Broadcast 1175 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Open Lines. Topics: North Korea, Iran & SCUD Missiles, private space contractors, Flagships, return to the Moon, Kool Aid. Tonight was an Open Lines discussion covering several topics with listeners both through email and phone calls. I outlined some topics for possible discussion including what constitutes Kool Aid in the space world (based on an experience I had via email with a friend earlier in the day), the Augustine Panel presentations coming up, Direct 3.0, a possible new focus for NASA which included developing low cost space access for civil use, and more. Our first caller, Charles from Mojave addressed both the possible change in focus for NASA and the Kool Aid issue. I also got him to comment on the future for Ares 1, Ares V and Direct 3.0. I'm sure this discussion will be interesting for all of you. After the first break, Andrew from Tucson called as he had done an analysis of the missile and rocket systems for both North Korea and Iran since this had been a subject of several recent Space Show programs. Andrew provided us with a comprehensive overview of the missile systems of these countries. It appears that their respective baselines were that of the Soviet SCUD missile but then expanded and modified. Andrew told us that N. Korea originally sold this technology to many countries but that Iran seems to have a higher and better manufacturing process so has developed the technology much more than N. Korea. Andrew provided us with some interesting information about this subject so I urge you listen to this segment. One website that Andrew found very useful in his research was which he said was the best open source of technical information and insight into Iranian and DPRK systems he was able to find. Andrew sent me an email with several other links in it on this subject so if any of you would like me to forward that email and set of links, please send me a note and I will do so. We had another caller from Tucson, Jeff, who talked about the progress made by the private sector in that private investment was now starting to go from the government to private space companies. He referenced two examples, the NASA contract with Zero G Corporation for zero gravity flights and the COTS program. This proved to be a very interesting discussion with Jeff that covered traditional members of congress such as Alabama Senator Shelby, NewSpace and political as well as commercial victories, paradigm shifts, and more. Jeff was correct, we have a put a big foot in the door to start the process and hopefully widen it to facilitate more direct private space business rather than the contracting as usual. Listener Marshall from Dallas sent in a note about his idea of Flagships, wondering what would be the next U.S. Flagship since we are about to retire the Space Shuttle which he said was the current Flagship and that the U.S. needed a new flagship. This prompted several e-mail comments including a suggestion that the astronauts on the Moon showing the U.S. flag could be a flagship. I disputed this idea as I did not think that picture represented what Marshall described as a flagship. Listen to what Marshall wrote me and see what you think. If you have any comments or questions about this Open Lines show, I want to hear from you. If you have a question for any of our callers, Charles, Andrew, or Jeff, please send your comments to me and I will forward them to the person of your request. I can be reached at



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16 Jun 2009 Dr. David Livingston
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