Broadcast 3120 Rand Simberg

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Guest: Rand Simberg;  Topics:  ISS reduced crew, training Russians to run ISS, space property rights, multi-lateral treaties regarding space property rights and more.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding specific Space Show programs & guest(s) to the Space Show blog which is part of archived program on our website,  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. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See   

We welcomed Rand Simberg back to the program for a two segment 88 minute discussion of the proposal by the NASA Advisory committee and Chairman Tom Stafford to train Russians to run and operate the ISS as NASA seeks to reduce ISS crews. You can read about this in the Jeff Foust article in SpaceNews at  Rand and I did not think much of the idea but we did discuss it during the early part of our first segment.  Let us know what you think of the idea by posting your comments on our blog.

For our next topic, we turned to space settlement and the usage of space resources for space and for bringing bath to Earth, Articles 2, 6, and 9 of the Outer Space Treaty, and the new concept to create multi-lateral agreements/treaties among nations to understand these OST articles in a way that enables the conveyance of property rights in space. Most of the balance of the program was spent on this topic with Rand explaining his idea in detail though he was still developing it.

In discussing his new idea, Rand reported on discussions he recently had in Vienna as he attended the Legal Subcommittee Meeting for the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) which met from April 9-20, 2018.  The discussion of space resources was a major part of the meetings.  Note that space attorney Michael Listner devoted his current issue of the PRECIS to this topic plus he will be returning to The Space Show on July 8. He will be discussing COPUOS and resource utilization on return visit.  That said, Rand told us that he had talks about his idea of the US creating a multi-lateral treaty to convey space property rights based on their understand, which he said was part of the right of a nation under the OST to interpret an article its own way, to allow for property rights, resource utilization in space and on Earth, and even conveying a title to a property owner.  He mentioned positive feedback from the UK representative, Luxembourg, New Zealand and Canada though nothing specific was settled.  He also said he would be meeting the Australian rep at ISDC this week but that Australia had signed the Moon Treaty and that might be a roadblock to their being a part of a new agreement.  Don't miss what Rand said about all of this and these other countries. 

Several listeners sent in emails that Rand answered which helped to clarify what he was talking about and certainly my understanding of his idea.  As you will hear, much of this was possible because of the pro-space position of the Trump Administration, the National Space Council, commercial space development and the economic potential from commercial space development.  He also credited comments by Dr. Scott Pace from earlier this year (we talked about them on TSS at the time) saying that the US did not support the idea of space as a global commons and much more.  Don't miss what Rand said about Dr. Pace and his comments.  Clearly, the changes in our administration policy toward space make this idea of property rights in space possible but were administrations to change before such treaties were signed and approved then all bets would be off.  As Ben in Boston suggested by his questions, a time line exists and it is likely tied to the term of off for President Trump, whatever that may turn out to be.

In the second segment, Rand went into more of the background and history behind his idea. He referenced the US 1872 Mining Act, the lack of a clear definition of a celestial body, an asteroid  and more.  He also talked about lunar historical site preservation and why that was important.  He referenced work by Dr. Martin Elvis with his poster regarding stakeholders in the space community, then he responded to issues about NASA and Bridenstine taking a position on his idea.  More questions came in relating to Trump timing issues.

Toward the end of the show, we addressed commercializing the ISS.  Rand had much to say on this issue, including the breaking news that Senators Cruz and Nelson said there would be no ISS privatization and that only congress controls these matters and Congress was not going to seek commercializing the station but instead, extending its life.  There were many news articles on the Cruz-Nelson comment so for those interested, it should be an easy Google find for you.

Please post your comments/questions on TSS blog.  You can reach Rand Simberg through me or his Transterrestrial Musings website,  




space settlement and development

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21 May 2018 Rand Simberg
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