Broadcast 388 (Special Edition)

25 Sep 2005 David Urie
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David Urie, Executive Vice President of Rocketplane, Ltd, was the guest for this Space Show program. At the start of the interview, I asked Mr. Urie several questions regarding his work at Lockheed and Skunk Works with the National Aerospace Plane, the SR-71, SSTO's, X-33, and more. Mr. Urie provided not only interesting insights and information to these projects, the timing, the company, and the politics of the day, but he also shared with us his fresh perspectives regarding these and future government space programs. For anyone interested in space history and learning from the past to move forward, you will want to hear this discussion. We then moved the discussion to Rocketplane and suborbital space tourism. Our discussion was comprehensive, to the point, and covered many facets of the Rocketplane program as well as space tourism in general. For example, Mr. Urie fielded numerous listener questions regarding structural and engineering differences between a rocket plane and an executive jet, how does one convert an executive jet to a suborbital rocket plane, AST registration, fuel, engines, flight testing, advertising, sponsorship, reusability, life support, abort procedures, apogee emergencies, pressure suits, and more. Mr. Urie explained the Rocketplane plan and flight profile, including the plane's flight testing program. We also talked about the possibility of accidents and escape procedures and technology. We learned that ITAR is an issue when Rocketplane has a foreign customer. We also discussed the the new NASA program for going back to the Moon, and the feasibility of actually building an SSTO today and what it would cost to do so. This program with David Urie and an exciting and information packed program and I look forward to his return to The Space Show. Visit the Rocketplane website at www.rocketplane.com. Listeners can send Mr. Urie e-mail in care of drspace@thespaceshow.com and I will forward it to him.

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