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Guest: Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar; Topics: Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, US Congressional support, deep space mining, SLS, commercial launchers, Space Shuttle & 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 back Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar to the program for this one segment 92 minute discussion on a variety of topics, issues, and unsurpassed analysis and excellence on several key space issues and projects. Please visit the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration website for more information about this organization as our guest is the Executive Director of the organization. See http://exploredeepspace.com as our guest referenced the website several times during the program plus she said many of their important papers and programs get uploaded to the site for public benefit.
We started our discussion talking about the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, what it does and why deep space exploration is important. We spent a significant amount of time on this subject, especially talking about working with the US Congress on deep space exploration matters, noting how the organization has grown with new company membership, including many from the new commercial space industry. Dr. Dittmar told us there was a focus on humans in space with the Coalition, along with a cislunar, Mars, and Moon focus. Dr. Dittmar spoke to the Coalition's educational programs for both House and Senate members with much of this information and programming being made available to the public through their website.
Much was said about working with congress. Our guest reminded us that members represent their districts and were elected by their constituents to return benefits and values to the home district. We spoke at length about congress and educating them on space, including saying much about the outstanding congressional staffers. Don't miss this discussion as it was most informative. While on this topic, Andrew from Houston sent in a note wanting to know how her organization influenced congress since Dr. Dittmar said they do not lobby. Mary Lynne spent time explaining lobbying as compared to educating members of congress. I suggest you listen carefully to what our guest had to say on this subject as it was most instructive. The educational efforts put forth by the Coalition with members of congress works differently than lobbying and appears to be considerably more productive for more members.
Another topic I brought up was the congressional criticism by many in the space advocate and enthusiast communities, including myself. We talked about the gap in advocacy support of congress for several minutes. This is another discussion you do not want to miss. In addition, this discussion led us to a discussion about congressional "pork" and getting things done on a bipartisan nature. As you will hear, fortunately space is still largely bipartisan but we talked about the impact of less pork, earmarks and gerrymandering on congress getting things done to day as compared to the past. This was similar to the discussion we had in our recent program with Marcia Smith from our April 30, 2017. Near the end of that program, I asked Marcia about the congress of today being different from congress in the past. If you have not yet heard the discussion with Marcia you should listen to it. The comments I am referring to came near the end of that program.
A Las Vegas listener asked Mary Lynne why we were doing SLS based on comments she said up front in our program about answering questions as to why we go to space and do things and certain projects. This turned out to be a comprehensive discussion and analysis of SLS which you have to hear!!! Not only did Mary Lynne do a great job explaining launcher mission trades with a super heavy lift rocket like SLS as compared to a small and less capable rockets, even the Falcon Heavy, she talked about the strategic, national prestige and aerospace industry and multiple company benefit from the SLS project. She told us a few great stories about small company survival and aerospace industrial enhancement due to getting an SLS contract. She detailed both the public benefits of SLS and the technical launch benefits of SLS. In opposition to her comments, BJohn in Sweden sent in a note pointing out the typical economic arguments against SLS by many who do not support the rocket. Mary Lynne addressed the concerns expressed by BJohn but did not overlook the multiple and very important national benefits coming from SLS, including American leadership in the industry and on a global basis. I believe not including value for the significant public and national benefits of SLS is wrong given that a public cost benefit analysis is different than one for a for profit company. Listen carefully to what Dr. Dittmar had to say about SLS in response to the listener question. Your comments are invited on our blog.
Another listener from Memphis referred to a much earlier Dr. Dittmar Space Show program where she talked a about a survey of college students showing they were not interested in going to Mars. The listener wanted to know if anything had changed in the years since that study and her Space Show appearance. Dr. Dittmar spoke to the survey in question that was done in the early 2000's. She talked about the impact of social media since that survey and how it has served to connect people to one another that have similar interests while as before no such connections were possible or at least they were very hard to make or establish. She said she thought a difference might exist today but there was no data on the question so it really could not be answered absent the data. Don't miss this most interesting discussion
As we were nearing the end of the show, listener Kelly wanted to know about her efforts to help commercialize the space shuttle when it was retiring. I did ask her about her experiences with the shuttle commercialization effort which she talked about within the boundaries of her NDA which was still in effect. Don't miss what she had to say about these efforts.
Mary Lynne offered us excellent multiple closing comments to an outstanding 90 minute discussion. Make sure you hear them. But just before we signed off, she got one final listener email question about the Coalition perspective on the OST and space property rights.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this program. You can reach Dr. Dittmar through me or though the Coalition website.