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Guest: Mark Whittington; Mark's new book, "Why Is America Going Back To The Moon," U.S., China, & Russian lunar plans, plus multiple other topics brought up by listeners.
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Mark Whittington returned to discuss his new book which is available on Amazon, "Why Is America Going Back To The Moon." See www.amazon.com/Why-America-Going-Back-Moon/dp/B095GCZKHQ/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=why+is+America+going+back+to+the+moon&qid=1624566301&sr=8-1. Remember, if you do buy it from Amazon, please use The Space Show/One Giant Leap portal on our website home page so that Amazon will make a supporting contribution to TSS. Thank you. Mark did a somewhat long introduction to his new book by first talking about his previous book from a few years ago, "Why is it So Hard to Go Back to the Moon? "Why is it So Hard to Go Back to the Moon?" Mark then proceeded to list three reasons as to why we need to return to the Moon:
1. Science: Mark explained why science and knowledge were good.
2. Commerce including mining, tourism and such: Mark touted the importance of commercial and economic expansion.
3. Soft political power: Mark cited the Artemis Accords as an example, raising American prestige and power for ours and humanity's benefit use peaceful methods.
Regarding returning to the Moon via Artemis, he said President Trump launched us on our way and so far Biden was continuing the process though with a focus on climate science. He talked about support, Blue Origin, the SpaceX human lander along with the possibility of getting additional funds for a second private sector human lander. Mark did say that so far the new NASA Administrator Nelson was doing a good job and keeping the focus where he thought it should be.
Mark took a listener question regarding China and their lunar policy. In summary he said China was not nice and from his perspective he thought China was a threat to the U.S. and global community. Another listener asked about the possibility of Chinese space tourism. He did no think much about it but did talk about SpaceX and Axiom plus the Inspire 4 lunar flight and supporting charities with the proceeds from lunar flights, both by SpaceX and Blue Origin. For part of this discussion, Mark commented on a question about the interest of the American public as evidenced by commentary to his articles he writes for The Hill. Mark made a reference to those comments as the despair of humanity. He then proceeded to talk about how many opposed space development for a variety of reasons. He specifically talked about the opposition by Sen. Sanders.
Marshall called to talk about congressional issues. Mark brought up Bridenstine, Sen. Cruz and others as pro space examples. The SLS issue came up in light of a possible Starship glowing success. Don't miss what Mark said might happen with SLS once Starship got going. Mark offered commentary on our new Space Force, civilian contractors, and Starship operators that may one day be employees of a government agency or organization. After Marshall left the stage, Connie sent in a note about the new NASA equity recruiting ad. Don't miss what Mark had to say about it. Prepare to be surprised. Mark proceeded to talk about NASA and diversity, including the designated lunar landing crew.
Mark was asked about the coming three missions to Venus, two American and one from ESA. Mark said they had to do with climate change. He then spoke about upcoming articles he was writing for The Hill. The next question came from Dick wanting to know what Mark thought of the idea of space settlement. Mark said he was a big supporter of it. Don't miss his space settlement commentary. Ben was next with an email about the Chinese space station plus Russia and their future plans for staying with the ISS. We took another question from a listener inquiring about the status of the JWST.
Ft. Worth John called. I asked him about Tic Tac and the upcoming congressional report due this week plus the same questions were asked of Mark. Mark was at first confused about the subject but then realized what we were talking about offered his perspective. Somehow this led to NASA budget commentary. Another set of questions came up about Bezos making his flight to space July 20 and Branson saying he would go first on Virgin Galactic. Mark pointed out that no such FAA launch license for flights carrying spaceflight participants had yet been approved. Stay tune for news on these flights. As we were getting near the end of the show, Joy from Atlanta asked Mark about V.P. Harris and the National Space Council. Mark said they had not announced an Executive Director for the NSC as of yet so no meetings had been convened. The role and interest of the vice president was unknown at this time.
In summary, Mark talked about future articles in the Washington Examiner and The Hill, plus his blog, Curmudgeons Corner, http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com. He also talked about his book and we suggested people might want to give it to those not so aware of space or the importance and value for returning to the Moon.
Please post your questions/comments for Mark on our blog page for this program. You can reach Mark through me or his blog address above.