Broadcast 1334 (Special Edition)

28 Mar 2010 Robert Zimmerman
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Guest: Robert Zimmerman. Topics: US space policy, space vision, Constellation and more. Robert Zimmerman returned to provide an assessment of where US space policy is after the Administration made its Feb. 1 announcement for its plans using the 2011 Budget. In our first segment, Bob started off saying that based on the administration proposals, there were no long term goals and this is what has caused a lack of political support. Listeners immediately objected to what Bob said and emailed the show parts of the budget stating what the long term plans were about. As you will hear, Bob said they were vague, lacking in specifics, and Congress was not accepting it. He then explained that the administration had not and was not selling the plan well despite parts of it being a really good plan. Make sure you listen to this discussion. Regardless of your position on the administration proposals and the congressional opposition and hearings, you will appreciate the heat, the passion, and the analysis of facts that you will hear. We talked about the coming April 15 meetings with President Obama in Florida and Bob suggested that there might be an announcement to do something on the order of the Ares V heavy lift vehicle which might prove beneficial in overcoming congressional opposition. Dr. Charles Lurio who writes the Lurio Report ( called and what ensued was a lengthy and very heated discussion on what Bob has said about the program on The John Batchelor Show radio talk show and more. This discussion went into the second segment of the show, it was comprehensive and very passionate. Do not miss it. As we started the second segment, Charles asked Bob for his suggestions regarding what the administration should do in selling and implementing the new policy. Bob offered a few suggestions and reiterated the need for a real vision which he described in some detail Other issues came up in the discussion around the ISS and the overall US budget. The discussion with Charles extended well into the second segment. Judy sent in an email saying the proposals were a shell game in that it was just moving gov. money and projects from one company such as ATK to other companies, changing a gov. contract to a private contract with EELV but with many of the same companies. We did not fully agree with Judy so listen to what was said in response to her. Basically, its not a shell game because in the commercial model, not only are the prices significantly lower but the commercial companies own the result of their development and if a market exists, can sell their product to other market users far easier than in the government model. In the third segment, we talked about how the VSE was to be made "bullet proof" to not be cancelled, plus the need to or not to sell the program to the American tax payer. Jack in Virginia inquired about the likelihood of passage of zero g zero tax and Bob plus a few other listeners who sent in notes said it was doubtful because they did not believe the true intention of the administration was to develop a commercial industry. Instead, they said they thought the administration was only interested in developing alternative transportation to the government owned and controlled ISS. Also in this segment, Bob talked about the Falcon 9, we talked about space economics and job losses with the space workforce, and new commercial opportunities coming up in the near future. Toward the end of the program we mentioned the GAP and the probable extension of the Space Shuttle. If you have questions or comments for Bob Zimmerman, you can find his email address near the bottom of his website,, which is zimmerman at asw dot org or you can forward it to me at



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