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Guest: Micah Walter-Range; Topics: Observations on how to expand and develop space with both government and private sector activity to establish a sustainable global space economy.
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We welcomed Micah Walter-Range to the program to discuss the Caelus Partners observations on how to build a self-sustaining global space economy. Please note the ten points our guest posted to the blog regarding the Caelus Partners team work conclusions regarding their interviews and dialogs growing out of their Community in Space program. The ten items are on the blog for this show. Also note that they are not in any specific priority order. During our one segment 70 minute discussion, we discussed these ten observations and points, expanded on several and focused on the use of the private sector for space development, with consent from governments, as going forward government will not be able to fund the growth of the global space economy.
Micah started our discussions with definitions and references to the ten points posted on the blog. He explained how Caelus came up with the ten observations, what was the process used, and how were conclusions reached. Micah had much to say about the process, the complexity of the issue since it was global involving many different cultures and perspectives. Also, they wanted to focus on the business side as Caelus Partners clearly see and understand the value of expanding commercial space to develop a global space economy.
Micah raised some budgetary issues, both for the US and for all global space expenditures, civilian, commercial, and military. For the US, we talked about NASA and the military budgets. This discussion prompted a few listener emails suggesting that the funding and programs Micah wanted were not part of the NASA mission since Congress has not included such functions in the National Space Plan. Congress only funds and NASA only serves to work on what it has been authorized to do. This prompted lots of discussion from Micah with an explanation of how Caelus and he see the situation for the future. As you will hear, they see it differently than simply what NASA has been authorized to do by congress. Let us know what you think regarding this part of the discussion by posting your thoughts on our blog for this show.
Additional discussion topics including commercial space companies making a profit (ROI), investment climate and the pool of ready investors today versus how to expand that pool for tomorrow, startups, time lines, benefits and a wide distribution of space benefits. At this point, Micah said the ten points he posted on the blog evolved from 18 months of conversations with people from around the world. Collaboration was an important part of the process and would be key to developing a global space economy.
One repeated theme throughout this discussion was the need to open a dialog about these issues. Caelus wants to be a key player in creating such a dialog and is helping to establish a path for such discussions. We took an email question from a Denver listener who wanted to know what success in these areas would look like from the perspective of Caelus Partners. Don't miss what our guest said in response to Sharon's question. Next, Ben sent in a note asking if our guest thought much of the space rhetoric, the Mars talk, disagreements over programs such as the Gateway, SLS and more help or hurt the development of a global space economy. In his response, Micah said that a transportation infrastructure would be needed for Mars and returning to the Moon and saw a role for government and the privates who promote their space goals. Listen to what else he said in response to Ben's question. Later in the discussion as we moved well into the second half of the show, our guest was asked if there was a role to play by space advocates in collaboration with Caelus Partners regarding developing a global sustainable space economy. Micah said yes, referred us to our sponsor, The Integrated Space Plan, and talked about helping to create a roadmap to space with attainable steps every part of the way. Don't miss all of what Micah said about how advocates can participate in this process.
Listener Jane sent in a note from New York City asking our guest what he saw or knew about space that made it so important. Especially more important than many other problems and issues we face on the Earth today as well as in the United States. Micah's response to this question was engaging and complex. Listen to what he said in replay to Jane's email. Once again, we want to know your thoughts on how to respond to Jane so post them on the blog. Note that I brought up our recent show about using space to help with whale and marine mammal conservation as just one example of why space has been and still is important to us all. I then made the point that marine mammal and wildlife conservation was important to our ecosystem, helping to make the point that space development was and is essential.
I asked Micah if he or others with Caelus had thought about how to tell a better space story, especially to those outside the space community. Micah did suggest many thing in response to my question. He talked about the need for a holistic approach to space. He said we needed to understand that investing in space was not just a tech problem. It had to been seen as an economic development problem and project which he expanded on so don't miss his comments. Your blog post with your suggestions for telling a better space story are welcome.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach our guest Micah Walter-Range through me or the contact info he put out at the end of the program for Caelus Partners. I believe Micah also posted a Caelus web address for more information and contact on the blog.