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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-3-13 December 4, 2013

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Robert (Bob) Zimmerman, Tuesday, 12-3-13


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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman.  Topics:  launch competition, commercial space, China, gov. space programs, budget issues.  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.

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.

Michael Listner, Monday, 1-2-12 January 2, 2012

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Michael Listner, Monday, 1-2-12


Guest:  Michael Listner.  Topics:  National and international space law issues including property rights, the Moon Treaty & more.  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 welcomes Michael Listner to the program to discuss national and international space law issues and related matters.  We started out discussing the new Austrian domestic space law and inquiring of our guest why we should take note of this Austrian law here in the U.S.  As you will hear from Mr. Listner, the new Austrian law relates specifically to the UN space treaties and plays a role in international space law.  Our guest wrote a recent article on this subject in The Space Review on Dec. 12, 2011.  You can read his article at www.thespacereview.com/article/1988/1.  Another interesting article of his you might value is in DefensePolicy.org from July 7, 2011 and titled “TCBMs: A New Definition and New Role for Outer Space Security.”  You can download it at www.defensepolicy.org/2011/michlis/tcbms-a-new-definition-and-new-role-for-outer-space-security. Our discussion then focused on launching country issues and liability, satellite operations in different countries and both the Liability and the Registration U.N. Conventions.  This discussion led us to talking about the European Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities and Michael updated us on the status of this voluntary agreement, both on the international front as well as here in the U.S.  Other issues discussed in this segment included space debris and the Draft Russian Chinese Treaty On The Prevention Of The Placement Of Weapons In Outer Space (PPWT).  We also talked about the Chinese GPS system covering Asia, its military focus, and Chinese geo political intersects.  Michael then introduced us to Transparency and Confidence Building Measures (TCBMs) as alternatives to treaties. This prompted several listener questions and comments about “so called” government transparency, the word of governments, and their effectiveness so far.  This was an interesting discussion, especially when I asked our guest for his personal opinion on these types of agreements.  Space tourism became a subject and we spent some time on the liability issues and the states that have passed liability protection laws for the space companies.  Jack from Virginia was listening and provided us with important information about the Virginia law which he largely authored and which has become a model for the laws in Florida, Texas, and New Mexico.  We spent the rest of the first segment talking about liability and space tourism issues. In the second segment, Helen asked if funding levels for NASA and space interests correlated to up’s and downs in space policy.  As you will hear, most policy is driven by politics, not funding levels.  There were lots of questions about the legality of the Moon Treaty and its applicability to commercial space, even Google Lunar X Prize contestants.  We fielded questions on lunar mineral extractions as well as messing with Apollo artifacts on the Moon.  We then jumped over to property rights and what this actually means regarding space issues.  As we were nearing the end of our discussion, I asked Michael if space law was largely an academic field or if it was becoming a career choice field in terms of practical application.  He said it was becoming more and more practical and more and more schools were offering commercial law classes.  If you have comments or questions for Michael Listner, please post them on the blog URL above.

Dr. Dwayne Day, Wednesday, 11-23-11 November 23, 2011

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Dr. Dwayne Day, Wednesday, 11-23-11



Guest:  Dr. Dwayne Day.  Topics:  The future of the U.S. astronaut corps & the Chinese space program & intentions.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, & discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  Comments, questions, & any discussion must be relevant & 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. We welcomed Dr. Day back to the show to discuss the NRC/National Academies report he directed, “Preparing for the High Frontier: The Role & Training of NASA Astronauts in the Post-Space Shuttle Era.”  You can download this report in .pdf format for free: http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13227.  Later in the program, Dr. Day talked about the Chinese space program based on his Space Review article from Nov. 14, 2011, “Staring into the eyes of the Dragon ( www.thespacereview.com/article/1970/1)”.  We started our discussion talking about the astronaut corps of the future.  Dr. Day told us about the study panel members,  their methodology, their visit to JSC in Houston to see the training facilities, & their discussions with many of the commercial companies working on CCDEV. Their initial assumptions that were proven wrong were that NASA had too many astronauts & the use of the T-38 were not that vital to the program. They discovered that the astronaut corps had already been downsized. Dwayne provided us with a chart which is on the blog for this program showing the astronaut corps population going back to 1959 projected to 2016.  The panel looked at three issues at the start of their task: The future role of the corps & its size; Training facilities & needs post shuttle; Training aircraft such as the T-38 for spaceflight readiness issues.  During this segment, Dr. Day discussed their work & conclusions in detail.  Several questions were about comparing the U.S. astronaut program with the Russians & the training involved with astronauts from other countries.  Many listeners wanted to know about the role of commercial launch providers & even if there might be a private astronaut corps.  One of the things Dr. Day said was that two commercial astronaut models were being examined by NASA, the rental car model & the “we are in charge” model.  He also talked about the impact on the program, planning, & development of uncertainty.  As for the T-38s, the conclusion was that they were needed for real time space situational awareness training & decision making. In our second segment, Dwayne took a few New Space focused questions.  He mentioned talking to Space X & other companies plus what his panel heard as to their suggestions for the astronaut corps.  Later, we talked about NRC reports in general, avoiding conflict of interest, & taxpayer value. A listener from Canada asked about the possibility of a private astronaut corp returning to the Moon before government astronauts. This led to a discussion about space enthusiasts & reality checks.  For the balance, we talked about the Chinese program.  Here, Dr. Day broke it down between human spaceflight & their defense, science & image satellite programs. He also talked about Chinese intentions.  I urge you to read his excellent Space Review article referenced above.  For 2012, I will do my best to offer Space Show listeners programming on the Chinese program, including webinar panel discussions, as it is important for us to understand as much as possible about the Chinese program.  Post comments & questions on the blog URL above.  You can email Dr. Day at zirconici1@cox.net.  If you do email him, please copy me so I can learn from the exchange.


Astronaut Corps Population