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Guest: Tony Frego, VP of Mission Management of Spaceflight, Inc.; Topics: Tony defined mission management, we talked about Spaceflight services, agnostic launcher preference, Orbital Transit Vehicles (OTV), Sherpa program, launch trends and opportunities, global activities.
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We welcomed Tony Frego of Spaceflight, Inc. to the show to discuss Spaceflight, Inc, mission management and their Sherpa OTV program plus the emerging OTV industry. Our first line of questioning dealt with understanding the position of mission manager for a flight service company such as Spaceflight. Tony spent time introducing us to this position and what his job entailed at Spaceflight. Since Spaceflight matches customers with launches on a global level, his role as mission manager is global with all the variations you can think of from one country to another.
Our first question was from Todd who wanted to know Tony's thoughts for the 2023 launch industry given the banner year for 2022 and strong trend showing more of the same for this year. Don't miss his response was for the most part that the trend would continue despite tight money. Sherry from Seattle inquired about liability in case of the total loss of the mission. Next, we switched to the topic of Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTV) and their Sherpa program. This consumed the balance of our discussion.
Tony introduced us to the OTV and to Sherpa. He said they had three models and he explained the purpose of each version of their OTV. Right off the bat he got a question from George in Atlanta wanting to know if their OTV or any OTV was like a Star Trek shuttle craft other than it was not human rated as Spaceflight is not yet into human space activity. Don't miss what he said about Sherpa and Star Trek shuttle vehicle. He did say that the OTV would prove to be highly useful and beneficial for developing the Leo and Moon highway for the transfer of goods and services. Since he mentioned the cislunar highway between Earth and Mon, other questions came in relating to that development which he said was their focus.
Penny from inside the Beltway sent in a note about the OTV being a type of space weapon or defending it against another nation's weapon. Tony did address the weapon issue so listen up and don't miss what he had to say in response to Penny. Later, he was asked if Spaceflight might do a public offering. He told us that they had been acquired a few years about by Mitsui. He then explained and talked about the Japanese interest in the OTV. He received a question about space traffic management for their super space highway plans, Judy wanted to know about Artemis missions and on to Mars in terms of services potentially supplied by Spaceflight.
Fremont John contacted us with many questions including would there ever be an electric OTV. In addition, John inquired about lunar ISRU plans. As we were closing in on the end of the program, Tony was asked about regulatory bodies, the Chinese and the OTV, then Larry commented on private sector present day lunar capabilities. Before we ended, a few other topics were discussed plus Tony expressed his excitement for their 2023 mission plans.
Please post your comments/questions for Tony Frego on our blog for this program. You can reach Tony through me or the Spaceflight website.