with any of them. As for Mr. Musk, we spent more time talking about him than the others. He did say that Musk was a polarizing person but also inspirational. Given Brad being a fairly young person, I continued asking him about Musk, how his peers saw him, especially those that were not especially space cadets. Brad offered us interesting perspectives so don’t miss all of his commentary. I will add that Brad said Musk had momentum.
Brad was asked about the economic potential of commercial space, wondering if he thought it would live up to some of the claims about the industry that it would be the first trillion dollar industry in our economy. In his response, our guest worked in Public Private Partnerships and some of the NASA external and internal challenges. Once again, don’t miss his commentary.
I gave Brad and the book a loud shout out about the quality of photographs used in the book. Listeners, they are simply exceptional. Not just because they are glossy and in color and there are lots of them, but because they compliment the telling of the story of Space 2.0 so very well. Brad talked about his selecting them, mostly from Getty where they had to pay a fee to use them. He was the online media editor. Listen to his story as it was both interesting and compelling. Then when you get his book and see the photos for yourself, you will know why I did a shoutout on this matter.
Brad was asked about rocket reusability and the fact that SLS had no such thing. Reusability was a key part of his book. He talked about SLS being based on old shuttle tech while SpaceX perfected reusability with an all new rocket, the Falcon 9. Listener Todd in San Diego sent in a note wondering if SLS would survive without reusability. Brad talked about the very high SLS costs in his response to the Todd note. I asked Brad what he thought SpaceX would be doing now and what it would be like as a company if reusability has not been perfected and part of their program. Don’t miss his reply to that question.
Fremont John wanted to ask Brad about the last chapter which focused on conflicting realities. He wanted to know what Brad meant by the term conflicting realities. Brad went through a list of them. Please let us know what you think of these issues as conflicting realities defined by Brad both in the book and on TSS. Post your comments on our blog.
The subject of Blue Origin commercially pricing its tickets came up. In addition, Brad was asked about the recent comments by William Shatner about how sad he was to see and experience space. Brad was asked for his thoughts on Capt. Kirk not so much liking real space as compared to sci fi space. We also wanted to know if Brad thought Shatner’s comments would impact commercial space or Blue Origin in anyway. Listen to the commentary to find out what Brad had to say on this topic.
Fremont John contacted us again, this time to ask Brad about the Moon, Mars, Earth triangle regarding conflicting realities. Brad commented on Chinese and Russian lunar plans. Once again John pointed out that SLS was not and will never be reusable. Before ending, I asked Brad what was next for him in terms of a new book. Listen to his plans and he writes it, he will be back with us on The Space Show.
Please post your comments/questions for our guest on the blog for this show. You can reach Brad through me here at The Space Show or through our blog.