Broadcast 1856 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

18 Sep 2012 Robert Zimmerman
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Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman. Topics: Commercial crew, space policy, commercial space and more. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, 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 a variety of space news topics and issues including commercial crew, commercial space, space politics, SLS, and more. For those of you familiar with Bob Zimmerman on The Space Show, you will not be disappointed by this vintage-like Zimmerman discussion. In our first segment of this slightly more than 2 hour program, we talked about the recent congressional hearings on commercial crew safety. Bob's response to these hearings and the commercial crew safety issues won't surprise those of you familiar with Bob on these subjects. Bob then talked about SLS and I mentioned the NASA pamphlet/booklet they gave out at the AIAA Space 2012 showing missions and objectives for SLS and more. You can download this report at Bob also talked about NASA budgets from his perspective of needing budget cuts for the country as a whole given our $16 trillion debt. Later in the segment, we talked about some of the developing & emerging companies & their vehicles, Sierra Nevada, XCOR, Virgin, and then we talked about possible new spaceports under consideration/development. Bob then took us to the subject of sequestration which is set for Jan. 1, 2013 unless the law is reversed. Bob spent considerable time telling us why these cuts are not as bad as the media and the agencies make them out to be. See if you agree with his analysis. As the segment ended, we talked about planetary science missions with NASA in the budget context along with the budget consequences of continuing SLS. In our second segment, Bob continued talking about SLS along with heavy lift, including the proposed Falcon Heavy. Listeners began emailing and calling with comments about space politics, policy, and heavy lift as compared to smaller rockets doing the same mission. I then provided everyone with a glimpse of our planned rocket building webinar set for Oct. 28 and talked about how one costs out and plans a rocket for the mission at hand as you cannot just say heavy lift bad, smaller rockets good or something similar. I provided a quick and very simple overview of the process used in doing this type of analysis and trade study (running the numbers). If this interests you, don't miss our Oct. 28th webinar on this entire process. We are using an interactive spreadsheet so you can design your own rocket and mission and compare it to any other rocket with known parameters. I suspect I was not completely convincing regarding heavy lift as compared to smaller lift rockets and the mission planning process but listen and see what you think about the discussion. As the discussion continued, one of the points I was making about matching the rocket to the mission seemed to get attention. Also, I made it clear this was not about bad and good. Let us know your thoughts by posting them on the blog. Later in the segment, Bob talked extensively about the private sector being preferable to the government doing things related to space. We also talked about space telescopes, Cis-lunar development and more. We concluded with Bob pointing out what is still ahead for space during the balance of the year and with the developing companies. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. If you want to email Bob, you can do so through me or through his excellent blog, Behind The Black (



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