Broadcast 3055 Laura Montgomery

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Guest:  Laura Montgomery;  Topics:  Space as a global commons re US space policy, Dr. Scott Pace, treaty law and issues, spaceflight safety, National Space Council, commercial space, private parties & actors. 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 back Laura Montgomery for this 70 minute one segment discussion regarding the recent comments made by Dr. Scott Pace regarding space being part of the Global Common as far as US policy was concerned.  Our guest spent time on this subject, talking about what is actually said in the OST Article 1 about space as a global common.  Laura talked about scholarly papers on the subject and U.S. policy advisors.  At one point later in the segment, a listener emailed our guest wanting to know if Dr. Pace carried that must power in his statement.  As you will hear, Dr. Pace is a government policy advisor and maker, he has been vetted by the White House so yes, he does carry with his comments power and influence.  Returning to the early part of the program, our guest provided us with the legal definition of a global commons.  Her perspective based on her analysis and the analysis of many others was that the space domain was not a physical domain so space cannot be a commons but the activities that take place in space might be considered a commons. Our guest listed the rules and conditions required for something to be a commons.  Don't miss this discussion as it was an important one in today's program.

Other issues that came up that were related to the policy question above dealt with who was impacted.  We specifically looked at the newer segments of the commercial space industry, property right, mining activities and investment, and even potential regulatory issues. Again, don't miss all of what our guest had to say on these subjects and in response to listener emails. 

Matt asked our guest questions about treaties.  Laura went over the process of how a treaty becomes law and what that means, then she said that often an executive order by the president tells the governing agency what to do but does not change the law.  Unless the law or treaty gets modified by congress and signed by the president, the executive order can always be withdrawn or modified by another president and administration. 

We talked about the role of the FAA and regulation.  Up to now, regulation has been carried out with a "light touch."  Laura explained what this meant but she also pointed out that "light touch" may have a different meaning to different regulators.  We also talked about how the light touch approach to regulators could serve as a green light for business development and investment in one or more of the emerging commercial space fields and industries. 

Specifically for the OST, I asked how a treaty eventually dies or fades away.  Our guest said that it can just die of attrition but she suggested doing something formal to end it.  For example, one can withdraw from the treaty.  One might even end participation in a treaty by executive order which as long as it was not rescinded by someone later on, would allow the treaty to die in terms of US policy and behavior.

Listener Bob from Atlanta asked Laura if she thought there might be renewed interest in the Moon Treaty or the European Code of Conduct.  Laura said no but listen to all of her comments on this question.  I asked Laura if she thought that space, given it is small in terms of the budget, has a disproportionately large amount of influence in the government.  Laura said she did not think it had enough influence given the importance of it to our country and everyone.  Don't miss all of what she had to say in response to this question.

Before the program ended, our guest talked about her new science fiction book, "Mercenary Calling."  You can find out more about it via this Amazon link:  Remember that if you order the book using one of the Space Show/OGLF Amazon programs, Amazon donates a percentage of the purchase price to The Space Show  (

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach Ms. Montgomery at her space business website,  




US space policy, OST in light of recent comments and more

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29 Jan 2018 Laura Montgomery
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