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Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman; Topics: Bob covered multiple topics in this one segment 123 minute program featuring listener phone calls and email questions.
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We welcomed back Bob Zimmerman for this one segment 123 minute wide ranging discussion covering multiple topics of interest. Bob was class Zimmerman for this program. Highly passionate on some of the topics, extremely opionated, and at time, talking so much and so fast that it was hard to get in additional or even opposing comments. This was especially true at the end of the program with the 11th hour student call from Atlanta asking about the Green New Deal, rocketry, and possible green rocket fuels.
We started our discussion with Bob talking about the recently deceased first space walker, the Soviet Union's Alexei Leonov. Bob talked about having met and interviewed him, his role with the Apollo-Soyuz Test flight and the incident where he had trouble getting back in from his historic first spacewalk because his spacesuit made him too big to fit through the hatch. We spent about 20 plus minutes honoring Alexi so do listen.
After talking about Alexi, we turned our attention to Elon Musk, Starship and his recent presentation from Texas. Bob talked about aerospike engines, the Raptor engine, Musk meeting with people and being very transparent, the speed of progress with Starship, challenges ahead. Possible accidents, scheduling, and more. In fact Randy sent in a question wondering if being so speedy in the work might make it more likely that Starship would have a problem or even blow up on the pad. Don't miss what Bob said back to Randy.
Marshall once again was our fist caller. He wanted to know what Bob thought of the comparison of Howard Hughes to Elon Musk. Listen to this discussion to find out. Bob then talked about the Chinese budget in general with Marshall wondering if China would continue to be able to focus on space and Moon since they may be heading for rough economic time. Once again listen for the Zimmerman response.
Bob then focused on his Mars photo research and talked about underground glaciers around 30-60 degrees both south and north latitude which were possible SpaceX landing sites. Bob took a listener email asking about Artemis, the potential landing in 2024, SLS delays, the CR for NASA re fiscal 2020, and the partisan divide in the House plus this being an election year. Listen up for Bob's analysis though I bet you can guess what he had to say about all of this. I asked Bob Terr's question from Sunday about NASA cutting contracts for Artemis without the money. Bob spent some time talking about why and how NASA was doing this. Tell us what you think about this and more by posting on our blog. Bill sent in an email question asking Bob why no presidential candidates talk space or the Moon and why not even the administration seems to push it. He wondered if they do not believe it to be important as we believe who listen to this show and are associated with the space industry. Don't miss what Bob said in response to Bill's email question.
We did not take a break but we did pause to read second segment sponsor messages. When we started up again, I asked Bob about the NASA planetary Mission which are the best every sand very different from the NASA human spaceflight program. Bob had much to say about the planetary missions and the process that creates them, a process that is missing from the human spaceflight program.
We then took a phone call from Tony at the Griffith Observatory in LA. Tony first asked and then discussed with Bob the subject of segmented telescope mirrors. This was most interesting. We concluded it by suggesting to Tony he call in the next night when astronomer Dr. Alan Hale would be the guest. Tony then brought the TMT telescope project in Hawaii which is having problems due to the protests regarding Hawaii natives who do not want the project. Tony and Bob discussed the TMT in detail and the consequences of it not happening. Despite the project having won in court, the protests are happening and blocking any development for the project. Bob said the government of Hawaii was not enforcing the court decisions and nobody was up for a big confrontation so both Tony and Bob thought the project would never happen. They also talked about challenges in doing TMT in the Canary Islands which has been proposed as an alternative site. Listen to this discussion. We believe TMT is important. By the way, TMT stands for the new Thirty Meter Telescope Project. Before this conversation ended, I said it reminded me of our not building the super collider in Texas with it going to CERN. While the circumstances were different, there were also similarities.
We took an 11th hour email questions from Sandra , a student wanting to ask Bob about what she was being taught in school regarding the Green New Deal. Sandra wanted to know if it would be possible to have green rockets or even green rocket fuel. As I said earlier in this summary, Bob's reply was forceful and very opinionated regarding the Green New Deal and eventually what he said about the future of space and rocketry should such a program be implemented in the US or anyplace for that matter. Let us know what you think about this subject and how you might have responded to Sandra, especially if your response would have been different from Bob's.
Please post your comments/questions on the blog for this show. You can reach Bob through his website, www.behindtheblack.com which he referenced multiple times during the program. You can also reach Bob through me.