Broadcast 2802 Julian Guhtrie

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The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Julian Guthrie:  Topics:  'How To Make A Spaceship," XPRIZE, private spaceflight, risk taking.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,   Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See  If you buy Ms. Guthrie's book and use Amazon, please be sure to do through one of the two Amazon-OGLF programs as Amazon support for The Space Show has been significant thanks to you.  For instructions on making your Amazon purchases for the benefit of OGLF/The Space Show, please visit

We welcomed Julian Guthrie to the program to discuss her new book, "How To Make A Spaceship: A Band Of Renegades, An Epic Race, And The Birth of Private Spaceflight."  We started our discussion with Julian sharing with us how she got interested in the space topic, the history behind the book including all the interviews she had, the people she met, archives and scrapbooks she reviewed and much more regarding the XPRIZE.  As you will hear, it was a comprehensive look into the people and their lives that played a major role in the XPRZE which provided a $10 million prize to the winner who was first to fly to space using a private spacecraft & repeating the flight three times over a specific time period.  This initial discussion covered most of the first segment.  In Julian's book, she goes into much more detail, you will read stories and learn things about XPRIZE that you most likely did not know, plus you will feel like you are part of the news, the events, and the story.

Our guest received several email questions during the first segment covering a wide variety of topics. One email asked if Julian thought the XPRIZE would be as significant an event for our nation as was Lewis & Clark or other early exploration projects.  Penny wanted to know if our guest interviewed space advocates/enthusiasts or only the players that made the XPRIZE happen.  Wayne asked Julian about going to Mars.  Doug Messier sent in a question near the end of the segment commenting that the book did not address problems stemming from SpaceShipOne going forward.  Julian told him her book stopped at the winning of the XPRIZE as it tells that story.  It does not go forward in time to the current time line for private spaceflight or suborbital commercial flights.  Before the segment ended, Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson and Blue Origin were mentioned though more was said about them in the second segment.

In the second segment, I asked Julian what happened to the main players since the winning of the XPRIZE.  Our guest devoted an entire chapter to answering this questions.  With her book in hand, see the Epilogue: "Where Are They Now?"  This starts on page 405.  I found it interesting to see how many had moved on, how others were still in the space industry or a related industry, and how many continue to contribute to private spaceflight.

Doug from Mojave called during this segment rather than sending us another email, mainly to continue his commentary from the first segment,  taking issue with our as he was not nearly as positive about the XPRIZE and its contribution to private spaceflight as was Julian. Doug disagreed with her & in the few minutes he was on the phone, told us why.  You don't want to miss the short discussion.  Julian reminded him that what he was talking about  unfolded long after the period of time covered by her research and book. 

Listener Jane asked about the test pilots and why they were not former astronauts or military test pilots.  Julian addressed this question in some detail.  For sure, do not miss this short discussion.  Perhaps there are solid lessons to be learned here for moving forward with private spaceflight. 

Julian was asked what she saw as the biggest impediment to progress for private spaceflight.  She suggested we had become a risk averse society and that was a big part of things.  In response to a technical question by Matt, Julian provided one example regarding the development of a thermal protection system and how the subsequent use of body putty came into the picture.  Again, don't miss this entertaining and informative story.

Concluding comments included the story of Burt Rutan sharing his prize money with all his employees.  In addition, Julian talked about how this has been an inspiration to people of all ages.  She got one final email question from a listener asking if her 11 year old son was too young for the book.  The answer was a resounding no so keep this mind as a holiday gift for your kids as well as your favorite space enthusiasts.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog which is part of this archived program on The Space Show website.  You can reach our guest, Julian Guthrie, through me at




"How To Make A Spaceship: A Band Of Renegades, An Epic Race, & the Birth Of Private Spaceflight"

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28 Oct 2016 Julian Guthrie
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