Broadcast 1181 (Special Edition)

26 Jun 2009 Gary C. Hudson
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Guest: Gary Hudson: Topics: Risk taking, launch vehicles, flight safety test program, space tourism. We started our discussion with guest Gary Hudson regarding the COTS program, the Augustine Panel, and Unfunded Space Act Agreements. Gary described why he believes that COTS should be a more competitive and open process. You definitely want to hear what he has to say. This discussion led to an exchange with listeners as well as the host regarding the way in which bad engineering projects continue to grow, get funding, and be implemented. His target in this discussion was Ares 1 which he characterized as one of the worst launch vehicles made. We talked about the existing billions already invested in Ares 1 and the fallacy of the sunk cost theory. Listeners asked about walking away from sunk costs and one listener asked Gary if he would have been able to walk away from Rotary Rocket and its corresponding sunk costs. You do not want to miss this important discussion. Gary cited a book, "The Tender Ship" by Arthur Squires as an example of how a bad engineering project continues on to fruition. I'm sure you will find this story applicable and very interesting. Gary also brought us current on the status of both T/Space and Air LaunchLLC. Gary Hudson brings great experience to the discussion in running and managing a space business and working with the government and we all need to listen and learn from him. Toward the end of the show, I asked Gary what he thought the ideal flight safety program for a suborbital space vehicle should consist of in terms of flight tests, etc. Its a detailed discussion but he suggested the company have three vehicles and make from 50-150 flights testing different aspects of the flight profile. Later in this discussion he called for dozens of powered flights. See what you think of his comments about flight safety and spaceflight participant risk taking. Many additional topics were addressed on this program so listen carefully. If you want to send a comment or question to Gary Hudson, please do so through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com and I will forward it to him.

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