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89

It's required to by the legislation that created it, the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION Sec. 203. (a) The Administration, in order to carry out the purpose of this Act, shall-- (1) plan, direct, and conduct aeronautical and space activities; (2) arrange for participation by the scientific ...


53

How to Protect and Preserve the Historic and Scientific Value of U.S. Government Lunar Artifacts summarizes the 1967 Outer Space Treaty thusly: These recommendations are consistent with international law, including the following: The 1967 U.N. Outer Space Treaty (OST), which provides, in part: That outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all ...


42

I drive by it every day... We do it for the benefit of all: Really though, the government has a vested interest in making sure we (the United States) remain a technology leader in the world because it's good for the economy. Private industry is usually too risk-averse to undertake basic research with no current applications even though the payoff can ...


42

There's the following gem in the Apollo 13 transcript, regarding astronaut Jack Swigert: 024:18:10 CC Okay. Some truck lines are being struck in the Midwest, and the school teachers have walked off the job in Minneapolis. Today's favorite pasttime across the - Uh oh; have you guys completed your income tax? 024:18:28 CDR How do I apply for an extension? 024:...


38

There aren't very many places a mutineer could go... First off, for a combination of practical and logistical reasons, the ISS has never held its original planned crew of 7, and instead has been crewed by 3 people for virtually all of its service life, the exceptions being Shuttle and Soyuz visits, either for crew changes or to install or maintain parts of ...


25

The crew of Apollo 7 defied many orders from mission control, due to a crowded schedule, a lack of sleep, and the commander's head cold. Because all three were active members of the military at the time, they could have been subject to a military tribunal for insubordination. Instead of a trial, they were never allowed to fly again. They were also the only ...


24

The International Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement covers the ISS. Under the IGA, as it is often known, the laws of the nation (or region, in the case of the European Union) apply to its citizens and property : This extension of national jurisdiction determines what laws are applicable for activities occurring on a Partner’s Space Station ...


24

Because they're scientists, and publishing your results is what scientists do. There's a reason why the final step of basically every research methodology used in academia is "publish your results" (and I'm only saying "basically every" because I'm not an expert on the field of research methodologies, so while it's possible that there's one obscure one out ...


22

Does mutiny count? If so, then I submit an incident back in 1973 involving the Skylab 4 crew who, citing excessive work load and not enough rest, stopped communicating with the ground stations and did not perform their scheduled duties. Granted, some sources claim that the episode wasn’t a mutiny in the technical sense, but it did have the consequence of ...


21

Many jurisdictions recognize weddings performed out-of-jurisdiction provided that those weddings are legal in the jurisdiction they're performed in. Unfortunately, there's no legal authority with jurisdiction over LEO -- it's kind of a legal gray area. Does any national law system provide a means for marriage officiants to lawfully perform a marriage at an ...


19

Short answer: No. (if you live in the USA) Long answer: Law is complex, but for a review of how things stood in 2005 check out: http://www.colonyfund.com/Reading/papers/NH_FAA_2005.pdf It's quite a good article on most of the relevant FAA regulations. For more detailed reading see the Office of Commercial Space Transportation: https://www.faa.gov/about/...


18

Possession is 9/10 of the law. If you somehow get there and steal the flag, it's not like any Space Marines are going to jump out from behind a crater rim. Law needs to be enforceable. Maintaining ownership of the flag is a different issue. You can kiss your chance of being free on US soil goodbye, especially if you're a citizen. Laws would be found, made up,...


16

One interesting answer to your question is Copenhagen Suborbitals. They're almost a back-yard project. Our mission is very simple. We are working towards launching a human being into space. This is a non-profit suborbital space endeavour founded and led by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, based entirely on sponsors, private donators and ...


16

In the case of Falcon 9 / Orbcomm OG2 launch from SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL that's now scheduled for Dec. 20th at 8:29 p.m. EST (01:29 a.m. UTC), according to Spaceflight Now: Sources said only an instantaneous launch opportunity is available Sunday due to restrictions imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which may be ...


16

With the exception of model rockets made of paper, wood, or breakable plastic, that are passively stabilized, that have low thrust and low delta V, and that do not have guidance software, launch vehicles fall under ITAR regulations. The regulations are now much more relaxed once the launch vehicle has achieved its goal and placed its payload into orbit. ...


15

Could you? Well, maybe. Let's take a look at one instance where people were encouraged to do that very feat, for $10 million. I'm of course talking about the Ansari X-Prize of 10 years ago. This did a few things that were difficult for the time, giving a cash incentive, and helping with some of the permits and other required items to make it happen. Most of ...


15

The United States launch sites are the most accessible, both in terms of location (near population centers and accessible) and political environment. Kennedy Space Center in particular is welcoming of visitors, and to a lesser extent Wallops, and you can get into Vandenburg occasionally if you ask nicely. As far as other countries, the major centers are ...


15

A few of reasons for not mounting such a terraforming mission now are: Cost-effectiveness. It's expensive to go to Mars, and simply throwing some seeds and fertilizer at the place is too unlikely to yield a desirable result to be worth doing. All terrestrial life is adapted to terrestrial environments and ecosystems, especially complex life like plants. ...


14

There are two schools of thought discussed in Asteroid Mining: International and Legal Aspects by Frans G. von der Dunk: Perspective 1: The US and countries like Luxembourg believe that any resources mined on the moon are global commons which allows licensed entities to make a commercial business out of mining the moon. (see page 96 in the document and ...


13

The Outer Space Treaty (signed by the US in 1967) specifies that (Article IX): States Parties to the Treaty shall pursue studies of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct exploration of them so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction ...


12

Whether the reported article is accurate? It's rather bad in my opinion. The news is outdated and incorrect. This part was completely incorrect: After a multi-decade hiatus, both NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency (which developed many of its own NTRs during the Cold War but never physically tested their designs) announced in April 2012 that they ...


12

The question how much revenue might arise from a patent isn't something that can generally be proved or disproved (except sometimes in retrospect). Bear in mind, though, that the Apollo program was from the 1960s, and the term of patents (in the United States) used to be 17 years (from issue-date) (and is now 20 years from application-date) -- https://en....


12

This is actually built on a false premise. NASA can, and does, charge for patent usage. See this page for what it takes to get a NASA patent license. Note this: including higher royalties Or this one: NASA will collect a standard net royalty fee This shows the NASA process for managing patents. They actually will pay the inventor a portion of the ...


12

I believe this has not been settled in court yet, but astronaut Anne McClain has been accused of illegally accessing her estranged spouse's bank account from a computer on the ISS: Then, earlier this year McClain allegedly accessed Worden's bank account while the astronaut was at the space station. Worden said her bank “did give evidence to my attorneys ...


11

According to the Article VIII of the Outer Space Treaty: A State Party to the Treaty on whose registry an object launched into outer space is carried shall retain jurisdiction and control over such object, and over any personnel thereof, while in outer space or on a celestial body. Ownership of objects launched into outer space, including objects ...


11

Using nuclear power, for any reason whatsoever, is looked upon with great suspicion by the existing nations with nuclear capabilities. There are a lot of countries, including the US, that are skeptical of Iran's nuclear program, that they are currently just building reactors, not bombs. Project Orion included nuclear pulse units that are in practice small ...


11

I'm not sure if it'd be exciting enough for you, but I visited Tanegashima with a friend in January 2013. It's a bit of a way off the west end of Japan, but not quite as far as Okinawa. They mostly do satellite launches and tracking. (this qualifies it as an orbital launch site for you, yes?) Once you've made the ferry, hydrofoil or plane trip to get there ...


11

In order to transmit from a country, one must have a license to do so, with the exception of some spaces without specific owners, like WiFi's 2.4 GHz that allows small narrow transition can work. It is common to have to pay for the bandwidth for each country. Some countries are pickier than others. All that being said, it is perfectly normal and reasonable ...


10

No. As ForgeMonkey notes, it's banned in the US. The same restrictions apply pretty much anywhere. The problem is that the necessary technology is essentially dual-use, with clear military applications. Now not all countries are signatories to the various arms control treaties, so e.g. North Korean citizens aren't bound by these treaties. But in such ...


10

There is no internationally agreed-upon definition of "outer space", or delimitation between outer space and airspace. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty does not contain a definition of the term "outer space". This was intentional, because states have significantly greater freedom of action in outer space than they do in airspace. Specifically, the Outer Space ...


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