Broadcast 3428 Dr. Charles Lurio

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Dr. Charles Lurio;  Topics:  NewSpace 2019 review and a look ahead for 2020.

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We welcomed back Dr. Lurio for a two part 138 minute review of NewSpace 2019 with a look ahead for the same for 2020.  Note that the break between the first and second segments was used for our sponsor messages.  Dr. Lurio started the discussion talking about the upcoming Boeing CST 100 test flight later this month and SpaceX having a 3rd Starlink launch later this year too.  Dr. Lurio also talked about the Crew Dragon tests coming.  We then talked about the crucial timeline for commercial crew to be ready by the time NASA completes its last ISS flight aboard a Soyuz which happens first quarter 2020.  Our guest had much to say about the importance of getting operational and the consequences of not meeting the deadlines.  This was an important discussion. 

Charles talked about Blue Origin and the upcoming Shepherd test flight which was successful and held on Dec. 11 after a short delay.  Charles then did a short summary of Blue Origin operations at the Cape along with their Texas launch site.  He mentioned that they were also building a new HQ building across the street from their old HQ.

Charles took an email question from a listener asking him to compare NewSpace 2018 to 2019.  Charles said it was a difficult comparison but he talked about Dragon and then the explosion earlier this year.  He spoke about Artemis, mostly in the sense that the project has sparked the private sector to develop hardware for the project.  He mentioned the lunar landers but there were other pluses for the private sector due to the Artemis project.  Charles supported Artemis and Gateway to the extent the enable robust private sector and entrepreneurial space development.  He then said 2019 was a year of going backwards and forwards, of progress along with blocks.  Listen to his explanation of these 2019 characterizations.

Listener Janice wanted to know what stood out for Charles in 2019.  He mentioned the Falcon Heavy launches, demos to the ISS, Starlink and a few other things.  He talked about efforts to mitigate light pollution from Starlink that might adversely impact astronomy.  Rocket Labs was mentioned with their success of small launcher flights to orbit. 

Listener Jack in Denver asked Charles if he thought the extreme partisanship in Congress would impact space policy in 2020.  Don't miss how Charles answered this question.  Charles then highlighted several successful NewSpace Companies regarding his reply to a financial success question.  He pointed to Rocket Lab, Planet, Virgin Galactic, Made In Space,  plus a few more.  Next up was a call from Marshall.

Marshall talked about the Virgin Galactic being a publicly traded company, then he asked Charles if he thought Musk would take SpaceX to an IPO.  Both Charles and I responded to Marshall on the IPO questions. Both of us doubted an IPO was in the works for SpaceX anytime soon.  After Marshall's call, listener Alan in Las Cruces asked Charles for his opinion on the new space investment funds that started appearing earlier this year and before and were discussed on Space Show program.  Charles and I both responded plus we talked about the previous efforts by Tom Olson to create the Colony Fund about 15 or more years ago.  Charles had much to say about the current profitable status of many of the NewSpace efforts. He thought there might be some washouts and it was still a bit early to determine the overall success of the industry based on ROI and other measures.

Charles gave a shout out to the upcoming Suborbital Researchers Conference to be held in March in Colorado.  He urged listeners to check it out. Search for NSRC 2020.  Dr. Alan Stern puts this event together.  Following his calling out this upcoming conference, Charles mentioned the company Firefly, the small launcher-booster industry, and the NASA CLPS program.  Charles once again mentioned Made In Space, then he addressed the issue of LEO space debris.  Before closing down our discussion, Charles was asked about human spaceflight missions other than those undertaken by the government.  He said there are proposals for short term flights carrying paying passengers to the ISS.  Listen to all of what he said about this. 

Before ending, I asked Charles to tell us about his Lurio Report newsletter (  Note that The Lurio Report focuses on NewSpace over and above everything else.

Please post your comments/questions for this program on our Space Show blog. You can reach Dr. Lurio through me or his Lurio Report website.




The Lurio Report takes a look at 2019 and looks forward to 2020

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10 Dec 2019 Dr. Charles Lurio
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • The Space Foundation Conference