Broadcast 2637

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman;  Space news updates, NOAA and its raw climate data assumptions, the media & space/science.  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,  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  For those listening to archives using and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience. 

We welcomed Robert (Bob) Zimmerman back to the show to discuss a variety of space and space related topics.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 58 minute program, Bob started out by discussing the presidential candidates and their positions on space and science per a recent Science journal article. Bob reported this on his website, If you want to read about it and see the actual Science article, visit  Bob's website reports on more than just space news and it’s a good one so I suggest you check it on a regular basis for interesting and timely articles.

Bob's next topic was an exhaustive discussion about SpaceX recovering their fist stage back at the Cape, plus he described what he said would be the impact of reusability on other launch providers, governments, and the industry.  Bob's assumption making was quite generous but assuming reusability does become commercially operational, the potential is there to change the industry and commercial space in ways that Bob suggests.  It also has the potential to impact the foreign launchers, especially if the foreign launch providers stick with old business models that SpaceX and reusability may over time weaken or even destroy.  Listen to what Bob said and see if you agree.  Post your thoughts in the comments section for this show on our website. 

Marshall called to talk about the RD 180 engine issue, Senator McCain, the future of ULA.  Bob had much to say on this topic so don't miss the discussion.  Politics entered into it as the RD 180 is made in the Ukraine by a Russian company and Russia is currently invading the Ukraine, plus the US wants to sanction Russia for the Ukrainian invasion yet the Atlas 5 needs reliable engines for USAF & national security launches.  I know, it sounds like a SNL skit, right?  NASA budget issues came up, especially looking on into the future.  I used the opportunity to talk about the risk for NASA and others in the discretionary part of our budget due to rising interest rates.  The James Webb Telescope was also mentioned so Bob gave us a short progress report on it.

Bob had much to say about Blue Origin and its success with its reusable program, including flying the same fist stage a second time.  He said Blue was clearly in the lead in the suborbital industry, then he spoke his mind on Virgin Galactic and XCOR. In the second segment, Tim from Huntsville called (the first of his many calls during this program) to ask Bob for his opinion on Dr. Brandenburg's nuclear explosion on Mars theory.  Bob was not familiar with it but did speak about the peer review and scientific process. 

Doug emailed us to ask if the Elon Musk upcoming Mars program announcement would influence our space policy in the next administration.  Bob's lengthy reply suggested that actually doing something rather than just talking about it or planning it has the potential to influence policy.  Don't miss all of Bob's comments regarding Doug's question. 

The next topic which lasted most of the balance of this segment dealt with NOAA and their assumption making regarding their climate data.  For those of you that have been following this issue, you know that NOAA has been adjusting climate data to show cooling in the past and warming in the present.  Congress has asked for the raw data and an explanation behind their adjustments to the data. NOAA has refused to provide this information to Congress, nor have they provided the information as a result of Freedom of Information Requests.  This may result in future litigation against NOAA for the release of the data, especially since 300 actual climate scientists have sent a letter questioning NOAA adjustments and practices and wanting this information.  NOAA has also said some of the data was "lost" so who knows what they will eventually provide Congress or those who may litigate against the government agency for release of this information.  Bob used this discussion to refresh our memories about the Climategate scandal a few years ago where the decline in global temperatures was essentially hidden.  I reminded Bob and the audience that a satirical song titled Hide The Decline came out during Climategate (you can hear it @  What do you think of Bob's analysis and comments on this and related issues?  Let us know by posting your comments on our new blog.  Bob did reference CO2 in the atmosphere and supported research into this to see if there is an impact from it, plus he talked about satellite data being far more useful than ground based data.

Before we ended the program, I asked Bob what to look for in the balance of the first half of this year.  He pointed to upcoming SpaceX launches but did say he was concerned about their delays.  We also spoke about Dream Chaser and the NASA award to the company.  Bob had much to say about his.  Tim called again to compare how NASA releases planetary science data like Kepler to NOAA and climate data.  As the show was about to end, Jacqueline wanted to know who Bob thought might be the next NASA Administrator in a new administration. 

Please post your comments/questions in the comments section of the archives for this show on TSS website.  Bob can be reached through his website or me.





Space news updates and lots more with Bob Zimmerman

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02 Feb 2016 Robert Zimmerman
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