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Guest: Rod Pyle: Topics: Commercial space, pre and post virus impact on space industry, ISDC for 2021, the future of space education, economic recovery for the space industry due to virus and much more.
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We started the two segment two hour eight minute program with Rod providing us with a short overview of Los Angeles and the space industry in S. California regarding Covid-19. He mentioned an upcoming article in the Ad Astra NSS quarterly magazine on a possible Martian plague written by John Kross though Rod was not sure which issues of Ad Astra would publish the article. I asked him how his space advocate LA based friends and associates were doing. Listen to what he said what a sort of state of the mind review among many of those that Rod knows and connects with on a regular basis.
Or first caller was Robert from Houston. Robert was with us for most of the first segment as he had much to say about the space industry, the virus impact on it, recovery timelines for business to come back up to pre-virus levels, plus he talked about the economics on the public side as compared to the private side. You definitely want to hear what he said about the impact on both sectors but also what he suggested might be the case for economic recovery and the role to be played by the private sector. Rod and Robert had an excellent and comprehensive discussion on these and many other topics. Additional topics included Starlink, the importance of satellite communications during an emergency like we are now experiencing and problems using Zoom as an example. Another topic addressed the cash flow and financial problems of many of the small space industry suppliers . Both Rod and Robert were asked about their ideas on potential virus progression. Both commented on the poor quality of data which has made it very difficult to accurately evaluate and predict rends. Before Robert closed his call down, he mentioned a 2-3 year timeline for much of the private business to come back but then all of us suggested that things might look very different when the recovery gets started and by the time it is finished. All three of us wondered what the economy, the space sector and the country would look like post virus. I mentioned that Robert was going to lead a Space Show discussion on this subject on Tuesday, April 14 at 7 PM PDT so if this subject interests you, for sure listen to us on the 14th. At this point in the discussion, we paused for me to thank our sponsors, then we started again with our second segment.
Marshall was the first caller in the second segment. He brought up the most recent virus financial assistance package signed into law a few days ago. We talked about the money going to Boeing and NASA which I looked up to get right given I misspoke when Marshall first brought the subject up. Marshall was a bit taken by the size of the bill and our continued increasing national debt.
Bob Krone sent in an email asking Rod to comment on what he thought the future of space education would look like post virus. Rod had much to say on this topic, then I joined in to offer my comments. We would like to know what you think about the future of space education and maybe education in general post virus. Please post your comments on this subject on our blog.
Rod received a call from a new listener, Lisa in Las Vega. Listen to how Rod described Lisa, plus what Lisa said about starting late in life with a child to go back to school to get a PhD in astrophysics. We had quite the discussion with Lisa. I asked her for a Las Vegas virus report which she gladly provided for us. Listen to what she said the Strip was like right now. Lisa also wanted to know if either Rod or I thought Artemis would be delayed in the return to the Moon effort. Both Rod and I said yes but do listen to all of what Rod had to say about Artemis. Lisa did ask Rod if he had a new book in the works. Rod said yes, "Boldly Into The Dark" but he was uncertain of the publication date.
Freemont John sent in an email asking me to connect him by phone to talk with Lisa. Thus, Freemont John called the other line and had a chat with Lisa regarding her studies late in life, including wondering if she was good in math. Rod, John, and Lisa had quite the discussion on several additional topics, some of which were education oriented. Before giving up the line, John asked Rod about the DART Impact mission, a Russian nuclear mission to deflect an asteroid and I mentioned our previous programming on Project Hammer with LLNL folks.
Our final caller was Dave Drexler of NSS, ISDC, and from Los Angeles. Dave talked about the ISDC 2020 cancellation and the plans to merge the 2020 conference into the 2021 ISDC which will be at the Los Angles Sheraton Hotel near LAX. The date for ISDC 2021 will be May 27-30. Dave talked about the NSS Space Settlement event in the fall, mentioned some of the keynotes still on the docket for ISDC 2021, then Rod and Dave talked about possible delays with Crew Dragon. Rod mentioned the Chinese space program and their lunar plans which he said were on track and not being delayed by the virus, at least that does not appear to be the case with what is known today. Rod mentioned the development of the People Mover from LAX to hotels but was not sure it would be operating by the time of the conference.
Please post your comments/questions for Rod on our blog for this show. You can reach Rod Pyle through me or his own website, https://www.pylebooks.com. Rod has s a blog and a podcast titled Cool Space News which you can check out through his website plus you can get information on all his space books and many public appearances regarding commercial space.