Broadcast 1486 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Tom Olson. Topics: Space 2010 Review and Space 2011 looking ahead. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, We welcomed Tom Olson for his annual review of space activities during the year and his forecast for what's to come for the New Year. In our first segment, Tom made a point of talking about water discoveries on Mars and the Moon and the fact that due to other scientific discoveries, the size of the known universe nearly tippled. Our discussion then focused in on space policy changes for the year, particularly Obama Space. Tom suggested that it was not sold very well to Congress or the people. I asked Tom to give grades on the success of the policy within specific groups, then I graded the same groups. A listener asked if the ATK five segment booster test flight was on his milestone list and though it was not, Tom said it was still valuable & the technology would not be lost even if not immediately used. Paul asked how traditional aerospace sees the commercial success of orbital flight given the success of Falcon 9. Listener Gary talked about the Flexible Path and Tom said he was skeptical about it. Listener John in Atlanta talked about motivation and inspiration during the year and suggested without goals and flight plans, what's the point. Don't miss this discussion. John in Billings asked about traditional aerospace companies just spending to outspend and crush commercial competition. This was also an interesting discussion. In the second segment, Tom continued talking about 2010 milestones and events, then mentioned the discovery of Earth like planets and the KSU, plus he suggested that space debris finally came into its own as an important issue during the year. The subject of the arsenic life form found at Mono Lake, CA was mentioned and this brought in some questions about NASA intentions and competence. Listeners asked about Spaceport America for the coming year and commercial markets for 2011, especially for the commercial suborbital industry. Later in the segment, the question of what should the NASA mission be was discussed. Tom advocated for missions going out and exploring new worlds and pushing technology, leaving LEO and maybe even the Moon to the private industry. Diego inquired about the possibility of putting the ISS under control of a non-profit and Tom talked about using the Port Authority model for the future for the ISS. Near the end of the program, Tom said he did not think the FY 11 NASA budget would be cut, instead it would remain flat. Tim in Huntsville inquired about the environmental movement, launches, air pollution, and climate impact and wondered if this movement would in any way hinder space development during the year. Tom did not think so, nor did I. However, with substantial success and lots more launches, the anti-space movement might grow in strength. Don't miss all of what Tom had to say about this in response to Tim. He ended the program with his list of 2011 expectations. If you have a question or comment for Tom Olson, please post it on the blog URL above. You can also email Tom at



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31 Dec 2010 Thomas A. Olson
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