Broadcast 2986 Robert (Bob) Zimmerman

26 Sep 2017 Robert Zimmerman
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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman;  Topics, Space news and current events, Musk and Mars, the Moon, SLS, budget issues, human spaceflight, returning to the Moon & more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.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 Bob Zimmerman back to the show for our nearly two hour one segment discussion on a variety of space topics.  Please note that you will hear some edits toward the end of the show as I lost some of the dialog in cleaning up the program. This was my fault but by the time I caught my mistake, the short set of comments in question had been accidentally deleted and I could not recover them. I do apologize for this error on my part. For the record, the lost comments were about health insurance issues as Bob and I went off the space topic for a few minutes.  Back to the start of the show, we started out talking about the IAC meeting going on in Australia and the upcoming Musk talk about revisions to his Mars rocket and settlement plans.  That talk is currently scheduled for 2:30 PM PDT Thursday, Sept.  28.  Check the IAC website or the SpaceX website for live streaming information if you plan on watching it.  Bob was not that interested in the talk, spent some time talking about doing things for real and PR types of talks.  Bob then talked about the trend he is detecting within the government and NASA to actually have a return to the Moon program.  Bob talked about this return to the Moon possibility as a formal program several times during our show today and once again later on in the discussion in the context of Musk and his Mars plans.  As part of returning to the Moon, Bob referenced SLS and Orion  and the Deep Space Gateway program which now has interest in it by Russia

Bob talked about the first planned meeting of the National Space Council (NS).  This meeting will be Oct. 5 at the Air And Space Museum. He said it seemed to be more PR oriented than substantive and drew our attention to a Behind the Black article he wrote about this.  Check it out here: http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/first-meeting-of-national-space-council-announced.  I asked Bob about Representative Bridenstine not being part of the NSC, at least not listed for the article.  Bob and I talked about his nomination being pending as he has not been confirmed, plus the agenda and speakers for this meeting had not yet been published by airtime last night.

Another topic for us was the development going on in the rocket industry and the competition, especially with the Blue Origin New Glenn and Falcon Heavy rockets.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Bob also mentioned the Arca Space development work on the aerospike engine.  We then talked about the Google Lunar XPrize competition, the contestants and the extension of the contest and why through March 2018.  Bob mentioned two companies flying on the Indian PSLV rocket, the problems with that rocket and the planned resumption of flight for it toward the end of this year. 

China, national launch rates, and company launch rates were discussed.  Bob talked about which country or company had the most launches so far in 2017.  Don’t miss what he said about Russia, China, and SpaceX.  I then asked Bob about the upcoming United Nations meetings on modifying the Outer Space Treaty.  Bob was up on these meetings so we had an extensive discussion about the OST, space property rights, possible treaty modifications and related items.  Bob mentioned the interest in the subject by Luxembourg, the UAE, and even the new Australian space agency being developed.  Bob was optimistic that property rights changes for the commercial industry would be forthcoming.

Beth in Portland, OR asked about NASA planetary missions. Bob mentioned New Horizons and the Kuiper Belt coming up, also OSIRIS-REx and the asteroid Bennu.  Bob then addressed Beth’s question regarding human spaceflight.  You definitely do not want to miss what he had to say.  After discussing both orbital and suborbital tourism, Bob was asked about the proposed NASA budget for FY 2018.  Next, BJohn asked about the Deep Space Gateway (DSG) as he was very negative toward it.  I read both his emails on air so pay attention to what BJohn and Bob said. Both Bob and I disagreed with his assumptions but we both said that B John could be right if it turned out that there was no possibility of alternative launch vehicles docking at the DSG.  This brought up the question of the docking port on the DSG and if it would be usable by rockets other than SLS. 

I pointed out to Bob what a previous guest had said about SLS in that it should be used as a tool for space infrastructure to enable other missions. Bob very strongly disagreed with that perspective.  Make sure you hear Bob’s argument.  We both agreed that ownership of infrastructure was important and we both felt it would be better off if there was at least partial private sector ownership of space infrastructure.

Before the show ended, Bob talked about seeing the total eclipse, then as a closing question, I asked him about the Orbital ATK and Northrop merger.  Don’t miss what he said about both his eclipse experience and the merger.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  Visit Bob’s great website, website www.behindtheblack.com.   You can reach Bob through me or his website.

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