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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 7-3-12 July 4, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 7-3-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1807-BWB-2012-07-03.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.   Topics:  Recent space news and announced projects.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the show.  Check out his blog at www.behindtheblack.com.  We started off our first long segment (90 minutes) by mentioning the 50th anniversary of Telstar 1, the death of our friend, Al Zaehringer, AT&T and our early space program, plus the word coming from CERN that they may have found the Higgs-Boson particle.  I then asked Bob to comment on the global warming statements being made about the current East Coast heat wave, followed by comments by Newt about the power grid outages and a taste of what an EMP would be like.  We then turned to space and Bob talked about the recent success with Dragon and Falcon 9.  He then talked about government space programs as compared to private programs.  Throughout our 135 minute discussion, he reiterated his opposition to space programs, making it clear that he does not want a “program” and why.  Let us know on the blog if you agree with him.  Bob suggested we were in a period of space revolution and that it would be very exciting over the next five years.  He talked about SpaceX compared to the Russians and the Chinese.  He did say we were in competition with them for control of space and this led us to a discussion about culture and the space frontier.  We talked about recently announced projects, Planetary Resources, Mars One, and one by the B612 Foundation.  He thought B612 was the only real one of the three.  Terry called from Texas to discuss using an Orion for a LEO mission, the Falcon Heavy for a Moon mission, Delta IV heavy and SLS.  Jerry called in from Florida and among our topics were frontier development, the Oregon Trail, the CERN reactor in Switzerland rather than in Texas, and more.  No space programs per Bob’s preferences again came up.  Let us know your thoughts about these issues on the blog.  As the segment ended, Bob was asked about Skylon which was the subject of yesterday’s program.

Tim’s call started our second segment & he asked about a lox paraffin hybrid rocket motor. We also talked about the space shuttle & its capabilities.  While Bob praised aspects of shuttle, he said the program was a failure.  I did not agree with him but listen and let us know what you think regarding this issue. Note that as the program ended, Martin sent us info on the hybrid motor mentioned earlier by Tim so check out  www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9erCLJ5KVg as Brian Cantwell delivered a presentation at Stanford on the state of the art of hybrid rockets.  Bob then updated us on the bat situation with the white nose fungus. As our program ended, Bob talked about upcoming events starting with Orbital’s Cygnus/Antares debut, Dream Chaser and other competitors.  He had some brief comments about the suborbital industry and citizen science projects and concluded by saying we were no longer in a holding pattern re commercial space.

If you have comments/questions, please post them on our blog.

 

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12 February 14, 2012

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Monday, 2-13-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1712-BWB-2012-02-13.mp3

Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics: NASA FY13 budget & space policy. White Nose Syndrome bat update.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright.  We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the program for his preliminary analysis of the NASA portion of the FY13 budget just released by the White House.  You can obtain more information about Mr. Zimmerman and the issues he writes about at his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.  Bob also provided an analysis of the NASA budget at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/a-transitional-budget. Bob started out by saying the NASA part of the budget was flat.  That said, he also said the Mars and planetary programs faced serious cuts.  He pointed out that missions in progress were still being funded, new missions such as the EuroMars missions were being scrapped though in the case of Mars, a new program was being created, the Mars Next Decade Program.  Bob went on to say the astronomy budget was being squeezed to finish the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which has its own line item in the budget.  The JWST was decimating the astronomy budget. He pointed out that the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) was being zeroed out in another year or so after it has completed its primary mission.  Turning to manned space, Bob described it as contradictory.  Commercial Crew would receive $830 million but of course congress may change that.  Also, SLS and Orion continue getting around $3 billion.  Bob talked about the flight plan for SLS & Orion and like many others, predicted the program would ultimately be cancelled.  Bob received lots of listener questions by email & phone addressing topics including a nuclear rocket, Mars Direct, DOD space funding issues, and the PR value for NASA for the HSF program.  Bob then suggested that history has shown that if the HSF program suffers, all of NASA suffers and pointed out that is happening now. Later, Marshall called to suggest that ESA might not be able to fund their part of the Mars programs due to European economic problems.  Bob speculated that our cutting participation may actually have been in anticipation of this to avoid problems down the road because of the European economic woes.  At the end of this segment, we talked about the successful European Vega rocket launch. 

In segment two, Bob talked about new information regarding sun spots and climate per a recently reviewed paper.  Check out the story at http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-link-between-sunspots-and-climate. We also talked about the 2012 plan proposed by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in its search for Higgs boson.  Listeners brought up the nuclear rocket, the Cassini mission in the budget, and more on JWST.  Bob also reported some new developments with LightSquared, the FCC, and GPS issues.  Tim called in with questions about the sun and an electro magnetic pulse (EMP). As the program ended, I asked Bob for another update on the White Nose Syndrome which has killed lots of bats in the northeast.  Bob closed by saying the upcoming Falcon 9 & Dragon launch plus the Orbital Antares launch may prove to be the most important events of the year.  He said they were risky ventures, especially the Antares launch and program.  

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Bob through me or from his website, Behind The Black.

Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Wednesday, 12-21-11 December 22, 2011

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Wednesday, 12-21-11

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1676-BWB-2011-12-21.mp3

Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space Act Agreement, private compared to government space, Kepler planet discovery, bats.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign.  Merry Christmas to all of you from The Space Show.  We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the show for policy, news, and bat updates.  Make sure you visit his blog for interesting and timely news and posts, http://behindtheblack.com. We started our two hour discussion with Bob saying that NASA reverting back to using the SAA instead of the FAR was perhaps the most significant moment in space since the Apollo landings. Listen to his explanation which he talked about multiple times during the program. Do you agree?  In talking about the SAA, we also talked about the new NASA budget of $406 million for crew, including the amounts already allocated, leaving about $100 million less for the companies.  We talked about the need to have launch competition with at least two companies.  In addition, since NASA will “certify” the private HSF vehicles, we talked about what that might be like and the continued control over the companies by NASA.  As you will hear over and over again, Bob does not look favorably on government space programs and believes the future is to be found within the private sector.  Do you agree with Bob?  Another point Bob made in discussing the SAA was that it probably sounded the death knell for SLS.  Again, listen to what he had to say on this subject.  Kelly called in and sent us information about another effort to commercialize the remaining two space shuttles.  We talked about this and similar plans in detail.  The new Stratolaunch concept came up and Bob got a few questions about air launch and the performance gain from doing an air launch. Our discussion closed in the management team involved in the project as being a “dream team.”  In the second segment, we talked about the new Earth-like planet discoveries by the Kepler Space Telescope, including two in the habitable zone.  Later, we talked about human rating the Atlas and Delta rockets, and the DOD-ULA deal which may not happen.  Listeners asked Bob about the Russian space program in light of Phobos-Grunt, about SETI, and even possible one way missions to Mars.  Alistair asked about the possible impact on US policy makers if China was about to go to the Moon & establish a lunar base.  Later we talked about Telstar, ATT, airmail, and space politics..  We concluded with a bat update on White Nose Syndrome.  Bob suggested three areas to look for in 2012: the Falcon 9 launch, the test flight of Antares, and Virgin Galactic SS2 engine tests and flights.  Please post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above.