Broadcast 1625 (Special Edition)

25 Sep 2011 Robert Richards
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Guest: Dr. Robert (Bob) Richards. Topic: Moon Express, the Google Lunar X Prize, commercial space business and strategic planning. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. For more information on Moon Express, visit We welcomed Dr. Bob Richards back to the show for updates on Moon Express and the Google Lunar X Prize. We started our first segment talking about Moon Express, its team, their youthful age, and the fact that there is no shortage of people wanting to be involved in the project. The Google Lunar X Prize calls for the winner to meet the terms of the competition by the end of 2015 but Moon Express hopes to launch to the Moon in 2014. Bob talked about the importance of having backup plans and said many times over that space was hard and expensive and one must have backup plans and contingencies in case something does not work out as planned. Later in the segment in response to a listener question, he said the rocket ride represented about half the cost of the lunar mission. Moon Express has not yet announced the rocket they will use but suggested that such an announcement might be forthcoming in the first or second quarter of next year. In our second segment, Marshall called in from Dallas but as you will hear, mixing satellite mission parameters with a lunar lander mission does not work. Both Bob and I had much to say on the issue of making sure that when we compare things, we are comparing like things. Another listener wanted to know about leaving space debris on the Moon. Bob had much to say on this topic. Space property rights were discussed as were economic models. Lunar historical sites were discussed and it was suggested that hardware left on the Moon from the initial private missions would also be historical sites in a similar way to the Apollo landing sites. Throughout our discussion, Bob talked about the need for these efforts to be disruptive. In our third and final segment, we talked about the business and investment climate, especially in Silicon Valley where there are investors looking for the types of opportunities represented by some commercial space investments, i.e. Moon Express. The need to change perceptions is key. Later in this segment, I asked Bob to tell us the investor profile for these types of commercial space investments. This is an important discussion, don't miss it. The last question for Dr. Richards asked him for advice for start up entrepreneurs. Bob listed three things so don't miss this final part of our discussion. If you have comments or questions for Dr. Richards, post them on the blog URL above.



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