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Guest: Michael Listner; Topics: A space law and policy review for 2018 and a look forward to space law issues for 2019.
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We welcomed Michael Listner back to the show for this two segment 2 hour 2 minute program which was a 2018 space policy and law review plus near the end we looked forward to see what may happen early in 2019 regarding space law, budget issues, and policy changes, especially with the makeup of the new congress. During the early part of the first segment, Michael explained a very special offer he made to help support The Space Show. The offer terminated at the end of our show today but it was about his donating the subscription price of his newsletter, The Precis, to The Space Show. He spent time describing his offer, we talked about The Precis and why it was and is so special. Don't miss our discussion about The Precis as it is an exceptional space law and policy newsletter and the only one like it.
We moved on from the special offer and The Precis to talking about commercial space issues, a likely pullback in the astro mining space resource fields with company changes and then probable changes coming about Jan. 3 and later when the new congress is sworn in. Michael talked about unresolved space legislation from 2018, specifically key pieces of commercial space legislation, and what would happen to those proposed laws with the new congress. He thought most would just die but they could be reissued by the House or the Senate and maybe someday voted on but that is an unknown for now. Michael then talked about the National Space Council and SP D 1 regarding going back to the Moon, SPD 2 regarding the streamlining of regulations to get a launch license and SPD3 regarding space traffic management. Don't miss what he said about these three directives and their importance for both 2018 plus for 2019.
We took several listener emails. One from Ben wanted to know about the impact of several space friend senators and congressmen losing their elections in the 2018 midterms. Michael mentioned Senator Nelson, Rep. Culberson, and Rep. Rohrabacher. He suggested that we might see new young space leaders emerge to take their places. Another wait and see. This discussion was followed by questions regarding space law in general. Michael talked about law in general being adversarial, including space law. For sure don't miss what Michael had to say. Let us know your thoughts by posting them on our blog. Before closing out the first segment, we talked about courts that might handle and decide space law issues.
In the second segment, I asked Michael about the dispute that seems to have come about by Virgin Galactic going to 50 miles and saying that was space rather than the traditional 62 miles. Michael did a good job discussing all aspects of this issue and referencing an article on the subject by Johnathan McDowell, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0094576518308221. We spent time talking about what constitutes space, then listeners asked us for definitions of an astronaut and they talked about what if situations regarding the rescue of a spaceflight participant, what a Mars spaceflight participant might be named, especially if they were going one way as the listener did not think they would be tourists. We would like to know your thoughts on when space starts so let us know by posting on the blog.
We moved on to talking about spaceports in 2018. Michael mentioned a few, the new one in Colorado, one in Nova Scotia, Main, and we talked about the proposed Georgia spaceport which may be having some environmental issues. The Nova Scotia spaceport would be using a Ukrainian rocket. As a part of the spaceport discussion, we talked about the issues of many rocket launches and the commercial aviation schedule for the area. This may present challenges and conflicts which the airline industry is starting to address. Given the mention of the Ukrainian interest in the Nova Scotia proposed spaceport, Randy asked Michael about Russia jamming Ukrainian defenses in their dispute with one another. Michael had much to say on this issue, the issue of international agreements, treaties, and making promises that may backfire one day. Don't miss Michael's concluding comments for the show and for 2018.
Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show. You can reach Michael through his website, www.spacelawsolutions.com or me.