Just say no regs

Over at HobbySpace, Clark caught wind of reaction to the FAA's proposed regulations for commercial human space flight enunciated by Yaron Brook of The Ayn Rand Institute. Yaron said, "If we want to encourage space tourism, the last thing we want is for the government to regulate it."

Yaron is entitled to that view. And he's not alone. But I think most would agree with Clark's response: "I've noticed that many of the startup rocket companies involve people with strong libertarian leanings. I've also noticed that most of them nevertheless believe that some level of regulation of the industry is necessary, if only to reassure investors, insurance companies, and customers." Exactly.

(But hey, then again, this is space tourism! Who needs investors, insurance companies and -- worst of all -- customers?!)

Clark suggested Yaron talk with folks "in the trenches of the rocket business..." That's a fine idea.

He can also consider market media reaction such as this, from
Motley Fool: "Though SpaceShipOne's historic flights captured the headlines, it was the Feds who were responsible for potentially jumpstarting suborbital space tourism. The Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act (even less romantically known as H.R. 5382) ultimately allows average Americans to hitch a ride on a rocket at their own risk."

And he can talk to industry types like space lawyer Sean Fleming of Zuckert Scoutt & Rasenberger, who pointed out last year as the rules were in progress, "Some believe that regulatory certainty is helpful when trying to access capital markets. ... Over time, as the industry matures, it may require further regulation (of orbital activities). It may even want it."

I understand people's aversion to heavy-handed regulation. And in the end, more rules just mean more lawyers hanging around, and who wants that? But it seems the FAA really is committed to helping space tourism fly. As U.S. Transportation Secretary
Norman Mineta has said, the government is not out to "stifle innovation" and that his "goal is to have this fledgling industry succeed."

Still don't like it? No matter. The feds are in private space and they're not getting out. We just have to get used to it.

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