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?

All about the Mexican Space Agency

The direct antecedent of the Agencia Espacial Mexicana or Mexican Space Agency (AME) is the ComisiĆ³n Nacional del Espacio Exterior (CONEE), an office created in 1962 and attached to the Secretariat of Communications and Transport, which carried out experiments in rocket, telecommunications and atmospheric studies from 1962 to 1976.

All about the Japanese space law

Adopted on November 16, 2016, the Space Activities Act entered into force on November 15, 2018. Creating a regime for authorising space operations conducted by private operators, the new Japanese system seeks to encourage engagement of the private sector in space activities by ensuring legal certainty.

The differences between COPUOS, UNOOSA and COSPAR

The United Nations has been involved in space activities since the very beginning of the space age. Since the first man-made satellite orbited Earth in 1957, the United Nations has committed itself to secure outer space. What are the differences between COPUOS, UNOOSA and COSPAR?

What do astronauts eat in space?

What do astronauts eat in space? Nutrition is at the basis of human health. Among the fifteen disciplines dealt with by NASA, there is nutrition and food. This discipline is the subject of scientific research because an inadequate nutrition is likely to compromise mission success.

The first come, first served technique in space law

The first come, first served technique, used for a long time in satellite telecommunications law in order to allocate the natural resources of space (geostationary orbit, frequency spectrum) between States, is in the foreground currently in the context of the allocation of domain names allowing access to the Internet.

Satellite launch contract

How does the satellite launch contract works? How is it created? In this area, we can really speak of the launch market. The last few years have in fact seen the European company Arianespace, long in a situation of quasi-monopoly in matters of commercial launches, widely challenged by companies not only American and Russian, but also Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Brazilian.

Understanding the Wassenaar Arrangement

The main objective of the Wassenaar Arrangement is to coordinate export policies in terms of armaments but also dual-use goods and technologies. It succeeds the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls signed in 1949 (COCOM).

Understanding the World Heritage Convention

The World Heritage Convention has managed to put in place an inventory, a list of properties of universal value, requiring the most absolute protection. Through judicial, administrative and financial cooperation, the concept of world heritage is highlighted and transcends all borders, both political and geographical.