Broadcast 3115 Dennis Wingo

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Guest:  Dennis Wingo;  Topics:  Return to the Moon policy, challenges, opportunities, lunar lander, 21st century thinking, historical overview of return to the Moon plans plus much 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,   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

We welcomed Dennis Wingo back to the show for a two segment 1 hour 45 minute discussion addressing policy, issues, technology, budget issues and methodologies for returning humans to the Moon.  The basis of our discussion was the April 10, 2018 Dennis Wing blog article, "The Elephant and the Moon."  You can read the article here:  Dennis started our conversation with an historical overview of our past efforts to return to the Moon going back decades and through several presidential terms.  He talked about multiple lost opportunities over the years, then stressed how we had a new and strong opportunity to do it right this time, meaning actually get back to the Moon to stay.  Dennis spoke about the National Space Council, the space support from the Vice President, the Commerce Secretary, the involvement of very space experienced people such as Scott Pace, and the recent space vision put forth by New Gingrich suggesting we would be back on the Moon around 2022.  One of the themes of the program which Dennis repeated many times during our discussion was that this was the 21st Century and we were doing things differently than before.  At various time during our discussion he described what he meant by the comment, especially when later in the second segment NASA budget issues came up as a reason for delays in getting back to the Moon, building a lunar lander and more. 

Dennis had much to say about NASA now that Administrator Bridenstine was in place and NASA was back to having leadership.  He said that he thought Bridenstine would be good for returning to the Moon though he was clear that he had no inside information to confirm his hopes. 

We took an early break but when we returned to the second segment, Dennis talked more about having the opportunity to do it right this time with the actions being taken so far by the Trump Administration.  Dennis talked about the policy directive SPD-1 and the role of the NSC.  He answered questions about LOP-G which he did not support and when it was brought up by listeners that LOP-G was a budget compromise given the fact that NASA does not have the money to return humans to the Moon, he said that was only if NASA continued doing things the old way.  He talked about this being the 21st Century and that we had new ways of doing things and the private sector and that if NASA adopted 21st Century thinking and actions, we could do the Moon within the budget.  Don't miss all of what Dennis said on this subject during our second segment. 

Dennis mentioned that other space agencies were interested in the surface of the Moon, not the orbital platform. He mentioned ESA and the Moon Village, he talked about the Japanese and spent much time talking about China.  Regarding China, he explained how the Moon had a large role in Chinese culture and why it was important to them.  Don't miss the China lunar comments Dennis offered us.  In continuing to address 21st Century thinking and actions, Dennis talked about lighter weight lunar landers, using the Falcon Heavy, taking two people to the surface of the Moon rather than four people and more.  Don't miss what Dennis described as ways to return to the Moon within the budget.  He also referenced the Newt Gingrich space vision plan and said several times during our discussion that we could be back on the Moon with people by 2022. 

John Hunt called to talk lunar lander.  John and Dennis opened the door for more discussion on how to do the Moon within the budget.  Dennis told several stories of how changed thinking made a difference during WW2 and at other times, suggesting NASA needed to change its thinking about going to the Moon.  I brought up the Dr. Zubrin Letter of Advice to the new NASA Administrator Bridenstine and his suggestion for commercial company competition to build NASA's lunar lander.  Dennis said such an idea would require a massive cultural shift for NASA.  Don't miss what he said about this. You can read the Zubrin letter here:

Toward the end of the program I asked Dennis if we were on a critical timeline to set in play the program to return to the Moon or were we at risk for having another opportunity to return to the Moon lost to us.  Dennis said he thought we were on a critical timeline. Don't miss all of what Dennis said in response to this question.   Before we ended the discussion, Dennis responded to another listener asking about a LEO settlement and LEO-Cislunar infrastructure development.  Carol in Denver then sent in a late question asking if he simply did not believe the NASA explanation for the need of LOP-G.  Don't miss what Dennis said to Carol.  Harriet got in the last question by asking Dennis if he wanted to go to Mars or just the Moon.  Again, Don't miss what Dennis had to say in response to this email question.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  Read the Dennis Wingo blog at  You can reach Dennis through me or his blog website.







Lunar return, the Moon and our policy

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15 May 2018 Dennis Wingo
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