Broadcast 3676 Jim Muncy

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Jim Muncy; Topics: Space policy and the Biden Administration, returning to the Moon, NASA budget, human lunar lander program and selection, Sen. Nelson as the next NASA Administrator, China and space policy plus additional topics.

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We welcomed Jim Muncy back to the program for a one hour discussion on multiple topics.  First up was a short discussion about the nomination of retired Sen. Bill Nelson as the new NASA Administrator. Jim had quite a bit to say about the Nelson choice.  This part of our discussion touched upon other topics such as our return to the Moon as a NASA and administration priority, the selection of SpaceX in the human lander program, a choice our guest said was influence by NASA budget decisions.  Listeners asked our guest questions and later in phone calls the strategies regarding why the SpaceX selections were made were talked about.  Jim focused in on the costs and budget issues.  He said if there was more money, they could have selected a backup plan but SpaceX was the lowest price competitor and that nailed it for them.  Listeners wanted to know if Congress might end up allocating more lander money, maybe enough to partially support a backup or alternate lander choice.  Don't miss how Jim responded to these questions.  

Besides a focus on NASA and Congressional budget concerns, China was a significant part of the discussion given the importance of China in space and in our relationship with China.  In talking about China, Jim put forth several options for how to address China and space.  What do you think of those options?  Please post your comments about them on our blog.  Several listeners wanted to know to what degree the Biden Administration supported Artemis and the return to the Moon.  Jim reminded us that at a recent press conference, the press secretary said the administration supported Artemis and returning to the Moon. That said, there were still unknown details, plans and other things leaving some to be concerned about the prioritization of Artemis and returning to the Moon by the new administration. 

Later, Jim was asked about the administration interest in space settlement.  Jim's response on this topic might surprise you so do listen to all of what he said on this issue.  Space settlement was followed with a listener question from Denver asking about our rising national debt and concerns I have on that subject as frequent listeners know since it is one of my most frequently mentioned challenges for our space program.  In a related question but earlier in the show, a listener asked Jim if he thought NewSpace was in a bubble.  The short answer to that one was no but do hear all of what our guest said I relation to are we in a bubble or not regarding space investment opportunities.  As for the rising national debt and inflation, tell us what you think by posting on the bog.

Ft. Worth John was one of several callers to discuss returning to the Moon, SpaceX winning the lander contest and possible blowback risks regarding the SpaceX selection.  This discussion linked back to budget issues and lander competition plus the costs of the difference plans to land people on the Moon.  Later Jim talked about NASA needing to start valuing results.  Make sure you listen to this part of the discussion.  No skipping or fast forwarding as what Jim was talking about was important.  Blue Origin factored into this discussion.

Next up was a student email I read from Jim who saying he was in Los Angeles.  Jim (the student) was supposed to be engaged in a Zoom high school class but was bored.  He loved space so was surfing the net and found our discussion with Jim Muncy.  While I read his email on air, the nuts and bolts of it was that his teacher and lots of others including his student peers thought human spaceflight, even space exploration was too costly, was polluting and dangerous and we have no business doing it.  He wanted advice form Jim how to talk to people with these ideas and to persuade them otherwise.  Jim provided the student with an involved and somewhat detailed response dating back to 1970 with the classic photo.  Jim listed events, outcomes, technologies, advances and more.  He talked about math and science, internet connectivity and what space has meant to people all over the world.  Toward the end of Jim's response, he mentioned solar powered satellites and even space solar power given the people challenging this student (including his teacher) are quick to site the need for green most everything.  Let us know what you would have said to the student.  Post your reply to the Los Angeles student.  How do you think this student should take on those opposing human spaceflight and space exploration/development?  Post on our blog.  We want to hear from you.

Fremont John call to talk to Jim about the High Frontier Documentary which Jim was in as he knew Dr. O'Neill.  Jim and John had quite the discussion about the film, about Dr. O'Neill and free space settlement.  SSP came up as did NASA and climate change.  After the program ended, John posted viewing details on the blog for this show.

Jim provided us with a good summary and important summary closing comments.  For sure you do not want to miss Jim's program closing commentary.

Please post your comments/questions for Jim Muncy on our blog for this program.  You can reach Jim through me.




Jim Muncy returns with commercial space news, policy info and lots more

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23 Apr 2021 James A. M. Muncy
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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