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LISTENERS, JOHN BATCHELOR HAS NOTIFIED ME THAT HIS STUDIO HAD A HARDWARE MALFUNCTION AND HE LOST SEVERAL HOURS OF PROGRAMMING FROM THE PAST WEEK. THIS PARTICULAR HOTEL MARS DISCUSSING WITH MARK WHITTINGTON WAS LOST. THERE WERE NO BACKUPS. I'VE DECIDED TO LET THE ARCHIVE SUMMARY OF THE PROGRAM STAND BUT UNFORTUNATATELY THERE WILL BE NO AUDIO OF THIS DISCUSSION.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING.
Guests: John Batchelor, Mark Whittington, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: SLS and the impact of the Falcon Heavy and potential BFR. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube, or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work but must be cited or referenced in the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. This program is archived on The Space Show website, podcasting, and blog sites with permission from John Batchelor. Please visit the John Batchelor Show website for more information about this fine program, www.johnbatchelorshow.com. Remember, your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. Please note that audio and transition issues are a result of copying the John Batchelor broadcast & are not within my control as they originate in the Batchelor studio.
John Batchelor and I welcomed Mark Whittington for this single segment Hotel Mars program focused on the SLS. Mark based much of what he said during the segment on his recent op-ed in The Hill: http://thehill.com/opinion/technology/375271-with-spacex-success-what-happens-to-nasas-space-launch-system. We talked about SLS development and operational costs, comparing them to the Falcon Heavy. Also discussed were payload capabilities to LEO and the lunar surface for SLS, FH, and the BFR. Mark noted that about $23 billion had been spent on SLS so far with another $210 billion needed for reaching Mars. He did not see how NASA could afford that and return to the Moon so he thought that eventually SLS might be cancelled to make room for more plausible NASA projects. Mark suggested the private rockets being developed could suffice and SLS would not be needed nor would it be affordable. One thing Mark said toward the end of our segment was that an idea was being floated for SLS to be a rocket for the DOD for special shielded defense platforms and satellites. By moving SLS to the DOD, it would remove it from the NASA budget allowing more NASA resources to go to lunar and other projects while at the same time becoming a DOD project with larger budgets and more available funding for SLS. John asked me if I was hearing things supporting the SLS to the DOD idea. I said no, only what I have read in The Space Review and a few other space publications but nothing official. I also said that I believed Congress still sees a national interest purpose for SLS and that as of now they were not thinking about canceling the big rocket.