RE: China+Mir?

Barker, Jefferson (JBARKER@arinc.com)
Mon, 6 Dec 1999 10:19:00 -0500

     At present, space law is different than marine law regarding 
     ownership.  Ownership (and responsibility) is retained whether a 
     satellite is manned or not.  The law does not differentiate between 
     manned and unmanned satellites.  Mir is an operational satellite 
     (although currently unmanned) and cannot be considered "abandoned".  
     
     From a pratical aspect, I would doubt that China would simply try to 
     occupy the Mir.  There are numerous technical problems with attempting 
     to dock to Mir that the Chinese are probably not aware of.
     
     Also, with the Russian trying to find funding to keep Mir alive, 
     having the Chinese simply take it over as salvage would really upset 
     the Russians. 
     
     Jeff Barker


______________________________ Reply Separator
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Subject: China+Mir?
Author:  "Thomas A. Troszak" [SMTP:tom@bullhammer.com] at EXCHANGE
Date:    12/5/99 8:43 PM


I apologize if this question is a tad off-topic:
     
Does anyone out there besides me think that perhaps the Chinese are 
gearing up their manned launch capability with an eye toward "acquiring" 
the now "abandoned" Mir Space Station, complete with all kinds of 
scientific goodies...for the cost of one manned launch, it seems like a 
bargain to me.  Doe thay have enough time?
     
Are there any international space "piracy" laws that govern the 
"ownership" of orbiting craft? Perhaps similar to sea salvage rules...
     
Curious in Asheville,
     
Tom Troszak,
Asheville, NC, USA
35.601 N, -82.554 W
     
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