Broadcast 1231 (Special Edition)

28 Sep 2009 Robert Zimmerman
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Guest: Robert Zimmerman. Topics: Lunar water, Augustine Commission, space policy, climate change and sunspots. Robert Zimmerman returned to The Space Show as our guest for this program. We started the first segment with questions for Robert regarding the recently announced lunar water, Indian Space Agency (ISRO) and MIP reports of lunar water, the IndiaDaily.com article and how all this might impact U.S. space policy in light of the Augustine Commission report. Bob discussed in detail the lunar water announcements, the Indian contribution, and let us know what he thought the impact of all of this might be in light of Augustine, our economic situation, and the Administration in developing our new space policy. Listen to his analysis and conclusions and see what you think. His bottom line was that the lunar water announcement will turn out to be irrelevant regarding Augustine and the Administration. At the end of this segment, he introduced us to the key concept of Augustine and what appears to be an unfolding Administration interest and that is more focus and possible support for developing commercial space. In the second segment, we led off with two questions from Jack, the first being about the Chinese possibly joining in on the ISS and if NASA and U.S. Policy would encourage that development. Bob said China was not interested in this and wants its own independent space program. You don't want to miss his comments on the Chinese becoming part of the ISS partnership. Jack's second question focused on climate computer models and if such models incorporated sunspot activity in their analysis. This started a lengthy discussion on climate change that went through the entire rest of the program. In discussing climate change, we also introduced the National Review article about the very important climate temperature data having been lost and what this means for policy and legislation, plus toward the end of the program Bob told us about skewed tree ring data. You do not want to miss Bob's climate comments as he is a prolific writer on the subject and knows the science and policy from all sides. During the second segment, we returned to space topics and Bob updated us on what was happening with LCROSS and what it hoped to discover and more. Bob also talked about the upcoming initial launch of Falcon 9 and more. Toward the end of this segment, I asked Bob about our progress in the five years since Space Ship One had won the X-Prize. He said that we were still in a holding pattern. As we started the third segment, we asked Bob about Ares-1 if the press on it was bad or if the rocket in his opinion was awful. He pointed out the problems in developing any new rocket and thought that Ares-1 issues were overblown by the media. We discussed the economics of Constellation and referenced the recent GAO report on Ares-1 and its costs. This report is available on the internet and I urge listeners to download and read it if you have not already done so. You can find this report at http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09844.pdf . During this segment, Bob also talked about the need for competition with rockets and put forth many advantages resulting from increased competition. A listener asked him about NASA prizes and Bob said they were a good idea and effective. Toward the end of the program, he was asked about heavy lift and took the position that it probably was not necessary given on-orbit construction possibilities. We talked about a panel discussion for The Space Show regarding heavy lift and that is being considered. At the very end of the show, Bob spoke about the need for freedom and choice in space and across the board in relationship to government policy and control. If you have questions or comments for Bob Zimmerman, you can find his email address through his website, http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze3cxxp/zimbib.htm or you can forward it to me at drspace@thespaceshow.com .

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