Author Robert Zimmerman returned to the show to discuss various aspects of space exploration and development. Rather than teaming up with other countries on say a mission to Mars, he advocated for competition. Cooperative efforts between nations can become bogged down in political game playing whereas competition often yields more efficient and less expensive ways of doing things, he opined.
Zimmerman also touched on the profusion of new private space endeavors, the "space elevator" project which uses nanotube technology and the repair of the Hubble telescope. The effect of Hubble, with its clear photographs of far away objects such as nebula has been profound, he said and "has changed our impression of the universe."
The way astronauts experience life in space has some interesting ramifications, he said. For instance, in their weightless state, the floor and ceiling become interchangeable and their orientation is based on their perspective. There are a number of physical changes, such as the legs becoming thin, heavier blood flow to the head, the spine stretching slightly and most troubling, the gradual loss of bone density, the longer they are in space, he detailed. However, efforts to solve the bone density problem could help to treat osteoporosis here on Earth, Zimmerman added.
First half-hour guest, Scott Gulbransen, the author of The Silent Invasion, discussed a Washington Times article which reports that 25 Chechen rebels have entered the U.S. This kind of dangerous situation is "very real," he said, adding that up till now, the government has been "turning a blind eye to border security."
Bumper music from Tuesday October 12, 2004