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6.22.2007

Friday Flybys - 6.22.07

Go ahead, have a slice of this yummy cake. As EADS Astrium chief executive Francois Auque said, "Space tourism is the cherry on the cake." Also, this week marks the third anniversary of Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne nailing the world's first private human spaceflight (June 21, 2004). Sweet.

Now, the Flybys...

  • Rocketing through regulations: Paul Breed at Unreasonable Rockets has good news from FAA on the status of his permit application review. Looks like he's right on track for the Lunar Landing Challenge. And Paul's sharing his paperwork and experiences in connection with FAA's experimental permit process is unique to blogspace and very much appreciated here on SLP. (Naturally, lawyers are standing by like the Maytag repairman in case Paul needs help. ;)

  • Policy space: If you missed the panel hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce‚Äôs Space Enterprise Council, "The New European Space Policy" (June 15th), CSIS has posted the presentation by John Logsdon of George Washington University's Space Policy Institute, comparing US and Euro space policy (which he subtitles, "One Aimed at Maintaining U.S. Superiority - The Other Aimed at Achieving European Aspirations" -- interesting).

  • Space radio: For folks following the Sirius-XM satellite radio deal, on June 13th, House Judiciary Committee chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) and Steve Chabot (R-OH), ranking member of the Judiciary Antitrust Taskforce, sent a nice letter to DOJ and FCC asking if the original FCC order in connection with the satellite radio companies' licenses prevent the two from merging, and wondering if "circumstances today are similar or different?" Good questions. The lawmakers also asked about "evidence the agency looks for when defining a 'relevant' market as part of its antitrust scrutiny." That is the big antitrust issue. And Conyers and Chabot recall the 2002 unsuccessful DirecTV/EchoStar merger, wherein FCC ruled the deal was "inconsistent with the Commission's long-standing policy of not permitting one entity to control all of the spectrum for a particular service." Don't touch that dial. (Via Orbitcast blog: "All things satellite radio")

  • More regulation issues for satellite deals: Owen Kurtin looks at how "Rejection Of AsiaSat Deal Highlights Commercial Impact Of Export Control" (Via Satellite, July 1, 2007)

  • Also in orbit -- trouble with NEOs: NASA's near earth object study for Congress (March 2007) continues to vex former astronaut Russell Schweickart and other concerned possible NEO victims. David Leonard blogs about a June 18th meeting over this at NASA headquarters, along with comments he received from asteroid specialist Clark Chapman. (LiveScience.com) (Actually, at this point in Earth's history we're all NEO survivors, aren't we?)

  • Speaking of NASA, when Shana Dale, lawyer and NASA number two chief (in that order) speaks, SLP links. Even if at the Colorado Space Coalition Biannual Congressional and Industry Roundtable, Ms. Dale was, as Keith Cowing termed it, "preaching to the choir." (NASA Watch)

  • If you missed it (and I almost did) here is Futron along with Hannover Fairs on the results of their annual satellite industry survey (conducted during ISCe 2007) which found, inter alia, government agencies represented more than half of new satellite business in 2006. I am not sure how surprising this should be.

  • Hal Fulton's The Space Activist's Handbook (just out June 4, 2007) looks like invigorating beach reading.

  • Election space: Never mind the war, foreign policy, the economy, healthcare, education and other hot button issues, what about the candidates positions on space? (Donald A. Beattie, The Space Review.) And as to the space views of a few non-candidates (well, so far) -- yes, Gore and Gingrich -- Jeff Foust has this.

  • Ferris Valyn now organizes his big roundup, Space Revolution Weekly News with "Space Law Minutiae" as section 4. Our kind of revolution. (Although yes, section 1 might have been better. ;)

  • Lapdogs or watchdogs? Some in Congress, including Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.), are criticising the inspector general corps, and pointing to NASA's Robert Cobb, who of course remains under investigation by the House Science and Technology Committee: Inspecting the Inspectors (Washington Post).

  • Dissing a White House space summit: Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) is peeved. (Via SpaceRef)

  • The latest issue of From the Ground Up, the newsletter from the space money folks at Near Earth LLC (May 2007).

  • Congrats again to all on the three new Space Act deals.

  • George Whitesides & Virgin Galactic: another great match.

  • I agree with Clark, "maybe it is as expensive as a Pyramid and half as useful but I still find the ISS to be a wonderful thing to behold."

  • Speaking of which, welcome home, Atlantis.

    Have a super weekend everyone. Avoid deep impacts. If you're on Cosmic Log and crash into
    antimatter or fall into an existing black hole, don't call a space lawyer.

    And hey, have some
    Beam Me Up coffee with your cake! ;) (Via Hobbypace)



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