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Guest: Dr. Erik Seedhouse; Topics: Spaceports around the world, spaceflight training and regulations, spaceflight economics. 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. Erik Seedhouse to discuss his latest book, "Spaceports Around the World, A Global Growth Industry." During the first segment of our 90 minute program, Erik let us know that all launch sites around the world were now referred to as spaceports. I asked for clarification using a few examples which Erik immediately confirmed as now being known as spaceports. We spent time talking about the major US spaceports plus those in Russia. We also mentioned European spaceports, the Chinese spaceports, and a few others but US spaceports were our focus.
Other topics in this segment included air traffic control over and around spaceports, orbital and suborbital launches, plus differences with the regs and VTOL as compared to HTOL. The suborbital business was discussed with Erik having much to say about both Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. He thinks Blue will start flying revenue flights later this year or early next year out of their Texas location while Virgin Galactic will continue testing and taking its time to get it right as part of their accident recovery process.
Listeners asked questions about specific spaceports in the US as well as specific vehicles and spaceflight programs. This led to Erik talking about possible business models suggesting that those proposed by a recent Tauri Group report including tourism, science missions, media and entertainment flights, and R&D flight might be the leading money makers and drivers in business case closure. Private space stations were mentioned as was a listener driven question about barge launches based on the Sea Launch model.
In the second segment, Erik talked about training and the needed spaceport infrastructure. Some of the subjects mentioned under the training category were altitude issues, spacesuits, space motion sickness, the use of parabolic flights, and more. Our guest spend considerable time talking about spacesuits and the need to be using them (pressure suits) in his opinion. Don't miss this discussion.
Before our program ended, Erik brought up point to point transportation. He did not think we would see this type of flight unfold anytime soon. Among the many challenges, he cited noise restrictions as a big one. You might be surprised by his comments on this topic so don't miss them.
One vehicle he talked about was the Skylon being developed in the UK by Reaction Engines. He explained their exciting technology, their recent funding from the EU, and their progress. He expected test flights in 3-4 years, possibly by 2020.
Among the final topics was mention of the Google Lunar XPrize, their launch vehicles and launch sites (spaceports). Here, we talked about New Zealand, launching from the Pacific Ocean for one contestant, and of course from Florida. Finally, Erik made mention of the various Chinese spaceports.
Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog for this show. When you purchase this book, please use Amazon and the OGLF/Space Show portal so that Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to TSS. Please click on the big Amazon link on our homepage. You can reach Dr. Seedhouse through his faculty page at Embry Riddle or me.