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Guests: Jay Wittner, Ron Jones; Topics: The newly revised Integrated Space Plan and website.
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We welcomed both Jay Wittner and Ron Jones back to the show for this two segment 95 minute update discussion on the newly revised Integrated Space Plan and website. For more information and to follow along with us, visit The Space Plan website at www.thespaceplan.com. We started our discussion by having Ron introduce us to The Space Plan as he started it about the time of the Challenger accident. We spent a significant part of the first segment of the program going over the history and updating it to the current version which you will find on their website. Not only did Ron tell us why he created it, but how it got accepted into the space community and then how and why Jay and his group launched a crowd funding program in the 2013-14 period to modernize, simplify and take the plan mainstream. It is a most interesting story so don't miss it.
Jay joined the discussion and we talked about the new plan, the changes made and the state of flux in the industry given the leadership and amazing evens created by Elon Musk and SpaceX. Both our guests talked about the Musk impact, the same for the Falcon rocket, reusability, and even the thought of the BFR and the Musk Mars vision. Ron and Jay said that they had added these factors into the many multiple paths noted in The Space Plan so again, don't miss what our guests had to say about the impact to human space development as influence by Musk and a handful of events and a few others. Among the topics discussed in this segment included developing cislunar space, the need for possible use of gateways, the Buzz Aldrin idea of a lunar cycler, and more. Both guests did say that it was very difficult and challenging to predict the future but because they reference multiple paths with The Space Plan, a variety of potentials are shown as plausible.
Listeners had several email questions. Cathy from Billings wanted to know about humans to Mars efforts in the past and how that might have been reflected on the plan. Jay summarized humans to Mars efforts going back to Bush #1, budgets that did not make sense back then (or today), studies that were undertaken and the plan to go to Mars through the Moon for around a trillion dollars. Don't miss what Jay said about these past plans and why things were different today. As for why things were different today, our guests mentioned COTS, reusability, and already existing lower launch costs that may drop to even lower levels.
I asked our guests for trigger points that needed to happen to push forward human space development. Our guests cited reusability, Musk, Bezos and a few other things that could be crucial trigger points needed for a breakout - so to speak. Several other listener emails came in but one from the UK stood out. Rodney wanted to know about Musk vulnerability and what would happen to The Space Plan and our progress if something happened to Mr. Musk. Don't miss what our guests said about this possibility. Let us know what you think by posting your thoughts on our blog. Before the segment ended. We talked more about various cislunar plans, timelines, and the need for reusable infrastructure. Before the segment ended, our guests talked about how planetary science missions and robotics (New Horizons for example) had been integrated into The Space Plan.
In the second segment, our guests talked about their new website and then they took us through it. It would be best for this segment if you did go to the website, www.thespaceplan.com. Follow along with Jay as he provided a great tour of the new site which was very compelling and user friendly. After going through the new website, our guests were asked about their outreach with the plan, including congressional outreach. Don't miss what Jay and Ron had to say about outreach and policy making, including sending the plan to congressional staffers and even key member of congress or other policy wonks.
Our next topic touched upon the upcoming 50th anniversary of Apollo and the plan to issue an Apollo era Space Plan. Let us know what you think about this historical space plan so again, post your comments on our blog. In addition, Ron talked about the push to have July 20th turned into a national holiday in time for the 50th anniversary. We spent time talking about this. Ron said he was working with Dana Rohrabacher from Orange County, CA to get the bill submitted to congress and signed into law. He said one could read the proposed legislation at https://spaceexplorationday.wordpress.com. I suggested that Ron and his team start a Whitehouse.gov petition campaign. If I hear of one getting started to make July 20th a national holiday, I will let Space Show listeners know on future programs.
Before the program ended, Jay said they were looking for volunteers in three areas: public relations, social media and computer work with expertise in Python, Angular or D3. If you have these skills and want to volunteer, please get in touch with Jay as he provided his contact information on air. There was also more discussion about the student version of the plan and the adult version plus more about the possibility of an historical Space Plan for the Apollo era. We then received a call from Dr. Doug in Southern California. Doug wanted to know if The Space Plan allowed for leapfrogging over various steps on the way to the ultimate goal. Our guests talked about the plan allowing for multiple paths to a goal or objective. This was an interesting discussion so I urge you to listen to it. Both our guests offered us closing comments you will want to hear.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach both guests through me r their respective websites and organizations mentioned on air.