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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 6-11-13 June 12, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 6-11-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2027-BWB-2013-06-11.mp3

Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  Commercial space, regulations, climate science, becoming spacefaring.  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 welcomed Robert (Bob) Zimmerman to the program (www.behindtheblack.com).  During our 2 hour 3 minute discussion with Bob, we covered a wide area of space, policy, budget and climate science issues.  For those of you interested in the opportunity to submit feedback on the NRC congressionally mandated Human Spaceflight Study, please go to www.nationalacademies.org/humanspaceflight.  Bob started out talking about the Commercial Space Launch Act of 2004 and his warnings back then about a heavily regulated commercial and NewSpace industry coming out of this particular legislation.  He has now reported on the evolution of regulation for this segment of the industry.  See this article on his blog, http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/the-red-tape-of-the-space-bureaucracy.  He strongly suggested that the focus was misplaced on excessive safety.  Instead, it should be on risk taking, innovation, and experimental flight.  We also mentioned possible ITAR changes in which human spaceflight vehicles are being considered for addition to the munitions list.  Were this to happen, it might prove extremely detrimental to NewSpace companies and the American space industry.  Pooley both emailed and called the show to stress starting small and with non-human spaceflight missions. Bob and Charles had an interesting exchange on this subject you will want to hear.  Later in the segment, Bob talked about SpaceX and launch rates, comparing the Falcon with the Russian Proton.  We talked about the need for reliable commercial schedules for a launcher to be considered commercial.  We also talked about the successful Orbital Sciences Antares demo flight, ULA and their schedules, plus Arianespace.  Bob then commented on the first powered demo flight for Virgin, then Tim from Huntsville called in to talk abut SpaceX, a possible IPO, Bob’s comments on NASA assimilation, and the Planetary Resources Kickstarter campaign.

In our second segment, we started with another Pooley email stressing the need to start small & without human spaceflight.  I then asked Bob what he thought of the prospect of continuing to fund & develop SLS.  He said it was on the knife’s edge and to the degree that SpaceX, Falcon 9, Falcon Heavy, Dragon, and Orbital can be successful, it will likely hasten the demise of SLS.  Bob then spoke to the bulkhead cracks with the Orion, their repairs and the recent successful Orion test.  Sequestration was next up with Bob having much to say on the subject.  Our next big topic had to do with climate science which I introduced with my perspective of it here in the U.S. and what I know about what is going on in the field in the UK and throughout Europe.  Bob talked about climate models and referenced the work by Roy Spencer who depicts in graph format all 72 climate models referenced by the industry (see www.drroyspencer.com/2013/06/still-epic-fail-73-climate-models-vs-measurements-running-5-year-means).  Bob dealt with many climate science issues so if this topic interests you, don’t miss this discussion.  Later, we talked about the Chinese spacecraft now in orbit for about a two week HSF mission.  Also discussed was the JWST and its impact on NASA astrophysics budget issues, the Kepler Space Telescope, and our on orbit repair capabilities. Both Bob & I used JWST and Kepler as examples of why we need to develop a true spacefaring capability though being able to repair hardware so far out in space is not going to happen for a very long time, if ever.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can email Bob through his blog or by using zimmerman at nasw dot org.

Dr. Henry Hertzfeld, Tuesday, 3-5-13 March 6, 2013

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Dr. Henry Hertzfeld, Tuesday, 3-5-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1964-BWB-2013-03-05.mp3

Guest:  Dr. Henry Hertzfeld.  Topics:  Commercial space, Mars, human spaceflight, regulations & economics.  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 welcomed Dr. Henry Hertzfeld back to the show for a fascinating 90 minute discussion regarding commercial space, human spaceflight (HSF), recently announced HSF Mars missions, increasing the launch rate, and more.  During our initial segment, Dr. Hertzfeld addressed my question about lowering launch prices to increase the launch rate.  Dr. Hertzfeld did a classic economic study on this subject several years ago and I asked him if today’s current market and commercial space progress had altered his earlier conclusions.  He said no. Later, I asked if space solar power (SSP) could drive launch rates down.  The short answer was no but don’t miss what he had to say about SSP economics, launches, and debris issues.  Jerry emailed in a question about SpaceX being a commercial company given its receipt of government money.  Henry had much to say about what makes a company commercial or not and if it is even an important issue.  Another listener wanted to know about the deep space commercial ventures announced in 2012 and in 2013.  The listener wanted to know if these were really commercial ventures, if regulations could stop them, and what would happen re the ventures needing property rights or the equivalent.  One of the things our guest reiterated several times during our discussion was the need for stability and predictability for the commercial industry.  Questions came in about benefit sharing and he mentioned the likelihood that some sort of international system would develop on these issues. I asked what constituted an acceptable ROI and the example of controlled ROIs as in the utility industry came up.  Doug wanted to know about rocket reusability and its impact on launch costs.  We also talked about both Mars One and the new Inspiration Mars mission.  As part of this discussion, astronaut rescue and the rescue treaty were discussed.  In the second segment, Doug called to discuss property rights for a NEO as opposed to the Moon, wondering if the Moon might be more valuable.  Doug & Henry talked about our having returned lunar rockets as a model for commercially returning lunar products but Henry suggested there might be a difference in returning something for science as compared to commercial exploitation.  Later, we addressed human spaceflight and its challenges.  The Chinese space program was brought up as was the risk of a space war.  Dr. Hertzfeld was asked about putting 10,000 people on Mars, space migration, species survival, space settlement, and the need to explore as possible drivers for HSF.  My final question pertained to our evolving to a business friendly environment in space.  Simply put, we are not there yet.

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