Friday Flybys - 10.27.06

Let's see...

  • First, the deadline for public comments for the antitrust folks at FTC regarding the Boeing-Lockheed ULA deal is Nov. 1. You can submit your feedback using this e-mail address: consentagreement@ftc.gov. (Not nearly as cool as the DOT's electronic docket site.) And anybody who does not comment is all for the JV. (Either that or, like me, they just must conclude at this point they do not quite understand the Clayton Act.)

  • I should have posted this sooner, but here is the FAA/AST notice regarding the Blue Origin waiver (with a hat tip to SpaceRef, where they read the Federal Register much faster than I do). Basically, the agency waived a requirement for Blue Origin to obtain a launch license for "certain launch processing activities" at the West Texas site which I understand includes preparation for Propulsion Module 1 flight prior to pressurization of the helium tanks. And FAA's includes a discussion of the four-prong test for "pre-flight activities that should be regulated as part of a 'launch'".

    By the way, earlier this week I posted about
    a different species of waiver. The waiver here, however, (under 49 U.S.C. 70105(b)(3), is not about liability but avoiding unnecessary regulation. And who doesn't love that?

  • The NATO Parliamentary Assembly Science and Technology Committee's visit to Russia last month included what must have been a fun stop at the Cosmonauts Training Center (Star City). Here is the delegation's mission report, which covers the discussions concerning space programmes, regulations, safety and "other important issues."

  • What if the US issued a national space policy on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend, five weeks after it was signed by the president, and nobody noticed? Never mind. This blog is not Space War Probe, but it's clear some folks get mad when space policy sounds "belligerent". (See why SLP sticks to the civil and commercial side?)

  • Speaking of which, good or bad, you may have had your fill of space policy from the current administration. But as Jeff reports, at the COMSTAC gathering this week, David Cavossa of the Satellite Industry Association called for another policy statement - to cover commercial satellite communications.

  • Carol Lloyd in the San Francisco Chronicle asks, What do you get when you take the real out of real estate? Answer: space real estate. (By the way, I did not know Dennis Hope was a ventriloquist.)

  • In light of all these space competition prizes and contests which we are always applauding here in blogspace, congrats to UK based Genesys Consultancy (Isle of Man) on winning the 2006 European Galileo Masters Competition. The winning idea: using timing signals from navigation satellites to help predict natural disasters and improve prospecting for natural resources. Excellent. (But can it climb a carbon nanotube ribbon?)

  • Congratulations to Space Adventures' next superstar explorer, Dr. Charles Simonyi.

  • What else? Nobody brought me a t-shirt from Las Cruces, so I got this.

  • Finally, if a giant block of frozen airplane bathroom waste falls from the sky, crashes through your roof and lands on your bed, don't call a space lawyer. Sorry.

    * * *
    Image credit: Disney/Pixar (who else?) (For my 4-year-old space ranger nephew, Jakie, who IS Buzz Lightyear this Halloween.)

    To infinity and beyond.

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