Broadcast 1324 (Special Edition)

13 Mar 2010 Dr. Bruno Stanek
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Guest: Dr. Bruno Stanek. Topics: How the Swiss and Europeans view new US space policy proposals. Dr. Bruno Stanek returned as our guest to share his perspectives and what is reported in the Swiss and some of the European media regarding America's proposed space policy and Program of Record in this nearly two hour program. In our first segment, Dr. Stanek talked about the Swiss media and reports that America was killing the human spaceflight program. He said too many people see us as doing nothing. This change in perspective has shocked many people. He also mentioned that having the goal of going to Mars with chemical propulsion was not something that would likely happen and that we need nuclear propulsion. He commented that VASIMR seems very promising. He then explained that if cost was the problem as the Administration and Augustine reported, why plan for a mission that is ten times the cost of going to the Moon which he suggested we needed to do to learn to live in space and perfect needed technologies. He then talked about the space policy proposals and said it was a bad decision to always have policy that stops and goes all the time. A listener asked Dr. Stanek about commercialization/privatization. Our guest said if it was easy, why has it not been done before? He suggested that the private industry was both inexperienced and facing serious technical issues and that basic research was needed but do it in parallel to doing NASA spaceflight. It does not have to be one way or the other. He advocated pursuing both tracks at the same time. Later in this segment we discussed the SRB versus the Liquid Rocket Engine issue, escape hardware, and the POGO Effect for all rockets. Dr. Stanek is supportive of the SRB so you will want to note his comments. In the second segment, we talked about the space awareness level of the general population in Switzerland. While comparing the Swiss population to the US population is not an apples and apples comparison, it appears that those in Switzerland have more awareness than the average American. Their education focuses more on space and related topics than our systems seem to do. Later in the segment, John called in from Atlanta to talk about the need for a true space transportation system to LEO. Make sure you hear this discussion. Our topics then switched to what it takes to inspire and motivate people. Bruno said that when you have a goal, its much easier and better to inspire and motivate. We then talked about the Augustine Commission and he said it was formed around the cost issue so it framed the problems and the solutions as a function of cost. He provided some alternative perspectives to how we view space development outside of the cost arena and mentioned the leadership of the great Kraft Ehricke . In our third and final segment, Bruno talked about making budget changes within NASA and Constellation. We talked about the need for real science and the problem throughout societies that are scientifically illiterate. This led to a question about the bogus and even corrupt science we are now hearing about regarding global warming. I asked about space tourism and space advocacy in Switzerland. Ted asked him what our space program would look like should the administration's program be put into law. Bruno suggested changes showing up in about ten year. He also cited Swiss and European experience in many things the US is now considering, not just for space, but for healthcare, drug experience, and more. He commented that these were disasters and he urged America not to follow in these directions and to pay attention to the models that show what happens with certain policies. Toward the end of the program, Charles from Mojave called in to talk about the Microlauncher analog with the personal computer. Don't miss what Dr. Stanek had to say about this concept. If you want to send Dr. Bruno Stanek a question or a comment, please do so at bruno@stanek.ch.

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