Broadcast 1275 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Robert Zimmerman. Topics: Space policy, space news, commercial space, Climategate.. Robert Zimmerman returned for this end of the year wrap up Space Show program that went overtime to two hours. In our first segment, we talked about Hubble and Bob mentioned his Hubble book as a guide to see how the government works regarding policy, congress, and tax funds. His book, "Universe in a Mirror," is available at We then focused on the SpaceShip2 rollout and the initial tests it will undergo, plus the overall commercial plans for SS2 and suborbital tourism. Bob discussed the Lunar Lander contest and contests in general. Toward the end of this segment, Mr. Zimmerman talked about Augustine and I told him about the Sen. Shelby amendment attached to the budget bill that restricts the administration as to what they can do with NASA policy for 2010. In the second segment, we picked up on the Sen. Shelby amendment and Bob considered the impact of the bill on space policy, Constellation, and overall policy. We talked about funding to the tune of billions a program that would likely be cancelled in the next budget but Bob said this was how government worked. Its an interesting discussion if not heavy on the forecasting and trying to second guess congress and the administration. Bob did speak out about congress micro-managing thee space program and drew parallels to these problems from previous NASA administrations. Later in this segment he told us why he favored international competition for space programs, not cooperation. See if you agree with him. Toward the end of the segment, we talked about commercial space, using EELVs, and if government should be doing this or buying the service from the private sector. You will hear Bob push for buying these services from the private sector. We kicked off the third and final but long segment with a discussion on Space X, Dragon, and Falcon 9. We discussed human rating EELVs and the Falcon 9 and some of the differences in doing that for the various vehicles. Toward the end of this segment, Bob brought us to problems with science and used the Climategate scandal as an example. I brought up a recent article on The Space Review that even challenged NASA Earth imaging satellites to see if they had been "tweaked" as part of the faulty science that has now been revealed through this scandal. Bob and I both talked about the need to be able to trust science and the potential damage caused to all of science, government, institutions, and organizations as a result of what we now know from Climategate. Bob talked at length on this subject so you will want to hear his comments. At the end of this segment, NewSpace was stressed as one of the bright spots in the space arena as we move toward 2010. As the show was ending, I asked Bob for an update on the bat fungus that has been destroying cave bats in the northeast. For those of you following this problem, you will be interested in this short update. If you have questions or comments for Bob Zimmerman, you can find his email address near the bottom of his website, or you can forward it to me at



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14 Dec 2009 Robert Zimmerman
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