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Guest: Dr. Eligar Sadeh; Topics: Astropolitics Institute and forum programming plus the Journal of AstroPolitics with the special upcoming joint edition with Space Policy and 18 space themes subject to analysis.
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We welcomed back to the show Dr. Eligar Sadeh o discuss new projects with both the Astropolitics Institute and The Journal of Astropolitics. For the Institute's programming, follow along with their website, www.astropolitics.org as the forums, projects, classes and Zoom meetings are all described there. Some are open to the general public, others are more specialized for the global academic community. As you will hear, there is also a possibility of some of the projects and programs earning certification for obtaining continuing education credits. The best way to find out about this information is to contact Dr. Sadeh which you can do from their website at the bottom of the home page using the "Get in Touch" form. You can also use the Chat provided by the website as that typically goes to Eligar so when you get a reply, it will likely be directly from Dr. Sadeh. Make sure you tell him you heard about the projects, programs, classes and forums on this Space Show program.
For most of the first segment, our focus was on the definition of astropolitics from an historical perspective to today and how Eligar uses it for his programming and journal. In addition, he went into detail regarding the special forums, courses, Cosmic Conversations plus the goals of the Institute. I suggest when going through this discussion you follow along with the website. Dr. Sadeh made mention of the joint edition coming up Spring 2021 with the journal Space Policy regarding multiple space development themes, part of which will be covered by The Journal of Astropolitics and part by Space Policy. Our guest went through the list of themes covered by each publication. The call for papers for this joint publication has passed but take note of the review and critical analysis process ahead prior to publication. If you are interested in somehow participating, contact Dr. Sadeh.
Other topics discussed in greater detail during the first segment included space as a commons, the Moon Treaty, the Artemis Project by NASA to return to the Moon, plus a listener wanted to know if the Institute engaged in space lobbying. The short answer to the lobbying question was no but then Eligar started talking about specific differences in supporting advocacy as compared to lobbying. Prior to ending the first segment, Public Private Partnerships were talked about as was SpaceX from their early history with the Falcon 1 through to today. Listen to what Eligar said about the early critique of SpaceX as compared to traditional aerospace and the changes SpaceX made according to our guest to get to where it is today.
We started the second segment with an email question from Sandy in Dallas about the makeup of the Institute Forums mentioned on the website and in the first segment of our program. Eligar then brought in the Cosmic Conversations as he said they were more geared to the general public than the Forums where were highly academic. A Houston listener asked Eligar if the Institute was talking a look at space policy in the context of our rising national debt. Eligar said no but did mention NASA was a small part of the budget but it was in the discretionary part of the budget. He then mentioned some of the nondiscretionary items which he said included defense. A listener sent in a correction email for our guest pointing out that defense was also for the most part in the discretionary part of the budget. Listen to what Eligar said in response to this email correction.
Eligar was asked about keeping the Return to the Moon program if the administration changed in November. He talked about administration change impacts on space but seemed to indicate that we would still be following consistency. Listen to his reasoning. What do you think? Post your thoughts about this on our blog. Listener Don sent in a note about SpaceX inspiring enthusiasm. Eligar had much to say on this topic including the production and entertainment quality of the Demo-2 launch show that SpaceX put on for the world to see. We talked about this and why a private company could do it but not NASA. Be sure to listen to all of what Eligar said about this. Let us know if you agree or disagree by posting on our blog. Space tourism was the final topic prior to the concluding remarks and the program summary. Eligar said a lot about space tourism, laws and regulations needing to catch up with tourism as for the most part they were for dealing with government to government astronauts. Once again, be sure to hear all of what Eligar had to say regarding space tourism.
Eligar did provide concluding comments and a program summary. During this part of the discussion, I asked him if his personal vision back in the early 80's ever saw the space industry where it went and where it is today. He had interesting responses to this question. Before ending, he talked about the need for more diversity in what I believe he meant as SpaceX astronaut selection. He talked about more gender and racial astronauts and seemed to indicate that if SpaceX chose a black and a woman astronaut for the next mission, that would be better than even Demo-2! Eligar did not seem to realize that the Demo-2 astronauts were also test pilots and employed by NASA. SpaceX not only did not select them, they were not SpaceX employees. They were NASA astronauts all the way as was the selection process. That said, I believe NASA has over the years done a very good job and made progress with gender and racial diversity with astronauts and in the organizations but like with everything, nothing is perfect and everything can stand improvement. From the scenes we saw of SpaceX employees in mission control, doing the media analysis and broadcast, working in Hawthorne and in the other company locations, SpaceX does pay attention to diversity. The final point on this is that as I recall, when we go back to the Moon, NASA is sending both a woman and a man as the crew to land and walk on the Moon. Less we forget, the name of our lunar return mission, Artemis, is named after the Greek goddess of the Moon and twin sister of the god Apollo. Please comment on Elgar's diversity commentary and correct any errors I may have made in writing this summary. Since we are on the topic, how many years have Space Show callers, guests and myself commented on the lack of diversity at space conferences. If my memory serves me correctly, I started commenting on this in the first year of Space Show history back in 2001! I do believe this has improved but if space is to be for all humanity and everybody and we are to have general population support for commercial space, settlement, and more, our conferences need to be or at least should be more representative of the population.
Please post your comments/questions for Dr. Sadeh on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Eligar though his website address per this summary or through me at The Space Show email address.