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Re: Space questions...

At 11:41 PM 7/22/96, Philip Bakelaar wrote:
>At 10:10 PM 7/22/96 -0700, Kevin 'Tex' Houston wrote:
>>Kelly Starks x7066 MS 10-39 wrote:
>>> The U.N. is largely composed of third world nations (their are more of them
>>> then us) who generally have a socialist attitude.  They largly drafted
>>> whats called the space treaty (which the U.S. has refused to sign, thou
>>> Clinton did make some moves to reverse that policy).  Said treaty roughly
>>> states that space is the common heritage of all mankind, and as a common
>>> heritage no one person, group, or state can own or take profit from any
>>> part of any planet, moon, orbit, or inter planetary transfer orbit.  Any
>>> attemp to use space must be done by an international body that distributes
>>> all profits equaly to all nations regardless of the participation in space
>>> by that state.
>>Kelly, I'm not sure that Socalist leanings are the real reason for the third
>>world nations' wanting the space treaty.  It seems to me that the more
>>reason, is that they are currently unable to participate in any commercial
>>exploitation, and want to stall the more developed countries from gaining an
>>unbreakable foothold.  At least until they (the third world) can be in a
>>to catch up.

No, in the interviews I saw, the U.S. reps said the third world reps
honestly didn't understand where the U.S. was coming from.  They had all
agreed on the idea that space and oceans were the common heratige of
mankind and everyone should get equal access rights.  They just didn't
understand why the U.S. would think that didn't imply an equal share of the

Eiather way, its not like the first guy out there could claim all the best
planets.  Much less that the third world could get out their on their own
in the next century.

>That just isn't fair. Isn't there anything anybody can do?

Ignore them.  If we don't sign the treaty.  We arn't bound by its rules.
The U.N. can screem, but if the senior menber state refuse to participate,
their isn't much they can do.  No doubt this will cause a lot of headache
for the state department (no doubt why they have been eager to roll over on
this), but comparativly little real impact.

>>This might work Ben, but Liberia is the wrong place for this.  It is on the
>>side of an ocean.  A better place (for safety reasons) would be brazil, or
>>around VietNam (ie near the equator on the eastern rim of an ocean.) A company
>>involved in commercial space flights (for sattelites) was trying to launch
>out of
>>french guianna (sp) but they found out that the local infrastructure was
>>so bad
>>that it was worth the loss of a boost from earth's rotation just to have
>>to Nasa's launch facilities and tracking stations etc.

New launchers like SSTO don't need the high safty precausions of the
current boosters.  Thats why the initial tests are being run out of

>Oh.. the only reason I said Liberia was that I heard many companies, especially
>oil companies, like do stuff through Liberia cuz there are no restrictions. Did
>I hear right?

Pretty much true.  Countries like that, allow you to register your ship to
them for a fee.  They realize as long as they keep the fees well below the
tax bite the major countries would demand (and the fees of compeating
countries,) they get companies paying to list the ships under their

>>But back to legal issues.  Your idea would work only until the local
>>figured out that you were making money (or at least, you were spending so
>much that
>>a few percent for taxes would hurt)  Then they would hold some space law
>over your
>>head.  Or worse, they would just nationalize the launch facility, and put
>you in jail
>>for espionage, drugs, or violations of some obscure religious code.

The trick is to not put any expensive launch facilities in their country,
and not to park to many ships their at once.  SSTO's like the DC-X require
no expensive launch facilities.

Also the countries would realize that your ships can go anywahere, and if
they get nasty you and all the other 'flag carriors' will relocate to a
freindlier country.

>So there's really nowhere on Earth where someone/some group could do
>private r&d
>as well as launching?

Everywhere on planet is under someones jurisdiction.  Even deep ocean has
some laws, and its has pirates who will raid you if your valuble and don't
have a country willing to help defend you.



Kelly Starks                       Internet: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com
Sr. Systems Engineer
Magnavox Electronic Systems Company
(Magnavox URL: http://www.fw.hac.com/external.html)