Broadcast 1531 (Special Edition)

20 Mar 2011 Dr. Scott Pace
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Guest: Dr. Scott Pace. Topics: Japanese space policy, U.S. space policy, changes in policy, new directions, commercial space. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. We welcomed Dr. Scott Pace to the program. Having just arrived from a space conference and set of meetings in Tokyo, Dr. Pace told us about his being there during the earthquake and tsunami. We then discussed how the Japanese space program budget and mission might change or be influenced in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. I also asked if Japan might now seriously pursue space solar power given the issues that have come to light with their nuclear power program. Dr. Pace offered us excellent insights on this issue so don't miss what he had to say. Next, we turned our attention to U.S. space policy, starting with what is probable for FY-11 once a new budget is actually passed. Keeping the NASA budget flat for the year seemed to be the most likely scenario. We then talked about the wide swings the NASA budget goes through and I inquired about space actually being a wealth builder as so many of us believe it to be. You might be surprised by this discussion so again, don't miss it. Questions came in about commercial space and our being able to sustain the human spaceflight portion of our civil space program. In discussing these matters, Dr. Pace provided us with some analysis of the Augustine Commission and the administration's space policy direction. Toward the end of the first segment, we discussed the GAP and what this means for national security and our space program once the shuttle has retired. We started the second segment with our caller asking about international cooperation for space development. Dr. Pace discussed the lack of a clear architecture, specifically the Moon, and how this impacts other national space agencies. We then talked about human spaceflight and the questions that it can and should be addressing. He outlined the why and rational behind human spaceflight. Our guest suggested our questions regarding human spaceflight follow the model of the Decadal Survey. Space tourism was discussed as a possible commercial driver, safety issues came up as did the need for heavy lift and winged vehicles to the ISS but not for anything beyond the ISS. As you will hear, much of this architecture depends on the actual space missions, what they do and where they go. Toward the end of the segment, a listener asked what our guest meant by the term proven vehicle using the success of the Falcon 9 as an example. As we started the third segment, we talked about NASA policy as a jobs program, especially with Constellation, other program cancellations, and the fact that there were and are no magical solutions to space transportation issues. We also talked about NewSpace and the transition from shuttle to something else. Space workforce and jobs came up again as did issues surrounding what is happening with our space infrastructure. Toward the end of the discussion, Dr. Pace was asked about NASA having considered orbital propellant depots when he was with NASA and what he thought about their usage. Don't miss his comments on this subject. We then moved to space flight testing programs as compared to the new Boeing 747-8 jet. If you have questions or comments for Dr. Scott Pace, post them on the blog URL above. You can also send them to space1@gwu.edu.

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