Broadcast 2957 Dr. Jim Vedda

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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Guest:  Dr. Jim Vedda;  Topics:  Outer Space Treaty relevance, forming a National Space Council, the National Space Policy of the US and much 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,  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

We welcomed Dr. Jim Vedda to our Friday Space Show program.  During the first segment of our two segment 90 minute discussion, Dr. Vedda started out by discussing the Outer Space Treaty and its relevance given its now 50 year history.  You can read Dr. Vedda's paper on the subject, "The Outer Space Treaty: Assessing Its Relevance At The 50-Year Mark" at  One of the main discussion topics regarding the OST focused on property rights for commercial space operators, space mining, and other ventures.  Our guest had much to say on the property rights issue, including the suggestion for workaround solutions.  Make sure you listen to this discussion which covered most of the first segment.  Part of the property rights discussion addressed financing issues for space development projects given there would be no deed to celestial body land to be used for collateral.  Again, don't miss what Jim said about this.

Modification of the treaty was a big part of the discussion.  He talked about using amendments or protocols to make changes in the treaty plus he explained the differences in the two approaches.  He also talked about potential blow back consequences of making treaty changes at this time and referred to the recent Senate Hearings with Senator Cruz where those appearing before the committee did not think the timing was right to make OST changes. 

Salvage rights followed the property rights discussion.  Jim talked about the fact that the treaty did not address salvage rights, what this means for mitigating the orbital debris problem, plus he suggested possible solutions.  Listen carefully to his idea of a list or say the top 100 dead items in space that their owners were putting up for salvage.  Since ownership can change hands with space objects, knowing items on the list were there for the taking might help spur business development to some up with ways to get rid of the items and make a profit while doing so.  Don't miss what Dr. Vedda had to say about this idea, orbital debris, and salvage rights in the OST as well as the registration treaty. 

Two more first segment topics included weapons in space and the lack of a clear OST definition for what might be a weapon as the treaty does not define a space weapon but does talk about WMDs in space.  Our guest pointed to two main types of weapons, one being a weapon based in space and another being earth based.  He also talked about a weapon having a space target or an earth target. 

Before the first segment ended, Curt asked a question about the establishment of a Space Corps and how that might be impacted by the OST.  Jim did not think a Space Corp had much to do with the OST but did comment extensively on the fact that he thought it was way too early to have a Space Corps.  Listen to his explanation which was detailed.  Let us know what you think by posting your comments on our blog.

For our second segment, we itinually talked about the new National Space Council that the Trump administration wants to establish.  You can read Jim's paper "National Space Council: History and Potential" at"  Our guest took us through a brief history of National Space Councils for various administrations plus he talked about the one planned for the Trump Administration.  He talked about key players in the Council including the Vice-President and Dr. Scott Pace.  Jim pointed out staffing issues and questions and the fact that several positions that would have a seat at the National Space Council have yet to be filled including the naming of the new NASA Administrator or the Science Advisor to the President.  He had much to say about strategy, time lines and more so don't miss this discussion. 

Next, we mentioned President Trump possibly creating a new National Space Policy. Dr. Vedda has a paper on this topic as well, "Considerations for the Next National Space Policy."  You can read it at  We talked National Space Policy (NSP) history, what a new NSP might retain from pervious polices and what might be newly added should the NSP be updated. 

Before the program ended, a listener asked our guest if he thought the new pending Russia sanctions bill would hurt our relationship with Russia in space matters.  Listen to what our guest said about our space relationship with Russian and note how he answered the listener question.  The last question for the day was from a listener working in Toronto wanting to know if the North Korean missile problem for the US had any spillover on NASA and our space program.  Jim said no, it was national security and DOD but not a NASA responsibility

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  Check out the Center for Space Policy and Strategy website, and download their white papers.  You can reach Dr. Vedda through me, The Aerospace Corporation or the Center's website.




Dr. Jim Vedda, space policy professional talks about the OST and more

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28 Jul 2017 Dr. James A. Vedda
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