We need a regulatory framework for today’s space race: Expert

The Chinese lunar probe Chang’e 6 recently returned from the far side of the moon with rock samples. As competition for space resources increases, questions about regulation and international cooperation are particularly topical.

Space Foundation vice president of space business and entrepreneurship Kelli Kedis Ogborn joins Catalysts for Yahoo Finance’s Space Week to provide insight into the space industry and potential regulations.

Kedis argues that because the way countries interact with the moon has changed since the days of the Apollo program, there needs to be coordination efforts between countries: “I think we really need to look at the means of engagement. For that, we need the current Artemis Accords, which as of this month have 43 signatories, and which really set out a common set of principles for peaceful engagement in space and really the role of international partnerships in achieving a sustainable presence on the moon. ”

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Catalysts.

This post was written by Nicholas Jacobino

Video transcription

It’s not just the billionaires racing to reach new heights in space; the Chinese spacecraft landed what it claims were the very first rock samples from the far side of the moon.

Could China gain an edge in the space race?

And what does that ultimately mean for the US now joining us as part of Yahoo Finance’s Space Race week? We’d like to bring in Kelly Kiss Ogborn, the Space Foundation’s vice president of Space Commerce and Entrepreneurship.

It’s great to have you here.

So let’s take a step back and talk. Starting with the news of the day here today, we try to take an important step forward.

What does this ultimately mean in this race back to the moon and where the US stands today versus some of the other countries that are, that have made significant strides?


Well I want to thank you for having me and it’s certainly the topic Du Jour and the question Du Jour, I think there’s definitely an urgency and a need around the moon but I think it’s also too important to remember that the moon is no longer just for countries, Intuitive Machines, for example, became the first private company to achieve a moon landing last year.

And so lunar engagement looks very different now than it did during the Apollo era, because we are now having very real conversations about a cis-lunar economy and new scientific endeavors that take the once ultimate goal of national posture or a display of technological prowess to a fundamental transcend basics. level, you know, no one owns the moon.

So instead of talking about regulating it, or going forward or going backwards, I think we really need to look at the means to achieve this.

And one of the best um records that we have for that is the current Artemis Accords, which as of this month have 43 signatories, that really set out a common set of principles for peaceful engagement in space and really the role of international partnerships in that. achieving a sustainable presence on the moon.

But I think your question is really interesting because I really believe that while history doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, it does rhyme and it’s often difficult to separate the birth of our space industry from how it started as a space race.

But the paradigm we are moving towards now has countries, companies and private citizens getting involved in space travel.

And so that framework really needs to change and evolve.

So Kelly, what should that look like?

Especially given?

I know we started the conversation talking about China, a country led by which we don’t consistently have much visibility.

So what can we do in terms of policy in response to other countries’ efforts in space?

Given that we do not have a transparent understanding of the overall global goals that different countries have.

Yeah, I mean, so we’re definitely at an evolutionary moment in space.

You know, there’s significant growth, significant demand, significant engagement, there’s about 92 countries that currently have an active satellite in orbit.

And so when you look at space operations, you see civil commercial and national security all mixed into one pot, which really requires an ongoing conversation about the regulatory environment and actually space policy considerations.

But from that standpoint, we can really only work with what we have and what we know now, while keeping an eye on other activities.

So we really understand how we engage with space and where to regulate and deploy all our efforts.

And right now that’s really launched satellite operations and human spaceflight.

Um. And so it’s, it’s kind of a mixed dance, of being able to do what you can do at the moment, but then also monitoring, but a lot of space, you know, commercial activities, but it also sometimes signals attitude.

It’s just hard to disconnect and the regulations within the space sector had just appeared on the screen here, just a moment.

Ago, Kelly, when you look, when you look ahead and, and you talk about how this space age right now is so different from what we’ve seen in the past.

How should the regulations evolve or how have they evolved?

And what does that tell us about future growth or ambitions when it comes to space travel and what is feasible and what is not?



So like I said, there are ways that we’re interacting with space now, but there are also all these future use cases that aren’t yet at a scale that need to be explored for their regulatory implications going forward.

As you just showed on the screen, the US currently has this kind of patchwork of regulatory responsibilities across the US.

Government anchored in the Outer Space Treaty.

But then the FAA no A and the FCC also regulate various aspects.

So it’s really looking at who has the regulatory authority and at what point in the value chain.

And I think what is perhaps most challenging at the moment is that there is not one coordinating body and while agencies have their own processes to monitor compliance with guidelines, there is really no enforcement mechanism that can create a bottleneck and ambiguity create for the commercial sector. industry.

And also questions about how existing frameworks extend.

I think one of the things that can be done is to just let the engineering technology flow so that we know what the regulatory and policy needs are going to be.

There are debates on both sides about whether regulation is good or bad.

I think at some point the government has to put some kind of framework and guardrails around the regulatory aspect.

Because if you want to create a scalable and sustainable business model, we need this set of standards and norms for companies to engage with, especially as our mission sets become more global and integrated with infrastructure.

Okay, Kelly, we have to leave it at that.

Thank you very much for joining us this morning.

That was the Vice President of Space Commerce and Entrepreneurship at the Kelly Kiss Ogborn Space Foundation.

Thank you.

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