Broadcast 1482 (Special Edition)

23 Dec 2010 Robert Zimmerman
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Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman. Topics: Apollo 8 Genesis Christmas eve flight around the Moon 42 years ago, 2010 in review, 2011 forecast. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. For more information, visit Bob's blog, Behindtheblack at http://behindtheblack.com. We started our program by remembering the Apollo 8 flight which flew around the Moon 42 years ago today. Christmas evening back then the Apollo 8 astronauts read from Genesis and Bob told us that story and how it was decided to read from Genesis. Our discussion transitioned into the 2010 space policy debate and Bob summarized it, talked about SpaceX and the commercial/private space companies filling the void caused by the confusion and intended changes in our civil space policy. Bob was comprehensive in his comments and definitely took the point of view of new commercial opportunities arising from the problems with the government program. Our callers talked about the NASA budget cuts, heavy lift, the likelihood of heavy lift being cut, and more. Bob also talked about getting the U.S. budget under control even if that meant cutting back on the NASA budget. I asked Bob to comment on the new NASA Sun-Climate Research Center, and we talked about new House committee chairmen being representative of traditional aerospace and that potential impact on commercial space development. We ended this segment with a call from Dr. Lurio continuing the budget discussion, plus Charles commented on the "Gadot" rocket. The possible merger inside NASA of the Human Spaceflight and Operations Directorates was discussed by both Charles and Bob. You can read about this possible merger at www.spacenews.com/civil/101221-nasa-merge-directorates.html. Listen to his comments for clarification. In our second segment we started looking forward into the future in 2011. Bob suggested that the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) would start giving us planetary information for Earth-like planets in February and said this might be the science discovery of the year. He said the astrophysics budget for 2011 was dismal, we talked about the NASA arsenic life form story about which Bob had much to say. A listener asked Bob what he thought about NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. Don't miss what Bob said in response to this listener question. Towards the end of the program, we returned to budget control issues and ITAR reform with Bob saying that the innovation would be forthcoming from the private sector, not from the government. We ended our discussion with a bat fungus update which was not encouraging if you are one of the fungus susceptible bats as species extinction may be in progress. If you have questions for Bob Zimmerman, please post them on the blog URL above and you can email Bob at zimmerman at nasw dot org.

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