Broadcast 2837 Tom Olson

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Guest:  Tom Olson;  Topics:  The 2016 space year in review.  We covered milestones, challenges, public, private & more events.  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   

We welcomed back Tom Olson for his customary annual review of space happenings for the year.  During his 2016 space year in review and in the first segment of his 2 hour 6 minute discussion, Tom said he was in a quandary.  He explained what he meant, then I asked him who the two billionaires were that he was referencing (not by name).  He said he was referring to Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Bezos was referenced due to the Washington Post which he said produces fake news and Musk because he has been the master at getting corporate welfare, that is tax payer funded money for his projects.  Don't miss all of what he said in his introductory statement along with his initial comments.

Moving on, Tom suggested this year had been a great one for space milestones.  He listed SpaceX and the barge landing of the F 9 first stage, Blue Origin and their reusability work, the announcements of new big rockets under development, multiple ISS resupply missions, and commercial crew moving forward.  He also mentioned docking collars now at the ISS for crewed flights.  Another milestone was the progress being made by Virgin Galactic and the suborbital industry. 

Tom was asked about regulatory hurdles and risks, then he talked about the Trump space landing team. Here he mentioned that Tim Pickens had joined the landing team.  The American Space Renaissance Act was mentioned as well. 

Tom was at the IAC in Mexico back in September and shared his thoughts with us regarding the Musk speech on SpaceX plans to go to Mars.  Tom mentioned the SpaceX time windows and Red Dragon,  plus their work on a retro-propulsion system for the Mars landing.  He said Musk was taken seriously at the IAC and many thought he was the Steve Jobs of NewSpace. 

Listeners asked Tom several email questions.  James in Denver asked about the shutting down of the XCOR Lynx project.  Don't miss Tom's comments on this.  Tom then talked about asteroid mining and the $227 million investment in the industry by Luxembourg.  He said an early goal for asteroid mining outfits was to do a demo project.  Don't miss the full range of comments made by Tom on this subject.

Inflatable modules came up as did Bigelow Aerospace.  Tom further said that 2016 was a year of challenges and the need to show scalability.  Before the segment ended, I asked Tom if could identify a few space personalities that had emerged as important people during the year.  Let us know if you can identify such important and NEW space personalities coming to our attention this past year.

In the second segment, Jerry from Florida sent in the first of many questions.  This one dealt with Falcon Heavy delays.   Tom switched the topic to NASA and awesome planetary missions including Juno, the finality of Rosetta, Osiris -Rex, New Horizons, Kepler, the discovery of Europa plumes by the HST, then he referenced the long duration stay on board the ISS by Scott Kelly. 

Benny asked Tom about a new business plan competition.  One is coming, stay tuned.  Tom spoke to 3D printing, Centennial Challenges, and the need for projects to be space scalable which he has talked about for year.  Luis from Venezuela asked about Made in Space and fiber optics.  Jerry sent in a string of emails commenting on life support and the big SpaceX Mars rocket, the possible demise of the Falcon Heavy, and the Air Force interest in the Raptor engine.  Jerry also commented on the Insight Delay due to a French problem. 

Tom talked some more about a possible space policy in the new Trump administration.  He mentioned the National Space Council and said we would certainly see changes across the board with the new administration.  It was suggested that Trump would be a disruptive president.

Tom brought up education and STEM education as well as the HB1 visa program. Doug sent in a note inquiring about the  proposed National Space Council and wanting to know what would prevent it from becoming a bloated bureaucracy. 

Before the program ended, Tom talked about his new position with Avealto, Ltd. in the UK.  This company plans to provide High-Altitude Platforms for internet and mobile services for under served areas of the world. He said this work would be done with John Powell of JP Aerospace.  In asking for a concluding remark, Tom simply said expect the unexpected for 2017. 

Please post your comment/questions for Tom on TSS blog which is part of this archived program on TSS website.  You can reach Tom through me if you do not already have his email address.

Happy New Year to all of you.  Let's make 2017 a terrific year for space and for us all across the board.




Tom Olson does his annual space year in review for us all

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30 Dec 2016 Thomas A. Olson
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