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The NRC Pathways HSF Study Panel Discussion, Sunday, 10-12-14 October 13, 2014

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The NRC Pathways HSF Study Panel Discussion, Sunday, 10-12-14

Featuring Dr. Jim Logan, Dan Adamo, Dr. John Jurist


Your Amazon Purchases Helps Support TSS/OGLF (see Guests: Dan Adamo, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist. Topics: Our three guests reviewed the NRC “Pathways To Exploration HSF study. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. 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. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm. For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

Welcome to this 2.5 hour Space Show Classroom discussion with Dan Adamo, Dr. John Jurist, & Dr. Jim Logan regarding the recently released NRC “Pathways To Exploration: Rationales And Approaches For A U.S. Program Of Human Space Exploration.” You can download the report for free at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18801. In addition, the project referred to in the last part of this discussion by Dan and Jim, the “Aquarius interplanetary HSF transport” paper can be freely downloaded at http://www.spaceenterpriseinstitute.org/2014/07/aquarius-a-reusable-water-based-interplanetary-human-spaceflight-transport. Please note that our panel members used cell phones which caused audio issues which you may hear during the discussion. Finally, as this program will also be archived on both The Space Show and The Space Show Classroom blogs, there will be two papers uploaded to each blog, one by Dan Adamo & the other by caller Dr. James Dewar. I will mention both in the summary below. In the first segment, our panel members opened with their perspective on the NRC Pathways HSF study. While there were similarities in their perspectives, there were also noteworthy differences. After this comprehensive introduction, I asked our panel members about the study and space settlement or pioneering. Each panel member had much to say on the settlement issue, including the need to solve the gravity prescription for long duration HSF or settlement. Our panel members said that for the most part, space settlement was out of scope for this report. In this part of the discussion much was said about microgravity issues & the need to do on orbit experiments to determine the HSF gravity prescription. Deimos was discussed as an initial better choice that the surface of Mars re microgravity issues. Our guests spoke to the need of a short arm centrifuge on the ISS. Jim spoke to the specifics of such an experiment such as 1 G at the head., 2.5 g’s at the feet for two hours a day to see how it serves as a microgravity countermeasure. Our panel members mentioned that there already was such a short arm centrifuge built years ago by NASA and Wiley, http://www.nasa.gov/centers/johnson/slsd/about/divisions/hacd/laboratories/short-arm_centrifuge_laboratory.html. The guests talked about unknown human factor challenges for going to Mars and long duration spaceflight. Jim provided us with interesting statistics on human spaceflight totals since the beginning in 1961. The panel members had much to say about the budget issues discussed in the NRC study. Another point brought up was the study’s assumption that if we are not going to the surface of Mars, why even do HSF? Near the end of the first segment, listener Carl brought up the well known plans for Mars settlement with Elon Musk & SpaceX. This sparked quite the discussion so don’t miss it.

In the second segment, our panel talked about the value of the Pathways study, international partnerships and what they saw as contradictory statements, especially regarding the mission cost impact of such partnerships. John mentioned the study’s reference to NASA education & public outreach which he thought was more focused on STEM & the development of more engineers rather than on educating the general public to be more knowledgeable about science. The panel members noted that there was little attention paid to the societal impact of not even having a human spaceflight program. Dan & Jim agreed on the importance of educational outreach and shared their experiences with us from the employment with NASA. Adrian in San Diego sent in an email suggesting the panel was being pessimistic and that China would not overthink issues and just do missions without full disclosure. All three panel members had much to say in response to Adrian’s charge of being pessimistic. They talked about being reality based, not pessimistic & why it was so important to be reality based. The panel hit back hard on the charge of being pessimistic. Dan & Jim said to be other than realistic was reckless and irresponsible. Jim also said that being called pessimistic suggested to him that reality had violated the person’s ideology. Jim would be happy to debate the issues with anyone in open forum. This discussion brought Jim and Dan to talking about their Aquarius project which you can download at the above URL. They spent some time discussing the benefits of their approach, noting how it addresses & mitigates many of the problems associated with a HSF mission to Mars. They also spoke to the need for nuclear propulsion and talked about using water as fuel and very high ISP ratings with high temperatures. During this discussion, Dr. Jim Dewar called in to suggest their ISP ratings were low, he explained why, and he talked about starting small to start flying and then improving as you go. We did not know it but we lost John from the connection but Jim, Dan, and Dr. Dewar spoke to the NERVA project, and specifics about nuclear propulsion. This advanced nuclear propulsion discussion was close to a half an hour near the end of the program. Dr. Dewar was a guest on the program in 2008 & 2009 regarding nuclear propulsion & its history. He also authored two books on the subject. Use the GuestSearch tool on our website to find his interviews which I suggest you listen to if you have not already done so. I will also upload to both blogs the paper Dr. Dewar referenced in his discussion. After the nuclear discussion, Adrian sent in another email titled “rebuttal.” He challenged the panel members to do the experiments, not just to talk about them. Jim, Dan & I challenged Adrian for his solutions to doing many of the needed & essential experiments. All of the panel members supported doing the needed experiments & have said so for decades. Getting funding for the experiments, NASA approval, etc. is a challenge. I then challenged Adrian to come to The Space Show as a guest with his solutions for doing the essential work & experiments rather than his just talking about how badly they are needed per his second email. I hope Adrian does have answers and will contact me about coming on the show to discuss them with us. Jim & Dan each provided closing comments focusing back on the study report. They thought the report was worth it from the taxpayer perspective and that it would be used for references. Jim did think the report was not as good as other government studies he had seen because it was so speculative, something all three guests addressed in their opening remarks. An 11th hour call came from SLS John to talk about the ISP formula & temperatures Dan and Jim used in their paper Aquarius paper. Dan authorized me to upload to the blog his written comments on the NRC Pathways study so you will find that document on both blogs as well.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can reach the panel members through me.

A Technical Note on Nuclear Rockets-1



The Space Show Classroom with Drs. Jurist & Logan, Monday, 1-6-14 January 7, 2014

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The Space Show Classroom with Drs. Jurist & Logan, Monday, 1-6-14

Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

Guests: Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics:  Space advocacy magical/fantasy thinking, radiation, rockets, HSF & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  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. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed back Drs. Jurist and Logan to this CLASSROOM program which addressed many issues of the 2 hours 1 minute broadcast.  We started out with Dr. Logan discussing fantasy or magical thinking going back to the influence of a 2001 Space Odyssey movie poster had on him.  From there, Jim went into a discussion about Constellation, then the Space Shuttle as examples of what he was talking about and as to how programs and faulty ideas grow and multiply.  He also talked about life science challenges.  A listener asked him about space politics, then Dr. Jurist offered additional examples with a focus on air launch.  Our guests then discussed thinking based on agendas and ideology.  One of the keys suggested for breaking out of this magical thinking mode involved surrounding yourself with really smart people.  Later, I offered my perspective on that given my own experiences early on in Space Show time and before.   Both Jim and John said a few times that one needs to know his or her limitations.  Our guests then talked due diligence with assumption building, fact checking, disclosures, and more.  I relayed my own wake -up call experience due to Al Zaehringer who was on the show several times years ago before he passed on.  Before the segment ended, Jim told us a story about the Wright Brothers and their Wright Flyer experience.  In our second segment, John Hunt called in to talk about Jim’s Space Shuttle comments.  This was a lengthy discussion with John, Jim, & John Jurist.  Jim talked about advantages with Saturn V including economic advantages over shuttle to LEO.  Subjects of reusability came up along with issues of getting a specific payload to orbit which our guests suggested advocacy often glosses over with facts and trades for payload mass fractions involved in reusability.  Dr. Logan brought up and discussed what he called NASA Brinkmanship Strategy.  Jim then talked about the reality of sending payloads to the ISS using shuttle.   Trent in Australia sent a message about magical thinking with Mars One.  Our last caller was Alan from St. Louis who said John and Jim were too negative in their discussion.  Alan then talked about using smaller rockets over heavy lift and was working to make the case that we have to work with what we have.  He also talked about evolving up from smaller, not starting off with the biggest.  Each of us responded to Alan.  It’s a discussion you do not want to miss.

Please post your comments/questions on either or both The Space Show Blog above or The Space Show Classroom blog, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  You can reach all of the participants including the callers through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Classroom with Drs. John Jurist and Jim Logan, Tuesday, 12-17-13 December 16, 2013

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Classroom with Drs. John Jurist & Jim Logan, Tuesday, 12-17-13


Your Amazon Purchases
Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

Guests: Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist. Topics: This was a Classroom show on radiation issues for deep space travel, Mars and Moon settlements. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. 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. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

We welcomed Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. John Jurist to this special 2.5 hour Space Show classroom in-depth discussion on space radiation. We focused our discussion on deep space, Mars, the Moon and BLEO missions. Note that on both The Space Show blog (see above) and The Space Show Classroom blog (https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com), Dr. Jurist has a Power Point presentation on radiation. During the program, our guests referred to specific slides that you will want to check out. In our first segment, Dr. Logan started out by telling us about his interest in the subject, why he has been writing a paper on the subject for publication, and how this Classroom show came about. He cited our short duration spaceflight experience, the Apollo missions, Space Shuttle flights, and then how things started to change when we had six month ISS visits. Dr. Logan also made it clear that space was not a benign emptiness type of environment. He said the reality was that interplanetary space was a sea of disruptive ionizing radiation wrecking havoc on biologic systems. We moved forward in our discussion from that point. We talked about the findings of the MSL RAD instrument regarding radiation on the way to Mars and on the surface of Mars. Both John and Jim spent some time putting the RAD numbers through analysis to let us know what this means for human missions to Mars. We talked shielding, possible materials, passive and active. We talked extensively about water and the use of hydrogen as well for shielding. Our guests addressed the two types of radiation, the GCR (galactic cosmic rays) and the CME/solar flare. Here, John suggested listeners look at his slide 13 as we talked about protons and neutrons. Jim said there was no magic bullet and talked about shielding effects of Earth’s atmosphere. Pay attention here as Jim introduced us to the RP scale. For being on the surface, he said nothing less than RP100 would suffice. For the vehicle, an RP5 was required. John introduced us to career limits for radiation for men and women astronauts of different age but the career limits are for LEO and not BLEO. BLEO limits are expected to be more restrictive when made public in April 2014. Earth Mars transit times were discussed, especially in the context of Brian’s email that suggested a 180 day transit time. Both our guests said that was unlikely with chemical propulsion and all of us again stressed the need for nuclear thermal propulsion. Microgravity was talked about, especially in the context of side effects due to the radiation environment. Jim then brought up the EVA subject and spacesuits. Briefly, Jim said that quite possibly the ISS construction represented the zenith of EVAs which may become a thing of the past. Don’t miss why he said this plus his description of serious spacesuit limitations. We talked about life support to Mars and here Jim suggested we should use Open Loop! Again, listen to the rational behind this recommendation. Don’t miss what our guests said about theories & movies making it sound easy to go to Mars and that the radiation would be nothing more than just a few more cigarette packs a year. Our last topic addressed informed consent issues.

In the second segment, I asked our guests for a readiness timetable were there sufficient funding and technology advancements. I also inquired if Russia, China, and others assessed the radiation risks in a similar way to the U.S. We then talked about radiation and space pregnancy, fetus development, birth, and informed consent for the fetus, a baby, and a child under 18. Ethical issues regarding child birth and space pregnancy were talked about as well. Curt had sent in email questions which our guests answered, especially about drinking irradiated water and microgravity DNA damage & what this may mean for radiation effects. Next, I asked Jim and John to tell us their 2-5 steps for the start of designing a Mars human mission. Jim went first and listed Day 1 and Day 2 activities, John listed his top three priorities which were different than those suggested by Jim. Don’t miss this discussion as its very instructive as to how to do or at least start mission planning for a human mission BLEO. Roger sent in a question asking if the crew should be senior citizens since they have more resistance to radiation. Don’t miss what our guests said about this idea. It may surprise you. Our next topic was would going to Deimos be easier. Yes, it would but it would be a very different kind of human mission. Jim had some great comments about Mars gravity. Briefly, he said it was the “best.” Later, when asked to compare the Moon and Mars, our guests said lunar radiation was worse than Mars. Also, the Mars atmosphere does provide limited shielding while there is no such thing on the Moon. Jim had earlier talked about a sphere being the perfect shape for an interplanetary spaceship. Shelia emailed in wanting to know if heavy lift made a difference and if the sphere was so good, why were capsules being used? Don’t miss the response. We then talked about the complexities of rendezvous and docking, especially in the context of fewer launches (heavy lift) as compared to many more launches (smaller rockets). Near the end, I asked our guests if either thought our nation, the public, NASA, our leaders and politicians were sufficiently motivated to do a human Mars mission. Jim did not think so and had much more to say in reply to this question. John was more pessimistic. Both thought it was more likely that the private sector would mount a human Mars mission rather than our seeing a government mission, but raising the needed capital might turn out to be a show stopper. The three of us then talked about what it was like growing up in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s as compared to today. John and I (John is a bit more than 2 years older than me) were probably more harsh than Jim in our assessment of today, but we all realize that the younger generations will be taking us to space, building the next smartphone and more. I talked about my visits to Google, Apple, SpaceX, etc. and the excitement in the air in belonging in their work forces which does not seem to exist with NASA. This opened the door for Jim to put it on the line about his NASA experiences and the potential opportunities providing NASA can somehow reorganize. He did not think the type of reorganization he was talking about would happen. Both our guests left us with excellent takeaway points and concluding pearls of wisdom.

Please post your comments/questions on the blogs. You can reach either of our guests through me.


                                                     Radiation Biophysics and Human Spaceflight

CLASSROOM: Dan Adamo, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist, Tuesday, 11-19-13 November 19, 2013

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Dan Adamo, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist, Tuesday, 11-19-13


Your Amazon Purchases Can Help Support The Space Show/OGLF (www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm)

Guests: Dan Adamo, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist. Topics: “Trajectory Challenges Faced By Orbiting Infrastructure Supporting Multiple Earth Departures For Mars.” Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. 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. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.

Welcome to this special Space Show Classroom program with Dan Adamo, Dr. Logan, Dr. Jurist, and myself. There was no break during this 2 hour 21 minute discussion which at times was very technical. For those of you interested in missions to Mars, orbiting space infrastructure including depots, Earth & LEO departure points, mission and launch trades, payload issues and trades, radiation concerns, and more, you will find this discussion to be extremely informative and educational. Guest Dan Adamo took us through the charts and graphs which you can access on either The Space Show Blog or The Space Show Classroom blog ((see http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com and https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com). Access the document ReuseForMars to follow the MP3 audio transcript. The other document on the blogs is a longer white paper version of the .pdf we used for last night’s discussion. Dan introduced the topic to us, talked about his tangential work in this area at JSC last summer and the space community interest in orbiting infrastructure, especially fuel depots. Dan then took us through the .pdf document discussing and explaining each chart and graph. Rather than report on his page by page discussion, note that Jim, John, and I asked lots of questions per each chart and graph as did listeners by email and later in the discussion by phone. Some of the main points and take aways from this discussion focused on inclination, launch location, penalties and advantages relating to orbiting infrastructure reuse for Earth departures to interplanetary destinations. For example, Russian launch sites are far to the north and will not be as efficient for Mars launches as sites to the south. But as Doug discovered when he asked about equatorial launches, they benefit from a boost due to the inertial rotation of the Earth for higher initial launch speed, but otherwise there is no real benefit from the equatorial launch because minimum Earth orbit inclination is imposed by interplanetary geometry. Another important point had to do with the reuse of orbital infrastructure. As you will hear, it’s virtually worthless to reuse infrastructure in low Earth orbit to support Mars mission departure, including a depot, unless it can be repurposed for something else other than a Mars mission. Don’t miss Dan’s explanation of this. While we talked about Earth departure windows for Mars at two year intervals, we learned that not all these windows are equal. Here, using the tables in Dan’s document, we were able to see just how unequal the Earth departure windows can be. We talked a lot about Elliptical Earth Parking Orbit (EEPO) and the relationships with apogee and perigee for our payload departures for Mars. Later, Dan outlined how we can “store” the cryo in the upperstage of our rocket as kinetic energy in the EEPO shortly after launch, a way to store the cryo energy without having to mitigate boiloff or transfer it between spacecraft. Much was said about radiation and when you go through the trajectories and see them plotted as Dan has done, we learned that not all trajectories are equal as to radiation exposure. Other important elements of our discussion that we focused on included the trans-Mars Injection (TMI) and asymptotic Earth departure velocity (v_infinity). Listener Jimmy emailed us about another paper by a Goddard team that Dan was familiar with and he used some of their data and research. Access their poster at www.lpi.usra.edu/sbag/science/NHATS_Accessible_NEAs_Summary.png (note you may need to cut & paste the URL in your browser). As Dan & our Classroom panel went through charts, graphs, & tables, we applied the information to launches Earth departures in 2020 and 2022. It was valuable to see how the constraints change, not always for the better either. Note that we started with a 400 KM orbit but later dropped it to about 340 km above earth. I suspect you will find the changing constraints and parameters to be more than interesting. Near the end, Doug called in to ask about the reuse of the repurposing orbital infrastructure, including depots, as possible infrastructure for the Moon or a cislunar project. Not only is this a possibility, we learned that something like the orbits that would be involved in doing this were used for the recent NASA GRAIL Mission. During our discussion throughout the program, we talked about the two Mars missions now en route to Mars, Maven and the Indian mission Mangalyaan. Note what was said about Mangalyaan and how it is making use of the type of information we discussed in this program to do a lower energy mission to Mars. In fact, one of the hot topics of our discussion was the comparison between long-way trajectories and short-way trajectories to Mars, what each means for arrival at Mars, capture by Mars, and the return to Earth and capture by Earth. The reentry speed coming back to Earth is crucial as these speeds can be extremely fast with lots of heat to dissipate. Keeping speeds below 12k/s for a human Mars mission is vital.

Please post your comments/questions on our blogs and we will do our best to respond to you. If you want to reach any of our guests, do so through me using drspace@thespaceshow.com.


Dan’s charts and graphs are here:  MultipleMarsDeparturesR1

To best follow tonight’s discussion, refer to:  ReuseForMars

Classroom: Dr. Paul Spudis, Dr. Jim Vedda, Friday, 10-19-12 October 20, 2012

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Classroom: Dr. Paul Spudis, Dr. Jim Vedda, Friday, 10-19-12

Cislunar Space Development

Guests: CLASSROOM: Dr. Paul Spudis, Dr. Jim Vedda. Topics: Cislunar space development and economics. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blogs, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com and the Classroom blog, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Written transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We do not permit the commercial use of any Space Show program or part thereof, nor do we permit Space Show programs to be edited, placed on YouTube or other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted in news articles, papers, academic & research work, but must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact Dr. Livingston for questions about our copyright and trademark policies which we do enforce. For this Classroom Space Show two hour program, we welcomed Dr. Paul Spudis and Dr. Jim Vedda for a comprehensive discussion on the importance of undertaking Cislunar space development as a major focus of U.S. space policy. Our program was in two equal segments but since our topics crossed segments, our summary will reflect the entire program, not each segment. Also, at the end of this summary, I have listed several relevant URLs for cislunar space development and our guests. If you want more information on the subject, I suggest you visit the recommended websites and blogs. Our guests described cislunar space for us and did an excellent job in letting us know why it is important to focus on a cislunar space development program. In the process of addressing this very important issue, we talked about policy, the railroad model, the need for space infrastructure, insitu resource development and understanding, lunar water, lunar ice, lunar polar robotic exploration, the need to learn to live and behave in space, and much more. Listeners called and asked email questions that drew out both our panel members so that our discussion was sufficiently thorough. Side issues were discussed such as budget cuts, tight budgets, how to do cislunar space in a belt tightening environment, small businesses and contractors, even sequestration. Our guests were very clear as to why cislunar development was much more preferable than “space stunt accomplishment” types of programs and projects. Our guests presented a good case in letting us know why cislunar development is preferable over a humans to Mars mission at this time. Another issue brought up by a listener was to ask about “Plan B” if for some reason there was no water or there was insufficient water/ice on the Moon. Dr. Spudis explained why that was not likely but both panel members talked about why cislunar development was important to even without sufficient water/ice resources on the Moon. Here are the URLs of interest I mentioned above: First, Dr. Vedda’s new book, “Becoming Spacefarers: Rescuing America’s Space Program” is at www.amazon.com/Becoming-Spacefarers-James-A-Vedda/dp/1477130918/ref=onegiantlea20. The Paris conference mentioned by Dr. Spudis is the ASTECH’s “Developing Space” Conference is at www.d-space2012.com. Dr. Spudis websites and blogs can be found at www.spudislunarresources.com; www.spudislunarresources.com/blog; http://blogs.airspacemag.com/moon. His book, “Blogging the Moon” is at www.amazon.com/Blogging-Moon-Paul-D-Spudis/dp/1926837177/ref=onegiantlea20. Other related websites of interest include www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=13404; www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=19999; www.spudislunarresources.com/Papers/The%20Vision%20and%20the%20Mission.pdf.; www.cislunarnext.org.

Please post your comments/questions on the blogs above. If you want to contact either Dr. Vedda or Dr. Spudis, you can do so through me.

Drs. Adrian LeBlanc, Thomas Lang & John Jurist, Sunday, 5-6-12 Drs. Adrian LeBlanc, Thomas Lang & John Jurist, Sunday, 5-6-12 May 6, 2012

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Drs. Adrian LeBlanc, Thomas Lang & John Jurist, Sunday, 5-6-12

NASA Bone Loss & Bisphosphonate Study


Guests: CLASSROOM: Dr. Adrian LeBlanc, Dr. Tom Lang, Dr. John Jurist. Topics: Bone loss issues for human spaceflight & the use of bisphosphonates for mitigation. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com and The Space Show Classroom blog, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. In addition, at the end of this summary, you will find links to relevant papers for our discussion as provided us by Dr. Lang. We welcomed Dr. Adrian LeBlanc, Dr. Tom Lang and Dr. John Jurist as co-host to discuss the NASA bisphosphonate and bone loss study in progress. Dr. LeBlanc along with his associate in Japan, Dr. Toshio Matsumoto, are leading this study and Dr. Lang is part of the team. We started our discussion with Dr. LeBlanc providing us with a brief historical overview of bone loss issues of concern to NASA since the early days of the space program. We talked about Skylab, Mir, the use of the DEXA scan, the use of quantitative computer tomography (QTC) and CT scans through to the ISS, Space Shuttle, and current research projects. Our discussion was technical at times so if you need to look up or Google a technical term, please do so. In addition, we had some audio issues with the phone line used by Dr. LeBlanc as he faded in and out from time to time. We apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused. The first segment went through the bone loss issues, problems, consequences, & the methodologies involved in analyzing the conditions encountered by the astronauts participating in these studies. Issues we discussed included the use of prescription drugs in space, long term use of bisphosphonates, risk factors for spontaneous hip fractures, exercise programs, bone strength, bone mass, the impact of radiation, skeletal recovery back on Earth after spaceflight to something different than before the spaceflight took place as well as the implications for astronauts as they age. We talked about using artificial gravity to mitigate bone loss. You might be surprised to learn that using partial gravity may not help matters. Bisphosphonates do seem to help and will possibly play a role with exercise as we move to long duration spaceflight but we are in the very early stages of fact finding on these issues. We also discussed informed consent with the astronauts regarding their participation in these and other experiments.

In the second segment, a listener asked about the relevance of this type of space research to the taxpayer who funds it and to the general population. Our three guests responded to this question, explaining why the research is relevant and important. Don’t miss their answers. We then talked about following the astronauts here on Earth to see the continued impact of having been in space on their bones as they age. We learned that bone changes after being in space for four weeks or more and it is important to follow these changes as part of the aging process. Our guests talked about calcium excretion issues in space and the risk this causes for a renal stones. Bisphosphonates may inhibit calcium excretion which would help mitigate this risk. Near the end of our discussion, we learned about new medications being developed that are more advanced than the bisphosphonates we have today. We also talked about the competition with astronauts for different scientific experiments. As Dr. Jurist pointed out, we really do need lots more human spaceflight! At the end a listener asked about bed rest studies and our guests provided us with the basics. If you are interested, visit https://bedreststudy.jsc.nasa.gov. Our guests made important closing comments and take away points.

Please post comments/questions on The Space Show and Classroom blogs.

Dr. Lang provided us with these links that will be of interest to us all. These documents can be accessed without a subscription to the journals. These papers provide some background to the problem of bone loss in spaceflight, the recovery of bone after spaceflight and use of CT and the use of CT-based finite element modeling to assess bone loss.

Cortical and Trabecular Bone Mineral Loss From the Spine and Hip in Long-Duration Spaceflight http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1359/JBMR.040307/full

Adaptation of the Proximal Femur to Skeletal Reloading After Long-Duration Spaceflight http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1359/jbmr.060509/full

Reduction in proximal femoral strength due to long-duration spaceflight http://scholar.google.com/citations?view_op=view_citation&hl=en&user=0zFSO9sAAAAJ&cstart=20&citation_for_view=0zFSO9sAAAAJ:4DMP91E08xMC

Click on link on right “[PDF] from http://cof.org.cn ” for free pdf copy of the report.

Space Show 2011 Fundraising Campaign November 22, 2011

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Space Show 2011 Fundraising Campaign

Annual Appeal, Nov. 21, 2011

Dear Space Show Listeners:

My best wishes to all of you for a great upcoming Holiday Season and New Years.  The Space Show and I personally wish you a terrific 2012 chocked full of health, happiness, economic prosperity, and a peaceful world.  I, like all of you, hope for a year of  significant and productive space development. The Space Show/OGLF is absolutely 100% committed to that long term outcome.

Permit me to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who have so generously supported The Space Show/One Giant Leap Foundation (OGLF) during this year and in past years. The Space Show relies entirely upon your support for its continued operation and programming. And we never ever take fees from guests to be on the program though many guests use The Space Show for the promotion of their fine books and exciting intellectual property.  To continue with free program access, archives, podcasts, webinars, The Classroom series, and programs for the coming year and beyond, along with the opportunity for many of you to continue promoting and discussing your own work, projects, and views, we need to be ever stronger in our financial foundation for 2012 and the future.

This year is quickly coming to a close, and yes, its been a challenge for many of us, including The Space Show. We all know the economic struggles faced by our nation and many of us at the individual level. Yet many of us see viable paths to solutions to our national and international problems running through the broad arena of space development and exploration. So please support The Space Show/OGLF by making a 2011 contribution to help maintain and further develop Space Show and OGLF programming, benefits, outreach, and services.

You can make your donation online using Pay Pal at either www.thespaceshow.com/donate.asp or www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/individuals.htm.  Simply click on the Pay Pal logo.  If you prefer mailing a check, please make the check payable to One Giant Leap Foundation, Inc. and mail it in care of me to P.O. Box 95, Tiburon, CA 94920 USA.  Remember that OGLF is a 501C3 non-profit corporation so you will get a federal tax deduction to the extent allowed by U.S. law.  OGLF is also a California Public Benefit Corporation so if you pay California taxes you can get a California tax deduction as well.  Please check with your tax advisor for the applicability of these potential tax deduction rules to your specific situation.

Your gifts make possible The Space Show programming, the free archives going back to the beginning in 2001, and the upcoming programming for 2012 and the future. It is your generosity that makes it possible to bring to all of you, on a global level, a wide diversity of topics, issue discussions, and guests from around the world.

Thank you for your support. I look forward to sharing the new year with you through The Space Show and the One Giant Leap Foundation, Inc.  Please contact me at drspace@thespaceshow.com if you have any questions.

Best Wishes and Sincerely,

Dr. David Livingston

Lesson Three Artificial Gravity, Tuesday, 5-3-11 May 4, 2011

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Lesson Three Artificial Gravity, Tuesday, 5-3-11


Guests:  Classroom:  Dr. David Livingston, Joe Carroll, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan.  Topics:  Manned artificial gravity research station in LEO.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show Classroom program/guest(s) on the Space Show Classroom blog, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show Classroom programming. This two hour plus Classroom program was continuous without a break.  For this program, refer to the Power Point presentation by Joe, “Design Concepts for a Manned Artificial Gravity Research Facility.”  Mr. Carroll took us through this presentation slide by slide, plus he responded to listener and co-host questions throughout the program.  You can find this presentation plus his longer IAC Conference paper on The Space Show Classroom blog under Presentation Materials for our Classroom program for May 3, 2011.  Rather than writing a summary of this program, let me say that Mr. Carroll has given considerable thought to the engineering and human factors/human physiology issues regarding an artificial gravity research station in LEO.  Listener questions addressed technical issues relating to spin, center of mass/gravity, hits by orbital debris items and more.  Throughout this Classroom discussion, Joe took us into the technology, operations, and why’s regarding his artificial gravity research station.  Many issues were discussed including but not limited to Mars & lunar gravity, .06 G, spin rates, the Coriolis effect, the Gemini experiments, a Moon/Mars Dumbbell Concept, Airbeam tunnels, radial structure lengths, and much more.  Toward the end of the program, we discussed the economics, costs, and who might pay for and deploy such a station.  You will hear Joe talk about the present economic, cost, and R&D uncertainties for such a project, but you will also hear him talk about the commercial potentials, who should be given “free” access to the research station and why, the use of it with Space X as well as Bigelow, and why not doing it as a NASA project makes sense though he advocated NASA as a customer.  At the very end, I asked Joe about building some small models to help those of us who are not engineers in understanding and even visualizing his concept.  He liked that idea, talked about larger models of the size of a Boeing 737 cabin (he used this cabin size throughout his discussion and presentation), and possibly locating it at a company such as Space X.  As we concluded our discussion, all of us said that after 50 years of human spaceflight, to not be able to answer any of the questions regarding the issues discussed in this program was criminal. Furthermore, as you will hear Dr. Logan and the others say, you can determine the credibility of a human space program by the speed and determination of the commitment to understanding the necessary gravity needs for people, plants, and animals in space.  If there is no commitment to understanding these issues, the program is more likely a rhetoric only program.  Post your comments & questions on the blog URL above. You can email Joe Carroll at tether@cox.net.  All participants can be emailed through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Lesson Three Presentation Material, 5-3-11 May 1, 2011

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Lesson Three Presentation Material, 5-3-11

Artificial Gravity

The Space Show Classroom returns with special guest Joe Carroll discussing the subject of artificial gravity.  Mr. Carroll has provided us with two Power Point Presentations which he will be using during our Classroom discussion.  Both presentations are available below.  Our Classroom discussion with co-hosts Dr. John Jurist and Dr. Jim Logan will be Tuesday, May 3, 2011 from 7-9 PM PDT.


Artificial Gravity IAC2010 Presentation revised 2011April30

Please hold your comments until this Classroom program is aired, then post questions and comments on the blog post for this Classroom program.

Thank you.

Dr. David Livingston, Host

The Space Show

Lesson Two Program, Advanced Depot Discussion, Tuesday, 4-5-11 April 6, 2011

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Lesson Two Program, Advanced Depot Discussion, Tuesday, 4-5-11


Guests:  Classroom:  Dan Adamo, Jon Goff, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan.  Topics:  This Classroom program was an advanced in-space propellant depot discussion. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show Classroom program/guest(s) on the Space Show Classroom blog, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show Classroom programming.  We welcomed back our Classroom co-hosts Drs. Logan and Jurist and our two propellant depot experts, Jon Goff and Dan Adamo for a comprehensive graduate school level two hour discussion about propellant depots.  Also note that that as part of our upcoming Space Show webinar series, we did test video streaming during this program but as I said, we did not archive the video stream.  We will let you know when our next video streaming test will take place.  During our first segment, Dr. Logan set the tone with his opening statement when he said that resource pre-emplacement was essential if we were to go beyond LEO with chemical rockets.  Dan said the ISS was already a depot that transferred hypergolic bipropellant fuels.  This opened the door to cryogenic fuel transfer and a comprehensive discussion about boil off and the goal of reaching Zero-Boiloff Cryogenic Storage of the fuels in space.  Much was said about this, the energy needed to separate hydrogen and oxygen and why cryogenic storage was necessary in space.  We discussed some options were a depot to be located on the surface of the Moon but the issue of having sufficient power available for the separation is a significant one.  Launch windows, departure schedules, and depot locations were discussed.  We also talked about the idea of placing the depots in convenient places to attract multiple suppliers though this presents significant challenges with space traffic management problems.  In our second segment we started with a listener question about using NOFBX  and would it significantly help to reduce the complexity of a depot.  Jon Goff responded to this question.  Dr. Jurist brought up the issue of launch schedule reliability were it necessary to have between three to six flights including crew rendezvous happening within a specific time frame.  Both Dan and Jon referenced the Target NEO conference from February 2011, specifically the Chel Stromgren paper, “Getting to the Starting Line -Launch and Assembly Reliability for Deep Space Missions” (www.targetneo.org/Sessions/Session%203/TargetNEO-Session3-Stromgren.pdf).  During this segment, we discussed boil off rates and what this actually means regarding propellant losses and economic hits.  One of the recurring issues during our discussion focused on NASA Technology Readiness Levels (TRL). SpaceX heavy lift was discussed in the context of propellant depots as was heavy lift in general.  Bigelow hotels were also mentioned in the context of depots but there was also a discussion of why it might be too risky to put depots too close to human operated space hardware.  As our discussion was drawing to a close, our guests talked about the road forward. Each of our experts and our co-hosts provided short summary statements and as you will hear, each differed so don’t miss what each said.  We welcome your comments and questions so post them to our Classroom blog for this program.  If you want to email a specific guest, send your note to me and I will forward it to the person of your choice.

Lesson Two Presentation Material, April 5, 2011 Classroom Program April 3, 2011

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Lesson Two Presentation Material, April 5, 2011 Classroom Program


1.  Dan Adamo has asked that his document, “Potential Propellant Depot Locations Supporting Beyond-LEO Human Exploration” be made available to Space Show listeners.  This document can be accessed below:


2.  Classroom participant Jon Goff has suggested we become familiar with this propellant depot study found on the NASA Watch website:


Lesson One, Introduction 2011, Sunday, 1-23-11 January 23, 2011

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Lesson One, Introduction 2011, Sunday, 1-23-11


Guests:  Classroom:  Dr. David Livingston, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan.  Topics:  The Space Show Classroom introduction for 2011.  Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show Classroom program/guest(s) on the Space Show Classroom blog,https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show Classroom  programming.  The Space Show Classroom is back and this one hour program was our introduction to the 2011 semester.  Co-hosts Jim and John and I went through our suggested course outline which I will finalize upon my return from Grand Forks and post on the Classroom blog as soon as possible.  While we have a full agenda as you will hear, we are open to and we welcome your course and topic suggestions, as well as suggestions for possible expert guests for the Classroom programs.  Today, listeners asked us some detailed questions about radiation, solar flares, and a few of our suggested discussion topics, but this introductory program was more about letting everyone know that the Classroom has returned and what we will most probably be covering during the year., We also introduced a few new rules for the Classroom.  For example, we will not be using the toll free number for the Classroom this season.  There are a few reasons for this including the need for more phone lines when we do point and counterpoint discussions which we want to do more often.  In addition, we all thought that many of the listener phone calls last year took us off the Classroom main topic.  Remember, the Classroom is different from regular Space Show programs in that we do a two hour simulated graduate school course discussion and we need to stay focused and on topic just as in a real classroom.  The Classroom has its own blog per the URL above.  All Classroom shows are archived on The Space Show website, Gigadial for podcasting, and on the Classroom blog. They are not archived on the regular Space Show blog.  The Classroom blog is moderated and we do not post any comments or material not directly on point with Classroom programs and discussions.  If you want to contact the Classroom co-hosts, all of us have our email addresses listed on the blog.  Mine of course is drspace@thespaceshow.com.  One other Classroom rule we used last year and it seemed to work fine so it will be used this year as well is that all emails and comments about the programs or for the guests directed to me need to be posted on The Classroom Blog so everyone can see them and participate in the discussion.  If you do not post your comment yourself, I will post it on the blog under your name.  For the Classroom, we want to expand our discussions to as many markets and interested people as possible and one of the best ways to do that is to make sure that we have a variety of points of view on the blog along with quality discussions.  Finally, most all Classroom programs will be on a Sunday or Tuesday and just as we did last year, every Classroom program on the schedule, in the newsletters, and on archives will have “Classroom” at the beginning so these programs can be easily identified..  Thank you for participating in the 2011 Space Show Classroom series of programs.

Lesson 13 Archive Notes September 24, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 13:  Orbital Propellant Depots

 Thursday, Septembeer 23, 2010

 Archive Notes and Program Information

 The Space Show Classroom Lesson 13 can be downloaded or heard



Guests:  Classroom featuring Dr. David Livingston, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan and Dan Adamo, Dallas Bienhoff.  Topic:  Orbital Propellant Depot.  Welcome back to this Classroom program focusing on an intense and comprehensive 2 hour 25 minute two segment program.  Please note that as with all Classroom programs, your emails and comments are to be posted on The Classroom Blog at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com once this program is archived as the Lesson 13 Archived Program. I also want to point out that there were significant telephone line and audio issues on the lines with some of our expert panel members and I apologize in advance for less than perfect audio conditions.  This was a comprehensive and detailed discussion on the pros and cons of orbital propellant depots, the places to put them, economics, launches, constraints, regulations, and much more.  In our opening segment, Dallas started out by talking about the reference study, comments made by Dr. Mike Griffin as the NASA Administrator regarding the value of fuel in a depot to NASA and more.  Dan followed with some of the orbital constraints involved along with operational logistical issues.  At times this was a technical discussion but one that I believe everyone should hear and pay attention to because the discussion with Dallas and Dan along with the co-hosts was at a very high level and all of us learned a lot during this program.  Some of the issues we talked about during this segment included loitering on orbit for perhaps up to a week using the Orion and Altair.  You will hear why this is so and why the system was not capable of landing any where any time.  We talked about LEO depots, concerns and trajectory constraints.  Dan talked about Plain of Regression which is 7 degrees west and what this means for depot placement, Delta V, and ingress egress.  Dallas said that their study only looked at the Moon and never looked at other destinations.  The study he referenced was for back and forth to the Moon using L1.  Other topics addressed launch rates and the number of launches required to put a specific mass on the Moon using the depot as compared to using a heavy lift rocket.  The issue of divorcing a commercially operated depot from existing federal regulations was a hot topic in both segments with Dallas offering one view and Dan looking at the problem from a different perspective given his operational experience, specifically with the Eastern ranges.  The second segment started with our discussing docking with Dan pointing out why docking was risky and problem oriented, and Dallas talking about how we can and will use docking with the depots.  Dallas was also clear that the depot was not a replacement for heavy lift but an enhancement of capability for all launchers, including heavy lift. Later, when our guests were asked for their ideal programs, were we to be starting out with a fresh slate, no legacy anything, one would designs systems for specific environments and as Dallas said, you might not need heavy lift but that is not the world we live in today.  Launch and propellant economics and the business case for a depot came up during this segment.  Our co-hosts had many questions, we talked about cryogenic fuel boilff, power to the depot, and lots more issues.  Dallas outlined how its thought that the boiloff can be used to station keep the depot.  Other topics that were addressed were civil space traffic control, collision avoidance, Bigelow Aerospace as a customer, developing markets and customers, and the size needed for a heavy lift rocket.  Numerous other topics and issues were discussed by our experts and co-hosts during this program.  Remember to post your comments and questions on the blog. Please do not send tem to me but if you do, I will post them on the blog under your name.

Lesson 13 Presentation Material 9-23-10 September 20, 2010

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Lesson 13 Presentation Material 9-23-10

Propellant Depot Discussion

Please note that the copyright for each .pdf document posted here belongs to the author.  To use or reference  this material, you must obtain permission from either Dallas Bienhoff or Dan Adamo. Thank you for respecting this copyright requirement.


1.  DRAv5.0commentaryR2   This .pdf document is by Dan Adamo and titled Comments on Human Exploration of Mars Design Reference Architecture 5.0.

2. CircEPOdepartR0  This .pdf document is by Dan Adamo and titled Interplanetary  Departure From Circular Earth Parking Orbits (EPQs).

3.  100527_Cislunar_ISDC10_R2_NoVideo  This .pdf document is by Dallas Bienhoff and titled Propellant Depots and a Reusable Cislunar Transportation Architecture.

4.  070526_NSS_ISDC_Depot_Insfrastructure_Bienhoff  This .pdf document is by Dallas Bienhoff and titled A Propellant Depot System Concept for Outgoing Exploration.

5.  090414_Depot_for_Constellation_Update_Bienhoff  This .pdf document is by Dallas Bienhoff and titled LEO Propellant Depot: A Viable Opportunity?

6.  070720_Beyond_COTS_Panel_R1_Bienhoff  This .pdf document is by Dallas Bienhoff and titled LEO Propellant Depot:  A Future Opportunity?


Lesson 12 Archive Notes July 19, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 12:  Program Summary 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

 Archive Notes and Program Information

 The Space Show Classroom Lesson 12 can be downloaded or heard



Guests: Classroom featuring Dr. Livingston, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics:  This is a summary and critique of The Space Show Classroom Series for this year.  This program will also be archived on The Space Show Classroom Blog, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Please post your feedback, comments, and questions to the blog, do not send the to the three co-hosts.  Anything we receive will be uploaded to the blog.  We started this summary program with the three co-hosts critiquing the Classroom program.  Dr. Jurist provided was first, followed by Dr. Logan, and then mine which turned into a minor rant.  All of us agreed that the Classroom series was a mixed bag and we graded it and ourselves accordingly.  We thought we missed our target audience, & our feedback so far was insufficient and disappointing given the effort put into the programming.  I also described the rating system which I have mentioned on other shows re archives on Live365.com and noted that exceptional shows got horrible ratings, mentioning again that for the most part, the more fantasy driven a guest or program is, the higher the rating. We spent a considerable time talking about this aspect of the Classroom and our frustration.  We stressed over and over again the need for feedback on the Classroom series, honest feedback, including feedback on the blog, especially if we are to consider another semester of the Classroom in January.  Our co-hosts talked about how ideological we have become as a nation and how little thinking we now do and that critical thinking is not taught to students.  Later in this segment, I asked both co-hosts what their favorite Classroom programs were and the rocket equation and flight dynamics programs were pointed out, mostly because those programs provided the root foundation for most of the others operating and visiting in space is based on those two components.  For most of this session, we talked about some of the shortfalls we saw with the Classroom series and we integrated that into our culture and educational system because the problems that we detected by doing the Classroom were not just limited to space.  Heavy lift was discussed as part of this critique and in talking about the rocket equation, Dr. Logan brought up Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO) as an illustration point.  We then talked about Congress and the difference between tactical decision making and enabling the strategic.  Life sciences were then discussed and our co-hosts talked about why so many want to dismiss the findings of life scientists because they are seen as obstacles. Even engineers do this.  We had several callers during this segment talking about a specific question, not so much the Classroom summary.  As we started the second segment of this two hour program, all of us again stressed the need for useful feedback, a thumbs up or down on the Classroom programming.  Jim talked about a possible point counter-point format for a future program and I asked about the likelihood of improving our ability to reach the target audience by doing the Classroom with video and webcams.  Gravity became a topic in this segment with questions about going to an asteroid.  We also talked about the ISS and the application of life sciences.  As we concluded our program, Drs. Logan and Jurist said they wanted to know how listeners were impacted by the Classroom.  For example, did anyone change their mind about an issue or subject based on a Classroom program.  We concluded our summary program by reminding people about the written paper opportunity (contact me for details) and that if we are to continue the Classroom series in a following semester, we need meaningful feedback, plus or negative, and information from you that can help us do a better job. Also, what topics would you like covered should we resume the Classroom next semester.  Please post all your comments, questions, etc. on the Classroom blog.

Lesson 11 Archive Notes July 12, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 11:  Space Sustainability? Environmental and Crowding Issues Across All Orbital Domains

 Sunday, July 11, 2010

 Archive Notes and Program Information

 The Space Show Classroom Lesson 11 can be downloaded or heard



Guests:  Classroom featuring Brian Weeden, Dr. Livingston, Dr. John Jurist.  Topic:  Space Sustainability:  Environmental and Crowding Issues Across All Orbital Domains.  Lesson 11 for The Space Show Classroom focused on Space Sustainability issues with guest instructor Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation.  Brian’s paper on this subject is on the Classroom Blog under Lesson 11 Presentation Materials and at www.secureworldfoundation.org/images/SWF_Space%20Sustainability%20Booklet.pdf.  We started our first of two segments with a definition of space sustainability and where we as space-fairing nations were in terms of a pending disaster because of orbital debris pollution.  We talked about human spaceflight and issues surrounding it.  From our human spaceflight discussion, we evolved to satellites of all types and scientific payloads.  One of the questions and comments brought up by Dr. Jurist was the difference between natural debris and man made debris.  Brian also took us through Conjunction Assessment and we discussed it in terms of the US and the Russians who are the only ones that can do it at this time.  A listener brought up issues about potential SSP systems.  As you will hear, there is not much debris in the orbits that would be used for an SSP system.  Listen carefully to what Brian said about this.  We talked about GPS and its importance and how evolved economies would be adversely impacted without access to space resources.  As we drew to a close in the first segment, Brian talked about the size of objects and said being hit by anything 7CM and larger would be catastrophic.  From 1-6CM serious damage would be sustained.  As we started the second segment, we summarized and addressed a few additional questions on orbital debris and GPS, including a discussion on the vulnerability of GPS to a hostile attack.  We then focused our attention on Space Situational Awareness (SSA)which implies one knows what is going on in space all the time.  So far, the US and the Russians are the strongest nations applying SSA but more and more countries are starting to use it.  SSA also implies the use of Space Traffic Management.  Some of the questions Brian brought to our attention included who pays for these services and who makes important decisions.  He said the UN Treaties were OK but were based on the framework of the Cold War.  What is happening now is more in line with voluntary agreements.  Brian also said there was no legal definition for space debris so legally there no way to discriminate between valuable space hardware and useless space debris.  We talked about which countries are getting more and more involved in these discussions and as it turns out, most do, even those nations considered rogue.  Toward the end of the program, a question came in about the use of a nuclear bomb to deflect or destroy an incoming NEO.  Brian said it was not allowed by current treaties but that the problem would not be solved until a real incident was upon us and a nuclear nation had to make such a decision.  We talked about the role of the UN COPUOS, the UN Action Team 14 and the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC).  For your questions and comments, please post them on The Space Show Classroom Blog under this post at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  All questions sent to me will be posted on the blog.

Lesson 11 Presentation Materials July 11, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 11:  Space Sustainability?  Environmental and Crowding Issues Across All Orbital Domains

Sunday, July 11,  2010

Presentation Material from Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation, special guest for this program


Brian Weeden suggests you review the following material which is directly related to our Classroom program discussion.  Please visit:


Lesson 10 Archive Notes June 7, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 10:  U.S. Space Policy

 Sunday, June 6, 2010

 Archive Notes and Program Information

 The Space Show Classroom Lesson 10 can be downloaded or heard at:


Guests:  Classroom, Dr. Eligar Sadeh, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics:  Lesson 10 U.S. Space Policy, what it is, how its made. See The Space Show Classroom blog, Lesson 10 Archive Notes for regarding this show. Lesson 10 got underway in the first segment with Dr. Sadeh talking about the nature of political policy, some of the players in formulating space policy, and the priorities for NASA in the context of overall US government policy.  As you will hear, space policy is typically a means to another end.  Dr. Sadeh provided us with several examples underscoring this perspective.  In response to a listener question, Dr. Sadeh identified four space policy segments that overlap in terms of making policy.  These segments were civil space, commercial space, military space, and intelligence space.  He further defined each group into subsets.  For example, civil space would include NASA but also NOAH.  Don’t miss this set of definitions and explanations as we can use it for most all of our space policy discussions.  Toward the end of this segment, we talked about the Falcon 9 launch and its impact on policy and then I asked Eligar if the policy makers were at all concerned about the economics and costs of their policy, for example the cancellation of Ares 1 and the sunk cost of about $9 billion plus another 2+ billion to terminate the program.  Dr. Sadeh had some interesting things to say about policy makers and this type of concern and awareness but then our program was abruptly terminated as ATT dropped Dr. Sadeh’s iPhone call.  After a short break to reconnect with Dr. Sadeh and his ATT iPhone, we continued discussing the economic awareness and concern of policy makers and I mentioned what was said on an earlier show about Europeans making plans for programs around the return to the Moon and then finding that the Moon was no longer on the table as result of the new policy proposals announced by the Obama Administration on Feb. 1.  Eligar commented on the wide ranging impact of policy and how often such impact and collateral damage is not well thought out by those making the policy.  We inquired about policy as inspiration for education, STEM, careers, etc.  None of that is a primary concern of most policy makers.  Bruce from Canada called with comments and questions about our extremely partisan system of government and how destructive it was for good policy making.  Our panel had much to say about this so don’t miss the discussion.  This led us to talk about business as usual, vested interests and all three of us, Dr. Jurist, Dr. Sadeh, and I had lots to say in this arena.  Dr. Jurist commented on the increasing complexity and fragmentation going on in government and the country, making it even harder to establish quality policy and not just with regards to space.  Later in the segment, I asked Eligar who the policy makers were and he named a few but mostly talked about the OSTP, the National Security Council (NSC), and Congress.  We talked about the influence of NewSpace and space advocacy on policy and we said it was increasing and used the FAA AST.  Toward the end of the program, we talked about Congress going to continuing resolution (CR) for the FY 11 budget and that the system is set up for feedback from the people through Congress and our elected representatives far more so than our communication with OSTP or the NSC.  Space as a jobs program for policy makers was addressed as well as human spaceflight issues.  Eligar offered an interesting way to view policy for human spaceflight when asked if the Administration plan was truly a possible end to human spaceflight as many suggest.  We ended the program talking about National Security Space Strategy and the need for a national space strategy for the country.  Post your comments and questions for this program to the Classroom blog, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Prior to closing, Dr. Sadeh talked about his space consulting business, www.astroconultinginternational.com.

Lesson 9 Archive Notes: June 2, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 9:  Launch System Economics & More

 Tuesday, June 1, 2010

 Archive Notes and Program Information

 The Space Show Classroom Lesson 9 can be downloaded or heard at:


Guests: CLASSROOM.   Dr. Henry Hertzfeld, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan.  Topics:  Lesson 9 Launch Systems Analysis and Economics. Please see The Space Show Classroom blog, Lesson 9 Archive Notes for information about this show ( https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com).  Lesson 9 focused on launch system economics, markets, demand, and the definition of commercial versus government launchers.  In our fist segment, our guest panel expert, Dr. Hertzfeld, defined commercial which as you will hear was no easy task to do.  While we considered definitions based on the type of contract, even the nature of the customer, we ultimately looked to the party assuming the risk to determine if the launcher or even industry was commercial or not.  This is a must listen to discussion so don’t miss it as its comprehensive and our guests do a superb job in evaluating commercial as opposed to government.  I asked Henry for the track record of government as an enabler of industry and mentioned the usual examples of airmail the railroads, and interstate highways.  As you will hear, government has the potential to be an enabler of private industry but in the examples cited, Dr. Hertzfeld pointed out that there was already demand and a market so what government did was to improve development of an existing market.  This is not the case for the launch industry because here the market for commercial other than for satellites has not yet been developed so government as an enabler must actually attempt to develop a market, not just make it more efficient.  Again, don’t miss this discussion.  We then turned our attention to examining cost plus contracting as opposed to fixed price contracts.  We talked about COTS which is actually a Space Act Agreement and a Requirements contract, something that was used frequently by the coal and railroad industries and has some similarities to the launch industry.  Listeners asked about lowering launch prices to stimulate market development and demand and compared to the idea to putting products on sale or cutting prices such as with cars or airplane tickets.  As you will hear, Henry said the launch demand is inelastic so lowering prices does not mean much.  As Dr. Jurist pointed out, often by law or regulation government is required to contract for the lowest possible price so a company could not lower prices for new customers and keep prices at existing levels for the government customer.  That said, there have been examples where government arranged to pay higher fees for something to stimulate others but as you will hear, the market in these cases already existed.  Our discussion turned to examining risks.  It was said that in some cases, with a fixed cost contract the bidders will bid up their contract prices to compensate for unknown and uncertain risks so often fixed price contracts can be more costly than other types of contracts.  Before this segment ended, we talked about the possibility of seeing a truly commercial launch industry evolve in several years where one does not partner with the government which is the case today.  Our panel suggested that because of extremely regulated nature of the launch industry, partnering with the government is going to be the nature of the business.  When asked if there were terrestrial industrial or business examples of this, the nuclear industry was cited.  In our second segment, we talked about the upcoming Falcon 9 Space X launch and the possibility of undue pressure on the company given the launch timing and the space policy debate going on in government.  We talked about keeping shuttle flying and it was said the downside of this was the amount of money it would take to keep it flying.  We talked about the GAP and then about the problems caused by the continuation of cancelling government programs.  This led to an entire discussion on the subject, the consequences of one program cancellation after another on those thinking of careers in the field, education, and more.  As you will hear Dr. Logan say, this process is demoralizing.  X-33 and Venture Star were cited among many other examples.  This discussion took us back to talking about the uncertainty risk and the consequeseunces for having a system with this type of risk in the project.  Later we talked about the Field of Dreams approach, that is build it and they will come.  Our panel did not think highly of this approach to space development let alone the launch industry.  Nuclear rocket propulsion came up again and while all of us want to see nuclear rocket propulsion developed, we were not sure it would change the demand curve of the elasticity of launcher demand.  We agreed that the culture in the U.S. is still going to be a challenge to overcome to do anything nuclear in space plus the various NPT’s do not permit nuclear propulsion in space.  Toward the end of this segment and the program, I asked our panel why we don’t fund space development and treat it with the importance all of us believe space represents for our future.  I’m not sure we came up with a plausible answer to this often asked question but it does seem to require an answer, especially as we look at new space policy designed on limitations and what can be afforded or not afforded.  If space is so vital, affording it should not be a question.  Henry even said that government could choose to pay for space development even in these hard times.  Its a political choice and a leadership issue.   I then related a personal experience that I recently had at a local film festival.  While it was based on the old question of why go into space when we have so much to do on Earth, this happened last month and I asked our panel members to address it.  Listen to the story. On the next Open Lines, you can let us know what you might have done in such a setting.  Remember that all questions and comments are posted on the blog at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Emails sent to me will be posted on the blog.

Lesson 8 Archive Notes: May 19, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 8:  Human Factors, Part Two

 Tuesday, May 18, 2010

 Archive Notes and Program Information

 The Space Show Classroom Lesson 8 can be downloaded or heard at:


Guests:  CLASSROOM:  Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics:  Lesson 8, Human Factors Part Two.  Drs. Logan and Jurist returned for this Classroom program which focused on long duration human spaceflight.  As we started our first segment, I asked our guests what constituted long duration spaceflight. The working definition centered around spaceflight more than six months to a year in duration and any human spaceflight going beyond LEO.  Both our guests said there were no show stoppers regarding Life Science in short term space flight but that it was very different in the long duration flight with the two major issues being radiation and microgravity effects, specifically bone issues.  During this first segment, we focused on the bone loss issues.  Our discussion with Dr. Logan and Dr. Jurist was comprehensive and detailed, explaining the problems, the facts about exercise (you will probably be surprised at what you hear on this topic), and counter measures such as artificial gravity, centrifuges, bisphosphonate usage, and more.  Because of the bone loss issues, Dr. Logan said that some destinations in space would probably be classified as a civilization destination while others would be typed as a sortie destination.  We talked about the lack of knowledge for the gravity prescription and what that really means for human spaceflight.  In discussing artificial gravity which was typed as pseudo gravity by our guests, we learned that it was not the same as natural gravity on Earth and the lack of knowledge about it was a problem.  You will certainly want to hear this comprehensive discussion on this and the other topics in this segment.  Our second segment focused on space radiation issues.  The two major types of radiation were identified as cosmic rays and the solar wind.  Dr. Logan gave us some interesting facts for comparison in shielding on Earth versus shielding in a spacecraft, a space habitat, and a spacesuit.  You will want to pay particular attention to the percentages Dr. Logan provided as this information was used throughout this segment.  Our guests brought up the solar cycle, solar modulation from all directions, the LRO mission and its data findings, and the geometric issue for radiation shielding.  We also talked about magnetic shielding and noted that when the spacecraft size decreases, the radiation field needed to deflect particles increases.  Don’t miss this discussion and explanation.  Dr. Rowe asked about radiation and the early Apollo missions.  Joe asked as question about the atmospheric particles and could they be used for shielding.  Don’t miss the answer to these questions.  Much of our discussion centered on possible mitigation techniques.  We went over many of those suggested but Dr. Logan suggested that the ultimate answer would not be in the form of a silver bullet but more likely a multiple faceted solution, a type of sandwich of solutions mixed together.  Near the end of the program, our guests responded to a medical treatment question for a long duration spaceflight crew member with a heart attack.  Pharmaceutical usage in space was talked about and our guests brought up the fact that humans were the weak link in the spaceflight chain.  Fly By Wire was used as an example.  Please remember to visit The Space Show Classroom Blog at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Post all your comments and questions there.  Any comments or questions sent to me will be posted to the blog under the name of the sender. 

Lesson 7 Archive Notes: May 17, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 7:  Human Factors, Part One

 Sunday, May 16, 2010

 Archive Notes and Program Information

 The Space Show Classroom Lesson 7 can be downloaded or heard at:


Guests:  CLASSROOM:  Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist.  Topics:  Lesson 7, Human Factors Part 1.  This program was Lesson 7 and the first part of a two part series on human factors for space travel.  Please visit The Space Show Classroom blog for presentation material (its copyrighted) and post all comments and questions for the guests on the blog at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  In the first segment of the program, our guests summarized the major human factors and medical issues for suborbital and very short term spaceflight.  As Dr. Logan noted, this is the 49th year of human spaceflight, about 500 people have flown and there have been about 260 space missions.  This comes to an 85 person/year of spaceflight experience.  He said there were no real surprises or show stoppers for this category of spaceflight.  We addressed bone loss issues and talked about G-loading positions for spaceflight participants to minimize acceleration stresses.  We compared these positions to those flying in a high performance fighter jet.  Centrifuge training was discussed in detail and why its so important to fly the suborbital or spaceflight profiles that one intends to take.  We talked about cardiac dysrhythmia, medical qualifications, beta blockers, and corrective steps if medical conditions were found to exist in someone that wants to fly in space.  Our guests talked about the disqualification process and explained it to us.  Listen carefully as it was not what I thought would be and some of you may also be surprised by what our guests said about potentially adverse medical conditions.  This is an important discussion so don’t miss it.  Floating around in the space vehicle was also brought up and discussed as a potential risk factor.  We had a question from Mel for Dr. Logan asking him about the tricks to avoid getting air sick if one has the opportunity to fly in a high performance military jet with a downright “evil” pilot.  You will enjoy this discussion!  During this segment, we spent more time talking about cardiac issues and the usage of pharmaceuticals in space.  One drug combination Dr. Logan talked about was ScopeDex for space sickness.  Our guests also suggested that spaceflight participants fly different zero g parabolas to experience weightlessness and see how they react to it and what “space sickness” is like.  Another issue that came up that would be critical for suborbital or any spaceflight was the ability for the person to do a rapid egress from the vehicle in case of an emergency.  Bone loss and osteoporosis were discussed in more detail during this segment.  A listener asked about flying children and here the age of consent came up as a problem/obstacle.  When asked about pregnant women in space, our guests said that all women of child bearing age must have a pregnancy test to fly.  You don’t want to miss this discussion.  Later in this segment, Jerry inquired about NASA space medical personnel and their ability to speak freely within NASA and outside the NASA line of command.  During the second segment, our guests repeated the three “commandments” for human spaceflight:   Do no danger to yourself, do no danger to the mission, and do no danger to others.  Dr. Jurist also talked about the risks of space diving explaining the major issues and risks associated with it.  I asked Dr. Logan about what to eat before a spaceflight.  Later in this segment, we talked about high altitude military jet ejections in the context of the earlier discussion on space diving.  Toward the end of the program, we talked about space radiation issues which were not said to be that significant for a very short suborbital flight.  While we discussed radiation in some detail, it will be a major focus of the second part of the human factors discussing in Lesson 8.  As we neared the end of the program, we talked more about the g-loading as well as a question from Bill on radiation issues for the ISS and a potential solar incident during a suborbital flight.  At the end, I asked each guest to prioritize the research as well as research dollars for suborbital and short duration human spaceflight.  The final show topic was in response to a question about obesity and spaceflight participants.  If you have questions or comments about this program or for Drs. Logan and Jurist, post them on The Space Show Classroom blog where this program is archived.  Visit https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Any emails sent me will be posted back on the blog under the sender’s name as we want the discussion to be part of the Classroom series.

Lesson 7 Presentation Materials May 15, 2010

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Show Classroom Lesson 7:  Human Factors, Part  One

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Presentation Material from Dr. John Jurist, Co-Host of the Classroom series

Advanced Topics in Space Studies — Human Factors




Lesson 6: Archive Notes April 7, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 6:  U.S. Commercial and NewSpace Launch Industry

 Tuesday, April 6, 2010

 Archive Notes and Program Information

 The Space Show Classroom Lesson 6 can be downloaded or heard at:


 Guests: CLASSROOM; Dr. Jeff Foust, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: U.S. Commercial and NewSpace Launch Industry.  Welcome to The Space Show Classroom Lesson 6 on the U.S. Commercial and New Space Launch Industry. Please remember that if you have questions or comments regarding this program or for any of the participants, post them on the Classroom blog at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com under Lesson 6 archives.  Emails sent to me will be posted on the blog on your behalf.  We started our discussion with Dr. Foust providing us with an overview of the U.S. Commercial Launch industry, starting with United Launch Alliance (ULA) which is a partnership with Boeing and Lockheed Martin making both the Atlas and Delta rockets.  As you will hear, Dr. Foust did a superb job taking us through the launch companies and their rockets, explaining their missions, reliability, and costs.  He included the Space Shuttle as our only human spaceflight launch system.  We talked about markets and emerging markets and compared different rockets and options to the domestic trucking transportation system, exploring with our panel what it would take to have a truly commercial launch industry as we do a trucking and other commercial industries.  Jeff outlined the needs of the three main segments in the industry, military, civilian, and commercial.  This is a most important discussion.  We then talked about how launchers are optimized.  As you will hear, they are not optimized for cost but instead for schedule and reliability.  Jeff clearly explained why this is so for each segment and why cost is not the primary issue.  We then applied this analysis to the Falcon 9 and its potential commercial market, and as you will hear, Dr. Logan questioned if there was really a commercial market if the only customer was government.  See what you think of this discussion and how Jeff responded to Jim Logan’s questions in this area.  This discussion led us to explore exactly what the new commercial markets for rockets might be and we focused in on Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) and what that might eventually lead to for emerging markets.  The elasticity of the launch market was analyzed and our panel considered the impact of lowering launch costs without a corresponding increase in demand.  Jeff cited examples in COMSAT launches per year. In the end, Dr. Logan suggested all of this might just be a zero sum game.  Post your thoughts on this on the blog.  Other potential markets were mentioned such as spacecraft servicing missions, propellant depots and more.  Listen to what our panel members said about this.  Clearly, there are unanswered questions.  As our first segment came to a close, Dr. Foust went through a brief EELV history in response to questions from Trent in Australia.  We started the segment with the oil tanker and liability question raised by Joe in Houston.  The NewSpace launch industry and its potential was next up for discussion.  Jeff took us through the various NewSpace launch companies and provided us with current updates on most of them. John in Atlanta brought up the idea of the space manufacturing business as a market driver.  Listen to what our panel had to say about this.  We also talked about ITAR reform and potential ITAR reform impact on the launch market and the NewSpace Industry.  We digressed from the launch industry with a series of questions about artificial or partial gravity and the need for a centrifuge in space to determine what is actually needed for long duration spaceflights.  Dr. Logan brought us up to date with some information about NASA work in this area.  Somehow this took us to discussing zero gravity surgery and we learned about simulated experiments using the zero g planes.  Later in the segment, we talked about different launch technology as well as heavy lift.  VASIMIR came up as did the nuclear rocket, space elevator, and heavy lift, including Direct 3.0.  Jeff had much to say about heavy lift regardless of the vehicle design or concept used.  He said if space exploration is the goal, its essential.  If space exploration beyond LEO is not the goal, heavy lift is not so important at this time.  At the end of the program, we talked about the possibility of extending the Space Shuttle beyond the announced retirement.  Dr. Foust suggested it might be extended by a few flights but nobody knew for sure.  Dr. Logan expressed a firm opinion supporting its retirement.  You do not want to miss this discussion.  Dr. Foust concluded this Classroom program by saying we were in very interesting times with the potential to have a real paradigm shift in how space is viewed and how we access space.  At this time, the verdict is out on the success of such a paradigm shift.  Again, any comments or questions you might have for any and all panel members are to be posted on The Space Show Classroom Blog under Lesson 6 Archive Notes at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com. Emails sent to me will be uploaded to the blog under your name.

Lesson 5: Archive Notes March 31, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 5:  New Space: What It is, Capabilities and Potential

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Archive Notes and Program Information

The Space Show Classroom Lesson 5 can be downloaded or heard at:


Guests:  CLASSROOM; Paul Breed, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  New Space Industry.  Welcome to The Space Show Classroom Lesson 5 on the New Space Industry.  Please remember that if you have questions or comments regarding this program or for any of the participants, post them on the Classroom blog at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Emails sent to me will be posted on the blog on your behalf. As we started Lesson 5, we asked guest panelist Paul Breed of Unreasonable Rockets to define the New Space Industry.  This is a detailed and comprehensive discussion on what makes up the industry, why its hard to describe and define, and some of the defining characteristics. For example, is the industry defined by the nature of the customer, who pays the bill, is New Space a publicly traded or private company or something else.  We talked about the difference in the government funding Ares and Constellation and the government funding EELV and Falcon 9 and why the latter are considered commercial rather than a government project.  We also discussed the difference between the commercial industry and what makes up the New Space industry.  I asked the panel about safety issues and NASA objections to handing off human spaceflight to commercial companies on the basis of safety concerns.  Listen carefully to what Paul and the co-hosts had to say about this as there were some differing perspectives.  Its fair to say that whatever happens, effective oversight is needed, not just for the engineering, but for the management.  The need for New Space to make money was discussed throughout the program and as you will hear.  Paul suggested space tourism was probably the most likely business to be profitable, especially in the near term.  Later in this segment, we talked about the need for most New Space companies to attract capital and this led us to discuss market issues for the New Space Industry.  The suborbital research market was discussed as well as the NASA efforts to fund its development.  This was questioned by our panel, especially since sounding rockets already cover suborbital research and are far more powerful and cost effective but they are not human tended.  Don’t miss what our panel had to say about this potential business model.  Dr. Logan talked about how NASA had utilized effective human factors research on zero g flights for 30 seconds at a time as part of this suborbital examination, evidencing that an actual suborbital flight was not always necessary.  You will find his comments on CPR and the use of defibrillators on the ISS and the research done on the zero g flights to be most interesting.  As we concluded our fist segment, Paul said that he would discuss a list of New Space companies and their status in the next segment.  As we started the second segment, Paul did go through a lengthy list of most New Space companies, their status and capabilities.  Rather than listing all the companies in this summary, let me say that this is a must listen to discussion.  Toward the end of the discussion, I asked our panel if VASIMIR was considered New Space.  Everyone said no so listen why.  We talked about the many businesses attending the Small Sat conference and their being part of or considered to be New Space.  Listen to what our panel members had to say about this.  The Space Access Society was discussed as was their upcoming conference and many of their participants as this is the New Space conference.  The Orbitec Vortex Motor was talked about as were various pumps, both from XCOR and Flometrics.  As our program came to a close, I asked the panel for an estimate of where the New Space Industry would be in five years.  The consensus seemed to suggest a 50-50 chance for commercial success in the five year time window.  Regardless, Paul did say lots of interesting things would be flying around in this time period.  Again, any comments or questions you might have for any and all panel members are to be posted on The Space Show Classroom Blog under Lesson 5 Archive Notes at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Emails sent to me will be uploaded to the blog under your name.

Lesson 4: Archive Notes March 7, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 4:  Business and Engineering Due Diligence

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Archive Notes and Program Information

 The Space Show Classroom Lesson 4 can be downloaded or heard at:


Guests:  Bruce Pittman, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan, Dr. David Livingston.  Topics:  Classroom Lesson 4:  Business and Engineering Due Diligence. Visit The Space Show Classroom Blog for the presentation material from our panelists, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  Bruce has a Power Point presentation for your review, Dr. Jurist has his investment laws and a Power Point presentation, and I’ve uploaded the business plan outline I use when writing a business plan.  We started our first of two segments for Lesson 4 with guest panelist Bruce Pittman introducing us to the basics of business, marketing, and financial due diligence.  The initial part of our conversation focused on markets and what is real or not real.  We talked about multiple income streams and used suborbital flights as a model.  We addressed the subject of financial and marketing assumptions and how to determine if they are reasonable.  Listeners asked about alternative ways of determining the credibility of a business plan and the people involved with it so don’t miss this important discussion.  Risk factors, competition, and the need for a risk management strategy were discussed in this segment.  Bruce and John talked about the need for a compelling story and the use of third party experts with credentials to help look at a venture, especially on the engineering due diligence side of the analysis.  Bruce also said that the same rules apply for space as for terrestrial businesses but there are additional factors which he outlined during this Classroom program.  John in Atlanta called about reusable rockets and getting the first stage back.  This was a comprehensive discussion on the economics of reusability so don’t miss it.  Toward the end of the first segment, we talked about proprietary issues in a business plan and the use of the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and how that is understood by investors.  Again, don’t miss this discussion.  We started the second segment with Bruce telling us about the Space Investment Summit upcoming in Chicago this May.  Check it out at their website, http://spaceinvestmentsummit.com.  Its possible you can submit a business plan to the Summit so if this interests you, by all means check it out.  In talking about the standards for the business plans, we talked about the presentation and the need for a superb Executive Summary.  Later in this segment, we talked about wish list thinking and separating our emotions from the practical job at hand to evaluate the plan or opportunity.  In this segment, we talked about timing, having an experienced management team and recognizing when its time to bring in professionals to fill the gaps in management not being filled by the original team members.  We described the difference between angel investors and venture capital and Bruce introduced us to the idea of corporate venture capital.  Knowing the customer was a recurring theme for this show but as we neared the end of the program, we were asked about a company with only one customer, the government.  Listen to what our panel members had to say about this.  As we went to the concluding remarks, you will hear Dr. Jurist urge caution and scrupulous honesty.  Bruce said it was an exciting time but that it was hard writing good business plans and factor in that it will always take two to three times as much energy to do what you plan on doing and two to three times as much money as you think it will take to get the job done.  You can send comments or questions to Bruce Pittman at bpittman@earthlink.net and for the co-hosts, our addresses are on the blog.  However, remember, all comments  and questions regarding this program should be posted on The Space Show Classroom Blog under Lesson 4 Archives.  Any emails I receive will automatically be posted on the blog.  The Space Show Classroom blog address is https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.

Lesson 4: Presentation Materials March 6, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 4:  How to do serious analysis, due diligence, finance, marketing, biz management, and engineering reality, March 7, 2010.

I. Presentation Material from Bruce Pittman, Guest Panelst, NASA Space Portal:

Space Entrepreneurial Overview

II.  Dr. John Jurist, Co-Host, The Space Show Classroom

Jurist’s 16 Commandments of Space Investing

 If you see any of the following, run away

1.   The principals cannot understand why the coolness factor is not enough to get capital.

2.  The principals adhere to the “build it and they will come philosophy” instead of specifically defining their market by depth and size in their business plan.

3.  The principals do not carefully adhere to securities rules and fail to give at least quarterly financial reports to their investors.

4.The principals aspire to increase capitalization by orders of magnitude, as in having raised and spent $500 Thousand, they now want to raise $50 Million without a track record or a clear implementation plan.

5.  The principals dismiss other disciplinary contributions – “We are great engineers and don’t need a finance person’s help (by the way, what does ‘present value’ mean?).”

6.  The principals casually talk about staff expansion by orders of magnitude – “There are 2 of us, but we will hire 50 engineers and technicians the month after we raise the money and fly within 2 years.”   Yet, none of the principals have ever run a group of 50 engineers and technicians.

7.  The principals display a casual attitude about angel investors and shareholders in a closely held corporation – “It is my playground, don’t bother me.”

8.  The principals don’t have adequate tracking and business systems in place – “We will implement them when we need them.”

9.  The web site uses the present tense to describe concepts without associated hardware – “We offer cheap access to LEO.”  This is akin to vaporware in the software industry.

10.  The announced corporate goals expand faster than milestone achievements.  For example, the first announced goal of achieving LEO is renounced in favor of the goal of rescuing the Hubble telescope without ever achieving LEO.

11.  Logos and logo shirts from Lands End cost more than the rockets they have built.

12.  The principals cannot convincingly demonstrate an annual ROI of at least 20 percent.

13.  The organization displays obsessive secrecy about plans, markets, progress, etc.

14.  A balance sheet with intellectual property dominating the asset list.

15.  There is no realistic budget allocation for regulatory compliance, licensing, etc.

 16.  The principals appear to be more interested in talking to CNN about future dreams than in working to make those dreams happen. 

Advanced Topics in Space Studies — Investor Concerns

 III.  Dr. David Livingston, Co-Host, The Space Show Classroom

Business Plan Outline

 Part I:  Summary


 This part of the Business Plan creates the initial impression for both the company and its management.  The contents of the Business Plan are briefly summarized in this section.

Part II:  The Business and Its Future


 This section contains the topics which explain the business.  Starting with this section, it is important to show why the business is unique.  Why is this business special in the world of business.  The “keys to success” are included in this section.  Some suggested topics are as follows:

        A.  General:  Start with the obvious such as where the company is located and what it does.  This is strictly general information.  Identify type of corporate structure and what changes you might be recommending for the future growth of the company.

            B.  Nature of the Business:  This is the basic synopsis of the business.  The description of what it does.  The trick is to enable the reader to understand the business using as few words as possible.

     C.  Business History:  Here you tell how it was founded, when, and any milestones which may be good or bad.  It is a chronological report of the business operations from start to present.

     D.  Future Business:  In this section, the chronological sequence plan for the company is spelled out.  This states how you move from where you are now to where you want to be in five years.  It clearly states your goals and how you intend to get there.  Indicate the changes and be prepared to support the changes you state in this section.  You can also set shorter term goals in this section, perhaps 3 and 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and five years using several intervals.  This section gives management a great deal of freedom to plan the business with effective strategies, but it also puts restraints on management in that the objectives and goals need to be supported with facts and specifics.

 E.  Uniqueness:  In this section, you detail why the company is unique and will remain unique throughout the period of the plan.  Competitive, marketing, financial and other advantages can be stated and supported in this section.

 F.  Product/Service:  This is where you describe in detail the product and service of the company and what it will be during the period of the plan.  If the plan calls for adding new products and services, they should referenced here and supported.  This section requires thoughtfulness, nothing too hasty or “too pie in the sky.”

  G.  Customers:  Here you must describe in detail your customer and who your customer will be over the period of the plan.  If it changes, discuss how you will find the new customer and grow and change to meet this customer’s needs.  You should show who purchases the product, list the purchasers and their needs, their purchasing power, what they buy, etc.  Talk about how you can improve the situation with each of them.  Name the potentially new customers.

   H.  Your Industry and the Market:  Describe the general market place for the product using total dollar volume, the rate it has grown, the overall demand for the product, etc.  A projection is needed for the future size of the marketplace and your position in it.  If you state entire industry sales, make sure you also state your market share of the entire industry stales.

    I.  Competition:  Here is where you really go into the detail of competition.  Who and what it is, the specifics of it and how you can compete and grow.  How can you get market share from them.  Know the dollar volume of sales for your competition so you will know what is achievable.  Describe and support how the competition will change during the period of the plan.

  J.  Marketing:  The details of the marketing plan are spelled out in this section.  In a sense, this is a mini-business plan.  It includes, dollars, channels of distribution and so forth.  It requires a careful analysis of the market now and for the period of your plan.

 K.  Production:  Here you describe all aspects and costs involved in the production process of the product.  Fixed and variable costs are discussed in detail.  Also discussed are the characteristics of the product’s production.  Talk about crucial components, risks, difficulties, advantages, skills.

  L.  Employees/Subcontractors:  Discuss the employment/subcontracting needs of the company in detail now and for the term of the plan.  Include general detail such as salaries, the cost of benefits to the company, potential obligations and liabilities such as healthcare and workers compensation programs (based on possible government action or modifications), their impact on the company, etc.

  M.  Suppliers:  Highlight the source of supply for the production of the products.  Identify the sources, alternate sources, cost out the sources and alternate sources and plan for using the alternates with contingency plans.  If higher priced suppliers are used, what will be the impact on the company?  What about delivery times, terms, etc.

    N.  Equipment/Governmental Regulations:  Identify the specifics about the usage of special equipment or regulations.  Attention to costs are crucial.

  O.  Property and Facilities:  Discuss the rent, the location, proximity to markets, etc.  Identify and discuss weak points and strong points for a balance.

   P.   Patents/Trademarks/Manuals:  Identify patents and trademarks if applicable.  Consider applying for such if necessary.  Make sure all formulas, etc. are detailed in a company manual stored in safekeeping.

   Q.  Litigation:  Detail the litigation history, the outcome and present situation.  Discuss any future problem areas and potential liabilities.

   R.  Conflicts of Interest:  Discuss these for the company and management.  Make sure everything is disclosed.  Give it thought for at first something might not be a conflict of interest but when examining it further, it is one.

  S.  Inventory/Backlogs:  Identify inventory and backlog problems, discuss how they are solved and avoided for the future.  What is the cost to the company of backlogs, if they exist, both in dollars and in irritation to the customers.

 T.  Insurance:  Identify insurance policies and carriers, coverage and costs/premiums.  Project what will be needed for the future growth as outlined in this plan.

 U.  Taxes:  Detail tax obligations now and in the future as goals are achieved.  Costs to the company should be part of financial statements and projections. 

  V.  Publications, Associations, Publicity:  Detail the specifics in this category if applicable.

Part 3:  Management

  A.  Identify Directors and Officers.  Discuss liabilities, obligations, functions and the availability if possible, of insurance protection.  Discuss the cost of such protection to the company if available.  Terms, compensation, equity holdings should be presented here.

 B.  Key Employees:  Identify present key employees and detail the specifics about the employment of these individuals.  Each employee should write a manual for replacing his position in case of illness, death or departure.  Terms of employment should be spelled out.  Discuss future needs in all these categories per the Business Plan.

C.  Benefits/Stock Option/Incentive Programs:  Management should create programs in this area for the present or for the future if specific performance criteria are met.  

 D.  Liabilities/Shareholders/Equity:  Detail shareholders, equity positions and liabilities.

E.  Employment Agreements:  Reference them if they exist.  Recommend and highlight them if needed.

 F.  Consultants, Accountants, Lawyers, Bankers and Others:  Be specific about the use and costs for these outside professionals.  Plan for them for the future per the plan.

Part 4:  Financing

   A.  Identify the capital structure of the company.  Identify what it should be if goals are met for the plan.

B.  Detail present financial condition of the company.  Show how this can change. Support it with footnote explanations tied to achieving the goals in sales, etc.

C.  Profits/Losses:  This entire section is where this subject is discussed in detail with all the supporting documents, figures, explanations, forecasts, projections and tables.

 D.  Outside Funding:  If the company will need additional or outside funding, this is where it is detailed.

Part 5:  Risk Factors

 A.  Identification:  This is where the risk factors are listed and identified.  They are ascertained from the contents of this plan.  Some examples are short company history, limited resources, limited management experience if applicable, market and financial uncertainties, production uncertainties, liquidation, capital shortages, dependence on key management (most likely without key man life insurance) plus other problems.

 B.  Problems and Opportunities:  Detail the problems in this section and discuss how they can be turned into opportunities for the company. 

Part 6:  Return on Investment and Exit

A.  ROI:  Show what the shareholders can make with their investment in the company.  Show its present ROI and project it out regarding meeting the goals and objectives in the Business Plan. 

  B.  Exit:  Show how the shareholders can realize their profits, returns or get their money out of the company.  Is it to be sold, financed, taken public or are investment dollars left in indefinitely.

Part 7:  Analysis and Projections

  A.  Here is where you detail your own analysis of prior history of company operations and the projections for the future of the company.  Use whatever tools are needed including ratio analysis, statistics, comparisons, charts and graphs.

 B.  Financial Information:  Discuss in detail the current financial statements.  Is the company liquid, discuss the accounts receivable and payable.

    C.  Identify and discuss any contingent liabilities the company may have.

 Part 8:  Financial Statements

  A.  Present a complete set of financial statements.  You may also want to approximate what they will look like when meeting the various goals discussed in the plan.

Part 9:  Financial Projections:

  A.  This is the section containing all the projections discussed in the Business Plan.  Three sets of projections are used, worst case, medium and superb performance.  Explain the assumptions so the reader can test them for soundness and see how they are supported.

 Part 10:  Conclusion

A.  The conclusion is similar to the summary except that it is more specific.  It does not need to be long.  It should be positive without forgetting the risks.

Lesson 3: Archive Notes February 17, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 3:  Orbital/Flight Dynamics

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010 

Archive Notes and Program Information

The Space Show Classroom Lesson 3 Orbital/Flight Dynamics  can be downloaded or heard at:


Guests:   CLASROOM:  Dan Adamo, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan:  Topics:  Lesson 3:  Orbital/Flight Dynamics.   Lesson 3 for The Space Show Classroom featured panel members Dan Adamo, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan, and myself to discuss the basics of orbital and flight dynamics.  As with all Classroom programs, the goal is to ground listeners in reality on the basics of space flight.  This two hour plus program consisted of two segments, about an hour each. In our initial segment, we asked Dan Adamo to provide us with a basic understanding of both orbital and flight dynamics and what a Flight Dynamics Officer (FDO pronounced as Fido) actually does.  We also talked about the training required, the supervision, internships, computers used and the various positions available including working the console.  Dan also explained the difference in doing an LEO mission versus a longer mission to the Moon, a NEO, or Mars. He also described the differences in working a human spaceflight mission versus a science or robotic mission.  At one point, I asked Dan to extrapolate to the needs of orbital space tourism or an orbital destination to a Bigelow space station.  Listen carefully to what Dan had to say about the flight dynamic for this type of private mission as compared to a Shuttle mission.  We talked about what happens with an orbit and its  planning with variable ISP such as VASIMIR technology.  We started the description and explanation of transfer orbits using the Moon as an example.  This is a very important factual discussion including rendezvous, the concept of antipode, and launch windows.  Here, our panelists explained that we launch eastward but to go to ISS at 51.6 North, we have to go to the NE. The penalty for doing this was clearly and technically explained.  This discussion brought up staging and the tyranny of the rocket equation.  Pay attention to the required maneuvering to get to station, why it starts almost immediately after leaving the pad, and the penalty paid by Europeans and even the Russians to get to this orbit.  As you will hear, once at the ISS, its easy to go to the Moon and other places, but getting to ISS does involve a costly launch penalty.  I asked about polar orbits to the Moon and our panel members explained the facts of this type of orbital action in detail.  The timing and windows on the polar orbit are far more severe than equatorial or an ISS launch.  In our second segment, our guests said that the reason orbital dynamics was so hard was because of the tyranny of the rocket equation.  Don’t miss this discussion.  They also said its the reason why startups trying to solve these problems are always strapped for cash.  Chemical rockets just don’t do all that well.  Dan then talked about Adamos Rules for the Road for Gravitational Harmony (ARRGH).  These rules are on the blog as part of the Lesson 3 presentation materials.  Pay close attention to what these rules mean and how they are applied to real life situations.  Our panel then entered into a comprehensive discussion regarding orbital propellant depots.  This is an essential and must hear part of this Classroom program as we talked about orbital dynamics issues, propellant depot orbits and locations including at the destination, cryogenic transfer, location near the ISS and much more.  We also talked about plausible and not so plausible propellant depot missions.  Here, Dan said those proposing propellant depots need to undertake a Conceptual Mission Design and run the numbers.  Orbital and flight dynamics need to be part of the analysis, not just the engineering issues.  We then talked about the presentation material submitted by Dr. Jurist and partial orbits, launch east instead of west and Jim brought up the concept of minimum energy used by the clipper ships as an analogy to why launching east is more effective than Point to Point going west.  As we concluded this segment, our panel members said the purpose for the Classroom was to offer grounding to people on the basics of the issues controlling spaceflight.  Jim suggested that the future is not unfolding as any of us thought it would be and this presents us with disconnects from facts and reality.  Dr. Logan suggested four areas that we must all be grounded in:  1) the rocket equation; 2) flight dynamic; 3) bio-medical and human factors realities for space travel; 4) propulsion.  He said to solve these much needed problems, grounding is essential.  All of us agreed.  If you have comments or questions, please post them on The Space Show Classroom blog at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com under the Lesson 3 Archive section.  All co-host email addresses are on the blog and Dan Adamo said he could be reached at adamod@earthlink.net.  All notes and comments sent to me at drspace@thespaceshow.com will be posted on the blog.

Lesson 3: Presentation Materials February 16, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 3: Orbital and Flight Dynamics. Tuesday, February 16, 2010.  

 I.  Presentation Material From Guest Panelist: Dan Adamo, Retired NASA Mission Control Flight Dynamics Officer.

Here are several precepts applicable to managing flight dynamics near relatively massive objects like the Earth and Moon.  They are collectively referred to as “ARRGH” (or Adamo’s Rules of the Road for Gravitational Harmony) because any student of flight dynamics in space will sooner or later find them frustrating.

Departure from these precepts will likely consume additional propellant.  Any such “gas guzzling” must therefore be justified as contributing to achieved mission objectives, including mission assurance requirements such as crew safety.  To illustrate propulsive consequences associated with ARRGH precepts, each is accompanied by a “LEOrot” value.  A LEOrot is a rule-of-thumb valid in a near-circular low Earth orbit (or LEO) context.  The LEO for which LEOrot values are computed is at approximately 200 km altitude, where geocentric inertial speed is near 7800 m/s.

ARRGH #1)  Do not raise or lower both ends (or apses) of a circular or elliptical orbit if only one end (or apsis) needs to be raised or lowered.  Likewise, do not raise AND lower the same apsis of an orbit.  Applications include orbit insertion following launch, rendezvous, and deorbit.  LEOrot #1: to change an apsis by 1 km requires a change in speed of 0.30 m/s at the other apsis.  This type of maneuver is known as a Hohmann transfer.

ARRGH #2)  To efficiently achieve escape or capture, apply thrust at the lowest possible altitudes where speed is greatest.  Align thrust with velocity as closely as possible during escape or capture.  Applications include interplanetary departure or arrival.  LEOrot #2: to achieve minimal Earth escape requires a speed increase of 3200 m/s.

ARRGH #3)  To efficiently rotate a trajectory plane, do so when speed is minimal.  This may not be possible if one trajectory plane is to be brought into coincidence with another because thrust must be applied at “the line of nodes”, where the two planes intersect.  Applications include launch window definition and rendezvous.  LEOrot #3: to rotate an orbit plane by 1 deg requires a change in velocity of 140 m/s.

II.  Presentation Material from Co-host Dr. John Jurist:

 Effects of Earth’s Spin on Suborbital Point to Point Transportation

The figure below shows the minimum Delta-V needed to go a specified distance around the Earth in a ballistic trajectory.  The horizontal axis shows the range traveled in degrees (out of 360) and the vertical axis shows the Delta-V expressed as a percentage of surface circular velocity (about 7,900 meters per second).  Atmospheric drag is ignored and a spherical Earth and impulsive boost are assumed in order to simplify the analysis.


For a fixed Delta-V and range, there are two ballistic trajectories that can attain lesser ranges.  This is easily understood with a simple thought experiment involving a water hose and nozzle. Water comes out of the nozzle at some speed.  If the hose is held to direct the water stream upwards at about 45 degrees, the water hits the ground at a maximum range.  At lesser ranges, there are two angles for the water to hit the desired spot.  One angle is more than 45 degrees and the other is less than 45 degrees.  If the water pressure is reduced to slow its ejection speed from the hose, the lesser range can be attained with the water stream directed upwards at 45 degrees.  The two angles converge to a single angle as water speed is reduced to the minimum to hit that range.  The same holds true for the ranges and Delta-V’s shown in the graph except the optimum angle varies with range because the Earth is spherical.

To get half way around the Earth, the required minimum Delta-V is circular velocity.  To get about ¼ of the way around the Earth, about 90 percent of circular speed is needed.  Therefore, for ranges of more than approximately 6,000 miles, 90 percent of orbital velocity is required.  The Earth’s spin adds some speed to eastward launches.  At 45 degrees latitude (Billings, Montana), that eastward boost is about 330 meters per second.  For westward launches from that latitude, a similar amount needs to be added to the Delta-V shown in the graph.  In order to go half way around the Earth launching to the east, about 7,600 meters per second is required, but to go the same distance to the west requires about 8,200 meters per second.  This difference implies that going more than about 94 degrees to the west in a ballistic trajectory requires as much Delta-V as launching to the east into a circular orbit.  In terms of miles, 94 degrees corresponds to about 6,500 miles.

These simplified approximations ignore our pesky atmosphere and some ogeometric issues but still illustrate two points:

  • Surface suborbital point to point ballistic transportation over ranges that are significant in terms of the Earth’s circumference require Delta-V’s closely approaching orbital speeds.


  • If one wants to go west about 6,500 miles or so in a suborbital ballistic trajectory, one may as well go east in a fractional orbital trajectory (not counting de-orbit Delta-V).  If one wants to go further west but not half way around, it is easier to go east.

These two points have profound implications for people hoping to evolve suborbital up and down launches to 100 kilometers or so into point to point suborbital transportation.  The impulsive Delta-V without atmosphere for an up and down trip to 100 kilometers is roughly 1,400 meters per second compared to surface circular orbital velocity of about 7,900 meters per second.  The suborbital point to point transport Delta-V is much closer to orbital Delta-V than it is to the up and down flights – especially to the west as discussed above.

Except for affecting prevailing wind direction, the Earth’s rotation does not have an appreciable role in the difficulty of flying aircraft substantial distances around our planet.

I suspect that commercial suborbital point to point transportation will evolve downward from orbital launch capability rather than evolve up from commercial vertical launches to 100 kilometers or so.  I also suspect that suborbital point to point transport to the west will actually result from eastward launches – at least in the early stages.  If commercial space transport vehicle Delta-V capability is much larger than that required for launch to LEO, then the issues described above become less relevant.  Until then, Los Angeles to Hong Kong suborbitally, anyone?

Lecture 2: Archive Notes February 10, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 2:  The Rocket Equation

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010

Archive Notes and Program Information


The Space Show Classroom Lesson 2 The Rocket Equation can be downloaded or heard from:


Guests:  Classroom guest panelist Paul Breed with co-hosts Dr. Livingston, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan.  Topics:  The Rocket Equation and why it matters.  Welcome to Lesson 2 The Rocket Equation in our Space Show Classroom series.  This nearly two hour program focused on The Rocket Equation, how to understand it, use it, and why we build and launch rockets the way we do.  In the first of two segments, Paul Breed began our discussion using his presentation materials posted on The Space Show Classroom blog, https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  This is a very comprehensive discussion and explanation of the rocket equation and the physics and engineering governing the launching of chemical rockets.  Paul and our co-hosts talked at length about the difference between suborbital and orbital, the amount of energetic differences in the two and why going to orbit is 25 times harder than suborbital flight.  We talked about fuel, mass rations for the rocket full of fuel and payload as well as the rocket’s dry weight mass ratios.  We talked about the need to accelerate to a minimum of 17,000 mph and the 1,000 mph boost the rocket gets from launching west to east at the equator which diminishes to only about a 300 mph if you launch from a polar site.  The Classroom rocket equation team also described  and explained the penalty for launching east to west and used Israel as the example for this type of launch.  Comparisons were made to the Saturn V rocket and jets.  We talked about why a big rocket has less of a launch penalty than a small rocket, the SSTO was examined so that all of us would understand why it is so difficult and illusive to build.  We talked about why wings, landing gear and reusable robustness work against the orbital vehicle but are better for the suborbital vehicles.   Air-breathing rocket engines were discussed along with jet engines, and toward the end of this segment, we got into the rocket’ equation significance for costs.  In our second segment, Paul took us through the rocket characteristics, mass, and costs for the typical Lunar Lander Challenger rocket.  Listen carefully to what he says about this and how the rocket equation dictates the scaling up for this type of vehicle to orbital status.  Paul said such a vehicle would have a gross takeoff mass of 3,000,000 pounds!  Air drag was discussed in both segments of the show but again applied to small rockets in this segment, thus within certain limits, an air launch of a smaller rocket is useful.  Paul explained why in his opinion the ramjets, scramjets, and hypersonics don’t make sense other than for the military or only for upper atmospheric operation because at best they can only produce about 16% of the needed energy for orbit. But again, for suborbital, its a different story.  During this segment, we explained rocket staging.  As you will hear, each stage is planned and designed using the rocket equation but builds upon the performance of the preceding stage.  Later in this segment, Dr. Logan used the Space Shuttle and the SMEs as an example of mass ratios for payload.  We had support on what Jim was saying with a Space Shuttle scientist from Houston who offered many comments and facts regarding the Space Shuttle example.  This example dramatically describes what Paul, John, and Jim talked about during this rocket equation program.  Near the end of Lesson 2, we discussed possible propulsion and space access from other means that would allow significantly better performance given the rocket equation constraints or even not be subject to the rocket equation including nuclear, the space elevator, fusion, and non-chemical rockets.  We also talked about the difference in fantasy and reality and all our participants said that the fantasy while important, does not work for space exploration.  Space exploration requires reality and reality is not interchangeable with fantasy.  The issue of changing orbits came up, carrying more fuel on an emergency Space Shuttle flight, and why its not practical or doable and even insignificant given the ratios for the shuttle.  If you have a comment or question for any of the participants on this Classroom program, please post it on the blog. E-mail addresses for the three co-hosts are listed on the blog. For Paul Breed please use paul@rasdoc.com.

Lecture 2: Presentation Materials February 8, 2010

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Space Show Classroom Lesson 2:  The Rocket Equation.  Tuesday, February 9, 2010.

I.  Presentation Material From Guest Panelist:  Paul Breed of Unreasonable Rockets (http://unreasonablerocket.blogspot.com/).

Getting to Space is relatively easy, getting to orbit is hard.

The difference between Virgin and XCOR, etc… and Shuttle/SpaceX, etc…

Orbit means falling toward the earth, but going so fast you continually miss.
To get to orbit you  to must go very very fast, the energy in orbit is 25x the energy on 100km suborbital hop.

You can almost think of it like the game tetherball, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Tetherball_flickr.jpg)  A suborbital hop just pushes the ball straight out from the pole, it then falls back to the poll. If you really hit the ball it goes around  the pole.

The absolute minimal possible orbital velocity is 7500 m/sec. (17000 mph)

This means your rocket must impart 7500 m/sec of horizontal velocity.

Any real world vehicle with drag will have higher requirements.

A very very large rocket could get close to 7500 m/sec but a very small rocket could easily require 10000 m/sec DV to counter the air drag.(1)

To go that fast a rocket needs to be mostly fuel.

It will also stage as this lets it drop the empty tank stage and big motors.

The Sci fi rockets like the Star Wars fighters, Star Trek shuttle, comic book rockets etc.. are not possible with chemical propulsion. We will never ever have a chemical powered orbital rocket  that looks like a commercial air plane.

All orbital chemical rockets will look like a flimsy flying gas tank.

The very best commercial plane carries 1/2 its weight in fuel.
An orbital SSTO rocket needs to be more than 95% fuel mass. The other % must include structure, motors, and payload.

And its even worse than it seems for every pound of fuel a jet burns it uses 10 lbs of “free” air. A Rocket needs to bring along its own “air/oxidizer” and that is the definition difference between rockets  and jet.

A rocket is not like a car where it pushes on the immoveable road to make it go forward.  A rocket is like sitting on a row boat in the middle of the lake and throwing baseballs out the back to make it go forward.  Probably works better if Roger Clemons is throwing.
Works really well if the baseball was shot out of cannon….. (cannons are heavy so there is a point of no return.)

In a rocket the baseballs are gas molecules and they are thrown very fast.  The speed the balls are thrown are usually called ISP.  higher pressures more complex motors can throw faster, but just like a cannon.  If they get too heavy there is a point of diminishing returns.

The actual equation :  delta V = Ve * ln (Mi/Mf)

Delta V = The change in velocity.

Ve = The exhaust velocity of the propellant leaving the rocket.

Mi = The initial Mass of the vehicle. (The empty wt + payload + propellant)

Mf = the final Mass of the vehicle. (The empty wt+ payload + reserves)

ISP (in seconds) = Ve/acceleration due to gravity

The 180 second LLC vehicles had an achieved delta V of 9.8m/sec * 180 = 1764 m/sec
(Minimal orbital is 7500 m/sec)  4.5 times as much dv, and it is logarithmic relation ship at least 20 times harder.

Using same level of performance as Masten’s  LLLC vehicle carrying a 55lb payload (Assume 55lbs payload GLOW of 855lbs and hover of 195 seconds)
would require 4   stages and stages with equal DV per stage 1st stage would weigh more than 3M pounds. So the performance of a real useful orbital rocket needs to be much higher than the LLC vehicles.

Its not really quite that bad as when you gain altitude and don’t have to throttle the ISP performance improves significantly. But for the same level of technology that answer is within an order of magnitude.

This is why SSTO is almost impossible.

Performance/Vehicle Class ISP Dry Mass to reach orbit
Improved LLC class 250 3.9%
SpaceX Merlin 310 7.4%
SSME* 450 16%
NERVA* 825 37%

*Both SSME and NERVA used Liquid Hydrogen, hard to get good mass ratio with LH2 as it has the density of an empty Styrofoam cup  Hydrocarbon Fuels require a higher mass fraction, but are much denser actually making the mass fraction easier to achieve.

Chemical rockets will remain expensive until you can reuse them, and the rocket equation makes that very hard.

The only way to get both high thrust and high ISP is either some form of external power like the Laser Launch scheme, or some form of nuclear power, fission, fusion etc…

Some electric propulsion system have very high ISP’s but they have very low thrust to weight, i.e. 1/1000th or less. So they can not climb out of the gravity well to LEO.

Long term LEO access can  be somewhat solved with very large engineering projects, like the space elevator, Loftsrom loop (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Launch_loop) to get to low earth orbit and nuclear propulsion, preferably fusion for going from LEO onward.
In the short term one might see some benefit from rotavators or other tether schemes.  Based on what I know,  the space elevator has big material and stability issues.  The loop has a physically larger footprint on the ground but requires no new materials.

If one could generate a machine with 50% energy efficiency getting a human to orbit would require  less than $200 of energy at current electrical energy rates.

90Kg * 8000 m/sec^2 * 50% = 2880 MJoules   = 800 Kilo watt hours

At 10c a kwa = $80.00

I really like the Orion concept, but humans have become very risk adverse, the open air atomic bombs would be unpopular. ;-(

(1) https://e-reports-ext.llnl.gov/pdf/321763.pdf How Small can a Launch Vehicle Be AIAA 2005-4506.


II.  Presentation Material from Co-Host Dr. John Jurist:

The Rocket Equation: Delta-V = Ve * ln (Mi / Mf)

Delta-V = The change in velocity of the rocket in absence of gravitational and aerodynamic losses.

Ve = The exhaust velocity of the propellant leaving the rocket.

ln = Natural logarithm = loge

Mi = The initial mass of the vehicle. (empty wt + payload + propellant)

Mf = The final mass of the vehicle. (empty wt + payload + reserves)

Isp =  Specific Impulse (in seconds) is Ve /acceleration due to gravity.  In English units, it is the pounds of thrust generated by a specific propellant combination at a burn rate of one pound per second.

Some implications of the rocket equation are considered below:

One reason an orbital launcher will not look like a commercial airplane is wings and landing gear – used mostly for landing but very heavy to carry up to orbit.  If the vehicle takes off from the ground, the landing gear must be sized for the takeoff weight.  The Shuttle gear is sized for the landing weight because the STS launches vertically.  Also, loads on an airplane are mostly transverse.  If an aerospace plane launches horizontally, the loads will switch from transverse during takeoff and initial climb out to mostly longitudinal during the higher altitude and orbital insertion portions of the flight. The loading then switches back to mostly transverse for re-entry and landing.  In  contrast, vertical takeoff rockets have mostly longitudinal loads and can be built lighter.  That improves the potential payload fraction.

Horizontal air launch potentially adds drag losses during the initial flight envelope and also the vehicle requires more robust structure relative to a conventional vertical takeoff rocket in order to tolerate the pitch up maneuver as it starts the atmospheric climb out.

Because air has oxygen, many people suggest a combined jet/rocket engine (or separate jet and rocket motors) to reduce the quantity of oxidizer to be carried on board an orbital launcher.  One of several problems with this approach is that the thrust to mass ratio of a rocket motor is much greater than that of a jet engine.  The mass penalty for an air breathing launch vehicle ends up very severe and in practice exceeds the advantage of using ambient oxygen.
Examination of the rocket equation shows that increasing exhaust velocity improves things.  Liquid fluorine-liquid hydrogen has better exhaust velocity than liquid oxygen-liquid hydrogen, but is too toxic to be feasible.  Liquid oxygen-liquid hydrogen is the best we have in terms of exhaust velocity, but hydrogen’s low density and insulation requirements are both issues.

In a two stage launcher, first stage performance isn’t quite as critical as is second stage performance.  This drives the use of liquid hydrogen in second stages with hydrocarbon fuel in the first stage.

When considering the payload fraction of a launch vehicle, there are some scaling problems that come into play as vehicle size changes.  For smaller vehicles, the surface to mass ratio is increased and aerodynamic losses become relatively more significant.  The propellant fraction of the vehicle tends to be reduced because of tank volume/area considerations and relatively fixed masses associated with motors, pumps, plumbing, etc.

Over the years, aerospace engineers have developed numerous parametric relationships to estimate the inter-relationships of masses of different components as a function of overall size.  These relationships not only relate structural mass to propellant mass, for example, but relate many of these parameters to development cost and to production cost.  A good source for those who wish to dig into this pragmatic aspect of rocket engineering in more detail is a book by Dietrich Koelle:  Handbook of Cost Engineering for Space Transportation Systems.  It is published and sold by Microcosm.

The bottom line is that a developed launch vehicle is the result of countless technical tradeoffs and compromises.  A few of the variables that are involved include:

  • Delta-V budget between stages,
  • Propellant combination, boil off rate for cryogenic propellants, etc.
  • Launch trajectory (tradeoffs of gravity and aerodynamic losses versus burn time and vehicle acceleration),
  • Propellant pumps versus pressure-fed propellants,
  • Ablatively cooled versus regeneratively cooled motors,
  • Composite versus metal tanks,
  • Multiple small motors versus few larger motors,
  • Structural issues related to steady state wind shears and gust loading, and
  • Tolerance of payload for acceleration profile, vibration and noise environment.

All of these variables and more must be considered in light of the vehicle or program lifecycle (spreading development costs over the number of anticipated launches).  In addition, risk analyses must be done that determine insurance costs for general liability and for potential payload losses.

Lecture 1 February 3, 2010

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Space Show Classroom 1

Guests:  Classroom Co-hosts Dr. David Livingston, Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan.  Topics:  Introduction to The Space Show Classroom program series.  This program was the introductory lecture to The Space Show Classroom series hosted by The Space Show.  Co-hosts Dr. Jurist and Dr. Logan were with us for this initial program.  We explained why the three of us developed The Space Show Classroom, what the goals and objectives are for the program, we explained the rules of the Classroom blog, and we discussed the Classroom Syllabus.  The Classroom series consists of 22 unique programs.  The Syllabus will be posted on The Space Show Classroom Blog which is located at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com.  For the Classroom series of programs to work, please honor the rules for the Classroom discussion which are posted on the blog.  The use of the blog and staying on topic with the specific Classroom subjects is essential.  This introductory program is slightly more than one hour in length without a break.  Toward the end of our first show, Dr. Logan said this should be a learning experience and people will get out of it what they put into it. Both Dr. Jurist and I agree with this.  Near the end of the program, I explained the term paper option for those listeners interested in writing a term paper.  Your questions on the paper and the Classroom are certainly welcome.  If you have comments for us directly related to The Space Show Classroom, you can email me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.  Both Dr. Logan and Dr. Jurist can be reached at their addresses at https://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com/contact-us.  Again, note that for questions, comments, and feedback during a live program, you must use the toll free line, the email addresses available for all Space Show programs, or the chat ScreenName, “spaceshowchat.”


Syllabus January 17, 2010

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Please note that The Space Show Classroom Syllabus has been modified to reflect a two semester college course.  The first semester of Classroom programs will take place between January and early July 2010.  The second semester Classroom programs will take place during the same period in 2011.  This change was made as a result of scheduling conflicts with the co-hosts as well as potential guests during the heavy conference, travel, and holiday seasons.

The second semester Classroom program is still under development and will change.  In additional, as guests are selected and dates finalized, there will be changes to Semester 1. Please check this page frequently for the latest on the Syllabus.

The Space Show Classroom


Revised Syllabus as of 2/16/10

Copyright 2010 by One Giant Leap Foundation

SEMESTER 1,  January – July 2010

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010:  Program 1.  Introduction of the program.  This might include both Logan and you as co-hosts with me on this program. Its designed to explain the series of programs, list the titles of the “classes” and if I decide to do that term paper thing and help someone get published if they get an A on the paper, I would explain that too.  This introduction program need be no longer than an hour.  Guests:  None.  The three of us are it.

Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010:  Program 2: Introduce the rocket equation as essential and a core theme. Stress the need for people to know the difference with reality vs. fantasy.  Paul Breed of Unreasonable Rockets and the Lunar Lander Challenge contestant.

Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010: Program 3. 2-16-10:  Introduction to Orbital Dynamics as a basic requirement along with the rocket equation.   Dan Adamo, retired from NASA

Sunday, March 7, 2010: Program 4:  How to do serious analysis, due diligence, finance, marketing, biz management, and engineering reality.  Guest is Bruce Pittma

Tuesday, March 30, 2010: Program 5:   NewSpace capabilities, realities, and potential.  Guest Panelist:  Paul Breed of Unreasonable Rockets.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010:  Program 6:  Launch industry, Part 1:   Commercial launch industry including NewSpace:  Guest panelist is Dr. Jeff Foust, Futron Corp.

Sunday, May 16, 2010: Program 7:  Aerospace Medicine, Human Factors, Biomedical Issues for Space Participants, Suborbital and orbital space travel.; differences between aerospace medicine needs and engineering needs.  Co-hosts Livingston, Jurist & Logan.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010: Program 8:  Aerospace Medicine, Human Factors, Biomedical Issues for habitation, long duration spaceflight and beyond LEO.  Co-hosts Livingston, Jurist & Logan.

Tuesday,  June 1, 2010: Program 9.  Launch industry: Part 2:  Government launchers including DOD, and also foreign launchers. Guest panelist is Dr. Henry Hertzfeld, George Washington Univ. Space Policy.

Sunday, June 6, 2010:  Program 10 :  Space Policy for the U.S. and other nations, space policy as a subset of foreign policy.  Guest panelist is Dr. Eligar Sadeh.

Sunday, July-11, 2010: Program 11:  The Facts of Earth Orbit and Its Relevance To Everything.  Guest panelist is Brian Weeden of Secure World Foundation.   All co-hosts will be present for this program.

Sunday, July 18, 2010:  Program 12:  Review, Summary and Conclusions, Semester 1 of The Space Show Classroom.  Co-hosts Livingston, Jurist, and Logan.


SEMESTER TWO:  January- July 2011.  This semester is under development.

January —, 2011:  Program 1: Semester Two Introduction, Livingston, Jurist, Logan.

Feb.—, 2011:  Program 2:  New frontier development, history, and economics – Old West Trails – Oregon Trail,  Chisholm Trail development, Transcontinental Railroad, the Eerie Canal, Antarctica..   Guest: TBD

Feb.—, 2011:  Program 3:  New frontier development, history, and economics:  Club Med/Carnival Cruise Line model.  Guest:  TBD.

March—, 2011:  Program 4:  Propulsion now and into the plausible future, future plausible launch systems.  Guest:  TBD

March —, 2011:  Program 5:  Comprehensive Summary with recommendations, solutions, how to implement and an actual action plan for the  first ever Space Show Classroom Semester 1 and 2:   Co-host Livingston, Jurist and Logan.