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Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman. Topics: Space policy and space news updates, commercial space. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, http://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 to discuss space news, policy, and commercial space from his perspective. Also visit his website/blog, http://behindtheblack.com which covers science, space, technology, and stories of interest on a variety of topics. For those of you who follow Zimmerman Space Show discussions, this one will not disappoint. Bob was hard hitting, pointed, controversial, and as usual, took no prisoners in discussing space, policy, and commercial space from his perspective. When we started our interview, I asked him about the status of our space program & he immediately said the idea of a space program was faulty. Listen to his comments for the details. When talking about government funding for the emerging commercial companies, he was most critical as well. The next topic we moved to dealt with cost overruns on the James Webb Space Telescope and if those higher costs could eventually impact other segments of the NASA budget. Bob had much to say on this subject. We then addressed the issue of the NASA budget for the coming year. Will it be cut, what might be cut? What about funding for the CCDEV program and what would the companies of CCDEV2 do without government funding. Bob speculates on this scenario, don't miss it. Toward the end of the segment, Bob told us about seeing the recent Discovery shuttle launch and we talked about seeing shuttle launches in general, both from the VIP section and by the side of the road. I do urge all of you to put forth the effort to see the last shuttle launch with Atlantis. I promise you the trip to the Cape will be well worth it, especially if you have never seen a shuttle launch. As we started the second segment of our two hour program, we talked about the Bob Zubrin plan for humans to Mars that Bob announced at ISDC. I suggested it was good that Dr. Zubrin put a time line/date on going to Mars but Mr. Zimmerman was all over that idea saying dates were proven failures and he listed some examples. Zimmerman was highly critical of the Zubrin plan. Listen to his comments to find out why. In this discussion, we talked about human factors and life support issues, large payload landings on Mars, and as our guest pointed out, technical challenges with repair and maintenance of the spaceship used for the Mars mission. We talked about the need for finding out about gravity and duration requirements for humans spending lots of time in space. Listener Tim called us from Huntsville to take issue with what Bob was saying about the needed timeline for going to Mars with crew. See what you think about this "debate." If you have comments or questions for Bob Zimmerman, post them on our Space Show blog using the above URL. You can also email Mr. Zimmerman at zimmerman at nasw dot org.