Space Cynics & 10th Anniversary Space Show Program, Tuesday, 5-10-11
Guests: The Space Cynics with Dr. David Livingston, Dr. John Jurist, Tom Olson. Topics: A general space policy, economic and technology driven discussion. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. The Space Cynics got together to celebrate with The Space Show on its tenth anniversary with a 2.5 hour marathon space discussion without a break. We were sorry that the Space Cynics founder, Shubber Ali, could not be with us due to illness. As we kicked off our discussion which largely focused on the future of human spaceflight, the Cynics linked current U.S. and global economic problems to space policy and NASA budget issues. We also had much to say about Space X and its outstanding accomplishments to date. Later, I asked fellow Cynics about SSP. Tom said maybe 30 40 years but the solar sats would be around the Moon or Mars, not orbiting Earth. To combat some of our earlier tone about the severe economic problems facing the US and our space program, we talked about existing and future innovation and ongoing private investment into entrepreneurial activities. The Cynics referred to space cadets and our extended community as living within a space bubble. Tom suggested many inside this bubble were fighting tooth and nail new policies that would transform the job creating potential of space as well as the technology and innovation. Both John and Tom suggested that many within the bubble were in denial about the extent of our economic problems and the probable impact on space programs. Our first caller from Jersey City asked several questions about NASA shrinking budgets and Space X. Rich Godwin called in to talk & inquire about old business paradigms changing to new paradigms. One of his points was that an SSTO RLV was not as economic as a string of big dumb boosters. Another issue brought up by a listener email dealt with the addition of new people to space advocacy groups and who actually attends the conferences. We had a good discussion on rocket economics and Rich sent in an analysis of the Apollo era & Saturn V costs adjusted year by year for inflation to 2011. I read part of the analysis on air. John also shared some of the research he is currently doing regarding rocket economics & efficiency factors for a government program, then extrapolating to Space X. I suggested a book to the listeners, “Leo On The Cheap” By Lt. Col. John London (www.dunnspace.com/leo_on_the_cheap.htm). We talked about leading fantasy drivers such as the $10/lb cost to LEO if only this or that happened. The Cynics had a lot to say about this and fantasy space ideas in general. Toward the end of our discussion, I was asked to reflect on the past ten years of The Space Show. Those of you who are frequent listeners will not be surprised by my mini talk as I covered the usual grounds including fantasy, solid foundations for building the future, education, students, civility, and more. I also addressed some negativity traits I bring to the table & how I sometimes see things in the negative light. However, overall, the Show is a demonstration of hope and & faith in space and our future and is a positive force for change. While I am extremely critical of things and how I see the world, were I not ultimately optimistic and hopeful for our future, I would wind The Space Show up now and move on to something else. John and Tom each provided closing comments to our marathon discussion. This program will also be archived on The Space Cynics blog, https://spacecynic.wordpress.com. Please post your comments on The Space Show blog and you can do the same with the Cynics blog. If you have questions for either of the Space Cynics, use the blogs. If you do want to email Tom or John, you can send your note to me and I will forward it to them.