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Guest: Tom Olson; Topics: The space year 2022 in review with a focus on commercial activities and select companies, global events, R&D, and market development such as the launch industry market.
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We welcomed Tom Olson back to the program for his annual review of space activities, this time for 2022. We covered lots of select topics but if one goes by the blog posts, it looks to me that most people became active, one way or the other, when Tom offered his perspective on climate change and NetZero. From the blog posts, this topic seemed to energize listeners, at least the point of a few hammering home their perspective. That said, Tom talked about many other topics, some of which I mentioned in the Tags which are repeated below.
Tags: Space year 2022 in review, total investments stats for 2022, investment volatility, startups take hits, SpaceX as a standout, Axiom for human spaceflight, ISS, Starship launch date, Artemis, impact of Ukraine war, foreign space partnerships for the year, competition with China, Elon Musk as key man of space, Soyuz ISS return capsule safety concerns, Russia leaving ISS by 2024, commercial human spaceflight safety regs ending by Oct. 2023, Blue Origin lack of commercial behavior, Space Force in 2022, international trade to support space, space mfg, Made In Space, capital needs, commercial business plans.
Blue Origin was talked about a few times. Several listeners, myself included, questioned whether Blue was being run as a business or more as a hobby. Several of us thought more like a hobby during the year, especially with their suborbital tourism flights. Listen to the discussion and commentary, then let us know what you think regarding this matter by posting on our blog. Talked also talked about the need for lots of capital for the startups and other commercial businesses with a question as to the intensive capital flows being sustainable. Tom mentioned SpaceX and Starship a lot and provided status to show their increasing launch rate to records for the year. As the discussion started, Tom cited some stats on total industry investment being down 41% for the year with only 41 deal in the second quarter which he said were down too. He mentioned the lack of diversity in that early in the year $2.2 billon was invested in space with SpaceX getting $1.7 billion.
Human spaceflight was summarized with the Axiom flight with private astronauts to the ISS. He said Axiom was a standout for human spaceflight in 2022. I asked Tom for some 2022 bloopers and he immediately talked about the rescue Soyuz at the ISS with power issues that are impacting capsule electronics and may render it too dangerous to use. Listen to the entire story on this issue. He talked about possible Dragon rescue to the ISS were one needed but let's hope it is not needed. Space tourism was talked about per the earlier comments regarding Blue and their suborbital business. Tom was asked about the Space Force in 2022 then Fremont John asked him about space manufacturing for the year. Several companies were mentioned, he was asked about the recent show with Orbital Assembly but ended up saying space manufacturing was still something to happen. Bill called in to talk about the loss of the booster for Blue and what impact it might have on near term operations. In closing, Tom brought up the successful CAPSTONE mission, RocketLab successes and then SSP was brought up as a tool to reach NetZero. Tom did not think much of SSP let alone climate change and the entire NetZero concept.
Please post your comments/questions for Tom on our website for this program. You can reach Tom through me or his website at Avealto, Ltd. in the UK, https://avealto.com.