Author and aerospace engineer Dr. Robert Zubrin spoke about the importance of space exploration, and colonizing Mars, as well as alternative energy solutions for the United States. As we enter into the post-Shuttle era, he expressed concern that with economic cutbacks, NASA may take a budget hit. One hope is that the Dragon spacecraft developed by Elon Musk's SpaceX company could be used to transport astronauts to the ISS.
As he points out in the revised edition of his book The Case for Mars, NASA's robotics program has been a big success, and the data retrieved by the rovers confirmed his viewpoints, originally published in 1997, that the planet contains a large amount of water. A friendly competition between nations, like the Olympics, could be a good way to go about space exploration, in contrast to the Space Station, which in the spirit of cooperation has turned out to be slow and costly, he said. The Mars Society, which Zubrin is president of, is holding a conference, open to the public, this week in Dallas.
Zubrin advocated for the wide-scale adoption of methanol as an alternative to gasoline. If cars were designed as flex fuel, the US could then make and market ethanol, adding about 5 million jobs to the economy, and relieving the country from the need for expensive, foreign oil, he argued. He supports H.R. 1687: The Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011, and suggested that people contact their congressional representatives to push for its passage.
D.B. Cooper Update
First hour guest, attorney Galen Cook discussed news in the D.B. Cooper mystery, and how the FBI may be closer to solving the case. Based on his interviews and research, Cook has concluded that a deceased man named Bill Gossett was Cooper, and the FBI has informed him that they do consider him to be one of their suspects.