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Guest: Bruce Pittman; Topics: Bruce discussed in detail the collaborative project "Spacecraft Nation: Building Back Better Using Space." The program has been uploaded to the blog for this program for your downloading and review.
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We welcomed Bruce Pittman back to the program for an in-depth discussion regarding his collaborative project, "Spacecraft Nation." Please download and review the program as the paper has been uploaded to the blog for this program on The Space Show website. Bruce took us through the program, talked with listeners and responded to many email listener questions. As I have done with other programs, the best way to summarize our discussion is to repeat the tags/key words as they follow our discussion and hit the highlights of what Bruce talked about and what listeners were asking him.
"Tags/Key words: Bruce Pittman, Spacecraft Nation collaboration, NASA Ames, NASA Space Portal, Skycorp, commercial space, improving national technological capabilities, Covid 19 Pandemic, technical skills, engaging the 50 states, training and educating the workforce, space and related industries, states determine own areas of expertise, program budget and costs, upgrading America's technical skills & technical toolkits, Public Private Partnerships, innovation, space infrastructure, Cislunar space development, engaging multiple government agencies & organizations, space debris, tragedy of the commons, national security, ITAR, student age and grade levels, virtual learning, 3D printing, diversity concerns, human space social issues, Moon-Mars focus concerns, private corporation benefits, future space and technology workforce, competition for the best workers, Open Lunar, competing NGO's, Project Astro. space missions compared to space activities, NASA Centennial Challenges, soliciting Spacecraft Nation feedback."
Of the many questions and discussion comments offered up by Bruce, one topic which probably got more discussion time than other topics dealt with how the program would be financed. Spacecraft Nation suggested a five year program with all 50 states involved in it and paying annually $500 million. This comes to $10 million per state. Bruce also suggested that some states might pay more, some less depending on the programming each stated decided on for how it wanted to participate in this space and related infrastructure and technology upgrading program. Lots of listeners wanted to know if this would be a federal program, if it would be mandated by the federal government or optional for the states, if it would come out of the NASA budget, new state taxes or be paid for by some sort of innovative financing worked out to make the program pay for itself. These questions came in throughout our discussion in random order. As you will hear, Bruce said many times this is just a proposal. It was not the final project. He made it clear they want feedback from corporations, private sector folks, government agencies, interested parties, advocates and others. He provided an email address on air for feedback so listen for it. Since Spacecraft Nation is a preliminary type of proposal, he made it clear that funding mechanisms, even the amount needed for the program were subject to change as Spacecraft Nation as a program evolves.
Bruce received questions about the type of technology skills and tools the plan focused on. Several listeners wanted to know how all of this might play out with a space private sector focused on human spaceflight, tourism, returning to the Moon and going to Mars. Bruce did connect the dots to these questions but let us know your questions and comments about the program and both Newspace, traditional commercial space and government space. We also talked about national security and he mentioned participation with DOD, the defense industry, and related interested parties. Please take a look at page 3 of the Spacecraft Nation proposal to see suggested industry segments and activities for this program.
Other interesting listener comments by email and phone focused on the need for diversity plus a concern was expressed that there might be too many similar organization pursuing similar objectives dividing finite resources which might weaken the overall effort. Bruce was asked to comment on that issue.
Before we signed off with Bruce, I asked our guest to give us a quick summary of what he would be doing with Skycorp. Bruce provided us with information of why we should shift from thinking and working toward space missions, instead starting to shift and focus on space activities. Listen to his explanation. Post your thoughts on our blog.
Please post your comments/questions for Bruce on our blog for this show. Bruce can be reached through me or the email address he gave out on air.