Guest: Chrishma Derewa; Topics: Europa mission, SLS, Falcon Heavy, launch industry, mission trades, launcher costs & more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.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 JPL Systems Engineer Chrishma Derewa to the program to discuss a variety of space industry topics starting with the upcoming JPL Europa mission. During the majority of the first segment of our almost two hour program, Chrishma updated us on the Europa mission and answered multiple listener questions. In discussing the Europa mission, our guest also talked about the launcher of choice, SLS. He said the Europa payload could fly on other rockets including the Falcon Heavy but the preferred launcher was SLS, in part due to a travel time of just under 3 years compared to a travel time of just under 8 years if another rocket was used. This caused quite a stir with several listeners and in particular Doug who kept challenging him on why it was preferable to spend more money for the shorter travel time as compared to lower launch costs for the FH. Doug also asked Chrishma for the launch costs for the various rockets under consideration and then Doug wanted to know why he was saying the FH costs were significantly higher than those posted by SpaceX. Chrishma also talked about the Europa mission instrumentation package and goals. One listener wanted to know why there was no sample return mission given the size of the Europa payload. Don’t miss Chrishma’ s response to this question. One of the important things he mentioned was the dedicated congressional funding for Europa. Don’t miss this important discussion.
In the second segment, I asked our guest about obtaining affordable launch costs. Many of you might find this part of our discussion controversial as did several listeners. Our guest said launch costs were not expensive, he cited a history of how costs went up, says the launch industry profits are significant but costs were not. He also talked about market forces and supply and demand for launches. At times this was a complicated discussion but do listen to it, note what listeners were saying to him and challenging him on, and see what you think about what our guest was saying. Post your comments and thoughts on these issues on the blog for this show.
After a while with the above discussion, I modified my initial question to our guest. This time I asked him what we could do to get more launches, drive a higher launch rate, and open space up to more users. Chrishma replied that we needed to make more use of the ESPA ring which is a rideshare adapter. I’ve talked about the ESPA ring on many past Space Show programs and thought it was in wide use but not so according to our guest. Again, don’t miss our discussion which included additional information as well.
Doug took issue with what Chrishma was saying about launch prices and kept sending in email questions referencing SpaceX information. Do not miss these exchanges between Doug and Chrishma. Unfortunately, Doug was with us by email but I believe the discussion was still exceptional. This is another case where in my opinion, there are no solid black and white answers or choices. But listen, then you decide, then tell us about your decision on the blog.
Toward the end of our show, Kim asked about increasing interest in space and how we can get to the next level. Chrishma had a broad vision response including a short discussion about possible ecological collapse with the implication we don’t seem to move and make progress until bad events happen or are about to happen.
Another topic our guest quickly brought up before the end of the program was the Oasis Project. Check it out at this website, https://isulibrary.isunet.edu/opac/doc_num.php?explnum_id=414. This is a space development infrastructure plan that our guest worked on while doing an International Space University project. Before the program ended, he was asked if he thought space would be a topic in the presidential election. He said probably not but listen to all of what he said about this. He also got in a luke warm plug for the ARM mission.
Please post your comments/questions in the comments section for this archived show on The Space Show website. You can reach our guest through his JPL address or me.