Broadcast 2630

  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  John Strickland; Topics:  Near term space policy, reusability, fuel depots, cislunar development, Mars & 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,  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  For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. 

We welcomed John Strickland back to the program for the first of a three part series.  Today's program focused on near term space policy issues such as how to jump-start development of reusable spacecraft and depots along with reusable boosters.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 58 minute program, John first defined what he meant by "near term" saying this would be anything 5-7 or 8 years out.  He also mentioned specific tipping points and the ability to reuse rocket first stages.  Concerning reusing first stages, he cited some stats from Elon Musk on successful reusable missions, then he projected out how many "used" first stages he would have to market in a year or two, all at discounted launch prices.  Our guest extrapolated from this a positive impact on the commercial space launch and full industry. 

John spoke about Reaction Engines out of the UK and their Skylon project.  He addressed their cooling radiator technology suggesting what it means for the industry though it is still developmental, needing lots more funding and years away from operation after years of testing.  John also mentioned that by the time it might become operational, SpaceX large rockets like the BFR might in operation offering competition to Skylon.

The subject of a space tug came up several times during both the first & second segment of the program.  This resulted in an extensive discussion with callers and emails. John described different scenarios for how a space tug my operate, its propulsion, refueling at a depot and much more.  Part of this discussion focused on selling propellant with possible markets. He described different methodologies for fueling depots to be used by a tug.

Near the end of the first segment, Marshall called to talk about lunar and Martian landers.  John had much to say about these topics.  Before Marshall hung up, I reminded him of the problem in landing large payloads on Mars.  John disputed that, talked about Mars EDL and why there was no further issue about landing large payloads on Mars.  Let us know what you think about this issue and what John had to say by posting your comments on TSS blog.

In the second segment, we started with a call from John in New Jersey who had more to say about space tugs.  Both Johns talked about different types of space tugs including the Dragon and possibly the Cygnus.  Universal docking was mentioned as well.

SLS was the next topic so brace yourself for yet another SLS Space Show discussion.  Following the SLS give and take, our guest spoke about the SpaceX Raptor engine, more on Mars EDL, and the shape of the Mars reentry rocket as he said the wider the entry vehicle, the easier to land on Mars with less propellant.

John from Freemont inquired about lunar Lagrange points, their advantages and disadvantages.  BJohn emailed in wanting to compare the cost of lunar fuel with Earth produce fuel.  Other listeners asked John about new commercial markets and going to the Martian Moons rather than directly to Mars. 

Carl from Denver challenged John on his assumption making about reusability and his ideas regarding space infrastructure, technology and costs. Carl suggested John was making unfounded assumptions given real information about the commercial models for reusability did not exist so all of John's ideas, numbers, & suggestions were based on fantasy.  John replied but essentially said he was being positive and Carl was being negative in their respective visions Listen to the discussion and you decide, then let us know your thoughts on this subject with your Space Show blog posts.

John offered a summary and his concluding comments with bullet points.  We also talked about the coming second and third part of his series set for Feb. 26 and March 25.  Note that in the comments section for this program, John has posted images of his space infrastructure concepts.  Make sure you see them as they are part of his discussion.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog which is now part of the comments section for each show on our new website.  You can reach Mr. Strickland through me or request his email address. 




near term space policy issues, how to jump-start development of reusable spacecraft & depots with or w/o reusable boosters

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24 Jan 2016 John Strickland
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