Broadcast 650 (Special Edition)

08 Jan 2007 Matt Bille
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Matt Bille and Kris Winkler were the special guests for this Space Show program. Matt and Kris discussed with us their recent work which focuses on how a network of microspacecraft could play an important role in the NASA VSE. We began the discussion with Matt providing us with a working definition of microspacecraft for our program and from there we talked about all aspects of such spacecraft, their possible functions and contributions to space development and the VSE. Kris and Matt told us about "PRISMs" which a a term they came up with regarding the use and deployment of many microspacecraft. You will want to hear about this. Much time was spent discussing the feedback they have received regarding their ideas from NASA, the aerospace industry, the press, and interested people in space development. It has been positive and may very well be incorporated in VSE planning and implementation. Surely it seems that what Matt and Kris are talking about can facilitate the implementation of the VSE and make it more cost effective through cost savings and added efficiencies. Our guests cited several current examples of microspacecraft in commercial use, including ORBCOMM which has deployed 30 small satellites weighing less than 100 lbs (also quite small in physical size) each in LEO orbits for real time specific communication purposes. Later in the program we discussed the VSE from the perspective of it being the most appropriate path for NASA, what changes would our guests recommend in the VSE were they to be providing direct feedback to the NASA Administrator, and what would they do to speed up the time table for returning to the Moon. There were several listener questions about NASA in general, its chances for having a successful VSE, and questioning NASA as "business as usual" and what this means for contractors, the entrepreneurs, policy makers, etc. We also talked about the VSE surviving four presidential elections and about 8 or 9 congressional elections. You will want to hear what our guests said about these challenges. If you want to send your comments or additional questions to Matt and Kris, visit Matt at his website, www.mattwriter.com and use the contact address provided, mattwriter@earthlink.net. Kris Winkler can be contacted at kwinkler@comcast.net.

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