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Guests: Rand Simberg, Bill Simon; topics: Evoloterra, the 50th anniversary of Apollo, returning to the Moon, present day policy, Artemis, SpaceX Musk, privates to the Moon and more.
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We welcomed back to the show Bill Simon and Rand Simberg to discuss Evoloterra, their ceremony remembering the story when humans first left Earth. You can read the Evoloterra ceremony and also do it at www.evoloterra.com. Note that we did have audio issues with the phone lines so you will hear some background and other noise. We apologize for the inconvenience. Our programs are single track recording. If any of you know of services that can "clean" a single track recording from phone line nose above and beyond the tools that come with Sound Forge and related audio software, please let me know.
During our one segment 1 hour 38 minute discussion, we talked about why Evoloterra was created, its meaning and significance, especially for today during the Apollo 11 50th anniversary global celebration. In our discussion we had several lengthy listener phone calls plus multiple listener emails. We talked about the Cold War and the early space program, especially Apollo 11 but also the additional Apollo missions and the earlier Apollo flights. We discussed the current plans to return to the Moon including the Artemis program, the lunar Gateway, SLS, Orion, the NASA 2024 and 2028 timelines, and the likelihood any of this will happen. Our guests and several listeners expressed doubt as to the NASA program happening, especially given the extreme partisan divide in Congress which makes it unlikely in an election year for the project to be funded.
Our guests plus several of the listeners did suggest we would be going to the Moon but it would not look anything like Apollo and it would be Elon Musk and SpaceX or maybe Bezos and Blue Origin that takes us there. Listen to the reasoning behind this thinking. Please let us know your thoughts on these ideas by posting on the blog.
Another big issue discussed was the reason for returning to the Moon. This was a listener question which both Rand and Bill answered. Listen to why they thought we should be going back to the Moon. Included in this discussion was also moving past the Moon to Mars. Note the role of space settlement in the response provided by Rand. Related, we talked about the need for US space leadership and American culture in space, but not necessarily NASA being the leading entity to space. Make sure you understand the distinction Rand made between NASA and Americans. Also, note the reasoning our guests suggested for the need for American culture and laws to lead the way to space for all. Let us know if you agree or not by posting on the blog.
Our guests were asked why they don't do more promotion for Evoloterra. This opened up a discussion about Evoloterra PR, its lack of political correctness, some of the objections they have received from people both as to the lack of religion and too much religion in Evoloterra. Our guests talked about the political correct times we live in and why they thought Evoloterra would have a hard time being presented or even accepted in many segments partisans in our country and culture today. Do you agree? We want to hear from you.
Much was said about NASA Administrator Bridenstine and the hard situation he was in. Rand talked about this quite a bit during the show as he contrasted his private sector approach to the Moon over the government plan to go to the Moon. I asked Rand if he thought the Administration was on board with what he has suggested and made known to the NASA and other officials. Rand said he was unsure of what the President or the Vice President knew and understood but he thought Bridenstine did know about options but as he had said earlier, was in a tough place given his being head of NASA and representing the government.
Elon Musk and his CBS interview from Sunday morning came up regarding his Starship flight schedule for later this year and early next year. Our guests seemed confident that SpaceX could do this, including a lunar trip by 2024 if they wanted to though we all talked about how often SpaceX schedules and timelines slip. Don't miss this part of our discussion.
Please post your comments/questions on our blog for this show. If you want to reach either Rand or Bill, you can do that through the Evoloterra website or me.