Broadcast 3419 Alan Ladwig

  • 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:  Alan Ladwig;  Topics:  Space tourism history and now, a discussion of Alan's new book, "See You in Orbit" Our Dream of Spaceflight."

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We welcomed back to the program Alan Ladwig to discuss both his boo, See You in Orbit" Our Dream of Spaceflight," plus a history, overview and a current assessment of space tourism.  We started our one segment 84 minute program with Mr. Ladwig presenting a condensed history dating back a few centuries to the human drive to want to visit space, eventually taking us to current times on the cusp of the space tourism breakout.  Both Alan's book and the part of our discussion covered the pre-history days of space tourism through more current and familiar times over the past 4-5 decades.  This was a great discussion, with references, stories, and books to read if one has not already read them.  I urge you to listen and then tell us your space tourism story by posting it on our blog.  Did you too yearn to go to space when you were young? Did you also build a cardboard rocket to the stars like many of us did in our backyards? It would be great to hear your stories on this subject.

After getting through the excellent space tourism history presented by our guest, we talked about more modern times including the lead up to the XPrize and then post XPrize history through today.  Suborbital, orbital, space hotels, private space stations, the continued need to lower launch costs, the big private sector rockets and more were discussed.  An email listener ask about the difference in space tourism and space settlement, wondering if tourism would be the enabler for settlement.  Our guest had just returned from a settlement conference so he had much to offer us regarding this topic.  Lunar tourism was discussed as a lead in for Mars tourism which our guest thought would happen much later.  When asked if suborbital tourism was the enabler for orbital tourism, well, listen to what Alan said.  You might be surprised by his response to this question.  Once again, post your comments on this question on our blog. 

Alan brought up the frontier model of early settlement of the US as a type of model for space settlement but said he was not so sure about it nor did he like it.  That said, he titled Chapter 12 in his book "Wagons Ho!"  Listen to what he said when I asked him about the title and his frontier comments.  Note that he also told us about the early on ideas that the space shuttle would be a type of "Prairie Schooner"!  I then asked Alan about another chapter title in the book, this time Chapter 3 with the title "Astrochicks."  I asked our guest to explain that one to us given today's culture.  It’s a good one so don't miss it.

As we moved toward the end of the program, Alan was asked if the military use of space might impact space tourism.  Once again, don't miss his response to this question.  Earlier in the show during the history portion, Alan mentioned an early contributor to space tourism, Barbara Marx Hubbard. Barbara was a guest on TSS plus a few others were on who had participated in her Syncon project.  Alan was one of the main planners and organizers of Syncon so we spent a few minutes talking about it and its purpose which had much to do with space tourism way before its time.  In talking about this topic, Alan mentioned the Project Harvest Moon which we covered in past Space Show programs.  Listen to how Alan described Harvest Moon.  Imagine how things might have been different with commercial space, settlement, tourism and more had Harvest Moon actually taken place. 

Before ending the program, Alan told us some great stories from his days of being in charge of the Space Flight Participant Program at NASA.  I'm sure you will enjoy the Michael Jackson story plus the others he mentioned.  Before ending our discussion, he told us about the motto of his book, "Aim Hi and Dream Big."  Well said, Alan.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach Alan Ladwig through me or his website,




Alan will discuss his new book "See You in Orbit?: Our Dream Of Spaceflight

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25 Nov 2019 Alan Ladwig
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • The Space Foundation Conference