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Michael Listner, Monday, 5-5-14 May 6, 2014

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Michael Listner, Monday, 5-5-14


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Guest:  Michael Listner.  Topics:  Space law issues regarding the SpaceX litigation against the Air Force/U.S. Government & Russia & NASA re moving forward on ISS & more.  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 http://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 Michael Listner back to the program to explain the legal issues involved in the SpaceX-Air Force lawsuit and to discuss the Russian-NASA issues regarding the ISS as a result of U.S. sanctions on Russia and Russian leaders due to the crisis in the Ukraine & Crimea.  In the first segment of our 90 minute program, Michael addressed the SpaceX law suit.  He explained that it was a bid protest law suit, he explained the background and the legal issues involved.  He also said SpaceX was not asking for money but for a Declaratory Judgment that they are eligible to bid on bulk buy launch services which up to now have been the exclusive domain of ULA.  He also said it was the court that picked up on the national security issue regarding ULA, the RD180 engine and the continued purchase of the engines from Dmitry Rogozin & Russia in spite of the Executive Order that may prevent such new purchase activity.  On this issue, the court issued a temporary injunction in favor of SpaceX.  He also explained the process wherein ULA has joined the action as an interested party.  Our entire first segment was devoted to Michael responding to listener questions, explaining the legal concepts, and making sure we understood what this law suit was about and the legal issues the lawsuit focuses on.

In the second segment, Michael started off with a few clarifications dealing with the lawsuit and mentioned that as he understood it, ULA had offered the Air Force a guarantee to replace the launch and satellite if one of their launches failed.  Given ULA resources, that would not be that unusual but it would be a hard act for SpaceX to follow given the fact that SpaceX is young and still growing/developing.  We then switched to the topic of Russia and NASA.  Here, Michael talked about legal agreements and treaties, including the ISS Agreement among partners known as the IGA (he said it amounts to a treaty).  He did not think it would be that easy for the current problems with Russia as a result of our sanctions given the Ukrainian and Crimean issues to escalate to taking down the ISS agreement and other space activities underway with Russia and NASA.  Michael was asked about the likelihood of NASA getting more funding and working with SpaceX to fastback the Dragon development for taking humans to the ISS.  Other questions took us back to the lawsuit discussed in the first segment.  As we neared the end of the program, Michael also talked about the PR campaigns by SpaceX and ULA and how this was a high stakes lawsuit.

Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog.  You can contact Michael through me.  For Twitter use Michael J. Listner@ponder68.