Broadcast 1362 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

13 May 2010 Professor Frans G. von der Dunk
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Guest: Professor Dr. Frans von der Dunk. Topics: International and transatlantic space governance. Professor Dr. Frans G. von der Dunk of the Space and Telecom Law Center of the University of Nebraska Law School in Lincoln, NE was our guest for today. Please visit their website to find out more about their program, http://spaceandtelecomlaw.unl.edu/home. In our first segment, Dr. von der Dunk told us about the recent conference, Space Security and Space Tourism: Challenges to, and Transatlantic Perspectives on Governance. To find out more about this recent conference and see most of the Power Point presentations from the two day meeting, visit http://spaceandtelecomlaw.unl.edu/conferences/lincolnconference/powerpoints. Our guest told us there was a focus on suborbital flights, the technology and regulations needed for suborbital point to point transportation, and some of the issues facing the European regulatory agencies for space traffic management. We talked about Sweden, the copying of the FAA AST policies, even the potential space launch impact of the Icelandic volcano and the restrictions that followed the eruption to much of European air space. At the end of the segment, we started talking about space debris issues and courts with jurisdiction to hear a space debris claim. As we started the second segment, we moved to security issues and a discussion about weapons in space. Here, Dr. von der Dunk described a weapon in space, explained the existing space treaty requirements regarding weapons in space and WMDs in space and much more. This is a comprehensive discussion on the issue and I urge all of you to listen to it as it clarifies the treaties on this issue and what nations can and cannot do regarding space weapons. Different nations were discussed in the context of space weapons issues and you might be surprised by what was said about North Korea, Iran, and others. Caller Bruce asked about nuclear power in space in the context of the treaties because of the possibility of using nuclear explosions as part of the propulsion system. Such nuclear explosions would be prohibited by the NPT treaty, not any of the space treaties. Again, this is an excellent discussion regarding the legal uses of nuclear propulsion in space so don't miss it. And remember, its mostly the test ban and similar treaties that prohibit or restrict nuclear space propulsion, not the space treaties. Our third segment started out with a question about the increasing privatization of space and if that means we will see more liability issues for the responsible states. Professor von der Dunk's response might surprise you. During this segment we discussed more space debris issues and the newer concept of space surveillance. Our guest talked about some of the U.S. STRATCOM issues mentioned in the keynote by AF General Kevin Chilton. As this segment ended, the subject of ITAR reform came up with four suggestions for modifying the ITAR restrictions. In our final segment, we continued the ITAR discussion and then inquired about the Space & Telecom Law Center and how it was doing since it is a relatively new program. Listeners and I inquired about the possibility of there being Astrolaw someday when we are engaged in space settlement. You will certainly want to hear this discussion. As the segment closed, I asked our guest to compare the interest space among American students and European students. Again, don't miss this brief but important discussion. If you have questions or comments for Professor Frans von der Dunk, please email him at fvonderdunk2@unl.edu.

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