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Guest: Wayne White; Topics: The Space Pioneer Act, space property rights, US law, treaty law, capitalism, space law and more.
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We welcomed Wayne White, Space Attorney, back to the program to discuss updates to his Space Pioneer Act to enable space property rights for space commerce and more. Wayne began our discussion by introducing us not only to the Space Pioneer Act but the history behind it. He addressed territorial property rights and why they do not exist in space, largely due to the Outer Space Treaty (OST) which he discussed in details with the applicable articles in the OST. Wayne suggested there were two ways to get property rights given the OST. One was to just withdraw from the treaty. The other way which was the preferred way was to pursue a modified form of space property rights that would be consistent with the OST. Wayne took the second approach option. For a good part of our discussion, Wayne explained how The Space Pioneer Act "legally" modified approaches to sovereignty and property rights. The discussion was detailed at time but Wayne did a good job of explaining the challenges and questions.
One of the ways Wayne approached this subject was to weave history in with law. Listen to his discussion on filing a claim and perfecting a claim because he set up a system modeled on the old US Homestead Acts beginning in 1862. Wayne described claim filing procedures and more so do listen to this important discussion. Listen to what Wayne said one would do to perfect a claim plus the timelines built into his Act to allow for perfecting a claim under the Act. The Act even allows for the possibility of an extension of time to perfect a claim. Listeners sending in email questions wanted to know if international players would recognize US law. Wayne continued by discussing complications coming from treaty problems.
Salvage law was the next big topic addressed by Wayne. He spoke to two types of salvage law, emergency salvage and contract salvage. Listen to what he said about both and the applicability to space. This evolved to his discussion about setting up safety zones and non-interference zones. He explained the historical context to both concepts. Another listener asked him how any of this would be enforced. Don't miss all of this enforcement discussion.
Wayne continued by discussing the Act concerning space debris plus mitigations. In explaining this he provided a method for holding parties accountable based on what they were doing and when they did it. After this detailed discussion, our guest was asked about protecting historical sites, especially the lunar historical sites. Before going to the second segment, Wayne talked about the historical precedent for historical site protection.
The second segment started with a question from John asking Wayne about China and their acceptance or not of a US Act like Wayne was discussing. Wayne had much to say on this including mentioning the China had signed the OST. Don't miss all of this China discussion with our guest.
Wayne then volunteered that he had sent drafts and info for his Act to the staffers of the relevant House and Senate committees. He talked about his lack of feedback, mentioned the critical issue of timing, that space and these topics typically had bipartisan support as did commercial space development. What do you think? Post comments on the blog.
Wayne mentioned an Op-Ed article in the current 3rd qtr. issue of ad Astra by the NSS. The article in reference was by Alfred Anzaldua and titled "Intellectual Conflict over Governance in Space." For those of you who receive adAstra, I suggest you read it. The article starts on p. 20. I am reading out to the author to be a Space Show guest. Listener Joe in Austin then sent in a note asking Wayne if he knew if Musk and Bezos were on board with his Act.
As we were nearing the end of the program, Wayne went out of his way to say he believed in capitalism, careful to make sure people did not associate what he was talking about with corruption. I asked Wayne several questions about space law finding its way into law schools. Don't miss what Wayne said about this. Before we ended the program, a Dallas listener asked Wane about space as a global commons. Wayne's offered us comments of which there were many, including commentary on the Moon Treaty. What do you think about space as a global commons? Sound off on our blog for this show.
The last caller for the day was Gene in Pasadena. After talking to him about the earthquake in his area a day or so ago, Wayne wanted to know about lunar property rights concerning lunar lava tubes. Wayne and Gene had a very interesting exchange on this subject so don't miss it. Wayne then offered us closing and summary comments.
Please post your comments/questions on our blog for this show. You can reach Wayne White through me at The Space Show.