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Guest: Robert (Bob) Zimmerman; Topics: Rocket analysis, reusability, private sector, government sector, launch industry 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 Bob Zimmerman back to the program for a discussion of space news events, policies, and programs. Due to a classic Zimmerman rant on Orion-SLS, SpaceX, and the private sector as compared to the public sector, we missed our break timing so this 2 hour 2 minute discussion is in one long segment. For the first hour of the show, besides my regular Space Show announcements, Bob described a report he was writing that details the costs associated with Orion and SLS as compared to what he says the private sector can do, specifically SpaceX. During Bob's rant, Dr. Doug called from S. California to run some numbers through Bob's perspective regarding the NASA Roadmap to Mars plan which focuses on a specific number of SLS launches which Doug converted to Falcon Heavy launches for Bob to consider. Later, Tony sent in a series of questions including one suggesting Elon had said the same first stage could be used for 1,000 launches. Tony cited this video, http://youtu.be/VNygOavo2mY, at the 28 minute mark. Bob quickly dispatched question.
One topic I introduced during this part of our conversation focused on the reports that I have been getting from other listeners that Fidelity, the mutual fund company, has invested $100 million in SpaceX, dispersing the investment in several Fidelity funds. I asked questions about how a public registered fund could invest in a private investment. Listen to the discussion and if you have any information on this, we want to hear it. Please post it on The Space Show blog.
John from Ft. Worth called to talk about the SpaceX landing of the first stage on the barge. He also referenced the S&P and some other economic concerns given Bob and I briefly touched on economics during the Zimmerman rant. The question came up as to how SpaceX secures the first stage on the barge to keep it from falling over. Doug and later Mac sent in clarification emails on this process.
For the next part of the show, I forced a change in topics. I asked Bob about the spreading of the bat White Nose Syndrome to the west for the first time. Bob was aware of this and offered us clarifying information. In addition, he let us know why this is important as bats are an important part of our environment. You can read one of the stories about white nose coming west here: http://hostswww.hcn.org/articles/white-nose-syndrome-comes-to-the-west.
Tony asked another question about delays in the development of the Texas SpaceX spaceport. Bob addressed the issues and the soil stabilization plan for the spaceport. Bob then turned his attention to the successes of Blue Origin and what we might expect from them in the near future. He also mentioned Rocket Lab and the development of their small sat launcher. Bob provided us with some short updates on Stratolaunch and the Bigelow BEAM Module now at the ISS.
Listener Jerry in Denver changed the topic and asked Bob for his opinion on the nuclear threats coming from North Korea. Bob had much to say about the North Korean nuclear situation, their claims, their rockets and why he takes their threats seriously.
Before the program ended, I asked Bob for Google Lunar X-Prize updates, a quick update on the JUNO Mission and EXOMARS, plus Bob commented on the Mars rovers, in particular Curiosity. In fact, don't miss what he had to say about Curiosity as well as Opportunity.
Please post your comments/questions in the comments section for this archived program on TSS website. You can reach Bob through his website www.behindtheblack.com or me.