George Nield, acting AST chief

I see no announcement or notice on FAA/AST's website but Patti Smith confirms via e-mail that, no surprise, deputy associate administrator Dr. George C. Nield will step in as AST acting associate administrator, as of Feb. 1, 2008.

And yes, George will be officiating at next month's big AST event, the
11th FAA Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference: Roadmap to 2015, Feb. 5-6, 2008, Crystal City, Virginia. Here's the agenda. Look forward to seeing George there!

(And if you can't wait to hear George talk, here is a great
podcast of his most recent appearance on The Space Show, last July.)


Patti Grace Smith Rockets On

"Volatus per inane homo privatus." Stamp it on your rocket.

And find the translation in the text of FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation Patti Grace Smith's talk,
Space Means Business, which she delivered at the Washington Space Business Roundtable last month (Dec. 6, 2007).

Patti's resignation from FAA/AST (which Clark Lindsey
first reported on HobbySpace on Monday) is official, and here, also via Clark, is the announcement, including a statement by Patti.

As we all know,
Patti has worked in the commercial space arena at the Department of Transportation since 1994. (Ah, remember the ol' OCST?) Under her leadership at FAA/AST, the office's ground breaking work served both the public and nascent space transportation industry and launched private space regulation into the new century. We imagine Patti in the room the first time a federal government official uttered the phrase "commercial space" without smirking (in fact, she may have been the government official who uttered it). Today, her office and work serve as a model for private spaceflight regulators worldwide.

Here are some thoughts Patti shared in her talk last month at WSBR:

When I spoke at the Space Business Roundtable in 1999, Space Adventures Ltd was only a year old.

In 1999 Bigelow Aerospace was founded. So was XCOR. At that time, there was no Armadillo, no Blue Origin, no SpaceX or Virgin Galactic.

The X Prize had not been won.

The Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 obviously had not been written. The FAA was not yet the agency in charge of private human spaceflight.

There were no regulations for experimental permits governing the testing of suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles. There were no regulations governing crew and passengers on suborbital flights. Between 1999 and today there have been nearly 200 expendable launch vehicle launch attempts.

As the result of a steady and durable momentum … matched to a growing awareness of opportunities in space … all those things are now realities.

Spaceflight is changing. The wide circle of activity is expanding. Future vehicles will not all have “Property of the U.S. Government” stamped on them … whether they fly from the States … or from states overseas.

The fact is there is a private industry out there building the next epoch of transportation.

There are no parallels. Nothing compares. The new civilian spaceflight business is altogether different from predecessor carriers.

The genus might be familiar, perhaps the species, too. But this is the first time they’ve appeared together. In Latin … Volatus per inane homo privatus. “Spaceflight. Human. Private.”

Whatever space has been up until today, it is an emerging business now....


In an e-mail today, Patti told me, "My plan is to stay connected to space in some new capacity. I am very excited about exploring that and seeing where it takes me. I am fully committed to this industry and have much still to contribute."

Splendid. For now, we say best of luck to Patti! We look forward to news of her next, no doubt bold, steps. Meanwhile, we thank her for years of support and leadership in launching the new era of commercial space.

Now more than ever -- as Patti says -- space means business.


Space law attractions '08

Space-time flies and the action never stops for space lawyers and friends. Here's a quick scan of selected happenings of interest to the space law and business community in the new year. Much more to follow. Meanwhile, add these to your illustrious 2008 space law calendar and get ready to rocket from Vienna to Virginia, Paris to Phoenix, Mississippi to Nebraska, and over to Toronto, Montreal, Strasbourg, Singapore, Arcachon, Beijing, Cairo, Colorado, Nashville, New York, Rome, Geneva, Glasgow, Washington and beyond.

The global space law adventure continues....


  • Cologne Commentary on Space Law (CoCoSL) First Authors’ Workshop - Jan. 10-11, 2008, at the premises of the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) in Vienna, Austria.

  • 28th Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities - hosted by the UN Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), Jan. 1-18, 2008, Geneva, Switzerland.

  • 2nd International Conference on the State of Remote Sensing Law - Jan. 17-18, 2008, Mississippi School of Law, Oxford, Mississippi (register here).

  • The State of Space Security - Jan. 24, 2008, George Washington University, Washington, DC.

  • Accelerating Space Conference - Canadian Space Commerce Association, Jan. 26, 2008, Toronto, Canada.

  • ABA Forum on Air and Space Law 2008 Washington Update Conference, - Jan. 31, 2008, Washington, DC. And if you miss this Forum event, check out the gathering in Montreal in September.

  • 11th FAA Annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference: Roadmap to 2015 - hosted by Patti Smith and her crew at AST, Feb. 5-6, 2008, Crystal City, Virginia (register here).

  • Space Exploration Alliance 2008 Legislative Blitz - Feb. 10-12, 2008, Washington, DC.

  • Global Space and Technology Convention '08 (GSTC) - organized by the Singapore Space & Technology Association, Feb. 19-14, 2008, Singapore.

  • 12th Annual International Symposium: Space Solutions to Earth's Global Challenges, - presented by the International Space University and co-sponsors, Feb. 20-22, 2008, Strasbourg, France.

  • Satellite 2008: The Sixth Decade - Feb. 25-28, 2008, Washington, DC.

  • 3rd Space Exploration Conference & Exhibit "50 Years of Space Exploration: Taking the Next Giant Leap" - the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) in collaboration with NASA, Feb. 26-28, 2008, Denver, Colorado.

  • Washington Space Business Roundtable - Flagship lunch and silent auction - Feb. 26, 2008, guest speaker, ITU director general Hamadoun Toure.

  • California Space Week Washington DC - March 3-7, 2008, Washington, DC (although we'd prefer California).

  • 46th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium - Exploration to Commercialization: Going to Work in Space - March 4-6, 2008, Greenbelt, Maryland.

  • ProSpace March Storm 2008 - March 9-12, 2008, Washington, DC. The citizens' space lobby meets lawmakers.

  • EURISY Workshop - Local and Regional Risk Management: Integrated Use of Satellite Information and Services March 10-11, 2008, Sinaia, Romania.

  • Outer Space Law Blasts Off - ABA CLE teleconference - Mar 19, 2008 12:00 PM

  • Space Access '08 - March 27-29, 2008, Phoenix, Arizona.

  • 47th Session of the Legal Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space - March 31 - April 11, 2008, Vienna, Austria.

  • 24th National Space Symposium "Our Expanding Universe...50 Years of Space Exploration" - April 7-10, 2008, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

  • Yuri's Night '08 - worldwide, April 12, 2008. Space lawyers party too.

  • ESA Investment Forum - organized by European Space Agency’s Technology Transfer Programme Office April 14-15, 2008, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

  • Toulouse Space Show - sponsored by CNES, April 22-25, 2008, Toulouse, France.

  • Global Space Development Summit - "The Next Space Race: Competition or Cooperation?" - April 23-25, 2008, CSIS/CSA, Beijing, China.

  • Space and Telecom Law Conference - "Formalism, Informalism, and Innovation in Space and International Telecommunications Law" - University of Nebraska College of Law, Lincoln, Nebraska, May 1-3, 2008.

  • AIAA 6th Responsive Space Conference - April 28 - May 2, 2008, Los Angeles, California.

  • IAA-RACT Space for Humanity - May 21-23, 2008, Korolev City, Russia.

  • 2008 Women in Aerospace Golf Tournament - May 16, 2008, Waldorf, Maryland. (Couldn't resist throwing it in... You go girls!)

  • IAA Symposium on Private Manned Access to Space - May 28-30, 2008, Arcachon, France.

  • ISDC 2008 "The New Pace of Space" - May 29 - June 1, 2008, Washington, DC.

  • ITU Telecom Africa 2008 - May 12-15, 2008, Cairo, Egypt.

  • ISCe 2008 - June 10-12, 2008, San Diego, California. This combines the 7th Annual International Satellite & Communications exchange Conference and Expo (ISCe) and the 26th AIAA International Communications Satellite Systems Conference (ICSSC).

  • 51st Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space - June 11-20, 2008, Vienna, Austria.

  • NewSpace 2008 - July 17-19, 2008, Crystal City, Virginia.

  • ITU Telecom Asia 2008 - Sept. 2-5, 2008, Bangkok, Thailand.

  • Euroconsult's World Satellite Business Week - Sept. 8-11, 2008, Paris, France.

  • ABA Forum on Air and Space Law Annual Conference - Sept. 17-20, 2008, Montreal, Canada (agenda to come).

  • 59th International Astronautical Congress - Sept. 29 - Oct. 3, 2008, Glasgow, Scotland.

  • SATCON Satellite and Content Delivery Conference & Expo, Oct. 15-16, 2008, New York, New York. (Stop by and visit me when you're in town.)

  • 3rd IAASS Conference: Building a Safer Space Together - that's the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety, Oct. 21-23, 2008, Rome, Italy.

  • GEOINT 2008 - presented by the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) Oct. 27-30, 2008, Nashville, Tennessee.

    * * *

    Other dates to come include, of course, the 2008 X-Prize Cup and all the hot events associated therewith; the European Centre for Space Law's (ECSL) summer course on space law and policy (this year's will be the 17th, if I recall correctly), and other events not yet scheduled as of this post (or, events to which I have yet to receive my gilded, engraved e-mail invite... no worries, SLP's inbox never closes... ;), much more.

    For now, here is the Manfred Lachs space law moot court competition
    2008 calendar (Concordia and Landia v. Usurpia). Good luck all moot counsel.

    And in between all this action, keep up with the lineup of spaceflights scheduled for
    launch in 2008 (Helmit tip: HobbySpace, Spaceports.)

    Every nanosecond counts.

    Happy 2008!

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