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Guest: Dennis Wingo; Topics: SLS, Artemis to the Moon, Starship development, various space visions and their differences, space education outreach, leadership, and more.
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We welcomed the return of Dennis Wingo to the program for a multi-topic and very broad discussion starting with the planned SLS launch. Our discussion was over 1 hour 27 minutes. We had multiple callers along with multiple emails from the listeners. Once again if you follow the tags (repeated below), you will have a good summary of the major topics and themes discussed plus the order in which they were discussed for this program. As I have done with other program summaries, I will highlight of few of the topics but first, here are the repeated tags.
Tags: Dennis Wingo, SLS, The Dennis Wingo Blog, OSTP questions and Responses on his blog, Artemis 1, SpaceX, Artemis 2, Artemis 3, Starship with HLS, regulatory system, program risks due to economic conditions, Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, DC 3 comparison, ULA Vulcan, geocentric mindset, Eastern Ukrainian resources, solar view point, geo and solar views conflict with one anther, possible 2024 presidential viewpoint, tension between NASA and privates, Japan changes nuclear plans, small matter reactor (SMR), nuclear propulsion, citizen power, Starship resupply, mass drivers, sustainability of Artemis $4.1 billion cost, SSP, the bureaucratic view, leadership needed, Commercial Space Act of 1998, space for freshmen members of congress, ISS, NSS, letter writing to congress, Russia and an early ISS pullout, Starship cargo to the Moon timeline, 100 tons to the Moon for a lander, Mr. Moon's demise, quit listening to doomsayers.
For most of the early part of our discussion and on and off throughout the rest of the discussion, SLS was front and center. At the time of this program, we did not have a rescheduled time or day for the next launch attempt but now we know it will take place (unless cancelled) on Saturday, Sept. 3 midafternoon EDT. As for SLS, Dennis said he had mixed emotions about the rocket, the upcoming flight, all of it. He spent time explaining what he meant by mixed emotions so rather than me explaining it for Dennis, make sure you listen to him. How about posting your thoughts on SLS on our blog? Do you have mixed emotions? During this part of the discussion, Dennis was asked about other Artemis launches, Starship and the HLL plus he got a question on current economy causing problems and an adverse impact on commercial space, investing, and returning to the Moon. Dennis replied that there was already a VC pullback going on along with other noticeable developments. Dennis went on to say a few words about Blue Origin and the ULA Vulcan.
Another important part of the discussion focused on the economic development of the solar system. Dennis mentioned three components making up the geocentric mindset. Don't miss his explanation. He also brough up the resources in the Eastern Ukraine which are now off line due to the war. Dennis made a point of saying that the geo viewpoint does conflict with the solar viewpoint which he also described in detail so make sure you hear this part of the program. He said that the geo and solar view were two different visions for the future. SLS was in which one? Can you guess? What about Artemis? What view of the future was it in?
The commentary on nuclear propulsion and the use of nuclear power was interesting. Dennis summarized what was going on around the world with power shortages, shortages of gas supply and the need for more nuclear power. He told us that Japan had move 180 degrees on nukes in recent time for more power. CA was petitioning for the one remaining power plant to remain open and not be shut down by PGE. The subject of Small Modular Reactors (SMR) came up as well as Starship and nuclear energy needed for the Moon, the lunar poles and eventually Mars. As for nuclear propulsion, he stressed the need for it.
Dr. Doug sent in an email that I read on air, then we took a call from Fremont John about radiation, Starship resupply and needing 1 meter of regolith to equal Earth's atmosphere. Part of this discussion focused on questioning the sustainability of SLS and Artemis launches given their very high cost.
This discussion led to a listener email asking Dennis about SSP. He thought there might be a bigger market in space but he supported it. Marshall called to suggest a 3rd view, the bureaucratic view. Once again Dennis referenced the Commercial Space Act of 1998.
Space education outreach was a topic, with listener suggestions for special space education for incoming new members of congress. Dennis talked about the citizen lobbying efforts of the past and today regarding talking to members of congress about commercial space and related topics. Tony called in to share his positive letter writing experience to members of congress. Joe sent a late email in asking Dennis about the future of the ISS, especially if Russia pulled out of it early. Bill wanted to know about Starship cargo missions being delayed so he asked Dennis for a cargo delivery timeline. Dennis talked about Starship being able to deliver 100 tons to the Moon with their lander. Rick sent in a note asking what happened to Mr. moon. Listen to Dennis to know what this question was about. Dennis closed the program by telling us all to quit listening to the doom and gloom marketing folks.
Please post your comments/questions for Dennis on our blog for this show. You can reach Dennis through me or his blog which is https://denniswingo.wordpress.com.