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Guest: Mark Whittington; Topics: Mark covered many timely discussion topics including the Inmarsat survey on the value of space with his ideas on how to correct the problem. Don't miss Mark's summary and his thoughts on the UAPs. Multiple topics, several callers, lots of email participation.
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We welcomed Mark Whittington back to the show for a discussion involving multiple timely space news topics. We started out with the Inmarsat survey mentioned on TSS several weeks ago about the value of space which was evidently fairly low from results from multiple countries. To find out more about the survey discussed on this program, see https://www.inmarsat.com/en/insights/corporate/2022/value-of-space.html. Both Mark and I thought the survey was a big deal but as I said during our conversation, when I mentioned the survey several weeks ago when Mark first wrote about, most did not think it was such a big deal. Listen to what Mark said and share your opinions with us about the survey by posting on our blog. In addition, note the solution to the educational problem that Mark mentioned on air. What do you think about his solution? Post that on the blog too.
Multiple other topics were discussed, including topics that added value to space. Marshall called to mention a few of those topics. Mark then mentioned the ISS work as a biomedical lab, the 3D printing and the role of Starlink with the Ukrainian war. Also discussed were the Artemis Accords with Mark mentioning that France and Saudi Arabia were joining the Accords. Mark then spoke about the upcoming South Korean lunar mission, plus he offered up some general comments about returning to the Moon. Todd in San Diego sent a note to Mark wanting to know if the F9 had gone beyond LEO. Mark said it was the rocket used for the failed Israeli lunar mission a few years ago .
Another question came up about Mark following the possible termination of the hands off commercial space regulation policy as that policy will be expiring next year (Oct. 1, 2023). Mark said he was not hearing much about it but as we got closer to the date it would likely be a big topic. Mark does not favor heavy government regulation or involvement and believes the industry can work out most problems. Our focus shifted to China and their plans for the Moon. This led to talking about space solar power experiments and the interest of China in SSP. Mark had lots to say about China, the CCP, their space program and their conduct. As do many of us, he sees China as an adversary getting stronger and stronger.
When asked about upcoming big events, Mark mentioned the SLS launching coming up plus a few other events that you will want to hear about. As for Starlink, he mentioned it again but the time line for it is less clear at this time. Listener Randy sent Mark a note asking if it might be possible to dump the lunar Gateway plan so that Starship can go directly to the Moon. Mark had much to say on this idea and the entire return to the Moon strategy which serves as our Program of Record. Mark going direct would be quicker and likely more efficient but listen to all his comments and to the references he cited in making his point. Mark mentioned ongoing Boeing Starliner problems, then he said there were three people that seriously contributed to developing commercial space. His three people were Elon Musk, Jim Bridenstine, and Kathy Lueders (NASA). He added an additional comment that Starliner was so far a big disappointment. John from Ft. Worth called in to talk about a possible SLS cancellation but said it would likely include Orion.
As we were about to end, Mark went over his space books, his blog and then he was asked for his thoughts on the UAP matter we hear so much about. Don't miss his UAP commentary.
Please post your comments/questions for Mark on our blog for this page. You can reach Mark through me, his blog per above, his Facebook page, his LinkedIn page, on Twitter and his book sites.