Call for Croatian Space Law

Zdravo! If you missed the conference in Split, Croatia last week, Human Presence in Space, chaired by NSS executive director George Whitesides and organized by the Croatian non-profit educational organization Znanost.org "to inspire the next generation of scientists in Europe and Croatia, and to chart the future role of smaller countries in human spaceflight," here's a press summary of the interesting pro-commercial space event.

Along with the Croatian Minister of Science, Education and Sports, Dragan Primorac, participants included Greg Olsen, who along with cosmonauts and astronauts brought with them "a combined 415 days of space experience." Also on hand were future space travelers with either free dreams, or very expensive future flight tickets.

Why gather in Croatia? The organizers report, "Croatia, like many smaller countries, has never had one of its own citizens go into space. The country gained its independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. While the Soviet Union had a program to launch representatives of Eastern Bloc countries, Yugoslavia was a non-aligned country and so did not participate in the program.

Despite this, or perhaps because of this, there is substantial interest in spaceflight in Croatia. Croatia is a prospective member of the European Union, and one of the topics of discussion was whether Croatia might join the European Space Agency in the future."

According to the press release, one "hot topic" at the summit was "the lack of spaceflight regulation in Croatia, which could open up commercial opportunities for future space tourism companies operating in Europe, including zero gravity flights."

Students (and possible future space lawyers?) Tonka Burić and Lucija Bojkic, "presented a case study that showed that it was possible under existing Croatian laws and airspace regulations to fly parabolic flights." I'd like to see that in English. (For now, the study,
Studija Izvedivosti Svemirskog Turizma U Hrvatskoj is available in Croatian only.) Tonka said, "Starting parabolic flight in Croatia would expand Croatia's international reputation for tourism. The market is there. All that is required now is the will."

And Per Wimmer, described as Danish adventurer, financier, and lawyer with four masters degrees who "bought tickets to fly to space with two of the leading space tourism companies, Virgin Galactic and Space Adventures," spoke about cool spaceflight training at the Gagarin cosmonaut training facility outside of Moscow and high altitude MIG flights to 80,000 feet. Not bad for a lawyer.

Wimmer "also described the international legal framework of space activities. He argued that the patchwork of treaties and agreements, including the Outer Space treaty ratified only a few years after the launch of Sputnik, must be expanded and that mechanisms for enforcement must be re-thought."

A video archive of the event is expected.

Meanwhile, best of luck to Croatia on its space tourism dreams. As to regular, on- ground tourism, the US State Department
reports "Croatia's economy turned the corner in 2000 as tourism rebounded" and continued growth is expected. And according to a comment on travel site Lonely Planet, "It’s hard to imagine that Croatia was part of a deadly civil war because today the Adriatic Coast is possibly the most peaceful place on earth (aside from the annual Teutonic invasion, but the biggest danger there is skimpy bathing suits)."

Not so skimpy spacesuits next?

* * *
IMAGE: Tonka and Lucija talk about the future. And here's another picture from the symposium -- lawyer and future space traveler
Pim Wimmer with the Croatian Minister of Science.


Still no comment

I get an awful lot of e-mail about that astronaut love triangle (or whatever you'd like to call it) matter. As I've said, it's not a space law case. Yes, in between my law firm days I did spend a number of fun and rather edifying years as a law editor at American Lawyer Media/Court TV (back when they were affiliates) including during the era of certain quite notorious trials (and who among us cannot fondly recall an innocent time when "O.J." did not stand for orbital junk?) -- but I have no comment on the upcoming trial of an apparently untethered ex-astronaut that is said to involve charges of attempted kidnapping, battery and burglary and a possible insanity plea. But if you are so inclined, don't hesitate to accost any seasoned criminal law blogger to debate the matter.

Meanwhile, in a surprise development, the Florida attorney representing the accused is
not a space lawyer.

And another thing. As I've said from the start, I do not believe a word of those silly allegations about drunk astronauts. For those awaiting substantiation of said reports, be advised: it is likely
not forthcoming. But I do trust this very serious podcast about a chimp landing the shuttle because the astronauts were at least smart and sober enough to realize Pajamas the chimp could do a better job since he was "not full of schnapps." (The Onion). See? Some astronauts actually deserve our admiration and respect after all.


Five Flybys - 8.27.07

Just five -- count 'em -- five items handpicked from my current Flybys file on this Monday before Labor Day ...

  • Europe-Wide Mobile Satellite Services: After a public consultation (which drew these comments), the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a "common EU approach to selecting and authorising mobile satellite service systems." According to the EU, "if adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Telecom Ministers, this new selection mechanism will allow innovative services, such as mobile TV, broadband data and emergency communications to develop smoothly throughout Europe as of 2009." A step forward for Europe space.

  • GPS patents on the farm: Over at the US District Court of Northern District of California, Morrison & Foerster won summary judgment for Hemisphere GPS in a patent infringement action brought by Trimble Navigation over US patent #5987383, a GPS-based guidance system used by farmers. (Wonder if you can make cool crop circles with that?)

  • An ICAO for Space? -- the May 2007 draft white paper in which the IAASS Legal and Regulatory Committee explores "the concept of developing international space safety regulations for commercial space activities." (More on this very interesting topic to follow.)

  • Updating Landsat: Under a plan released this month by the White House (and put together by the 15-agency Future of Land Imaging Interagency Working Group), the Department of the Interior would be home to a National Land Imaging Program (NLIP) that would manage US land imaging efforts, and the future of Landsat imagery beyond the Landsat Data Continuity Mission. It would also convene a Federal Land Imaging Council that would include NASA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and other federal entities. For now, Aviation Week reports the "Democrat-controlled House Science Committee appears to be maintaining a wait-and-see attitude toward the Bush plan, with one staff member saying 'the committee has had a constant interest in a stable U.S. land-imaging effort, and we'll see if this move helps us get there.'" The Landsat saga continues....

  • And on a lighter note... more darkness wanted: the bilingual (English and French) International Dark-Sky Association Symposium takes place September 20 -21, 2007 in Québec, Canada. Speakers will include Richard Wainscoat, president of IAU Commission 50's Working Group on Controlling Light Pollution; Kimberly R. Szinger, president of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America; Chad Moore of the U.S. National Park Service’s Night Sky Team; and other light-hearted folks.

    Did I say five? No, I meant six:

  • Merger madness: Opponents of the XM-Sirius satellite radio merger made a cute video (well, Mel Karmazin might not find it very cute) (and I post the link in case I was sounding too pro-merger before). Not nearly as funny, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) apologized to the FCC for misrepresenting two congressmen -- John Conyers (D-MI) and Steve Chabot (R-OH) -- in four separate filings, as being opposed to the merger. (Via Orbitcast)

    Alright, seven:

  • Reminder, some happenings during World Space Week, Oct. 4-10, 2007. (Am I the only one who didn't know the UN had a post office?)

    This one doesn't count:

  • NASA ex-employee pleads guilty to making $157,000 in fraudulent credit-card purchases.

    And a bonus item:

  • Blawg review #122 has no space law entries, but go ahead and read it anyway.

    One extra bonus:

  • Move over Westlaw and Lexis: AltLaw (beta) offers free full text search of U.S. Supreme and Circuit Appeals Courts.

  • And just ignore this altogether:

  • Yes it's that nagging feeling again: life, including space lawyering, may be just a computer simulation.

  • (But never mind that, scientists have discovered a place in the universe with guaranteed no lawyers whatsoever.)

    OK, that's enough.

    Congratulations, XCOR Rockets on making Inc.'s
    5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America. ;)

  • Let the inevitable countdown to the end of summer begin.

    * * *
    IMAGE: Via
    NASA's Eclipse Home Page: "Path of the Moon through Earth's umbral and penumbral shadows during the Total Lunar Eclipse of Aug. 28, 2007. (Pacific Daylight Time)"


    FAA seeks space safety report

    Attention non-profit entities: FAA has issued a Request for Offer-SIR to develop an Analysis of Human Space Flight Safety.

    By way of background, under a provision of the
    Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, FAA must submit a report analyzing safety issues related to launching humans into space to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and the House of Representatives Committee on Science by December 23, 2008 (which is 4 years from the day of CSLAA's enactment).

    (The Offer-SIR is set-aside exclusively for non-profits, as required under CSLAA.)

    It's a very interesting contract. Here's FAA's description of the work:

    The report will analyze and make recommendations about—

    (1) the standards of safety and concepts of operation that should guide the regulation of human space flight and whether the standard of safety should vary by class or type of vehicle, the purpose of flight, or other considerations;

    (2) the effectiveness of the commercial licensing and permitting regime under chapter 701 of title 49, United States Code, particularly in ensuring the safety of the public and of crew and space flight participants during launch, in-space transit,
    orbit, and reentry, and whether any changes are needed to that chapter;

    (3) whether there is a need for commercial ground operations for commercial space flight, including provision of launch support, launch and reentry control, mission control, range operations, and communications and telemetry operations through all phases of flight, and if such operations developed, whether and how they should be regulated;

    (4) whether expendable and reusable launch and reentry vehicles should be regulated differently from each other, and whether either of those vehicles should be regulated differently when carrying human beings;

    (5) Whether the Federal Government should separate the promotion of human space flight from the regulation of such activity;

    (6) How third parties could be used to evaluate the qualification and acceptance of new human space flight vehicles prior to their operation;

    (7) How nongovernment experts could participate more fully in setting standards and developing regulations concerning human space flight safety; and

    (8) Whether the Federal Government should regulate the extent of foreign ownership or control of human space flight companies operating or incorporated in the United States.

    The government estimates this work will take approximately 2,300 person hours.

    Interested? Submit your proposal by September 6, 2007.

    (The final report is due on Sept. 23, 2008.)

    Get busy.


    Space at the Princeton Club

    If you haven't already calendered this: here in the Big Apple on Oct 9th, the event that brings together industry folks, business gurus, lawyers and other hotshots from the satellite and financial worlds, ISIS NYC '07 takes place at a new venue this year, the venerable Princeton Club, 15 West 43rd Street (sort of halfway between Wall Street and my apartment on the Upper Westside; and as I recall, last time I viited the Club, years ago, was for lunch with Edward R. Finch in fact, author of Astrobusiness: A Guide to Commerce and Law of Outer Space. It was lovely.)

    Among many noteworthy panels,
    Del Smith of Jones Day, the firm that hosted ISIS last year, will be heading up the day's "signature session," the analyst's panel, which can be expected to cover lots of hot topics including satellite industry consolidation, investment in the VSAT sector, satellite TV, cable's VoIP, the telcos fiber rollout (don't ask me -- all I know about fiber appears on the back of a cereal box), digital video technologies, mobile broadcasting and more.

    Be there. And be prepared to network, New Yawk style.


    Very cool space law job

    Speaking of the Journal of Space Law (as I was on Friday) -- this is a very cool job, and don't ask me why I'm posting the announcement in mid-late August when half of blogspace is on vacation (either physically or, you know, virtually). I may repost after Labor Day, if the position is still open then. Although it shouldn't be.

    Really, I almost applied myself; however director Joanne Gabrynowicz confirmed that counsel hired would work on campus and couldn't telecommute from NYC. Oh well. Now I'm tempted to move. You will be too, if you're the smart, talented, lovable lawyer the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law might hire as its new research counsel. I'm jealous. ;)

    Research Counsel - Position Announcement

    THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI SCHOOL OF LAW is seeking a Research Counsel for the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law (Center). The Center provides informational resources on the legal aspects of human activities using aerospace technologies. It conducts legal research on all aspects of remote sensing, space, aviation, and related technologies. The Center's Director is an internationally recognized expert in the field. The Center publishes the world renowned, 30 year old Journal of Space Law and conducts professional development and educational outreach activities including international conferences and seminars on campus, at distant locations, and via the Internet.

    This is a professional nonsupervisory position in which the incumbent assists the Director in the publication of the Journal of Space Law and the design and administration of grant projects within the legal field. Incumbent performs and/or supervises heavy editing for the Journal of Space Law. Incumbent designs, coordinates and directs legal research efforts. Incumbent publishes and presents findings on such research; oversees the work of research staff. Incumbent gives presentations and consults with colleagues. Reports to the Director.

    Applicants must have some knowledge of remote sensing, space, and/or aviation activities; a J.D. degree from an ABA accredited law school; and, must be able to obtain admission to practice law within the first 12 months of employment. The successful applicant must be able to work productively with individuals from all disciplines and across institutions as well as with other not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. Some local, national and/or international travel may be required from time to time. The successful applicant will also be an innovative, enthusiastic, and creative self-starter with excellent communication and people skills.

    Work performed includes, but is not limited to: establishing, supervising, and following through on Journal of Space Law publication schedules; designing, directing and conducting legal efforts; assigning research projects, and following through on publication progress; providing training in research methods; submitting articles to law review and journal editorial boards; responding to requests for information from editors regarding articles; drafting memoranda, reports, and articles outlining results of research publishing and/or presenting research results; researching and preparing briefs of law on specific legal issues requested by local, state, and federal agencies; ranking projects in accordance with grant proposals and public interest; assigning portions of research to other unit members and researchers; representing the Center at meetings; serving as liaison between the Center and other University departments; planning, coordinating, and conducting presentations and/or training seminars regarding legal issues; performing personnel functions including, but not limited to hiring, training, and assisting research staff; supervising and overseeing the work of researchers; performing related or similar duties as required or assigned.

    For more information and to apply, go online to jobs.olemiss.edu. Interested persons should submit resume/vitae, reference, and writing sample. The University of Mississippi is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA employer.


    Summer Journal of Space Law

    It's heeere. From the University of Mississippi School of Law, it's the sizzling summer 2007 volume of the Journal of Space Law.

    This latest volume, another eclectic and scholarly compilation, brings together writings covering hot topics in space law including tourism, treaty law, national security policy, remote sensing and digital data, ASAT testing, emerging national legislation, ITAR, and lots more. As always, I can't post the whole thing, just the tantalizing table of contents. But to order your Journal, send a note to jsl@olemiss.edu, call 1.662.915.6857 or zip a fax to 1.662.915.6921.

    And if you're not a JSL subscriber,
    subscribe now!

    Meanwhile, the question I keep asking: when will the esteemed Journal be available online, already?? (You know, Lexis, Westlaw, the Web??) Well, this is the century. Guaranteed. It's coming.

    University of Mississippi School of Law
    A journal devoted to space law and the legal problems arising
    out of human activities in outer space.

    Volume 33 Summer 2007 Number 1

    C O N T E N T S
    Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz

    Call for Papers

    The Evolution of U. S. National Security Space Policy and its Legal Foundations in the 20th Century
    R. Cargill Hall

    What is “Informed Consent” for Space-Flight Participants in the Soon-To-Launch Space Tourism Industry?
    Tracey Knutson

    A review of the Space Development Promotion Act of the Republic of Korea
    Yoon Lee

    China's ASAT Test: A Demonstrated Need for Legal Reform
    K.K. Nair

    Certification of Digital Data: The Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center Project
    Ronald J. Rychlak, Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, & Rick Crowsey

    The Effect of the Liability Convention on National Space Legislation
    Susan Trepczynski

    Student Paper

    International and U.S. National Laws Affecting Commercial Space Tourism: How ITAR Tips the Balance Struck Between International Law and the CSLAA
    Charles W. Stotler

    European Cooperating State Agreement between the European Space Agency and the Government of the Republic of Poland

    Space Law and Relevant Publications
    Macey L. Edmondson
    Case Law
    Law Review Articles
    Periodical Materials


    Constellation and the environment

    Never mind those other links, reviews and recommendations posted on SLP and elsewhere in blogspace all season. Now this is what I call hot summer vacation reading. NASA has posted the 22 MG, 440-page (pdf) Draft Constellation Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (published in the Federal Register Vol. 72, No. 154, Aug. 10, 2007) and is standing by awaiting your feedback (public comments are due by September 30, 2007).

    I personally breezed through the document initially this afternoon (no I didn't), and will read it more thoroughly tonight (no I won't), and perhaps take a second look on the beach tomorrow (sure thing). You enjoy it too. Refreshing. Harry Potter it ain't.

    And if that's not enough to satisfy your NEPA jones -- and what is? -- here is the
    National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended (Pub. L. 91-190, 42 U.S.C. 4321-4347, January 1, 1970, as amended by Pub. L. 94-52, July 3, 1975, Pub. L. 94-83, August 9, 1975, and Pub. L. 97-258, § 4(b), Sept. 13, 1982); and this is NASA's Overview of the National Environmental Policy Act.

    (I note that the purposes of NEPA are: "To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation...." Sec. 2 [42 USC § 4321]. Yes, the "environment" under NEPA is that of Earth; no mention in the Act of the environment of our Moon, Mars or any place else in the solar 'hood.)

    Now if you'll excuse me, I will attempt to read the EIS, which really is quite fascinating (and no piece of moon pie to put together), but wanted to share the link here before I finished the whole thing (sometime after Labor Day) (maybe).

    (By the way, for gentle visitors from other worlds who don't know that the "Constellation Program encompasses NASA's efforts to extend the human presence throughout the Solar System as the President outlined in his Vision for Space Exploration," look



    Fifty space-filled years after Sputnik, Taylor Dinerman takes a fresh look at an "extraordinary document released by the White House in March of 1958 titled 'Introduction to Outer Space - An explanatory statement prepared by the President’s Science Advisory Committee'" -- and finds that some good, old school American thinking on space policy hasn't much changed. (The Space Review)

    * * *
    Things are more like they are now than they ever were before.
    --Dwight D. Eisenhower


    Friday Flybys - 8.10.07

    Summer sizzles along. A quick mix of mid-August goodies:

  • Space law marketing opportunities? Those external projectors up on Genesis II mean business. Although as Robert Bigelow said this week, the commercial use of the "spacecraft’s billboard capability" "is in the process of evaluation and may take a while," we can certainly have a friendly wager here on SLP -- what law firm will be the first to have its name or logo projected on the surface of a Bigelow spacecraft? Of course, what's appropriate and tasteful on an orbiting space hotel may not necessarily fly let's just say, on the shuttle or elsewhere in government space, at least under Rep. Ken Calvert's (R-CA) NASA Innovation Fund and Sponsorship Act (to be introduced in September; see Jeff's Space Politics post on that). No worries. There's plenty of space for everyone to brand.

  • NASA solicits input from commercial space: the agency issued a RFI from industry for COTS phase 2. Send in your feedback and ideas. (Via HobbySpace)

  • Speaking of NASA, there goes the space agency changing the subject again: Oh sure. Just to deflect some of the recent criticism and controversy, the sneaky space agency folks conducted picture perfect launches of the space shuttle Endeavour with teacher Barbara Morgan (yay!!), as well as Phoenix Mars Lander liftoff. But really, do they think this impressive work compensates for all the icky PR? (It does here.) Congratulations. ;)

  • Satellite radio merger flyby: If you didn't see it yet, Sirius and XM filed a 112-page Joint Opposition to Petitions to Deny and Reply Comments (with appendices), and if you're all about plowing through nonstop FCC filings (and who isn't?) you can grab these and tons of other materials and documentation on FCC's XM Sirius transaction page (MB Docket No. 07-57). I've covered a bunch of pro-merger action; I'll also note that yesterday Orbitcast blog reports Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) wrote a letter to FCC and DOJ opposing the deal as not in the best interest of consumers; and Orbitcast tallys: "Senator McCaskill is now the 82nd lawmaker to express opposition to the XM-Sirius merger." (OK, somebody's been eating lunch with NAB.)

  • Even more summer space law reading: (If I didn't link these already) catch up with Human Space Flight and National Power by John M. Logsdon; and The Moon is a Land Without Sovereignty: Will it be a Business-Friendly Environment? by Henry R. Hertzfeld (both published in High Frontier, March 2007 and still fresh).

  • Law for space doctors: Space (and air) lawyer Doug Griffith gave a healthy presentation on the Legal Atmosphere for Aerospace Medicine Professionals in Commercial Human Spaceflight at the Aerospace Medical Association (May 13, 2007). Take two PDF's and call him before liftoff.

  • The Space Policy Institute's Elliott School of International Affairs, has a summary of its April workshop, "Asian Approaches to Space Security."

  • For you C-band buffs, Via Satellite has put together a three-part series of webcasts, (or if you prefer the term, webinars) including "How Serious Is The Threat To Satellite's C-band Spectrum?" (Sept. 25, 2007).

  • Congratulations to Professor Ram Jakhu of McGill University's Institute of Air and Space Law on being elected Fellow of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS).

  • By invitation only: Future of Space Commerce Workshop, Aug. 24, 2007 in Breckenridge, CO, will include VIP's from "the civil, military, commercial, and new space sectors, and relevant academic, consulting, business, and financial organizations," hosted by the Air Force Academy’s Center for Space and Defense Studies, NASA Ames Research Center and Futron. (And for those not invited? Here's an idea based on the hit film, The Wedding Crashers -- yes, how about The Workshop Crashers? But don't say you got the idea on SLP.)

  • Poetry space: Attorney-mediator and Settle It Now Negotiation Blog host Victoria Pynchon lets down her hair and pens (types, actually) a few curved words on space time.

  • No space lawyers - or any other kind of lawyers - will be speaking at the Singularity Summit 2007 ("AI and the future of Humanity"), Sept. 8-9, 2007 in San Francisco.

  • Yes, as I've noted, there will be lawyers at the 58th International Astronautical Congress in Hyderabad, India Sept. 24-28, 2007. Plenty of 'em.

  • Just in time for morning rush, a tornado with a bad sense of direction hit Brooklyn ... yup, missed Kansas by a few miles. Of course twisters aside, getting to work in NYC each day is like winning the DARPA Urban Challenge. In the meantime, bring on those Personal Air Vehicles! (Via HobbySpace) Or, I'll take one of these flying cars thingys (via Sam Dinkin at Transterrestrial Musings).

  • But forget all that high flying tech stuff for a moment, here's how to throw a boomerang. (Popular Mechanics via Instapundit of course).

  • Carnival of Space #15. Thanks, Pamela.

  • Ok. If lawyers are rats. . . what are space lawyers? Never mind.

    Have a fine summer weekend. Think like an ancient astronomer and behold the Perseids!

    Ex astris, scientia! ;)

    * * *

    IMAGE: That's right, if you're in Northern Hemisphere -- but not in or near my 'hood in Manhattan (or any urban, light-polluted analog thereof) -- you get to check out the coolest sky show of the summer, the Perseids, peaking Aug. 13th. This stunning photo, copyright Wally Pacholka, captures a Perseid fireball over Joshua Tree National Park, California in 1999.

  • 8.08.2007

    And now for something completely different

    [Updated 8/9/07]

    For the blog record, that's right, these things are not space law:

    Parking space law is not space law.

    * * *

    Defensible space law is not space law.

    * * *

    Open space law is not space law.

    Thank you. And now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging.


    More space law summer reading

    August is no time to slack off on summer book reading. Looking for fresh treeware to slip into your beach bag? I know I am, always. Luckily, the newest editions of Harry Potter the Annals of Air and Space Law are out: Volume XXXII (2007), and volume XXXI (2006). Excellent. And I won't spoil the endings for you. Order lots of copies today. (But don't ask me if the prices quoted are US or Canadian dollars; or why you have to fax a form to Montreal rather then buy these volumes online.)

    By way of background, as we know:

    "The Annals of Air and Space Law is a journal produced and published by the Institute and Centre of Air and Space Law, Faculty of Law, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

    Established in 1976, the Annals is devoted to fostering the free exchange of ideas and information pertaining to the law applicable to aerospace activities.

    The Annals has been publishing original articles, drafted in English or French, covering the entire spectrum of domestic and international air law and the law of space applications. The contributors are academics and leading practitioners from all parts of the world.

    This hardcover publication has become a standard source of reference in the fields of air and space law and will be found in most academic libraries, government and airline offices and specialized law offices.

    The Annals are distributed in over one hundred countries worldwide."

    Merci and tres cool. And here is the 139-page Annals Comprehensive Index (1982-2007), so you can find articles by keyword, topic and order back issues.

    (So is there too much air and not enough space in the Annals? Depends who you ask. It's actually a good mix. But let's just say, this blog is not Air and Space Law Probe. Is it?)


    FAA on Mojave accident

    No surprise in FAA/AST's initial public reaction to the tragedy at Mojave July 26th:

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) office in charge of licensing private space flight operators, including New Mexico-based Virgin Galactic, is treating the test stand mishap as an industrial accident, leaving the ongoing investigation to Scaled Composites and California's workplace safety authorities. Patricia Grace Smith, the FAA's associate administrator for commercial space transportation told Space News July 31 in a statement that the director of the Mojave Air and Spaceport where the incident occurred and the California [Occupational Safety and Health Administration] officials called in to investigate "indicate this was an industrial accident, a fuel-flow test gone terribly wrong." The incident did not involve any activities regulated by the FAA, according to Smith.

    "It was not a launch accident. It was not a flight accident. It was not directly related to vehicle performance or passenger involvement," she said. (Brian Berger, Space News)
    Of course as SpaceShipTwo development goes forward FAA/AST not California safety regulators will determine any extent to which investigation findings may factor into launch licensing for Scaled Composites.

    No surprise here either: Space News also reported Smith attended a meeting requested by staff of chairman James L. Oberstar's
    House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee "to discuss the accident." Her office "would not comment on the meeting."


    ESP in Belgium

    Not for Euro space policy buffs only: If you missed the 6th European Space Policy Workshop on June 26th at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Space Studies (ICSS) at KU Leuven in lovely Belgium, presented "with the kind support of the European Space Agency and the European Commission, together with EADS-Space and ESOA," here is a good 9-page summary of the event which brought together experts from across the Euro space sector to discuss the recently adopted European Space Policy (ESP).

    Thanks to Batist Paklons for sending this over.

    Unrelated parenthetical note: Batist also shared with me a nice juicy "Zombie" recipe which may contain a bit of um, alcohol, thus I will keep it to myself after the recent shall we call it astro-drinking scandal which I don't believe a word of. In any case I already posted a cocktail recipe this summer and one is my limit. Blog responsibly ;)



    Heh. (Via NASA Watch)

    Well. My opinion of ITAR has not changed. However I'll never look at Saturn V memorabilia in quite the same way again....

    (Hmm. I think it was Wernher von Braun, "Moon rocket" developer himself, who said something like, "We can lick gravity, but sometimes the export controls are overwhelming." ;)

    * * *

    IMAGE: Shh... look fast. Saturn V schematic courtesy of NASA History Division, Office of External Relations.

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