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Alan Steinberg, Friday, 2-1-13 February 2, 2013

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Alan Steinberg, Friday, 2-1-13

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1941-BWB-2013-02-01.mp3

Guest:  Alan Steinberg.  Topics;  Protecting our space assets, weapons in space, space policy and public opinion.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, http://thespaceshow.wordpress.com.  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.  We welcomed Alan Steinberg to the program to discuss both is latest Astropolitics article, “Weapons in Space: The Need to Protect Space Assets,” and his 2011 Space Policy article, , “Space policy responsiveness: The relationship between public opinion and NASA funding.”  Both of these articles are available for purchase by using Google the full title of the article.  During the first half of the program, we focused on Alan’s Astropolitics article.  As you will hear, the issue of protecting our space assets is not an easy one to address or solve.  Furthermore, as Alan and listeners suggested, the response the U.S. might make to an attack on space assets is unclear, especially if the attacking party or nation had an excuse, said it was an accident, or denied intentionally doing the deed.  Alan and listener Michael defined the term space weapon and Michael provided us with the PPWT proposed treaty language defining space weapons.  Alan had much to say about protecting space assets and weapons in space in the context of the U.N. treaties.  We talked about U.S. as well as international enforcement here and in other countries.  Space debris was discussed, especially in light of the difficulty in diplomatic action leading to tangible action against a debris causing country or party.  Also discussed was government being responsible for commercial space assets under its flag.

     In the second segment, we mostly talked about Alan’s 2011 Space Policy article, “Space policy responsiveness: The relationship between public opinion and NASA funding,” although many listeners via email and the phone kept returning to the space weapons topic.  Alan took lots of questions about the role and impact on policy of space advocacy and as you will hear, its not easy or clear to pin down.  Alan had much to say on how best to influence members of congress but was clear in pointing out that space advocacy does not have the numbers of the larger and more powerful lobbying groups that are far more effective in influencing policy than is the space community.  Another of his points focused in on the significant influence of the aerospace industry as compared to space advocates and enthusiasts.  We also learned from his concluding paragraph that when researching this issue, “research on what influences space policy attitudes and even space policy public opinion is in short supply.” In addition, we learned that while Americans like our space program and NASA, they don’t have a good understanding of it, the actual amount of funding NASA gets in relationship to the budget, and that their liking of the space program simply does not translate to more funding and more programs.

     Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  If you want to contact Alan Steinberg, you can do so through drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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