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Guest: Mike Snead; Topics: Air Force engineering background, Space Force, USAF Space activities and troops, high ground to defend, space troop deployment preparation, China, Russia domination threat, Space Solar Power, green energy, limited capabilities of terrestrial solar and wind plus lots more.
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We welcomed Mike Snead back to the program for a comprehensive nearly 100 minute wide ranging discussion on the need for a space force, for the Air Force to assume space operational and troop command while the Space Force continues with satellites, launch vehicles and certain policy/infrastructure. During the first portion of our program, Mike was extremely clear about the difference with an AF Space Wing with troop deployment capabilities, war fighting capabilities and in space and space infrastructure/asset defense. He divided space up into military and other categories for the Space Force. He provided examples and evidence to support his approach though listeners aghast at the thought of militarizing space will not like what Mike had to say. Mike even got that as a question during this early part of the program so be sure to hear how our guest responded to the listener. At one point Mike even said we would need an additional force like the Guard for law enforcement in space, rescue and related services similar to the Coast Guard here on Earth.
As part of the military side of space Mike talked about during the first part of the program, he said we needed to reduce the risk of energy and oil wars and that it was essential we transitioned to Space Solar Power. We then transitioned to the Space Solar Power section of today's program. Through the SSP part of the discussion, Mike made it clear that current green energy plans based on wind and terrestrial solar were not doable let alone sustainable. He spent considerable time supporting that statement with facts and numbers so listen carefully. He also said we would not be able to get off fossil fuel anytime soon and we should not want to because it is the lifeblood of the country and the rest of the world. He suggested more than once the idea that to leave behind fossil fuels anytime soon or reduce them for renewable forms of energy was foolish and destructive. His plan which you will want to hear calls for phasing out fossil fuels around 2100. In addition, SSP would not be the only source of energy but that we would continue to draw upon advanced nuclear (he did mention several problems with nuclear), hydro, oil and gas, etc. At some point in the development of SSP, he suggested it would be supplying about 80% of our energy needs. He added that SSP would be distributive, i.e. able to benefit the entire world rather than a specific location, country or region to the exclusion of others outside the benefit ring.
Mike fielded several email questions from listeners and a detailed phone call from Fremont John. John brought up several new SSP studies in the works that he heard about at the recent ISDC meeting and wanted to know if Mike was familiar with them. He was not but he said he was skeptical about more studies. Mike suggested studies were not what was needed. What was needed was government leadership to do what must be done in his opinion. He favored demos and tests to help determine the best way to do SSP but again stressed that it was essential to transition to SSP, even if today the costs were too high to be commercial. This is part of the reasoning he gave for a transition off our current energy sources up to and including 2100.
Mike talked about a book he wrote which you can get on his website which is www.mikesnead.com. Once there, check out his YouTube video and the Spacefaring Institute which you can access from his website. He also referred us to his Spacefaring blog which you can access using www.spacefaringamerica.com. Download the PDF "The High Frontier: A New National Strategy," by Lt. Gen. Daniel O. Graham, 1982. The link is on the left side of his blog.
Another topic discussed that has not been mentioned so far was his saying that SLS would be an important launch vehicle in his AF Space Development program and for SSP. Don't miss both his SLS commentary which explained why SLS would be essential, plus Mike had much to say about the SpaceX Starship.
Please post your questions/comments for Mike on this blog. You can reach him through me or his website information per above.