Robert Maxwell wrote:
It's Federation space. Not necessarily a Federation planet over which they have jurisdiction to do as they please. You can understand the distinction between a planet and the space around it, yes?
I can see two problems with this argument:
1) The actual radiation that they plan on collecting is in space. So the radiation does belong to the Federation if the space belongs to the Federation.
2) The Federation "space" argument gives the Federation an incredible amount of power over evolving cultures and who they choose to deal with when they begin exploring the stars.