Re: SPACE: Cassini Mission Consequences

Forrest Bishop (
Tue, 23 Sep 1997 23:55:15 -0500 (CDT)

Richard wrote:
>At 10:12 AM 9/23/97 -0500, Paul Hager wrote:
>>> True, but government should not get totally out of the picture
>until the
>>> technological and infrastructure base is sufficient to be
>>> with growth, not just self sufficiency.
>>This may be -- let's say I'm somewhat agnostic on the subject of
>>or not a government needs to "prime the pump". But, assuming
>that such
>>may be necessary, I would want government involvement to be
>>indirect, and of limited duration.

It is my view that the time has come for government to get out of
the way.

>As I understand it, a U.S. Federal law makes it illegal for a
>private corporation to compete with NASA. Unfortunately, I
>haven't been able to search down the references -- so my
>understanding might merely represent folklore.

The 1997 Space Commercialization Act is supposed to remove this
de facto obstacle. Read G. Harry Stine's "Halfway to Anywhere"
for various tales of NASA, et al, ancien regime.

>Request: anyone who *does* know the legality of U.S.-based
>private launches, please illuminate. I note that, if significant
>legal barriers exist, they would represent quite the opposite of
>"pump priming."

They do indeed exist, though the situation is very fluid now.
Foreign competition has been very helpful.

>Richard Plourde ..

This may help:

(forwarded from NSS list)

NSS Seattle--

Here's an item of interest from Lawrence Roberts.
This web site's Library of Space treaties is absolutely great! (if
you're into that sort of thing, like I am)

Vince Creisler
President, NSS Seattle


Subject: Space Law & Policy Web Site

I am pleased to announce the formation of The Archimedes Institute, a
policy research organization devoted to the efficient and equitable
development of the solar system. The Archimedes Institute is working to
improve the legal and policy climate of the space sector through the
generation and dissemination of reasoned policy analysis, the
of communication between government, academia, the commercial sector and
the general public, and the implementation of private policy initiatives
such as a registry for private claims to solar system resources.

Check out the Institute's web site at

In addition to the FREE claims registry, the site offers full texts of
international agreements, national legislation and a variety of articles
and other materials from its library as well as over a hundred links to
wide variety of space related organizations and resources.

The Archimedes Institute has been awarded NSS's S.P.A.C.E. Site of the
for Sept.

Lawrence Roberts