Tuesday, March 4, 2008

United States 2006 Policy: Privitization and More Ownership

"...departments and agencies shall: ...

-Continue to include and increase U.S. private sector participation in the design and development of United States Government space systems and infrastructures;

-Refrain from conducting activities that preclude, deter, or compete with U.S. commercial space activities, unless required by national security or public safety;

-Ensure that United States Government space activities, technology, and infrastructure are made available for private use on a reimbursable, non-interference basis to the maximum practical extent, consistent with national security..."


Of course, why would a country like the United States seriously restrict space commercialization? This ties deeply into the previous idea of who owns space anyway, but this starts to go into companies, their ties to countries, and how those relations work. Sovereignty over space can be hotly disputed, but large economic powers like the U.S. can unleash the might of capitalism all over space and claim it has basically nothing to do with them! Through a subtle system of regular taxation and piggybacking, the benefits would have enormous potential, keeping loose laws would draw the business to the States, and the economy would have a new source! Brilliant! Still, other countries could do the same. The next major space breakthrough could happen anywhere, seeing as the EU, Japan, China, India, and friends are all working towards space observation and advancement too. This is still a major unresolved factor (or unresolved factors) of who gains power in space first, if it even happens. It could happen that a country or a private entity would gain new access, and this would seriously influence how the whole story would play out. The U.S. is saying that they will make working in space fairly straightforward, in essence, don't threaten the people and the people won't threaten you. The exploiting of space can happen fairly easily here in the United States.

This is probably the conclusion of my analysis of the U.S.' space policy, but I've given it already three installments. This fairly substantial attention, I believe, is well justified, because of their current status as an economic superpower. As I have said before, their influence, if different in decades to come, will likely still be felt. Policy will almost certainly morph dramatically when capabilities improve as such (policy, after all, is supposed to be based on reality, which is usually different than expectations), meaning that the current ideas will be very different at the time and possibly entirely different concepts will emerge, smaller areas could be magnified intensely with what comes next. My opinion is that for the initial stages of space commercialization, a watchful eye should be kept on activities, especially where people are directly involved with getting farther from earth. However, for the industries to bloom, some liberties will likely be needed. I eagerly anticipate the budding ideas that look into the short term, for the future gets exponentially fuzzier the farther out we go. Sticking closer to the present can see more planned discoveries, the little steps that are more likely to occur as planned.

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