Broadcast 1303 (Special Edition)

06 Feb 2010 Frederick Ordway III
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Guest: Frederick Ordway. Topics: Space leadership, space policy, Wernher von Braun leadership as compared to space leadership today. Frederick Ordway III, author of "The Rocket Team," returned to discuss the release of the new Apogee edition of his book. His book is available on the One Giant Leap Foundation book page and if you buy it through this link,, Amazon makes a contribution to OGLF/The Space Show. In our first segment, Mr. Ordway provided us with a first hand background of von Braun and his rocket team. He talked about the genesis of the team going back to the 1920's in Germany. He also talked about the arsenal system for building rockets and the differences in that system with those of the Air Force system. In bringing the discussion forward to the present time, Fred suggested that the big risk was canceling the in-house Ares 1 arsenal type system, giving up that long standing heritage, having no target to aim for, no mission, placing even our astronauts and their future at risk. Make sure you listen to Mr. Ordway's comments on these important issues. In our second segment, Anthony in the U.K. called in and Fred told about his U.K. experiences, the relationship with the UK, and the rocket team dating back through World War 2. This is a history many of us do not know very much about. Listener Marshall wanted to know just how important the Administrator's budget recommendations were and this resulted in Mr. Ordway talking about the budget and its potential impact on the space program. He also commented that in the past we have man rated ballistic missiles including the Redstone, Atlas, and the Titan, all successfully and we could do it again. But he stated that while this could be done, the danger was in dismantling the legacy of how we develop and build human spaceflight rockets. Several times during this discussion, Mr. Ordway suggested we were putting our Saturn heritage rockets at risk. Other listeners asked about the Chinese space program and Fred used the term "ChinAmerica." Don't miss this discussion. The conversation kept coming back to the proposed new space policy and our guest said that using EELV for human spaceflight was a valid and he also talked about the need to continue with the ISS and to fully use it for science and more. Fred received lots of questions about recapturing the Apollo spirit for our nation's space program. One listener suggested we should stop dwelling on Apollo and move forward. Fred talked about the uniqueness of Apollo in that it was a first and that made a huge difference. Later in this segment, he talked about von Braun being awarded the second slot in the Top 100 Stars of Aerospace poll in 2003. Toward the end of this segment and the program, Fred was asked for some lessons learned from the period of the Rocket Team to be applied to today. He suggested it was very important to maintain the team, keep and maintain a steady budget, and Congress needs to balance out important issues. If you have questions or comments for Frederick Ordway, please email him at



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