Broadcast 1267 (Special Edition)

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Guest: Wayne White. Topics: Space law and policy, orbital debris, space property rights. Wayne White, noted space attorney, returned for this nearly two hour Space Show program. In our first segment, Wayne mentioned the importance for young people pursuing a career in space law and policy. This was a recurring theme throughout today's program. Wayne then offered an update regarding the issue of space debris and current mitigation efforts. He started out listing several recent events including the January 2007 Chinese shoot down of its own satellite at 537 miles up creating about 100,000 pieces of debris. On Feb. 20, 2008, the U.S. Navy shot down our own satellite 130 miles up with most debris burning up in the atmosphere. The third event was Feb. 10, 2009 with the Iridium and Cosmos satellite collision 461 miles up, an event totally missed by the Space Surveillance Network. Toward the end of this segment, Wayne started discussing liability issues regarding these events and other possible space events. In our second segment, our guest said space law really got started with the 1957 Sputnik launch and that it was similar to the law of the High Seas. Mr. White then referenced Articles 9 and 6 of the Outer Space Treaty. He also summarized all the five UN space treaties. He talked about how the U.S. has taken the lead in debris mitigation and that NASA was actually the first to develop debris guidelines, most of which are in the U.S. Government Standard of Practices. He summarized several of the general principles and highlighted the final solution which is Direct Retrieval. You definitely want to hear this discussion. Space Traffic Control was discussed and he directed us to an important AST website so have your pencil ready when listening to his comments. In our third segment, we continued talking about space traffic control and law, plus Wayne focused on educational paths for becoming a space attorney. We talked about the ISS Agreement which is known as the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA). In responding to a listener question, Wayne talked about space property right. This is an important discussion and it you may be surprised as to how Wayne White suggested we deal with the issue of space property rights and what it might mean for facilitating commercial space development. Regulation and policy were major issues in this discussion, including taking positive steps such as Zero G Zero Tax. He concluded today's show by appealing to people to study to be a space lawyer and to study space law and policy. If you have comments or questions for Wayne White, please send them to me at for forwarding to Mr. White.



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30 Nov 2009 Wayne White
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