Friday Flybys - 4.13.07

And without further ado...

  • Space law in Macau, China: this is an interesting double-header event -- starting with a three-day workshop on "Introduction to Air and Space Law," followed by a a three-day international conference on "Contemporary Issues in Air and Space Law," all happening at Hotel Wynn, Macau, China on April 16-21, 2007, organized by McGill's Institute of Air & Space Law, Macau Civil Aviation Authority and the ADA-Administration of Airports. But before you jet to China be advised, it'll be more air law than space law. In fact, predominantly air. Oh well. But Prof. Ram Jaku of McGill will be lecturing on space law topics. Worth the trip itself.

  • Much closer to home (at least for moi), a reminder -- the Space Investment Summit happens right in the heart of the financial district here in my hometown, NYC, April 16 - 17, 2007. As I mentioned, seasoned space lawyer Art Dula will be speaking on legal and regulatory issues. Everyone will talk about money. (This is New York.) And no air at all.

  • Speaking of money... The T word again: That's right, now that Dona Ana County voters approved their spaceport tax, Jack Kennedy reports neighboring Sierra County is considering its own spaceport tax referendum. (But no voting on April 15th.)

  • Here's NASA's announcement on extending its agreement with he Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) to provide for crew and cargo services to ISS through 2011.

  • Speaking of Russia, RIA Novosti reports a Moscow court remanded to custody Igor Reshetin the head of a Russian aerospace company charged with "transferring precision engineering technology to a Chinese corporation in violation of state export controls, and of diverting 30 million rubles ($1.16 million) through schemes involving front companies." Reshetin's lawyer, Anatoly Yablokov, said "the term of custody for Reshetin has been extended to June 9 to allow the defense to finish familiarizing itself with the criminal case materials." (Or maybe to ensure the accused does not "hinder the investigation, influence witnesses, and continue his criminal activities," as the prosecution argued?)

  • If you missed the latest on the investigation of NASA's inspector general Robert Cobb, after lawmakers received a report from the president's Council on Integrity and Efficiency which has been looking into complaints against the space agency IG, in a letter to President Bush, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) called for Cobb's immediate firing. NASA Watch comments on the matter, calling for a release of the full report (I would agree) and adds this regarding the Integrity Committee's findings.

  • Over on Space Politics Jeff Foust reports on and stirs up a bit of discussion about Rep. Ken Calvert's (R-CA) soon-to-be-introduced bill "to authorize space advertising for NASA with the goal to bring extra funding for the agency’s prize authority under the current Centennial Challenges program and to raise awareness among private entrepreneurs about the business opportunities in space." And here is Calvert's speech delivered at the National Space Symposium in which he talks about this (and which I swiped off Hobbyspace).

  • Uh oh, more lawyers on The Space Show? Yes, here's the podcast of Doug Griffith on April 3rd talking with host Dr. Livingston about space insurance, waivers and more. (See what I mean about David liking lawyers?)

  • Rocketry Planet covers this week's hearing in the seemingly endless ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP) litigation, and posts court filings in connection with motions for summary judgment by plaintiff rocketeers and defendant Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. I was going to say it just makes you wanna blow something up. But I won't. (Via Dick's Rocket Dungeon.)

  • Yikes. Intelsat says its officials met with Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the US April 10th "to discuss the steps Intelsat is taking to address the unauthorized use of one of its satellites" by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, aka LTTE, known by the US Department of State as a Sri Lanka-based terrorist organization. Intelsat's General Counsel, Phillip Spector, said, "Intelsat does not tolerate terrorists or others operating illegally on its satellites. Since we first learned of the LTTE's signal piracy, we have been actively pursuing a number of technical alternatives to halt the transmissions. We are clear in our resolve to ending this terrorist organization's unauthorized use of our satellite." (Via Instapundit, who termed this a "black eye for Intelsat." Indeed.)

  • For you space patent buffs, Burt Rutan finally got his winged spacecraft patent, issued March 27, 2007. (Via HobbySpace.) Rand Simberg, who actually understands how the spacecraft works, doesn't get why Burt would bother with the USPTO filing. Ah, that's easy: Because his patent lawyer told him to. ;)

  • Milbank's Space Business Review for March is now up on the firm's web site.

  • OK, I didn't get a chance to post a recap of the 46th session of the Legal Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (which took place in Vienna, Austria March 26th to April 5th). Next week...

  • This blog is not Space Food Probe, but yummm...

  • And that's right, this is still not a space law case.

  • Finally, if it rains this weekend, I'll be over at robot guy playing javascript chess. (And losing.)

    * * *

    IMAGE: Pre-launch Charles Simonyi in front of the Soyuz simulator, thinking about space and a gourmet orbital meal courtesy of Martha Stewart. Maybe even in that order.

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