Broadcast 1439 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Dr. Jim Vedda. Topics: Dr. Vedda proposes an alternative U.S. space policy driven by capability. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, Additionally, you may want to read Dr. Vedda's latest book, "Choice, Not Fate" which you can buy using the One Giant Leap Foundation Amazon link. Remember, if you buy the book this way, Amazon makes a contribution to The Space Show/OGLF. Please see In our first of two segments, Dr. Vedda talked about his AIAA paper, "An Alternative Approach to National Space Policy which makes the case for having a capabilities driven space program, not a destination driven program. This paper will be available for your reading and review on The Space Show Outside The Box blog for this program when I archive it on the blog. We talked about the possibility of congressional micro management of new rocket building projects with NASA and the possibility of reductions in the NASA FY 11 budget. We then returned to his AIAA paper and Dr. Vedda started explaining why the space program needed to be capabilities driven over destination driven. I also asked Jim about implementing his ideas and getting them into the policy system. As you will hear, it is an uphill battle. We started the second segment with a listener question asking about the origin of policy influence, where does it come from, who exercises it the most, and is it best to aim it at NASA, Congress, or another organization. Dr. Vedda said that history shows big ideas come from industry, professionals, and others outside the government and funnel through the administration back down to Congress. Dr. Vedda then talked about influence and which groups have the most of it. Interestingly, he had much to say about space advocacy groups and in short, said they have next to zero influence other than in culture shaping. Listen carefully to what he had to say on this subject and share your thoughts with us using blog comments and emails to Dr. Vedda. In making his case, he referenced several programs as examples supporting his analysis on this issue. Later in this segment, we talked about budget cuts again and what might be likely to be cut. Here we talked about the destructive budget process which Jim wrote about in "Choice, Not Fate." Later in this segment, we talked about a space race with China and how the US might respond if other nations go for the destination and we are working to develop capabilities. Jim had much to say about others going for the destination so don't miss this discussion. We also talked about the need for an international partnership on this alternative approach and for public private partnerships to share the responsibility for designing the program and determining how its financed. We spent considerable time discussing the potential role of the private sector in this new type of space policy. At the end of the program, I asked him about the US decline per our recent show discussing the Futron 2010 Space Competitive Index. If you have a question or comment for Dr. Vedda, please post it on the blog mentioned above. You can also send them to me at and I will forward it to Dr. Vedda.



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07 Oct 2010 Dr. James A. Vedda
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