Broadcast 1378 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Rick Tumlinson. Topics: U.S. Space Policy, Obama space policy, Constellation, NASA, space development. Rick Tumlinson was the guest for this two hour program divided into three segments. However, given that our topic of discussion for almost the entire show was the proposed new direction for NASA and the Administration's space policy, there was no need to break this description into segments. Rick began the discussion with some ground work regarding opening space to the human settlement and the frontier beyond Earth. He provided us with a short history of how we got to where we are today with space policy, going back to the earlier days with NASA and the VSE. Rick then introduced us to President Obama's new plan for space which he said does many good things, including separating out the roles of public and private space. We talked about those unhappy with the new direction, the status quo, and those supporting the new direction. We discussed having time lines and firm plans for destinations as opposed to what the Administration is proposing. Listeners asked him a wide range of questions including why Libertarians who are so very critical of this administration are so willing to accept and believe every word the President says about space. Rick then talked about government programs and what he said were their dismal track records. He cited the Space Shuttle and ISS in driving home his points. Our guest contrasted this with commercial space and the new companies building space infrastructure, rockets, and more. At the mid point of the program, Rick was asked about the article appearing on Space Policy Online ( in which the House Science and Technology Committee sent a letter to NASA demanding new budget numbers saying that the Administration program was no more affordable than the POR pointed out in the Augustine Commission Report. You can read the article at the above website, its titled "Text of Letter to NASA From HS&T Asking For Budget Details by June 16." For those of you interested, you can read the House S&T letter at As the discussion progressed, we learned who supported private enterprise and who the socialists were/are regarding space development. At one point Rick said that Constellation was a path toward failure and a listener asked him to explain that comment which Rick did. See what you think of the explanation. As we neared the end of the program, Rick mentioned that the Orion Escape Capsule was actually a poison pill. Listen to his comments to know what he meant by his statement. In the last minutes of the program, Rick brought to our attention some of his business ventures and updated us on their development/progress. This included his new Earth Light Institutes, Orbital Outfitters, Space Diver, and his new media company, InSpace Media Productions which is working on a space reality television show. We also talked about the coming New Space Conference near NASA Ames from July 23-25, 2010. You can get more information about the conference at If you have questions or comments for Rick Tumlinson, please send them to



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13 Jun 2010 Mr. Rick Tumlinson
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