Broadcast 1143 (Special Edition)

23 Apr 2009 Robert Zimmerman
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Guest: Robert Zimmerman. Topics: NASA Administrator, Ares, Orion, Constellation, ISS, space policy, bats, suborbital tourism, Hubble. Bob Zimmerman returned to the Space Show for this program, leading off with a discussion about the significance of the absence of a NASA Administrator. Bob explained some of the problems this creates for our space program, especially long term as we are nearing critical decision points in several of our civil space programs. You will want to hear his comments on this subject. In addition, he had no suggestion or ideas as to the next Administrator. Our discussion then took us into the Ares rocket family, COTS, Orion, Constellation, etc. Bob had much to say on both sides of many of the important issues surrounding Ares and the Constellation program. Bob did express strong support for the former Administrator, Dr. Mike Griffin. You will want to hear his supporting comments. I asked Bob about the space aspect of the military launch programs for Iran, North Korea and China and we talked about other national space programs as well. Bob suggested the space aspects of these programs might be strong enough to lead these nations away from their military focus as was the case with the former Soviet Union. Listen to what Bob had to say and see if you agree with him. Later in the show, we somehow got on to one of Bob's favorite topics, freedom to do pretty much what one wants. Examples Bob used had to do with his going caving and having property with caves on them that his wife and he make available to cavers despite efforts to close caving off due to the bat problem in the northeast. This discussion opened up a short segment regarding the problem bats are experiencing in the northeast, the unknown fungus that may be at the root of the bat problem, and the unexplained death of many bats and what this means. While bats and the fungus having nothing to do with space, it is a real and potentially serious problem and its worth hearing what Bob had to say about it as he is very up on the subject and has just written a journal article on the subject for a leading reviewed journal. Going back to space, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was discussed in detail including the upcoming repair mission. So was the James Webb Telescope. Bob had much to say about HST and took many listener questions about it. He explained the repairs in some detail. Listeners asked him about the ISS and its possible usefulness in the lunar and Mars programs. We also talked about the remaining life expectancy of the ISS. Many more topics were discussed and at the end of the show, a listener even asked Bob to explain his choice of government since he so frequently finds faults with most governments. When you hear his response, you will know Bob's idea of the perfect government. To find out more about Robert Zimmerman, check out his website at http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze3cxxp/zimbib.htm . You can email him through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com or you can search for his email address on his website and then contact him directly.

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