Since the Space Shuttle flew its final mission on July 8, 2011, NASA’s been challenged with the chore of transporting US astronauts, payloads, and satellites into outer space without the vehicle that provided such service for almost 30 years. While rockets can launch satellites into orbit, the US pays Russia $70.7 million for each one-way rocket ticket to shuttle astronauts to and from the International Space Station. However,reacting to recent US sanctions levied in response to Russia’s invasion of Crimea, Putin announced that these flights will cease in 2020. Is private space entrepreneurship prepared to pick up where the Space Shuttle left off? Is our government providing sufficient leadership and funding? And what’s the next chapter? Join special guest, former NASA Astronaut Col. John Blaha, USAF (Ret.), who will share his experiences as well as thoughts on these complicated issues. Also on the show will be noted aerospace commentator Jeff Faust.
Col. John Blaha, USAF (Ret.)
Former NASA Astronaut Col. John Blaha, USAF (Ret.) completed 361 combat missions in Vietnam following his 1965 graduation from the US Air Force Academy. Accepted as an astronaut in 1980, Col. Blaha logged 161 days in space on 5 missions. The first two in 1989 as the pilot of the Space Shuttle Discovery, the second in 1991 as Commander of the Atlantis, the third in 1993 as Commander of the Columbia and finally in 1997 as a Mission Specialist/Scientist aboard the Mir Space Station. The recipient of numerous honors throughout his career, Col. Blaha is an inductee to the U.S. Astronaut Hall Of Fame.
Dr. Jeff Foust
Aerospace analyst, journalist and publisher Dr. Jeff Foust is the editor and publisher of The Space Review, a weekly online publication with in-depth essays and commentary about a wide range of space issues. He has also written for Astronomy Now and The New Atlantis in addition to writing the blog, Space Politics, which covers Capitol Hill. Jeff received his BS in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D in planetary sciences from MIT.