Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moving on Up!

It seems that while Congress is asleep at the wheel, Bigelow has decided to drive his bus towards the future. Good. And I venture to say that one of two things will happen. Either Bigelow will develop into a major global player with help from the government (by not getting in his way), or he'll start running into real roadblocks with ITAR crap and have to move everything overseas and tell America to piss off.

I say this because ITAR is retarded when it comes to commercial space and international cooperation. Really, it is. Just look at how ITAR completely screwed the American commercial satellite industry when it decided to make it nearly impossible for American companies to retain ties with its foreign clients or partners. Because as we all know, we must "protect" ourselves from everything, which includes screwing ourselves if necessary.

So with Bigelow announcing his deals with Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Australia and the United Kingdom, I wonder how his space stations, his technology, and his foreign relations will be treated under the thumb of ITAR and the paranoid military minds that seem to govern its implementation.

1 comment:

windbourne said...

BA is a different issue, just like rocket launches by SpaceX. The reason is that these are services. Basically, BA will rent time in the units, without having to divulge all of the information. THis has already cleared, and it is possible for these companies to sell services to CHina. However, my understanding is that China WAS interested in BA's units, until this passed. Then they were no longer interested. Think of Germany's maglev in CHina, or GE's trains in China, or other western 'imports'. Unless it comes with a tech transfer, or the possibility of being able to simply break in and get it (like they did with transrapid), then CHina is not interested.

The problem with sats has traditionally been that the nations insist on a tech transfer as well. That was not a problem until we started to transfer some minor, but important, tech to China as well as several companies in France who then gave it to China.
BA, SpaceX, etc. are not likely to have issues UNLESS the nations or companies suddenly insist that BA SELL the units to them, along with all the tech knowhow, or SpaceX do the launches from their nations, aloong with tech transfer. THEN ITAR will get in the way.

Simple as that.