Analyzing HR 5382

Nathan Horsley, a lawyer with a background in space law, has written a detailed analysis of HR 5382. His conclusion: while there are “functional additions” to and “useful clarifications” of existing laws and regulations in the bill, the legislation is more useful “as a public relations or marketing tool than as a functional change to current procedures.” Thus, if the bill is not approved by the Senate before the end of the year, “there should not be a need to start looking into overseas launch regulations (which are far less well developed than ours) anytime soon.”

3 comments to Analyzing HR 5382

  • Philip Littrell linked to this story by NPR:

    Although space exploration is one of President Bush’s top priorities, his plan to send humans to the moon and Mars is being criticized by the American Physical Society, which represents 43,000 physicists. NPR’s David Kestenbaum reports that the scientists are concerned that the expensive program announced by the president in January will be detrimental to ongoing scientific programs and projects. (“Physicists Decry Bush’s Mars Mission Plan”, All Things Considered, November 21, 2004)

    A search on Google found this:

    David later got into the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Mass Media Fellowship program. The fellowship was actually paid for by the American Physical Society. (“David Kestenbaum”, Physics Central, American Physical Society)

    Who needs public relations? Train your own journalists!

  • Arthur Smith

    3 things in this comment!

    1. Nathan’s article is a nice analysis. However, given congress’s apparent eagerness to pass something to show they’re “with it”, maybe we should be proposing specific language we would be happy with? How about, rather than regulations on safety for passengers and crew, regulating the INFORMATION that they must receive, much as mutual fund investors must be fully informed through a prospectus, of the risks they are taking on. Forced sharing of information is, I believe, a good role for government in this.

    2. Philip, yeah, I know about the APS statement. They had a preliminary thing earlier this year, and I wrote to the APS news “protesting” – my long letter is online here:
    (access may be limited to members) –
    “Moon/Mars Offers Physics Opportunities” they titled it.

    3. Jeff, so sorry about the comment nonsense. You’re providing a wonderful service, with all your space sites, including this one. Don’t be discouraged by negativity! By the way, whenever a book is mentioned you might be motivated to point people to Amazon (it’s an easy way to raise a few dollars, and provides some objective information about the book – for example NMR’s sales rank is 78,311, which means it’s currently selling a few books a week on Amazon).


  • Jim Muncy

    Re (1)

    Both HR3752 and HR5382 DO specify information that has to be provided to the customer. HR5382 even goes further in this regard, in a very positive manner.