Space Lawyer Wins EURISY Award
The award was presented in Paris.
Dr. Lafferranderie served as the Legal Adviser of the European Space Agency. He helped draft the ESA Convention as well as many international agreements concluded by the Agency, and advised ESA's national delegations on legal matters.
He worked on "countless international negotiations" and participated in international conferences and sessions of the Legal Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Dr. Lafferranderie earned his law doctorate from the University of Toulouse in 1966 for his thesis on the legal regime governing satellite telecommunications.
The Probe salutes a world-class space lawyer.
(By the way, Hubert Curien, himself, the dignitary after which the award was named -- scientist, former minister, architect of European space policy and father of the Ariane series of rockets -- died Feb 6. He was 80.)
EURISY, an association of space agencies and organizations, promotes space applications in everyday life.
Friday Flybys (v. 9)
And doing its part to hit optimistic launch numbers, India is planning to send up a communications satellite devoted to exclusively to telemedicine. (SpaceDaily)
Speaking of India, the ESA Council has approved a cooperation agreement between ESA and the Indian Space Research Organisation for India's first moon mission, Chandrayaan-1.
After this week's space security conference in Geneva, Russia and China are urging an international pact to prevent the deployment of weapons in space. (Financial Times)
Meanwhile... the Baltimore Sun argues, first Hubble, then Mars.
Alan Boyle goes to Esther Dyson's Flight School.
Science Blog looks at the big popularity of NASA podcasts.
And yet more good word of mouth for space tourism from a member of the pool of future private space flight customers, quoted in the Lehigh University newspaper: "I would be interested in space travel because Earth has gotten boring," said Chris Cangelose, class of '06.
That's the spirit!
(And he added, "I think ET would be a good guy." )
Reynolds Raps About Griffin
By the way, space lawyers and enthusiasts who are fans of the ever-eclectic and widely-published University of Tennessee law professor Reynolds, most recently famous for his blogging sensation, Instapundit, fondly recall the professor's early claim to space law fame: his text, first published in 1989 (with co-author Robert P. Merges), Outer Space: Problems of Law and Policy. (Professor Reynolds of course has branched out -- his writings cover a great range of issues in law, politics and technology. And the Probe will happily post, reference or link to anything he writes about space.)
Forcing Hubble Fix
The committee is awaiting various reports from NASA including an assessment of risks of a servicing mission.
(As the Probe has reported, lawmakers on the record supporting a Hubble repair mission include Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) who told NASA in a letter March 2, "The funding that I included in the Omnibus Appropriations Act is to ensure that the workforce at Goddard, the Space Telescope Science Institute and their associated contractors remain fully engaged in all aspects of a servicing mission. Any attempt to cancel, terminate or suspend servicing activity would be a violation of the law unless it has the approval of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees.")
Mike Griffin, what's your say on Hubble's fate?
Greece Joins ESA
Member states of ESA, "Europe's gateway to space," are: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. According to ESA, Luxembourg is expected to become a member of ESA in 2005. Canada, Hungary and the Czech Republic participate in some projects under cooperation agreements.
Συγχαρητήρια Ελλάδα (which, I think says, congratulations, Greece)
Kay Hutchinson Talks NASA
On her priorities: "It will be return to flight, finishing the space station, and renewing the commitment to science, which the space station is essential to do."
On the gap between retirement of the space shuttle (2010) and the first manned Crew Exploration Vehicle mission (2014): "I believe it is a security risk to our country to have a five-year lapse," she said. "We know now that Japan is looking at sending people into space. For America to go on a vacation for five years is unacceptable."
On saving Hubble: not if the mission would "take away from the capability to return to flight, finish the space station and do what we need to do to keep going towards Mars."
The senator says she will hold hearings in April in May: on the shuttle's future, and the space station and scientific research.
Friday Flybys (v. 8)
Mike Griffin's nomination for NASA chief got more glowing press than an Elvis siting in Memphis. Join the nonstop cheers for the incoming NASA administrator here (collected at NASA Watch), as we continue getting to know him (courtesy of Jeff Foust, The Space Review).
More on the beheading last week of Boeing CEO Harry Stonecipher after the disclosure of his ongoing sexual affair with a female executive at the company... our friends at Law.com, say 'Stonecipher Affair' Signals Changing Climate in Corporate America. Advise your clients.
We applaud the news that China has established its first space debris observation center.
And from the Lone Star State, Space.com reports on how Blue Origin Spaceport Plans are Talk of Texas Town. And the Bezos buzz continues...
New White & Case Partner Loves Space
The Probe congratulates Heidi and the firm.
The House Science Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics is holding a hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2006 budget for aeronautics at NASA.
And over on the Senate side, the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the Committee on Armed Services will hear testimony on national security space policy and programs in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2006.
But we do feel for the plight of the small, nimble newcomers who can build hot rocketships but are flummoxed, and even frightened off, as New Scientist reports, by the astronomical amounts of required paperwork.
We can't necessarily explain or even comprehend what in the world NASA wants with "40 to 50 monthly reports on what you're doing," but we can offer some advice: Don't wimp out. Why not just hire some engineering space lawyers! E-mail us at the Probe and we'll be happy to hook you up with space-loving red-tape wrangling counsel to help you with those reports.
Energy Equals Mass Times the Speed of Light Squared
A toast to E=MC2. (Listen to Prof. Einstein himself explaining his galactically famous formula here.)
And here are just some of the zillions of Einstein links across Webspace. (Boy, he would have loved the Internet...)
And by the way, happy Pi day.
Make Way for Mike
Keith Cowing at NASA Watch quickly collected some of Mike Griffin on the record.
And the Probe will start by simply saying, congratulations and good luck Mike!
Failure to Fix Hubble Against the Law?
According to Reuters the Senator wrote, "I expect NASA to carry out Congress' intent and spend the entire amount appropriated this year so there will be no interruption in the planning, preparation and engineering work that will be necessary for a servicing mission to Hubble."
Meanwhile, calls for a Hubble servicing mission continue. "Hubble's biggest booster," Steven Beckwith, director of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSI), has his say on Space.com.
And the American Astronomical Society has issued a policy statement calling for a Hubble servicing.
The next NASA administrator, if one is ever appointed, will have to face the Hubble issue, pronto.
GPS ankle bracelets track offenders
As this USA Today article explains, "the GPS units typically consist of a small, lightweight ankle bracelet and a personal transmitter unit, or PTU, worn on a shoulder strap or around an offender's waist. The system sends an alert if the ankle bracelet is not within a prescribed range of the PTU, which is in constant signal contact with a network of Department of Defense navigation satellites orbiting 11,000 miles above the earth."
One of the things law enforcement folks love and bad guys hate about this use of GPS is that "it can pinpoint a wearer's exact location, rather than just alerting a probation officer that a subject [on probation or under house arrest] wearing an RF ankle bracelet has strayed from the base unit."
You are so busted.
Boeing Back to Ethics 101
Harry Stonecipher was supposed to help to clean up the company after a string of missteps and bad corporate deed doing. But while he was doing just that, as we've all heard by now (whether we wanted to hear it or not), the CEO was engaged in his own little doings with a unnamed female exec.
But even in the wake of all the Boeing naughtiness, and in this post-Enron environment, did the board overreact to Stonecipher's consensual affair with the employee, who "neither reported directly to him nor received favorable treatment as a result of the affair," as some suggest?
Decide for yourself. Weigh in on a CNBC Squawk Box poll on the firing. (When I took it, the results were fairly even: yes - 48%; no - 52%).
And here is Boeing's own Ethics and Business Conduct Web page. The page includes a toll-free ethics phone number for employees and others who may be interested in calling to express their concern about possible violations. (Which is apparently how Stonecipher got nailed: an anonymous tip.) Warning: the line may be busy.
Boeing CFO James Bell will serve as interim president and CEO.
Friday Flybys (vol. 7)
Meanwhile, for those of you who have been paying more attention to Cassini than Congress (who can blame you?) and want a quick recap, Planetary Society's Washington Representative Lori Garver (formerly NASA associate administrator for policy and plans, also formerly executive director of the National Space Society, among other space-related things) offers a quick lowdown on Winners and Losers in Proposed 2006 NASA Budget.
Hats off to any Probe-reading, enterprising space lawyers who networked with potential new clients at ESA's Aurora Industry Day this week. Europe mean business in space.
Speaking of enterprising space lawyers, now that craigslist will beam classified ads into space, (courtesy of the Deep Space Communications Network) think of the marketing opportunity this may present for your firm.
And speaking of space marketing, as the feeding frenzy gets sweeter, move over Volvo and Virgin Atlantic, Space Tourism News reports a Norwegian chocolate company has joined with Space Adventures to offer a space ride sweepstakes.
And now that it has seen space, SpaceShipOne, the world's first privately built manned rocket ship, boldly goes on display at the Smithsonian, along with the Apollo 11 Command Module and Wright Brother's 1903 Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis.
Of course, in the But Who's Counting? department: 1694 launches is a charm. Soyuz is go, go, go (again and again and . . .)
Finally, while in the minds of many it may be a nuisance, a cause of emotional distress, or even a downright crime, there is no legal recourse for leaking gravity.
FAA draft space transport regs
Her's the info in PDF, or text (c/o SpaceRef.)
SUMMARY: The FAA is making available a draft of changes to the commercial space transportation regulations governing licensing and safety requirements for launch. We intend the changes to identify, codify, and maintain the successful safety measures that have been implemented at the federal launch ranges belonging to the Department of Defense and NASA. We are also establishing clear safety requirements for launches from non-federal launch sites. We will hold a public meeting on March 29-31, 2005, to give stakeholders an opportunity to get information about, and provide comments on, the draft regulatory language.
DATES: Send your comments to reach us by May 2, 2005. The FAA will host a facilitated public meeting in Washington, DC on March 29-31, 2005 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m each day.
(Get involved now, complain later.)
First, the Probe congratulates Japan on this weekend's successful H-2A rocket launchfrom Tanegashima Space Center, the first lift-off since the nation's embarassinglaunch failure in November 2003 (-- just one month after neighboring Chinashot itself into space history by launching its first manned orbital mission).Japan's rocket carried a weather and navigation satellite (the Multi-functionalTransport Satellite-1 Replacement, or MTSAT-1R), and the nation is quitehappy to be back in the launch biz. Tsukasa Mito, executive director of theJapan Aerospace Exploration Agency offered the soundbite, "I hope it willbe a new starting point of the history of H-2A." Indeed.
Of course, last week the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) joinedthe Space and Major Disasters Charter(or officially, the Charter On CooperationTo Achieve The Coordinated Use Of Space Facilities In The Event Of NaturalOr Technological Disasters) to work with NOAA, ESA and other space agenciesin international disaster relief. (See related Probe post.)
And. . . oh -- this week Japan again made space news when it announced thatit plans to develop its own manned spacecraft, like the shuttle, and puta manned station on the moon by 2025. Well. All that remains to be seen, of course.
But it's sure starting to look like things may get a bit crowded up there...
'Space and Major Disasters' Charter: Update
You don't have to read the full text; basically, the Space and Major Disasters Charter is an international network of space partners putting "space technology at the service of rescue authorities in the event of a major disaster."
And it's not just about satellite images of tsunamis. The Charter's slick Web site, at disasterscharter.org, includes a showcase of recent charter activations around the world in which Charter member agencies responded to international disasters, including post-Indian Ocean tsunami events such as the earthquake in Iran, landslides in Venezuela, floods in Pakistan and Guyana, even hurricane-force winds in Sweden. See how space agencies step in to lend a hand.
(And Space Law Probe applauds any international agreement that has its own dynamic, up-to-the-minute Web site not to mention nifty domain, like disasterscharter.org.)
Charter members include NOAA, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency, the Indian Space Research Organization, and other good-Samaritan space agencies and organizations. And last week, the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) signed on.