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Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman; Topics: Commercial space, pending legislation, SpaceX & other launch companies, policy, OST, property rights and more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Bob back to the show for this two segment 110 minute program that dealt with a variety of hot space policy, launch, commercial, and settlement issues. During the first segment, I asked Bob about publishing another book, his self-publishing experience and related issues to his books. I then commented that SpaceX had been very busy since his last visit with us. I also commented about their impressive success record, especially about their weekend launches on both coasts. Bob had much to say about SpaceX, including the Falcon Heavy so don't miss his comments which took us to the bottom of the hour or slightly past that market. Bob then commented on the changes in the commercial industry over the past 7-10 years and noted many other companies including Rocket Lab, Vector, Blue Origin, even ULA. Regarding ULA, he had much to say about their challenges going forward. The same for Arianne Space given their company reorganization, the emergence of the Arianne Group and the Arianne 6 rocket. Bob then mentioned activity in developing space agencies in the UK, the UAE, Luxembourg plus I mentioned New Zealand, Australia, and the Azores.
Regarding China, Bob mentioned how aggressive they been of late and toward the end of the second segment, he actually listed three issues relevant to the Chinese program so stay tuned. Bob then brought up the United Nations upcoming meetings on space in Australia and the student and young person meeting to be held there on possible modifications of the Outer Space Treaty to allow for property rights. This led me to talk about the impressive panels and entrepreneurs represented at the recent NewSpace 2017 gig held last week in San Francisco. Don't miss what both Bob and I had to say on this subject. Bob had much to say about changing or doing something with the OST re property rights. He also mentioned a new Federalist article that he wrote on the subject. You can read his article here: http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/space-law-vs-the-outer-space-treaty.
Bob then devoted serious time to do discussing ULA and complimenting the new CEO Tory Bruno. Bob did have some questions about their Vulcan rocket project but he also mentioned that both Boeing and Lockheed might want to get out of their arrangement with their rockets with ULA. Don't miss what Bob had to say about this.
Bob commented on ongoing Russian corruption and quality control issues with their rockets and said they planned a new heavy lift rocket for 2027 which he thought would not be competitive given how fast the market is evolving and new rockets are coming up on operation. Bob mentioned the large amount of new satellite projects and the fact that smaller satellites can do more and they are cheaper to develop, launch and operate.
Sandy in Boston asked Bob about his website and the addition of art, music, and cultural items on the site. Bob explained his "evening pause" program so if this interests you, pay attention to what he said. He even referenced a quote by I. Asimov about engineers wanting to know more about liberal arts and getting a wider view than even those from the liberal arts field. Don't miss what Bob said about the importance of having a wider view and perspective on things.
We started the second segment with my asking Bob if he was aware that Rocket Plane Global was coming back. I directed him to their website, www.rocketplaneglobal.com announcing their revised company, the Directors, the new incorporation date and state of choice and more. Bob commented that they probably saw a market for low cost satellite launch and said that the satellite industry was changing the approach to space.
Todd asked Bob about the National Space Council and Bob had much to say on this subject. He referenced an Eric Berger article related to the topic dealing with big space traditional companies, not NewSpace companies. See https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/06/no-space-for-new-space-at-trumps-space-council-rollout. If you are not a regular reader of Eric's articles, you are really missing out on important content.
Another topic touched on in the second segment was space settlement. Bob linked it to progress in getting property rights and reforming the OST. Ft. Worth John called regarding earlier comments about SpaceX and ULA and alternatives to SpaceX and a possible SpaceX monopoly due to cost advantages. Bob talked about the DOD requiring two or more competitive players so SpaceX would not become a DOD monopoly even if they got the bulk of the commercial launches. John asked Bob about progress in Blue Origin getting to space. Don't miss what Bob said in response to this question from John.
As the show was ending, Bob was asked about the space elevator so don't miss his comprehensive comments. Just before the show ended, he talked about the recent Chinese launch failure, the Chinese space station simulation project and the Chinese sea launch effort plus the Russian sea launch effort.
If you have comments and questions for Bob, please post them on the blog. Visit his website, www.behindtheblack.com. You can reach Bob through is site or me.