Broadcast 1399 (Special Edition)

29 Jul 2010 Theresa Hitchens
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Guest: Theresa Hitchens. Topics: Space and disarmament issues, space weapons, ASATs, space policy. We welcomed back to the program Ms. Theresa Hitchens who is the Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva, Switzerland. Find out more by visiting www.unidir.org. Please note that Ms. Hitchens was speaking for herself on this program and not for the United Nations. In our first segment, Ms. Hitchens talked about UNIDIR and explained its role and mission to us. We learned that space is a small but growing part of the organization's work. Also, that progress in the areas of focus for UNIDIR concerning space were slow and incremental. Our guest told us about several conferences and meetings on related subjects, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and its relationship with UNIDIR. We talked about space and policy treaties as well. One thing Ms. Hitchens said throughout our discussion was how important it was for various players to have a stake in the space issues. In this segment, we also started discussing space debris and traffic management issues and a proposed space Code of Conduct. Ms. Hitchens introduced us to the issue of kinetic kill weapons. You do not want to miss this discussion. We talked about the space treaties, possible new treaties, nation to nation peer pressure and even rogue nations and what they do or do not do regarding space issues. We started our second segment with a discussion about transparency and confidence regarding the players involved in space, particularly the US and Russia. Do not miss this important discussion. Later in the segment, we talked some more about nuclear propulsion in space, STEM education in Switzerland as compared to the United States, and the LHC in Cern which is just outside of Geneva. We started our third and final segment with a discussion about ESA budgeting long term as compared to the US Congress which budgets for one year or short term. Our guest said this process causes problems for others and the US is seen as less than stable given the way Congress and our system works in the States. You will definitely want to hear the complete discussion on this important issue. We talked more about ASATs and agreements to not use them. I asked about the interest of space solar power in Europe and Ms. Hitchens also brought up her interest in the space elevator. The ASAT discussion in this segment was an important one so don't miss it. If you have comments or questions for Theresa Hitchens, please email her at thitchens@unog.ch.

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