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Matthew Kleiman, Monday, 11-28-11 November 29, 2011

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Matthew Kleiman, Monday, 11-28-11


Guest:  Matthew Kleiman.  Topics:  Protecting Apollo artifacts on the Moon, space legal & property rights issues.  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.  The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/space-show-2011-fundraising-campaign. We welcomed Matthew (Matt) Kleiman to the show to discuss his recent TSR article, “Protecting Apollo artifacts on the Moon, written on November 7, 2011. You can read the article at www.thespacereview.com/article/1961/1.  We began our discussion by describing the Apollo artifact situation, explaining ownership of them per the Outer Space Treaty in that there is no space salvage law.  He said NASA recently issued guidelines for protecting the Apollo artifacts given the likelihood that private companies and possibly other nations might get to the sites, disturb or alter them, or even contaminate a few of the ongoing experiments that are still functioning.  As you will hear, the guidelines are not enforceable, they are voluntary, and  you can find them at www.collectspace.com/news/NASA-USG_lunar_historic_sites.pdf.  We spent a major part of this segment talking about the guidelines and related issues.  Also discussed were liability issues and the problem with determining negligence regarding space activities.  A listener asked about the timing of the NASA guidelines announcement given that at least for now, we are unable to return to the Moon.  Matt then separated out robotic missions to the Moon as compared to humans returning to the Moon.  Our discussion also took us to the issue of property rights on the Moon and elsewhere in space.  We started the next segment by asking Matt about the Moon Treaty and its status.  We talked some more about salvage law for space and addressed the issue of why the US prefers to use international law for protecting the sites rather than doing it unilaterally as that raises potential sovereignty issues posed the by the space treaties.  Phobos-Grunt came up with regards to space debris issues.  During our space debris discussion, we talked about liability, the fact that an individual cannot bring an action other than through his/her country (the State Department for U.S. citizens) and more.  Matt talked about and described the Reasonable Person Doctrine.  A listener asked about the Google Lunar X-Prize and Matt briefly talked about the Draper programs with two teams.  He also told us about the long standing Draper Labs participation in our space program and that Draper Labs was the first non-government Apollo team member.  Another listener asked about the common heritage of mankind language in the Moon Treaty and to a lesser degree in the Outer Space Treaty.  Toward the end of our discussion, we talked about the challenges for making new treaties and the concepts/programs being used to accomplish nearly the same as a treaty but using a process other than a treaty.  If you have questions/comments, please post them on The Space Show blog URL above.  Matt can be emailed at matthew.kleiman@gmail.com.