Most space tourists avoid ITAR

I posted on this yesterday at Space Politics, but if you missed it there a summary of this latest, positive development regarding ITAR (US export control regulations) as they apply to space tourism is below:

The Economist reported Wednesday that regulators have agreed that prospective spaceflight participants will not need any export control agreements to fly on US suborbital or orbital vehicles. There had been concern that non-US customers might need a technical assistance agreement (TAA) in order to legally obtain technical data about the vehicles they’re flying on, including basic information that would be necessary for safety. Bigelow Aerospace asked for an exemption, arguing that, in the article’s words, “taking a passenger flight does not mean you can build an aeroplane”. The State Department apparently agrees, as Bigelow’s Mike Gold said they got “everything we could want” from the ruling, although citizens of some countries (China, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan) would be still not be allowed to fly.

In a related note, the AIAA is holding a half-day meeting titled “Entrepreneurial Space and Export Control: Red Tape in the Final Frontier” next Wednesday the 29th in Washington. Congressman C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger will be the keynote speaker, followed by panels providing the views of industry and government. Presumably this recent ruling will be one topic of discussion…

2 comments to Most space tourists avoid ITAR

  • […] Weekend roundup Is Virgin Galactic only accepting US citizens now? That’s the claim of an article Sunday in the Irish Independent, which reports that an Irishman living in England “received a legal notice from Virgin Galactic stating that at present only US citizens can be considered for inclusion.” The company has signed up and accepted deposits from a number of people outside the US, so it’s not clear what would cause this change in direction, if in fact correct. The obvious concern would be something having to do with US export control regulations, but Bigelow Aerospace won a ruling last year that ITAR-related agreements were not needed for prospectiv…. […]

  • […] on various nations, for the purposes of training and preparing customers for spaceflight. In 2009, Bigelow Aerospace sought and received a similar CJ regarding training for people who would fly on it…. The report at the time, though, indicated that despite the favorable ruling, people from part […]

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