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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-16-14 December 17, 2014

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2377-BWB-2014-12-16.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: Space news projects and updates, end of the year review, looking to 2015.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the program for a wide ranging discussion of space news, space companies, projects, programs and more.  During the first segment of our two hour seven minute show, Bob started off promoting his book on Apollo 8, “Genesis” as we are coming up on the anniversary of this famous flight orbiting the Moon on Christmas eve at a distant time in our past.  After Bob’s infomercial was complete, he did have much to say about the everlasting importance of the Apollo 8 mission.  I asked Bob for end of the year space events to keep our eyes on so we talked about the upcoming SpaceX Falcon 9 launch and the attempt to recover the first stage on a barge as part of the SpaceX reusability plan.  We also talked about the Russian Angara rocket test flight.  A listener asked Bob for updates on the NTSB accident investigation for Virgin Galactic.  Bob also talked about SLS (it was yet another recurrent theme throughout the program) and as predicted, he had nothing good to say about it or Orion.  BJohn emailed us to ask about nuclear propulsion.  Both Bob and I responded and while we support it, there does not seem to be a business case for it or demand for it so there is no significant push to make it happen.  Marshall called to talk about the impact of falling oil prices on the space economy.  I had much to say about this as did Bob who in the end talked about trusting capitalism, freedom, and private enterprise to do the right thing.  We also talked about the impact of falling oil prices on the Russian economy, specifically their space program.  I then brought up the interest rate risk which is a huge potential danger for the US economy.  Luis emailed in about Falcon 9 prices of $5-7 million per a January 2014 Parabolic Arc article.  Note that this was clarified early in the next segment.

In segment two, Dr. Charles Lurio called to explain more about the SpaceX launch cost referenced by Luis in the previous segment.  Charles also talked about the Orbital effort to replace the Antares  rocket motor with another Russian motor, the RD 181.  Joe emailed in a note about the compact fusion plans for Lockheed.  Bob used the opportunity to criticize the large companies, their projects, pork, you name it.  Doug emailed in about some Boeing YouTube videos which Bob completely dismissed as having zero relevancy on anything.  Bob also took some slams at Orion and the recent test flight.  Next, we talked about the new announcement about Curiosity finding methane on Mars.  Bob added more to the story and said it was a wait and see situation but ultimately we would have to there to really answer questions about it.  SLS John called and said the program of record was going forward and made the point that for private enterprise to do something in space as Bob kept talking about, there needed to be a profit motive and he doubted that existed other than for some orbital and comsat missions.  Bob disagreed leaving the door open for a private company to pursue something not previously considered, again saying he trusted in the ingenuity of the private sector.  John reported that he had modeled the Falcon Heavy and could show it would take 53 metric tons to LEO.   Bob then talked about Falcon Heavy being cheaper than SLS (planned that is) so there really was no need for SLS.  Henry emailed a question about a possible Europa mission & Bob suggested if they would kill SLS, money could be directed to the planetary science department for things like a Europa mission plus they could still reduce the NASA budget.  In his concluding comments, Bob said he was skeptical about the suborbital industry and that its time had come and gone given the emerging orbital capsules and flight plans.  He concluded saying he was looking forward to the upcoming SpaceX launch abort tests.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Bob through his website http://www.behindtheblack.com or me.

Dr. Christopher Newman, Friday, 12-5-14 December 6, 2014

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Dr. Christopher Newman, Friday, 12-5-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2369-BWB-2014-12-05.mp3

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Guest:  Dr. Christopher (Chris) Newman.  Topics:  British space law, policy & space programs.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Chris Newman to the show to discuss British space policy, programs, their space industry and British space law.  During the first segment of our 88 minute program, Dr. Newman talked about space law and the space industry within the UK.  At times we compared British space law with that in the U.S., talked about the British interest in commercial space, space entrepreneurism and British government space as opposed to commercial space within the country.  As you will hear, British space is more about business and returns than government policy.  We also talked about social media and its value with some criticisms and supportive comments from me.  Mike Listner called and we did some comparisons with the British space law perspectives compared to American space law perspectives.  A listener asked if the British were fearful or concerned about the Chinese program and if they thought we might be in a space race with China.  Chris had interesting things to say in response to this question.  Chris talked about the role of the European Space Agency (ESA), competition from SpaceX with the Arianne rockets, and the ISS.  Toward the end of our segment, Alex emailed a question about the impact of our ITAR regulations on the British space, science, and technology industry.

In the second segment, I asked Chris how British citizens influence their government for space policy and matters as compared to what we do in the States.  Chris did explain the British system to us which is quite different , including their budget process.  Later I asked if the British government and people were enthusiastic about space companies, including Skylon with Reaction Engines.  You might be surprised by his response, especially when I asked if he thought the desired Skylon funding was possible.  We also talked proposed British spaceports and the possibility of British regulations on their developing space industry.  Later, George emailed in to ask if various segments of the British government competed for funding similar to what happens with the discretionary items in our budget.  Chris explained the process in more detail but the short answer was no as their budget process is quite different from ours.  Another listener asked more questions about competition in Europe from SpaceX.  Chris had much to say about this.  Other subjects discussed included a guess as to what future space missions will look like from the British perspective, more on the threat from NEOs, the global launch rate and Arianne making unrealistic market share projections, and the militarization and weaponization of space. Near the end, we talked about commercial space balloon/airship  projects like World View.  As for 2015 for British space, Christ told us to be aware of the May elections as that may set the tone for the space debate and programs for the future.  We agreed to follow up with Chris after the election to check on this.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above.  You can reach Dr. Chris Newman through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

Doug Messier, Monday, 6-16-14 June 17, 2014

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Doug Messier, Monday, 6-16-14

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2263-BWB-2014-06-16.mp3

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Guest:  Doug Messier.  Topics:  Space news reporting, suborbital, Virgin Galactic, XCOR & lots more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.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 http://www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed Doug Messier back to the show to discuss featured news articles of late on his blog, http://www.parabolicarc.com.  Please note that Doug used a cell phone and we did have audio issues at various times during the show.  During the first long segment of our 1 hour 38 minute program, Doug talked about the Mojave Air &Spaceport, Stratolaunch and then Doug got called to task by listeners for his recent reporting & comments regarding Virgin Galactic per his blog, his recent Space Show program and his appearance on the Hotel Mars John Batchelor segment last week.  The gist of the hard questions asked Doug centered around asking him if he had a conflict of interest reporting on other companies given the XCOR book he is writing.  They asked this because to them, his reporting seemed unfair to Virgin while giving XCOR a pass on many of the same issues he talked about with Virgin.  We spent most of the first segment talking about these issues.  Doug spoke freely and talked about how he reports on these issues and why he reports the way he does.  He mentioned several Virgin stories as examples but he also made it very clear that he wants all the companies to be successful and for the industry to develop.  As you will see in the last segment, this particular type of question was asked of him as the program was drawing to a close.  Doug was in the hot seat for much of the first segment so you listen and you decide.  Let Doug know your thoughts on his Virgin reporting by posting on TSS blog or emailing him.  I then moved us to other topics & other companies at Mojave, the FAR for amateur rocketry, but the forces to be kept drawing us back to Doug, his Virgin reporting and XCOR comparisons.  Doug managed to talk about recent SFF and Space Access alerts about language in the Senate NASA funding bill that these organizations and others believe to be a poison pill.  Listen for details.  Also, I asked about Congress planning to fund at least $200 million for a new engine replacement for the RD-180.  We also talked about the Falcon 9 & AF SpaceX certification.  Dr. Doug called near the end of the segment.  During his call, he was sent an email question about the Moon by Tony in Seattle.

In the second segment, we talked about the NASA budget for FY 2015 in some detail.  Doug talked about SLS, Orion, commercial crew funding issues and SpaceX possibly expediting some flights prior to the 2017 schedule.  Doug went into detail about the Sen. Shelby amendment which many believe to be the poison pill mentioned in the first segment.  I took us through several of the top stories being reported on Parabolicarc.com including changes to the Arianne launcher, the Decelerator Flight Test, the NASA Centennial Challenge for Cubesat Deep Space, plus we talked about the Google acquisition of Skybox Imaging and their global broadband plans with Worldview.  Also mentioned as the show was drawing to a close was the GLXP, Doug’s visit to the Dragon V2 unveiling, & then Sally’s final email question asking Doug if he wanted Virgin Galactic to fail given how he reports on the company.  Don’t miss his response to Sally, plus my related comments.

Post your comments/questions on TSS blog above. You can reach Doug through his website or me.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 12-10-12 December 11, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 12-10-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1911-BWB-2012-12-10.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Apollo 8, launch industry, HSF, SLS, Mars missions, NASA budget, & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.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. We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the program to summarize space for 2012, to look forward to space activities in 2013, and as you will hear, to talk about some specific issues such as SLS and the need for heavy lift.  Bob started the discussion talking about Apollo 8 as we approach Christmas 2012.  He told us his famous book, “Genesis: The Story of Apollo 8: The First Manned Mission to Another World” has been released in ebook format. If you buy it on Amazon using the URL provided, Amazon will make a donation to The Space Show/OGL: www.amazon.com/Genesis-Apollo-Mission-Another-ebook/dp/B00A1EZJ6U/ref=onegiantlea20. Bob outlined two tracks for discussion, the launch industry and manned spaceflight exploration.  For the launch industry, he talked about the influence of SpaceX in lowering launch costs & what it means for other launchers in competing in pricing & market share.  He also talked about negotiation issues over the continued use of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. We discussed secondary payloads, Stratolaunch, & more.  The second track involving manned space exploration, Bob talked about it from the government perspective & that of the private sector.  He also brought up the recent news regarding the new Golden Spike venture on which he had much to say.  Our first caller was from Terry asking about the NASA Mars program, James Webb & SLS.  Bob had much to say about the JWST as well as SLS, NASA astrophysics, & SLS costs.  Terry wanted to know when Bob thought SLS would be cancelled. This discussion prompted more than a passionate exchange by Bob and me regarding heavy lift, rocket mission analysis, & more.  We then paused for our overdue break.
     Leading off the second segment, we took a call from Doug in S. California but had audio issues on his phone line. We then talked about the SpaceX mission delay to March 2013.  Tim called to talk about launch rate regardless of the size of the vehicle.  He also talked about Golden Spike & a potential space tug.  He asked Bob about Skylon.  We switched topics to get updates from Bob regarding the suborbital companies. Bob talked about Virgin Galactic & powered flight tests.  He also had some things to say about Dream Chaser and XCOR.  I asked Bob about using drones on Mars based on comments I’ve received from listeners.  Near the end, I brought up a special film showing & lecture on the 1956 classic “Forbidden Planet” that I saw this past Saturday. We talked about the significance of this movie & Bob brought in the concept of human spirit, vision, & the desire for interplanetary travel even before the days of NASA or Sputnik.  I talked about the two award winning speakers from Lucas Film regarding the movie & then the surprise visit after the film by Robby the Robot, the original Robby from the film. To end our program, Bob gave us an outline of what to look for in the first quarter of 2013 for space events.
     Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  Check out Bob’s blog, http://behindtheblack.com.
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