Commentary

Planet Regulation

Tom Bell has an interesting take on my recent interview with space entrepreneur Burt Rutan. (Go to Agoraphilia or The Technology Liberation Front). Basically, Bell worries that Rutan has cozied up to the regulatory state. While I certainly agree with Bell on how space policy ought to proceed, I’m more optimistic that Rutan isââ?¬â??and will continue to beââ?¬â??a champion for market-based private space flight. My interview didn’t show Rutan at his most laissez faire, but elsewhere he has been adamant about how government has sapped the innovative spirit out of space exploration. He wants private space flight to return to the early days of aviation, when bottom-up experimentation led to great progress. Rutan has taken it to NASA and the FAA on many occasions (see here and here for example). And U.S. licensing requirements have frustrated Rutan even more. BTW, make sure to check out the Air and Space Privatization Watch.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.