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Michael Listner, Sunday, 6-14-15 June 14, 2015

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Michael Listner, Sunday, 6-14-15

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/2493-BWB-2015-06-14.mp3

Listner: National Space Policy

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Guest:  Michael Listner.  Topics:  U.S. National Space Policy, commercial/private space, & its impact on national & international space law/activities.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://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. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.  For those listening to archives using live365.com and rating the programs, please email me as to why you assign a specific rating to the show. This will help me bring better programming to the audience.

We welcomed back space attorney Michael Listner to discuss the importance of the U.S. National Space Policy, both nationally and internationally.  Please refer to the document Michael prepared for this show which you can find on The Space Show blog, “NATIONAL SPACE POLICY A PRÉCIS OF FUNDAMENTALS & PURPOSE.”  Michael’s document is essential to understanding the significance of our national space policy, both on the home front and internationally so don’t skip over it.  We used it extensively during our discussion as Michael used the exact policy language in his document to make his points.  During the first segment of our 2 hour 2 minute show, Michael explained the origins of this show given my challenge to him from a few weeks ago to tell us why national space policies are important given that many of us, myself included,  just view them as political rhetoric or something like that.  Michael did a fantastic job of connecting the dots from back in the beginning with President Eisenhower through to President Obama, showing us the evolution of commercial/private space and much more.  He also connected the dots on why our national space policy is significant on the global scene. Here, he used the definition of space as an example. After you listen to this program and read Michael’s paper, you will have a very clear understanding of the emergence of the commercial space industry as it is today, including government subsidies, plus many other parts of our space program, including the national security space program.  During this segment, we went through the presidents starting with Eisenhower to see how each new presidential national space policy helped to create the legal and policy structure of today’s space industry, public and private.  Michael explained policy from both the global view and the geo political view, again connecting the dots for us to what is happening in the space industry today.  He was very clear in showing how the birth & development of SpaceX for example,  was due in part because of our space policy and the laws congress enacted to support the goals of our national space policy which included private space and later on, even government subsidies.

In the second segment, we started taking more listener questions.  Carl asked who actually creates the Presidential National Space Policy.  Barbara asked if space property rights could be established through our space policy.  This prompted another excellent discussion by Michael on the subject.  June asked about our space policy enabling tourism and even visits or settlements on the Moon or Mars.  Another question came in regarding the US having no jurisdiction over private companies but Michael referred everyone to the Outer Space Treaty, Article 6 as this gives jurisdiction to the states (government).  Michael then had a few words to say about the significance of treaty law.  Michael was asked if the president could be lobbied regarding specifics of a national space policy.  Our guest received several emails thanking him for this program, saying it was extremely helpful and valuable.  Toward the end, he was asked about other countries having a national space policy.  Check out page 24 of his document as he has a chart showing the countries having or planning to create a space policy.  Near the end, a listener asked him if the space policy could be used to help establish a new business or industry.  Michael said yes, then provided us with an example relating to space debris.  Don’t miss this discussion! As the show was ending, Michael gave a shout out to the George C. Marshall Institute which is noted in the references in his paper as they have available all the space policy documents and more that Michael discussed plus those we did not have the time to address.  This is a superb resource and Michael was right on to give a shout out to this organization (http://marshall.org).

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog above.

Comments»

1. B John - June 16, 2015

What happened after 9/11? Government changed the laws.
What happened after Lehman Brothers collapsed? Government changed the laws.
What will government do when space mining or whatever actually happens? It will change the laws!

Whatever laws are written down today, are meaningless once anything happens to which they are nominally applicable, because then suddenly government will erase those laws and make up new ones. Government always improvises after the fact. And that is the only way one could do it, there exists no information beforehand about what should be done about the unknown. The very concept “law” is deeply flawed, it is a religious concept. Laws are just magic spells for fools. Political law is not natural law. I recommend Listner to take his eyes off those meaningless words to instead have a look at the reality.

Politics is about who will steal how much money from whom. Unfortunately, this show was not at all formulated in that relevant way, it was completely confused with dreams about everything a government is not. I’m sorry if this seems impolite, but it is not I who suggest “laws” forcing me to pay money to others. Listner is welcome to refuse answering my criticism of his moral and of his relevance, I just wish that he stopped agitating for governmental use of violence against other persons.

2. J Fincannon - June 16, 2015

Thanks Michael for pulling together an informative presentation on space policy. I wouldn’t have thought it could have been made relevant and interesting. You did it!

Michael J. Listner - June 16, 2015

Thank you.

Michael J. Listner - June 16, 2015

No comment other to say that I have no comment.

3. Michael J. Listner - June 16, 2015

As an addendum to Sunday’s Show, I want to clarify an answer I gave regarding whether Congress can create policy. I used SLS as an example of Congress used its spending power to shape national space policy. This example wasn’t entirely accurate. The current National Space Policy reads in part:

“Develop governmental space systems only when it is in the national interest and there is no suitable, cost-effective commercial or, as appropriate, foreign commercial service or system that is or will be available;”

Arguably, this part of the National Space Policy gives Congress the authority it needs to implement and continue funding of the SLS. The counter-argument to that is if commercial space was fully funded we would have a commercial alternative, or that the Falcon Heavy is a cost-effective commercial system that will be available. However, to both Congress can take the position that there is no certainty that Falcon Heavy will be available or have the capability of the SLS.

jimjxr - June 16, 2015

How is developing a rocket to nowhere (i.e. without any meaningful mission) in the national interest?

As for availability of Falcon Heavy, that’s easy to solve, you sign a contract with SpaceX to support its development, with milestone payments to ensure adequate progress.

The capability argument doesn’t hold since SLS has no official mission except test flights, the capability is irrelevant. If they do manage to come up with missions, then we can argue how to do these using multiple FH or Vulcan launches.

Michael J. Listner - June 16, 2015

“How is developing a rocket to nowhere (i.e. without any meaningful mission) in the national interest?”

Ask Congress.

“As for availability of Falcon Heavy, that’s easy to solve, you sign a contract with SpaceX to support its development, with milestone payments to ensure adequate progress.”

In other words, you subsidize it.

“The capability argument doesn’t hold since SLS has no official mission except test flights, the capability is irrelevant. If they do manage to come up with missions, then we can argue how to do these using multiple FH or Vulcan launches.”

Capability is not irrelevant.

jimjxr - June 16, 2015

Well it looks like Rand Simberg’s anti-SLS kickstarter is successful, I’m sure he can explain this much better than me, so just wait for his report.

As for “In other words, you subsidize it.”, it doesn’t have to be, it can be structured to block buy future launches.

John Hunt - June 16, 2015

It is not correct that the SLS project is a rocket to “nowhere” because it is in fact a rocket to implement the flexible path. It can be used to replace or to augment the ISS, to return to the moon, or to support future Mars missions. It represent the development of necessary capabilities for that could be used in space mission into the middle of the century. Even Space X tacitly admits the Falcon Heavy is not adequate for deep space missions hence its so-called Falcon XX program. What is unclear is if there is a viable commercial business case for Falcon Heavy and if Space will have the financial resources to develop the Falcon XX.

jimjxr - June 17, 2015

“it is in fact a rocket to implement the flexible path.”: There’s no need for a rocket of this size to implement the flexible path, funding it would mean very little money for other elements of the flexible path.

“It can be used to replace or to augment the ISS, to return to the moon, or to support future Mars missions.”: These can be done using EELV heavy lift launch vehicles.

“It represent the development of necessary capabilities for that could be used in space mission into the middle of the century.”: You’re seriously suggesting Shuttle technology is viable 80 years after it is developed? And in 2050 we’ll still be using expendable rocket to reach orbit? Take a look around, ULA and Ariane are starting reusability research, Vulcan with ACES upper stage would be able to do in-orbit refueling by itself. It’s just sad to see NASA being stuck with legacy technology.

“Even Space X tacitly admits the Falcon Heavy is not adequate for deep space missions hence its so-called Falcon XX program.”: SpaceX needs a fully reusable super heavy (which is usually called BFR, not Falcon XX) because they’re aiming for low cost Mars colonization, not because they think FH is inadequate for deep space missions. If NASA wants to join the colonization effort and develop its own low cost fully reusable super heavy I’m all for it.

4. B John - June 14, 2015

That preposted slideshow document is just a personal wish list. Expressing hopes that government suddenly inexplicably will become good and do the stuff one dreams about. I don’t find any topic in it to discuss. But several personal opinions which are easy to disagree on, without hope for ever reaching any conclusion, because it’s about government forcing you or forcing me in a zero sum game. There’s no substance in it, just wishful thinking based on the childish assumption: “If I were the law maker…”


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