Sunday, October 3, 2010


Six months without a post: well. there was a reason.  Five surgeries on the left foot and left arm.  An active lifestyle can really take it's toll.  Is it worth it?
Yesterday I attended a presentation to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) Alumni by Donald Klingner, a professor at the School of Public Affairs.  I'm on the Alumni Board and this is one of the opportunites you get with such a position.  Anyway, while Dr Klingner's presentation spoke to "Civil Engagement and Public Service: The Vital Role of Colorado's Public Universities" it also spoke to me about what SIF is trying to do. Too often I find myself trying to explain the complexities of moving from today's limited use of space capabilities to tomorrow's enrichment of human life (actually, all life) by moving infrastructure from a terrestrial base to a space base. What SIF is trying to do is build to technical standards base that brings that future to us more quickly.  Dr Klingner spoke of several things, and one point I found very interesting is the idea of building governance in a community.  As he was quick to point out, this is not "government" but "governance."
One of the truths of voluntary compliance standards is that they do not hold the power of law.  Rather, standards form a common basis for a (technical) community in executing their work.  This is self-governance.  I know that is obvious, but it needs to be repeated and emphasized for the global space community.  We are not likely to see rules of law, beyond existing UN treaty statements, for a long time.  There are too many other arenas, other policy domains, of higher visibility where policy makers use loosely related space issueas pawns. No, real progress, if it can be made, needs to happen within the space industry - and that needs global dialog to get real solutions.
I'll ask Dr Klingner if I can post his presentation on this site - while the target audience yesterday was UCCS alumni, the messge is true for many other audiences.  If you're reading, you're part of a listening global space audience.

A side note: all the surgeries were related to a ruptured achilled tendon (me and Beckam playing soccer, same week, oceans apart).  Unfortunately, mine had complications (infection).  Thanks to great doctors (Haggerty, Kobayashi and Kam) at the Air Force Academy I am on the course to 100% recovery. I did spend about two weeks in the hospital, a month in a wheel chair, and four months on crutches.  Today I am walking and cycling.  Running will come.

Best regard to our readers.

Unless otherwise noted, the blog posts are written by Frederick A. Slane, Executive Director of the Space Infrastructure Foundation.

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