Spacevidcast 2.25 – STS-127 Music Video and News from Space!

14 Comments

  • Rick Boozer says:

    Ben,

    Did Rand ever get back in touch with you about being on the show?

  • Yes, we had a quick exchange but nothing set yet. He was not keen on video which is tough for us as a video show. We’re still working out the podcasts, if we get those going properly we may be able to bring him in audio only.

  • Marcus says:

    Mirt, Megolith, etc… this was a really entertaining show, thanks! :)

    regarding the “boring” Augustine Commission Videos: I highly recommend watching at least every presentation done by Jeff Greason. Because not only is he talking about very interesting stuff and really _knows_ what he is talking about, but he also is a really great speaker and his talks can be quite entertaining as well because he nearly always puts some at least odd sometimes truly funny examples and/or analogies in there to think about!

  • Yeah, it is worth noting that there are a few gems in the meetings, but in reality it is hours and hours and hours of presentation. I think if people have the time it is worth it to watch as much as possible and *voice their opinion* but I also know the cold harsh reality is that many people don’t have the time/patience.

  • KaiYves says:

    No dying, Rick.

  • Rick Boozer says:

    Right you are, Kai. :-)

  • Rick Hanton says:

    I’ll try not to die anytime soon. My bad on the set!

  • Rick Boozer says:

    BIG NEWS!

    At AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference, ULA proposes its alternative to Ares V or other shuttle related HLV architectures. They claim Altair can be sent to the Moon with EELVs using propellant depots:
    http://hobbyspace.com/nucleus/index.php?itemid=14441#c

  • Ben said, “I don’t think most Americans understand the value of our space program.”

    Okay then, what is the value of our space program?

    I’m not being facetious.

    This is something that can’t be answered in the standard Space Nerd way. Simply pointing to science discoveries in the past doesn’t do it for people.

    The space nerd community often comes off like “Nick Burns, the computer guy” from SNL. http://www.hulu.com/watch/19050/saturday-night-live-nick-burns

    Most Americans need a different explanation than we are are currently trumpeting.

    What is the value in simple terms and and why aren’t we concentrating on THAT message?

    People will voice their opinion with their vote if they understand why they should.

  • Rick Boozer says:

    Hi Michael,

    I’m going to try and give an honest and straightforward replay with no B.S.

    The fact of the matter is that the space program as it exists at this moment is not a great deal for the money. Right now about the only benefit the average Joe gets out of space are Direct TV and other communication services. But this situation may be about to change. To give you an idea of why things are about to be drastically different, let’s ask ourselves “Why did the aviation industry become an indispensable part of our economy within the first few decades of its existence, but human spaceflight still isn’t an important part of our lives over 40 years after the first orbital flight?”

    The answer is one word, “infra-structure”. In the beginning people were asking the same question about aviation that many are now asking about spaceflight, “What good is it except to a few privileged thrill seekers?” But then someone came up with the idea that the Postal Service could issue contracts to private aviation companies to deliver mail and packages much faster than was ever possible before. These contracts led to a tremendous increase in airplanes. The more airplanes produced and the higher the flight rate, the cheaper airplanes and air transport became. More infrastructure in the form of airports started to be built throughout the country. It became cheap enough within just a few years for large numbers of wealthy people to begin to travel this way. High production rates and flight rates were the key. And of course large numbers of rich people traveling meant even more planes were produced and even more flights being made, causing the cost to be lowered to where the average person could fly. So the Postal Service caused the initial infrastructure to be made that kick-started the snowball.

    Where things went wrong with the space program was the Cold War. The U.S. felt it was important to beat the Russians to the Moon in the fastest way possible. It turned out that the fastest way was ultimately the most expensive way, by having NASA build huge expensive rockets rather than slowly adding the economical infrastructure to make space travel cheap. Because we got the Moon so fast and so successfully, people started thinking that having the government produce vehicles that were expensive to build and operate was the only way to do space travel. So we have been spending billions for decades sending a few people into orbit, rather than building the infrastructure that would make it cheaper for more people to go.

    A new NASA encouraging the building of space infrastructure, such as with COTS commercial cargo delivery to the space station can be the same kind of kick-start that the Postal Service was for aviation. Adding the D option to the COTS program (for sending people by commercial vehicles to the ISS) would be even better, because that would raise the flight rate even higher and lower the costs of spaceflight even more. Within the next 10 to 20 years LEO would be a multibillion dollar tourist destination.

    But what would be even better would be if we could get NASA to give up building shuttle-derived boosters such as Ares, the Side Mounted Shuttle option, or DIRECT to get us back to the Moon and planets and instead make even more infrastructure by using existing commercial launchers along with an in-orbit depot to get us back to the Moon and on to the planets. But I have some doubt that this will happen because some politicians like Senator Shelby will fight this option since the expensive government built boosters are built by their local constituents.

    If we could overcome that resistance and build the right infrastructure, then we could have economical access to the enormous mineral and rare-metal wealth of the asteroids and as a bonus get rid of a some of the most ecologically destructive mining that often occurs on Earth. We could more easily protect ourselves from an asteroid impact such as the one that killed off the dinosaurs. Once space access becomes economical, people will come up with new ways to make money that we haven’t even dreamed of. Large numbers of people could travel to the Moon and Mars and humanity would finally be a true multi-planet species. Private companies will get us there eventually anyway, but without the help of government-financed infrastructure via NASA it could take another 40 years.

    The nation that lays down this infrastructure will make the lives of its citizens richer not just with more jobs, but with more options for the future. That nation will have a large advantage over other countries that have not done so. Let’s let our leaders know that this is the kind of space program that we want, and we will no longer have to ask, “What value?”

  • The value is that it keeps us as a leader in an upcoming trillion dollar market. Much like we had the industrial revolution then the computer revolution next we’ll have the space revolution. We can be leaders or we can cede control to China. It is our choice.

    I have many arguments, but I think that is the one that hits the most chords with the most Americans. Not all, but you’ll never get everyone.

  • Rick Boozer says:

    P.S When I said over “40 years after the first orbital flight”, I was referring to Sputnik, which, though unmanned, was the first orbital flight.

  • Rick Boozer says:

    Also wrote 40 when I meant to write 50.

  • cariann says:

    Kai is right… the official number one rule of Spacevidcast is “No dying”
    ;)
    It was great to have you there Rick, and thank you for being out guinea pig!
    Now that you know where it is, please feel free to come by any time.

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