Trying out this new “tool”. A bit slow but appears to bring everything about a book in one place. Book description, look inside, audio (podcast clip), shop links to all online stores for purchase and social media sharing options. Check it out and let me know what you think (about the tool and the book!)
I listened to this week’s episode on https://theorbitalmechanics.com/ and learnt nothing about orbital mechanics or space. But did walk away with something much more profound. I have listed a few of the points from the episode below but take a listen yourself here.
It was by chance that I bumped into Ben Etherington, David Fourman, Dennis Just and Richard Durdan on the final day of IAC2019 in Washington DC in October last year. All five of us had dinner. A huge bowl of noodle ramen, a memorable first for me. They paid.
Afterwards, we walked back to the Air BnB place and chatted about space, podcasting and of course the IAC itself whilst Dennis started to pack for his early morning return flight. I was already a listener to their podcast before our meeting. I continued to listen and learn from an exquisitely well-produced weekly show.
This week’s episode was entitled Black Lives Matter and probably the most influential of the 263 episodes so far. David could not be present. The episode was a conversation between Ben and Dennis. Some of the points discussed include..
- Ben declares that he is “conflict-averse”. (Me too but you guys had the balls to put this episode together.)
- Call to action: Educate yourself. Not good enough to be non-racist. Actively be anti-racist
- We are being killed (this in a conversation between as they say – two white guys)
- Don’t let small things slip by. Speak out.
- Support black-owned businesses.
- Donate to Black Lives Matter organisations.
- It’s important to be political.
- Demilitarise the police. (Three weird, surprising, poignant and shocking words for those of us not in the US.
- Address root causes of crime rather than attacking people who have been victims of those crimes.
- History of state terrorism against the black community.
- This is systemic, historical and going on for a long time because we are good at hiding this from ourselves.
- This injustice won’t end this year or next year. It is fashionable to talk about this subject now but we need not to stop talking when it does.
Ben referred to a comment that he should keep away from this subject because otherwise “You are going to drive away your audience”. I think you may increase your audience. Even if you do not – this episode demonstrates something more important – the value of doing the right thing. It did not happen in the past. We were not there then but are here now. It’s up to us.
No country has exploited space for social and economic benefits more than India. It has always been a government-run operation, until now.
As in other nations, the private space sector is emerging in India. One name that pops up when discussing private and commercial space in India is Narayanan Prasad. He has been instrumental in forging platforms where all stakeholders from the New Space Community can support each other and share views, opinions and news. The platforms include Whatsapp, Blog, Telegram and a New Space India Podcast.
In this episode, he recalls his journey so far and his part in his own start-up Satsearch.co as its COO. Here are some of the key takeaways from this interview
- Most private sector players build products designed by ISRO under licence from ISRO. Private Space Sector in India is subject to excessive government bureaucracy preventing engagement from private investigators.
- An independent regulator is needed. Independent regulator in telecommunication opened up the market for private telephone lines. An independent regulator for the private space sector is essential for this market to flourish.
- NASA has created the Commercial Lunar Payload Service (CLPS) to engage the private space sector companies. India does not have anything equivalent.
- This year ISRO established the New Space India Limited (NSIL). It was established to limit the potential impact of the Antrix/Devas case.
- Policies exist in India for Communication and Remote Sensing but no overall policy for Space – yet. Although a draft Space bill was published in 2017 for comment. That bill drew a distinction between companies that work with ISRO and those outside ISRO.
- Two of many space startups in India include
- Bellatrix Aerospace produces Ion engines for in-orbit spacecraft propulsion. Ion propulsion and reduce the spacecraft weight and extend the operational lifetime by about 60%
- NoPo technologies are the only producer of Carbon Nanotubes in India. Like Graphene, Carbon Nanotube is an allotrope of Carbon. The unique properties include high tensile strength, electric and thermal conductivities.
- Satsearch.co – now 3.5 years old based in the Netherlands and managed by a distributed team based in Germany, Netherlands, Italy and England. Had it been based in India – it may have been subject to restrictions e.g queries coming in from Suparco in Pakistan.
- As with any new emerging industry – most of the current space startups will cease to exist within 5-7 years from now.
Dr David Baker has been involved with the USA since childhood. First attending a US school in England and then studying in the US under a scholarship program sponsored by Senator Clinton P Anderson. He returned to the USA and worked for NASA on various programs from Gemini to the SpaceShuttle. After leaving
- Early interest in space and astronomy stimulated by milestones such as breaking of the sound barrier, Sputnik and Gagarin’s flight.
PhDin Earth and Planetary physics.
- Worked for Nasa between 1965 and 1984. Mainly in the mission
Setup a consultancy in 1984 to bring US launch and satellites services to the wider international community.
- Setup a consultancy in 1984 to bring US launch and satellites services to the wider international community
- Delayed the launch of STS-41B in February 1984 carrying payloads for Indonesia and Western Union but problems with the payload Assist Modules did not meet the insurance certification requirements.
- Was involved in the purchase by India its 4 INSAT satellites (INSAT 1A-1D) from Ford Aerospace in the USA.
- Published over 110 books and more in the pipeline to mark the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.