Broadcast 1228 (Special Edition)

22 Sep 2009 Lawrence H. Williams
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Guest: Larry Williams. Topics: Next Step In Space, Commercial Space, SpaceX, Augustine Commission. Larry Williams, the VP for Strategic Relations for SpaceX, was our guest today to discuss the newly formed commercial space organization, Next Step In Space (www.nextstepinspace.com). During Segment One, Larry provided us with the background and genesis for founding Next Step In Space and we discussed the commercial space members of the organization and the difference in ISS access and transportation versus going to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. We also talked about the recent Dr. Griffin congressional testimony regarding the Augustine Commission hearings and Mike's public email in which he put forth his comments regarding the Augustine Commission. If you want to read his testimony and the email, here are the respective URLs: Congressional testimony: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=32378; Dr. Griffin email: http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=32351. In this segment, we started the discussion regarding using EELVs for ISS cargo and crew transportation and Larry explained to us the initial intent of the VSE in which ISS access was treated separately from visiting the Moon and going to Mars. Somehow these respective missions have become blurred and confused over time and with lots of rhetoric. This subject continued through the other segments of the program. In Segment Two, we started off with a question from listener Jack regarding the probability of the Obama Administration investing more in R&D, specifically space R&D. Jack offered a quote from President Obama to suggest his administration would be investing more in R&D than previous administrations. You do not want to miss this discussion. In this segment, Larry told us about the new White Paper published by Next Step In Space and available to the public at www.nextstepinspace.com/downloads/NSIS-White-Paper-Sept22.pdf. In many ways, this White Paper was a response for accurate education regarding the VSE, Constellation, etc. to members of Congress regarding the Augustine testimony, plus the public. I recommend you read this paper. We also talked about COTS, NASA using Soyuz to access the ISS, and the business/financial consequence of that decision on earlier COTS participants. The issue of extra money for NASA came up and as Larry clarified for us, to do all of the NASA programs talked about in Augustine, an additional $5 billion per year more would be needed, not the much referred to $3 billion annual increase. Don't miss this important clarification. The subject of inspiring others, students, and the population came up during this segment. In Segment three, we focused our attention on Next Step In Space, learned how it was funded, how each of us can join and participate in it, and we talked the need for heavy lift rockets. Near the end of the program, Larry was asked to summarize his years with SpaceX and talk about how the perception and reception of the company has changed from its early days to the current time with successes and amazing projects under its belt and on the way to implementation. Larry had much to say in response to this question so don't miss it. Clearly, SpaceX has and is achieving great things for breaking the paradigm of how we access space and undertake commercial space projects. Hear now how the view of SpaceX from outside the space community has changed over time as these programs have come to fruition. If you have questions or comments for Larry Williams, please email him at larry@spacex.com.

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