Broadcast 2901 Robert (Bob) Zimmerman

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Guest:  Robert (Bob) Zimmerman;  Topics:  "Capitalism in Space," the OST, property rights, commercial space, deep space mining, space policy, reusability, solar eclipse, bats, 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,   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

We welcomed Bob Zimmerman back to the program for a two hour discussion on a variety of topics. We started the first segment with Bob about space policy, SLS-Orion and the Trump comment about wanting to do Mars in his first term.  On the latter, Bob thought that Mr. Trump was joking when he made that comment talking with the ISS astronauts.  Bob proceeded to talk about his recently published paper "Capitalism In Space.  He talked about the role he saw for the government in space development, especially since he believes this should be a private sector undertaking.  He cited development of the Old West as an example of the proper role of the government.  Most of the first segment of our show was about capitalism in space and the commercial models applicable to getting more people and commerce in space.   You can download Bob's capitalism paper here:

Our discussion moved over to the property rights issue under the Outer Space Treaty (OST).  Bob proposed that President Trump do something bold such as withdraw from the OST.  You can read Bob's paper on this subject here:  Bob talked about the actions of the Luxembourg Council of State expressing formal oppositions to their space mining project.  The article in question from Luxembourg, "Doubt Over Space Mining Legal Status," can be found here:  The article concludes with Luxembourg wanting to go to the UN to make the case to do something about the OST and the lack of property rights.  Bob mentioned other nations interested in doing something similar.  We talked about the possibility of withdrawing form the OST but we did not think it was plausible anytime soon if ever. 

Other topics during the first segment included Blue Origin, SpaceX, Ula and even a glimpse back in history to the DCX.  Bob talked about the Google Lunar XPrize teams, delays in their end of the year 2017 launches, the Indian PSLV rocket, Rocket Lab delays and more.  He thought the contest might be extended into 2018 but so far there has been confirmation of an extension. 

John from Ft. Worth called to add to the comments about North Korean missiles.  He also wanted to talk about the turnaround time for the reusable SpaceX first stage.  He raised the question about this technology being available decades earlier.  He did not think it was but Bob thought there could have been progress on reusability had companies or the government been interested in it.  He said they were not interested until Musk and SpaceX started proving out the concept.  Don't miss this discussion, it was a good one.

In the second segment, we took a call from Dr. Lurio.  Charles talked about earlier comments regarding the Soviet Buran space shuttle, vertical and horizontal landing and what technology might have been available years or decades earlier.  Charles also talked about the OST and property rights issue along with our earlier Luxembourg discussion.  Bob and Charles then spoke briefly about the hearings with Senator Cruz scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

Tim from Huntsville sent in the final email asking about privately funded science and research projects.  Don't miss what Bob had to say about this and the example Tim used which focused on building telescopes to image exoplanets.  The final call was from John in Redding who wanted to know more about Bob's plans to see the solar eclipse in August from Idaho Falls.  Bob then offered us concluding remarks along with his view of what might unfold later this year.  He briefly touched on the Chinese rocket and systems testing going on now for docking, resupply and more.  We concluded our discussion with a brief update on the white nose bat fungus problem.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this program.  You can reach Bob Zimmerman through his website, or me.




Bob has plenty of space news issues and updates for us

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25 Apr 2017 Robert Zimmerman
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