Broadcast 1467 (Special Edition)

The Space Foundation Conference

27 Nov 2010 Dr. David Livingston
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Guest: Open Lines with Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Space budget cuts, space property rights, space policy and more. Please note that you are invited to comment, ask questions, and rate this program on the new Space Show blog, Our intended guest for this program, Dr. Chris McKay, had some last minute scheduling conflicts so we did an Open Lines program instead of the one planned for this date. Dr. McKay has been rescheduled to appear on The Space Show on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 from 2-3:30 PM PST. As our Open Lines program got underway, Tim in Huntsville called in to talk about the Spanish woman making the headlines by claiming ownership of the sun. The article referred to by Tim can be found at Our discussion then centered on property rights and do we need them or not for commercial space development. I also pointed out that many different registries exist where people claim ownership of every celestial body possible so what the Spanish woman was doing was nothing new. Tim wondered if such activities deter people from taking the space industry seriously. I said I doubted it but this was a vibrant discussion. Charles called in to say we had property right now and we do not need to own property in space. With Pooley on the phone, I asked him for some clarifications on his ideas of bypassing NASA as many listeners of late have been putting down his approach. See what you think of the explanation Charles gave us. In the context of the property rights discussion, we also talked about the Law of the Sea Treaty and Andrew in Tucson brought the Spitsbergen Treaty and the Svalbard archipelago as better models for the space community to use. Andrew may talk to us in detail about this treaty on our next open lines program. While addressing Andrew, I took the show to the light side by talking about the University of Arizona football game this past weekend with top ranked Oregon. Not to detract for the fine quality of the Oregon football team, I did lash out at the really horrible officiating by the refs when Oregon plays home football games. It happened again to Arizona, was widely reported in the press and as it was unfolding on national TV, the announcers were certainly on top of it - again. Seeing the replays and what these refs were doing against Arizona drove me to my comments as Andrew is an astronomer at the U of A and all of you know that I did my undergraduate work at U of A. So before the hate mail campaign comes at me from Oregon fans, my comments were not about your football team which is outstanding this year. Its about the poor quality officiating at your home games and that its tolerated year after year. John in Atlanta called in to talk about Blue Book and the old Ground Observer Corps in the context of our having mentioned on a recent show the UFO sightings over New York City and elsewhere. Later in the show, we started talking about what the Lame Duck Congress may do and about cutting the NASA budget, the Bipartisan Deficit Commission recommendations regarding commercial space funding cuts and more. Listeners brought in the possible extension of the current tax cuts and what it might mean for entrepreneurial space if the taxes were increased. We also talked about cutting entitlements as compared to space and the size and power of other lobby groups such as the AARP and NRA as compared to the efforts and size of the space community and specifically the space enthusiast community. Toward the end of the program, I went through the planned December 2010 programming scheduled for The Space Show. Please post your comments or questions on this program on the blog URL above. If you want to send a note to any of the callers or participants in today's Open Lines program, please send it to me at and I will forward it for you.



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