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  •  Re (2+ / 0-)
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    ozsea1, stevemb

    1)  We are quite a ways away from when the deployment of asteroid mining missions will have a significant impact on the amount of space debris.  The bigger problem there frankly is from the comm sat industry, where you don't have a mechanism that forces disposal of resources (or even better, reclamation of those resources).  

    2)  My point is that the comm sat revolution didn't really happen because of carefully created regulatory regime.  It happened when it moved from a tightly controled government organization to one where there were multiple owners, pursuing multiple options.  That is the way most of space has been for far too long.  We haven't seen anywhere close to the benefits from space because it has been controlled to tightly (which is different from regulation).  

    3)  I think we've narrowed down to our fundamental disagreement, which I would summarize as "we need better people who have greater amounts of resources" (which I grant is true, but doesn't really help us with the problems).

    Finally, regarding tech/no-tech vs democratic and deliberative tech development.  My fundamental problem is that the later has, IMHO, resulted in no-tech.  And this is particularly true in the space industry.  Because the problem is these are complicated issues, and the problem is most people don't actually care about/pay attention to the issue of space development in general, forget examining what type of tech to develop within the realm of spaceflight.  The last 30 years of spaceflight (and NASA) are very demonstrative of that.

    •  To add one other point re tech argument (1+ / 0-)
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      stevemb

      The public will not (or at least historically does not) proactively engage on issues.  In short, we tend to be reactive, not proactive.   Therefore, you are unlikely to get a discussion on the ethics/legal issues of space without a forcing function (in the form of someone doing it).  

      And this is how you end up with deliberative/democratic discussions of technology resulting in no-technology.  People don't have the time/bandwidth to consider it.  

    •  couple more responses (1+ / 0-)
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      ozsea1

      1. You are I think missing the obvious point: Long before the mining begins missions to make that possible will increase the debris problem. That's the obvious point I have been trying to make; you spoil the land before the derrick pumps oil. More importantly, this debate has to be put in a broader context. This plan from PR is the first in a wave of private development encouraged by the US and some other nations. That larger private development WILL create a debris problem because it won't only be distant future mining, it will also be tourism, near-earth industrial facilities, many, many new satellites, including micro-satellites, new weapons platforms to "protect" it all or control wars on the ground from the heavens. My core debris arguments is this: That problem is too large to blithely ignore in the near term and will not be solvable - will not be solvable - under a private development regime, of which PR is among the first of a wave.

      2. We read the comm sat history totally differently. I am sure you've looked at the history and the issues closely but just be assured that I have as well and apparently just reached different conclusions. Very different conclusions. Specifically it has not been all peaches and cream (you note the debris issue, for one) and it has succeeded, to the degree it has, because it has been tightly regulated. Sorry. It has been tightly regulated under various international regimes. That's why it hasn't been a total disaster, in my reading, once the explosion began. The regulation and long period of tight control made the explosion possible and made it occur in comparatively less damaging ways. Let's take that lesson to heart before starting a "land rush" in space among private operators backed by public military forces.

      3. Maybe, but that is not how I'd characterize my view. My view is more we need effective regulatory and governance regimes in place - not on general principle, though I believe that too - but because of the unique nature of space and the evolution of the existing regime, such as it is, along with current and reasonably foreseable geopolitical dynamics.

      Regarding democratic deliberation I will cite Milton: "They who have put out the people’s eyes, reproach them of their blindness."

      I do not and will not support technocracies and I think their proven strength is simply that of making development happen regardless of costs or other concerns and interests. Whether the problem you describe obtains in other cases we can set aside but it clearly is not true with space because the public's role in deliberation about space exploitation borders on zero historically, as you surely know. So all the public has ever had is to be on the receiving end of the the press releases, from NASA or from corporations. They've not been given the opportunity to retard space development in the manner you claim. And they haven't.

      •  Re (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ozsea1, Sarbec, stevemb

        1)  Regarding orbital debris - I do agree that it is a problem.  But it is a problem that we can solve, with technology.  And it will HAVE to be solved involving private development regimes.  Because we operate in a world that is based on the ideas of property rights.  And it CAN be done.  (That said, you can't Ayn Rand your way out of the problem - that I will absolutely agree with).  

        2)  I wasn't trying to claim its peaches and cream - merely that it is better than how it was.

        3)  Regarding this

        Whether the problem you describe obtains in other cases we can set aside but it clearly is not true with space because the public's role in deliberation about space exploitation borders on zero historically, as you surely know. So all the public has ever had is to be on the receiving end of the the press releases, from NASA or from corporations. They've not been given the opportunity to retard space development in the manner you claim. And they haven't.
        Thats not true.  They've had the opportunity since the 60s.  Getting involved in space policy isn't harder or easier than getting involved in any other policy debate.  You (the public you) get as educated about an issue as you feel the need to, and then you start talking to people, preferably people who have power to make public policy.  

        The fact is that the public has not exercised that opportunity.  Most of the time, Space is a mile wide and inch deep issue.  This week, before Senate subcommittee on science and space there is a hearing about commercial.  For a variety of reasons, you can bet the issue of INKSNA and launch risk-sharing liability will come up.  Lets guess how many people hear on Dailykos know about those issues (and Dailykos is heavily weighted in the favor of knowing more about them, because Dailykos people are politically active).  I'd be surprised if the number is greater than 100.  

        In short - the public hasn't exercised its role on the issue of space policy because the public by and large hasn't cared to.  

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