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Author Archives: P.J. Blount

Disasters Charter: Flood in Sudan

The Disasters Charter was activated for a Flood in Sudan:

Flood in Sudan

Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Sudan
Date of Charter Activation: 05 August 2014
Charter Requestor: UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA
Project Management: China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application (CRESDA)

Description of the Event
Several weeks of heavy rain have caused floods in Sudan which have left approximately 39 people dead and 6000 homeless.

Sudan’s rain season began in July and since then the floods have affected eight of Sudan’s eighteen states, particularly the River Nile and North Kordofan states, where much of the damage has taken place. It has been estimated that 3000 homes were destroyed by the flooding and a further 2000 damaged.

The capital city, Khartoum, has also been affected, and hundreds of people are currently left homeless in the city. Residents have stated dissatisfaction with the nation’s sewage network, which is ill-equipped to channel flood waters out of areas of habitation. The result is lingering flood waters which are a breeding ground for disease.
Volunteers in affected areas have attempted to keep back the flood waters with improvised barriers, but there are concerns over the long-term impact of the flooding, and over the risk of more rain to come in the following weeks.

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DoD and SDA sign Space Situational Awareness Agreement

Source – Space Newsfeed:

Space Data Association and US DoD sign space situational awareness agreement
(8 August 2014) The United States Department of Defense (US DoD) has signed an agreement with the Space Data Association (SDA) to participate in the DoD’s Space Situational Awareness Data Sharing Program, the first such agreement with a non-satellite operator.

The United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) is responsible for administering the SSA Data Sharing Program, which is intended to increase the safety, security, and sustainability of the space domain by enhancing space situational awareness through a series of basic and advanced services including anomaly resolution, collision avoidance, conjunction assessment, end of life disposal, deorbit and re-entry planning support, launch support, and EMI investigation. Under the agreement, the U.S. DoD and SDA will now be able to formally collaborate on matters concerning space situational awareness, including mitigation of electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radiofrequency interference (RFI). . . . [Full Story]

ECSL Space Law Essay Contest

Source – ECSL:

ECSL Essay Competition

Essay Competition 2014

12 August 2014
In accordance with ECSL’s objectives, to promote knowledge of and interest in the law relating to space activities through the promotion of research activities, it has been decided by the ECSL Board to inaugurate the first ECSL Essay Competition.
The competition will challenge students to think critically about a particular topic in space law and policy and to present cogent arguments in support of a position. Students will have the valuable opportunity to build upon their own knowledge of space law and policy whilst practising and refining their analytical and research skills.

The subject chosen by the Board for the 1st ECSL Essay Competition is ‘What are the main legal issues raised by space mining?

ECSL ESSAY COMPETITION RULES

1. Participation

(i) Eligibility
The Essay Competition is open to all students from ESA Member States currently undertaking a university degree course up to (and including) a Masters degree, in any discipline.

(ii) Registration
Owing to limited resources, the ECSL can only accept a limited number of entries. Those wishing to enter the competition must therefore register on a first-come-first-serve basis. Make sure you are registered before beginning your essay.

Registration will open from the 31st August. Registration will close on 15th November or as soon as the maximum number of applications have been received. Once registration is full a notice will appear on the website.

To register, simply send an email to the ECSL Executive Secretary at ecsl@esa.int who will provide you with a short registration form.

Once registered you will receive a candidate number

2. Format

(i) Language
Essays must be written in English.

(ii) Anonymity
In order to protect anonymity and to ensure a fair process, neither the name of the applicant nor the name of his/her university must appear anywhere in the submitted essay.

Students should instead write their candidate number on the first and last pages.

(iii) Software
Essays should be written using Microsoft Word.

(iv) Length
The body of the essay should not exceed 12 pages (including the footnotes) spaced 1.5, ‘normal’ 1″ margins all around, in Times New Roman, size 12. A covering sheet and bibliography should be added separately. All pages must be numbered.

(v) Plagiarism
Plagiarism is cause for immediate disqualification. You are free to take ideas from copyrighted works (e.g. use the same court decision paragraph for your own analysis), but please do not copy or paraphrase ideas expressed previously by others.

Be sure to provide proper references for any material you cite from other sources and for observations or conclusions derived from others’ work. The ECSL recommends the Bluebook Uniform System of Citation. A helpful guide can be found by following the link on the top right hand side of this page.

3. Deadline

Essays must be submitted by 30th November at 23:59 via e-mail (Word/pdf) to the ECSL Executive Secretary at ecsl@esa.int

4. Assessment

(i) The Jury
The Jury shall be composed of a distinguished panel of professors in the field of space law.

(ii) Assessment Criteria
Participants should seek to fulfil the following assessment criteria in their essays:

– A logical presentation of subject matter and issues presented
– A clear understanding of applicable legal rules
– Evidence of research
– Originality of arguments
– Writing style and grammar

(iii) No Appeals
The decision of the Jury is final. No appeals will be entertained.

(iv) Announcement of Results
Results of the competition will be announced on the ESCL website by 31st January. All participants who submitted essays will be informed via email.

(v) Feedback
Unfortunately, it is not possible to provide individual feedback for each of the essays submitted. Instead, the ECSL will release an model answer (in outline) to participating students after the results are announced.

5. Prizes

Essay competition winners shall be presented with their awards during the ECSL Practitioners’ Forum in the same year the results are announced.

First Prize: Reasonable costs of transport and accommodation to attend the ECSL Practionners’ Forum. The winning essay will be published on the ECSL website.

Second Prize: 2nd Place Certificate, ECSL membership for one year (free admission to the Practitioners’ Forum), special mention at the Forum and in the ECSL Newsletter & a selected publication on space law.

Third Prize: 3rd Place Certificate, ECSL membership for one year (free admission to the Practitioners’ Forum), special mention at the Forum and in the ECSL Newsletter & a selected publication on space law.

6. Further Terms and Conditions of Participation

The ECSL reserves the right to disqualify essays which do not comply with any of the rules above.

Participants accept all responsibility for late, lost, misdirected or illegible entries.

In consideration for the opportunity to enter the ECSL Essay Competition, participants agree to allow ECSL to use their names and essays on the ECSL website.

By entering, participants agree to be bound by these rules and the decisions of the judges and ECSL.

7. Enquiries

For further information, please contact the ECSL Executive Secretary at ecsl@esa.int

Library: A Round-up of Reading

Space Law
David C. DeFrieze, Defining and Regulating the Weaponization of Space, JFQ 74

Roscosmos suggests starting the creation of moon base elements and exploration robots – ITAR-TASS

Mining the Moon? Space Property Rights Still Unclear, Experts Say – Yahoo News

Japan's Military Will Patrol Earth's Orbit – Mina

SpaceX Gets its Incentives for Texas Spaceport and Launches AsiaSat 8 – NASA Watch

Bolden Doubts NASA Authorization Bill This Year – Space News

Baikonur Cosmodrome Could Stop Receiving Financing in 2016 – Space Daily

NASA Experts, Russia Sign Radiation Safety Protocol Despite Sanctions – Space Mart

Japan's Military to Track Space Junk By 2019: Report – Space.com

UK CAA releases report on regulation of suborbital flights – Flight Laws

Notwithstanding Sanctions, ULA Standing By for RD-180 Deliveries through 2017 – Space News

Space Could Be the Next Battlefield for China and Japan – Motherboard

NRO Disputes Major Finding of Congressional Report – Space News

UK to Launch Commercial Spaceport by 2018 – Space.com

As Texas celebrates winning SpaceX spaceport, Florida regroups – Space Polictics

Spaceports – A Growth Industry – NASA Watch

Russian Sanctions Against US and EU Steer Clear of Space Cooperation – Space Policy Online

Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee; Open Meeting 16-17 Sep 2014 – SpaceRef

Texas Offers SpaceX $15 Million in Incentives to Build Private Spaceport – Space.com

US looks to Japan space program to close Pacific communications gap – Space War

Coming Soon: Online Public File Obligations for Cable, Satellite . . . AND Radio? – CommLaw Blog

Dismissed SpaceX Employees Sue over Lack of Warning – Space News

SDA, U.S. Strategic Command Sign Cooperative Accord – Space News

SpaceX Faces Class Action Suit Over Layoffs – NASA Watch

Aviation Law
Proposal would limit drone usage in Phoenix – AZ Central

FAA Confirms Barter May Be Used For Aircraft Rental And Expense – AViation Law Discussions

2014 Internet Law Casebook and Syllabus Now Available – Technology and Marketing Law Blog

Analyst calls for UK politicians to declare airport support – Learmount

California Changes the Test of Significance for Traffic Impacts Under CEQA – Aviation & Airport Development Law Blog

Russian Bombers Regularly Violating U.S. Airspace – ANN

Ethics Committee Goes After Monica Ribbeck Kelly for "Frivolous" MH370 Filing – Aviation Law Monitor

Geospatial Law
The UN Committee of Experts draft a new Geodetic resolution – GeoConnexion

Cyberlaw
Myth Busting?: NSA Mass Foreign Surveillance Over 30 Years Ago – Just Security

Obama Contradicts FCC Chief on Fast Lanes, Net Neutrality Backers Say – Motherboard

Hardware “Security” and a DMCA Takedown Notice – Hack-a-Day

The Russia-Ukraine Internet Censorship War Rages On – Vice

No, Twitter will not topple a crazy North Korean dictator – Salon

The US Intelligence Community has a Third Leaker – Schneier on Security

Dan Geer Cybersecurity Keynote at Black Hat – Lawfare

COPPA’s “Safe Harbor” Grows with FTC’s Approval of iKeepSafe’s Self-Regulating Framework – Privacy and Security Law Blog

A TALE OF TWO PROCESSES – IGP

What Kind of Internet Do We Want To Leave for our Children? – DipNote

Australian Proposal Would Require Suspicionless Domestic Spying by ISPs – EFF

Malware Traffic Spikes Preceded Russian and Israeli Conflicts – MIT Technology Review

Dentons Opens Space Law Practice Group

Source – Washington Post:

International law firm Dentons has created a practice group focused on representing companies that manufacture, operate and invest in satellites, as it eyes potential in the fast-growing commercial space industry.

The new group is led by attorneys Del Smith, Liz Evans and Deepak Reddy, who recently joined Dentons from Jones Day. Smith is in Washington and Evans and Reddy are in New York. The group includes 15 attorneys spread across 10 of the firm’s offices around the world, whose legal expertise spans mergers and acquisitions, finance, restructuring, regulatory, insurance, intellectual property, antitrust and litigation. . . . [Full Story]

State Department: U.S.-India Science and Technology, Innovation, and Health Cooperation

Source – U.S. State Department:

U.S.-India Science and Technology, Innovation, and Health Cooperation

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 31, 2014
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Science and technology cooperation between the United States and India strengthens our bilateral relationship, promotes economic growth, and allows us to develop new and innovative technologies and products to address shared challenges. The United States and India believe that science, technology, and innovation are key tools that will help us address global challenges such as climate change, health, education, food, water, and energy security. Both countries support cutting edge research and are building public-private partnerships that promote science and technology-based innovation and entrepreneurship. The United States and India also recognize the importance of gender equality in the scientific workforce, and have conducted numerous exchanges to encourage increased participation of women and girls in science. Over the past year, two bilateral endowments – the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and U.S.-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund – have provided roughly $3 million to fund hundreds of exchange visits and support technology commercialization through U.S.-India joint ventures. . . .

. . . Civil Space Cooperation: The U.S. and India continue to carry out and expand upon cooperation taking place under the U.S.-India Civil Space Joint Working Group (CSJWG). NASA and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) continue to make progress on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission. This mission is intended to generate a vast bank of earth observation data for use in novel applications by researchers to benefit global food security, freshwater availability, human health, disaster prediction and hazard response, climate risks and adaptation, and urban management and planning. NASA is providing deep space navigation and tracking support to ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) as it continues its journey in space and prepares for its arrival at the Red Planet in late September 2014, just two days after NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission completes its journey. NASA and ISRO look forward to discussing ways to collaborate on these two Mars missions to take advantage of their complementary observations. NASA and ISRO, along with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission partner continue productive cooperation on the ISRO-French Space Agency (CNES) Megha Tropiques mission. NASA, NOAA, and ISRO also continue effective cooperation in the calibration, validation, and application of ocean color observation data, and until recently, of ocean surface vector wind data, on ISRO’s Oceansat-2 mission. NOAA looks forward to collaborating with ISRO on future follow-on ocean surface vector wind missions. NASA and ISRO have initiated a professional engineer and scientist exchange program. The United States and India also look forward to continued discussion regarding the development of India’s regional navigation satellite system in a manner that is compatible and interoperable with GPS.

Event: International Space Conference

The International Space Conference will be held on January 8-9, 2015 in Noida, India:

India is now rising up as one of the main contenders in Space Market with successful launch of satellites of other countries with continuous R&D growth. As the most important emerging space market with continuous growth in R&D and so, it is important for our country to empower not only R&D organisation , but also private, commercial and education sectors, to take the lead on not just at Asia-Pacific front but at global platform.

We, Aryavarta Space Organization and Amity University, are jointly organizing 2nd International Space Conference 2015 (ISC 2015), during 08-09 January, 2015, at Amity University (Sec. 125, Noida, India) to provide common platform for academia, industry, researchers and government, to share knowledge and ideas for development in space sector (Space Science, Engineering & Technology, Space Law & Policy and Life Science Issues & Aero-medicine), with a focus on promoting Space Applications in Climate Change & Environment. Furthermore, ISC 2015 will also explore the opportunities for the new and possible co-operations / research projects / joint ventures amongst the global stakeholders of space sector. Through, ISC 2015 we wish to create a platform to showcase new talents, innovations, promote R&D and explore and expand the research and development.

Of course, different delegates and participants from different parts of the world will also be there to give shape to a new horizon of Space at the heart of the most Vibrant and Beautiful Country – India.

Through this auspicious conference – based on the theme “Explore the Ideas!” we expect to bring a dynamic change in our society with new innovations to overcome the present limitations of the technologies. We also believe that our this effort will create a new horizon on the Space Platform to showcase the world, the most vibrant knowledge treasure, which is spread among the diversified cultures and heritage across the globe and utilize the space technology for the benefits of the society.

The 1st ISC 2012 was conducted successfully on 30 Nov 2012 – 01 Dec 2012, at Ahmedabad (Gujarat, India) with 200 delegates from all over the world.

Hence, to unfurl this august gathering, on behalf of entire International Space Conference 2015 committee, we would like to invite you for this auspicious conference and request your participation please.

​​​Participation details are displayed on the website for further reference. Your valuable participation will add glory to this knowledge sharing platform. Please feel free to approach us in case of any further query / assistance.

We will look forward to receive you at ISC 2015.

Event: 4th IAA Planetary Defense Conference – Protecting our planet from impacts by asteroids and comets

Source – IAA:

4th IAA Planetary Defense Conference

Protecting our planet from impacts by asteroids and comets

The past IAA Planetary Defense Conferences are available on this website

Armillary Sphere in ESRIN

ESA ESRIN, Frascati, Italy

If you want to receive conference update, please join our Email list at Contact us

The International Academy of Astronautics will hold its 4th conference from 13-17 April, 2015 in Frascati, Italy.

Planetary Defense
Recent Progress & Plans
NEO Discovery
NEO Characterization
Mitigation Techniques & Missions
Impact Effects that Inform Warning, Mitigation & Costs
Consequence Management & Education
The conference will include an exercise where participants will simulate the decision-making process for developing deflection and civil defense responses to a hypothetical asteroid threat.