Broadcast 1670 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest: Wes Oleszewski. Topics: Commercial versus government launch vehicles, space policy, civility. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at We welcomed back Wes Oleszewski to the show to discuss space policy, commercial as compared to government launch vehicles and much more. Follow his space cartoon Klyde Morris at You can also read the Aero-News article we discussed, "U.S. Spaceflight: Commercial Versus Federal at Our first segment was about 70 minutes out of this 2.5 hour show. We talked about the lack of civility in the space advocacy/enthusiast community as well as the Kool-Aid and lack of realism in some parts of the advocacy/enthusiast organizations. This applied to space fans as well. This discussion soon gave way to the SLS topic. Our guest was supportive of it but got several listener questions stating why so many objected to it. We talked about its lack of a mission but Wes did define its mission as a preliminary mission in that it was being built for beyond low Earth orbit (BLEO) with the rest to be decided later. I asked our guests about the likelihood of it being built given the track record of NASA and Congress plus OMB in canceling these projects. Wes then talked about the roles of Congress and OMB and our space budget. This brought us to our national spending and budget crisis and the space program in general Other listeners phoned in and emailed us citing the NewSpace perspective on SLS. Don't miss what Wes had to say about this. Next, Space X came up as did the process of taking government money and how that might separate a new "commercial" company from other aerospace contractors. Marshall called us about risk and demo flights, and then we got into a detailed discussion of thrust oscillation (TO) for the Ares 1. We talked about some advocates making ATK into a villain and Space X and other new companies into saints. I had much to say about ATK as being evil and Dr. Jurist called in to again tell what happened when he did real due diligence with ATK on the TO issue. All three of us were very clear and definite in saying the attacks on ATK and other proven companies were unwarranted. In our second long segment, Wes said we should not have retired the shuttle. We talked about Mars missions and the origins of the MRI medical device. Atlanta John called in to be supportive of SLS and its mission. Jim sent in an email explaining why many are supportive of heavy lift but not supportive of SLS. We talked about the lack of public awareness regarding space matters. I then got off on one of my rants about the value of space which took us to STEM education. We again returned to his theme that we in the advocacy/enthusiast community should be far more united. When asked about individual organization goals such as the Moon, Mars, the frontier, etc, Wes clearly recommended we subordinate these interests to the overall good of speaking with a untied voice. For his concluding Pearls of Wisdom, he cautioned us against being space groupies so to speak or running with the cyber pack. We should avoid group think. He said space was a team effort requiring all of us to be involved in supporting the team. If you have questions/comments for Wes, please post them on the blog URL above.



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11 Dec 2011 Wes Oleszewski
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