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Guest: Tory Bruno; Mr. Bruno largely responded to listener questions and comments about ULA, Vulcan, Starliner, policy and security, Atlas 5, Delta 4, human spaceflight, lunar plans, competition and lots more.
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We welcomed Tory Bruno, CEO of ULA back to the program for an 87 minute discussion about ULA, their activities, launcher plans, Cislunar 1000 plans and more. That said, my first question focused on the goals Mr. Bruno set out to meet when he became ULA CEO six years ago but for one reason or another did not meet. This resulted in a very interesting discussion so don't miss it. After Tory addressed this initial question, I began asking him questions based on the listener emails I received in advance of the show plus those that were coming in on the live program. Once again, the best way to summarize those topics was simply to repeat the tags and key words as they fairly describe what listeners were interested in with their email inquiries. See below for the gags and key words. Phone calls addressed different topics. As for the topics discussed via the email questions, Tory typically spent much time with them, especially regarding their Cislunar 1000 plans, SMART, the idea of a strategic propellant reserve on the Moon, Phase 2 awards, Vulcan, cryo issues and Artemis.
Tags and key words: United Launch Alliance (ULA), Phase 2 award for National security Space Launch, ACES upper stage, Vulcan booster, Vulcan heavy, competing with safety track record, SMART program, solid rocket boosters, CST 100 Starliner flight profile, comparing Vulcan to Falcon 9, Cislunar 1000, Artemis, strategic propellant reserve, ULA lobbying, BE-4 engine, BE-4 turbopump issues, Tipping Point Awards, smart propulsion cryogenic system, cryo tank to tank transfer, multi-week storage, modifying upper stage lander for lunar surface re Bernard Kutter, space based solar power, Atlas 5 launches, Delta 4 Heavy, Chinese infiltration of the supply chain, security classifications and ULA, ITAR, Centaur 5 upper stage capabilities, sterling engine.
Ft. Worth John called to ask our guest to compare the economics of Vulcan to Falcon 9. Be sure to listen to how our guest responded to this question. Arianne got thrown into the mix regarding fixed GTO orbit insertions. Note what he said about the Atlas 5 orbital insertion accuracy which allowed for this rocket to be a favorite AF and national security launcher.
A few times during the discussion space solar power came up and at least once it was contrasted with nuclear. After the SSP email question from Mark in the UK, John George called from Las Vega. By the way, John was a former grad student of mine when I was teaching commercial space classes at the UND Space Studies program in Grand Forks. John asked Tory about the ULA supply chain incidence involving theft from China and Russia. This turned into quite the discussion so don't miss what our guest said about intellectual property theft, mostly by China, the risks not just to ULA but to US industry in general and what they had to do to track it down and what they are doing to stop it. This discussion let to additional commentary on ULA lobbying plus national security at ULA, the departments, employees and logistics. I believe you will find all of this most interesting.
Dr. Doug called wanting to know about a lander, i.e. the proposal of the late Bernard Kutter. Doug has asked this same question (different style) before when Tory was a guest on the show. Don't miss what Tory said. Following Doug's call, Gene from Pasadena called to talk about SSP, Cislunar 1000 and modifying the SLS to be a contributor to the Cislunar 1000 project. This was a good discussion. Tory brought in the capabilities of the Atlas 5 and Vulcan. Gene mentioned a White Paper on the subject which he claimed had been sent to our guest. Tory said he has not yet seen but would look for it.
Kim sent us an email wanting to know if ULA was relying on their safety record in competition with others. Tory talked about all aspects of their record. He also responded to the last part of Kim's question about why ULA was using solid rocket motors. Don't miss all of what Tory said in his conversation with Kim.
In summary, Tory mentioned the Centaur 5 and upper stage capabilities. He went over some of what was said earlier. Please post your comments and questions for him on our blog for this show. You can reach him through his Twitter acct or me.