Broadcast 1375 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Robert Zimmerman. Topics: Falcon 9 successful launch, U.S. Space Policy, Bat fungus and caves. We welcomed back Robert Zimmerman to talk all things space policy. We started our first segment with a discussion on the successful Falcon 9 launch on June 4, 2010. Bob said it was exhilarating to watch and we all had high praise for Space X. Our guest talked at length about the need for the private sector to continue with these successes to lower the cost of space access. Listeners asked our guest to comment on the impact of the successful launch on the administration's space program and Bob said it was probably not that much given the layoffs coming from the cancellation of Constellation as well as shuttle are far more significant and represent a potential disaster. Toward the end of this segment, listener Patrick asked about other space programs with different companies and he was also interested in the impact of the Falcon 9 on the Russians and Chinese . In our second segment, we talked about the side effects of the cancellation of the return to the Moon per the comments made during the Friday European space policy program. Bob said the U.S. has a lousy reputation for cancelling programs and international cooperation. Marshall called in with a question about the Apollo astronauts commenting on the administration's program and wondered how valuable such comments and opinions were. Later in this segment, another listener asked about the ISS and the possible participation in it by South Korea and China. We concluded this segment with a discussion about Orbital Science and its efforts to provide cargo transportation to the ISS. Our third final long segment started with listener Jack asking about ITAR reform. Listener Charles entered into a vigorous debate with Bob regarding the administration's space policy program. This is a must listen to discussion. The debate ended up with an agreement that we are definitely in uncertain times. Other listeners sent in questions wondering what type of compromise between Congress and the administration might unfold and Bob speculated on the potential for compromise and the likelihood for going to continuing resolution. Listener Peter sent in the URL for the earlier mentioned Dr. Harrison article. You can download the article at Jerry called in to defend the Obama program suggesting it would be a pipe dream to think that shuttle would be extended. Bob debated with Jerry that the administration plan does not reduce overall costs and they talked about the recent GAO report on Constellation. I stepped into this particular discussion by referring to the printing press comments made on an earlier Classroom show by Dr. Hertzfeld and suggested that since the printing press money was in full force anyway, it was a matter of choice as to what it was being used for and could be used for space, the point made by Dr. Hertzfeld. But let me be clear, nobody including Henry recommended or believes that printing press money should be used for anything including space. If you have not done so, you should listen to Lesson 9 on the Classroom from June 1. In the remaining minutes of the show, Bob updated us on the strange bat fungus problem that is spreading. Bob did a good job in explaining the fungus, what it is doing to a specific species of bats and the caves where they live and how the fungus has spread beyond the East Coast. We will continue to follow this strange problem with Bob when he is a guest on the program. If you have questions or comments for Bob Zimmerman, you can find his email address near the bottom of his website, which is zimmerman at asw dot org or you can forward it to me at



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06 Jun 2010 Robert Zimmerman
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