Author and space enthusiast Robert Zimmerman shared updates and information on the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA missions, and private space flight & tourism. The Shuttle program, he noted, is planned to be phased out by 2010 and be replaced by Crew Exploration Vehicles (CEVs), but this new craft may not be ready to fly until 2014, which would leave a gap. He believes the Shuttles should continued to be used in some capacity during that time.
Though he said he's not a "Hubble hugger," Zimmerman advocated for NASA to send astronauts to repair and replace parts for the space telescope, though he added that the agency is balking at this because of safety concerns.
He suggested that it's likely by the end of the decade we will see sub-orbital flights offered for space tourists. Eventually, there will also be private ventures based on the moon, he predicted, that will utilize solar power and water that is available there. Zimmerman was pleased to announce that he'll be speaking at the International Space Development Conference this coming May in Washington D.C.