Author Topic: House Hearing on The Asteroids Act: September 10th 2014 at 10 am  (Read 3279 times)

Offline yg1968

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http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-space-exploring-our-solar-system-asteroids-act-key-step

Subcommittee on Space - Exploring Our Solar System: The ASTEROIDS Act as a Key Step

Subcommittee on Space | 2318 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 | Sep 10, 2014 10:00am
Exploring Our Solar System:  The ASTEROIDS Act as a Key Step

Witnesses
Dr. Jim Green, Director, NASA Planetary Science Division

Dr. Philip Christensen, Co-Chair, NRC Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science (CAPS), Chair, Mars Panel, NRC Planetary Decadal Survey, Regents Professor, Arizona State University

Dr. Jim Bell, Professor of Earth and Space Science Exploration, Arizona State University, and President, Board of Directors, The Planetary Society

Dr. Mark Sykes, CEO and Director, Planetary Science Institute

Joanne Gabrynowicz, Professor Emerita, Director Emerita, Journal of Space Law Editor-in-Chief Emerita, University of Mississippi
« Last Edit: 09/09/2014 01:26 AM by yg1968 »

Offline yg1968

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Here is a copy of the Asteroid bill which will be discussed:
https://beta.congress.gov/113/bills/hr5063/BILLS-113hr5063ih.pdf

Here is a prior thread on this bill:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35154.0
« Last Edit: 09/09/2014 02:09 AM by yg1968 »

Offline vulture4

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The first two minutes of Mr. Palazzo's opening comments made the agenda clear. To attack president Obama and keep scientists from studying climate change. Space is just a weapon in this political struggle.

Offline yg1968

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The first two minutes of Mr. Palazzo's opening comments made the agenda clear. To attack president Obama and keep scientists from studying climate change. Space is just a weapon in this political struggle.

They do that every hearing. That's just part of politics. But the legislation is the real Agenda. I am glad that they are having a hearing about it.

Incidentally, the Republicans were criticizing the President from taking funding from planetary science and shifting it into Earth science which is true. It is also true that planetary science funding has been cut under the President's recent budgets. I am generally supportive of the President's policies for NASA. But I am not supportive of his cuts in the funding for planetary science.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2014 01:57 AM by yg1968 »


Offline yg1968

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Article on the Hearing:
http://www.spacenews.com/article/civil-space/41825hearing-raises-questions-about-asteroid-mining-bill

Quote
She added that international legal opinion is divided on whether an entity that extracts space resources then owns those resources, ownership that the bill would recognize.

I am not sure that I agree with that statement. I will have to watch the hearing to understand what she meant by that.
« Last Edit: 09/11/2014 05:31 PM by yg1968 »

Offline Danderman

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The framers of the bill forgot to define what an asteroid is.

Is the Moon an asteroid? How we do we know from reading the bill?

Offline yg1968

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The framers of the bill forgot to define what an asteroid is.

Is the Moon an asteroid? How we do we know from reading the bill?

They probably didn't define it on purpose. When a word isn't defined in a Statute, you have to use its ordinary meaning. The ordinary meaning of asteroid doesn't include the Moon. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutory_interpretation

Offline yg1968

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Here is another summary of the hearing:
http://www.spacepolicyonline.com/news/gabrynowicz-warns-asteroids-act-needs-more-work

I can't say that I agree with professor Gabrynowicz. The bill resembles what Bigelow is asking. It's odd (but not really surprising) that no company was invited to the hearing. 

If we wait for an international consensus to be reached, it's likely to resemble UNCLOS III which isn't a desirable outcome for U.S. companies. They will likely end up having to pay a royalty to a supra-national body. See link below on the royalty system under UNCLOS iii:

http://www.heritage.org/research/testimony/2012/06/the-law-of-the-sea-convention-treaty-doc-103-39
« Last Edit: 09/15/2014 09:58 PM by yg1968 »

Offline vulture4

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As long as there are no actual disagreements companies from any country can probably do what they want. But if international disagreements develop then US law does not automatically prevail.  Some sort of negotiation process is required, which the act acknowledges implicitly by saying that the US will meet its obligations under the UN treaty. Likely this would be similar to the way the ITU (which is technically an agency of the UN although it is largely autonomous) coordinates use of the GEO orbit. The nations with access do have most of the influence and almost always get what they need, but not always everything they want.  For example the existing treaty does not permit claims of sovereignty.
 
The Asteroids act is a little naive in that it doesn't explain what happens if there is a disagreement. Most likely the same thing will happen that would have happened without it. It does not permit US companies to claim any intrinsic advantage over companies or government agencies from other countries.
« Last Edit: 09/17/2014 05:12 AM by vulture4 »

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