Broadcast 1310 (Special Edition)

18 Feb 2010 Dr. James A. Vedda
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Guest: Dr. Jim Vedda. Topics: U.S. space policy, capabilities driven rather than destination driven, "Choice, Not Fate." Dr. Jim Vedda returned to the program to discuss his new book, "Choice, Not Fate: Shaping a Sustainable Future in the Space Age." The book is available through the One Giant Leap Foundation (OGLF) Amazon partners program and if purchased through OGLF, Amazon contributes to OGLF/The Space Show. You can order this book using this specific URL: In our first segment, we talked about the timing of his new book and the Feb. 1 announcement of the Administration's proposed 2011 space budget and policy. Jim extended the discussion saying that his book looks at what is best for the nation, not what is best for any particular interest holder. He also talked about Apollo and said that the Apollo programs and era were not golden. Don't miss this discussion. He then went on to say that he makes the point very strongly in opposing a destination driven space policy rather than a capabilities driven policy. He also said we need to be thinking planning at least out to mid-century, maybe even longer. He talked about the need to develop important skills, to fully use the ISS, and the need to size hardware such as Orion for specific missions and projects. As we started our second segment, we talked about the need for a cultural shift in our space program and planning, and that it must come from the top down in the Administration but that it was not there. He was asked about sunk costs on Constellation, don't miss his response to this important question. Dr. Vedda again repeated the need to match our rockets and hardware to the project, develop what we need to accomplish the goals, but we do not do that. Our discussion evolved into one focusing on the need for long term planning. We discussed this in the context of American businesses not doing much long term planning for business and fiduciary reasons, and that this was not unique to the space industry. Dr. Vedda said the annual budget process and cycle needed revisions and were part of the problem. In our third segment, we continued the discussion about the need for long term planning and that the space community was too insular. In this segment, he discussed Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in the context of space policy, and also talked about the potential for SSP. He described the long term planning process for SSP going backwards from mid-century deployment of SSP to what would be needed starting now to make it happen on that time line. Later in this segment economics were discussed and Dr. Vedda pointed out how they can change over time. We also got into a discussion about vision versus fantasy. I asked him how one could tell them apart and he listed several test criteria. Pay attention to what he said, his rules are excellent. We also talked about suborbital tourism and would it prove to be a path to orbital tourism and spaceflight. In segment four, Dr. Vedda addressed four primary goals with his book, including the focus on long term planning, exploration and development, capabilities not destinations, and global solutions to bring in the most talented and best people to the space and related industries. We talked about lunar programs of other national space agencies, and the U.S. economy. Here he said that our space program needed diversity and multiple interest holders to enable it have the most value to the most members of society so that even in touch times space is seen as economically valuable. If you have questions or comments for Dr. Jim Vedda, please address them to me at and I will forward them to him.



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