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Guest: Jim Muncy; Topics: Space policy, returning to the Moon, launchers, lunar lander 2018 state of the industry, FH, regulatory issues, and more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Jim Muncy back to the show for this one segment 2 hour 6 minute discussion that focused on a wide range of commercial space topics, regulatory issues, launch issues and rates and more. We started the discussion with a short review of commercial space in 2017 and then the transition to where we are with the industry at this time. Jim reviewed the actions of past presidents that have led to today's success of the commercial space industry. He also pointed out that what was needed was a good regulatory regime that permitted commercial space to grow. Please don't miss this introductory discussion to today's program as we build upon it during the program.
An early email question was from Bob was asking Jim about the Falcon Heavy impact on the industry, government, and competitors here and abroad. In short, Jim said that the FH had a profound effect on the country. Make sure you listen to his full reply to Bob. The next set of emails came from Dr. Doug. First, he wanted to know if Washington was talking about using the Falcon Heavy as the primary launcher to the Moon or was SLS still the moon rocket of choice with a third party lander? He also asked about DSG being the plan over going to the surface of the moon. Doug's follow up questions were about the lunar lander and the DSG, who would build the lunar lander, & would it be reusable and more. Jim had much to say about the lunar lander so don't miss Jim's reply. During their discussion, the ULA-Masten Xeus lander was referenced several times.
John from Ft. Worth called to talk about the service module for Orion to be made by ESA. Jim and John had a detailed and lengthy discussion. Jim talked about the pending timeline for the service module plus he updated us on its status. The two then discussed moving forward to the Moon, either to orbit and return or to actually put a hab down and stay. They went back in time and repeated some of the history, even pointing out that the Orion project is 12+ years old.
Listener Beth sent in a note suggesting economic issues in the country and wondered how this might impact private space development along with public space plans and projects. While Jim thought it was a good question, he was generally bullish on the economy and did not see significant issues or challenges at this time. He thought the time was right for public private partnerships and that space was now attractive for investment.
Marshall called to talk about lunar tourism with SpaceX. Jim pointed out that SpaceX cancelled the orbiting the Moon mission. Marshall then talked paradigm shifts and what Jim called "Demand Creation." This was a very interesting and important part of our discussion so be sure to listen to it. After Marshall's call, Linda emailed in wanting to know if the FH would be used by NASA for benefitting planetary science missions. Jim said yes, it would take time but that it might allow more science to get done for a better price. He provided several examples including the Europa Clipper mission.
A variety of other email questions came in on multiple topics, then I asked Jim to look ahead through 2018 for the commercial space industry. He mentioned that SpaceX was planning 30 launches along this year. Also, he pointed out the plans to fly by other launchers. At this point, we took another call, this time Dr. Doug called in to again bring up the lunar lander issue, wondering why it was not happening. Doug and Jim had a great conversation about the lack of the lunar lander and the need for it. Don't miss it.
As we were near the end of our discussion, Karen sent in a note responding to very current news articles indicating the Trump Administration was planning to sell of the ISS to commercial operators by 2024. Jim had much to say, said he was involved in several of the organizational committee meetings on this and that the overall goal was to continue having an American nonstop presence of living in space. The administration was a no gap transition from government space station to commercial space station. This is a policy in motion so to speak, far from decided or final. We will be hearing more about selling off the ISS to commercial operators or something else that would keep Americans living in space without a gap so stay tuned. For sure we will be doing more programming on the subject.
Jim had excellent closing comments for us so don't miss them. Please post your comments/questions on the blog for this show and I will make sure Jim sees them. You can contact Mr. Muncy through me.