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Guest: Dr. Namrata Goswami; Topics: The US Space Force, space force visionary leadership, Chinese space goals, cislunar development, commercial vs. state space and more.
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We welcomed back to the program Dr. Namrata Goswami to discuss the new US Space Force, the need for visionary space leadership, China and space, the essential cislunar development and much more. We started our one segment 93 minute program by asking our guest for her assessment on the rollout and start of our new U.S. Space Force. Our guest spent considerable time talking about the space force, current leadership and the need for visionary leadership. Part of this discussion was spent defining visionary space leadership, concerns about the USAF culture prevailing rather than a new space culture taking hold. Dr. Goswami provided many examples of this plus she compared this to how China was moving forward with a space culture and space visionary leadership for their own space activities. At times this was a complicated but comprehensive discussion which should be a must hear if one wants to grasp the full meaning and purpose of having a space force with a space focus. One concern was that the space force was being oriented around supporting ground activities and the activities of our military, not so much in space.
Cislunar development came and was used as an example of not completely grasping a space force for what it must do for space rather than supporting more or less traditional interests. I believe Dr. Goswami did a superb job in both defining the problem, reporting on the current status, and making suggestions for the best way to develop the newly created Space Force. Please let us know your thoughts on this by posting them on our blog for this program.
Other topics and subjects were part of this discussion. One timely topic dealt with the possible impact of the Corona Virus on the Chinese space program. Dr. Goswami did not think there would be much impact. She talked about recent successful Long March rocket tests and launch and pointed out their launch site was nowhere near the areas of the spreading virus. Another topic focused on how China sees cislunar development and exploitation compared to how we see it - so far. Don't miss this discussion. Humans to LEO was a topic as was human spaceflight BLEO. Yet another line of questioning focused on how folks in our administration and past or potential administrations viewed the creation and start of our Space Force.
Marshall was the first caller with a question about engineering culture. Dr. Goswami said she was not focusing on engineering culture but instead organizational culture which included institutional culture, i.e. the USAF for example. In addition, she referenced a more formal culture which she discussed and then not surprising, leadership culture. Don't miss this discussion with Marshall as it was key to much of today's discussion.
A listener asked our guest for the Chinese view of our Space Force, then the same for the Indian view. Our guest responded in detail to both the Chinese and Indian question which as you will hear, distinguishing one from the another. In the context of responding to this question, Dr. Goswami said it seemed like the US Space Force leadership was reactionary in contrast to Chinese space leadership. This important discussion was then followed by another email question asking about the Indian lunar program, especially in light of the comments President Trump made about their Moon program during his very recent Indian visit. Dr. Goswami had much to say about India and their space program plus participation with the US in space. She also mentioned India developing a type of space force on their own
Civil Military Fusion came up on this show as it has on other programs. Dr. Goswami had much to say about Chinese students, their relationship with the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) and their being "unofficial and unregistered" PLA agents. Once again, don't miss this important discussion. At one point, our guest pointed out that Chinese foreign students were the biggest source of money for American universities. I suggested this helped to explain the American university attitude toward the Civil Military Fusion issue which Namrata described for us. Let us know what you think about this and my comments about following the money. Post what you have to say on the blog.
Questions about a space informed American public came up. In the response to these questions, our guest pointed to visionary leadership coming from the top down, citing JFK and Apollo. Dr. Goswami talked about the work and vision of Dr. Bob Zubrin and what he has suggested on this topic. Don't miss it. Jill sent in a question asking if Dr. Goswami was aware of any space visionary leadership qualities being put forth by the candidates for president. Our guest talked about Democratic and Republican space accomplishments over the years, the usual bipartisan approach, but she also pointed out that space leadership needed continuity for the long haul and should not be changing every time we have a new administration take office.
As we were nearing the end of the program, our guest took us through a whirlwind tour of space policy in many other nations. Not only did we highlight India and China, but also Russia, Europe with ESA, the UAE, and Luxembourg. Much was said about both the UAE and Luxembourg and their pro property rights and commercial space legislation. Dr. Goswami talked about the UAE upcoming Mars mission, Hope, and the investment behind both their program and that of Luxembourg.
Dr. Goswami summarized the discussion for us with concluding comments about new leadership and the need for an expanded space view in leadership, not just a view of supporting ground needs and the traditional AF and other branches of the military. I asked our guest for a suggested timeline to see such leadership changes emerge. Namrata said the first year was critical but listen to all of what she said in reply to my timeline question.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this program. You can reach Dr. Namrata Goswami through me.