Re: Regulatory Oversight
Yeah, seeeee...that's my take-away.
I've been to none too few launches in my life and last I cecked, FAA was your hurdle.
FCC is not a relevant entity.
Concievably, I can make a satellite that radiates Nothing (which Aces's out FCC), gathers some data, looks around, and crashes the spinning rust next to my BBQ on a Saturday Afternoon. (Ok, that might be a bit liberal in design, I admit...beats IP over carrier pidgeon, let's go with it...)
So how and or why would the FCC care?
As far as rocketry goes, and the FAA, America is (theoretically) built towards the concept that if it's not explicitly Denied, it's implied you can do what you want. In the sky, this becomes less true. The FAA's charter is: If it implicitly allowed, it's specifically denied. Ultimately, this is a good thing I think.
However:Americans (in general) have this odd mix of Crazy, and wealth to actually home-brew an ICBM/Low Orbit craft for kicks, as a one-off. It's only a matter of time before "Big Richard" in Texas decides to *successfully* build his own thing and to hell with things like international treaties and let everyone know there's going to be a launch-plume that every satellite is seeing making edgy folk more edgy until he parks his microsats in a bad place and all hell breaks loose.
Won't be government(s) that screw Richard, tho. It'll be business that owns the CommSats suing him into oblivion. Government will just build a few new keyholes, with all new goodies on an up-rev, and grab a few bucks from the general fund.
But the US FCC is sociopathic right now, you'll have to forgive us while some of our politicos demonstrate complete delusion.