Sundahl Quoted in Space News Regarding Virgin Galactic Space Flights

Associate Dean Mark Sundahl

C|M|LAW Associate Dean Mark Sundahl was quoted in a Space News article, Virgin Galactic Granted License Exemption for Spaceflight Experience, by Dan Leon.  The article concerned the decision by the U.S. State Department not to require Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s space flight corporation, to obtain an export license for flying non-U.S. citizens on suborbital jaunts departing from New Mexico’s Spaceport America.  According to the article, “Virgin Galactic, which now expects to fly its first paying customers in 2013, was told by the U.S. government that the company may fly non-U.S. citizens to the edge of space without first obtaining an export license from the State Department.”  Sundahl clarified that Virgin Galactic was asking “that their operations be removed from the scope of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.”  The ruling means that [Virgin Galactic’s] operations will not be ITAR-controlled.  “Virgin’s flight hardware, Sundahl added, would remain under export control. However, he said the determination was, on the whole, “good news for Virgin Galactic and the entire space tourism industry.””  In addition, Sundahl said that “without this determination from State, allowing a non-U.S. citizen to ride in a Virgin spacecraft — or even training a non-U.S. citizen to do so — would legally have been an export activity that required federal approval.”

To read the Space News article, click here:

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