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Guest: Frank Slazer; Topics: The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, government space, commercial space, launcher comparisons with SLS and Starship, market analysis, lobbying with congress, and much more.
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We welcomed Frank Slazer, President and CEO of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration to the program. For more information about the Coalition and to sign up for their free newsletter and announcements, please visit https://exploredeepspace.com. The interview started off by asking Frank how and when he got his interest in space with a follow up about the way his career has evolved. Also is satisfaction level with space progress over his 40 year career history. Like so many of us, Frank got excited as a small kid with the Mercury program and never turned back from that historical point to today. As you will hear him say, his love space and being involved with space is as strong as ever if not more so today. As for his career, he has loved it. He has been fortunate to have had a true varied experience with space over 40 years (see his bio on our website or the Coalition home page for more on his vast experience). As for the Coalition The n, he said it was a Trade Organization, a 501C6, with focus on the government. As a trade organization, its obligations are to its membership. The organization represents a mixture of large and small companies, many of which you can on their website. In addition, Frank mentioned many of them during the discussion. He mentioned the purpose also included the programs of record, Moon-Mars, plus how to keep them going to completion. How to keep moving forward. A major way they do that is to advocate and educate members of Congress. He said he does that by talking about the flow of benefits from space missions and projects to the government and the people. He cited examples such as JWST, NASA, Mars 2020 and many more. In addition, Frank talked about congress and the American people wanting to see American leadership in space continue. American leadership is a bit part of how they work with space, congress and others. Todd inquired by email about the Coalition perspective on Public Private Partnerships. Don't miss Frank's argument in support of PPP projects. Artemis and international projects were discussed as was inflation causing a slow down in space investments.
Doug called to talk about Starship being more economic than SLS so once proven to be that, what would the coalition do re SLS. This was a very interesting and lengthy discussion and I believe an important one so it is a must hear part of the show. After you hear it, let us know your thoughts on the subjects Frank and Doug talked about by posting on our blog. It was comprehensive so have your sharp listening ears on and maybe a pen and paper for some note taking. Later, other listeners via email asked our guest if, given the costs for SLS, if he really thought it was sustainable. Listen to how Frank broke down the launch costs and the use of federal or tax payer money. Listen to how he explained the best and highest use for taxpayer funds. What do you think of his examples such as Shuttle and the ISS. Let us know your thoughts about SLS and sustainability.
Tom from Phoenix asked Frank questions about how he lobbies and communicates with members of congress. Frank provided some important communication insights in answering this question. Next, Ft. Worth John called in regarding public support during Apollo, marginal costs, and looking at the importance of what is being produced. He asked about legacy programs, politics and real or false benefits for either the people or Congress. Or both? Before we ended the program, Frank talked about space tourism and space settlement. Gene emailed in a question about using Starship for government funded planetary missions, then as we approached the end, Frank got a question about space infrastructure and the need for government to fund it. Well, not so fast. We went out of the program with a Big Bang and I don't mean with Penny, Sheldon, Leonard and the rest of crew! Listen to what Frank said about infrastructure, what government had already done for space infrastructure and then you decide what should be done about say cislunar infrastructure or Artemis infrastructure. Frank did offer us concluding remarks which you will also want to hear.
Please post your comments/questions for our guest on the blog. You can reach Frank through me or the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration.