Broadcast 3993 Laura Montgomery, Atty

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Guest:  Laura Montgomery, Atty; Topics:  The soon to expire human spaceflight moratorium, moratorium analysis, spaceflight safety regulations, space flight participants, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Starlink, FCC, liability concerns, commercial space expansion, the Outer Space Treaty, Code of Federal Regulation, debris mitigation and more.

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We welcomed noted space attorney Laura Montgomery back to the program to discuss commercial space legal and policy issues for the new year plus we looked at some long standing concerns needing mitigation such as space debris removal. We started the discussion by talking about the Commercial Space Moratorium on Regulating Human Spaceflight which expires Oct. 1, 2023. The moratorium is mostly about human spaceflight safety including those inside the space capsule with spillover to third parties on the ground.  We spent a good portion of our program on the moratorium and related issues as it is a big deal regardless of it being renewed or allowed to expire with regulations to follow. As part of this discussion, we went over some of our previous commentary about waivers, liability, spaceflight participants, state and federal regulation, Outer Space Treat (OST) concern and more.  We also looked ahead to Oct. 1 to make educated guesses on the moratorium's extension.  Laura talked about the early industry thinking that the moratorium from its inception would eventually have a 10,000 flight model of information to use when renewing the moratorium.  Unfortunately we have not even come close to 10,000 flights so that might be cause to renew the moratorium.  After you have heard this part of our discussion, post and share your thoughts and opinions with us regarding the extension of the moratorium?  Should we leave it in place regarding existing spaceflight safety regulations or is it time to start regulating this industry. Let us know your thoughts.

Other listener comments and topics focused on launch licenses, especially for SpaceX and Starship in Texas. One listener asked Laura about the likely prevailing law for those that settle on Mars off in the future?  Would they be able to create and enforce a Martian law of types?  Yet another listener, taking lead from several program and blog discussions, wanted to know about human certification for a space vehicle.  This question did get a response from our guest but it may not have been what you expected.  Cleary, a spacecraft is not certified for human flight like jet. In addition, most of the "
certification" comes from company testing of the spacecraft but that might be different based on a specific vehicle and company. Once again, let us know what you think on this issue by posting on our blog.

Our guest was asked about comment periods when the government wants to put in place regulations, plus the listener wanted to know how to find them in advance of final approval. Laura not only explained the process to us but suggested we check the Code of Federal Regulations as a starter at www.govinfo.gov/app/collection/cfr.  Other topics getting our attention on this program included liability waivers and cross waivers, orbital debris concern and mitigation efforts, plus we had one listener mentioned that he thought the idea of a spaceflight participant had come and gone.  Not hardly but I'll let Laura talk about this one and explain it.

Please post your comments/questions for Laura Montgomery on our blog for this show.  You can reach her through me or her own website, www.GroundBasedSpaceMatters.com.

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Laura returns with news and updates for commercial space plans and more for 2023

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03 Mar 2023 Laura Montgomery
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