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Guest: Mark Whittington; Topics: Space possibilities in the new Trump administration. 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, www.thespaceshow.com. 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 www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed back Mark Whittington to the show to give us his assessment of a possible space policy and new direction for the industry under President Trump's administration. During the first segment of hour 1 hour 53 minute program, Mark expressed enthusiasm for a new space direction and possibilities under the new Trump administration. He referenced the likelihood that the new administration would start up the National Space Council again with Vice-president Pence in charge. He said the people speaking about space with the administration so far have said that they would like to explore the entire solar system with human spaceflight by the end of the century so Mark talked about a new push for exploration. He also talked about a probable return to the Moon effort and then he mentioned by name some of the key people on the Trump space transition team.
As for existing space projects, Mark thought the ARM might be cancelled but thought both Orion and SLS would continue. Mark's thoughts on this were in contrast to views expressed by other recent Space Show guests. Mark also talked about private sector large rockets by Blue Origin and SpaceX which he said would provide a mixed fleet of deep space capable launchers.
Jerry from Florida sent in a few questions asking about SpaceX and the large ITS rocket, wondering if it was used by the government would it be able to provide funding for the SpaceX Mars settlement plan. Don't miss what Mark said in response to this question. Jerry also asked about cost plus contracting. Here we talked about the fact that Congress likes this type of contracting relationship so it would likely continue. Mark and I both had much to say on this subject so don't miss it. This part of the discussion provided the opportunity for Mark to talk about Red Dragon and the Falcon Heavy for going to Mars.
Next, we digressed and talked about the new National Geographic Mars mini-series on the National Geographic TV channel. In addition, I brought up the recent episode on Timeless, another new show for this season, titled "Space Race" that dealt with changing the history of Apollo 11. Mark saw the episode too and we both liked it, especially the reality of bringing in the math genius who remained largely unknown (a new film about her and two other unsung heroes will open in January) despite her orbital trajectory work. This person helped save Apollo 11 per the Timeless TV episode.
Joan in Chicago sent in a note inquiring about Trump's awareness or concern for NewSpace. Mark mentioned the Trump advisors who know this community well. Don't miss all of what Mark said about this topic. In addition, Mark talked about Blue Origin, a lunar return, the Google Lunar XPrize, and the human spaceflight program with the planetary exploration program. Mark then focused on the need for a lunar lander.
Later in the segment, Sandra asked about space settlement and the likelihood the Wolf Amendment would be repealed by Congress so NASA could again talk and confer with China. Don't miss all of what Mark said about this topic. Before the segment ended, Mark addressed DOD and national security space. He said that he thought the new administration would get serious about space defense issues.
In the second segment, John Hunt called from Ft. Worth. He first talked about SLS and Orion being used for a viable Moon program. Mark and John talked about this plus using this hard ware for Mars though Mark said something else would be needed other than Orion for the crew for a Mars mission. He then briefly talked about the need for an interplanetary module of sorts. John thought that Trump might do something with SLS management to jump start it so the program had more energy to move forward at a faster pace with better acceptance. He then asked Mark about the EmDrive reviewed paper that you can find on The Space Show website. Mark, John, and I spent some time discussing EmDrive possibilities. Jerry sent in another note saying he had heard rumors that there was an EmDrive experiment on the X-37B spacecraft.
I asked Mark if he thought the much talked about infrastructure spending project for the new administration might include a certain amount for space infrastructure. I used the development of a cislunar transportation system as an example. Mark did not know but said he would take the idea and float it in some of his articles and see what people thought about it. We look forward to that feedback.
Jerry sent in yet another note suggesting that former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin might be the NASA administrator again. Mark did not think so but mentioned others including Scott Pace and Pete Worden. I noticed that Pete has a tweet about being in Mojave for a bio teleportation experiment. Jerry later sent in a note telling us that bio teleportation was about the idea to transmit genetic information to a genetic replicator located off world. Mark did offer closing comments so don't miss them.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show website in the comments section for this archived program. You can reach Mark through his blog Curmudgeons Corner or through me in care of The Space Show. See http://curmudgeons.blogspot.com.