SpaceX was broadcasting its every launch on YouTube for years, but only now The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the USA (NOAA) has announced the company does not have rights to do it. It...
SpaceX was broadcasting its every launch on YouTube for years, but only now The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the USA (NOAA) has announced the company does not have rights to do it. It turns out a special license is required for filming the Earth from the orbit and SpaceX does have it.
On March 30 the broadcasting of the Falcon 9 launch was interrupted, as SpaceX reported, due to NOAA limitations. The Agency first denied the information on the restrictions, but the next day SpaceX was still required to obtain a license. A few days later, NOAA stated that the company itself applied for the permission.
According to the law adopted back in 1992, the company must submit documents for 120 days in order to obtain a license for shooting from space. The NOAA requirements are related to protection against espionage. Now, the agency will check all images and video recordings of SpaceX launches over the past 8 years.
Interesting fact is that NOAA did not know that SpaceX broadcasting the launches, before the sensational launch of Falcon Heavy with the personal Roadster car of Elon Musk on board.
Experts consider the legislation to be imperfect and outdated. For example, Harvard astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell says that if there was a private analogue of the Voyager ship, in which the Earth is only a pale dot, it would still require permission. "This is stupid," the scientist complains.
The law was adopted to restrict the activities of private companies making photos of the Earth in high resolution. SpaceX basically films the missiles themselves and not the Earth. In addition, the quality of the company's shooting is unlikely to be suitable for espionage.
SpaceX explained that they are recording flights, including for technical purposes, so the company is trying to establish a dialogue with NOAA and solve the problem.
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