Broadcast 3384 Laura Montgomery

The Space Foundation Conference

04 Oct 2019 Laura Montgomery
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Guest:  Laura Montgomery:  Topics:  Planetary Protection, commercial space, human spaceflight regulations, commercial space law, space property rights and much more.

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We welcomed Laura Montgomery, Atty,  back to the show for this one segment 65 minute discussion regarding commercial space and multiple aspects of space law plus planetary protection and more.  We started the conversation with the recently discussed Dr. Lopez paper on planetary protection but instead suggesting we spread Earthly molecules throughout the galaxy and especially to Mars.  Note that Dr. Lopez will be the guest on Oct. 21 to discuss his paper.  You can get the links in the summary and on the blog for the most recent Open Lines program. 

Ms. Montgomery thought the Lopez and group comments were an important discussion.  Don't miss it.  Let us know what you think by posting your thoughts and comments on our blog.  Our discussion led us into a planetary protection legal discussion which focused on it being a law or a set of guidelines.  Our guest focused in on Article 9 of the OST, what the U.S. Congress has done about it, enforcement possibilities and more.  Some of what you hear may surprise you, especially when you learn that planetary protection is not law but instead guidelines plus there is no government agency that can enforce the guidelines against a private actor.  Before ending this discussion, we included comments about getting a launch license, launch license law applicable to U.S. citizens operating outside the U.S. and more.

Listeners asked about private property rights in space.  Our guest had much to say about property rights and why they were needed.  We talked about what type of property rights might prevail in space given private property ownership can take many forms depending on the country of origin.  Our guest also talked about potential court battles, especially within the U.S.  In the end, our guest suggested property rights would evolve organically over time as we develop a larger commercial presence in space.  Don't miss this important conversation.

Remote sensing was another issue that came up regarding the application of space law.  Listen to what our guest said was needed in this area regarding reforms.  The FCC and orbital debris was discussed, then Laura zoomed in on the FAA streamlining of rules to be less burdensome but the problems in their results.  Not what she said about appeals, a probable ne review period and an effort to do a better jobper the perspective of industry. 

FAA human spaceflight regulations were talked about.  Here, our guest said the focus was on launch and reentry until 2023 given the moratorium on regulation now in place.  Don't miss all of what was said on this topic, including issues of safety for crew, spaceflight participants, and third parties. As we approached the end of the program, Ben in Tucson asked our guest about the tardigrade incident.  This bought up location specific planetary protection policies.  Listen to what our guest said in response to location questions.  Clearly some celestial locations are higher on the list for protection than others. 

As we were closing the show, our guest took a question about her experience with congressional testimony.  The listener wanted to know what it was like testifying before Congress, plus congressional response and even expertise.  Laura had much to say on this subject so be sure to hear all of it.  Just before ending, we talked about the science fiction books by our guest.  You can find out more about these at her website, www.lauramontgomery.com.  You can also read her space law comments and blog posts at https://groundbasedspacematters.com

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog for this show.  You can reach Laura Montgomery through her website or blog.

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