Broadcast 1433 (Special Edition)

29 Sep 2010 Robert Zimmerman
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Guest: Robert Zimmerman. Topics: U.S. Space policy, heavy lift, commercial space. We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to The Space Show to discuss the passage by the House of Representatives of S.3729 known as the NASA Authorization Bill. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, http://thespaceshowoutsidethebox.blogspot.com. As we started our first segment and throughout this two segment two hour show, Bob expanded on his thesis that the Authorization bill was nothing but pork, that NASA would likely screw up most parts of it including heavy lift, that because of our economy, we cannot afford heavy lift at this time and should not be doing it, and that the best hope for U.S. human spaceflight lies within the private sector for developing and expanding a successful commercial space industry without oversight from NASA where NASA simply buys the ride from different commercial vendors. Bob takes us through his analysis and how he has reached these conclusions so you can see if you agree with him or not. We talked about the coming Lame Duck Congress, how the elections will tell us much because if the nation's deficit turns out to be the focus of the election and the new congress, he expects NASA to be included in budget cuts. We talked about FY 11 and subsequent years and Bob clarified what would likely happen for FY11 as compared to future years or the out years. He did say that aware of space was in his opinion, at an all time high and the public was interested in space but as others have said, it has to start being relevant to the people. We talked about Constellation, the details in S.3729 and order NASA to be only marginally different than Constellation and more. In the second segment, Bob continued these themes but we also talked about the Russian space program and some about China as Bob was asked if other national space agencies could fill the void he sees coming because of what is going on with NASA and our economy. I asked Bob for an assessment of the science and astronomy side of NASA and he said those budgets were flat. Later in this segment, we turned our attention to the discovery of the most Earthlike planet yet found, Gliese 581d which orbits its red dwarf star is 66.8 days, is about 20 light-years from Earth, and is in the constellation Libra. In the second segment, Bob broke the space policy discussion down into three groups and he talked about commercial space including the large aerospace firms such as Boeing and Lockheed, not just the NewSpace companies. If you have questions or comments for Bob, please post them to the Space Show blog URL above and you can send them to Bob zimmerman at asw dot org. Visit and post at Bob's blog as well, http://behindtheblack.com.

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