Broadcast 1300 (Special Edition)

31 Jan 2010 Donald A. Beattie
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Guest: Donald Beattie. Topics: U.S. civil space policy in the 2011 budget, Space Shuttle retirement. Donald Beattie returned as our guest to discuss his book, "ISScapades: The Crippling Of America's Space Program" which can easily be applied to our situation today given the Administration's 2011 budget and civil space policy announcement. The book can be purchased from the One Giant Leap Foundation book page by using this URL: When buying books through the OGLF Amazon Partners book website, Amazon makes a contribution to OGLF/The Space Show. In our first segment, Mr. Beattie told us why in his opinion we should not retire the Space Shuttle. We discussed the probable shuttle retirement as outlined in the Obama 2011 budget but Don also talked about the impact retirement would have on space and how it could be kept flying for at least two missions a year through 2016. He also told us about his discussions on the subject with Florida Members of Congress and their reactions. This is a discussion you do not want to miss. As you will hear, there is a way to keep shuttle from retiring and Don believes that cancelled lines could be restarted without much significant added cost. He also believes that by keeping shuttle flying there would be no GAP and this would be a good transition to the use of commercial launchers for human spaceflight. In our second segment, we discussed the cancellation of our returning to the Moon and instead substituting NEOs and Mars. However, he pointed out that all of these missions were lower in priority than specific science missions including getting a centrifuge on the ISS. The subject of the Space Shuttle Main Engines came up as did Bigelow's space station. We also talked about converting EELV to human spaceflight. In our final segment, Don said he was impressed that the Administration actually listened to the Augustine Commission Report. We talked about how the VSE was never properly funded, administered, or explained to the general public, a theme regular Space Show listeners have heard me say since the VSE was announced in 2004! We also talked about the need to have a transition, hopefully a near seamless transition, from government launchers to commercial launchers so that the transition was not so harsh and the risk not so great as in putting all the eggs in one basket. Listeners called and asked lots of questions during the show but we were reminded of the flight tests that were used for the Saturn 1B, then how quickly the Saturn V flew with astronauts on board. Don had much to say about NASA and its management back then versus that of today. If you have questions or commend for Donald Beattie, please send them to me at and I will forward them to him.



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