Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-3-13 December 4, 2013Posted by The Space Show in Uncategorized.
Tags: " SpaceX, Chinese military & space, Chinese Space Program, Code of Conduct, Congress, cubesats, DOD launch service block buy, DOD space, government space programs, Inspiration Mars, international launch standards, international space competition, JFK space policy, launch insurance industry, LEO, lunar space, Mars one, NASA budget, NASA planetary science program, New Space, Orbital Sciences, Orion, Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, SLS, solar cycle, space entrepreneurs, space industry, space property rights, space race, space tourism, suborbital R&D flights, suborbital rocket companies
Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-3-13
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We welcomed back Bob Zimmerman for his Tenth Anniversary Space Show program! During the first segment of this two hour two minute program, Bob addressed many issues and listener concerns starting with the SpaceX Falcon 9 GEO launch success & the looking back to his first Space Show program on Dec. 3, 2003. He compared and contrasted his comments then to those today. He also blogged about this on his Behindtheblack.com blog at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/exciting-times-in-space. Listeners expressed their concern about the Chinese space program, their recent lunar landing mission and the day when they can put a human on the Moon. Listeners wanted to know if this would spark a new space race between China and the U.S. Bob said no and I agreed with him for slightly different reasons. However, one of Bob’s consistent and recurring themes (and tonight’s discussion was no different) is that he opposes large government space programs as he says they don’t work. He provided much evidence for this during our discussion. During this segment we also talked extensively about launch competition and the benefits from competition in the marketplace. Listener Al asked about DOD space and if DOD might see the Chinese space program differently. Bob also mentioned space property rights and he said the existing situation should change based on U.S. law as the model for commercial space to flourish. There was more talk about the Chinese program which Bob was not too concerned about. Listen for his reasoning. John in Ft. Worth called in to also talk about the Chinese program and suggested at some point their success might just humiliate the U.S. into competitive action. Neither Bob or I thought it was likely that anything would humiliate congress today. John and Bob then had an interesting discussion on this subject.
In Part 2 of our program, Dr. Lurio called in to talk about being thrilled to the bone by the SpaceX launch and to comment on NewSpace & commercial space issues. Like Bob, he opposes SLS as a big waste. Bob and Charles then talked about their distaste for large gov. programs such as what JFK created, again saying they don’t work. Both wondered what space and other things would look like today had JFK not been assassinated. Dream Chaser was mentioned, again as everyone’s favorite spacecraft. Al emailed in again to point out the differences in the space perspective of seniors and young people. Tim called in to mention the Code of Conduct issue with possible international launch standards and how this might hurt the developing US commercial launch business. I mentioned a Business Week article saying the suborbitals are going to look to R&D flights for repeat customers which they definitely need. Here is the article: www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-27/spaceflight-companies-virgin-galactic-xcor-blue-origin-eye-r-and-d-clients. Toward the end of the program there was more talk about SLS, NASA budget issues, the need to cancel SLS per Bob’s perspective, and economic risks posed to NASA’s planetary science program. Bob closed out the program with his comments on Inspiration Mars and Mars One, plus a Von Braun comment from 1954 in which it was reported that he said it would take 100 years of research in space to travel to Mars. Bob said its been 60 years so far and we do not have the capability to do a human flight to Mars today. Lurio mailed in the last comment about the NASA press conference earlier in the day with his and Bob’s reading that the planetary program was all but dead financially. The final comments dealt with SLS and the Redirect Mission which Bob completely discounted.
Post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. Contact Bob through his blog or zimmerman at nasw dot org.