Broadcast 1553 (Special Edition)

06 May 2011 Ian Brewster
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Guest: Ian Brewster. Topics: Commercial space policy, space tourism, NASA, special forces, and more. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. During our first of two segments of this two hour fifteen minute discussion, Ian Brewster started out talking about some of his non-space journalism work and an upcoming book on special forces teams from around the world. We talked briefly about the Navy Seals and other special forces units & I asked him to return as a guest when his special forces book is released later this year. In addressing space, Ian said that commercial space was at a point in human history where it was needed for the good of humanity. He also said "rich people will put us in space," referencing space tourism and the emerging commercial space companies. We then talked about the need for reasonable rules of the road for space development & that there were long term benefits for commercial space development. We talked about NASA doing a better job of promoting the importance of space & at one time our guest suggested that NASA needed some good "PR copy." We also talked about NASA spinoffs and using them to help make the case for space development, both with Congress and the people. I did challenge him this area because it does not appear that marketing spinoffs has ever been that useful in promoting space policy. As we started the second long segment, we talked some more about spinoffs, policy makers not recognizing or respecting the path through space for solving many of the problems facing us today. I asked Ian about the Canadian Space Agency and the Canadian population support for space programming. Another question I asked him was about the impact of science fiction on the average Canadian in terms of influencing space policy and participation on the part of Canadians. Ian had much to say about science fiction from the Canadian perspective and its impact on space policy is about the same as what we have experienced in the U.S. We then switched to developments in the world of physics and talked about CERN & the LHC with the search for the Higgs Boson (H-B) particle. Our guest went into some detail describing this search and why it was important and what the discovery of the H-B particle might mean to us all. We then discussed short sighted policy using the LHC as an example. Ian told us about the positive commercial and economic impact the LHC was having throughout Europe. Since this was originally to be in Texas and we cancelled the program, the U.S. lost out on these advantages. This brought our discussion to the area of investing for the future in STEM & space programs, again using the LHC as an example. We had quite the discussion on policy, education, influencing Congress, accountability, and how to turn things around now rather than waiting for new generations to emerge with leadership in these areas. Near the end of the program, I read a letter I received from an 8th grade student calling for the downsizing and reduction in budget for NASA. Both Ian & I had much to say concerning the 8th graders view of NASA and space. This letter will be the focus of an upcoming program, watch the newsletter for details. If you have comments or questions, post them on the blog URL above. You can email Ian Brewster at i_brewster@yahoo.com.

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