Introducing Dongfang Hour: a Podcast Specifically Dedicated to Chinese Aerospace & Technology

Regular followers of China Aerospace Blog may have noticed it over the past month, a new “Dongfang Hour Podcast” link has appeared on the navigation bar. After weeks of working on the project and recording the first episodes, I am pleased to officially present the project to China Aerospace Blog followers & visitors.

In a nutshell, Dongfang Hour is a podcast dedicated to the Chinese aeronautical, space and technology industries. It is co-hosted by Blaine Curcio, founder of Orbital Gateway Consulting in Hong-Kong and affiliate consultant at Euroconsult, and myself. The format of the podcast is generally a 40-60 minutes video discussion available on the Dongfang Hour official website, our YouTube Channel, or as an audio podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. The episodes are either stand-alones in which Blaine and I pick a specific topic to dig into, either with the presence of a Chinese/foreign guest from the industry who can bring interesting insights.

The added value of a podcast compared to written articles is that, to a certain extent, it enables a more in-depth discussion. It is widely accepted that the attention of readers drops after 500-1000 words, making in-depth 2000+ word articles reach only a niche audience. Podcasts on the other hand, don’t have this problem. It is common to see people put on earphones between places to listen to hour-long podcast discussions.

Another point of interest for Dongfang Hour is to use a more interactive medium. First of all, the benefit of having Chinese guests directly from the Chinese space industry is a definite plus, enabling insights from within the Chinese ecosystem that would otherwise be hard to find. There is also a strong complementarity between the co-hosts: Blaine has more of a business background, while I initially come from the world of aerospace engineering.

Finally, as we see in some Western countries, a lot of space leaders are increasingly open to interacting with social media influencers. Many very pleasant examples are Jim Bridenstine (NASA) and Peter Beck (Rocket Lab) chatting with Tim Dodd (@EverydayAstronaut on YouTube) [1][2], or Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX) with Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) [3]. Hopefully at some point, Blaine and I will be able to bring some of that openness and enthusiasm to the Chinese space industry, especially with the fast growing Chinese startup ecosystem.

While Dongfang Hour will mostly focus on aerospace/space, we may also take the freedom of having the occasional episode on Chinese tech, one of the most innovative industries in China. Furthermore, the distinction between both industries are growing increasingly thinner, with companies such as Amazon, Facebook or Google yearning on various satellite upstream and downstream applications. There is little doubt that at some point, Chinese counterparts such as Alibaba, Huawei, Tencent, Baidu or Xiaomi, could make a bold move in a similar way.

I will of course continue to write and share my thoughts in China Aerospace Blog as much as possible, when time permits. Cheers!

Blaine Curcio and myself discussing Chinese private launch vehicles in Dongfang Hour Episode 3 (07/08/2020)

References

[1] Jim Bridenstine discussing with Tim Dodd, October 11, 2019
[2] Peter Beck discussing with Tim Dodd, December 19th, 2019
[3] Elon Musk interviewed by Marques Brownlee, August 18th, 2018

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