Glenn Reynolds has put together a short video.
A couple points: The FAA has only been regulating space since the mid-90s; prior to that it was done by a separate office that reported directly to the Secretary of Transportation. I recommended in my book that the office be taken out of the FAA and restored to its original place in DoT. Others (including NASA administrator nominee Jim Bridenstine, who told me in February that he read the book) have recommended this as well, as has the commercial industry, but they’re (unsurprisingly) getting pushback from the FAA. Over a year ago, I had an op-ed in The New Atlantis in which I said that the FAA should keep its head on the clouds, and hands off space.
If Elon really does build BFR, and wants to use it for point to point, it’s going to raise some very interesting regulatory issues. Under the current law, because it’s suborbital, it will be regulated by the Office of Commercial Space Transportation, not the aviation portion of the FAA. There will be no certification of the vehicles; they will operate under a standard launch license, and the spaceflight participants (aka “passengers”) will fly in an informed-consent regime, without the same expections of safety they’d have with an airliner. We’ll see how long some in Congress will find that acceptable.