The crazy history of the space OTRAG company and space law aspects

Concerning the OTRAG and after several months of negotiations, mostly in Africa, a contract was finally drafted and signed on March 26, 1976, with Zaïre, to establish a launch center in northern Shaba.

Conquest of Mars: Phoney War, Cold War or Star Wars?

Protagonists have changed, but motivations remain the same. The conquest of space will always remain the supreme aspiration of countries wanting to assert themselves as a great power in the eyes of humans, through technology. Only a question of cultural soft power? Not so sure.

Understanding the NASA Artemis Accords

On May 15, 2020, NASA published the Artemis Accords that put in place a set of principles to guide the execution of the Artemis program to send a team of astronauts to the Moon by 2024.

Understanding microstates and international law

What are microstates? Are they legal? How are they formed? From the point of view of public international law, the State is defined as a group of individuals established on a given territory under the exclusive and effective authority of a government.

NASA and the rules for naming its spacecraft

Mercury, Apollo, Ares, Artemis… are the names of NASA’s most famous spaceships, spacecraft and large-scale missions. Each of them is as firmly associated with the history of space exploration as with its first owners, the gods of Greek and Roman mythology.

Monaco in space

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, let us have a look at Monaco and its space program. How is the Principality doing in space? Has it signed and ratified the Outer Space Treaty? Does the microstate have any space assets? Let us have a look. Ad Astra!

MirCorp, the first New Space Company

MirCorp has one objective: “to operate the space station in a private way”. And the company has a lot of projects. In June 2000, The New York Times tells that an American millionaire, Dennis Tito, spent twenty million dollars to afford a stay of ten days at Mir space station.

A Human Rights Approach in Space to address climate challenges

The intersection of space applications and international space law (ISL) provides a unique environment for the realization of a governance framework, relevant to both individual States and the international community, addressing climate change challenges across local communities.

Understanding the Advisory opinion on Western Sahara (1975)

The documents provided to the Court showed that Sahara at the time was inhabited by people who were socially and politically organised in tribes. The Court could not declare Western Sahara as terra nullius.

The Norwegian Space Law

The distinctive characteristic of the Norwegian Act of 1969 is that it only contains three paragraphs. Short but effective. The main article states that anyone launching an object into outer space from Norwegian territory or facilities requires permission from the Minister of Trade and Industry.

History of the French Hermes spaceplane

The French Hermes spaceplane evolved into a space shuttle capable of carrying several people as well as a significant cargo. When the project was designed, the goal was to use the Ariane launch vehicle to launch the Hermes spaceplane, thus ensuring a full European program.

Understanding the North Sea Continental Shelf cases (1969)

What is a continental shelf? It can be defined as the area of a land on the edge of a continent that slopes into the ocean. It extends from the coastline of a continent to a point called the shelf break. They are part of the continent and thus, each country that has a coastline has a continental shelf.

Carl Sagan and Project A119

Carl Sagan was one of the founders of the Planetary Society and a member of the SETI Institute. On the other hand, he participated as a researcher in Project A119, a covert operation of the U.S. Air Force whose purpose was to drop an atomic bomb on the Moon.

Legal issues concerning lunar rocks brought back to Earth

The term lunar rock commonly refers to a piece or sample of soil from the Moon. The lunar rocks available today on Earth have three different origins. This term is more particularly used to indicate the rocks collected in situ by space missions having brought back samples of soil from the Moon.

Legal standards of space tourism: clarifying the status of space tourists as astronauts

Space tourism has become the new hub following the increasing interests of State and non-State actors in the exploration and use of outer space. Accordingly, space tourism has become inevitable in determining certain issues in commercial space travel such as cost, liability, etc.

Intellectual Property aboard the International Space Station

While it is true that space technology has long been one of the most advanced technical fields and that space activities are, in fact, intellectual creations, it is only in recent years that these activities have raised questions of intellectual property. Among other reasons, space activities, public as they were, are becoming more and more private and commercial.

Satellite operating contract

Space contracts are not completely new contracts: they borrow pre-existing molds. However, contractual practice is innovating in order to respond to new needs generated by new techniques: innovation is reflected here in the very fine adaptation to the subject of the contract. Let’s have a look at the satellite operating contract.

The International Frequency Registration Board

The International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB) was created in order to maintain a register of all radio frequencies used for all purposes throughout the world, and to ensure that no new frequency was taken into use by any country if the use of this frequency caused interferences to radio stations already in operation, in accordance with the provisions of the Radio Regulations.

Apollo and religion

Astronauts and cosmonauts, and spaceflight participants have observed their religions while in outer space; sometimes publicly, sometimes privately. Religious adherence in outer space poses unique challenges and opportunities for practitioners. Let us have a look at the cases of Apollo 8, Apollo 11 and religion.

Understanding the Rogers Commission Report

On January 28, 1986, seven astronauts were aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger and were preparing to leave for almost a week in outer space. Seventy-three seconds after takeoff, Challenger exploded. What had happened?