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Guest: Dr. Mike Griffin; Topic: Space Policy, commercial space, public benefits from space and 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, www.thespaceshow.com. 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Dr. Mike Griffin back to the show to discuss US space policy and much more. In the first segment of our 92 minute program, I asked Dr. Griffin for his view of US space policy per his recent House Science Committee testimony. We spent most of the first segment talking about our space policy now and for the future. One point that our gust made related to the ISS and the fact that we should continue using it but most of all, we should be planning on the continued use of the station. He said given how much time it takes to plan and finance space experiments, many potential ISS users won't make the investment given the long term use of the station is in flux. He made the case for continuing with the ISS and making that part of our policy to drive even more experiments and use of the station. Our guest then proceeded to outline three separate steps which he said should constitute our space program moving forward. See what you think of his three steps, then post your comments about them on TSS blog. Before leaving this subject, I asked how we would finance the robust space policy and program he was talking about. Again, don't miss his response to this question. What do you think?
I asked our guest the same question I have been asking many other Space Show guests and listeners which was what was in it for the American taxpayer to finance the extended space policy and program he was advocating. Mike's response might surprise you. He focused on establishing American pre-eminence and what that would mean for each of us. He also talked about updates to our industrial capability along with our way of lie. Mike said that 70% of a Americans support space but obviously they don't dwell on it as we do in the community.
Jeff from Tucson sent in a question asking about safety for crew and cargo regarding SLS which does not separate cargo and crew as did Aries 1 and Aries 5. Mike had much to say in response to Jeff's question so don't miss his comments on crew safety. Jack, referring back to Mike's testimony, asked about space settlement and why it seemed that at the hearing, there was no interest in settlement. Mike disagreed and said the difference was more semantics than anything else as they spoke to having a permanent presence on the Moon and elsewhere in the solar system. By the way, if you want to see the House Science Committee hearing, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zebh4UXovq4.
Robert Jacobson sent in a note asking about reliable economic and investor information for making space investments. Mike said it was very difficult to get accurate financial, economic, and investment information in space investments. He also provided us with his opinion and thoughts on the new interest of venture capitalists in investing in commercial space companies and sectors. He talked about imagery, LEO broadband, and other potentially successful commercial space investments. Let us know what you think about commercial space investment and what our guest had to say about this subject.
Public-Private partnerships were discussed in detail. Mike briefly summarized the history of such relationships going back to the time of the transcontinental railroad.. This discussion was followed with a question from George suggesting that SLS was not a good deal because of its probable high operating costs and limited flight rate. Mike had much to say on this subject but he stressed the fault was not with SLS but with the policy and planning people that don't plan for a robust space economy and policy that would make use of the heavy lift vehicle. Don't miss what he had to say about private companies and their capabilities to make a heavy lift rocket . In addition, he addressed the competition that Boeing won regarding SLS. As part of this discussion, he briefly explained why heavy lift was necessary for BLEO destinations and programs.
I asked Mike about the common NewSpace view that SLS was not a good deal and that NASA should contract with a private company and let them build the rocket, plus commercial space companies could make better use of the money ear marked for SLS than the government could make by building SLS. Don't miss what Mike had to say about this commonly held perspective by many in the NewSpace advocacy community.
John in Ft. Worth called to ask Mike for his opinion on SLS, a view John has expressed over many years and many Space Show programs. Helen sent in a note asking if we were expecting too much from the space industry and NASA by giving them the mandate to achieve global pre-eminence, along with other parts of the US economy. Again, don't miss what Mike had to say in response to Helen's question. Jerry called just before the segment ended to ask Mike about the Mars Colonial Transport.
In the second segment, Linda asked about the significance of the record number of astronaut applications received by NASA. Hal sent in a note asking what technologies NASA should be addressing. Mike listed several including closed loop life support, advanced propulsion, nuclear propulsion, Mars entry technologies, ISRU, radiation protection, biomedical technologies, & the need for understanding the gravity RX for human spaceflight.
John from Montana called to ask Mike about the different needs for a short visit to Mars as compared to a long duration visit or even Martian settlement. Mike had much to say in response to this question, including the idea that humans will have to adapt to the destination's environment. He even mentioned some potential areas of adaptation regarding the human genome. Many might think Mike was talking about possible genetic modification for long duration human spaceflight.
Pat asked Mike about planetary protection. Mike had much to say on this topic as well so don't miss his comments. Just before the show ended, Wanda sent in a note about the excellent NASA planetary exploration missions, wondering why NASA was so good with these missions. Don't miss Mike's reply to this question. One thing he did say was that we had the wisdom to spend more money to yield good outcomes with less risk.
Please post your comments on TSS website in the comments section of this archived program. You can reach Dr. Griffin through me at firstname.lastname@example.org.