Prof. Reynolds on HobbySpace
(And what took those two space-happy, weblogging lads from Tennessee so long to get together for a little online Q&A? I would have also enjoyed this via a live podcast from a cafe in Knoxville -- maybe part 2.)
Here you have it -- HobbySpace host Clark Lindsey's e-mail interview with Prof. Glenn Reynolds, who we on SLP know and love, of course, as the famous law professor and multimedia maverick who sometimes writes about other stuff when he really should be updating his space law book, and occasionally posts to a blog some people have heard about.
Clark has excellent questions for the ever-eclectic professor, touching on hot button topics including space advocacy, human spaceflight, space elevators, ITAR and more.
A few highlights:
If Glenn was head of the Space Council, he would "encourage a prize-based approach, like the X-Prize and NASA's (small) Centennial Challenge grants.... more money in fairly basic R&D stuff: materials, engine technology, the like, all focused on the needs of commercial rather than military uses." And he would "promote space tourism" because it is "an important economic, and political, engine for more progress in space."
Glenn thinks the new regulatory regime for commercial spaceflight is "pretty good."
On the space agency: "NASA is growing steadily less relevant to the growth of human spaceflight, and I think that's probably inevitable given NASA's bureaucratic ossification. To his credit, Michael Griffin seems to have a firm grip on reality, and isn't succumbing to the usual NASA temptation to snuff out anything that might be a rival."
On liability for space tourism accidents: "[F]ears of litigation are exaggerated here. People may sue, but they will likely lose, as with other extreme sports."
On ITAR: "It's often possible to lobby away bureaucratic impediments, but on the other hand the control of missile technology is a nontrivial matter. In light of current events, I think ITAR restraints will be an issue for a decade or so after which the technology will be so widespread it won't matter."
Read the whole thing.
The only big question Clark left out was, when will the professor complete his follow-up to Outer Space: Problems of Law and Policy?
Oh, and for the record, Glenn's fall semester space law class is "substantially oversubscribed."
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UPDATE: As Clark notes and 50 trillion Instapundit readers know, Glenn is on vacation this week, so now is the ideal time to talk about the professor behind his back and spread rumors. So here's the deal: It's not really a vacation. Shhh. Glenn is at this moment slogging away on his new space law book which will be coming out later this year. The beer in the picture is just a cover-up. The book will be a surprise. Even his publishers don't know. I have a copy of the draft. More on all this later. Pass it on.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Professor Reynolds has agreed to guestbog Space Law Probe. That's right. Via nanobot, after the singularity. I'm beyond thrilled. Stay tuned for the schedule.