Broadcast 1699 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

27 Jan 2012 Dr. Harley Thronson
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Guest: Dr. Harley Thronson. Topics: "Accelerating the Future: The Importance of Human Achievements Beyond LEO Within a Decade." You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Dr. Harley Thronson back to the show to discuss the existing and future planning for human spaceflight beyond LEO (BEO). We talked about two recent Space Review articles Dr. Thronson wrote which I believe you will find very interesting. ( and In addition, Dr. Thronson discussed the Future In Space Telecon (FISO) series that he hosts every Wednesday afternoon at 3 PM EST. To learn more about FISO and get on their mailing list visit and In our first segment, we discussed the FISO telecons, then we switched to what's next for human spaceflight (HSF) after LEO or BEO (beyond Earth orbit). For this discussion, we referred to the two Space Review articles referenced above. As we learned, there is considerable thought being given within NASA and among others at to what is next after the ISS and how do we start preparing for it. Dr. Thronson talked about prioritizing what has to be done to move beyond the ISS and LEO. Also in the mix were mission and even hardware design compromises that may enhance our ability to be ready to fly sooner, not later. Those involved in this planning are of the opinion that we must compromise and also must fly soon, start something, otherwise we will lose opportunities and drive up costs even more than they will be. Much of this has to do with being able to capitalize on the existing ISS workforce and those who know how to do space stations and HSF. If we do not retain these people, then starting over again years later will be costly and will have a huge learning curve associated with it. The goal of planners and thinkers Dr. Thronson is working with is to be BEO by the end of the decade. We discussed where to go and here, our guest had much to say about Mars and the Moon, but said Earth-Moon libration points were best for starting out using a stepping stone approach. Much of the first segment went into detail about these subjects and issues. In the second segment, we talked about crew safety, using previously built but never used ISS modules as the basis for a BEO station, and compromises that can get us going quicker, not later but not adversely impacting safety. Michael called in to talk about accidents and inevitable fatalities with HSF and the industry to properly handle them when/if they happen. Both Dr. Thronson and I had much to say about safety, accident management, and this subject. Another listener wanted to know when there would actually be work on BEO projects rather than just talking about them. Dr. Thronson had much about getting started, time lines, mission readiness and more. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.



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