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Guests: Ted Spitzmiller; Dr. John Jurist as co-host: Topics: Ted's new book "The History Of Human Space Flight," HSF issues and more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Ted Spitzmiller back to the show to discuss his new book, "The History of Human Space Flight." Please remember that if you buy it from Amazon using the OGLF portal or our Smile program (click on the Amazon link on our home page) Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to The Space Show. This is one of those must have books as it is an exceptional history of our development of human spaceflight. We thanked Dr. Jurist for being the co-host on this program.
We started our discussion by asking Ted to tell us why he wrote this book, how he researched it, his timeline for the book and more. We talked about the human spaceflight (HSF) being a government program, primarily military. Ted had much to say about this. I also asked him if he thought we might have made more progress with HSF had it been a civilian program. Don't miss what Ted had to say in response to my question.
Later in the segment, I asked Ted to comment on NASA and the level of risk acceptance. As we learned, NASA risk tolerance was variable over the years. Listen to what Ted said about risk. John and Ted talked about space planes, X planes and their role in helping to develop HSF.
Listener Louis asked Ted about commercial interest in HSF. Ted said commercial interest was not there because of the lack of a financial return with HSF. He did not see it, even for today though we talked about space tourism and other possible markets for HSF. John brought up the role of Walt Disney in the early years and his driving the interest in space and humans being in space. Ted talked about how Disney influenced people to have space careers. Before the segment ended, our guests talked technology development, HSF accidents, HSF issues with the Soviet Union and now Russia.
In the second segment, we talked about some of the famous personalities that contributed to our HSF history. This included John Paul Stapp, Joe Kittinger, Jacqueline Cochran, and Randy Lovelace who invented the bailout bottle after WW2. Ted mentioned others from the early HSF development program as well so listen and check them out in his book.
Listener Janice sent in an email asking about modern day heroes and personalities like those we had been talking about in the early history of HSF and Ted highlighted in his book. Neither John or Ted could identify the modern equivalent of these great heroes. Listen to their explanation as to why modern day leaders cannot be easily identified.
I asked Ted for lessons learned moving forward with HSF development. Ted talked about four things needed to be accomplished, not necessarily lessons learned. His four items included the need for a closed biosphere life support system, the need for reliable and safe electric power, effective radiation shielding, and advanced propulsion. When Jurist was asked the same question he also mentioned radiation but talked about the need for long term microgravity mitigation (the gravity prescription), and settlement issues including human fetus and embryo development issues relating to the role of gravity. Later, Ted suggested we not get hung up on the space settlement issues because there were too many things to do first. He elaborated on this during our discussion so don't miss his comments.
We addressed space settlement in more detail. Both Ted and John suggested that the timing for benefits from space settlement was not ready for prime time today. Both agreed that there were too many other issues. Dr. Jurist talked about our weak economy making it harder to afford working toward space settlement goals.
Before the segment ended, I asked Ted what he would write for the next 50 years of HSF history? He was not sure but suggested that the role of AI and robotics might really change HSF, its scope of development and the situations where HSF would be desirable over using robots. We joked that his next book would be titled "The History of Android Space Flight."
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. You can reach Dr. Jurist or Ted through me at my email address.