Why not use auctions to allocate orbits in outer space?

Happy Boxing Day! You may have heard about the James Webb Space Telescope, which was launched 10 years behind schedule and cost almost $10 Billion USD to complete. (See this NY Times report, for example.) What you may not be aware of is that the Webb Telescope will not be in orbit around the Earth — it will orbit the Sun! (See image below; more details about the Webb Telescope’s solar orbit are available here, via NASA.) Also, the Webb Telescope is not the first spacecraft to orbit the Sun; that honor goes to Luna 1, which went into orbit around the Sun, between the orbits of Earth and Mars, on 4 January 1959. In any case, I am taking this opportunity to re-arrange and share the links of my previous blog posts on the possibility of allocating orbits in outer space using auctions:

  1. In praise of Coase (again)
  2. The tragedy of the outer space commons
  3. The allocation of launch licenses
  4. Launch Auctions and the Outer Space Treaty
  5. Auctions for Outer Space
NASA - 'L2' Will be the James Webb Space Telescope's Home in Space

About F. E. Guerra-Pujol

When I’m not blogging, I am a business law professor at the University of Central Florida.
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