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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 3-26-13 March 27, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 3-26-13


Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Space news, company updates, and more.  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.

We welcomes Bob Zimmerman back for a two hour wide ranging discussion on space news, company updates, sequestration, policy, and more.  Be sure to check out his blog, http://behindtheblack.com.   Bob started out talking about the e-book release of his book, “Genesis, The Story of Apollo 8.”  He then talked about the upcoming Falcon 9 launches, their importance and significance.  Bob mentioned ILS and the Proton rocket which is having its problems causing insurance rates to rise. He said the Russians will absorb all insurance cost increases to keep Proton at a price advantage point.  This opened the door to a discussion about SpaceX and price competiveness in the launch industry.  Bob switched gears to the suborbitals and said we should be seeing Virgin powered tests soon.  He also talked about Stratolaunch per a recent Parabolic Arc article.  Bob was talking reusability and the RLV so I asked him if he was aware of economic analysis and data that was not supportive of an RLV short of a substantial increase in launch demand. Bob had much to say about this with his opinion. The RLV economic issue continued to be discussed in both segments of our program. Tim called in about it as well.  We talked about Sen. Rubio and his budget amendment suggesting NASA divest itself of unused assets & use the saved money for commercial space.  Bob then brought up sequestration and the announcement that NASA will be shutting down all public outreach but they will keep their PR arm going for their projects and missions.  We also mentioned Sarah Brightman and both her ISS and Virgin space tourism efforts.  Near the close of this segment, Inspiration Mars was discussed and as you will hear, Bob is skeptical, citing human factors & other reasons for his opinion.  Larry asked about North Korean rockets and threats to the U.S. west coast.  Bob said he took them seriously though their rocket was not yet ready for prime time. Bob also threw in Iranian rockets and threats and said he was more concerned about advances by Iran than N. Korea at this time.

In segment two, we talked about both the science side of NASA and the HSF side.  I’m sure you will find the comparison and mission summaries of interest.  John called in from Atlanta to raise yet again the question of reusability.  He thought it would be enhanced with the use of orbiting fuel depots. Bob was skeptical.  Don’t miss this discussion.  I asked both Bob and John about Inspiration Mars, Jim emailed in a comment about Falcon 1 relative to comments being made by Bob, and we talked about the upcoming Orbital Sciences Antares launch.  We got into the subject of risk taking and Bob and I talked about mining risks as well as caving risks.  As Bob is an accomplished caver, he had much to say about both mining and caving.  Near the end, we got a call about various spaceports in different states and spaceport commercial success so far.  Bob concluded saying that we are in an unstable world which could absolutely adversely impact all aspects of space and commercial space development and progress.

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