Bob Zimmerman, Bill Anders, Vandenberg discussed on Coast to Coast AM
Show. I welcome Bob Zimmerman here on the surface of the planet earth, and we're going to worry a little bit. Bob is the author of Genesis now available in audio form. That's Apollo eight. The great success of December of nineteen sixty eight. However, he is also the author of universe in a mere the story of Hubble and Hubble needs our attention now because there's trouble Hubble, Bob, a very good evening to you. The trouble on. Hubble is put it into the safe mode. What is the nature of the problem? This is this is the this is probably been nemo systemic problem that Hubble has had since its launch after it was repaired gyroscopes that they use to keep the telescope oriented precisely they have six on the spacecraft. They have had three in reserve for the last few years to try to last they only need three to make sure it's pointing accurately, and so the three three others have been you just put in reserve not running them to try to preserve them to last as long as possible. So the three that will running one failed. And so they said actually, I should correct. Michelle to the six gyros they had four that worked and they had one in reserve to no longer work. So they had three good ones and one in reserve. So the three gyros that will working one failed. And so they decided we'll turn up the backup one. And they turned it on. And it wasn't running properly. And so they turned it off again that leaves just stay humble with only two gyroscopes it. It can do research with even one gyroscope, but it cannot point precisely in the same manner and produce the same kind of shop images can do science. But it can't do the shop images that make famous and so at the moment while they trouble shoot, the gyroscope that they hoped would work. They've put the spacecraft into safe mode to try to preserve all the gyroscopes while they figure out what the issue is. You know, I wrote about Hubbell back. Yeah. In oh eight and at the time, I said, it's the telescope that will not die. I predicted. Then that come the time when they wanted the orbit the the they're going to send up a space of robot attached to it with engines to bring it down. I was predicting. Nope. They'll they'll send up a robot to fix it. Incentive into a hierarchy. It and keep it going. The question is gyroscopes jobs have been the big problem. They've replaced them all several times on shuttle missions. They are moving part that failed with time. And this has been that problem. They might be able to get the telescope functioning for a period of time with one or two gyroscopes. This is kind of similar to what they did with. Kathleen, it sounds like a Kepler replant. Yes, it's very similar, and so they can do some research, but with hobble it's unlike Kepler Kepler was with a very small optical telescope designed to look for a very specific thing. Huddle is a much larger optical telescope designed to as a general observatory for all astronauts do all kinds of research, and it was designed to look at the whole sky up in space. And if if they go to only one or two gyros they're gonna have to limit where it can look and it's going to limit it to its possibilities. And it won't I I'm pretty sure the images will not be shop as they were before. And once again, they can do good science with us. What fuzzy images strongest did that up until Hubble was launched with fuzzy images to the atmosphere, but we could be looking at a loss of of the optical telescope of. Any real note in space, and there is no optical telescope in the works to replace it is point. I I I don't wanna wear anymore. Right. I'm gonna stop worry fresh fresh positive here. Bob will come back to Hubble as we come back to curiosity as we come back to Oppy. These are wonderful little robots, and they need our attention. So we'll come back. We want to go to honoring Apollo eight. They're finally getting around to it. Bob you've influence them. I think Bill Anders more than anybody else in defend influence, and this is the the he was one of the three astronauts on Apollo way back in nineteen sixty eight the first mission to go in orbit around the moon, and as you point out. I wrote a book the first history of that mission. Genesis starve Apollo eight about America's great triumph to win the space race in the sixties. What happened is when when he was in charge of photography. And he was in charge of basically putting together the maps that they would use his guidance navigation guidance as they will coming in around the planet, and he was in a very unique position. He could recommend a lot of names to go on the on their maps to help astronauts of this mission as well as future missions Apollo eleven to figure out where they were and when they should do things. And so he picks three big craters. Just on the other side of the moon as Borman Lovell and Anders. And you know, what's the tradition is the explorers get to name things. Well, the international astronaut Michael union that group of plus shirt, stuffed shirt. I thought on is names they refuse to accept his name's back in the sixties. And so what did he do? He's been fighting them for years to try to get some of the names that he and the other astronauts picked for the Apollo in the Apollo missions. What happened this past weekend? I was at an event in Chicago honoring the three astronauts. They got together who was a big dinner at this museum of science and technology, a fundraiser for them they announced and I posted this on the web page the day before where the picture that they have now named to craters which were in the U during the in the earth famous earthrights picture, the Bill Anders took these two craters are in that image one is they named eight homeward. That's actually an honorable man. But Borman was involved in this negotions. He didn't want to create a named after him. But eight homeward that crater was the one he keyed on when he was navigating and firing engines and the other crater they named was. Anders earth rise. It's the bigger crater in the earth rise image, and that was to honor the earth rise image itself that he took a third a third feature on the moon was officially named mount Maryland, this is a mountain that Jim Lovell pick named it after his wife because it's a mountain that is a key landmark for the Apollo eleven landing, and he named it on his own, and they have finally officially recognized it kind of is corrects the injustice of decades ago where they didn't name things as heat as the astronauts picked the U is power game. And they like to control the names of every boulder in the universe. They don't really have that. Right. And eventually that's going to dissolve away. People in space will use the names that he's astronauts picked without question space exit Vandenberg why Bob what what are they need Vandenberg for? Well, they need to space for today. Vandenberg they'd be more than one to stay sports. But they need Vandenberg right now is because you really cannot do Sola synchronous orbits these orbits around the polls Kennedy because you'd have to fly over populated. Territories. And the west coast spaceport has been used by literally for a half century by the military and private enterprise to get satellites into polar orbit. And so now SpaceX has been flying out of Vandenbroucke for years, but this past weekend, they had their first successful launch from Vandenberg where they landed. The first stage on land at Vandenberg, they'd built a land landing site literally right next to the launchpad literally within sight within fifty four hundred two hundred yards of it. And they brought that that first stage back it was blocked by first stage, which is the first that finally ration- their this is their gold if they get it to land right next to the launch pad. They can turn it around and maybe launch within twenty four hours that's their goal. And so they had. That success? It's part of the you know, the racist. Spacex keeps moving forward. John agrees assigned for the future. Nasa delay S L S. Why do these things seem familiar, Bob? It's an endless story. Well, there's there's a there's an inside story that is not confirmed yet that I want to add to this last year. Congress gave Nassar extra money to fly extra missions of an interim upper stage for S L S, it would not produce as much past Housel of rocket. But it would loud them to fly a few missions. They needed to fly before before they had the final interational out the most powerful upper stage. Well, it appears now they're slowing down development on that that upper stage that final upper stage, and they're putting more money and scheduling WalMart, she's with the interim upper stage, which isn't as powerful, and there's even hints that they're going to discontinue work on that more powerful upper. Stage. This is only after maybe five years of work on that more powerful, upper stage spending lots and lots of money and they've just decided they can't afford to build it. So they'll go with the cheapo small stage. During this. So I in the road put this up on behind the black and they quote, the vice president and program manager of space launch system for Boeing, and he makes this statement. There has been a slow down on the exploration upper stage work, he also said that we underestimated quote, the timeframe involved somewhat. And I call that probably the biggest understatement ever in the universe because SOS has been basically under construction since oh four in some interational another and it's not gonna launch its first manned mission until twenty twenty three. And it won't even be with the most powerful rocket. So we have commercial crew news as well. Bob is this also disappointing. It's disappointing. But it's not as absurd Lhasa this week released. An updated scheduled for the dragon and install lying test flights. These are the cap privately built capsules to bring people to I s and that meant stay sex had to delay. Its first manned test flight until June. The they didn't take the time between the two missions is the same. So it was just because the scheduled essentially at ISS they had a delay and a Boeing schedule pretty much stays the same. So there's been a slight delay. There won't be any commercial crew launches this year. But with that right now, it looks very clear that they're going to all be happening next year. A NASA says we're now going to be giving updates on schedule on a much more frequent basis because we're really firming things up for example, the Boeing flights. They'd give very rough up proximate periods like mid twenty nineteen that now saying clearly the first unmanned two in March twenty nineteen and the first flight manned flight in August twenty nineteen so they really. Framing these schedules up. We should look at SpaceX. I unmanned in January Boeing's first unmanned in March SpaceX I man in June and then bowing manned in August. Every other month is like the Gemini program back in nineteen sixty s it'll be very exciting this year. John fisticuffs set space force headquarters, we have two different directions. Bob, have what are they going to settle this? Is there a tug of war team that's gonna show up and turf war within the bureaucracy? You know, Trump is pushing for a new space force. And so the military bureaucracy is putting forth all kinds of calls about what they should do. I'm not sure either plan is a good one both of the one of them from the agency from the military itself suggests creating an agency that they say is smaller and will be more lean Mike Griffin. Who is forming Nassar administrative who's now been put in there secretary of defense for research, and engineering Mike, and he was basically fit into the space area. It's he's supposed to be there to deal with military space. He's proposing a different idea which would create a new space agency for the military with a staff of one hundred twelve people, and I have to say when reading just initial report, it seemed like he was more bloated than the other. I'm not sure which is right. The one thing that Griffin was doing that the military propose air force. The secretary have had their Wilson L. She's in charge. So Griffin was pushing more the threat to transact- transition the military to using private commercial assets rather than building own and but his apparent love to build his own empire. Here might work against that goal. I'm not sure which works..