Broadcast 245 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

31 Jul 2004 Gail Leatherwood
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Gail Leatherwood, long time space advocate, enthusiast, and charter listener of The Space Show, was the guest for this program. Mr. Leatherwood began the discussion talking about his three part approach to developing space resources which includes spaceports, habitats, and the next generation of space vehicles. This discussion opened the door for talking about space tourism, various occupations that space commerce will open up for our economy, including many occupations and opportunities that we cannot yet identify. Gail explained why it is so important to have the private-sector involved in developing space along with NASA. We also discussed the need for insurance and risk mitigation to attract private investment in risky space business ventures, and Gail discussed at some length the importance and plausibility of space solar power. Regarding the discussion of spaceports, Gail explained why more are needed and what approach might work best to help make space access as common as typical aviation is today. Spaceports can play an important role in our realizing the ordinariness of space travel in the not too distant future. When asked about the possible changes in policy and vision for space development pending the outcome of this year's presidential election, Mr. Leatherwood did a superb job of showing why space, NASA, and related fields have survived all sorts of political changes and administrations and why there is every reason to believe that a change this November will likely be similar to what has happened in our past. Mr. Leatherwood spoke about Space Ship One and Burt Rutan, using both as references for his positions and analysis on related space development topics. Mr. Leatherwood has committed many years to both watching and participating in our efforts to develop a rich private-sector for space development and a space-faring nation. You will want to hear his ideas and views on this program.

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