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Guest: Courtney Stadd; Topics: Presidential transition teams and space policy, National Space Council, commercial space & 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 Courtney Stadd to the program for this 90 minute discussion on presidential transitions and space policy plus many other topics. In the first segment of our program, we discussed presidential transitions and space policy as Courtney headed up the space transition team for President-elect Bush from November 2000 until President Bush was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2001. Based on his experience, he had much to say about being part of a presidential transition and being part of the space team in particular. I was surprised to learn that the positions were voluntary and considered a public service to the country positions.
Courtney then discussed the National Space Council which he was part of in the Bush administration. This was a frequent topic of discussion for both segments in today's show. He thought there would be similarities from when he was part of the Council to the new one under direction of Vice-president Pence (once he is sworn in). He was also asked about the position of the NASA Administrator. One of the questions he addressed dealt with the NASA Administrator being an engineer or having an engineering background with experience since NASA is engineering heavy. I suggested and Courtney agreed that the person chosen for the position of NASA Administrator should have experience running a very large organization.
Jim from Lexington, MA asked about advocates having a voice and how they might communicate that to either the transition team or the National Space Council. Courtney said this was difficult to accomplish but do listen to what he had to say on this topic. He did say that this was an important time to have one's voice heard so don't miss Courtney's comments on this subject which focused on providing input on the hearings and to oversight committees. Courtney told us that the Council meetings were closed and not open to the public.
In segment two, George from Atlanta asked if our guest thought that the new administration might make changes in NSF regarding how grants and funding allocations were made. Courtney said he had heard about these issues but had no first hand information on plans for NSF reforms.
Dr. Doug sent in a note asking why we should think that a new National Space Council would do anything significant or meaningful. Doug suggested that it was more than likely that a new Council would simply lead to the usual moderate tweaks of the current status quo. Don't miss Courtney's response to this question by Doug. Dr. Doug also asked to what extent might that commercial space developments become part of a path to breaking out towards space settlement. Again, don't miss what Courtney had to say in response to Doug.
Jack in New Mexico asked if the incoming space team (the transition team) ever uncovered wrongdoings by the outgoing group and made such wrong doings public given there might be friction between the outgoing and incoming administrations. Courtney told us about his team finding a $4.5 billion cost overrun that had been kept secret by the outgoing administration and the changes that resulted from this discovery.
Near the end of the program, I asked Courtney about his experience with the space as well as general media and if he thought things were about the same today or if the media was worse today than 16 years ago. Our guest had much to say on this topic so don't miss it.
Before the program ended, I asked Courtney to reflect on his efforts to establish a viable new commercial space industry and market back when he was with government and if he thought it would look like what it looks like today. Our guest had some very interesting observations to offer, including a frank discussion around expectations, realities, and turning points. This was a most interesting conversation covering lots of commercial space milestones and challenges. Let Courtney know your thoughts on these issues and developments with your blog posts. What do you think caused some expectations to be met and others to be missed.
Our final discussion topic was related to the commercial space discussion but I mentioned a recent Esquire magazine interview I did regarding the deep space mining industry. I commented about the quality of management leading the companies in these long term, risky, and uncertain businesses. I commented that having excellent management was a very important development for the new commercial space industry. Courtney backed that up by using the term "sophisticated entrepreneurs." Finally, don't miss Courtney's concluding comments.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog which is part of this archived program on our website. You can reach Courtney Stadd through me.