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Guest: Doug Messier; Topics: Virgin Galactic updates, human spaceflight, NASA key personnel changes, congressional funding for NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origin and much more.
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We welcomed back Doug Messier of www.parabolicarc.com to the show for a multiple topic one segment 92 minute discussion. Doug started out by talking about the Virgin Galactic sale or merger, the billion dollar valuation for Virgin Galactic plus he went over information from the investment package which he said was online. Doug summarized sales, flight and other relevant operating projections and evaluations. Don't miss this discussion. You can see the material that Doug was using here; https://www.virgingalactic.com/articles/virgin-galactic-and-social-capital-hedosophia-announce-merger-to-create-the-worlds-first-and-only-publicly-traded-commercial-human-spaceflight-company. Doug did spend considerable time talking about Virgin Galactic including possible competition from Blue and even SpaceX per the call from listener Marshall.
Next, we talked about our Moon program, Artemis. Doug had mix thoughts on it, was skeptical about it going forward due to the high degree of partisanship in the country right now, the approaching elections, and the need for congressional funding support. He talked about Democrats not really wanting Trump and his administration to have a win. Doug referenced the V.P. Pence talk at Huntsville, the 2024 timeline with the reaction by Bridenstine plus budget concerns. This too was a lengthy and comprehensive discussion which came back to us throughout the program, especially with the callers and the late call with Dr. Lurio.
Listener Sandra sent in a note asking if there was any focus on Mars. Listen to what Doug said about Martian plans for around 2033. Listener Todd wanted to know what Doug thought about the Chinese lunar plans. Doug had much to say about all of the Chinese space plans so do listen to his analysis. Post your thoughts for us on the blog. John Hunt called and was puzzled regarding Block 1 and Block 2 of the SLS. Listen to what he asked Doug about and then make sure you hear our Doug responded. If you want to add to this part of the discussion, please do so. Before going to the next caller, Doug and John talked about the emerging satellite constellations starting to take shape and still be planned.
Dr. Lurio called near the end of the program. Charles and Doug were both dissatisfied with what was unfolding with our lunar policy and NASA. They also addressed some controversy with the planned SLS Green Run Test which may not be a test. They compared some of this to the old Soviet Union N1 issues. Charles and Doug also addressed the need for a lunar lander, talked about the 3 stage lander being planned and they described some of the characteristics of it. This included a somewhat brief discussion regarding the Gateway. Both Charles and Doug had lots to say about NASA, our lunar policy in general, budgets, congress, SLS and much more. Before the show ended, Tim from Huntsville called in to inquire about light pollution issues from the big satellite constellations.
Please post your comments on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Doug through his site, www.parrabolicarc.com or me.