Broadcast 1756 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

20 Apr 2012 Ed Buckbee
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Guest: Ed Buckbee. Topics: Wernher Von Braun, NASA, Space Policy, SLS, commercial crew, HSF. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Ed Buckbee back to the show to discuss NASA, Wernher Von Braun's influence on our space program, and the future of human spaceflight. To learn more about Mr. Buckbee's activities, visit his website, Ed started us off with a brief history of human spaceflight going back to the flight of Alan Shephard. He had much to say about the early period of NASA's history being fertile grounds for young people, inspiration, and motivation. I asked him about his recent award received in Munich, Germany, the Wernher Von Braun Gold Medal for Promotion and Support of Human Spaceflight. Ed had much to say about receiving this award and its significance. As a key player in the U.S. Space Camp program, I asked him many questions about space camp and as you will hear, we strongly recommend it if you have or know kids of the appropriate age for attending it in Huntsville. Listeners asked many questions about the influence of Von Braun on our space program as well as his part in the SS in Nazi Germany. Ed talked about this throughout our program. Another issue that was heavily discussed was the Chinese space program. Listeners had many questions for him about the Chinese program, how it was viewed by NASA, Congress, DOD, as well as their costs for space access & program development. Another listener asked him about space tourism, both orbital and suborbital tourism. Ed thought it would prove interesting but did not think we should depend on it as a killer app for economic or industrial development. Terry called and asked Ed the interesting question of how the younger Germans viewed Von Braun given his being part of the SS and then coming here to lead the development of our space program. Ed said the older Germans definitely see him as being part of the Third Reich. The younger Germans see him as part of technology and in past history. Don't miss the full discussion with Mr. Buckbee regarding this question. Toward the end of our first segment, we talked about Von Braun and going to the Moon with Ed suggesting today he would be promoting it as an international mission with 5-7 countries taking part in it. In the second segment, we received a listener email asking what President Eisenhower said if anything in private about Von Braun. Ed seemed to think Ike was OK with Von Braun given his appointments and positions once NASA was created. About this time during the show, I received the Cosmic Log email notice which was about the retirement of the shuttle so I asked Ed about shuttle's retirement. You will want to hear what he had to say about it. The issue of the NASA budget came up and I brought up the subcommittee hearings from earlier in the week with recommendations to reduce commercial crew funding in favor of the Mars exploration program, SLS, and JWST. We talked about the importance of commercial crew and the need to keep it on track to restore U.S. HSF capability. Both of us plus several listeners expressed the opinion that it would be the private sector taking us back to the Moon and for commercial reasons. Near the end of the program, a listener asked about the Von Braun family and their interest in today's NASA and space program. I think you will find what Ed had to say to be most interesting regarding Von Braun's children and his wife and how they view space. If you have any questions or comments for Mr. Buckbee, please post them on The Space Show blog.



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