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Guest: Tom Marotta: Topics: Tom updated us on his Spaceport Company, launch and related issues. We also talked space settlement, commercial launch markets, the gravity RX, cislunar reliable transportation and much more.
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We welcomed back to the show Tom Marotta for updates to his Spaceport Company plus a general discussion on other topics. The first half of the program was focused on The Spaceport Company. Tom shared the progress he was making with us plus he talked about the commercial launch market in general and the spaceport scarcity issue facing both government and commercial launch companies. He mentioned the only spaceports that have orbital launch capability and explained why we needed more. Tom ruled out for now international launch locations due to security and ITAR issues. All of this led up to he explaining why he built a company to go off short for launch to orbit.
As for going offshore, Tom's said they would be using mobile launch platforms in territorial waters, 12 miles from the coast. When asked about the platform, he said they would use a modified Lift Ship which he explained in detail, including its legs that could operate to a depth of 150 feet at this time. Tom also talked about the regulatory work needed with the Coast Guard and other agencies. Before leaving the subject of mobile platforms in the ocean, Tom mentioned future plans which would use different technology. Don't miss this part of the discussion. Listeners asked about environmental along with cost benefit economics for launch off shore. Tom responded to these questions so don't miss what he said. Let us know what you think about these plans and the technology by posting on our blog.
While more was said about the plans and operations for The Spaceport Company, for the latter part of the program we turned our attention to space settlement, cislunar development, the gravity prescription, point to point travel, and why transportation was vital for space settlement. Tom addressed all of these issues plus others in the latter part of our program. Toward the end of this part of the discussion, when talking about launch penalties from San Francisco going west for point to point travel, Tom mentioned a company, New Frontier Aerospace (https://www.nfaero.com) which seems to be developing a space plane that will have an operating window making launching to the east or west less relevant. Check it out. In addition, he said for the time being they were focused on launching from the Atlantic to the west as he was asked a question about this based on his earlier San Francisco comments.
Please post your comments/questions for this program on our blog dedicated to this Tom Marotta interview. You can reach Tom through me or his own website, https://thespaceportcompany.com.