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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 3-24-15 March 25, 2015

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 3-24-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2440-BWB-2015-03-24.mp3

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: A variety of space news topics and projects were discussed on this two hour program. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://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 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 back Bob Zimmerman to the show for this 122 minute discussion on a wide range and variety of space news and project topics.  During the first segment, Bob spoke about Virgin Galactic and Launcher One delays, comparing it to the recent news that the AF will soon be testing a small satellite rail gun launcher, Super Strypi.  Bob suggested that the market might be passing VG by.  He also spoke to suborbital space both with VG and XCOR and true to form, was still skeptical about their potential success.  Some of Bob’s comments were challenged by listeners later in the show so stay tuned.  Next up Bob talked about the Russians opening up ISS tourism again in 2018 saying that the Russians believe the American private sector will be successful in transporting astronauts to and from the ISS by then so they will have available seats for tourists.  Don’t miss his comments on this subject.  He was asked about XCOR and he offered more comments on the company and suborbital space in general.  He then turned to the current round of ISS cargo bidding and compared it to the first round of cargo bidding a decade ago.  His comparison was most interesting and goes to the success being made by the developing commercial space sector.  Marshall was our first caller and talked about the next big planetary or HSF mission.  He also wanted Bob to discuss colonization.  Bob said he supported it but was realistic.  Bob then spoke about both the new Russian spaceport Vostochny and compared it to the progress being made by SpaceX and their new Brownsville spaceport.  He had much to say on this.  A listener emailed him to explain the space policy position of Sen. Ted Cruz.  That turned out to be quite a discussion, including Bob opining once again on SLS. Becky in Florida asked Bob about Mars One and Bob said it was a boondoggle.

 

In the second segment, Dr. Charles Lurio was our first caller.  Charles wanted to take Bob behind the woodshed on three points:  First, his comments on Kistler were wrong as the company was Rocketplane Kistler plus other details Bob missed. Second, he said Excalibur Almaz was not a fraud. This resulted in quite the exchange with Bob. The third area that upset Charles the most dealt with the comments Bob made about XCOR.  Charles was determined to correct the record on XCOR so again, don’t miss this exchange.  I asked Bob about the Indian space program and specifically their human spaceflight program.  Jerry from Florida emailed in additional info on Rocketplane Kistler.  SLS John called in to argue with Bob on his SLS comments.  I call their argument a draw with all participants including myself saying what we have been saying about SLS for years.  The subject of presidential leadership came up and Bob did his best to point out that it was probably a myth as far as space goes plus he cited supporting examples.  I pointed out that more than likely our next president, regardless of party, would have their hands full of solving major problems and I cited education as an example, referencing a recent survey I had seen showing just how poorly the US ranks worldwide in several educational areas.  This opened up a STEM discussion with Tim in Huntsville and Bob.  Jerry from Florida emailed in data showing that the Falcon Heavy would have more capability than SLS block one according to comments made by Ms. Shotwell at Satellite 2015.  This opened up another discussion on SLS, Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.  Here is an Aviation Week article that summarizes the comments Shotwell made at the event: http://aviationweek.com/blog/spacexs-gwynne-shotwell-talks-raptor-falcon-9-crs-2-satellite-internet-and-more.  Thanks to Jerry for providing us with this information and the article.   As the show was ending, Bob identified areas to watch for the second quarter and the balance of the year.

 

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.  Bob can be reached through me or his email address provided in his bio posted on the archives on TSS website.

Comments»

1. Matt - March 28, 2015

Dear Mr. Zimmerman,

I am in line with you, regarding your principal antisocialist political view (based on personal freedom and property) and your position to private enterprises compared to government activities. However, in case of manned space flight (to ISS or elsewhere) it is not as positive as you mentioned, because the only customer stays the government, even if private enterprises take over transportation into space. The creation of an artificial market for private companies (here for example, transportation to ISS) shall be avoided, especially over such long period of time.

We all “praise” SpaceX’s effect on space transportation costs (I would like not to discuss why did NASA not developed such cheap and may by reusable launcher technology decades ago to open more access to space), but the private business case “private space” (in case of manned flight) is far away being closed.

Regards,

Matt

2. jimjxr - March 26, 2015

$5 billion is a small number when compared to the total federal budget, but it’s a very big number for an individual program. Only 2 DoD programs has higher annual budget than $5 billion (F-35 and Virginia Class Submarine), the EELV program that is the focus of cost savings recently only has an annual budget of $3 billion or so.

$5 billion is:
— 166% of the annual budget of DARPA
— 71% of the annual budget of National Science Foundation
— 16% of the annual budget of Department of Energy
— 16% of the annual budget of National Institute of Health

If you are the president, why should you give $5 billion to SLS/Orion instead of these agencies?

3. Michael J. Listner (@ponder68) - March 25, 2015

What orbital tourism market? Aside from the Russian Soyuz/ISS flights there is no market.


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