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Brian Weeden, Friday, 8-10-12 August 10, 2012

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Brian Weeden, Friday, 8-10-12

http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/1833-BWB-2012-08-10.mp3

Guest:  Brian Weeden.  Topics:  Economics for LEO, GEO, space debris mitigation, & space sustainability.  You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. We welcomed Brian Weeden back to the program to discuss space economics per his June 4, 2012 Space Review article, “The economics of space sustainability.”  You can read this article by visiting www.thespacereview.com/article/2093/1. I strongly recommend you read the article prior to listening to our discussion.  In our first segment, Brian spent time with us defining important terms including space as a global commons, space as a common-pool resource, GEO and LEO satellite usage, space debris regions, the Kessler Syndrome, good rivalrous, economic exclusion, economic non-exclusion, private goods, public goods and more.  Brian makes the valid point that in understanding how both GEO and LEO have been viewed and treated, we have a partial explanation of why it has been and still is so challenging to do something about the growing debris problem.  In Brian’s Space Review paper and in our discussion, he takes us to a point where we can view LEO and Geo differently than the more normal way of looking at space, economics, and debris issues. We came to view space not as a global commons but more as a common-pool resource.  From this vantage point, we can look at policy and programs that influence behavior toward a desired objective. He cited as an example the Chinese anti-satellite test that caused so much debris several years ago but told us that the test was repeated in 2010 without causing debris.  Listen to his explanation of this in the second part of our discussion.
     In the second segment, we talked about the value of both LEO and GEO.  All space is valued at $290 billion.  $110 billion is assigned to space services and related things.  The total insured value of GEO is around $20 billion but the insured value of LEO is only $1.4 billion.  He explained why this is so and the impact it has have on understanding the economics of space development and debris mitigation.  At one point in the discussion in response to a question, he talked about the pain threshold of the company or country.  Don’t miss this discussion.  Later in the segment, Brian introduced us to game theory and information economics as we continued to explore space economics.  Near the end of our program, we talked about the European Code of Conduct for Outer Space, how it might or might not become law in the U.S., and the realization that there must be more benefits flowing to the space companies and nations for dealing with debris than the costs, liabilities, and challenges.
     Please post your comments on the blog. If you want to email Brian Weeden, you can find his address on the SWF website or you can send it to me and I will forward it.