Broadcast 1178 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

21 Jun 2009 Vicki Ann Belleau, Julie Jiru
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Guests: Julie Jiru and Vicki Ann Belleau. Topics: space and telecom law, University of Nebraska Space & Telecom Law LL.M program, commercial and civil space. Julie Jiru and Vicki Ann Belleau were with us on today's Space Show program as they were part of the first ever class for the newly formed Space & Telecom Law Center with the University of Nebraska Law School in Lincoln, NE. Julie and Vicki talked about the program, its focus, classes offered, leading professors and guest speakers, plus conferences that they attended as part of their program. Both guests also received questions about space law ranging from being able to find a career in a space law field to how its being applied in cutting edge fields such a space debris mitigation, planetary defense, space tourism, informed consent and more. You can learn more about the University of Nebraska graduate law program by visiting the website at One very interesting thing we learned came about as a result of a listener question about how space law might end up treating personal spaceflight participants. Our guests brought up the possibility that the Rescue Treaty may not apply because its for government astronauts, not civilian tourists. Common sense and humanity would likely cause a nation to do all that was possible to rescue a downed personal spaceflight participant but unlike rescuing a government astronaut covered by the treaty, the civilian spaceflight participant or family might end up getting billed for the rescue services. This is all very new legal theory but civilians are not covered by the treaty so its unknown just how this treaty would be applied to an emergency situation by the country doing the rescue. Listen to this discussion and see what you think. I cannot imagine a country not helping to rescue a downed spacecraft and its occupants, government or private, but charging private sector occupants for the rescue is something I never thought about. Questions were asked about charging people who are rescued by the Coast Guard, CAP, and state and federal agencies but we did not come to a conclusion on this issue on the show. Other topics of discussion dealt with ITAR and even the amateur space cadet being subject to ITAR rules and regulations. Listen to Andrew's question on this subject. We also talked about the allocation of both frequencies and space for geo orbits to all nations, not just the main space fairing nations. Another listener asked if a country was able to extend sovereignty to a geo orbit overhead. The answer was no but the country is responsible for its space assets in GEO. We talked about space debris, mitigation and responsibility and learned that the topic along with planetary defense is now part of space law curriculum. We also learned that there are job opportunities for the specialty in space law and in fact the specialty helps one getting a job with an aerospace company though the legal work may all be terrestrial. This is an interesting glimpse of space law through the eyes of present day space law graduates and practicing attorneys. If you have comments or questions for our guests Julie Jiru or Vicki Ann Belleau, please send them to me at and I will forward them to both attorneys.



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