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Guest: Dr. Scott Pace; Topics: Senate Commerce Committee hearings on the OST, property rights, privatization vs. commercial development, global commons & more. Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website, www.thespaceshow.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and 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. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed Dr. Scott Pace back to the show for this one segment, 82 minute discussion on U.S. space policy, past, present and future. We started our discussion with the May 23 Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the Outer Space Treaty (www.commerce.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/hearings?ID=5A91CD95-CDA5-46F2-8E18-2D2DFCAE4355). I strongly urge you to watch this hearing at your earliest convenience. Dr. Pace, in summarizing the hearing, talked about the benefits of the Outer Space Treaty (OST), the move by some for the US to withdraw from the treaty and why he thought that would not be a good idea, plus we talked once again about property rights. Our property rights discussion focused on functional property rights as opposed to more traditional property rights obtained through a deed and title to land. As the OST prohibits celestial body ownership, at the present time functional property rights are available which our guest said should be our starting point now given there is of yet no capability to do anything with property rights. He believes this subject will evolve over time as will the deep space resource utilization industry.
Dr. Pace was asked about a possible space policy including a return to the Moon. We spent time talking about it and as a stepping stone to going to Mars. Dr. Pace explained why the Moon was much closer in (not just via location) and why many want to dismiss lunar first reasoning for Mars. Don't miss our discussion. Dr. Pace then received a listener question about space policy education and careers. He repeated the often said policy is about the same five guys chasing the same four jobs. Other questions came in about the ISS, the National Space Council which has not yet started, and the eventual appointment of a new NASA Administrator. Our guest talked about an administrator being chosen for the specific job that NASA needed to accomplish at a given time. He gave examples of this over recent times.
Listener Betty sent in an email asking about space as a global commons. Dr. Pace welcomed this question and topic because he said space WAS NOT a global commons. He explained the legal meaning of the term global commons and why space did not fit that definition. This was a very important discussion that you do not want to miss. Our guest explained the global commons concept and space issues in detail so I urge everyone to listen carefully as the idea of space as a global commons comes up from time to time as a Space Show discussion.
Our guest was also asked about the growth in nation state space agencies, especially among nations wanting to advance commercial space activities and some sort of property rights. I asked him if the new players complicated the subject of property rights and international space policy. Another listener asked about leases that were mentioned during the earlier functional property rights discussion. This listener wanted to know who had the authority to be the lessor. Don't miss Scott's reply to this important question.
Listener questions on capitalism in space came up and Scott talked at length about the differences in privatization and commercialization. Don't miss what he had to say on this subject. Jerry from Florida wanted to know about the proper role of taxpayer funding and related issues with space act agreements with private companies. I then introduced the subject of Space Traffic Awareness for the private sector as compared to that by the USAF and government. Scott had much to say on the space traffic management subject and he cited several commercial models and company examples. Please note I am working on covering this topic with commercial space traffic company experts on an upcoming Space Show program.
I asked our guest about recent congressional hearings where the head of the AF suggested the timing was not right for establishing a Space Guard. I asked if the space guard concept was dead and why the AF took that position. Don't miss this discussion either. It also took us into the area of the AF mission and the issue of an era of very tight budgets. Our last listener question asked about the proposed NASA policy idea of establishing a lunar orbiting space station. Don't miss what our guest said about this. For the most part, he was OK with it as long as we did not stop with the orbiting lunar station.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach our guest through me or his GWU faculty website page.