Space historian Robert Zimmerman shared his insights on such topics as the Shuttle mission, upcoming technology, and commercial ventures in space.The current Shuttle mission has been "remarkably successful," he declared, with the craft showing almost no tile damage, indicating NASA solved the tile problem better than they anticipated. He credited NASA head Mike Griffin with turning the agency around.
Yet given a choice, Zimmerman would close down NASA and encourage private enterprise to stimulate space exploration and tourism. Robert Bigelow, he noted, is planning to build space resorts and has offered a $50 million prize to the first company to create a spacecraft capable of repeatedly carrying passengers into orbit.
He also commented on next generation technology such as the infrared-seeing James Webb Telescope which may be able to view the "first star" when it launches, and the Crew Exploration Vehicle which will replace the Shuttle. Plans for this vehicle (which has been referred to as "Apollo on steroids") are a disappointment to Zimmerman, who sees it as somewhat of a step backwards.
The last half-hour of the show featured a replay of George's interview with two International Space Station astronauts from 3/16/04.
First hour guest Kevin Mitnick commented on hacker Gary McKinnon and his recently announced extradition. In such cases, the hacker's motivations are examined, and plea bargains are often struck, he said.
Bumper music from Thursday July 06, 2006