Broadcast 1997 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Marc Fusco. Topics: Space history and presidential politics with JFK, Presidents Johnson & Nixon. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. We welcomed Marc Fusco to the program to discuss his masters thesis analysis of space history and presidential politics with JFK and Presidents Johnson and Nixon. His analysis for his masters thesis earned him his MS degree at UND Space Studies. In the name of full disclosure, Marc was one of my students and I served on his thesis advisory committee. You can email Marc to get a .pdf of his thesis, "Presidents, Politics, And Policy: How The Apollo And Shuttle Decisions Shaped NASA." Please use During the first part of our 1 hour 50 minute discussion, Marc talked about the early years of our space program, President Kennedy, the Cold War, NASA Administrator James Webb, risk taking, the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, and the Soviet's space program. We moved around a bit in history, also talking about LBJ and President Nixon, but the first half of our discussion centered on President Kennedy and the Moon program, as well as the early days of NASA. Listeners asked Marc about different historical perspectives about Apollo and he talked about the period, letting us know the perspectives from the best known of the space and policy historians. Marc also started comparing the policy and the appreciation of space by JFK, Johnson, and Nixon. We also talked about the early days of the Space Shuttle program and OMB compromises in its design, plus the early expectation of up to 50 flights per year. In our second segment, we talked about the waning public support for the Moon program, JFK and Nixon dynamics, and the fact that nobody wanted to be the one to pull the plug on the Moon program or human spaceflight though the costs were hard to absorb as there was competitive economic pressure from other priorities in the nation and government. Marc spoke about the impact of both Vietnam and The Great Society on the space program in this segment. Marc had much to say about Nixon's main advisors and space as well as the NASA Administrators of the time. He talked about the famous Earthrise photo taken on Apollo 8 and the start of the ecology movement which became the environmental movement. This picture also helped frame the new way of selling the space program which was to go to space to make a difference and improve things here on Earth. The Space Shuttle program was a significant part of our second segment. Mr. Fusco led a very interesting discussion on The Space Show today. His thesis is excellent and I suggest you contact him for a .pdf copy of it. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.



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28 Apr 2013 Marc Fusco
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