Friday Flybys 5.25.07

Today's Flybys come, alas, not from the International Space Development Conference in Dallas, where it seems the whole galaxy is converging; and I trust everybody there is having a blast. As I had noted earlier, space law presenters at ISDC this year include Doug Griffith, with Kerry Scarlott covering ITAR, and insurance topics with Kelly Alton and Ralph Harp. Me, I'll be watching my space feeds (especially Clark, Rand, Jeff, etc.,) for blogging from Dallas.


  • Early beach reading! As promised, Paul Breed at Unreasonable Rocket has posted his application to FAA for an experimental flight permit; including his cover letters. Paul says he is "a tiny bit queasy making all of this public" but his goal is "to try to demystify the process of doing rocketry as much as possible" and he notes, the "regulatory aspects are a key part of that process." Agreed. Thanks, Paul. We appreciate this and your hard work. And good luck!

  • Congratulations to China on joining the International Charter, Space and Major Disasters which provides "unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or man-made disasters." A fine club to join.

  • On a far less positive note... More space agency lawyers behaving badly: For the latest on the messy-and-getting-messier (if that was possible) investigation of NASA inspector general Robert Cobb, and now, destruction of the controversial April 10th meeting recordings by NASA general counsel Mike Wholley (a move which I am sure any of the many lawyers working in Mr. Wholley's office would have seriously advised against), NASA Watch has it covered (just go over and scroll down), including these statements and hearing documents. And when in doubt, it might be a smart bet to go with Keith Cowing's interpretation of Federal Records Act, here. And this is the Orlando Sentinel's report (linked all over blogspace), NASA's chief lawyer under fire. Yikes.

  • Speaking of NASA, the lawyer who is second in command at our national space agency, Ms. Shana Dale, is interviewed by Wired Science blog. Listen.

  • And even more for NASA buffs, over at Space Politics, zoom in on an excellent (and lengthy) discussion about NASA chief Griffin and his implementation of the President's Vision for Space Exploration.

  • Update on a spaceport license for Cecil Field.(The Times-Union via Jacksonville.com) (Hat tip: HobbySpace)

  • The Space Exploration Alliance's Moon-Mars Blitz on Capitol Hill takes place June 10-12, 2007. Register here. And in The Space Review, this week, Jeff interviews event chairman Chris Carberry, on citizen space lobbying efforts.

  • Speaking of space activism... "Will work for spaceflight": insights from space activist Veronica Ann Zabala-Aliberto (Space.com)

  • Clark has an interesting idea about virtual space tourism. He raises a good question with regard to "whether experimental flight permits during the test phase allow [space tourism companies] to make money even with only virtual passengers." Based on my reading of the experimental permit regs for-hire prohibition, ยง437.91, I would think it's probably a no-no. In a comment submitted to FAA, Masten Space Systems in fact asked about selling "images from onboard cameras." The FAA responded, "sale of images from onboard still or video cameras would violate Sec. 437.91." We might need further FAA comment on this. In any case, as FAA noted, an operator seeking to generate revenue may do so under a license.

  • Space law Professor Joanne Gabrynowicz comments on government censorship and security regarding the use of arial and satellite images. (San Francisco Chronicle via KnoxNews)

  • Bart Leahy reports on the space finance symposium at ISDC yesterday. (Space.com)

  • Take a spin on the Carnival of Space #4 (Universe Today) At some point I'd like to host a carnival here on SLP. (Uh oh. There goes the carny hood.)

  • Alan Boyle looks at timetables of suborbital space tourism companies: Dude, where's my spaceship?

  • Speaking of looking ahead: FAA has posted its 2007 Commercial Space Transportation Forecasts (May 2007)

  • Finally, for the SLP record, Slater & Gordon, which made history on Monday when it listed itself on the Australian Stock Exchange thus becoming the first law firm in the world to go public, does not have a space law practice.

  • Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend. And if you're not too busy (and especially if you are), try at least a few of these 50 ways to space out, from Air & Space magazine.

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    IMAGE: That's me on my moon farm. No, it's one of the winning entries (category: lunar) from the NSS Space Settlement Art Contest, "Eden Crater" by Alex Aurichio.

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