Broadcast 419 (Special Edition)

28 Nov 2005 Ed Buckbee
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Ed Buckbee was the guest for this special Space Show program. We began the interview with Ed updating us as to new developments not included in his recently published book, "The Real Space Cowboys." In response to questions, Ed expanded the definition of a space cowboy to include those that worked behind the scenes to make the early astronaut flights possible. When asked if the Chinese and Russians were also space cowboys, you will be surprised at his answer. Ed described the program Greybeard, Inc. which refers to NASA Administrator Mike Griffin calling upon retired personnel to help facilitated the VSE and RTM programs. Ed's update on this program was most interesting. We also spoke at length about the Chinese space program, also space camp in the United States and outside the United States, simulator training, especially as carried out in the early days of the space program by Neil Armstrong. Ed talked quite a bit about the German scientists that came over to the United States after WWII to develop our rocket program, especially Von Braun. In response to a series of questions, Ed was asked about the group that went to the then Soviet Union. This led to a discussion about the differences in American and Soviet space programs, the reasons for those differences, and more. Ed also said that only eight of the original German rocket scientists were still alive in the United States. Ed also talked about the differences in the early space program and now, highlighting how more manual controls and checks were made to assure program safety and successful operations wherein today more and more is computerized. This created quite a discussion and exchange with several listeners on the value of the old ways before relying so much on computers. This part of the discussion was then followed by Ed talking about the development and basics of both the shuttle program and the ISS. Mr. Buckbee also described in some detail the VSE and the politics behind it, stressing how it has to be able to survive various political administrations. Listeners can find out more about Ed, his book signing schedule and his work with the astronauts by visiting his website, He can be reached by email at



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