“The sky is not the limit … there are footprints on the Moon!” – Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin , Apollo 11 Astronaut
“ It's time to go back to the moon. It's time to stay. We shouldn't do an expedition. When we do that, we will find it's a very useful place to build all kinds of things we will use to explore the solar system.” - Jeff Bezos, Founder, Blue Origin
“All entrepreneurs should be inspired by one of the greatest entrepreneurial endeavors of my generation ...going to the moon." - Kenn Ricci ’86, Founder and Principal, Directional Aviation; Member C|M|LAW Hall of Fame
50 years ago, on July 20, 1969, I was one of the 600 million people who saw Apollo 11 Ohio Astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. Afterward, three of my high school friends and I went outside to gaze at the moon, in complete awe of what we had just seen. See Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin’s historic photographs
Since those early days of space travel, space technology has become inextricably woven with everyday life. Consider what life would be like without telecommunication, GPS, Google Earth, weather prediction, satellite environmental monitoring, and the many point-of-sale devices that rely on satellites every time we swipe our credit cards. This list of indispensable space-based technology is growing. Soon we will see zero-gravity manufacturing, private space stations/laboratories, on-orbit repair and refueling of satellites, space tourism, and a multitude of other industries that have not yet even been imagined.
So what does all of this have to do with Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University? Actually, a lot.
We are very proud that one of our distinguished alumni is an aviation pioneer. Kenn Ricci ’86, the Founder and Principal of Cleveland-based Directional Aviation,received the 2017 Living Legends of Aviation Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award. In 2018, the Living Legends of Aviation renamed the award after Kenn, and Kenn recently presented Jeff Bezos with the Kenn Ricci Lifetime Aviation Entrepreneur Award for his work on the Blue Origin commercial space system. Last weekend, Kenn flew Buzz Aldrin on Flexjet, one of Kenn’s companies, to the 50th anniversary celebration of the launch of Apollo 11.
Next month during orientation week, our first year class will visit the offices of Directional Aviation at the invitation of Kenn Ricci. Kenn is a member of our Hall of Fame and a recipient of the CSU Distinguished Alumnus Award.
In addition, C|M|LAW is the only law school in the country with a center dedicated exclusively to the study of the law of outer space. Our law school has embraced the space sector as a growing opportunity for our graduates by creating the Global Space Law Center.
As the director of the Center, Professor Mark Sundahl not only trains the next generation of space lawyers, but provides his students with the opportunity to directly influence the evolution of space law by working with Professor Sundahl as a member of our Center’s student-staffed Research Council. Our students conduct research that is ultimately used by the United Nations, NASA, the Department of State, and the FAA, along with other entities. Last year, our Research Council assisted the Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group in creating a new legal framework to govern the fair allocation of natural resources on celestial bodies.
As the space industry continues to grow and turn today’s dreams into the reality of tomorrow, private companies and governmental agencies will need knowledgeable and creative lawyers to resolve the complex legal issues that will arise. I am proud that many of these lawyers will be graduates of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
*This Week’s Monday Moment: I highly recommend the new podcast, Moonrise, hosted by one of my favorite podcast hosts, Lillian Cunningham of the Washington Post.
Have a great day. Have a great week.
For copies of past messages, please go to this link: Monday Morning Messages.
My views in all my Monday Morning Messages are my personal views alone and do not reflect the views of our law school or our university.