Friday Flybys - 6.15.07

Another fine and fair summer weekend is upon us. But first...

  • More in the series, "government lawyers gone wild": while Attorney General Gonzales reviews a letter from Congressmen Sensenbrenner and Miller in which the very miffed lawmakers ask DOJ to conduct a criminal investigation of NASA General Counsel Michael Wholley, for possible "obstruction of justice and destruction of government records under 18 U.S.C. § 1505, 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c) and 18 § U.S.C. 2071," we can all brush up on the CDs of agency meetings as "popcorn" defense. (I must have missed that day in law school.) Of course, this mess all started with the investigation into certain actions of NASA IG Robert Cobb. Jeff Foust reports there were no gotcha moments last week during a joint House-Senate hearing about the Cobb investigation. And I gather no CD's of that hearing were destroyed.

  • Via two of our favorite rocket blogs -- yes, Dick's Rocket Dungeon and Rocketry Planet -- here is the FAA's newly-released proposed rulemaking to update regulations covering hobby rocket activities (Docket No. FAA–2007–27310). If Dick Stafford likes 'em, so do we. Take the summer and read the NPRM between launches. Comments are due by Sept. 12, 2007.

  • This blog is not Space Labor Probe, but a quick a note on the United Space Alliance strike: sounding like NYC taxi cab drivers, the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers walked off their jobs yesterday after "USA management proposed what the union considered to be a substandard contract offer." And here is the company's statement. The good news: the picket line will not obstruct space shuttle Atlantis' landing June 21st.

  • More Euro space policy: In addition to today's CSIS panel on "The New European Space Policy" which Jeff Foust noted here, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Space Studies at KU Leuven in Belgium is hosting the 6th European Space Policy Workshop, June 26, 2007 (which may also be podcast). Thanks and hi to Batist Paklons at the Centre.

  • A few summer reading picks: this blog is not Space War Probe but the latest issue of of the Air Force Command's High Frontier ("The Journal for Space & Missile Professionals") is devoted to space innovation, and includes, among other notewothy items, an article by Elon Musk on "Space Superiority in the 21st Century." (May 2007.) Also, the March issue also has some interesting articles, including "The Importance of Space Commerce to National Power," by General Kevin P. Chilton, "Space Policy Human Space Flight and National Power" by Dr. John M. Logsdon, and "The Moon is a Land without Sovereignty: Will it be a Business-Friendly Environment?" by Dr. Henry R. Hertzfeld. Download for the beach.

  • Meanwhile in Japan: Japan Times Online reports "at a meeting in Tokyo of their project team on space law" the ruling coalition agreed to draft "a bill allowing military use of space space solely for purposes of defense" and submit it to the current Diet session. (And for a bit of background, see this SLP post.)

  • Over at Space Politics Jeff has posted the Space Exploration Alliance's (SEA) report on its 2007 Moon-Mars Blitz which took place this week in Washington.

  • New Mexico preservation groups v. Spaceport America? (Hat tip, Dick Stafford.)

  • Proceedings are available from the Satellite 2007 conference (with your credit card) including the session "The ITAR and COMSATs: Where Are We Today, and Where Might We Go. That's if thinking about ITAR doesn't ruin an otherwise perfectly good summer afternoon for you.

  • Owen Kurtin's May column in Via Satellite, "Will Galileo become Spacebus?" (good question) is online here (click on page 46). And yes it's true, Owen has left Brown Raysman -- which is now Thelen Reid -- and has moved over to Dickstein Shapiro LLP in New York.

  • Pamela Gay is the ringmaster for Carnival of Space #7 at her Star Stryder blog.

  • Wonders never do cease: In response to my post on the Chinese space policy treatise on sale at Wal-mart, a reader sends in this. (New York Magazine)

  • If your space law office needs a receptionist, and you can afford $1,000 a day, hire one of these people-friendly wakamaru robots. They never call in sick.

  • If you really must bring a $54 million lawsuit against a dry cleaner for losing your pants, don't call a space lawyer.

  • Finally, if your baby monitor picks up NASA's live shuttle video, you don't need a space lawyer, but call Auntie Jesse to watch the kids while you enjoy the show.

    Have a great weekend. And if you want to impress your BBQ guests, or educate them, here's how to
    calculate pi by throwing frozen hotdogs. (Improbable Research, via Cosmic Log.) (As a semi-recovering vegetarian I wonder if Alan can tell me if this also works with frozen tofu dogs?)
    * * *

    IMAGE: That's a postcard of my summer vacation. (In my dreams.) Courtesy EADS Astrium.

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