Broadcast 1962 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

03 Mar 2013 Wayne White
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Guest: Wayne White. Topics: Space real property rights, salvage law and mining law issues. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. We welcomed back Wayne White, noted space attorney, for an excellent discussion on real space property rights, space salvage law & space mining law. Given the amount of email and listener calls during the program, we went to 2.5 hours! Wayne started us out with about a 20 plus minute overview of space and related property rights today, the governing U.N. treaties, & the problems ambiguity causes in the financial and investment worlds. He also gave us good working definitions for both common law and natural law. He spent some time discussing this in terms of establishing property rights in space. This discussion included territorial property rights stemming from sovereignty as well. I believe Wayne's introduction to the subject was most useful in giving us the basic understanding of the issues so we could move forward with our discussion in the program to possible solutions and why some possible solutions would not work. After Wayne finished his introduction, I offered some challenges to his assumptions and we fielded several listener emails and a call from Marshall. My assumption challenges were based on a different outcome for private sector financial & economic growth & investment should governments continue with economic problems or face a much worse set of economic conditions than we see today. In the second segment, we talked orbital debris and mitigation issues, the reality of satellite service and much more. Wayne also cited the Nimitz law suit against NASA for parking fees re asteroid 433EROS as evidence that the courts need a property right legal format to even hear such cases. He also mentioned one of Rand Simberg' s recent property rights ideas around the Space Settlement Prize Act. Wayne went into details as to why in his legal opinion, this idea would not work. We talked about the U.N. treaties, benefit sharing per the U.N. treaties as being part of the property rights issue, and the idea of establishing a legal Authority for issuing property rights. Listen to why Wayne was not enthusiastic about any of these suggestions or alternative ideas. Near the end, Bethany sent in the question I referred to in my earlier comments in that she suggested the resolution re space property rights rests with the companies that want to go to space for commercial purposes and need property rights for their businesses That in fact, it was not our responsibility to do this as the responsibility belonged to those wanting to commercially operate and profit through space commerce. We discussed Bethany's question & Wayne agree with her. We talked about company lobbying & other things they could do to influence policy makers. Our last call came in under the wire from Charles to suggest Antarctica as a model for space property rights. Wayne explained why that was not a good model. At the end, Wayne suggested some actions for space enthusiasts interested in this issue. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog. You can email Wayne White at



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