Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Space Show April 11, 2011

Dr. James Wertz of Microcosm, Inc. is on the show.

I am going to do something a little different this time.  I am going to mark the mp3 file with what was being discussed at the time moment in the recording.

These times seem to fluctuate, times on player inconsistent and therefore estimates, so they are very approximate;  the topic itself is highly condensed.  Hard to find it by using this as a guide, which was my goal, so I probably won't do it this way again.

3:30 Introduction of Dr. James Wertz
5:30 Emphasizing lower costs as agenda, where conference is
10:30 Mon. May 2, what panels about and who is on them, who are speakers
12:30 Full list of papers on website "reinventing"  "USA getting outperformed"
16:30 Dr Space not at conference this year, his engineer's wife in Japan dealing with tsunami issues
19:30 Keynote and lunch speakers Tues, Wed, Thurs- and what is about "focused group"
22:00 Very professional conference, the place to be for networking, "where it is happening"

Some discussion about comparable space capabilities of various countries- USA not always on top.

27:00 "imperative to have this capability" "only forum in this process" "key issue: dramatically expensive"
29:00  break, comment:  Shocking revelation about the expensiveness of USA space assets and what it means.  This has serious consequences not only because of budgetary issues, but performance consequences as well.   After the break, some discussion of books.  "Field has gotten old."  Need for replacement book.
Evidently a new teaching book he's talking about. "Smad book"

32:00  Astronautic book needed and created.  Replacement of old smad book.   Changing way books being used.  Ebooks, etc.  Want combine traditional book with website.  Calculations etc.  Web site references in the book.  Elaborates on features like this.

37:00 Dr. Space recommends a book which available for free.  This must be same  book discussed in an earlier post.  Discusses "John's" book.  Wertz knows him, he says.  Adopted a bunch of teenagers.

40:30 Textbooks on Kindles.  Comment: Chris Laird said no way to this.  Dangerous in a way.  But it is definitely convenient and therefore seductive.

44:30 Books on teaching of astronautics.  How to get these books.

49:30 Continued discussion of books.  And second break.

53:00 Recap of textbook and conference.  Website not there yet.  Discussion swerves into technology. SBIR's.

57:00 Spacecraft discussion.  Small telescopes.  Small thrusters.  Cubesats.  Mentions composites. "Flying propellant tank"  maneuvering capability, modern tech in regards to above.   Two years away from launch.

Mini sprites.

1:01:00 Some joking about the government running up the costs.  Not funny.  Composite tank technology question asked by Dr. Space.  Can use for cryogenics.  Evidently solved this problem.  No expansion or contraction, may be problematic.  Long discussion of composites.  Composites are strong compared to metals and lightweight.

1:07:00 Tank fell at high altitude and still reusable.  Rugged quality.  Discussion of X prize. Sold composite tanks to participant that worked well for them.  Metals v composites and their interfaces.

1:11:00 Can work around interface problems.  Stringers as part of wall of a tank and bolt to them.
How tanks can be used, for example, as a frame to build around.  Discusses how he got into this line of work.

Longhorn days, football.

Starts to wrap up show.  Discussion of lowering of cost of moonbase.  Sounds encouraging.


In connection with what was mentioned on the show and this post , I have gotten the impression that many folks at NASA needs to study up on the KISS principle.  Perhaps the principle has gone out of style.

There is book you can buy off of Amazon with this title, but the reviews are bad.  One said- in connection to software and modern computers being so fast- that the principle is no longer necessary.  This is just sloppy thinking.  It ought to be adhered to on general principles even if it is unnecessary.  I think that's what gets you in trouble eventually.  The thing that is truly unnecessary is the complexity.

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