Business, Law, Political Commentary, Space, Technology and Society The Office Of Space Commerce March 16, 2023 Rand Simberg 18 Comments Why it should be the regulator of orbital activities, and not the FAA (or NASA).
18 thoughts on “The Office Of Space Commerce”
Convince me we need any regulator
We have an obligation of continuing supervision of U.S. persons under Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty.
Which we should remove ourselves from, as it offers the US nothing at all of value
Most of the space legal community disagrees.
Mars: Come for the skiing, stay for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion.
I have to point and laugh at someone who argues, with a straight face, that further empowering one government agency to oversee space activity will streamline things. How many times has this been tried in one field or another? How many times has it ended up making things worse, not better?
And to propose this under the most regulation-happy administration ever…
Not regulating it is not an option. FAA and FCC are currently fighting over which of them will be in charge. The point is that neither of them should be, and there should be a single point of contact within the government for it, just as there is for launch licensing.
I distinctly remember when the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was replaced by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Note the emphasis there. I find having the FAA -OR- the FCC in charge to be disquieting. Though having the FCC being Emperor of Boundless Space solely because today’s space business is almost totally communication satellites to be laughable — it would be akin to all waterborne commerce being still be administered by a sailmaker’s guild.
And the role of the NRC rapidly went from development of nuclear resources to preventing the utilization of nuclear resources.
Rand, you’re arguing from a premise that is not proved….your first sentence -WHY is no regulation not an option?
WHY does the US have to continue restricting it’s own development, which the entire world benefits from, by pretending that nations that have zero chance of attaining spaceflight in the next century have a voice in space utilization today?
NO government agency is the best government agency. NO government regulation is the correct amount of regulation.
If we are going to remain in the OST (and we are) we have obligations to meet under it. And it has nothing to do with space utilization. We will be using resources, under the Artemis Accords.
“Most of the space legal community disagrees.”
“They would say that, wouldn’t they”
I should add: Profumo scandal early 1960’s UK.
Who is the “space legal community?”
People who practice, research, and teach space law, at places like Nebraska, Mississippi, McGill, and Leiden. There is an International Institute of Space Law, based in the Netherlands (I’m a member).
I have an idea: when we go into space, let’s leave the lawyers behind.
While we are at it – abolish the FAA, at least for the light end of aviation.
Leave the lawyers in the flame diverters..
Improve both outer space, and Earth