Broadcast 3138 Dennis Wingo

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Dennis Wingo; Topics:  Dennis interviews Dr. Livingston on a multitude of space & NewSpace topics during the history of The Space Show.  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

We welcomed back Dennis Wingo for this special type of Space Show program in which Dennis interviewed me, the host, for the full two segment two hour four minute program.  Dennis was a marvelous host covering much of the history of NewSpace, commercial space, space policy, and the players making the history of our 124 minute discussion during the past 17 plus years of Space Show history.  Besides the questions asked me by host Dennis Wingo, we took several listener calls and a few emails.  The listener calls expanded the topics of discussion and fit in nicely with the interview being conducted by Host Dennis Wingo. 

Dennis started my interview by asking about geopolitical space changes over the past 17 plus year. We talked NewSpace company history, challenges, and significant developments. Cubesats were mentioned as was the entire smallsat industry.  We talked about many of the leaders of this industry, the growth of the SmallSat Conference and the early days of Elon Musk followed by his starting SpaceX with the early Falcon rocket history including Falcon 1, the plans that never panned out for Falcon 5, and then Falcon 9 which could serve a full geo market.  Caller John brought up space tourism and the XPrize. Dennis asked me about that period and The Space Show so I told the story of how TSS covered all of the XPrize flights out of Mojave.  When we disconnected from caller John we lost the phone line for Dennis so we took the break and reconnected with Dennis for Part 2 of our program.

We started the second segment with a call from Michael Listner, space attorney.  Michael commented about space being a government domain back in the beginning and the government domain mindset which had to evolve and change to make room for today's NewSpace industry.  We talked about Telstar and the AT&T history, plus the traditional cost plus contracting.  Dennis commented and asked me about the influence of the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) and the change from to NewSpace.  Both Dennis and I were part of and attended the SFF meetings and conferences that helped create these changes and we talked about the SFF influence on the development of the NewSpace industry, changes and all.

Dennis picked up on and asked me about suborbital space tourism.  I had much to say about it and the fact that it still was off in the future but now only by one year in the future rather than the usual two years.  Dennis suggested that both Blue and VG were ready to go by the end of 2018 or for 2019.  Dennis then asked me for thoughts on what would happen when we started flying American astronauts to the ISS with commercial vehicles from Boeing and SpaceX.  I had much to say on this topic as did Dennis so don't miss the discussion and our collective opinion about the positive impact this will have on the growth and development will happen.  Dennis also referenced new Morgan Stanley space industry reporting suggesting growth to a trillion dollar industry.  Read about it here:  Also discussed was the importance of the relationships involving Dr. Pete Worden who was head of NASA Ames during this period, the relationship with Stanford University which I documented with writing my dissertation and my Stanford advisor, Silicon Valley, San Jose State University, and the emergency of successful NewSpace entrepreneurism.  I had much to say in the interview about these factors that came together in a unique way. Dennis also had much to say as he was part of this development period.  One of the factors Dennis had me talk about was traditional cost plus government contracting and the growth of the alternative government financing method which at the time was controversial, The Space Act Agreement. 


While talking about entrepreneurial space, Dennis asked me what I would say to NASA Administrator Bridenstine regarding returning to the surface of the Moon.  Don't miss what I said in response to the question.  The bottom line for me was that I did not think the NASA and government goal was to return to the surface of the Moon as was the goal of Dennis and many others supporting the NewSpace industry,  but instead, to do other related things involving the LOP-G which I thought was a distraction and an excuse for needed financial delays.  I suggested working on the NASA Administrator to change the focus or the goal of the lunar policy.  This was a good discussion with us both so be sure to listen to all of it.

Kim called from Mexico.  She talked about the need for stringing together important infrastructure.  Kim mentioned that the relationships Dennis and I talked about re Silicon Valley, NASA Ames, Stanford University and more were very important and unique.  Public Private Partnerships were part of this discussion. 

Another topic that I addressed was financing.  I spoke to the importance of crowd funding, the role angel financing has played in NewSpace and the changes in support of NewSpace by the VC industry.  I spoke about my early VC industry surveys used for my dissertation and how attitudes and behaviors had changed and evolved over the years. 

We were nearing the end of the program when Dennis asked me about future trends.  One trend I said I was concerned with was emergence of players going down the road to military space and seeing it evolve as an OK development. I mentioned the proposal to create a special Space Force out of the USAF.  Dennis spoke to military space has he has had lots of experience in military space policy matters.  Make sure you check out his new blog article on this subject via the link below at the end of this summary. I spoke about the subject based on the years of military space programs and interviews that have been held on TSS from people involved with and associated with military space.  Dennis talked about the need for an expanded vision and said we had a geocentric mindset which was looking down at Earth from GEO.  He suggested the new mindset will be looking up into space from GEO.  Before the program ended, Mark from Petaluma called to let us know that he did not support the creation of the Space Force.  We discussed this with Mark for several minutes before Dennis brought the show to an end having gone past the two hour mark by four minutes.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach Dennis Wingo or any of the callers through me. You can reach Dennis through his blog which is  In addition, Dennis referenced his blog entry on "Space Resiliency, Space Pearl Harbor and The Space Force; A Paper."  I've read the paper and suggest you read it as well.  You can find it here:




Dennis conducts a special interview with Dr. Space!

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24 Jun 2018 Dennis Wingo
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference