Light pollution: towards a right to darkness?

For ten years, the subject of light pollution has been more and more discussed. Researchers argue for a right to darkness, both to rediscover the starry sky and to protect ecosystems and human beings, who see lighting as a security symbol.

Analysis of the 2008 French space law

The adoption of the 2008 French space law or “LOI du 3 juin 2008 relative aux opérations spatiales” on June 3, 2008, which addressed several issues intimately linked to the privatisation of space activities, marked the outcome of several years of discussions, and finally provided France with a legal framework for activities in outer space.

Is the orbital environment a natural resource?

“Our orbital environment is a natural resource. Just as we need to protect our rivers, forests and oceans on Earth, we believe our orbits need to be monitored and maintained in order to be sustainable”. When a valuable, naturally-occurring resource, is difficult to substitute, its preservation is of prime importance.

Is naming stars legal?

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, we have asked ourselves the following question: is naming stars legal? There are services which will let you name a star in the sky after a loved one. You can commemorate a special day, or the life of an amazing person. But can you really name a star? Is it legal?

Telepossession and space law

Telepossession could provide for a form of possession, which would allow mining and space colonisation companies to develop the extraterrestrial resources used in making space stations, fleets of spacecraft, fuelling stations and all other colonisation infrastructures.

The Guano Islands Act

The Guano Islands Act, a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1856, enables citizens of the United States of America to take possession, in the name of the United States of America, of unclaimed islands containing guano (the accumulated excrement of seabirds) deposits.

Freedom and the militarisation of the cosmos

The principle set out in Article I of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty is a harbinger of different interpretations, especially if it is related to recent technological changes, moreover, it does not seem to have given definition to borders for the time being.

The militarisation of celestial bodies

About thirty years ago, a part of the doctrine hypothesised the possibility of using celestial bodies as interplanetary stations. This eventuality goes hand in hand with the recognition of the exploration of the Moon and other celestial bodies mentioned in Article I of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. One wonders what implications this discipline might entail, and once again, we could be faced with a gap capable of exposing risky conduct.

The difference between space policy and space law

In many conventions, talks and meetings where I have been, people have wandered what’s the difference between space policy and space law. For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, I thought it would be good to quickly discuss the meanings and implications of both space policy and space law. Space policy is more about politics.

Harmful contamination, harmful interference and space debris

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, let us study the concept of harmful contamination, harmful interference and that of space debris, as it is presented in Article IX of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, Magna Carta of space law.

The space program of New Zealand

New Zealand’s role in outer space is gaining momentum, bringing increased opportunities. Rocket Lab, a United States of America corporation with a subsidiary in New Zealand, is the main commercial player in New Zealand’s emerging space industry. New Zealand is setting itself up to become an international launch site for sending objects into outer space.

Clément Ader and his pioneering work in aviation

Some consider the plane of Clément Ader, Éole, to have been the first true aeroplane, given that it left the ground under its own power and carried a person through the air for a short distance, and that the event of October 1890, was the first successful flight.

Euclid space telescope promises cosmological revolution

Euclid is a visible to near-infrared space telescope currently under development by the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Euclid Consortium. The objective of the Euclid mission is to better understand dark energy and dark matter, by accurately measuring the acceleration of the Universe.

The Lawfulness of Space Mining Activities

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, we have decided to publish The Lawfulness of Space Mining Activities, a space law Master’s Thesis written by Louis de Gouyon Matignon. Available by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this article, we hope that this work will help you understand space mining, celestial bodies, the lawfulness of space mining activities, asteroids, asteroid mining…

The need to protect satellites

Communications, localisation, observation… The dependence on satellite systems has increased for the realisation of some of these functions, whether they are used for civil applications, as well as in the field of defense. It is therefore essential to be able to ensure the continuity of the services provided by these satellite systems, while ensuring their proper functioning.

Solar sails and their legal status

Solar sails (also called light sails, or photon sails) are a method of spacecraft propulsion using radiation pressure exerted by sunlight on large mirrors. Based on the physics, a number of spaceflight missions to test solar propulsion and navigation, have been proposed since the 1980s. Let’s have a quick look at them and the legal status of these particular spacecraft.

The future space legal issues

Space law was created in the early 1960s as part of the United Nations, under the leadership of the United States of America and the U.S.S.R., then engaged in the race for the Moon. Today, the future space legal issues are the following: the exploitation of celestial bodies in outer space, the militarisation of outer space, and Space Traffic Management (STM).

The future of dirigible balloons

Dirigible balloons are currently enjoying renewed interest, as evidenced by ongoing programs in France or abroad. This very old aeronautical solution presents an interesting alternative from an economic point of view, because of its sobriety in terms of fuel consumption. Another advantage is its hovering capacity.

French ONERA and outer space

The Office National d’Études et de Recherches Aérospatiales (ONERA) is the French national aerospace research centre. It is a public establishment, with industrial and commercial operations, and carries out application-oriented research to support enhanced innovation and competitiveness in the aerospace and defense sectors.

Space archaeology: how to protect lunar sites?

As private companies or NASA revive the space race to Mars, the Moon has once again become an important landmark in space exploration. How to protect the first sites of space exploration, when space is supposed to belong to everyone? The trace of the boot left on the lunar floor by Neil Armstrong in July 1969 is still intact, fifty years later.