Space Café Podcast

Bianca Lins: Small Nation, Big Impact. Liechtenstein's Cosmic Aspirations in a divided world

April 10, 2024 Markus Mooslechner, Bianca Lins Season 1 Episode 104
Bianca Lins: Small Nation, Big Impact. Liechtenstein's Cosmic Aspirations in a divided world
Space Café Podcast
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Space Café Podcast
Bianca Lins: Small Nation, Big Impact. Liechtenstein's Cosmic Aspirations in a divided world
Apr 10, 2024 Season 1 Episode 104
Markus Mooslechner, Bianca Lins

SpaceWatch.Global is pleased to present: The Space Café Podcast #104: Bianca Lins: Small Nation, Big Impact. Liechtenstein's Cosmic Aspirations in a divided world

Episode 104 features special guest:  Bianca Lins


Join Markus in an engaging episode of the Space Cafe Podcast, where he converses with Bianca Lins, an Austrian who has intricately woven her life into the fabric of one of the world's smallest yet remarkably influential countries in the space sector, Liechtenstein. Bianca shares her unique perspective on space law, Liechtenstein's history with the Apollo missions, and how even the tiniest nations can have a stellar impact on global space policy.

Key Topics Covered:

·       🔹 Liechtenstein's surprising contributions to space exploration.

·       🔹 The evolution of space law and the role of small nations.

·       🔹 Liechtenstein's pioneering steps towards regulating space activities.

·       🔹 The fascinating intersection of geography, sovereignty, and cosmic destiny.

·       🔹 How Liechtenstein's size has influenced its approach to space policy.

Memorable Quotes:

·       "Liechtenstein may be small, but its reach into the stars is vast and determined."

·       "Every small step in space law is a giant leap for a nation like ours."

Must-Click Links:

·       🔹Official Site for Liechtenstein in Space

·       🔹On the authorization of space activities and the registration of space objects 

·       🔹On the Authorization of Space Activities and the Registration of Space Objects

Featured Music:

·       🔹 "Sweet Child o Mine" by Guns n Roses, is Bianca’s choice of music for a potential travel to the stars. 

Follow Our Journey:

·       🌌 Host: Markus Mooslechner

·       🌌 Guest: Bianca Lins

About Us: SpaceWatch.Global is a digital magazine and portal dedicated to covering the expanding universe of space. Join us as we dive into engaging conversations that bring the high-flying ambitions of space closer to Earth.

Contact Us:

·       Email: podcast@spacewatch.global

Send us a Text Message.

You can find us on Spotify and Apple Podcast!

Please visit us at
SpaceWatch.Global, subscribe to our newsletters. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

Show Notes Transcript

SpaceWatch.Global is pleased to present: The Space Café Podcast #104: Bianca Lins: Small Nation, Big Impact. Liechtenstein's Cosmic Aspirations in a divided world

Episode 104 features special guest:  Bianca Lins


Join Markus in an engaging episode of the Space Cafe Podcast, where he converses with Bianca Lins, an Austrian who has intricately woven her life into the fabric of one of the world's smallest yet remarkably influential countries in the space sector, Liechtenstein. Bianca shares her unique perspective on space law, Liechtenstein's history with the Apollo missions, and how even the tiniest nations can have a stellar impact on global space policy.

Key Topics Covered:

·       🔹 Liechtenstein's surprising contributions to space exploration.

·       🔹 The evolution of space law and the role of small nations.

·       🔹 Liechtenstein's pioneering steps towards regulating space activities.

·       🔹 The fascinating intersection of geography, sovereignty, and cosmic destiny.

·       🔹 How Liechtenstein's size has influenced its approach to space policy.

Memorable Quotes:

·       "Liechtenstein may be small, but its reach into the stars is vast and determined."

·       "Every small step in space law is a giant leap for a nation like ours."

Must-Click Links:

·       🔹Official Site for Liechtenstein in Space

·       🔹On the authorization of space activities and the registration of space objects 

·       🔹On the Authorization of Space Activities and the Registration of Space Objects

Featured Music:

·       🔹 "Sweet Child o Mine" by Guns n Roses, is Bianca’s choice of music for a potential travel to the stars. 

Follow Our Journey:

·       🌌 Host: Markus Mooslechner

·       🌌 Guest: Bianca Lins

About Us: SpaceWatch.Global is a digital magazine and portal dedicated to covering the expanding universe of space. Join us as we dive into engaging conversations that bring the high-flying ambitions of space closer to Earth.

Contact Us:

·       Email: podcast@spacewatch.global

Send us a Text Message.

You can find us on Spotify and Apple Podcast!

Please visit us at
SpaceWatch.Global, subscribe to our newsletters. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!

[00:00:00] Markus: Hello, everyone. This is Space Cafe Podcast, and I'm Markus. what happens when an Austrian decides to weave her life into the fabric of one of the world's tiniest nations? Join us as we explore Lichtenstein through the eyes of Bianca Lins, not a native, but a believer in the cosmic destiny of this dot on the map.

[00:00:41] Literally a dot on a global map. We're about to share a narrative that defies the gravitational pull of size and geography. Bianca's story is one for the books. Picture growing up with the Austrian Alps as your playground, only to find yourself in a nation where the stars seem just a touch closer.

[00:01:04] Liechtenstein might be snugly tucked away, but did you know it played a role in the clarity of vision for the Apollo 11 astronauts? that's right, those helmet visors were made possible with a little help from Bianca's adopted home.

[00:01:22] And the plot thickens. Beyond its lunar contributions, Liechtenstein is busy drafting the future. Yes, we're talking space laws with Bianca's unique perspective. Dive into how this minuscule powerhouse is navigating global satellite frequencies and the nuances of extraterrestrial real estate.

[00:01:46] Bianca is not your typical space buff. Her journey from Austria to becoming an integral part of Lichtenstein's stride towards the stars is nothing short of fascinating.

[00:02:01] It's a story of adaptation, belonging, and proof that ambition knows no boundaries, terrestrial or otherwise. So pour yourself a generous cup of cosmic brew and make yourselves comfortable. We're embarking on a journey that stitches together the quaint charm of Lichtenstein, of the infinite canvas of space, all through the lens of Bianca Linz.

[00:02:28] Expect a conversation peppered with laughter, awe and revelation. Served up in the unique Space Cafe Podcast style. Prepare to be enchanted, my friends, by a tale that reminds us all, in the grand scheme of the cosmos, it's the size of your dream that counts.

[00:02:49] For people who do not know Liechtenstein.

[00:03:01] What would be the first thing that describes that beautiful country?

[00:03:08] Bianca: Well, Liechtenstein is indeed a very beautiful country. In the middle of Europe, we have beautiful mountains, um, it's very small. As I said, I think it's by size the sixth smallest country in the world. We have about 160 square kilometers in total and about 40, 000 people living there. We're famous, I think, for our royal family, brings a lot of tourists coming to visit Liechtenstein, but Liechtenstein is also I think very famous for its, um, prosperous industry and also the financial market.

[00:03:43] Markus: Tell me how long does it take from one border to the other by bike or by car?

[00:03:50] Bianca: Okay, I think by car, maybe 30 minutes or something like 

[00:03:53] Markus: 30 minutes.

[00:03:55] Bianca: If you drive, you know, through all the villages, um, maybe a little bit longer, depending on traffic.

[00:04:03] Markus: Fantastic. Take

[00:04:04] and, and now the interesting part now is that super small country is super big in all things space. So does Liechtenstein have its own space program, maybe launch sites or whatnot?

[00:04:19] Bianca: well, we becoming bigger in the space sector. Let's take it that way. we actually, um, are more active in space than one would might, um, think. the, the history of space of Liechtenstein started already very early in, um, 1969 with the Apollo 11 mission. Uh, I think most people do not know that, um, a Liechtenstein company in fact provided the coating for the, um, for the helmets of the astronauts,

[00:04:50] Markus: Interesting.

[00:04:51] Bianca: that's why Liechtenstein is the only country outside of the U.

[00:04:55] S. that has down from this Apollo 11 mission in our country.

[00:05:01] Markus: Fantastic.

[00:05:02] Bianca: two flags that have been, two Liechtenstein flags that have been already on the moon.

[00:05:07] Markus: Haha. Fantastic.

[00:05:08] Bianca: So when it started and, um, were some, some smaller projects, um, during this time. Liechtenstein has ratified two of the five space treaties, the Liability Convention and also the Registration, um, um, Convention.

[00:05:26] And, um, a few years ago, well, actually ten years ago now, in, in 2014, um, a consortium of Liechtenstein and German companies, um, asked to file, uh, some, satellite frequencies for a satellite constellation, 

[00:05:43] Markus: hmm. 

[00:05:44] Hmm. 

[00:05:45] Bianca: And I think this is a project that most people in the sector have already heard of.

[00:05:50] It's now, um, uh, Rivada Space Networks. 

[00:05:53] Markus: hmm. 

[00:05:54] Hmm. 

[00:05:56] Bianca: with Liechtenstein frequencies. And, um, due to this project, um, we became aware of the fact that it, you know, with all this commercialization, uh, in the space sector, it would be good to have a space law, a national space law. that, that's what we did, yeah.

[00:06:16] It, uh, came into force on the first of January, our space, uh, law, together with the, um, space ordinance. So, we have now a national legal framework, if somebody wants to conduct space activities out from Liechtensteiner, then we have a legal regime for that, um, 

[00:06:34] Markus: it's still mind blowing because again, a country where it takes like a couple of minutes to go from A to B from one border to the other. And at the same time, you have your own space law and, and you're sort of on the negotiating table, um, on when it comes to international Agreements. So that, that is truly fascinating. And it's at the same time empowering because, um, I'm right here, I'm in Austria, a small country, um, also. So that means that not only the big ones, the big countries, but also the small countries can, if they want, have a say in international diplomacy and policymaking. Is that right?

[00:07:20] Bianca: Absolutely, yes. I mean, that's the, the, the great thing. The great thing about international law or being on this international platform because it doesn't matter how big your country is, which size, you always have the same voice. you are participating in any international meetings from the UN, for example, then Liechtenstein has always the same voice like, for example, the US or 

[00:07:48] Markus: Hmm. 

[00:07:48] Bianca: It's one voice.

[00:07:51] Markus: So, um, can you give us a little bit of a, an overview when it comes to space law? We do have, uh, the, an agreement from 1967, right?

[00:08:05] Bianca: Well, actually, we didn't ratify the Outer Space Treaty, but of course, the Declaration of Principles is now, I mean, commonly acknowledged for 

[00:08:16] Markus: Mm hmm. 

[00:08:16] Mm hmm. 

[00:08:18] Bianca: of course, these, um, requirements also hold true for us. But in fact, not all countries have ratified all the five space treaties. Some, um, even like, like, China, I think it was a few, well, not, not so long ago, um, did, um, it China with the moon, um, agreement that they withdraw again, 

[00:08:43] Markus: Mm hmm. 

[00:08:45] Bianca: and at the same time, as I said, I mean, there is happening so much now in space and when the space treaties were, were, were written and, and, um, uh, coming into force, it was just nations that had enough money to have their own space program, um, and that These countries went up to space, 

[00:09:03] Markus: Mm hmm. 

[00:09:03] Bianca: And the other countries were, well Of course, participating in the discussions, but not really, 

[00:09:11] Markus: Actively. Mm 

[00:09:12] hmm. Mm. Mm. Mm. Mm hmm. Hm. Mm hmm. Mm 

[00:09:22] Bianca: space. And of course, working together with governments and everything.

[00:09:27] But the main players are not the governments anymore. It's companies like, like Elon Musk, yeah, with Starlink and so, and if you, for example, look, um, at the International Space Station, uh, it will retire in 2030 or 2032, uh, and the next space stations that will come out, are actually coming from private companies, so of course states will work together with them, but that puts us in a completely different situation because you have to now find a solution that you're not just a customer, um, asking for, you know, access to the space station, um, with things like, um, for example, the, the, the Muner, um, When you think about all the, the resources that were already found on the moon and that are, um, to be, um, there too, or with asteroids things like this, and then also, you know, using the moon as a platform to further go then to, to Mars, and so the agreements we have now, these international agreements, do not really cover this situation, I think, yeah, so it would be necessary to you.

[00:10:42] To find a way to, you know, on an international basis, to find, to modernize these agreements. One step towards this is, for example, the Artemis Accords, where I think it was seven states, the US, Canada, Uruguay, and so on, which try to, of course, stay within this international frame that we have now with the five space treaties.

[00:11:13] But to go a step further and say, okay, the situation has changed a little 

[00:11:17] Markus: Mm. 

[00:11:18] Bianca: So how can we ensure, for example, that when we are on the moon and are, 

[00:11:26] Markus: Mm hmm.

[00:11:30] Bianca: It shouldn't be the Wild West, 

[00:11:31] Markus: Mm, 

[00:11:31] Bianca: we have these, um, obligations that nobody can go to the moon and say okay, this is now a part of my country, this is a part of my state, it's mine, yeah, it's It's mine. belongs to all humankind. These, um, things still have to be, um, obliged 

[00:11:49] Markus: hmm, Mm hmm, Mm hmm, 

[00:11:51] Mm 

[00:11:52] Bianca: things like, um, um, Indian folks, like from Canada or from, from Australia, they have a different, um, connection to the moon, for example.

[00:12:05] it's important for them that the surface of the moon stays the same. 

[00:12:09] Markus: hmm, 

[00:12:09] Bianca: So if we go there and mine 

[00:12:11] Markus: Mm hmm, 

[00:12:11] Bianca: to ensure not to change the surface or damage the surface to, you know, take care of these, these, um, uh, indigen, um, 

[00:12:24] Markus: Mm hmm, Mm hmm, Needs, of course,

[00:12:27] and Mm 

[00:12:30] Bianca: and these are things that I think are not, um, really covered today in the, the, these old or traditional space treaties.

[00:12:38] Yeah. And this is something I think we, we have to look into. And that is something, of course, you can only achieve with international cooperation. Um, I know it's a difficult situation currently, yeah? But at the end of the day, it will be important to, to find together solutions and, and modernize these, these treaties, yeah?

[00:13:05] Markus: hmm, Seems like, um, as you just mentioned, that geopolitics, as opposed to technological progress, and so what we're seeing is rapid advancements in technology and technology. Mm hmm. And Starship 6 coming up now, um, and some, at some point, um, those massive transporters will be ready and available

[00:13:34] to bring massive payloads into orbit And to the moon and whatnot.

[00:13:40] And the question is, 

[00:13:42] Bianca: having me here today. Thanks, 

[00:13:44] Markus: do we have time 

[00:13:45] Bianca: talk a little 

[00:13:46] Markus: to make up our minds as policymakers? Um, the way we've been doing that for decades now, or as you suggested, do we need something completely new, a completely, not only a completely new framework, but a completely new decision making process? Where, where do you see the main hurdles at the moment when it comes to decision making?

[00:14:16] Bianca: Um, well, I don't think that we need a completely new framework. I think it has to be updated. I think the only, um, platform we have today, and this still, um, keeps to be true is UNOSA and COPUOSA,

[00:14:33] Markus: uh, 

[00:14:35] uh, uh, 

[00:14:37] Bianca: established. Um, platform where space experts come together to discuss these issues and of course there's also tension and it's difficult in this geopolitical, um, situation, but I don't think that saying now, okay, we will.

[00:14:55] Who knows, it doesn't work. We have to find something new. That's not the, the, the way, yeah. it's established. It works. It takes maybe sometimes longer. That's why I actually, um, welcome this initiative with, with the Artemis Accords, because like minded countries, and maybe not even always like minded countries, found their ways Artemis Accords and say, okay, we discuss on a different platform.

[00:15:23] new solutions, how we could, you know, solve this and that problem. And then we go together as now, I think, 37 states, maybe then in a few years, even more states. go together as a collective and present this to corpus and discuss it there. And, you know, this is a different thing 

[00:15:43] Markus: uh. 

[00:15:43] Bianca: or approach, I think, uh, then if it's just like one or two or three countries, they have already of a solution tool to present, yeah?

[00:15:54] It's like a working group, yeah? But 

[00:15:56] Markus: I, I attended the World Space Forum before Christmas at UNOSA and there was one moment where the representative of Indonesia, she called to question the primary language of decision making because she said that in Indonesia not many people understand or speak English as the lingua franca in all of this.

[00:16:27] So she questioned a very basic requirement and that is how do we speak

[00:16:35] with one another. I was surprised by something like this because I figured shouldn't there amongst United Nations bodies be well established frameworks and guardrails. that are in place already and that no one needs to question anymore, so that there is enough time to take care of the actual question that is being up for debate. Being for the first time at World Space Forum I was surprised that such basic questions are not even solved yet. Um, um, uh, 

[00:17:18] uh, 

[00:17:19] uh, 

[00:17:20] um, 

[00:17:21] uh, um, um, um, um, um, um, um, um, 

[00:17:30] Bianca: level and it works. So, of course you could. I argue now that nowadays, you know, more people talk, I don't know, uh, Hindu or something like that.

[00:17:41] Yeah. But it works. And of course, why do so many people speak English, even if they don't speak French and they don't speak Chinese. But English is, I think, the most easiest language and almost, I mean, so many people speak English. Yeah. So to change that to something like. I don't know, Hindu, for example, yeah?

[00:18:07] Or Portuguese, or so. I think that would be quite difficult because it's a much more difficult language, yeah? So, English is established as a, uh, uh, uh, a world language. Most of the people, of course, not, not everybody, yeah? especially when you're in this, um, working in international, um, surrounding, then everybody talks English, yeah?

[00:18:33] So, it's surprising that somebody, that a state comes up with such a question, 

[00:18:39] Markus: um, 

[00:18:41] Bianca: because I, I, I mean, as you said, there are so many other 

[00:18:45] Markus: um, um. That's good. 

[00:18:45] Take care. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, 

[00:18:48] Bianca: So to start, like, completely from 

[00:18:50] Markus: yeah. 

[00:18:51] Bianca: discussing the basics, like, oh, In which language should we talk to each other? I mean, this is really far 

[00:18:58] Markus: Yes. Yes. 

[00:18:59] Bianca: now.

[00:19:01] Markus: What do you see as the main challenges these days? Other than geopolitics.

[00:19:08] Bianca: Well, from a space perspective, of course, how to solve the space debris problem. I mean, this is maybe one of the biggest challenges we will face in the next few years, because there are thousands of filings coming up, including, of course, the launch of thousands of satellites. So this will be a huge challenge.

[00:19:29] Markus: is 

[00:19:30] it, is it true? I heard that some, it keeps escaping me, some African country licensed, I don't know, 30, 000 satellites

[00:19:40] or 300, 000 or what? Is

[00:19:43] that true? 

[00:19:43] Bianca: a crazy 

[00:19:44] Markus: Yeah. 

[00:19:45] Bianca: Mm-Hmm. , I'm not quite sure. So I hope my, my colleagues from Rwanda, don't mind if I say, but I think it was rda, 

[00:19:51] Markus: I can't remember, but it was a crazy number.

[00:19:54] Yeah. 

[00:19:54] Bianca: Yes. Really, really huge number. Mm-Hmm? . Yeah. So, and there, this is just one country, so there, they're coming really thousands.

[00:20:04] of, of, of satellites and thousands of filings. So this brings so many other problems, not just space debris, but also, of course, the, the, the dark sky, yeah? If we, you know, so many satellites that we can't really, um, observe anymore what is coming from space, maybe towards the, the Earth, yeah? This could bring, um, completely different problems now.

[00:20:30] So, I think this is one of the biggest challenges. Another challenge, of course, is also with AI. Um, um, this will be, I mean, it's a game changer when it comes also to, to space, um, activities and space exploration. a great benefit of course for planning missions or for designing spacecrafts and of course for huge amounts of space, of satellite data, yeah, but at the same time it's also I'm not quite sure, and of course, it's always my legal background, I'm not quite sure if our legal frameworks are really prepared already for this, because, um, for example, when you look at the liability convention, liability convention talks, uh, talks about physical damage, but does not really cover damages, uh, made by, for example, a cyber attack and data loss, which could, of course, um, or cure with, with, um, ai.

[00:21:36] So I think these, um, developments, um, will be the, the, the biggest challenges in the future, in the near future.

[00:21:46] Markus: I was being very imprecise when I asked you what the, what do you see as the, the, the major current challenges? And I'm, I'm glad that we could already now talk about this, but what I really wanted to ask you before that was, what do you see as the major challenges when it comes to decision making?

[00:22:07] Bianca: Ah, okay. I see. Um, well, you said accept geo 

[00:22:12] Markus: Yeah. ,

[00:22:13] Bianca: so, um, yeah, but I think that is the, the really the biggest challenge and to, um, to get states to agree. to, to find compromises, just for their own sake, but really for the, for the bigger, uh, for the bigger benefit, for the bigger good, yeah? So,

[00:22:36] Markus: Is there, is there, is there a willingness? Yes. Above all, to find a conclusion, to find a solution. So what's the, what's the chemistry between the lines?

[00:22:52] Bianca: well, I think, um,

[00:22:53] Markus: Of course, it depends on the countries, but, but in general, like across the board, do you think, um, it's more positive, more solution oriented, or is it gridlock at the moment? Very difficult.

[00:23:09] Bianca: it really depends on the 

[00:23:10] Markus: Mm. 

[00:23:11] Bianca: yeah? I mean, of course, there, there is a group of countries that is very like minded and, and tries to find a solution and agreement. And then there is another group that is, um, like minded, which you know, has a different 

[00:23:27] Markus: Mm. 

[00:23:28] Bianca: But, um, she's the same way.

[00:23:30] Okay. We we're working together. We want to find a compromise, but it doesn't go together with the idea you are 

[00:23:36] Markus: Mm. 

[00:23:37] Bianca: So, um, I think it's more difficult than it has been, I don't know, 20, or maybe 20, 30 years 

[00:23:47] Markus: Mm hmm. 

[00:23:48] Bianca: Um, but yeah, the, the, the global developments. I think show to all of us that, um, to really achieve, you know, big decisions on an international level that all countries more or less agree 

[00:24:04] Markus: Mm. What 

[00:24:07] Bianca: difficult.

[00:24:08] Markus: is the most pressing issue on the table?

[00:24:13] Bianca: Well, I think the most pressuring issue, of course, is climate, the climate crisis. Um, It's of course also how, how we with vertigo on, with, um, the situation we have, uh, with Russia and the Ukraine, but also other states, you know, with North Korea, China of course. Um, I mean are things that um, have been very quiet, you know, like 20 years ago when you look at the, like yeah, the 1990s and early 2001 could have had the impression that.

[00:24:50] Everybody wants to work together and everybody is happy, you know, that this Cold War is over and the wall is gone and everything. Um, but the shift we are seeing in the past, um, 10, 15 years is quite concerning, um.

[00:25:06] Markus: I spoke with the former director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs two years ago. We had him on the show and he told me that despite all the issues that we have on a global scale, on a diplomatic level, It's a different story. And that different story on the diplomatic level is that there's a willingness to cooperate

[00:25:33] and there's still handshake quality so that countries that on the public stage opponents wouldn't talk to one another on the diplomatic level would have open lines of communication. Is that true still?

[00:25:52] Bianca: This is true, yeah. This is also what we are experiencing, or me personally, um, am experiencing. I am in the advisory committee of two international satellite organizations, ITSO and UTILSAT. Of course, UTILSAT is much smaller, but with ITSO, I'm actually the current chair of the advisory committee. And it is really like you described, uh, on a diplomatic level, of course, we're not always agreeing on everything, yeah?

[00:26:19] Um, but there is respect, um, and there is the possibility to, to discuss, uh, and to, to shake hands, absolutely.

[00:26:29] Markus: Wonderful. Um So let's, um, curve back to, to Liechtenstein.

[00:26:37] You're not, you're not originally from Liechtenstein, right?

[00:26:41] Bianca: that's an interesting question.

[00:26:44] Markus: Hmm.

[00:26:48] Bianca: I grew up in, I was born and grew up in Styria. That's the more eastern part of Austria. In a very small village, in a working class family, so it was Um, not quite a given to, to go to the university it actually took me much longer to, to come to the university.

[00:27:08] Uh, I quit school when I was 16 to start working and make my own money. And, um, 

[00:27:15] Markus: You were an early rebel already. Hmm.

[00:27:19] Hmm. I mean, my parents got divorced 14 and, well, it was a little bit of a difficult time to be honest, um, because my, My mother tried to, to, to make somehow a living 

[00:27:35] Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.

[00:27:38] Hmm. maybe also contribute, but make my own, own money and, and get out of this.

[00:27:44] Bianca: And since there was no really role model in my family, so I was the first one in my family to, to go to university and finish university and make a PhD and so, so it was, More, more, can I say? It was more common in my family, you know, to, to just start working, uh, and that's what I did. So I started working in an office for a tire 

[00:28:08] Markus: Hmm. They produced tires and when I was 22, I moved to Vienna with my sister and her little daughter and was working then for an IT company and in the financial market sector and for an investment fund company. But The thing always was that, maybe I have to go back a few, a few steps. So my, my very first, um, profession that I wanted to have, you know, was to become an astronaut.

[00:28:39] Haha, of course, now we got the space, space thing going. Okay, I'm

[00:28:42] glad about this. Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.

[00:28:46] Bianca: my parents said, well, I'm so short sighted, I have glasses or now I'm wearing contact lenses. 

[00:28:50] Markus: Ha ha ha. 

[00:28:52] Bianca: with eyes like this, unfortunately, you're never going to be an astronaut. 

[00:28:55] Markus: Wow. So 

[00:28:57] That's very discouraging. yes, but it was the time, you know, I mean, that was in the, the, the early 80s. So, um, 

[00:29:07] Okay. for, somebody from such a small country, from such a small village.

[00:29:13] Bianca: My parents could have never imagined what I'm doing now, actually. 

[00:29:17] Markus: Yeah. Yeah. anyway, my second dream was then to become a lawyer, to study law. And, um, I actually started because I thought all lawyers know all laws by heart. Because, you know, when you watch a movie or a series or so, they were always, you know, citing 

[00:29:36] Paragraphs. little requirements and paragraphs.

[00:29:40] Bianca: So, I started actually learning the Austrian private which was really, really hard because it was like written in 1812 or 

[00:29:51] Markus: to memorize it.

[00:29:53] Bianca: Yeah, I tried at 

[00:29:54] Markus: No. Fantastic. Fantastic. Fantastic. So, Um how about being an astronaut? I hear that things are getting ever more,

[00:30:07] um, ever easier to, to go

[00:30:11] into space. So maybe law always persisted. So in 2011, I was already a mother of two boys at this time. I finished my high school diploma and started to Study law at the University of Linz. They have a very good, um, they call it multimedia, um, studies, so you can basically learn at home.

[00:30:38] Bianca: You can watch videos, they have live videos and so, and live lessons, and, um, yeah, and that's what I did, yeah. And when I finished, shortly before I finished my first diploma, I got a job offer from the University of Liechtenstein. and started working there. And when I was finished I got an offer to stay there and to do my PhD, which I did.

[00:31:04] And after four years at the university, I was offered a job at the Office for Communications. And that's how I ended up where I am. And when I was working actually for the University of Liechtenstein, I was focusing my research work on, um, digitalization, um, notably also cyber security. And that was also, you know, the, yeah, kind of door opener for, for my switch to the Office for Communication, so.

[00:31:35] And when I started then, um , we got this project to, to write, uh, the space act, um, um, actually my, my colleague, Markus Kabel, he had the project lead in this and, um, we did it. So him and me and an external expert, I'm sure you know, uh, Professor Ingrid Marbo, um, helped us with our, um, space law and, yeah, because I always had this interest in these things.

[00:32:00] It was quite easy to. You know, jump right into, to, to space and, and, yeah,

[00:32:23] Markus: Even with prescription glasses, you can still go. So would you, would you still go?

[00:32:29] Bianca: absolutely. And I'm still not too old to become an ESA astronaut, so who knows? 

[00:32:35] Markus: That was, that 

[00:32:36] was, the next round I will 

[00:32:37] exactly, there was a draft last year, or was it two years ago?

[00:32:41] Bianca: I think it's two 

[00:32:41] Markus: Yeah. um, unfortunately, so far they don't really need lawyers up there. 

[00:32:47] Interesting. have, you know, kind of, uh, maybe Medicaid or technical background, something like that, 

[00:32:55] Yes. background is not 

[00:32:57] Yeah, not yet, not yet, not yet. But I mean like once they have like, like, Dozens and hundreds or thousands of people up there. I think the requirement to have, um, a lawyer up there by your side will be,

[00:33:14] will be reality. Because

[00:33:17] I I, yeah, I would,

[00:33:20] Bianca: you go to space?

[00:33:23] Markus: I would totally love to go. I'm, I think I'm, I have a little bit of adventure blood. Um, circulating in my body. So I love to do crazy things, I think I would love to go. Maybe not for good, maybe not for good. So I think going to Mars would be really cool. But I would want to come back, not least because I want to see my family and be near my family. But I would love to go for a while. Maybe for half a year. Or a year. I think I could negotiate that. A year would be fine.

[00:34:01] Bianca: Yeah, I agree. That would be good.

[00:34:02] Markus: Yeah. Um, you mentioned, um, cybersecurity. Is this, um, is this a thing, um, currently? Um, in space also?

[00:34:16] Bianca: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, uh, I think at latest with the Viasat cyber attack years ago, when the, when Russia invaded the Ukraine, it became, you know, apparent to all, um, all, uh, stakeholders and, and working in space that it's also necessary to protect the space 

[00:34:36] Markus: Mm. 

[00:34:36] Bianca: and to protect the satellites.

[00:34:38] Uh, it's becoming I think more and more, uh, recognized everybody's working on this because, you know, like years ago, it was very expensive to go to space and to, to build satellites and everything. Everybody was like, okay, maybe we can save a little bit money there because who should attack 

[00:34:59] Markus: Mm. 

[00:35:00] Bianca: and nobody would want that.

[00:35:02] So it's not so important. Yeah. But nowadays, it's of course much, much 

[00:35:07] Markus: Mm. 

[00:35:08] Bianca: launch a satellite or to launch any space object. And the reality is, of course, that it's very vulnerable. So. It's hugely important to, to protect these assets, uh, to also include cybersecurity in your space strategy. Um, we are in fact, I think the first country to have, uh, cybersecurity requirements in our law.

[00:35:33] Markus: Mm. 

[00:35:34] Bianca: So if you want to conduct a space activity from Liechtenstein, you also have to, um, show what your, um, what your space, uh, cybersecurity strategy is. Uh, 

[00:35:46] Markus: So, so 

[00:35:47] what, what, what, what could that be? I mean, like, would I, would I need to demonstrate that I'm employing firewalls around my, my spacecraft, my satellite, or what does that mean?

[00:35:58] Bianca: Well, you need a risk based concept, 

[00:36:00] Markus: hmm. 

[00:36:01] Bianca: and include, uh, detailed description, processes, mechanisms, um, methods to ensure the cyber security of your space activity. Um, for example, how you protect against unauthorized access to critical functions of the space object. Um, for example, for command, control, and, um, telemetry connections.

[00:36:24] you also have to, uh, provide information on the physical protection, um, aimed to reducing vulnerabilities again of command and control, 

[00:36:34] Markus: Mm 

[00:36:35] Bianca: and telemetry receiving systems. um, have to protect against communication disruptions and You have to protect your ground stations, the operating technology.

[00:36:47] Um, you need cyber security hygiene measures, physical security for automated information systems, uh, methods for detecting intruders, um, for 

[00:36:58] Markus: hmm. Mm hmm. 

[00:37:00] Bianca: Um, yeah, and of course also how you manage supply chain risks. Um, that is also an important fact.

[00:37:08] Markus: Is, is that mandatory?

[00:37:12] Bianca: With our law it 

[00:37:14] Markus: yes. 

[00:37:15] Bianca: but yes, that's mandatory.

[00:37:18] Markus: How about, how about deorbiting, um, technologies? Um, of course, I'm talking now about space debris because I'm, I'm just, I find that super interesting that there's like cyber security, mandatory cyber security in place, but still we have that trash up there, um, floating around in space. So why can't we have the same tough rules also for trash in space?

[00:37:47] Bianca: We do,

[00:37:48] Markus: So Lichtenstein also has, has those rules.

[00:37:52] Bianca: absolutely. We also have, um, um, requirements regarding the preservation of the long term of space and the prevention of space debris. there it's the same that you have to, um, provide us information on how you are planning to Um, prevent, um, space debris, how you are planning 

[00:38:18] Markus: Hmm. 

[00:38:19] Bianca: um, move forward with your, your space object, you know, once it's, um, end of life, you're going to de orbit it and, um, what are you going to do if, for example, it, um, uh, It's, um, for example, how you could, um, make the controlled re entry for the space object there.

[00:38:43] And if you, for example, have a non maneuverable space object, you have to choose an orbit that it doesn't stay longer up there than 25 years. And there, of course, um, there's a reference to the Interagency Debris Coordination Committee. There are some, um, some guidelines, and according to these guidelines, you have to, to provide this information.

[00:39:08] Markus: Is this a deterrent or to, to potential clients? Because I, if, if I had, um, my own satellite fleet constellation or whatnot, I wanted to bring up into orbit, I would need to, a country to, um, to partner up with. Or I don't know what

[00:39:28] the proper terminology would be. Um, so if I opted for Lichtenstein, I would then need to comply with all those rules.

[00:39:36] So is that a deterrent to potential clients because other countries don't have that, have it so strict And, maybe, um, have it cheaper? Um, or is the Lichtensteinian model also attractive for some? So, so why would I go to Liechtenstein if I could go somewhere else and and not need all those things?

[00:40:01] Bianca: I love this question, really. Thank you very much for this question. in fact, it was already discussed a lot also in Liechtenstein. Yeah. Uh, I mean, you could say that it is, it is a very strict law, but at the same time, I mean, if you want to be a responsible, uh, a space actor, I would look for a country with a legal framework.

[00:40:24] gives me legal certainty and. I mean this, what is stated in the law and in the ordinance, this is what you get and this is what you have to do. There are no hidden requirements, there is no, I don't know, guideline or something like that we pull out of the drawer. This is exactly what we need, and of course, you can, uh, I don't know, for example, for our insurance obligations, yeah, if you can provide proof that your space activity, um, requires only a lower amount of insurance coverage, then it's fine for us too, yeah, but I think, It's difficult, or if I would have a space company, yeah, and I would want to, to conduct in space activities, I would look for a country that has a sophisticated legal framework and not a country where it might be cheaper.

[00:41:20] But what if things change? Yeah, what if they come up with a space law? And so suddenly there are requirements that I can't fulfill because I never planned to fulfill them because they were just not there at the time. So in times like this where, um, Everybody's talking about space debris, for example, and things like this.

[00:41:39] I would want to have a partner on my side that gives me a very clear framework.

[00:41:45] Markus: It's really interesting because we see Sustainability and green strategies across the board with so many different industries, even in my industry, the media industry, um, I'm also a filmmaker.

[00:42:00] so we are imposing very rigid, um, green, um, structures upon ourselves. We know it makes things a lot more expensive, 

[00:42:11] Bianca: joining us 

[00:42:19] Markus: for the planet and sustainable for society and whatnot. So it's a tough question to ask oneself, but at the same time, I think it's a necessity that in turn can also be marketed in the future. Um, so I, I find it interesting that this dynamic is also part of what is going on in your world, that It's, it's sort of a pre investment for something in the future, um, that it's an ethical question we all need to ask

[00:43:01] ourselves. I think this is what it's all about.

[00:43:06] Is, yeah, is there, is there something like space ethics, by the way, in

[00:43:13] your world? 

[00:43:14] Bianca: aware of. In my world, you 

[00:43:17] Markus: Yes, yes, yes, yes. 

[00:43:21] Bianca: well, space ethics. I mean, there is this true belief that we cannot also do the same to space, to our next orbits, like we did here on Earth. and create such, you know, like the climate crisis. And I think time is to act now, fact, to prevent these things. So space ethics, yeah, you can call it like this.

[00:43:49] But I think if you want to be a responsible player, um, you know, not just think a short term and just on your, your own benefit, I think, um, these are the things you, you have to, to do, you know?

[00:44:03] Markus: Do you see like a growing interest? Um, of course you have to speak for Liechtenstein now.

[00:44:08] I totally 

[00:44:09] understand that. But do you, do you see like a growing interest in, in what your country is offering? Ah,

[00:44:19] Bianca: so. Yes. Well, we're also, of course, trying, I mean, I think for a lot of People and companies and countries, Liechtenstein is not really on the map. And if you meet somebody else on the international platform, then it's always, Oh, Liechtenstein. Oh, I've never met somebody from Liechtenstein. So 

[00:44:37] Markus: you. 

[00:44:41] Bianca: But, um, what we're trying to do now is It's to bring this topic, bring space more to Lichtenstein, to bring it more to our industry and to our financial sectors and grow the awareness that what is going on there, that it's not just for big states, but also for Lichtenstein, an interesting sector from various perspectives and also to promote Lichtenstein a little bit, our possibilities, I mean, of course, we are a small country, but.

[00:45:17] Being a small country also has a lot of benefits. so have, so to say, very short ways, yeah, so in fact, I mean, it's a little bit over exaggerating, yeah, but kind of everybody knows everybody, so if 

[00:45:32] Markus: First, 

[00:45:33] Bianca: yeah, it's, it's very, um, Very quick that we can, you know, 

[00:45:39] Markus: sure. 

[00:45:40] Bianca: are short, we can call and we know each other and if you have an application, for example, it doesn't take you months and years or something like that.

[00:45:49] Markus: And it's just 40, 000 

[00:45:50] people in, it's just 40, 000 people in your phone directory. So it's, it shouldn't be, shouldn't be so difficult.

[00:45:57] Bianca: Exactly.

[00:45:58] Markus: Um, so what is the, what do you think could be the business model for Liechtenstein to engage in something like this, to engage in space? What is, what do you think, or could you imagine is, is the point in the future?

[00:46:20] Bianca: I think from a Liechtenstein perspective, I mean, we will never have, you know, a launching site 

[00:46:27] Markus: Mm. 

[00:46:28] Bianca: like this on our country. Uh, I also don't think that there will ever be like a Liechtenstein space program or something like this, 

[00:46:36] Markus: Mm. 

[00:46:36] Mm. 

[00:46:38] Bianca: an industry perspective and the financial markets perspective, it can be very interesting, uh, for the industry, um, sector to, to be.

[00:46:48] Um, a supplier. we have really a great industry with a lot of innovation and technology. Sorry. And there is already happening a lot of things now. And of course, from the financial market sector, it's, it's, I mean, this is what a huge part of Liechtenstein does, whether it be investment funds for the space sector or financing space activities in the one or the other way, 

[00:47:17] Markus: Mm. 

[00:47:18] Bianca: I think that is something that is very real Liechtenstein.

[00:47:24] Markus: Bianca, um, let's have some fun now. Um, we've been having fun so far, but let's have some, some more fun. Um, I have a question for you. Um, because you already mentioned that you want to go into space and you already mentioned at some point that you also have, um, an interest, you had an interest in music. Um, you love music and now that brings two worlds together right now because we have, um, A playlist on Spotify that is called the playlist for the aspiring space traveler. And now the question is, if you were to go to a distant planetary body, it's usually a very long and very boring journey. So my question to you, what one piece of music would you want to bring? What one piece of music would you not want to miss on that journey? And once you tell it to me, I'll put it up on that playlist.

[00:48:27] Bianca: Just one.

[00:48:28] Markus: Just one. Ha!

[00:48:31] Bianca: then it would be Sweet Child of Mine from Guns N Roses.

[00:48:34] Markus: I like that. And that. was, that was quick. That was quick.

[00:48:38] Bianca: Yeah, that's one of my favorite songs. We also play it in our, my band.

[00:48:43] Markus: You do have a band?

[00:48:46] Bianca: I sing, I'm the lead singer in a band, yes. 

[00:48:48] Markus: That's Wow! Is, uh, is there, is there something online somewhere?

[00:48:54] Bianca: somewhere.

[00:48:55] Markus: Okay, the Scoops, Bianca,

[00:48:58] Linz, guys. Um, now it's, it's, it's your turn to look, look you up. Um, wonderful. Thank you so much. Um, question number two would be, um, this place is called the Space Cafe Podcast. It's a coffee place. And in coffee places, you now and then have an espresso to energize yourself. Um, to get. back some energy into your body. Now, why don't you share an espresso for the mind with me? Something that energizes or inspires my mind, the minds of the audiences and you can pick whatever kind of topic you want to pick what could be an espresso for the mind.

[00:49:46] Bianca: An espresso for the mind? Well, that's a tough question. well, for me to energize Actually, it's always music, you know. I have certain songs that, you know, for different moods, actually, yeah. to, for example, get grounded again. If you have, like, you know, tough week and a lot of meetings and things like this, I really, really love to hear the song from Tim McGraw, Humble and Kind.

[00:50:21] I love the lyrics, I love the music, and that is something that is um, a little bit like an espresso for my mind though.

[00:50:29] Markus: Wow. So

[00:50:30] that's 

[00:50:31] Bianca: highly recommend this song, huh?

[00:50:33] Markus: wonderful. Um, but you wouldn't put it on the playlist because it's already, um, taken by a sweet child of mine.

[00:50:41] Bianca: Yes, 

[00:50:42] Markus: Hahaha. Hey, Bianca, that was, um, that was a fun time. Thank you so much for taking the time.

[00:50:54] Bianca: No, thank you very much. It was really a great talk having with, with you. Thank you.

[00:50:59] as we conclude our journey with Bianca Linz, we're reminded that ambition knows no borders and dreams are not confined by the size of one's homeland. From Austria to Liechtenstein, Bianca's story is a beacon for anyone looking to reach beyond their grasp toward the stars. Thank you, Bianca Lins, for sharing the spirit of Liechtenstein with us, proving that even the smallest places can have the biggest dreams.

[00:51:33] Markus: And to our listeners, thank you for joining us on this interstellar voyage. Remember, the cosmos isn't just for the giants, it's for every curious soul with a dream. Keep following the Space Cafe Podcast for more stories that inspire, challenge, and remind us of the vast possibilities that lie just beyond our blue sky.

[00:52:01] Your engagement and curiosity are what makes this journey worthwhile. Keep dreaming big, no matter where you are. The universe is vast, and as we've learned today, there is a place in it for all of us. Safe travels through the cosmic seas, and we'll see you on the next episode of the Space Cafe Podcast.

[00:52:22] Bye bye, my friends. 

[00:52:24] ​ 

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