Broadcast 3259 Rob Godwin

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Guest:  Rob Godwin; Topics:  ISS history through his new book, "Outpost In Orbit: A Pictorial & Verbal History of the International Space Station."

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We welcomed back Rob Godwin for a one segment 92 minute discussion about the ISS based on his new book, "Outpost In Orbit: A Pictorial & Verbal History of the International Space Station." Rob gave credit throughout the discussion to his co-authors and researchers, David Shayler and Dr. Gary Kitmacher plus he identified multiple people from history that did work leading up to the ISS, especially from pre- WW2 Germany regarding space station concepts and planning.  Some of this work even went on during WW2, a history that Rob has documented in this excellent ISS book. By the way, as you will hear me say the photos used in the book plus the information are second to none. This is a must have ISS reference book.  You can get an autographed copy directly from Apogee, the publisher.  If you buy it through Amazon, be sure to use the OGLF portals so that Amazon will donate a part of the purchase price to TSS.  For details, click on the big Amazon button in the center of our home page. 

Additional topics for the early part of our program not only included the people as mentioned above but also the number of people having been on the ISS which you can see by following this URL:  Rob responded to a question about those having served on the ISS believing that the ISS was a valuable contributor to space development and more.  Don't miss his reply as he broke down his response into two main groups. 

Rob talked about ESA and Japanese interests regarding the history of the space station.  Rob was asked about possible private sector takeover of the ISS but he did not think that was plausible.  Listen to what he said about this idea.  Our guest was also asked how many times the ISS had been upgraded over its 40 year history.  This led to a Mir and Mir 2 discussion.  Another listener asked about Boeing folks involved in ISS operations and the heritage from Douglas Aircraft, North American Aviation, and Rockwell. 

Marshall called to talk about artificial gravity on the ISS.  Rob had much to say about this, the possible use of centrifuges, how to spin the space station and more. Marshall and Rob had a great discussion regarding artificial gravity and the station, plus the fact that many see the microgravity issue as being resolved given the good techniques in place now to control microgravity side effects.  What do you think about this?  Let us know by posting on our blog for this show.  Marshall and Rob spoke to the ISS vibration concerns and commercial uses. 

Later in the discussion, I asked Rob about the future of the station.  Future concerns were not part of the book but he did have thoughts on the future of the station.  We took a call from Bill regarding Russia, Mir, Mir 2 and the ISS regarding skill, practical functionality as compared to the theoretical and other characteristics.  This led to Rob sharing the early history about the Russian power module being available for Mir 2 and how it got used for the new ISS partnership object.  Next, an email from Hugh in Oxford asked if Rob thought the station was underutilized.  Listen to what Rob said about this issue given budget and other compromises, crew size, no return vehicle for crew safety and more.  In discussing these topics, our guests brought in history from Skylab and Apollo  7. 

Ft. Worth John was the next caller.  He wanted to discuss the Dragon and Orion crew capacity of seven, wondering how this might impact future crew size on the ISS.  The subject of down mass capability from the ISS came up as did centrifuge ideas which had been discussed earlier in the program.  Beth followed up asking Rob if his book had info on the Chinese space station.  He said no but be sure to listen to his explanation for why the Chinese station was left out of the book.  Terry from Texas called in to ask about the hole in the Russian section of the ISS.  Both Terry and Rob discussed possible causes and Russian security issues regarding the hole, including the possibility of sabotage.  Before the program ended, Canadian ISS support was discussed along with their robot arm.  Rob put forth closing comments and told us about some of his future plans which will connect later this year to the 50th anniversary of Apollo.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog for this show.  You can reach Rob through me or his publishing website, Apogee Books at





"Outpost in Orbit: A Pictorial & Verbal History of the Space Station"

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27 Jan 2019 Robert (Rob) Godwin
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