Broadcast 1234 (Special Edition)

04 Oct 2009 Tumlinson
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Guest: Rick Tumlinson. Topics: Space frontier development, private/public partnerships, Augustine Commission. Rick Tumlinson returned for this special two hour Space Show program. Each segment was one hour but an overriding theme went through the entire show. This theme was the need to develop the space frontier and that the private sector could do it, that the government civil space program should address space exploration from LEO and beyond, but Earth to Leo should be turned over to the private sector companies. As Rick said, NASA should buy the ride, not the rocket. We started the show in segment one with a discussion of Rick's family background in co-founding the Texas Rangers and in fighting for freedom at the Alamo. We then extrapolated this thirst for freedom to the freedom needed to develop the space frontier. Rick talked about his early days of getting started in space advocacy, the Benevolent Conspiracy, and then we addressed the importance of X-Prize and the five year anniversary of SS1 winning with its flights over Mojave. Rick told us some stories from those early days, from the X-Prize challenge and more. Don't miss it. Another issue that came up during this segment dealt with the use of the term space tourist. Adventure traveler or some other term seemed a better fit for riding on a rocket and doing something as trail blazing as these early space adventurers. Listener Richard Godwin called in to talk about SpaceX and the Dragon capsule and NASA's future challenge, COTS and more. Toward the end of this listener call, the subject of fusion reactors aboard Navy ships came up as evidence of changing and improving technology. Marshall asked a question about lunar water and a possible X-Prize for processing a gallon of lunar water. Rick addressed the issue of prizes by saying they were important but that the winning of the prize had to be followed up by the existence of long term commercial demand. Toward the end of the first segment, the subject of range fees came up during our discussion of the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia. As we started segment two, a question was asked rick about the Chinese space program and including China in the ISS partnership. Don't miss what Rick had to say about this. We then talked about the Augustine Commission and Rick said it was a fork in the road regarding the government space program. He was very critical of Ares 1 and the money spent plus spending additional money on anything to do with Ares 1 or that program. In the context of the Augustine report, Rick again talked about the need to open the frontier and how Augustine was pointing the direction toward that goal. He said the big losers were those supporting the NASA status quo. He also suggested that this would be a test of the new NASA Administrator. For his concluding comments, Rick reiterated the need to industrialize orbital infrastructure. Don't miss his concluding words. If you want to email a question or comment to Rick Tumlinson, please do so using RickTumlinson@gmail.com.

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