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Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman; Topics: Multiple policy topics, commercial space, entrepreneurial space, gov. vs. the private sector for space, Dragon and CST 100, space tourism 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 back Bob Zimmerman (www.behindtheblack.com) to a two part one hour 57 minute discussion regarding private sector space, opposition to government space programs, commercial space, various private space actors and much more. The program started with a question from Linda in Olympia, WA wanting to know if we were technically capable of going BLEO, back to the Moon and on to Mars at the conclusion of Apollo and Skylab. She asked this question because Bob and lots of others have said we have wasted nearly 50 years by not doing or going anyplace in space since the end of Apollo and Skylab. Bob spent the better part of the first segment of the program responding to Linda and in the customary Zimmerman fashion, making the case for private commercial space to champion because of freedom and liberty and the core values of the country. While this was the persistent theme throughout tonight's discussion, it was the primary point Bob kept making during the first segment of the show.
In addition to the above, Bob talked about space development and exploration history early on including topics such as the OST, property rights, ATT Telstar, JFK, COMSAT, government regulation, the Cold War, top down space development and exploration control such as what was found in the Soviet Union, and more. He cited multiple examples to make his case including SLS, Orion, LOP-G, the JWST, slow going on commercial crew and more. Bob also talked about mainstream senators up for election such as Senator Bill Nelson in Florida who may be out of touch by continuing to primarily represent the traditional side of the aerospace industry over the emerging commercial space industry. He provided us with reasons why SLS, commercial crew and LOP-G were delayed and/or black holes for taxpayer money. He said problems and delays with JWST, SLS and Orion were based on incompetency. He explained why he was saying this so listen carefully and let us know what you think by posting on TSS blog.
Other topics Bob discussed in the first segment included a NOAA issue that was being resolved by regulatory changes which Bob detailed for us. LOP-G was discussed in more detail with Bob explaining why he did not think it was a good project. Bob also took us through some congressional policy issues along with NASA administrative issues that could be improved upon for commercial space development. He repeated his message of freedom and liberty which would enable space commercialization to thrive.
In the second segment, we started off by talking about Blue Origin, the news articles saying their participant flight ticket price would be $200K and the test demo flight scheduled for July 18. Bob then talked about Virgin Galactic in the suborbital field and Launcher One. Alan of Tulsa wanted to know if there were other suborbital competitors, perhaps some outside the U.S. Bob did not think there was much in the way of competition to Blue and VG. Bob used this opportunity to say something about the Blue BE4 engine development. By the way, Bob reported that Blue was not confirming the $200K suborbital ticket price.
Bob was asked about World View, the high altitude balloon tourist company. He said they had recently shifted their focused flights supporting military surveillance. Bob thought that if the military flights were profitable, the company might return to the passenger flights later on. Our guest was then asked about SpaceX tourism. Bob talked about earlier SpaceX plans to fly two people around the Moon and said he thought that project ended. He then talked about a vertical landing Dragon V2 capsule using Draco thrusters but said that NASA seemed to have compelled a change to parachute landings. Bob had much to say about the Draco thrusters and their use on the once proposed Red Dragon to Mars which also appears to have died out. Bob thought that based on both the Boeing CST 100 and Dragon V2 crew flights to the ISS, both Boeing and SpaceX might sell flights to private customers. Bigelow was mentioned as a customer for the CST 100.
Jane from Chicago talked about the opposition to commercial space that Bob was referencing and mentioned the petition that was created to oppose SLS, Orion, and LOP-G located on Change.org. Don't miss what Bob said about these matters. The petition subject came up later as we were nearing an end to the program but first Dr. Charles Lurio who writes The Lurio Report called to talk to Bob.
Charles provided us with updated Dragon V2 and Draco thruster information and the SpaceX plans to use the Draco thrusters other than for landing on Mars or back on Earth. I asked Charles if he signed the petition since he was not a supporter of SLS, etc. He said he had not signed it and he did not think very much of the petition idea as a way to influence policy makers. Bob said he had signed the petition. You can find this petition at www.change.org/p/save-america-s-space-program.
Before the program ended, Todd in San Diego asked Bob for his views on creating a separate military force, the Space Force. Don't miss what Bob said but he was not supportive of the idea. Gene from Pasadena was the final caller wanting to talk about corporations, space, and cultural change regarding space in our history and going forward. This was a very interesting discussion so don't miss it. Before his call ended, he asked Bob about the lava tubes on the Moon. Bob had much to say about them as well as the potential for using lava tubes on Mars.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Bob Zimmerman through his website, www.behindtheblack.com or me.