Broadcast 1383 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

21 Jun 2010 Dr. Sam Dinkin
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Guest: Dr. Sam Dinkin. Topics: Private development of space. Dr. Sam Dinkin returned for this nearly two hour Space Show program to discuss his June 21, 2010 The Space Review (TSR) article, "Individuals Pick Up The Space Development Torch ( In our first segment, Sam put forth his thesis that Space X and the success of the Falcon 9 excited people and that in time many people will be able to afford to have a rocket company. Also that government does not do as good a job as the private companies and he referenced recent launch failures in India, South Korea, and the problems the U. S. is having, probably around Constellation. A listener asked Dr. Dinkin why he classified Space X as private when the bulk of its funding comes from government and its customer is government. Sam also referenced suborbital work and their RFPs though Sam was reminded that suborbital was not orbital. Dr. Dinkin mentioned a possible Space X IPO but listeners suggested the economic timing and the need to more fully validate the success of the company was needed. As we started our second segment of the program, Larry asked Sam if he would have written the Space Review article had the Falcon 9 launch been unsuccessful. Sam said no and that we would still be waiting for Space X or another company to step up and do what he talks about in his article. We talked about the GAP and Sam suggested he would like to see the Russians restart their old space program from the Apollo days about going to the Moon. Don't miss this discussion. In this segment, we talked about space goals as a function of a destination and time line with regards to the administration policy proposal. Sam suggested that space itself was a sufficient destination. Since many of the comments in his TSR article were critical of what Dr. Dinkin had to say, I asked Sam about the criticism and how it impacted him. Again, don't miss what he had to say about this. A listener asked Sam to compare his focus on private space to the focus of Dr. Foust in his TSR article of the same date saying the space development future would likely involve public/private partnerships. Sam had much to say about this which you will want to hear. Another listener asked Sam why he thought the Falcon 9 launch did not close the deal for a definite transition to commercial space. Sam had much to say on this subject but for the most part talked about the need to change the paradigm and that Congress is still stuck with the status quo outlook toward things. Artificial gravity on the ISS came up, our guest mentioned a Japanese centrifuge and the possibility that Bigelow might partner with a launcher to do things along the lines of the discussion on one of his own space stations. Heavy lift was discussed and Sam said he supported the Augustine Commission position. He also said heavy lift was optional and we could use lots of lighter lift and on orbit construction. Mars came up and he was asked to comment on time tables from the one expressed by Dr. Zubrin to the less specific approach in the administration program. He suggested lunar development should be a one way settlement program. In the final segment, Sam was asked about his awarding a suborbital spaceflight to one of the players of the former game Space Shot. Regarding space policy, he was asked for his ideas on a possible policy compromise. ITAR reform came up in the context of expanding business opportunities. There was an elaborate discussion of robotic space versus human spaceflight and I offered comments from several futurists as to how they see AI taking us to space, not humans. We then switched to discussing the US economic deficit and Sam shared his economic thoughts with us on the deficit, interest, inflation, and more. See if you agree. If you have a question or comment for Dr. Sam Dinkin, you can email him at or you can call him at 1-888-4-DINKIN.



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