Broadcast 3386 John Blincow

The Space Foundation Conference

07 Oct 2019 John Blincow
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Guest:  John Blincow;  Topic:  A complete and thorough introduction to The Gateway Foundation Project including the Von Braun station, space hotels, commercial operations, orbital manufacturing and assembly and more. 

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We welcomed John Blincow of The Gateway Foundation project to the show for this one segment, 81 minute comprehensive discussion and explanation of The Gateway Foundation Project ( https://gatewayspaceport.com).  I suggest opening up the Gateway Foundation website and following along with our discussion to see videos, images and learn more about what our guest talks about.

During our one segment 81 minute discussion, John explained The Gateway Project and its components such a the Von Braun Station, plus the elements that will make the project happen. This included talking about financing the project, a space lottery when it becomes legal plus what has to happen with specific states for the lottery to be legal, venture capital funding and the sale of stock.  John also talked specifics, capabilities, specifications, market concerns, features and more for the project and especially for the space hotel.  Also discussed were the crew and spaceflight participant needs, training, and screening, plus the international scope of the project. 

Our first caller was Freemont John.  He posted multiple questions on the blog which have already been answered by our guest so make sure you see them.  For this call,  wanted more information about financing the station, the lottery plans and the lottery target market.  Don't miss this discussion as our guest described the financing and the lottery in detail.  I jumped in with lottery questions given my experience with guests advocating space lotteries going back to 2003.  As you will hear, our guest did confirm they were still illegal but that many states have provisions for voters to make them legal.  Our guest went through this process including coming up with a cost estimate per petition drive of $7-10 million just to get the question on a state ballot.  He said they would not be focusing on the lottery at first but on their Orbital Assembly company plans with traditional financing.  He suggested that the lottery might first happen in foreign markets where it would be legal but Americans would not be able to participate in such a lottery.  Again, don't mis this discussion and phone call as it was important for understanding The Gateway Project in whole.

Next, I received an interesting email from Theron Lutz which I have taken the liberty of copying here:

"Mr Blincow,

I am a fan of your Von Braun and Gateway Station concepts.  I understand that you are going balance the station with tanks and fluid channels thru out the station. My question is how are you going balance the station with a large vessel attached such as the Space X  Starship which you show in your concept video. Have you considered a Stationary central Hub for docking large ships to help with stabilization. I admit engineering on that may be a little difficult to achieve.

Could the modules for this be launched with a falcon or falcon heavy and how many launches will this take. Or is fairing size to small for the modules.

Thank You for your time.

Theron Lutz"

John did a good job of responding to the above questions with a good amount of technical information and detail.  This is another discussion you will want to hear in full.  The docking system was described along with the arm and how it would spin up and down.  Next, John talked about the polar orbit and why plus he described the occupancy which would be shared with crew and spaceflight participants.  Our guest described the spin rate and the artificial gravity variations on the station, including starting out with lunar gravity but being able to experiment with Martian gravity.  This came up again later in our discussion.

John spent time describing the hotel accommodations.  He talked about the three types of suites available and their size plus their pricing.  In addition, in response to questions, he described the food and eating experience which he said could be compared to a luxury terrestrial hotel.  I asked if there was any evidence to support such lavish eating would be ok in microgravity.  He said all of this was an experiment and we would find out.  I inquired about cooking and other processes tool.  Next, we talked about the bathroom and showers for the hotel part of the project.  He said they would be like modern luxury toilets and bathrooms.  He even described some very high tech toilets that also can dispose of the waste.  John suggested that they would be at worst in lunar gravity which is at least some gravity and then later in Martian gravity so he thought the bathrooms would work just fine.  The same for the showers which he said would double as an emergency loss of pressure shelter.  Don't miss the complete discussion on eating, food, chefs on board the station, bathrooms and toilets, showers and shelters.

3 D printing technology was discussed as our guest provided some details as to how it would be used in the orbital assembly work carried out by the project.  John was then asked what the tourists (hotel guests) would do for 3-4 days on the statin.  Listen to the activities and facilities John said would be available.  Keep in mind, the crew will number 112 while the guests will number about 288.  John then talked about activities involving career training.  Don't miss this part of the discussion. 

Before the program ended, John took an email from Phil wanting to know why the name "Von Braun Station" given the mixed feelings about Von Braun and his war activities with the Nazis.  Don't miss the detailed explanation and Von Braun history lesson provided us by Mr. Blincow.   Let us know what you think by posting your comments on our blog. 

Before ending the program, we went into more detail on financing.  We asked about the need to be a qualified investor, would there be an equity Kickstarter program and who could buy the stock.  John responded in detail to all of these questions so make sure you hear the financing plans and timelines.  In terms of final listener questions, John responded to one regarding space settlement and third party projects located near The Gateway Project.  Another listener wanted to know if they had a newsletter that one could subscribe to for stay up on their activities.  Then came a complex question from Listener Doug.  Doug's question was complex and referenced the Boeing Max 737 jet engineering problems and wondered what type of engineering and oversight due diligence would be available to possible investors and customers to assure safety.  John had much to say o this topic including making sure we all knew that once you took off from the ground regardless of vehicle you were never safe.  This was a fascinating response to a complex question and a great way to bring to an end our discussion with John Blincow.  Once again, tell us your thoughts on what our guest had to say about engineering oversight and due diligence.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach John Blincow though his website posted above in this summary or through me.

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