Broadcast 283 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

30 Nov 2004 Robert Zimmerman
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Robert Zimmerman returned to The Space Show to update us on the latest news and developments. Mr. Zimmerman had completed studying the full text of the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 (H.R. 3752) and was not encouraged by its full contents. He reviewed all of this legislation on the program, showing why t may be a limiting piece of legislation, despite the provision that permit space tourists to fly by signing an informed consent document. Mr. Zimmerman updated us on the space mood in Congress and around the country. We also spent time considering the use of the shuttle for heavy lift, he commented on questions regarding other possible heavy lift launch vehicles including the new Ariane, and the arguments for and against heavy lift for returning to the Moon and going to Mars. As a result of listener questions, he was asked about alternative launch vehicles and possible propulsion, including nuclear, laser, magnetic, and ion propulsion. Mr. Zimmerman provided us with very interesting insights in these areas. We discussed He3 and lunar commerce, hydrogen, and related topics including lunar space tourism. The subject of the crew exploration vehicle was explored in the context of NASA, business as usual, and the new space vision that is being promoted. We also discussed a bit of history of the space program in the context of the recently passed Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 given the possibility the government might control who and what can fly despite everything else. Mr. Zimmerman compared this to the early years of space history when ATT proposed the Telstar series of LEO satellites and the then administration interfered and prevented this type of satellite program. Listeners challenged Mr. Zimmerman on this bit of history and an interesting discussion ensued. As always, Mr. Zimmerman provides Space Show listeners with the latest news updates and very insightful perspectives.

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