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Broadcast 1902 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on November 27th, 2012
Guest: Michael Listner
Guest: Michael Listner. Topics: Space law & policy review for 2012. Please direct all comments & questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments & questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright & are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. We welcomed Michael Listner back to the show to do our first ever annual review of space law issues. Michael had several topics to discuss including the Code of Contact, Transparency & Confidence-Building Measures (TCBMs), Cube sat regulation, ITAR, Planetary resources & space property rights, Space debris with an emphasis on EnviSat, Austria’s space law in particular the launch of Austria’s first satellite in December, Commercial space in particular limited liability laws, Delineation of air space & outer space, the Moon Treaty & the ascension of Turkey & Saudi Arabia, Rules of Arbitration, & the preservation of Apollo landing sites. We started with two main space law issues of 2012, the European Code of Conduct & TCBMs. Michael did a good job explaining the history of these items, where are today with them & what is likely to happen with them in 2013. We also talked about space taking on the role of being normal & we both pointed out ways in which it interacts with regular law even if consumers are behind a firewall & have no awareness of space law issues. Our discussion turned toward benefit sharing & this took us into an extensive Moon Treaty discussion. I urge people not blow off what to many of us are radical departures from how we have been conducting space affairs & how we want to see commercial space evolve. There are longer term potential risks given trends in benefit sharing, more countries signing on to the Moon Treaty, & even listener feedback I get right here on The Space Show. Michael urged us to pay attention if other nations sign the Moon Treaty, particularly if Russia or China agree to it. Michael talked about legal theories that can make the Moon Treaty enforceable given it is a legal treaty, even if the U.S. & others do not sign it. Again, I urge our audience to not discount this potential longer term risk. In the second segment, Michael talked about the issue of just where space starts. He mentioned two theories on this & why it is an important issue. The U.S. position tends to discount the debate & operates as if the 100km point is the edge of space. It appears we abstain from the debate with the opinion it is a settled issue but evidently not in some circles as it is a hot button issue. We also talked about the limited liability laws for suborbital space, especially in New Mexico which is having a problem accepting it in its legislature. We mentioned the potential impact limited liability might have on Spaceport America so it deserves watching. Michael talked about cubesat regulation & an upcoming European conference on that subject. He said it is something we need to be carefully watching. ITAR reform, especially in terms of getting satellites off the munitions list to the dual technology list was also a key issue for the year & will be next year. We also talked about space debris issues & the impact of ESA's EnviSat. As our program was ending, I asked Michael for some future 2013 assessments of hot button issues. Among those he mentioned included the Code, TCBMs, ITAR, possibly the Moon Treaty & Planetary Resources types of issues. A listener asked about our withdrawal from the OST but Michael did not think that would mean much. Our last topic dealt with the historical preservation of the Apollo 11 & 17 landing sites. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can email Michael at

About our guest...

Michael Listner
Michael J. Listner is an attorney licensed in New Hampshire and the founder and principal of Space Law & Policy Solutions, which is a legal and policy think tank/consultation firm that identifies issues and offers pragmatic solutions relating to outer space security and development. Michael earned his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Information Systems in 1998 from Franklin Pierce University and obtained his Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Regent University School of Law in 2001. He is a member of the New Hampshire Bar and licensed to practice law before the state and federal courts of New Hampshire.Michael is a frequent author on matters relating to space law and policy and is the owner and administrater of the space law and policy blog Space Thoughts.

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