Broadcast 1314 (Special Edition)

23 Feb 2010 James A. M. Muncy
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Guest: Jim Muncy. Topics: Administration's space policy proposal, commercial space. Jim Muncy was our guest for this 90 minute program without a break to discuss the Administration's new space policy proposal. Jim started the discussion saying that the Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) strongly supported the administration policy and that he wanted to help explain the program to us. He said the plan was for opening the space frontier as opposed to the continuation of a centrally planned government directed program. Under this new policy proposal, the private sector was being given a greater role in space. Among the private companies being talked about were Sierra Nevada with ULA, Boeing, Space X, Blue Origins, and others. Jim explained commercial crew programs and the shift to using them and said that opening up space per the new policy would allow many more people to participate in space. Listener Kelly challenged this assumption during a call he made to discuss this and other points with Jim. Heavy lift was discussed in detail, don't miss what Jim had to say about heavy lift . We talked about the state of the U.S. economy and our deficits on any space program and you do not want to miss this important discussion. As you will hear, all space is discretionary spending and this is going to be squeezed unless we find a way to make space far more valuable to us all than it currently is and Jim believes this new policy approach has a much better chance of doing that than say the Program of Record. We talked about time tables and goals as well as going to Mars and other interesting places. Listen carefully to what Jim had to say about setting time tables and developing specific flight or other schedules. We talked about technology demonstrations and Jim said these were flight demonstrations and this did not mean just doing lab work. Jim talked extensively about using existing rockets rather than the need to keep building a new giant rocket that we cannot afford. This was a theme throughout our discussion and its a major point in the proposed new space policy. We talked about the GAP, keeping the shuttle flying for a longer period of time to minimize the GAP, and the process that Congress will use to debate and eventually send legislation to the President. Toward the end of the program, Jim got received a listener question suggesting that the SFF did not represent the views of everyone wanting to see space developed so what about those that don't see space the way SFF sees space. Pay particular attention to how Jim responded to this listener question as Jim did an excellent job of demonstrating how people with different objectives and perspectives regarding space can find common ground and agreement even with challenging and complex issues and policies. If you have a question or comment for Jim Muncy about this program, our national space policy, or SFF, please contact him at james.muncy@polispace.com.

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