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Guest: Wayne White: Topics: The Space Pioneer Act focusing on homesteading, mining, and salvage law for the US moving forward with property rights, developing a space economy.
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Wayne White was welcomed back to The Space Show to discuss his final version of The Space Pioneer Act which focuses on developing US space law for homesteading, mining, and salvage law. Wayne posted The Space Pioneer Act and related documents at https://independent.academia.edu/WhiteWayne. This link is also posted on our blog. You can download the ACT in full plus related documents.
We began our discussion with Wayne us a comprehensive introduction to The Space Pioneer Act. He focused on the three primary areas addressed by the law, homesteading, salvage law and mining. In addition, he explained that the Act conferred the status of a Space Pioneer on a U.S. citizen or permanent resident should they live in space for a minimum of one year. I suggest you download the Act's FAQ from the download page link provided above as the FQQ provides an excellent summary of the Act and complements the introduction Wayne provided for us.
One topic Wayne promptly started addressing was the space debris problem. He talked about how the Act specifically addressed space debris which he said was largely a US and Russian creation. Wayne talked about how the Act allows for certain tax benefits for creating space debris mitigation strategies and actual operations which he tied to helping to build a space economy. Don't miss his debris commentary. In fact, I suggest you post your comments regarding the Act and space debris on our blog.
Wayne went from space debris to discussing mining law and why it was so important to get this right in the Act. Note that the Act based the law on the US having jurisdiction over space objects on the registry plus jurisdiction on citizens and the permanent residence per relevant OST articles. He said that the rights conveyed by the Act were based upon territorial sovereignty. Wayne then explained sovereignty issues to us including the different kinds of and approaches to sovereignty. Note how the Act considers and addresses these issues as it serves as an indicator to just how comprehensive the Act is for developing space and a true and valuable space economy.
Listeners asked our guest several questions about the Act and the Outer Space Treaty (OST). Wayne assured us throughout the discussion that the Act was in compliance with the OST. Listen for the examples. In responding to several of these questions, Wayne also said that the Act was consistent with the Artemis Program while offering solutions to challenges and problems with many of our space laws and policies. Property rights was one of the issues talked about, the need to convey a title for commerce, and the impact of space settlement
Several listeners asked questions about Wayne's process to have The Space Pioneer Act become law. Wayne talked about working with a Colorado congressman and his office on the Act but as we found out later in the program due to another listener question, as of yet there was no congressional sponsor for the law. In addition, listeners wanted to know how US law would be enforced on other nations. Reciprocity was mentioned so don't miss this part of the discussion with Wayne. Another listener asked if Wayne thought the Act would be accepted by government as is or modified. Don't miss how Wayne answered this question which brought up the subject of political timing.
Gene from Pasadena called to mention a recent DARPA conference about lunar construction to jump start a lunar economy. Fremont John posted an article about this DARPA Conference on our blog so check it out. Gene suggested that Wayne follow up on the conference and send the Act or talk about it with the key people involved in the conference. There was quite a discussion about this conference with listener emails.
We started the second segment of the program with an email from Bill in Atlanta asking about the forces wanting to declare space as a global commons. This subject turned into a lengthier discussion with Wayne. It led me to ask Wayne if he was familiar with the book by Daniel Deudney, "Dark Skies…" as this book runs counter to the Act and probably to the thinking of most if not all Space Show listeners. Wayne was not familiar with it so I summarized the book because of my concern that it might resonate with some members of congress or some policy makers and cause the defeat of the Act or similar legislation. This discussion took place over most of the second segment of today's program. By the way, Jeff Greason posted a very good book review of this book which Fremont John uploaded to our blog. I urge you to read what Jeff said and to listen to my supporting comments for Jeff's review. If any of you have read the book in question, post your comments about it on our blog. There are several blog postings pointing to debates with the author over the next few weeks. One will be at the virtual ISDC meeting the end of June 2021.
Ft. Worth John called to mention lobbying, Musk, the need for bipartisan support plus he was the listener that asked Wayne if he had congressional sponsorship for the Act at this time. Wayne said he did not have sponsorship but was working on it. Listen to what Wayne said about his getting congressional sponsorship for The Space Pioneer Act. Before our program ended, Wayne once again mentioned salvage law, pollution and OST inspection obligations pf certain space facilities.
Wayne offered us some closing comments regarding The Space Pioneer Act. Please post your comments/questions for Wayne White on our blog for this program. You can reach him through me.