Broadcast 2778 Mark Whittington

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Mark Whittington;  Topics:  Commercial space topics & players, the new movie "Hidden Figures," EmDrive & 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,  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   

We welcomed Mark Whittington back to the show to discuss a variety of commercial space, NASA, and planetary mission topics.  During the first segment of our 100 minute program, Mark talked about the SpaceX Falcon 9 loss from a few weeks ago, possible causes and return to flight.  In addition, he signaled out August 3, 2016, the date the FAA granted Moon Express the first ever license for landing on the Moon as part of the Google Lunar XPrize.  He talked about this being the first use of Article 6 of the Outer Space Treaty.  This led to a discussion which focused on the leaders in the Google Lunar XPrize contest.  We also talked about Moon Express using a never before developed or flown rocket, the Electron, from a new rocket company, Rocket Lab in New Zealand.  Mark mentioned launching from New Zealand and the new commercial space regulatory regime going into effect in New Zealand with their newly adopted space policy.  Mark also spoke about the Blue Origin recent announcement regarding the development of their new orbital vehicle and possibly another rocket for the Moon.  Mark provided the names for these rockets so don't miss what he had to say. 

As Mark has suggested before, he would like to see a commercial partnership with NASA for returning to the Moon.  For example, he sees the lunar lander coming from the private sector.   Mark then mentioned two potential commercial space station companies.  One of course was Bigelow but he told us about a new start-up by Axiom (see  Near the end of the first segment, Mark commented on space policy and our presidential election.  He said Congress built in a provision that prevents a new president from doing anything substantially different than existing space policy.  Listen to his explanation of this type of "congressional poison pill" for its current space policy. 

John Hunt from Ft. Worth called before the break to talk about the Lockheed Mars Base Camp concept.  This was on John's mind given our Lockheed interview last Wednesday at AIAA Space 2016.  You can hear that interview on the Sunday, Sept. 18 Space Show program.  The Lockheed interview is the first one on the show and it is about 40 minutes long (not including the introduction to the show).  John's discussion with Mark included the Mars Base Camp concept but also the F9 explosion, EmDrive, Eagle Works, testing EmDrive in space, the Conservation of Momentum physics law and Eric Berger articles.  I mentioned that Eric would be returning to the show on Oct.  17.

In our second segment, Mark told us about a film to be released in mid-January, "Hidden Figures.  Watch the trailer here:  Learn more about the movie here:  I can't wait to see this one!

Mark switched topics to planetary missions.  He had much to say about current photos coming in from New Horizons, the JUNO project, the upcoming "big announcement" regarding Europa next week, and Osiris Rex which was launched a week ago. He also noted new material from Curiosity.  Before the program ended, Mark talked more about SLS and the cancellation of the VSE several years ago.  Before the program ended, I asked for his focus on the final quarter of this year, then he talked about the Chinese program and he mentioned another movie soon to be release, "The Space Between Us."  Learn more about this one at

Please post your comments/questions on our blog which is part of this archived show on TSS website.  You can reach Mark through his blog, Curmudgeons Corner ( or  through me.




Mark's latest space news and opinion articles

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20 Sep 2016 Mark Whittington
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference