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Regulations - reasons etc. space travel-oriented

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Wed May 04, 2005 12:48 pm
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Regulations - reasons etc. space travel-oriented 
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Post Regulations - reasons etc. space travel-oriented   Posted on: Wed May 04, 2005 12:48 pm
I have been speaking about initiating a thread about regulations in at least two threads here recently. The reason is the complexity of regulations and to remove or to prevent some misundewrstandings and miscommunications induced by that complexity.

To begin with consider a market free of regulations:

On the supply-side there are companies launching vehicles and on the demand-side there are customers who want to be carried to space by these vehicles. The customers get a ticket to space from the companies at a certain market price.

The companies set a supply-side price based on their data about costs and on insights got by applying enterprise economics - the customers set a demand-side price based on their data about their own costs and on insights got by apllying enterprise economics. Currently these enterprise economics are simply household economics. By looking to the other side's ideas of prices the ideas are shifted resukting in contracts.

If a vehicle explodes shortly after launch the company has to account extraordinary depreciation of that vehicle and handle the situation by enterprise economics whereas the customer has realized a risk he has been aware of previously and has an insurance for this case. May be that he is dead -then the family is insured.

This is plausible and reasonable and none of these both sides can do anymore - they really don't know anymore. The pieces of the vehicle may fall on houses and destroy them and this way cause depreciations to the owners which would have to be handled by enterprise economics or household economics, they may fall on a human who will have to be carried into a hospital. His insurance company will have to pay because of contract and so on.

At first glance everything seems to alright - and it is very very difficult to detect the error. The error can be detected only if the base, the principle is asked for.

What is the plausible and reasonable reason wha the company has to account a depreciation for the exploded vehicle? The reason is that they won't get the investment back another way - nobody will give them because nobody feels responsible and will say that the company is responsible itself. This responsibility means that the company has to try to get back the investment by selling flights to be done by the reamining or by bought new vehicles.

So the principle is responsibility. Each company has to bear those costs it is responsible for - and each customer too.

From this and the example above the question for the responsibilty of the owner of the destroyed house and the human hurt by the pieces of the exploded vehicle is important. Are they responsible for the depreciations and costs? Have they done anything themselves that can cause these accidents? It seems that this NOT the case - they are NOT responsible. This means they have to get back their depreciations and costs from others: from those who are responsible really. And these are the space travel companies and their customers.

The companies and the customers have a deal with each other and all the conditions of this deal(s) are handled internally between them without involvement of third parties. Such third parties are the house-owner nad the hurt human - they are not internal but external. The ordinary depreciations of the companies, the propellent costs etc. and the price of the ticket are internal costs of the companies and their customers - but was it done based on this has or can have external effects on others and the depreciation for the damage of the house and the hospital costs of the hurt human are such external effects.

But as I said already the company and the customers don't know and nothing makes them to account for the external effects.

That's a very bad situation - it's not justified. The companies and their customers are responsible and they have to be forced into liability for this reason.

Compared to the topics of the debates and discussions in the Financial Barriers section this is a significantly more complex situation.

The external effects have either to be internalized or avoided. This is done by regulations partially and by justice partially - which I will have to include here too.

At least most of this is known to at least most of us here I suppose - relevant are the terms

- responsibilty,
- liability and
- external effects

as reasons for regulations and justice here.

These are causing huge complexity - the list is too short yet and the complexity levels higher but I make a break here because you may have questions.



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


Last edited by Ekkehard Augustin on Thu May 05, 2005 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Wed May 04, 2005 6:15 pm
The popular religion is that regulations are bad. I wish to challenge that.

Let me give you an example. The high-power rocketry community may blalk at BATF involvement now--but you must understand that all it takes is one militia-nut or terrorist to mis-use a rocket--and there will be a public outcry to have them banned entirely.

The idea that--let's have no regs and if someone is hurt--you sue x, y or z--is misleading.

The light aircraft industry was hurt as much by lawyers as by regulators.

So the best course is some wise regulation and some protection given to new industries to protect them from lawsuits.

The carrot and the stick together--not either or.


And tax breaks alone won't spur innovation either. A 100% tax break on space made goods at this stage of the game is rather like giving a tax break to everyone over the age of 220.

Ain't gonna happen. Hit the pharma-giants as I have suggested elsewhere--and watch them line up behind space. Regulation can be a friend just like it can be an enemy--provided you don't buy into the free-trade nonsense spouted by the parchment-and-powdered-wig crowd at CATO.


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 04, 2005 9:06 pm
I think there is a paranoia going on right now in the U.S. Congress and among many "political leaders" of the USA that is outright silly. In many ways, I don't understand it at all, and the terrorists that the feds are claiming to protect us against are in many cases simply not there.

This, however, is a topic for another thread in another forum.

There is no doubt that the internal combustion engine, had it been developed in the current political environment, would never have been developed beyond a cute toy by Charles Olds and a few experimenters over 100 years ago. Perhaps use on military vehicles (notably naval vessels) or by large corporations on things like trans-oceanic ships and railroad locomotives.

Gee, isn't that currently the situation right now for space vehicles? (comparatively speaking)

There are many things people do in ordinary day-to-day life that often puts themselves and even people around them in mortal danger. Every time you get behind a driving wheel of a car you have the potential to inflict an incredible amount of damage. You can even cause much more damage if you plan on it than would be possible for an out of control space ship landing in an urban environment. Does this mean personal motor vehicles should be banned for safety reasons alone?

The "public outcry" is usually just a handful of extraordinarily vocal journalists and a bunch of sheep that write their congress critters when it is the new cause to support.

The real goal should be instead of trying to worry about regulations is to make the experience so common place that any new regulations will cause politicians to have to worry about how it is going to piss off their constituants. This is precisely why taxation and regulation of the internet is so difficult for legislative bodies precisely because not only will they piss off their constitutants... they may piss off their own staff as a result.

The trick is to figure out how to quickly move from the barn-storming stage of astronautics to large scale mass involvement of the public directly in space flight. Once that happens you will find many advocates for space in more unusual places.... and in the mainstream press.

One problem right now, and on this I agree mostly with publiusr, is that regulations are necessary. Right now there is simply uncertanty as to what the regulations are going to be and who needs to grant approval for a launch license. The situation is better now than it was 10 years ago, but it still needs at least a little bit of predictability. That way you can decide if you can live with the regulations or move on to a place like Tonga to launch your spacecraft where you might be able to bribe the king into being more ammeniable to your concerns and make it easier to go into space. That is the real business decision.


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Post    Posted on: Wed May 04, 2005 10:17 pm
Excellent post, Teancum, and a great analysis of the situation.

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Post    Posted on: Thu May 05, 2005 3:33 pm
publöiusr's post has nothing to do with my initial post - it's off-topic here.

The initial post includes not a single argument against regulations but in opposite explains one of several reasons for regulations. publiusr's post seems to mean that he never read the inital post.

Because I couldn't find questions regarding the contents of my initial post I go on here.

First I have to add, that the requirement of regulations or non-requirement of regulations of the kind currently considered depends on properties of the commodity produced. If a commodity has no significant external effects as in the example then no regulations of the kind currently discussed are required - but may be others are required.

In the example of the initial post regulations are required to internalize external effects. There are several alternatives how to do it:

a) it can be forbidden to launch in or above densly populated or used areas and regions and to fly over them.
b) Areas and regions can be reserved for launches and flights and the companies can be forced to launch and fly only there.
c) The companies can be forced to provide special properties of their vehicles.
d) A large and severe monetary punishment can be thretened to th companies.
e) The companies can be forced to provide an insurance.

This list doens't claim to be complete and I will enhance it later.

But how to establish the use of such instruments? It can't be donw by the owner of the damgaed hous or by the hurt human - simply because they have a lack of information too like the companies and their customers have: something falls down on them and they don't know who caused that event. So whom to punish? And they canÄ't know of the event before it happens - so whom to regulate? And there too is the question if they have the right to regulate - it normaly is the monopoly of the parliament and the government to do so in the western free democracies.

So it's left to the politicians to establish the instruments and methods. What's in focus is the protection of the third party: the non-involved public And this public will call responsible the senators and representatives as well as the government. Which the publc is right in. The senators etc. will establish the instruments etc. - the since longe have done as is well-known.

The problem at this point is that the public wnats to see and to experience that they are protected by regulations. This cannot be achieved by preventions but by fixing what a company has to do in case of explosion etc. and how it has to avoid damages. So regions will be forbidden to be flown over or to be launched in or above and the companies wil be threatened to have to pay very much money in case of damage or hurting to a non-ivolved human.

THos who establish try to adress the pubic, the thirs parties mainly - they are urged and forced to because this is a political situation now.

But - as already said - the companies are focussed on their customers mainly. This has two consequences:

1. They must have vehicles to be able to to carry to space the customers.
2. They urgently want the customers to be safe during flight.

1. means that if a vehilce explodes their ability to get the customer the service he has paid for is reduced signficantly.

2. means that if a customer dies by explosion of a vehicle they will loose customers and other potential customers will have increased fear and the companies wouldn't get them.

Vehicles are expensive and each explosion may mean the breakdown of the company.

Result: The companies are interested in the prevention of explosions etc.

Note here:

Politicians and the public are interested in handling damages and hurtings etc.

but

companies and customers are interested in prevention of explosions, damages and hurtings.

In other words there is a gap between the bothe groups but none of them has in mind something negative or evil.

And something important has to be remarked here too:

The politicians and the public want to regulate negative external effects. They want to prevent and to handle them. But the companies wnat to increase the safety of their vehicles - they especially wnat to prevent the explosion of the vehicles. This is nothing else than an increase of the safety of the public too - and this is a positive external effect. But the public and the politician don't want to encourgae it - they simply don't think of it, they don't have any idea of it. So there are no regulations to incourage companies and their customers to increase safety.

Much more factors which increase the complexity are to be seen now:

- lack of informations
- impacts of politics
- prevention of external effects versus handling the effects
- gap between groups
- two kinds of external effects: positive ones and negative ones
- no recognition and thus no interest of the public and the polticians to encourage positive external effects like increase of public safety by private space vehicle companies

These are causing debates about how to regulate and what to regulate.

All this still has to go on - and justice has to be included and other kinds of regulations have to be considered.

What questions do you have?



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Post    Posted on: Thu May 05, 2005 9:42 pm
I do have a question here:

What is the regulatory environment of aircraft/airlines right now related to all of these questions you offer? How does that compare to what is expected by space transportation companies and commercial manned spaceflight?

I live fairly close to an airport (luckily just a smaller municipal airport, but quite a bit of traffic) and I've had airplanes fly within 50 feet of the roof of my house. Sometimes I swear that the next thing I'm going to hear is the sound of one of those planes hitting my roof, and I know they had to pull up because there is a nice commercial radio transmission tower between my house and the airport.

I support the concept of a commercial "spaceport" center, such as now exists in Oklahoma and is now being built in Texas (and New Mexico?). The "spaceport authority" would be able to directly manage the regulation activities for what goes on with spacecraft leaving from their juristiction, including liability issues like insurance waivers and vehicle worthiness issues. On this point it isn't even really new regulations, but merely enforcement of already existing laws. Flight from unregulated sites would have the same hazards/liability issues that currently apply to aircraft landing/launching from areas other than an airport... with some important differences due to the fact that we are talking mostly missile technology.

The problem facing commercial space right now is that most of the regulations are designed around a small handful of companies (Boeing, et al.) and the concept that they will only be flying a few very expensive government-sponsored launches. Re-entry is almost not covered and usually considered an accident or deliberately done over extreamly low population areas like the Pacific Ocean, with Shuttle landings the only real exception. How do you change spaceflight regs to work with launches that happen 3-10 times per day and have people on board? SS1 from Scaled is the only vehicle that even forced the concept from being brought up.

In addition, I hope that the "non-involved public" is a distinction that gets changed eventually. My life is touched by spaceflight right now in many ways, and on a daily basis. It is also easy to overly abstract issues of public endangerment where it becomes a political force/tool way beyond the actual danger that any of these launches will pose. I didn't see too many people complain about the danger of the debris from the Columbia hitting their homes (and some chunks did cause some real damage when they hit). The #1 issue brought up during the Columbia tragedy was more the loss of life of the astronauts, and that was indeed a true tragedy.

In addition, there needs to be a "wait and see" attitude prevail with these regulations. There are some people in congress that want to set up an entire regulation agency with spaceport managers well before the first production spacecraft are even built. I think that is also a major mistake, and instead they need to find out just what the real dangers are, and what sorts of liability actually happens rather that dreamed up liability that may never happen.


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 06, 2005 1:54 am
It seems to me there should be a synergy of regulations possible. If the passengers are safe, then the vehicle must not have crashed. If the vehicle dos not crash, then the non-involved public is safe. I believe this is Rutan's reason for wanting the FAA to regulate passenger safety. Also, he knows airplanes and how to make them safe. SS1 is really just a very high performance airplane and it could easily be regulated just like a regular airplane. It seems ridiculous to apply standards for ballistic missiles to SS1.


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 06, 2005 12:34 pm
In this post I am going to answer (I. Answers) to questions as well as continue where I made the break yesterday (II. Continuation).



I. Answers

Hello, Teancum,

I don’t know this moment what you mean by „regulatory environment“ but I suppose you mean which way they are regulated. As far as I know they are regulated by

- establishing flight corridors,
- altitudes reserved for airplanes waiting for agreement to land,
- agreements at all,
- standards regarding maintenance, inspections and repairs,
- health of pilots,
- emergency equipment,
- education of flight personal,
- margins and checks immediately at delivery of the vehicle.

This listing doesn’t claim to be complete.

There significant differences between airflight and spaceflight as well as between air vehicles and space vehicles:

- airflight goes horizontal whereas spaceflight goes at least partially vertical which means the atmosphere doesn’t assist that much
- airflight doesn’t leave the atmosphere and its pressure whereas spaceflight does
- rocket engines work different than aircraft engines
- the paths of airflight and spaceflight could cross each other.

This listing too doesn’t claim to be complete.

A special remark to be made is that I am missing systematical distinction by the FAA etc. . There seems to be chaos: Generally spaceflight is compared to airflight – but airflight is known as manned only and spaceflight is known as unmanned mostly. But in the last decade unmanned aircrafts have been developed and sometimes used and the spacecrafts of the private space vehicle companies and teams are manned as well as the Space Shuttle. The flights and crafts are handled one-dimensionally while they are two-dimensionally really – the first dimension is manned vs. unmanned and the second dimension is airflight vs. spaceflight. The distinctions made this way describe properties of the commodities – services here – which are criterions for the decision if one of them has to be regulated and how it has to be regulated. There are four different markets at least and not only two – which I might adress later in this thread too but I don’t know.

Quote:
Sometimes I swear that the next thing I'm going to hear is the sound of one of those planes hitting my roof, and I know they had to pull up because there is a nice commercial radio transmission tower between my house and the airport.


1. This a concrete example for how non-involved third parties are impacted by airflight. It’s a topic of regulations for the use of vehicles – the use of vehicles is another commodity than the vehicles themselves. The use of the vehicles is a service while the vehicle is a real thing. The impact of the safe flight is different to the impact of an explosion which means that the regulations must differ.

2. This impact is a repeating one that is foreseeable and thus is not that threatening like an explosion which is unforeseeable. The impact of the repeated noise and of the repeated fear it causes is an impact on health mainly and there are regulations for this. Here in Hamburg citizens living close to the airport often form „Bürgerinitiativen“ (Citizens‘ Initiative) to achieve regulations of the times when starts and landings are allowd to be done, regulations of altitude, regulations of the technical equipment of the airplanes etc. because they feel negatively impacted.

3. If an airport already exists and people go there to live there and then complain about the impacts - then they are in error and doing wrong: They simply knew before they wnet there to live there that there is air traffic causing noise etc. – and they are told so by the government and the regulation agencies. The airport here in Hmaburg has been governmental since long. It is a private company currently but may be the government owns that company.

4. If an airport is planned in an already existing city and it is a private airport then the airport is subject to regulations. The service is fueling, access of passengers to the vehicles, maintaining vehicles, traffic control and the like. If the airport is governmental no regulations are possible – and they are not required because the subject to the regulations is the regulator himself...

Quote:
The problem facing commercial space right now is that most of the regulations are designed around a small handful of companies (Boeing, et al.) and the concept that they will only be flying a few very expensive government-sponsored launches. Re-entry is almost not covered and usually considered an accident or deliberately done over extreamly low population areas like the Pacific Ocean, with Shuttle landings the only real exception.


You are right. This is adressing the topic of growth, differences in frequency etc. . It has to be considered in this thread and I will do that soon – it requires to continue first where I did the break yesterday to do another break then to allow for new questions. Is that okay for you?

Quote:
How do you change spaceflight regs to work with launches that happen 3-10 times per day and have people on board?


A good and important question too. Is it okay if I answer in detail later just after the next break? It requires to finish the current explanations. But one thing I can say here. The question is pointing beyond the topic of regulations. The frequency of launches requires good and detailed organization by the companies and the spaceport because there will be landings by vehicles of the companies at that airport too. Before a launch can be done the companies have to be sure that the region above the airport is sufficiently free of vehicles. The spaceport will provide a schedule for these reasons and each company will provide a schedule of flights too (these schedules are coordinated by the spaceport by ist own schedule). This may result in prevention of too much requirements of regulations.

Quote:
I hope that the "non-involved public" is a distinction that gets changed eventually.


In this thread I am using the term „non-involved public“ only to distiguish between those who are suppliers and/or demanders at a market – space flight here – and those who are neither suppliers nor demanders at that market. The non-involved public really is there but may be quiet and currently doesn’t see any reason to claim regulations as you observed. One reason may be that the regulations do exist since long and the non-involved public knows that. It should be discussed in another and perhaps new thread because this thread is focussed on the description and explaination of the complexity of the topic of regulations.

I agree to your finishing remark – it should be discussed in another thread. May be I include it here more abstracly.

Hello, Peter,

regarding the reasons you recognize the point by far. If Rutan is wanting regulations or if not cannot be concluded from what I am describing and explaining here – the logics and relations within the reasons for and the complexity of regulations alone and isolated mean that it doesn’t matter if he wants regulations or if he wants them not. To be able to conclude if Rutan is wanting them an approach from another perspective is required – and such a perspective shouldn’t applied here no way but requires an additional thread. You and me already discussed the question in another thread – so we shouldn’t repeat it here. But what should be done is to apply the description(s) and explanation(s) of this thread to the topics of other threads.



II. Continuation

As said yesterday that the politician are the only ones who can and have the right to establish regulations. What way do they do that? The only way open to them in a free democracy is creating laws - a trivial statement.

But laws are insufficient – there have to be checks and actions, measurements to make the laws having impacts and being respected: They have to be excuted. Who has to do that? The politicians? No – the senators and representatives mustn’t because of the principle of separation of legislative from executive. Who’s left? The government.

The government has to execute and conduct the laws – and here the laws for regulation. The government does that by adding an agency to its hierarchy.

That agency is given a list of regulation instruments, a description of what to regulate, when to regulate and how to regulate (list may have to be completed) – by the laws including laws that don’t have to with regulation.

The work of that agency is done by executives and servants etc.

Now the senators and representatives are behaving so that they have good chances to be elected again by the next elections. And the non-involved public to be protected by regulations is of big meaning for that. So they will design the laws so that this public is satisfied.

But that’s insufficient – they don’t execute the laws themselves and it may be that they are executed insufficiently which would endanger the reelection of the senators etc. So the polticians cannot but use their political influence on the government. The senators can refuse to accept a minister or - in Germany for example – they can decide to vote for another government team than the orginal team.

This now the orginal team doesn’t want and so this team will have a look on the executives and servant of the regulation agency to see if they are executing the laws well – and if they don’t there will be disadvantages for those executives and servants. Mostly these disadvantages will be impacts on their career.

All this means that the politicians, the government and its executives and servants won’t be acting in the interest of the and in favor for the non-involved public only but in their own persoanl interest and favor for themselves too – which means a mix by which the interest of the non-involved public will suffer as well as there will be non-justified regulations of the companies and their customers.

So there will be over-reactions by the regulation agency and regulations that are too harsh.

All this is politics.

The only way to get rid of it and to control it is that the companies talk to the politicians – partially publically – and that they talk to the public – newspapers, TV, radio, exhibitions etc.

But the main impact of the regulations is that the companies have to do a lot of paperwork, employ regulation experts, lawyers, and to spend much time at the agency’s bureaus: a lot of costs.

The companies try to cover these costs by selling space vehicles and/or spaceflights, prices, they urge corrections of regulation laws, agency behaviour and they inform the politicians – especially the senators and representatives.

What’s left now is that some impacts on the non-involved public can’t be or mustn’t be handled this way. If someone isn’t hurt but killed by the explosion of a flying or launching spacecraft no insurance etc. can undo that. In this case the regulations have to shutdown the company for a while at least and there have to be investigations. In case of destructions this is valid too. This means that the regulations can forbade something and who does something that is forbidden is comitting a crime.

This means that the companies have to struggle against being forbidden to do something – they have to prove they have to argue. And they do all that by very objective arguments. This way the agency can and will be sure that no crime will be comitted – and the agency gets informations by which it can prove to have done no failures in case of accidents etc. Again politics are involved.

Note:

- Regulations to a certain degree are politics while the regulated companis, commodities or markets are NOT.
- There are undesired or unintended impacts of regulations on companies, markets and commodities.
- Regulations are acting against crime.



What questions do you have regarding this first kind of regulations?



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Post    Posted on: Thu May 12, 2005 11:23 am
As no questions have been posted yet I proceed now.

Up to now the situation itself has been considered and described. But markets are considered and at markets there is action, dynamics – they are not static. A company starting personal spaceflight business does public relations, advertisement and applies an efficient price policy – and directs all this to get customers. If the company finds the correct strategy this means that there is a growth of customers – from 0 customers to one customer already is growth arithmetically at least.

For a while it can meet this growth by the vehicle(s) it already has – it simply reduces the turn-around-time if required. When a certain amount of customers is reached and stable the company will buy additional vehicles.

No impact on the regulation agency to be expected yet.

But with enduring and on going growth the market becomes more and more interesting to new companies – and now there is an impact on the regulations agencies because they have to work on decisions about additional licences. The new companies probably want to use different vehicles than their competitors to provide lower prices, more luxus etc. – which means that the regulation agency is faced to additional companies not only but to additional vehicles too. And some companies will tend to use a fleet of different vehicles.

Teancum, this is the delayed answer to

Quote:
The problem facing commercial space right now is that most of the regulations are designed around a small handful of companies (Boeing, et al.) and the concept that they will only be flying a few very expensive government-sponsored launches. Re-entry is almost not covered and usually considered an accident or deliberately done over extreamly low population areas like the Pacific Ocean, with Shuttle landings the only real exception.


This will cause an additional gap. The companies can handle growth very easyly by hiring additional employees and equipment, PCs etc. – while the regulations agency can’t. The regulations agency as part of the government has got a budget by parliament‘s decision and the parliament decides about the purposes certain amounts of the budget have to be used for too. So the agency can’t hire people that easyly and can’t buy PCs that easyly – it always needs an agreement by the next level of the governmental hierarchy. A very slow process has to be started. The work on the decisions about licences will prove to be too slow, the papers to work on will tend to form batches becoming higher and higher and the agency will be faced to increasing public criticism.

This means that the regulations will become a burden to all – to the market as well as to the non-involved third party: the public which is represented by the agency.

The already existing executives and servants will begin to handle the regulations and laws more restrictively to keep the batch of paper small. The will accelerate the decisions to deny licences and they will interprete the laws more restrictivly – all this down to misappliance and abuse. Simply for the political reasons and institutions they are part of: they are forced or feel so.

Do you consider this as an answer to your question

Quote:
How do you change spaceflight regs to work with launches that happen 3-10 times per day and have people on board?


Teancum? If not please post additional questions.

This not only means that the regulations now tend to act against their creators – the senators and representatives – because the public gets the impression of them being incompetent – it means that the regulated companies would create new jobs but can’t because of the regulations.

Now the senators etc. are interested in increasing employment and in keeping employment high – and are open to such arguments. They begin to consider regulations as obstacles to employment. And the growth would provide additional tax money – a second argument. And so the regulations are going to be revised.

All this now will lead to an adjustment of the regulations to the new situation, to the growth of the market. This requires expertise. Where to get it from? From the constructors and builders of the vehicles and the people founding and running the companies: these are the only people having the expertise.

Now I change in short from Political Economics to Enterprise Economics. Please remember the first gap I have been speaking of in one of the earlier posts. The gap consists of the agency/public wanting safety in case of an explosion – which is handling a catastrophy - while the companies and their customers want safety instead of explosion. This gap has the following impacts at least:

1. Before going to the agency a company has to design the vehicle to be licenced. It does this with the constraints in ind set by the ressources. A company always has to finance the ressources and needs to get credits etc. from others because it has no sufficient financial ressources. The credits are payed back by the reveneus got from customers. This means that the vehicle is designed according to the accessable financial ressources – and these are exhausted up to 80% to 90%.

This means that the funds are seperated into portions and each portion is reserved for one part or component. Because of the company’s, the customers‘, the market’s preference for preventing explosions one portion of the funds is reserved for the according technology required. Prevention means that nearly no technology is required for the case of explosion.

This means that the preference of the regulations agency for handling the case of explosion would mean a shift of at least one portion of the funds from ist orginal purpose to the purpose required and forced by the agency. Now the vehicle’s design suddenly is incomplete and a redesign is required – new costs which are no regulations‘ costs.

The company is respnsible to its owners, investors, employees and customers who already may have paid to prevent such things and so talks to and bargains with the agency.

This may kill a vehicle project as well as a safety programme.

2. The company can’t escape the requirement to prevent explosions because the customer really wants the prevention of explosions. The topic here is personal spaceflight – spaceflight by average people, general public. And so it may find itself in the situation to have to provide prevention of explosions as well as the possibility to handle the case of explosions – id est to handle something that is prevented. This sounds silly and waste of ressources.

But this would mean that the requirement of ressources exceed the constraints – and the project is broken down.

These two points are sufficient reasons for the company to talk to the politicians and contribute their expertise.

Note:

- regulations or more political than could be seen by the previous posts
- during growth an additional gap can be observed
- growth tends to cause adjustments of regulations

So far for the moment the internalization regulations.



What questions do you have?



The second kind of regulations to be considered is internal to the market(s).

Regarding some commodities the politicians and the governments think that the customers aren’t able to see the risks of. They don’t trust the abilities of the customers. And they don’t trust the companies too – the politicians and governments simply think that the companies do have in mind money only and don’t care of the passenger’s safety. Challenger and Columbia are considered to have no impacts on this and so on.

And so the politicians and governments regulate safety. They set standards engineers have said to be proper measures to provide safety. The politicians, executives and servants don’t have the knowledge and the experiences to be able to judge it themselves and so they consult safety experts – and these are no vehicle experts. And now they apply all the consulted safety experts have said – and don’t listen to vehicle experts and vehicle engineers. They simply can’t because the standard has made a decrete.

They apply it even if it proves to not fit into reality – I have experiences with it because of a special kind of regulation regarding driving a car. Often they don’t have a chance.

Now there may be innovation and the innovation may mean that the standard provides less safety than the innovation. If the innovations only is slightly beyond the standards they are not allowed already but prevented by the regulations.

So regulations may keep safety at a level less than possible.

The keywords here are

- passenger‘ safety
- standard decreted
- innovation.

These regulations can be called protection regulations.

Currently I will not go on with them but go to a third kind of regulations in the next post.

But this now seems to be a point at which I should have a short look into the commodities, the vehicles themselves.

As known each airplane as well as each rocket or space vehicle can explode and this way do harm to the non-involved public. At first glance this may mean that to all airplanes identical internalization regulations should be applied and to all space vehicles identical internalization regulations should be applied too.

Now nearly all airplanes carry passengers – unmanned airplanes are quite quite new and used by the militaire and NASA mainly if not only. So all usual airplanes have to be subject to protection regulations.

But all rockets except the Space Shuttle, the russian Soyuz and the new chinese capsule are unmanned – and so no protection regulations are to be applied but internalization regulations only.

If in this situation the amount of manned spaceflight increases passenger safety is left to the company’s responsibilty and the responsibility of the market only. That’s no problem because the customers really do want safety and would refuse to buy tickets if they see too much risks.

And so the companies provide as much safety as possible – as already worked out. They simply see it as their task and recognize that this safety is significantly higher than that of the manned vehciles constructed that time where there was no sign of high frequency of manned spaceflight. In principle the companies set the safety standards by the best they achieve.

That’s no problem.

But the domination by unmanned spaceflights have caused regulations handling the fact that there is no pilot aboard the vehicles. And nobody has any problem with lack of passenger safety. This causes blindness concerning a special property of new manned vehicles: Because of keeping the passengers safe the pilot may be given the possibility to shut down the engines in case of malfunctions. This has been said already too – but the focus here is on the blindness of the regulations and the regulations agency.

I suppose that an unmanned space vehicle has to be exploded over special areas and at special altitudes once there is a thread of a catastrophy – this mustn’t be done to a manned vehicle. What’s required is a shutdown and to land safely on a proper area.

But regulations are blind to it in such a situation and don’t include it – and so it’s tried to apply the regulations for unmanned vehicles to manned vehicles. Bad and unfortunate situation – nonsense.

So adjustment because of differences between commodities are required, the work to be done by the executives and servants increases once more, experts to be asked etc. etc.



What questions do you have?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Fri May 13, 2005 12:46 pm
I want to thank you, Ekkehard, for the very thoughful replies so far.

All of this seems as though governments are the "enemy" to allowing people to independently get into space, but at least you have provided a good argument as to why this is the case, and why regulatory agencies involved with manned spaceflight behave the way that they do.

On a positive note with all of this: Whatever government is able to pull their heads out of the sand and try to work out the regulatory issues regarding private spaceflight is likely to become the next major economic superpower in the coming century.

Right now the USA seems to have the lead primarily because discressionary spending on the level needed for people to independently become astronauts without direct assistance from a government is found in the USA. The political will to get this to succeed is in question, however, and vested interests in maintaining the status quo in the aerospace industry might be enough to kill future interest in personal spaceflight.

The EU is just as likely to get there as well, but there are a number of obsticles that make it somewhat harder for the EU to compete. Notably a much poorer range of lattitudes for much of the EU, and a much more chaotic regulatory environment across the EU (but getting better for EU companies).

India is also a strong possibility, but their overall economy needs to grow quite a bit more before the typical Indian has the resources needed to get into space (on even a government-sponsored basis). The technical know-how is in India, and they do seem to have a successful space program of their own that in time will rival that of the other space powers.

China just doesn't seem to have a political system to permit private spacecraft, although China is a hard target to pin down on this point. They do have proven manned spaceflight capability, access to low-lattitude launch sites, and a strong will to prove that they can do things better than the rest of the world. I wouldn't doubt that once folks like Rutan and Richard Branson get routine private spaceflight going that China will enter the market as well with their own vehicles... even if only to draw in foriegn revenue.

Russia has IMHO the best basic infrastructure and technology base to build upon for private individuals to get into space, and until now is the only place you can go to in order to get into space on your own. The economic picture in the future for Russia is not as bright, and there are some internal issues in Russia that need to be dealt with before Russia can continue to compete. Like China, however, Russia is likely to get into "the game" with private spacecraft and give any American or EU company a run for their money if people like Branson can prove economic viability of private spaceflight.

Brazil is an interesting dark-horse country in the sense that they have the best natural features of any large country in the world for spaceflight (almost an ideal range of lattitudes to lanuch from). Their economy has been growing quite a bit and have been gradually building up their engineering talent to the point that they have a fairly interesting space program of their own. Their astronauts are gaining experience from the USA and Russia, and are a particpant on the ISS. Brazil likes to call itself a 3rd world nation, but most of that is intentional marketing on the part of Brazil in order to gain access to markets that are otherwise overlooked by European and American companies. This is not to suggest there aren't problems, but this is one country to not overlook and ignore.

Australia is another place where large scale private spaceflight might take place. What Australia lacks in population they make up for in ambition, and because of their economic and political ties to Europe and America, they would be a good "safe haven" for people who want to avoid the regulatory environment of either Europe or America. Given the right regulatory balance, they could capture much if not all of the private space launches. The #1 problem facing Australia is that they don't have the infrastructure or spacecraft manufacturing capacity as compared to other countries, but that isn't as big of a problem for private companies trying to find a place to launch from.

The point I'm trying to make is that competition between countries can be the driving force to simplify regulations so they do not have to be as burdensome for people who want to build spaceships with their own money. The question I'm asking is:

What countries do you think might be successful in providing a regulatory environment capable of striking a balance between meeting international obligations, stopping would be idiots from deliberately causing damage (aka private ICBMs), and allowing or even encouraging people to step up and get into space if they have enough money to pay for it on their own?

How competitive will countries be toward each other to limit access by private citizens from each other (i.e. the government of the USA keeping Americans from flying Indian rockets)?

While I know there is another thread about this general topic, in general are regulations for spaceflight necessarily going to come from major national powers, or can smaller micro countries be able to compete (aka Monaco, UAE, Tonga, etc.) as a "flag of convience" to work around regulatory hurdles of larger countries?


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Post    Posted on: Sun May 15, 2005 10:36 am
This post is divided into

I. Answers
II. Third kind of regulations
III. Fourth kind of regulations



I. Answers


Hello, Teancum,

you wrote

Quote:
The point I'm trying to make is that competition between countries can be the driving force to simplify regulations so they do not have to be as burdensome for people who want to build spaceships with their own money. The question I'm asking is:

What countries do you think might be successful in providing a regulatory environment capable of striking a balance between meeting international obligations, stopping would be idiots from deliberately causing damage (aka private ICBMs), and allowing or even encouraging people to step up and get into space if they have enough money to pay for it on their own?


The successful countries will be those which

1. recognize private personal spaceflight as a chance for their economic future regarding abilitx to compete to other countries in a lot fields, income and fortune of their citizens, jobs, tax money, technological and industrail development and development of services,
2. pay reasonable and serious attentian to the private spacflight companies (service a s well as vehicle construction and building) and listen seriously to them,
3. apply reasonable unideological politcies, know to inform their peoples properly, know to provide correct explanations etc. and
4. have a long-term perspective.

This list doesn’t claim to be complete.

You have the point – the competiton will go for simplifying the regulations - in the meaning of optimization.



Quote:
How competitive will countries be toward each other to limit access by private citizens from each other (i.e. the government of the USA keeping Americans from flying Indian rockets)?


Such a competition isn’t to be expected I think. Some countries need foreign customers and would do harm to themselves if they try to prevent their own citizens to be customers of other contries‘ companies. Other countries may want that their companies can buy vehicles from another country’s companies.

This concerns a major change – formerly the US and the USSR were the only countries which were able to launch astronauts/cosmonauts into space. And they did it governmentally. Now private spaceflight has begun and the USSR has been replaced by a Russia with an established private economy – and they can’t prevent private spaceflight to happen worldwide: two companies in the UK, one company in Romania, one comapny in Argentina, two teams in Canada, a spaceport going to be built in Malaysia. A private institute in Germany...

To limit access simply may result in falling back behind others – this may happen to large countries like the US and Russia too.



Quote:
While I know there is another thread about this general topic, in general are regulations for spaceflight necessarily going to come from major national powers, or can smaller micro countries be able to compete (aka Monaco, UAE, Tonga, etc.) as a "flag of convience" to work around regulatory hurdles of larger countries?


Regulations and the geoqraphical size of a country don’t have to do nothing with each other. Monaco for example has no territorial capacities for spaceflight – so it’s no topic for Monaco and Monaco-like countries. Other countries may be geographical larger but their populations is concentrated in and around a few cities – like in the UAE. Their country is of nearly no use and so nothing is to be protected except the cities and their surroundings – so regulations are a marginal topic only for UAE-like countries.

Up to this point the US and Russia too wouldn’t be interested in country-wide regulations – they both would apply a few regulations only in some of their staes or regions but more regulations in others of their states and regions. The criterion would be density of population, density of fabriques, mines and other equipments and borders to other countries.

It’s different than said now – simply because I have to explain the third kind of regulations already. After that a fourth kind will follow and then I will do a break again. If later additional kinds of regulations need to be explained I will do it then.



II. Third kind of regulations

As explained in quite another thread in quite another forum of this board there are two kinds of commodities – private commodities and public commodities. In short public commodties are commodities the use of which can’t be restricted to one person only or to one special group only – once that commdity is available it is available to all in parallel unpreventably. In opposite to this the use of a private commodity is restructed to one person or one group only unpreventably. For this reason no private company produces public commodities of their own – it wouldn’t get sufficient revenues for them.

Space vehicles and spaceflights are private commodities – regardless of being internalization/protection regulated or not. And so they can be privately produced and actually are going to be privately produced.

On the other hand justice, foreign policy, defense/military safety of a country and the use and service provided by the police are public commodties: once their is an army it unpreventably keeps off potential enemies from each of the citizens of the country and not only from that group who really wants this. For this reason public commodities and especially defense/military safety are produced by the government.

Now the producer of one commodity mustn’t do harm to the production processes of the producer of the same commodity or another comoodity – and usually and normally no producer does. Implicitly I am speaking about private producers here – and of private commodities.

But what about the producer(s) and the production of public commodities? Weapons are private commodities – no problem to produce them privately as is really done. But if the private producer sells a weapon to the army of an enemy then this really does harm to the production of the public commodity defense/military safety and this way ist producer too: he simply has to buy additioanl weapons which menas that taxes or the public debth has to be increased. And so weapons are regulated – by each country of the free world. There is the Cocom-list and in Germany there have been parliamentary deceisons and debates about the sale of submarines.

This means that the laws have to define what a weapon is. Partially they do that by criterions and margins as far as I know partially weapons are listed explicitly and what isn’t on the list is no weapon. If there is no such list it is possible that something that could be abused and misapplied as a weapon is suspected to be a weapon – and then tends to be regulated as a weapon.

If this way a spaece vehicle looks like it could be abused as weapon anyway then it automatically is considered to be used for doing harm to the production of the public commodity defense/military safety odf the country and its population (9/11). And this can be considered to be a reason for country-wide regulation of the kind explained here.

This kind of regulations could be called production enabling regulations perhaps. They do exist for the production of private commodties too – they may be required for the production of electricity or rails for example. There is a theoretical explanation but it is too sophisticated to provide it here and I would have to look for a special scientific book and a journal in the library of the university a long time to find it.



Iii. Fourtb kind of regulation

This kind is currently of no meaning in this section and this board. So I keep it as short as possible.

The most important property and phenomenon of a market economy is competition. It has to be workable competition. Competition is workable if it forces the companies to produce and sell as much of a comoodity as there is demand at a price that covers the costs of the companies and if it threatens each profit. If a company doesn'’ produce according to demand it will see ist profit to be reduced down to zero – this included innovation, invention and the like. This is workable competiton in short and a little bit vague and raw – scientists will feel quite dissastisfied with this explanation.

Now unpreventably companies have different market shares and these market shares are not constant. This means that they have different market power and different access to the market. If there are a lot of companies this is no problem. But if there are a few companies only – 5 for example – then it is to be suspected that the competition is not workable.

This is a reason to regulate – to substitue the non-workability of the competition and to assist the workability of competiton. The reason for the market shares may be the commodity itself or the demand being too small.

This kind of regulations is called market regulations.

In opposite to the above „produation enabling“ regulations can be applied to reduce competition intentiously. And there are countries where the government is allowed by law to counteract against the market regulation agency (cartels agency) in case it considers reduced competition at that special market to be of economy-wide advantegeous (jobs for example).



Here I do the break now – in the next post I will provide a summary or a list of terms etc. to show the complete complexity a little bit. I will add a very short list of threads this all can be applied to and answer questions.

Which questions do you have?



Dipl.-Volkswirt (bdvb) Augustin (Political Economist)


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Post    Posted on: Thu May 19, 2005 1:44 pm
As there haven't been questions since the last post here now the lists announced:

I. List of terms or issues

Internalization Regulations

- responsibilty,
- liability and
- external effects
- lack of informations
- impacts of politics
- prevention of external effects versus handling the effects
- gap between groups
- politicians and the public are interested in handling damages and hurtings etc.
- companies and customers are interested in prevention of explosions, damages and hurtings.
- two kinds of external effects: positive ones and negative ones
- no recognition and thus no interest of the public and the polticians to encourage positive external effects like increase of public safety by private space vehicle companies
- regulations to a certain degree are politics while the regulated companis, commodities or markets are NOT.
- there are undesired or unintended impacts of regulations on companies, markets and commodities.
- Regulations are acting against crime.
- regulations or more political than could be seen by the previous posts
- during growth an additional gap can be observed
- growth tends to cause adjustments of regulations

Protection Regulations

- passenger‘ safety
- standard decreted
- innovation

Production Enabling Regulations
Market Regulations


Safety is included in both the lists of Internalization Regulations and Protection Regulations.

This all can be applied now to the following threads:

House Subcommitte Meeting on Future Markets in Space(Apr 05) ( www.xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1259 )
Debris causes regulation - but not best ideas... ( www.xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1247 )
Third World Launches ( www.xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=601 )
The Space Tourism Bill passed last Wednesday ( www.xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=942 )
good news - House Passes Space Tourism Bill ( www.xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=900 )
Suborbital Legislation: Take Action Now! ( www.xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=624 )
H.R. 3752 Out of Science Committee ( www.xprizenews.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=224 )

Next I will start to apply it to the first thread in this list – I will do it there.

But this thread should go on too according to your thoughts, ideas etc. at the theoretical level I provide here.



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