Broadcast 309 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

16 Feb 2005 Robert Zimmerman
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Robert Zimmerman returned for this special Space Show broadcast to discuss with listeners the results of the recent AST Conference held in Washington, DC, the ISS, the NASA budget, Hubble, the situation with replacing the NASA Administrator and more. In updating us on the AST meeting, Bob told us about some of the recommended guidelines including the setting of medical standards for space tourists. This proved to be very controversial, sparking lots of questions and interaction with Bob regarding the direction the AST seems to be going which is toward heavy or significant regulation. You will not want to miss this update regarding the regulatory and safety role of the AST. We also talked about alternative launch companies, the large aerospace industry and the likelihood of the alt.space industry blossoming as an independent industry separate from NASA and the government. You will find this discussion interesting. Mr. Zimmerman is optimistic that Hubble will survive, does not have any information on who might be the next NASA administrator or when the President will name the new administrator. Zimmerman also mentioned the coming NSS ISDC Conference in May of this year in Washington, DC and talked about some of the speakers that will be at the conference. Since NASA is helping to sponsor the conference, he suggested this conference would provide excellent opportunities to question key NASA representatives who will be at the conference regarding their programs, their support of expanding space commerce and the development of the alt.space industry. We also spent considerable time talking about the necessity to make common sense recommendations an actual law and wondered why it was not good enough to rely on people using common sense and good judgment rather than making everything into a law or regulation. In fact, he said that with the AST guidelines, there is a discussion period, perhaps 18 months, which at the end the final guidelines must be turned into regulations/rules no matter what. This is a must listen to program to hear the latest on some important regulatory and policy issues. Mr. Zimmerman returns to The Space Show for another update on April 28th. In the meantime, you can stay abreast of his perspectives and the issues by reading his weekly UPI columns which are carried on most of the online space news services and his website which he gives out on the program and which is listed in his bio below.

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