Broadcast 1281 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Dr. John Logsdon. Topics: U.S. space policy, Augustine Commission, JFK and more. Dr. John Logsdon, founder and former director of the Space Policy Institute was our guest for this program. In our first segment, Dr. Logsdon discussed the times in our history where our space policy was at a crossroads, starting with the transition from President Eisenhower to President Kennedy, then to the post-Columbia period and the VSE. This led to a discussion about the disconnect within the space community and the general public along with the variety of ways that people get information today, and the choices that we now have compared to what was available during the Apollo era. As this segment ended, we talked about the space advocacy community and space policy. Our discussion focused on the need for this community to stop the infighting to become more effective. This is a conversation you will certainly want to hear. In the second segment, Dr. Logsdon shared his views with us as to the pending space policy as a result of the Augustine Commission. We also talked about NewSpace and the entrepreneurial space effort. Our guest suggested that at some point this community will need to put forth results rather than rhetoric. Don't miss all of what Dr. Logsdon had to say on this important topic. We also talked about the Augustine recommendation for $3 billion of added funding for NASA. Dr. Logsdon explained how this additional funding was to be allocated and he cleared up misconceptions about this issue. Listener Dwayne called in to ask if Augustine had exceeded its statement of task and if it lacked focus. You will want to hear what Dr. Logsdon had to say about these two issues. In the third and final segment, a listener asked about referencing numbers when talking about NASA. For example, suggesting NASA expenditures result in a 5::1 return to the taxpayer for every dollar spent on space. We were cautioned against doing this because of the difficulty in verifying these econometric conclusions. Another listener asked about the AST and the possibility of it being a drag on the ability of space companies to attract investment dollars. This resulted in an interesting discussion on stability and the role of the AST in support of space businesses. Toward the end of this segment, Dr. Logsdon told us about the book he was writing on JFK and space policy. This proved to be a very interesting part of today's show and he certainly got us excited about his book. I took advantage of this topic to ask about various things that we read or are told about JFK and space, including the Bay of Pigs fiasco as the reason why he announced the lunar program. We also talked about public opinion during Apollo and later during Apollo 13 given what was going on in Viet Nam. Toward the end of the program, our guest was asked about space tourism. Dr. Logsdon said it was like upside down bungee jumping and that it was hard to see it becoming a commercial success over the long haul. We also talked about his observations of Space Policy Institute students over time and if they remained in the space industry for their careers. Our program concluded with a brief discussion of the importance of the issue of orbital debris and optimism for the next decade of space development. If you have a comment or question for Dr. John Logsdon, please send it to me at and I will forward it to him.



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28 Dec 2009 Dr. John Logsdon
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