Broadcast 3324 David Chudwin

  • 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:  David Chudwin:  Topics:  "I Was A Teenage Space Reporter," college reporting of Apollo, the Moon through the eyes of a teenager, Woodstock, peer interest in space, the new space program, returning to the Moon and going to Mars plus more.

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We welcomed Dr. David Chudwin to the show to discuss his new book, "I Was A Teenage Space Reporter: From Apollo 11 To Our Future In Space."  During our one segment one hour 27 minute discussion, our guest not only enabled us to see the early space program plus Apollo 11 and the other Moon launches through the eyes of a teenager, a college student reporting on going to the Moon for his college newspaper and from peers that were not always that supportive of going to the Moon program  Seeing the world through the eyes of a teenage college journalist, a space enthusiast, and to some degree a guy with differing world views than many of his peers at college at the time was actually a very fresh way of looking at Apollo.  For this reason, I strongly recommend David's book to you.

We started our discussion with David providing us with his background and early interest in space and how he ended up covering Apollo 11 with a full NASA press pass.  His story is quite interesting.  Listen to how the seasoned reporters treated him (ignored), what his school peers thought about going to the Moon (Vietnam and the military) plus lots more. Also, he described the technology he had to use to get his stories back to the University of Michigan student paper office as he did not have the "new" technology being used by the media giants of the time.  We spent nearly half our program discussing his teenage perspectives, his reporting and matters relating to the unique perspective he shared with us regarding Apollo 11 though his book.  I'm quite sure you will find our discussion, listener phone calls and listener emails most interesting as we don’t often if ever get a chance for a teenage or freshman college student view of the Apollo era, the Cold War, Vietnam and the happenings of the time.

During the latter part of our program, we talked about our future in space. Dr. Chudwin, an MD allergist, had strong opinions about the Moon, Mars, timelines for space settlement, human factor problems needing solutions, the lunar Gateway, the Moon as an essential stepping stone to Mars and much more.  He also addressed the new commercial launch companies, Blue Origin, SpaceX and Virgin, having much to say about Jeff Bezos and Mr. Musk.  He was asked for his views on O'Neill orbiting space colonies but here he said he did not follow it that much and instead focused on going back to the Moon and developing the much needed skills and tools to have real space settlement in the future, travel to Mars and to resolve many of the existing human factors and medical issues that constitute today's challenges

Part of this latter discussion focused on earlier projects that did not result in our returning to the Moon or a permanent presence in space.  He cited Constellation as an example, also Skylab.  Interestingly, John Hunt called and they talked about the end of Apollo and maybe not wanting to go further for fear of a big and maybe fatal accident.  Listen to what they both said and let us know what you think by posting on our blog.  Another factor brought up by our guest was the need for long term leadership for space, something we don't have at this time.  Budgets and congress factored into this discussion along with what he saw we needed for new technology. 

Given our guest is an MD, he got listener emails asking about medical conditions in space, even about allergies in space.  Marshall called and had a good discussion with our guest about the immune system in space.  Before we ended the program, David provided us with his Lessons Learned from his experiences, then we talked about Apollo 13 and his earlier peer Vietnam War comments.   You can find out more about our guest and his book at

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach our guest through me or his website.




Author of "I Was A Teenage Space Reporter"

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11 Jun 2019 David Chudwin
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