[eagle] ITAR in the Economist

Alan Bloom n1al at cds1.net
Sun Aug 31 14:27:16 PDT 2008


The August 23-29 issue of the Economist magazine has an interesting
article titled "Earthbound" that discusses America's ITAR (International
Traffic in Arms Regulation) regulations.  Basically the article says
what AMSAT members have known for years - the regulations are being
applied over-enthusiastically which is having a serious negative impact
on America's space industry.  Other countries are developing their own
space industry in order to avoid having to deal with ITAR when buying
from the USA.  So the regulations are having exactly the opposite effect
intended.

There is also another article in the same issue titled "Enter the
Dragon" about the 5-year (2010-2015) gap between the last shuttle launch
and the first project Constellation flight during which the US will have
no manned space flight capability.  Buying rides on Russian rockets
requires approval from Congress, which can be a problem, especially now,
with Russia's invasion of Georgia.  The article discusses the various
alternatives, including recertifying the shuttle and the COTS
(Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) program.  The "Dragon" in
the title refers to the Dragon cargo capsule of SpaceX's Falcon program
which is one COTS program that could be used to resupply the space
station.  They have designed the system to be upgradable for manned
flight.

Alan N1AL




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