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Guest: Chris Stone; Topics: National Security Space 2017, EMP, N. Korea, nuclear hardening, Space Corp, Air Force, National Space Council, partisan policy, Chinese space programs & 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 Chris Stone back to the show for the year 2017 in review for national security space developments. We started our one segment one hour 46 minute discussion with a discussion of the possibility of the US creating a Space Corp. In this discussion, Chris summarized the recent history going back to the talk given at the Space Foundation Space Symposium this past April 2017 re the need for a Space Corp. Chris also summarized the Air Force position, congressional hearings and then updated us as to where the Space Corp concept stands today. As you will hear, it is moving forward with lots of uncertainty. Chris took some email questions and comments relating to the Space Corp really being a U.S. effort to both militarize and weaponize space. Chris did not agree with those assessments. He explained why he thought they were based on faulty reasoning. He talked about not being able to weaponize a place plus the concept was in the study phase. He said much depended on the independence from the Air Force by the group doing the study as the AF has opposed the concept. This was an interesting discussion so don't miss it.
Chris talked about the first meeting of the National Space Council which he said has many international participants and components to it including the Chinese. He thought the Space Council was on the right track and looked forward to the upcoming meeting early next year regarding both national security and commercial space. Chris then jumped to the Senate confirmation hearings for the proposed new NASA Administrator, Rep. Jim Bridenstine. He called the hearings a circus and said he was disappointed that so much partisanship showed up in way unrelated to space and the role of NASA. We talked about who might be the Deputy Administrator and why that was important.
Dr. Jurist sent in an email which I read on air. Essentially, John wanted to know about the risk of an EMP attack by N. Korea or another rogue nation and if our GPS system was hardened against such an attacked. In addition, he asked Chris to summarize the role of space communications and their importance to today's warfighter. Chris had much to say about an EMP attack, GPS hardening, and the role of the GPS system as part of the nuclear detection system. I asked Chris why many people either dismiss the risk of an EMP attack or deny it, given that such attacks are factually based. This prompted a great discussion on the topic with Chris who said most of those dismissing or downplaying the threat do so because they do not see the adversary, say N. Korea, as being capable of launching such an attack now or in the near future. He said the argument was not factual about what an EMP attack could do but was based on the capability of the particular adversary in question. This was a great discussion and response to the Jurist EMP question so don't miss it.
Chris was asked what he saw on the horizon for 2018 for national security space issues. Besides pointing out the next space council meeting in January or February, he suggested that the focus might be on "strategic space." He talked about meaningful language changes in the policy being formulated or revised and a focus on what might be needed to maintain and improve critical infrastructure.
Carol from Memphis asked our guest about international space security, how our policy fit into the international efforts or was it a type of "everyman for himself" environment. Chris pointed out that the US was the largest player so in many ways, national and international security space focused on the role and actions of the U.S.
Ben from Alexandria, VA asked Chris if we were safer today because of space assets and tools. Don't miss what Chris said in response to Ben. This was followed up by Wayne in St. Louis asking about loading up LEO and near LEO space with tourists and commercial operations and if that what help make space and everyone safer. Chris did not think so and was very clear in explaining why he did not think it would work, citing historical examples with tourists and commercial operations. Let us know what you think by posting your comments on the blog. Listener Bill got in on the action and asked why law a Space Corp would follow. Would it be the UCMJ, US law, the OST, international law? Again, don't miss what Chris said in response to this question. Alan from North Dakota then sent in a question asking about what types of weapons a Space Corp would use or have available for enforcement. This prompted a most interesting reply from Chris so don't miss it as he listed a few types of futuristic weapons systems and suggested the TV show The Expanse might not be that far off re enforcement weapons.
The last question of the day was from Randy who waned know if space security was becoming divided and partisan like the nation plus he questions the actual competence of those in congress and those making policy. Chris addressed all of these issues so be sure to listen to his response. Before the show ended, Chris told a joke, then talked about the Chinese program, their five year plan and their space strategy.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog. You can reach Chris through his blog or The Space Show. His blog is https://realspacestrategy.wordpress.com.